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Well this one sure took a while. It didn’t help that my Monument Valley trip took longer than intended due to getting snowed in, and nor did me getting a cold and being pretty much useless for the week afterwards.

It also didn’t help that this is a complicated page with a LOT of stuff going on. I’d work on it for a little while and it really wouldn’t feel any more done than it was when I started; that’s kind of disheartening, and makes it hard to keep going.

But now it is done.

The next two pages are going to be at least this complicated, if not more so. But they’re also the two pages that I’ve been planning for since the beginning of the story; when I finish those, it’s all downhill from there.


It’s been way too long since a new page showed up here, hasn’t it? I’ve been slowly working on this page over the past month or so. I’ve also been working on future pages; folks supporting me on Patreon have been seeing these as they happen, in the context of full WIP chapters.


this spread is taking nine kinds of forever isn’t it

The next couple of pages are going to take a while. I think there is a pretty good chance I will finish the entire rest of the story before I finish them.

Anyway. I guess I should do my taxes now or something. What a great reward for finally finishing this page, huh?

(Slight edit because apparently the apostrophe in the old title was not being properly escaped, and was breaking some RSS readers.)

<> page 168

It’s been a while, hasn’t it.

Pretty much everything else in the comic is done. I just have this one spread. And a couple other little bits, but mostly this spread. Getting it done seems a little bit closer now that I’ve finished this page of it, and now that I’ve gotten a few of my friends to pitch in for the next page of it.

I am never doing a spread like this again. Future me, if you’re looking back at this thinking that it’s been a while since you did this trick and maybe you’re ready to do it again? Don’t. Working on a climactic spread that takes months to do is a dreary, dispiriting thing.

Admittedly it also doesn’t help when your mother dies in the middle of the process. That ground work on comics to a halt for a couple of months.

<> Page 169

This page.

This fucking page.

This fucking page took like half a year to draw. Admittedly there were a couple of months in there where I got absolutely no work done on the comic due to my mother dying. But this fucking page.

Now it is… well, okay, not totally done. But done enough that I’m going to post it. And the entire rest of the story, because I finished all of that off while slowly grinding away on this page, too. The blank spots remaining are mostly reserved for friends who said they’d draw a few panels for me and haven’t yet. I’m not gonna name any names; I know all too well how complicated life can get sometimes.

Major thanks to the friends who did fill in some spots for me: Ethan Kohak, who does Black Mudpuppy, Ötty Justason, who does Zukahnaut, and Melissa Fox, who does a lot of cool art.

Tell your friends. Decrypting Rita is finished. Kickstarter for book 3 soon.

If you're enjoying this comic, please consider buying the book or buying a PDF, supporting me on Patreon, or telling your friends and/or favorite tastemakers about it. Thanks!

This comic is finished; you may want to check out some of my other comics as well.