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.
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.
Woo. This is the start of chapter 25. The next few pages are gonna be pretty damn complicated. I’ve had the image sprawling across this chapter sitting in my notes and my head for the entire duration of this project, and it’s both scary and delightful to finally get to start drawing it.
This page concludes chapter 24. Which has generally just not been a good chapter for Rita, has it?
Next up is, at last, the full version of chapter 14.
30-40 pages left. I really need to figure out what the hell goes on in the chapter marked ‘denouemont’, my notes on chapter order just say “How long is this? What exactly happens here? Does it really exist or does it just shade into the epilogue?“. Which is not very enlightening when trying to estimate how many pages this final volume will be.
Today I walked from my mom’s place to a cafe in the French Quarter. As I did, I wrote down all kinds of things I was noticing as part of the look of New Orleans – both in the Quarter and in other parts of the city. Ultimately I hope to only draw a lot of these things one or two times, and turn them into parts of a massive library of art brushes, graphic styles, and symbols that I can use to make drawing ‘The Drowning City’ go super-fast.
And then I sat in EnVie for about an hour and drew the big central world 2 panel, and edited a copy of the first one into the second one. And now this page is done.
Tomorrow I fly back to Seattle, and this page gets posted. Buffer? What’s that. But I’ll be able to draw on the plane.
I mostly finished this page on the plane to New Orleans, and did the final tweaks while sitting at my table on the first day at Wizard World New Orleans.
Next page status: fully sketched. And here I am with a few hours of the first day of a con stretching out ahead of me. Yeah I think there’s a good chance of me getting back on schedule.
Not really. But this is the end of chapter 23. And we have finally come around to the unglitched version of this moment we saw back in book 2. (And might I also direct your attention to the end of chapter 13? Repeated imagery is fun.)
About 40 pages left. Then it’s The End for real.
So much for that buffer. I spent the last week doing pretty much nothing but playing video games and having a cold.
The next page is mostly done, so that should be going up on schedule. All I have for after that is my outline, so I guess I’d better get to drawing. But right now the sun is about to set and I’m probably going to fall back into the mindless embrace of trying to get a 100+ kill streak in Diablo 3 or something.
At long last, after a hundred and fifty or so pages, and almost four years of me drawing this comic, Rita gets to point a gun at Barrett and pull the trigger.
Didn’t we see this chapter already?
Next page status: um I have some sketches? I’m also posting this a week and a half before it goes online.
Okay, we’re in the final week of the Rita Kickstarter. I’ve gotten some better quotes, that are letting me revise the threshold for spot gloss down by a LOT – I think I can make it happen at around $6400. If you haven’t ordered a copy, this is getting down to your last chance to get it for this price – it’ll be $25 plus shipping afterwards, or $25 plus all the expense of attending a convention.
I’m debating whether or not this is the end of chapter VI. It’d make for the shortest chapter so far at only six pages, but I feel like I might need the chapter break to actually shift the scene like a normal comic for once. The last time I used this particular panel layout was back at the end of chapter 1; it really feels like part of this particular leitmotif might be that it ends a chapter.
(Leitmotif? Yeah, seriously. I’ve been thinking about this comic in somewhat musical terms since I began, and this past weekend I started to realize that the deliberate repetition of panel arrangements was arguably creating an equivalent to the use of small phrases to represent characters, places, or emotion in huge works like operas. You can see some of my initial Twitter ponderings of the idea here, and ponder the definition of it on Wikipedia. Of course the real test will be if I pull up other panel arrangements to bring up certain moods.)
ALSO I am finally starting to rebuild my habits of productivity after the trough caused by three cons in two weekends, a week of recovery, and another week of being down with some vicious concrud. So hopefully things should be a little more regular around here soon.
Thanks to Gabe for his pimpage of Rita and the Kickstarter on Dumm Comics, and to E.K. Weaver for the link from her TJ And Amal!
Only two more weeks to get a copy of the book! You get shipping for free; if you get one afterwards, it’ll be $25 plus shipping. Or plus attending a con.
Man I’m gonna be glad when I finish this scene and can quit drawing all these friggin’ exercise machines.
Barrett knows what’s best. Barrett always knows what’s best.
I really wish I’d been able to show this through Rita’s eyes but letting you in on what the Sunrisers are trying to do was more important.
If you follow my twitter and/or LJ you’re probably tired of hearing about this, but the Kickstarter is still going. I’ve set a secondary goal of $20,000; this will get spot gloss on the Panopticon, which should be AWESOME. The book’s happening either way; now it’s just a matter of how sweet the printing is.
I’ve got my studio mostly cleaned up from the past month of craziness; I was able to sit at the coffee table to finish this page. Hopefully that means the return of a semi-regular schedule. I hope I’m not inviting disaster by changing the schedule from “updates whenever” to “updates twice a week”.
Finally, here is one of the heads of Image responding to people saying that the way Marvel and DC have treated creators over the years is okay. It’s really nice to see someone that high up in the industry saying that no, it’s not okay for this to be business as usual, even if the contracts were all legal and above-board.
I actually have a buffer of a couple pages! We’ll see how long that lasts.
This is the beginning of book 2, and of chapter VI. We’ll get to book 2’s titles in a moment. (Incidentally, book 1 was called “An Exchange Of Secrets With Oblivious Transfer”.)
Does the fact that the folks in the lower half of the page are passing around a pipe that probably doesn’t have tobacco in it make this NSFW? I dunno.
I noticed this ad while I was sitting in the dining car of the train back from Portland working on this page.