Page 144

Page 144

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I think it is time to admit that I am out of clever page titles for a while. I’m spending so much time jumping aroubd back and forth drawing this chapter that I kinda have no inspiration left for those. Not that it really matters now that the site’s really emphasizing the chapter rather than the individual page.

Next page status: 6 panels, 3 finished, 3 partial. Damn it feels good to be back in the groove of putting out pages on a regular schedule again.

reboot.

reboot.

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Hi. I’m not dead. Neither is this comic.

The past two months have been crazy: I finally did all the shipping from the book 2 kickstarter, did all the shipping from my store that’d been backed up by that kickstarter, went to three conventions and a wedding in four consecutive weekends, and then basically hid in my living room with the lights off playing a video game.

I’ve been working on the entirety of chapter 20 in one huge file, skipping back and forth. You’ll see why as it slowly unrolls; if you’re a Patreon supporter, you can get a preview of it here. Right now I’ve got the next two pages drawn, so I’m going to actually have some stuff in the buffer for once – let’s see if that serves as a spur to keep me drawing while I’m hanging around New Orleans next week visiting my mother!

Missed Connections

Missed Connections

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This is the end of chapter 13.

This page took a hell of a long time. Mostly because I’ve been busy doing stuff for Rainfurrest. I’m still not quite done with the conbook cover for that.

Also of course there’s Kickstarter fulfillment starting to happen. I probably need to get some friends together for a shipping party soon…

Need-To-Know Basis

Need-To-Know Basis

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Rita’s boss is pixellated out because you’re just not cleared for that.

Or maybe they’re pixellated out because they’re a YCH who’s going to be a Kickstarter reward. Possibly at a stupidly high level because I really kinda like having them be a mystery, although I may want to rework them a little bit to make it obvious they’re definitely not Barrett beneath all the pixelation.

 

Anyway. There’s still some stuff left in this chapter. Guess I’d better get to drawing it.

–resume

–resume

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Last page of chapter 21! First page of chapter 13! Double posted because it’s in both of them!

If you were supporting me on Patreon you could see a high-res copy of the last panel of this page! Or me waffling on about how me getting obsessive about the backgrounds lately ties into the overarching themes of the comic!

Also I should mention that Henry is a cameo of Savage Henry, created by the ever-awesome and influential (on me at least) Matt Howarth! I think that is all! Also I am running out of exclamation points!

But not out of weed.

Oh wait! I found some more exclamation points! The name of Rita and Carol’s boss is glitched out because it’s going to be replaced with a Kickstarter 3 backer! Who will have a panel or three of appearing on-stage, as well!

cut off—

cut off—

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Last page of chapter 21! First page of chapter 13! Double posted because it’s in both of them!

If you were supporting me on Patreon you could see a high-res copy of the last panel of this page! Or me waffling on about how me getting obsessive about the backgrounds lately ties into the overarching themes of the comic!

Also I should mention that Henry is a cameo of Savage Henry, created by the ever-awesome and influential (on me at least) Matt Howarth! I think that is all! Also I am running out of exclamation points!

But not out of weed.

Oh wait! I found some more exclamation points! The name of Rita and Carol’s boss is glitched out because it’s going to be replaced with a Kickstarter 3 backer! Who will have a panel or three of appearing on-stage, as well!

Chekhov’s Gun

Chekhov’s Gun

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This page may feel familiar, too.

Man it feels so strange to be looking at finishing this comic in the foreseeable future. I’ve been working on it since 2011. We’re getting pretty close to the climax, though there’s still a few jumbled-sequence chapters to fill in everything I want you to know before it ends.

Exchange of Keys

Exchange of Keys

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You might be wondering why there weren’t any pages last week. That would be because I spent a lot of last work doing final approval and tweaks on the files for book 2 – the presses should be starting up soon, then I get to watch the books make their way from China to Seattle!

Interior Design

Interior Design

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Holy cow you do not want to know how long the backgrounds in Fantasy World took. And the worst part of it is that I’m going to be using a completely different camera angle on the conversation for the next few panels – I’ll have to do another complex background to use for that before I can cut and paste stuff.

Or I could have some blank space behind them talking, but honestly I only want to do that if it’s actually appropriate to the setting. Future Rita’s apartment is blank because she has very few physical possessions and relishes empty space, so I’m fine with having that vast expanse of white wall on the top side! (Plus it seems to fit her mood, of wanting to shut down.)

Anyway! The next page is written and has its rough layout, so it’s very likely that you’ll see it next Tuesday.

Warm Sporran

Warm Sporran

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Man I dunno about that page title. I’ve gotta fill it with something and I’m really just out of crypto jokes. So instead you get a Jethro Tull song that came up while I was posting this. I guess I could just do the page number (this is 120) but that’s really, really boring…

The dude having a quiet smoke in the left side of the lower right panel is Badou from Shirow Miwa’s “Dogs”, which I picked up at the library last week and am kinda quietly in love with. There’s some really solid cartooning going on in that book.

Anyway. This is the first page I’ve done since setting up a Patreon campaign, and thanks to the generosity of the folks who’ve pledged, my drink at the cartoonist meetup tonight will be paid for by this page. Huzzah! If you wanna help support this comic, and maybe give me a bit of a carrot to push myself to work more on it, then go check it out. Or you could keep enjoying it and maybe buy books when I print ‘em, whatever, I’ll keep drawing it anyway.

Slow Reversal of Entropy

Slow Reversal of Entropy

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I think this will probably be the only page for this week; I don’t have any sketches for the next page. I might have a wild fit of productivity tomorrow and take it from “loosely laid out dialogue” to “final art” but I’m not gonna count on it. I did actually spend three solid hours working on this, which is like three times more than I’ve been able to make myself do for most of the past few months, so you never know. I think spring may finally be coming! (Edit: I had a wild fit of productivity tonight while hanging out at SICAGA and got the next page roughed, holy crap. Lots of complex backgrounds in that one though, so who knows how long it’ll take..)

Aaand I also spent some time throwing together a Patreon campaign. I had a few people ask if I had one; now I do. Basically it’s an ongoing Kickstarter that will pay me per-page, for those of you who’d like to support me that way instead of (or in addition to!) buying a copy of the book about once a year. You can find out more here.

(I’m still going back and forth with the printer on contracts, this is just taking crazy long this time. I will be so happy when I get book 2 in print.)

Slight Mechanical Destruction

Slight Mechanical Destruction

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The title of this page is a reference to Iain [M] Banks’ fabulous book Use of Weapons, which hugely influenced the structure of this final third of the story. I’m tremendously sad I’ll never be able to send him a copy of the final story to let him know what he taught me by example. RIP, Iain; fuck cancer. Fuck it hard.

buffer overflow // restarting, please wait…

buffer overflow // restarting, please wait…

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That’s it for book 2. Thanks for reading, everyone.

I’ve been running slow on Rita due to cons and the Kickstarter; I think I’m going to take a break for a few weeks now that book 2 is done. I need to knock out a couple of proposals for shorts I’ve promised before the end of the year, and spend some time getting pretty much the entirety of the final third of the story plotted out. There are some tricky games I’ll be playing that mean I kinda have to have the whole thing at a fairly detailed level before I can start drawing it.

(Plus, to be honest, I’d like to have a couple weeks where I am not thinking about Rita – it’s been in the forefront of my mind for about a whole year, except when it’s been driven out by cons.)

Book 3 will begin somewhere around the new year; keep an eye on the comic’s twitter, facebookrss feed, or livejournal to know when it comes back, or keep an eye on my blog/twitter/lj/etc to know when it comes back, what else I’m up to, and possibly to know what kind of poop joke I feel like making today.

Completion

Completion

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Well so much for getting ahead of schedule, huh? The past couple weeks have been full of revamping the website for the upcoming Kickstarter, working on said Kickstarter, preparing for two cons at the end of this month, and taking a trip to visit my mother; updates will probably be sporadic for the next few pages.

I’m also thinking of taking a brief vacation from drawing pages once I get book 2 finished. I need to take some time to get the story organized for book 3 and work on some non-Rita things.

Also, you cannot really see it, but the trees outside of the windows in the green world are totally based on the trees I saw while I was working on this page in New Orleans’s City Park. Morning Call opened up  a cafe in the old Casino building in the park and it’s the <em>best thing ever</em> to sit there drawing and eating beignets. Until the mosquitos come out, at least.

restore from backup

restore from backup

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Firstly: The text in this page is not glitched for story reasons. It’s glitched because I’m going to do a couple of “get your name in the story” Kickstarter rewards, and this is one of them. The text has been replaced now!

Secondly, I feel like this is a good place for a public service announcement. We’ve seen Rita-1 use multiple backups over the course of this story. What’s your backup strategy? Does it happen without any work on your part? Have you tested your backups by pulling a few files off of it?

My backup strategy is a one terabyte drive connected to the same USB hub as the tablet on my desk, and Backblaze. The local drive is managed by Apple’s Time Machine, of course. Whenever I’m at my desk, my machine is keeping multiple backups of every new version of my files, and whenever I’m connected to the net, it’s updating the copy on Backblaze’s servers.

The backup strategy that works best for you may be different. If you don’t have one, or you have one that’s such a pain you never do it, have a look at World Backup Day for some suggestions on how to implement both local and off-site backups.

Branch Table Reconstruction

Branch Table Reconstruction

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Sorry this one didn’t make it up last week, everyone. These three-world pages are just HARD TO DO.

This is, at long last, the FINAL PAGE of chapter X. There’s only chapter XI left to do, which should be shorter than this one was, and then it’s off to Kickstarter for book 2. And speaking of Kickstarter, here’s a couple cool comics that’re kickstarting books…

Yu+ME Dream, omnibus edition, and Spacetrawler book 3. Yu+ME involves layered dream realities, lesbian romance, and an amazing kaleidoscope of drawing styles; Spacetrawler is a comic space opera about slavery. Yu+ME is finished, Spacetrawler will be done when this third book goes out. And you can read ‘em both for free online, too: Yu+Me, Spacetrawler. Go check ‘em out and maybe buy the books!

And as I hit the magic hundred…

And as I hit the magic hundred…

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This song totally sums up Rita1 and Carol1’s gestating relationship.

Also HOORAY, this is page ONE HUNDRED.

This page is a whole week later than it should be. Mostly because every time I’d look at it, it was scary and intimidating. And when I’d get a panel finished, there was still a huge amount of work left. Having ten panels on one page will do that to you.

I’ll be at Anthrocon this coming week, which will probably counteract the effects of going down to two Ritas per page for a couple of weeks – a cross-country flight plus the Biggest Furry Con There Is is probably going to leave me useless for anything more than playing video games for a half a week.

At any rate, if you’re going to be at Anthrocon, be sure to drop by my table!

HallB-2013-sized_0

Les Augures printaniers

Les Augures printaniers

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Looks like I only managed one page this week. Not surprising, there were errands to run in the sun, the beginnings of a complete revamp of what I eat, and a much-needed visit from the ex-with-benefits after a couple weeks of that not coming together. At least I knocked off a couple of not-Rita art things that had been lingering for ages.

Also, if you are deep into the Tumblr thing and feel like being my unpaid promotion team, maybe you feel like reblogging some of the recent things I posted on the Ask Rita tumblr – I threw some big chunks of comic in there to see if I can get any new readers from what everyone says is the most hoppingest social media site nowadays.

Overture

Overture

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This one’s a day later than it should have been; I spent a lot of the time I would have liked to have been working on it this past Wednesday and Thursday on (a) stressing out over some Twitter drama and (b) recovering from my first try at running with minimalist shoes – that gave certain muscles and tendons that normally never get used a HUGE workout.

I also added some stuff to the previous page, so go have a look at that if you’re reading the pages as they come out – I decided I liked the rhythms better if both world 2 and 3 were overlapping the page boundary.

Also I would like to direct you to the Kickstarter my friend Ursula Husted is running for her new book, “The Lions of Valetta“. It’s about stray cats, art history, and the meaning of life, and it gets a big thumbs-up from me.