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.
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.)
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.
Large parts of this page were drawn while hanging out at Lucid sharing drinks with cartooning friends.
Next page status: four panels, all roughed, none finished. Pretty sure that’ll be done by the Thursday, and then pretty much the entire rest of the chapter is finished.
Ughhhhh this page took beyond forever. I’m sure you can see why. I’m really glad I’ve made my peace with this; most advice on Making Comics On The Web tends to emphasize HAVE A SCHEDULE AND STICK TO IT COME HELL OR HIGH WATER but that advice also tends to come from strippers, who have a much more limited canvas to work on. (And hell, I’m sticking to my official schedule: “aim for two pages a week, don’t fret when that doesn’t happen”. Real life gets in the way, and so does making crazy detailed pages when the story demands it.)
Wanna see some progress shots from this page? Go here.
As with the previous EPIC PAGE, if you’re backing my Patreon campaign you get a high-res copy of that last panel.
I’m off to Portland for Furlandia, maybe I’ll see you there! The next page is a LOT simpler and might even get finished on the train down there.
Oh yeah, and this is the last page of chapter 16″.
Holy shit it’s another page! Two in one week!
I got this finished Thursday night, so I get to post it for this week. I dunno if I’ll have another one on next Thursday what with ECCC but WHAT THE HELL.
(Also – I’ll be at ECCC! Booth 2503, hidden in a corner among tattooists and autograph sellers and stuff. Next year I gotta grab a booth earlier.)
Oh man I am so glad to be uploading this page. It sat half-done for what felt like forever, as I fought seasonal depression. Several times I contemplated just deleting the entire green tier and starting again on those because I kept on looking at them and not liking them.
I bought a huge sunlamp a couple weeks ago, and it’s been helping a lot. And ultimately I decided those upper panels were fine, just unfinished, so I finished them in about an hour and a half. There was another green panel sketch up there, and a couple more brief lines of dialogue, but they just didn’t need to be there.
edit: thanks to nick for TYPO PATROL
I was originally going to have some kind of funeral rite being spoken by Gary4 in the first couple of panels, but I couldn’t get something written that didn’t feel like words for the sake of words. So I went with silence.
Also, in an amusing bit of life imitating art, I lost my hat on the bus this past weekend. It hasn’t turned up in their lost and found yet; if it still hasn’t appeared by next Monday when I call them again, I’ll assume it’s gone, and go hunting for a new one. Because winter in Seattle means needing something to keep the drizzle off; everyone thinks you’re a tourist if you use an umbrella, and I’m really just not a hoodie kinda gal.
[Later: Carol’s car used to be a Mazzigatti until Nick said that sounded like a comedy knockoff of Maserati, so I found an Italian cryptographer to namecheck instead – Silvio Micali, one of the co-discoverers of zero knowledge proofs.]
And here’s chapter 9.
If all goes well, the book should be off to the printer soon. Sadly, I don’t think I’ll have it in time for Rainfurrest (though I’ll have Tarot decks galore there!), but it should definitely be in my hands by the time I go off to APE.
I learnt a lot while putting the book together. Hopefully book 2 will go together a lot faster, since I’ll have actually done it before.
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!