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…
Aaand that’s the end of chapter 12. According to my notes there are eight left in the story, and some of them are pretty short.
So I was idly looking at some of the stuff currently advertising on Rita, and saw a very pink ad for “Mock Girl”. I instantly guessed what genre it was in: the Semi-Autobiographical Trans Narrative. It’s a difficult genre for me to love. Most instances of it tend to be boring in the same way I find any autobio boring, and it tends to be someone’s first effort at a Real Comic to boot – so they’re working uphill at something that’s already kinda difficult to get right in my eyes.
“Mock Girl” is doing it right.
The drawing is pretty much ‘serviceable’ to my jaundiced ex-animator eyes, but it’s enough to serve the writing. And the writing? Anything for a laugh. There’s some moments of seriousness, but mostly it giggles wildly from “vanished sister turns out to be an assassin” to “unexpectedly nice and helpful Creepy Clown” to “spooky magical voice from the darkness turns out to be a cranky turtle” and “while stuck in a coma talking to metaphors for her different drives, the main character’s Lust takes the time to crack wise about the size of her boobs”. The transition is an occasional subject for humor, but it’s completely normalized by the fact that it’s pretty much just one more thing to goof on.
Anyway. Go check it out.
The quilt covering Ordinary Human Rita was an interesting experiment with a corner of Illustrator I don’t use too much: distortion meshes. Well, okay, I use super-simple d-meshes all the time; pretty much every bit of hovering HUD text in this comic is in a d-mesh that’s had a perspective transformation applied to it. But this was my first time really trying to do complicated freeform distortions.
You can read more about it on my blog if you’re curious.
ALSO is it just me or there a lot of missing images when you look at this whole chapter?
Hey! Fan art!
TWO pieces of fan art!
The first one is from Alethea, and the second one is from Heuwyn Phynn. (Let me know if there’s anywhere you want me to link it to…)
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!
Guest appearances in the mostly-befuddled audience, L-R: terrible referenceless caricatures of my college buddy Jason Fonseca, Sigil, Orv, Dana.
Some of these sound effects might look familiar.
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!
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.
The spell circle dragon-Rita’s sitting in owes a ton to imagery from The Dark Crystal. I had the art book from the movie when I was young, and I think it shaped something subtle and important that runs beneath the surface in my art. There was gonna be some purple in it at one point but then I was all “wait no Barrett doesn’t have that access in the it’s-all-a-hackjob interpretation”. It is hard to write four narratives at once and try to make things work with at least three different interpretations of What’s Really Going On, but if you’re gonna write reality trouble stories, you kinda have to. Geez, writing stories with only one layer of reality is gonna feel so easy when I’m done with this.
While I was finishing this page, I spent some time reading a manga called “Ultra Heaven“, which touches on a lot of the same themes as Rita for its first two volumes. The third goes off in a very different direction from where I’m going, and I think ultimately kind of punctures everything the first two volumes set up – but it’s pretty interesting while it’s going. If you’re looking for another reality trouble comic to read while I slowly finish this one, this isn’t a bad choice at all. Although it is really quite lacking in cute robot babes. Thanks to the ever-awesome Brandon Graham for the link.
Okay now to set up the next page and then go get baked and play board games with some friends.
The background in panel 2 of the lower tier took a lot longer than I expected it to. Totally worth it, though.
Also taking longer than expected: hosing things out after a malware intrusion. Le sigh. Man, first thing I’m gonna do when the ad revenues actually exceed the outlays here is pay for someone to build me a backend for my sites based on a framework that is much more anal about intrusion than WordPress.
There is a layer in this page called “I thought I was done drawing bookshelves when I finished chapter 1 of Absinthe”. It contains abstracted books, cut and paste from that comic.
“Never draw anything you can copy, never copy anything you can trace, never trace anything you can cut out and paste up.” – Wally Wood
Also, Mattie’s shape is inspired by some of the work of master photomanipulator J. K. Potter, most specifically his portrait of Lydia Lunch.
This one took a while! Lots of finicky stuff. It would have taken less time if I hadn’t come up with silly titles for the books in the second panels of the lower tiers, but sometimes you just have to do these things.
I dunno if we’ll ever see Tom10 (Heckboy) or Tom12 (Steampunk Vampire) again. I had to draw the entirety of each Tom, so here’s that panel without the world-layer effects…
And also here is a shot of the library close enough to read it. If you can figure out what all of the titles are mutations of, then… you’re probably me.
ALSO here is a model sheet I finally threw together of Dragon Rita. I really need to make these for more of the characters, to be honest. I’m lazy.
ROSA from Jesús Orellana on Vimeo.
Here is a short, dialogueless film called “Rosa” about some very, very, very pretty robots. I mean seriously pretty, the kind of space I was going with the Wind-Up Boy in Five Glasses of Absinthe (NSFW).
Sadly it gets kinda wound up in its fight scene; halfway through I kinda quit caring about the green-eyed lady as a character and just wanted to see how pretty she was for a little while longer.
And speaking of green-eyed ladies, yep, now there’s FOUR Ritas in play here. This one may be riffing on the ideas Nick and I had for the first sequel to Five Glasses of Absinthe, though I swear I didn’t pick the color palette with that in mind. For that matter I wasn’t expecting to have a fourth world in here for a while yet! I need to update the cast page to reflect this, and finish documenting the other three worlds in it for that matter.