In chapter 9 news, I finished inking and started coloring, and did … something? … to my hands in the process. I don’t know what, exactly.
My best guess is that the brush I was using to paint some of the bits (not my usual brush) has a handle that’s too slender to be ergonomic. So something or other in there got over-exerted from a too-tight grip, and now it hurts to hold a pen/pencil/brush/etc. So I’m going to try resting and stretching and see if that helps.
I don’t know what this will do to the schedule as far as getting the Part Two book put together. It’ll depend on how long it takes to get my hands back in working order. At the moment it’s still feasible to hit the mid-April target for a DiNK debut, but I may end up pushing that back if necessary.
TL;DR: bodies suck and I want to be a cyborg already.
Anyhow, that doesn’t affect the serialization of chapter 8, so see you next week for the next page!
I now have page updates set to early access, which means $1+ Patrons get exclusive access to them on Monday. On Thursday, the post goes public. (Note: This doesn’t apply to all the posts I make on Patreon, just finished comic pages. Things like work-in-progress posts will stay behind the paywall.)
Even if you don’t pledge, you can still follow creators and see their public posts. So if it’s convenient for you, feel free to follow me on there and get updates that way. The “follow” button is on the left under the total pledge widget.
As for convention news: I got into TCAF! I will have my own table this time around, up on the second floor. I’m very excited to return to Toronto and one of the best indie comics shows in all the land.
I’m working on lining up a couple of local events for February and March, and will post when I have more info.
As ever, you can keep track of all my convention appearances on the Appearances page.
Little-known fact: 75 is the sesquipedalian anniversary.
Another little-known (until now!) fact: I have finished the pencils for chapter 9. It’s true! So if you were wondering, “Are you gonna do like last year when you posted one chapter at the beginning of the year and then bupkis?” the answer is “probably not!”
And while a penciled chapter is not the same thing as an inked, painted, scanned, lettered, and formatted-for-web chapter, the pencils are usually the most time-consuming part of the process. Having all the pencils done for the next chapter when the current one has barely started is a darn good sign.
This means I’m still on track to wrap up Part II art by the end of February so I can get the book to the printers in time for a mid-April release. So! Things proceed apace.
This page references some stuff from chapter 1, so if it’s been awhile since you read it, pages 12 and 13 can help you out.
In other VotSS news, I’m about halfway through the pencils for chapter 9. Oh yes! I’m taking advantage of this quiet time of year to pad the ol’ buffer as much as possible.
Also, if I’m to hit my goal of having the Part Two book out by mid-April, I’ll need to have all the art done by end of February at the latest. I believe this is doable, I just have to knuckle down and draw draw draw.
Finishing chapters 9 and 10 will give me a buffer of weekly page updates through about July (this assumes a couple of breaks between chapters to post updates to the Appendicies on the VotSS website, for the edification of world-building nerds such as myself.
Finally, I just wanted to point out a new feature on this here website. Over in the right-hand column (which gets pushed below the main content on mobile), you will now see a “Newest Comic” widget that shows the most recent page I’ve added. This is a quick and easy way to jump to the latest installment of VotSS.
Anyhow, back to work on making more of those installments. See you next week!
Since everyone knows teenagers always make good decisions, you can expect the next page to be the final page of the book. It just says, “And then everything turned out fine. The End.”
SPEAKING OF EVERYTHING TURNING OUT FINE: As I posted on Tuesday, I believe the redesign for Studio NDR is basically done. I’m sure I will find stray bits and pieces that need to be fixed/improved, but these should (in theory) be minor corrections.
So please do have a look around. I added a bunch of comics that hadn’t been collected on here before, and streamlined the content to focus on stronger, more recent work.
I mean, there are more minor tweaks here and there, and I’m sure I’ll find some typos or whatever, but the bulk of the work is done.
I took down about 300 pages of comics and art, leaving a mere … 250 pages of comics and art for you to peruse. The guiding principle for what got cut and what stayed was framing this site as more of a portfolio and less of an archaeological dig through every single comic I’ve ever bothered to create. So the focus now is on more recent work.
That does mean I took down the anti-Valentine’s Day cards. They were at one time the most popular thing on this site, but they don’t really fit in with anything else I do (so they weren’t driving traffic to the rest of my work), and I haven’t felt motivated to make any new ones in several years. So eh. On to new things!
I also removed all the comment boxes. In the five years I had comments enabled here, I think I got a grand total of sixteen non-spam comments. Obviously this was not a feature people were all that interested in using! I’ve found people are more likely to communicate via Twitter or Tumblr than a comment box. Other cute but non-essential widgets got pulled, like tag clouds, cuz mostly it was adding clutter more than anything else.
Because the redesign involved a major under-the-hood rebuild, I ended up deleting basically all the old pages and started from scratch. That means any permalinks you might have set up will probably no longer work, so I guess check yer bookmarks.
There are some big improvements: the new structure is responsive, so you should now be able to view the site on tablets and phones and have it adapt to your device.
I also learned a new way to save graphics that cuts the file size dramatically without sacrificing quality. A great many comics on here are now bigger and clearer while also chopping about 1.5MB off the file size. That should mean faster load times (and less data usage for folks on mobile devices).
I finally added a new section for my autobio comics. Most of these weren’t on the site before (or were difficult to find), so take a spin around and see what there is to see!
Since it’s been a good while, you may be wondering, what does it matter where I read it? Well, I’ll tell you.
If you peep it here on Studio NDR, it helps with my view numbers for ad boxes (assuming you don’t have an adblocker enabled). If you prefer Tumblr, you can like and share the comic on there.
At the moment, of course, Studio NDR is a construction zone, with dust and concrete blocks and I beams strewn all over the place. I’m working on reassembling everything into a prettier package, but it’s going to take awhile (as in, a few weeks). So if you would rather have the site you’re reading on be stable and consistent, go to Tumblr for now.
Anyhow. Welcome to Chapter 8, and look for lots of improvements around here in the coming weeks!
As the title suggests, I’m making a bunch of changes here. I took down a bunch of comics, some of which I will be adding back over the coming weeks. Right now I’m working on reposting Valley of the Silk Sky (with newly generated pages that have significantly smaller file sizes without losing image quality, yay!).
Anyway, things will continue to be a mess around here for a bit, but hopefully the end result will be a less cluttered, more user-friendly incarnation of Studio NDR.
If you don’t want to wait, you can always drop $1 a month over at my Patreon and get early access to pages. Patrons will be seeing updates on Mondays, and then the page will go public on Thursdays.
Also, this weekend on December 9, I’ll be tabling at Mini Comic Con 2 here in Denver. It’ll be at the Sam Gary Branch Library from 10:00 AM – 4:00 PM, and it’s FREE to get in, so head on over if you’re in town.
I’m currently awaiting a proof of the print version of the book. Once I’ve had a chance to look that over and approve it, I’ll make it available for purchase. As with The Outfield book, it’ll be available as a POD print volume, a high-res PDF for a few bucks, and a web-res PDF for free.
While I’m pretty sure most of the world isn’t clamoring for a collection of political comics from a dozen years ago, I can definitely see the value of this book for anyone studying queer history during the Bush II years, or librarians who have an interest in archiving material from the now largely defunct queer newspaper scene. Or, ya know, anyone who’s looking for a stark reminder that Bushism was absolutely a dry run for Trumpism. Ha ha. Whee.
ANYWAY. I expect the book to be available probably in early December, assuming all goes well with the proof review process.
On a totally different note, Valley of the Silk Sky chapter 8 is coming along. I have four pages completely colored (still need to clean up and letter the scans), so I’m looking at a Dec. 14 launch to start publishing the new material (or Dec. 11 for $1+ Patrons).
For those of you keeping track, this means I’m shifting my regular update day from Wednesday to Thursday. Mostly this is because Wednesday already seems overcrowded with webcomic updates. Will Thursday be any better? Who knows! It’s kind of an experiment to see if it makes any difference.
Anyway, point being, VotSS returns in less than a month!