It has been a while. I can only hope this picture acts as a small apology and gift to everyone for putting up with my lack of updates.
First I had the busiest work week ever imaginable, and due to a sorted turn of events, I worked it alone. That had me pretty burnt out. Then I had family in town for a week. It was great to have my husbands parents here, and we had a blast! However it left NO time to work on the comic ( they were sleeping in my work room.) Then ANOTHER terrible week at work and several New Years parties rounded out the most hectic year end in my memory.
After the dust cleared I felt terrible having missed several weeks of updates. So I decided to do something special of epic proportions. The above picture was started over a year ago when listening to some epic rock music and watching Justin play a game that uses music to rev up the difficulty. http://store.steampowered.com/app/49600. The game, called “Beat Hazard”, is A LOT like asteroids but much more colorful and has your music pumping through it. It is a fun game, and it gave me the idea for this. I was listening to ‘Knights of Cydonia’ by Muse. I dusted this off last week and said to myself “I will make this worthy of my friends and readers!” I can only hope I succeeded. It took around 20 hours all together to complete. Most of which was spent learning and making the background. Yes… the space in the background was 100% from scratch by me, no photo stock. Justin helped with a a lot of the color choices because, in the end, my creativity isn’t that vast. I spent a fair amount of the time turning to him and saying “What color should her hair be?” He also was a major help with prospective, which is my WEAKEST spot when it comes to art. I utterly stink at making my art have depth, so he was there to point out what needed tweaking.
I will have this in the extras section later today as several sizes of wallpaper for your desktops! Thank you all for being so understanding through everything. Feel free to use this on your computer for free with my blessing! I do, however, ask if you show it to anyone on or offline that I am given credit. I did put some work into this.
It has been a while. I can only hope this picture acts as a small apology and gift to everyone for putting up with my lack of updates.
Thank you all for the kind comments and emails I’ve received over the past few weeks. There’s been some great encouragement, as well as some very understanding webcomic fans. For everyone who is a fan of the comic, and everyone who has checked on the site in the last few weeks, I apologize, for the nature of my previous post.
The fact is that we’ve had a lot of fun publishing this webcomic, but it hasn’t been cheap to do so. On top of hosting fees, and our attempts at advertising, it has been a huge drain on our already limited free time. Recently we’ve been busier than ever, and keeping up with our relationship, our friends, our jobs, and our other hobbies was simply overwhelming when we added in the workload of this webcomic. For everyone that has a full-time job and full-time life and still manages to keep up with a webcomic: I salute you.
It hurts us to say that we’re not going to keep this going. Lindsey and I are both people that hate giving up, and really hate letting people down, so this wasn’t an easy decision for us. The fact is that we’re still not sure if this is really the end. Lindsey has suggested changing the format to a more manageable three-panel strip, or possibly having a looser update schedule, but honestly how things have been the last two or three weeks we couldn’t have updated even if the strips were smaller.
Until further notice, the comic is on an indefinite hiatus. Right now I can’t say whether or not there will be another update, but again: thank you for your support.
First I was upset because we weren’t getting any encouragement from the few people who read the comic.
Then I was upset because we missed an update.
Then I was upset because no one ever said anything about it.
Then I was upset because Lindsey and I decided we didn’t want to do this anymore and it felt like giving up, but we agreed to finish the current storyline.
Then two weeks passed without us posting a single update and no one said a word about it. I think we’re done here.
Motivation has always been a little bit of an issue for me. Lindsey know’s this better than anyone. I have a bad habit of starting projects with grand intentions and loosing interest in it before I even really get started. Knowing this about myself means that I have to be extra careful when I’m about to make a big purchase to make sure that it’s not just another impulse buy.
The most recent and ridiculous example of this is rabit hunting. I don’t even remember how it started, but a few months ago I became very interested in hunting rabits. I learned that in England, where individuals can’t own firearms, they hunt rabits with high powered air rifles. I started watching videos of people hunting and it looked like so much fun. I started researching air rifles and saw that they weren’t extremely expensive and then started researching hunting laws to see what kind of permit I would need and when I could hunt. I even watched tutorials of how to skin and prepare a rabit after hunting.
To put this all in perspective: I have never been hunting. Not even once. Lindsey tried to be the voice of reason and tell me that I shouldn’t buy a rifle, or at least not until it was hunting season! But I was too excited. Every day I would do more research and get more excited about it. Obviously I should buy my rifle now so that I have plenty of time to practice before hunting season is here! I purchased the rifle, and as of today I have practiced with it about three times. I have no plans to purchase a hunting license. On the other hand it does give me peice of mind to know that if there’s ever a threatening dog or a rattle snake too close to my house I have something to use.
When we first started the comic I think Lindsey thought the same thing would happen with this. It was a reasonable assumption really, given my history of full blown excitement followed by complete disinterest, but I stuck with it, probably in large part because she’s doing it with me. Lately however it’s getting harder to stay motivated about this as well. I remember after Fanaticon we were extatic and ready to hit the ground running, but the reality of working full-time jobs and having hobbies aside from this webcomic meant that time was short. For a while I was working on refining Lindsey’s T-shirt designs, but neither of us have any experience working with vector images, and the rastor drawings just weren’t cutting it. I followed my usual cycle of activity. Watching tutorials, reading tips, trying it out with limited success, and loosing interest.
This is my first blog post without a comic in three weeks. I’m not going to make any grand promises about updating more often, or working on merchandise or anything like that. I just wanted to make sure I had a blog post for this week, and whining about not being motivated was the first thing that came to mind. So expect a comic every Monday, a blog post most thursdays, and maybe one day we’ll be bored enough to work on other stuff as well.
Let me tell you a tragic story with no ending as of yet. There’s an old lady, obviously in poor health that comes to my door every time she thinks I’m home and asks for handouts. At first it was fine, she’s very polite and if you tell her no she leaves. but this week she’s come by four days already, so now it has to end.
It started one day after the Hendersonville Apple Festival. I was home, preparing for a party I was trying to throw that night (which didn’t go so well, but I know exactly why) then there’s a knock at the door. I answer to see a nearly toothless, very wrinkled, black woman with a walking cane standing on my porch. I’m not in the habit of letting strangers into my home so I come out onto the porch to talk to her. She’s polite, tells me I have a nice house and asks how long I’ve been in the neighborhood. Then she starts into her routine. If you’ve ever been approached by a beggar you know exactly how this goes, “I’m down on my luck and I have a bad hip and today’s my birthday and I’m hungry and I don’t smoke or drink and blah blah blah…” She tells me she’s walking to the gas station on the corner and asks if I have any money I could give her so she could get a snack. I normally wouldn’t have any money, but like I said before, I had been at the Apple Festival earlier that day, so I knew I did have some cash and since I’m a sucker I reach in my pocket, feel a single bill, and pull it out without thinking. It was a twenty dollar bill, and as soon as I saw it in my hand I remembered that it was the only bill I had. It was all I could do not to curse. I told her it was the only thing I had on me, and as much as I wanted to say, “too bad for you”, I had already told her that I had money I would give her. With a deep breath and a sigh I handed over the twenty dollars.
This isn’t a new problem for me. My whole life I’ve been one to give whatever I have in my pocket to people who ask. Even as a child I couldn’t resist putting a quarter in the salvation army buckets that show up around Christmas, and as an adult if someone asks if I have any change it’s hard for me to lie to them. Lucky for me I usually really don’t have any cash on me, so when I say, “No, just have cards.” It’s true and I don’t feel guilty.
I think about three days went by before I saw the toothless lady again. She walks up when I’m out on the porch and is very polite and thankful. So much so that I really though she had just come to thank me for the other day, but then she asks if I have any change I could give her. Immediately I recognize my error. Beggars on the street are people you usually never see again, or if you do see them there’s no recognition, but this woman came to my house! She knows who I am and where I live. I knew damn well that I had a jar full of coins inside the house, but this was not okay. I had made a mistake before, but I’m not about to reinforce door-to-door begging. It wasn’t easy for me, but I lied to her and told her that I don’t keep any money in the house, explaining that it was very unusual that I had money that first day. She took it at face value and left, and I didn’t think any more of it.
When a beggar spouts out their routine of woes and sorrow, you automatically know that most of it, if not all of it, isn’t true. You can generally assume that they don’t have three kids and aren’t really trying to get something to eat so they have the strength to keep walking to Jacksonville to see their family. But for some reason when this old lady told me that she didn’t smoke, I believed her. Something about the way she said it maybe, but either way she would soon prove to me that not only am I too nice, but also too trusting.
A few days later there’s another knock at the door. It’s the old lady again, asking for change. I tell her the same thing I told her last time, that I don’t have any cash, it’s all in the bank. Then she reaches into her pocket and pulls out a half smoked cigarette and asks if I have a lighter. For a split second I thought about calling her out on her previous lie, but decided it wasn’t worth my time. I grabbed a grill lighter, lit the cigarette for her, and told her to have a good day.
Since then she’s been back here probably five or six more times. It’s really getting on my nerves, because I never know when she’s going to show up. One day she told me that she had seen my wife and that she was very pretty. I asked Lindsey later if she had talked to her and Lindsey had no idea what I was talking about. I really wanted to tell this lady off and tell her not to come back, but she’s always to nice it’s hard to do. Lindsey told me she would tell her for me, because it upsets her to see me upset. This week I’ve been taking her car to work so it looks like I’m home. Sure enough she came, but even Lindsey, once she met the woman, didn’t have the heart to tell her she wasn’t welcome anymore. Now the woman has started asking for other things! “Do you have any soda you could give me?” “No, we don’t drink soda we only drink juice.” “Oh! Can I have some juice?” It’s just rude at this point.
Really it was rude all along, I honestly don’t care if people want to beg for change on street corners, but coming to someones doorstep is crossing a line. This is my sanctuary, where I come to get away from the worlds troubles, but there you are, bringing trouble to my door. I keep thinking about what I’ll say next time she shows up. Imagining myself calmly informing her that I don’t think she should come by anymore, but in reality I’ll probably just tell her I don’t have any money and wait for her to leave. You’d think she’d get the message that she’s not getting anything else, but if anything her visits are becoming more frequent. We’ve always been the type to lock our doors when we go somewhere, but now we double check.
Halloween is possibly my favorite holiday, surpassing even Christmas and Thanksgiving. When you’re a christian child Christmas is always the favorite holiday because you get presents, it wins by default, but as I’ve grown older and have my own money receiving presents starts to fade in comparison to giving presents, and I don’t need a holiday as an excuse to give presents. So sometime around the end of my high school days Halloween was suddenly the one I looked forward to the most, and that feeling has only intensified since then.
I’m not entirely sure why, but I love costumes. If the costume has a mask it’s even better. Something about not looking like yourself for a change is very liberating, and once a mask is added you may as well be anonymous, which just adds to it. In recent years I’ve started deciding what I’m going to be for Halloween at least a month in advance. For a while I stuck to classic monsters and there were three years in college where I did zombie, followed by vampire, and then werewolf. The year after I graduated I continued the classic monster tradition with mummy, but have yet to do Frankenstein’s monster as an adult. Knowing so far in advance was great because it gave me so much time to plan. I’m a big fan of those cheesy make-up kits because they’re cheap and if you use them well they can be very effective. I’d typically buy two or three kits and do my make-up at least once before Halloween to get the hang of it, though my werewolf still turned out looking like I was a cast member for Cats.
It also doesn’t hurt that Halloween is in Autumn, which is by far my favorite season. It’s not uncomfortably cold, but chilly enough to justify snuggling up next to the person you love, the fall leaves turn every tree into a fiery explosion of beauty, and the rustle of dried leaves is comforting in a way that is only surpassed by light rain on a tin roof. Then as an added bonus you get to drink hot apple cider and eat lots of pumpkin bread and sweat potato pie. How can you beat that? Only with the fact that pumpkin ale (the most delicious of all seasonal ales) is also available in several varieties.
Now lets talk about candy. I love it. And I have an unnatural weakness for candy corn; I literally will eat two or three bags of the stuff in October alone. I know that technically you can find it year-round if you know where to look, but that would be like drinking eggnog in the summer: totally unacceptable. The seasonal availability of these items is what makes them so special! Also, who doesn’t love having a bunch of “fun-sized” candy bars laying around? A snickers or baby-ruth any time I want it? Yes please. A lot of people say they gain weight over the holidays, but for me it’s different. The last two years I have actually lost weight in the winter, but by the end of Autumn you can bet your mothers fat ass that my fat ass is bigger than it was in the summer.
This year is going to be legendary. My good friend and brother-in-law Tim suggested that him, Lori, Lindsey, and I could dress up as the Warriors of Light from the original Final Fantasy. We all immediately loved the idea and what makes it even better is that there’s a lot of creative interpretation that can go on here. Eight bit sprites leave a lot to the imagination, not to mention that there are more than four characters to choose from so it was easy for us all to pic something we would want to be. We eventually decided that Tim would be fighter, I would be thief, Lori would be white mage, and Lindsey would be black mage. There was never a debate over who would be whom, because we’re awesome and have varied yet compatible personalities. We each picked the warrior we wanted to dress as and no one picked the same one. We havn’t finalized our plans for that evening (or weekend since Halloween falls on a Monday), but it’s assumed that moderate to heavy drinking will be involved. Everyone has already begun working on their costumes.