i've changed my twitch username from wispworst to dupereffective, which will affect the url you'll need to go to if you watch stream archives.
i'll still be posting the link every time i stream with the notices, so don't worry about it too much otherwise. :)
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i've changed my twitch username from wispworst to dupereffective, which will affect the url you'll need to go to if you watch stream archives.
my wife became sick with a respiratory infection last friday so i was taking care of her. on monday after walking to the pharmacy to get antibiotics she was prescribed i came home and started showing the same symptoms presumably because she finally got me sick. ironically i'd already taken meds by the time i noticed so i had done some work + the FaD strip i posted on monday, which is better than nothing.
anyway. long story short. respiratory infection. can't do it.
hoping the fact that the very end of the year here tends to leave people rather occupied anyway lightens the fact.
stay safe out there.
i let a guy over to our apartment yesterday cuz he said he wanted to rest for a bit and it didn't go so well (fine now) which has left me rattled and tomorrow i have to go take mawkish to a vet appointment.
basically i only had monday and wednesday to work on this page, and both of those days have mainly been filled with financial anxiety about the appointment.
might throw out a folie a dupe strip on friday instead to try to make up for it.
anyway, sorry, here's the advanced notice.
gonna make it quick: in case you don't remember them, these are the central characters in each of the comics, in the same order as the choices on the poll.
each person has one vote so that ties are less likely. poll ends in a little over a week on 10/10.
i've been really stressed out for a bunch of reasons and it seems like nothing's getting done with too much on my plate. hopefully i can get my head on straight and stop putting out the late updates just telling myself it's not happening this week. sorry.
sorry, this page is also a bit late... i had to take public transit and it's pretty time-consuming. city blocks here are considered 1 mile and the only pet store to get my dog's food near a transit line is in the next town over.
anyway... i'm leaving the sketch up for the curious, though i ended up trying to move most of them straight to lines. tabitha's dialogue got tweaked for space but i don't think much else.
it's past 2:30 AM, and i usually try to aim for being in bed by midnight, so i'm just going to have to shade this tomorrow. i'm still kind of unhappy with the palette in a way that's hard to explain and i think i might do better on a fresh head.
i actually already tweaked the palette a bit while laying the flats down -- added a fuchsia and a darker red as additions to the palette. i still feel a strong push to add a truer blue instead of only the teals, or at least tweaking the saturation and darkness of the teal and red.
i got a lot of good responses about the colors, but... maybe it's just personal taste combined with how a good palette works with my process versus a bad palette. i think a big mistake was putting the shadow colors as the base. it's worked before, but my process was way different then, as i hand-picked colors for every single panel and blended them all pretty significantly.
purple is a pretty dark color, so i knew it had to be the shadows, though, and i thought that a mint green overcast as the lighting would be an interesting addition that helped it look like the same hospital still... just like the hallway shots from a scene or 2 ago. the problem is partially the hallway was darkly lit and the cafeteria isn't supposed to be. it's supposed to be a little dim, but still lit.
i think i ended up making the purple a bit too... purple, and not violet enough. the fuchsia was added as an accent color to help it feel a little less washed out and just lean into the purple instead of trying to nudge all of the colors into a more periwinkle zone -- the value transition from magenta/fuchsia and indigo/blue is pretty stark, as blue is the darkest primary color on the spectrum, which would mean pretty much all of the colors would need significant tweaking.
the second red was added because the first red was way too bright and it really pissed me off. i generally only use red for the mouths and then recycle it as an accent color in the lines to unify the palette a little more, but here there were the straws and whittacker's soda. now, products are designed to claw at your attention, so their packaging has a certain aesthetic brightness to it... so the usual red zone that i use looked wrong. but it was way too bright for every other way i use red. for some reason i went with prioritizing the look of the packaging. now there's just another red in there. i might try tweaking the brighter red when i put down shading still.
i think they did a lot for the palette already, though. having a subtler darker color for lines draws the eye away from spots it's not supposed to focus on, and a purple-pink color that isn't used anywhere except for sparse lines on the palette helps draw the eye around. having a purpler tone for this scene also allowed tabitha's colors to fit into the preliminary round of neutral colors instead of demanding a specific brown for her coat, so i was happy about that too.
now if i can just get the lighting to look cool and dim instead of this weird eerie teal, i'll (probably) be happy...
unrelatedly, whittacker and sugar's input on the "are people vegan" question was cut. it wasn't that interesting and the joke was that if you say people are vegan (to eat) then you're saying they aren't made of meat, which is funny, but if you say people aren't vegan then vegans aren't vegan; a grammar ambiguity joke, basically.
i had a goal for the pacing that was "make sure kim has at least broken into the conversation" which was probably the biggest reason for the cut.
that's about all i have to say on this page for now... maybe more after finishing it tomorrow.
comic work streams are just streams when i'm working on comics. they happen more frequently than just sundays or saturdays because i work on comics frequently.
pokemon streams are where i do speed-drawings of pokemon from a random generator or requested in the chat.
painting streams will be streams where i primarily "paint" observational thumbnails of photos like this:
tutorial streams will focus on drawing either tutorials or educational comics about art and writing.
hi again folks. it's a new month, so another update...
not much progress was made in terms of my wife's job hunt/income status, so in the short of it that means that i can't really promise to be focused on a lot of the extra rewards here over commissions still. i am doing my best, though.
last week i sat down because i realized it's been 9 months since i updated the side comic currently running and that's... an extremely long time, something i consider flat unacceptable. so i rewrote the story's, as i was pretty unhappy with how it was coming along writing-wise.
i sketched the next page on monday -- which caused me to run late with fresh meat's update on friday. it's really hard figuring out how to fit more into my schedule, but i'll do my best. i'm planning on drawing the comic 'til completion and then posting it all... it should only be about 4 or 5 pages more, just like the other ending was.
i've also been starting to take small amounts of time to start rough scripting some of fresh meat so that the problem of tiptoeing around a vague unfinished outline is hopefully... NOT a problem anymore.
not sure if i'll be posting much about that writing process or writing to the $10 this month, but i AM trying to get back into the swing of doing it regularly.
in august i also posted 2 new kinds of posts: a sketch dump and a sketch-to-finished comparison with commentary on the process of making a comic.
i'll probably continue to post these in the future -- sketch dumps to all patrons, and process commentary to the $10 tier.
lastly, i mentioned last month that patreon finally introduced the ability to post multiple images in a single post -- it's been really freeing and feels much more natural for me. i really hate how it displays images now, but there's nothing i can do about that.
that said, in case anybody didn't notice, i've been posting the images i draw in streams onto the stream notice posts after the stream is finished.
even if you don't catch the streams, you can see what was drawn without waiting through the drawing process now (or if you did, just being able to see them at native resolution).
i think that's all i have to say as an update. thank you for the patience and generosity as always. stream poll for this month will be up shortly.
because there are so many characters... this page has a lot of details flying around. it's also late. i started to mentally note the smaller ones i tried to do in my head to list out:
- carmilla is drinking blood packs, which are modeled after capri sun pouches, since those were visually similar to IV bags of blood, and also probably the most chemically compatible with a viscous separable fluid
- originally i was thinking of having paper cup-pouches like minute maid juice packs, but i remembered those are usually frozen, which is not compatible with blood's composition
- sugar is eating a hot dog with scrambled egg on top. i decided to relent a bit about the protein composition of her meal because cats go bonkers over bread even though they're obligate carnivores. sugar's meals look so sad sometimes
- sugar is using a napkin under her hot dog because she doesn't want her hands to feel greasy
- whittacker is eating 2 burgers at once, the texture of which is modeled after these weird burgers in an early episode of ed edd n eddy, "nagged to ed"
- carmilla's ear twitches in panel 2 as she hears tabitha leave the lunch line from the other side of the cafeteria
- sugar chokes on part of her hot dog and chugs water to wash it down
- whittacker is too engrossed in her food to open her eyes to notice tabitha. she probably closes her eyes to focus on the taste of the food more
- by the time kim confronts carmilla about her seat, whittacker is done with her meal entirely. she has a soda like last time which she seems to save for last
- the extra 2 pouches in the sketch by carmilla were added later, to imply she managed to bully sugar and whittacker individually into grabbing her a ration of blood from their lunches as well... hence why they're a weird seafoam green color in the sketch
- tabitha has a juice box in addition to the bag of blood on her tray because she probably didn't realize there was something she could drink until she was grabbing something for carmilla from the fridge in the lunch line
- tabitha is again wearing a sweater that keeps her wristband hidden because she's cold from the lack of food
- she's wearing a different sweater with cuffs that is partially unzipped to make her seem a little more relaxed and feeling like she's part of the group at lunch
- the seating at the table is uneven, with carmilla and sugar sitting extremely close to each other, and tabitha sitting pretty close to carmilla's other side, leaving whittacker on the opposite end of 3 of them at the table
- drew tabitha grabbing the pretzel bag in a way that indicated she was intuitively planning on flipping it over as soon as she had it to look at the nutritional information
- needed to draw the nutritional information on the side visible to the viewer in the pretzel bag's first appearance because it needed to spatially make sense that tabitha was flipping it over, unlike the sketch, which had the front showing to make it more obvious the bag was pretzels
- kim was supposed to leave the lunch line WITH tabitha, because i feel like tab would see her and wait for her to finish too to walk together
- but i wanted the focus to be on tabitha and carmilla's interaction first. there was no good way to show that kim was there the whole time, and i decided kim walking up to the interaction made about as much sense and was a fine interpretation too, but implicitly it makes more sense to assume kim was standing there the entire time because she's the narrative propulsion of what gets shown in the story
- carmilla doesn't have breasts but she's implicitly wearing a bra like it's a purse you wear under your shirt
- in the second to last panel, carmilla leans over to grab sugar's arm like "BUTCH. DO SOMETHING" when she feels threatened by kim's confrontation
- originally in the first 4 panels carmilla had one leg up on the table to help indicate she was leaning back in her chair, still only FAINTLY visible in two of the referential undersketches, but i decided to just have her doing the knee-to-chest gargoyle position to make room for the extra blood pouches (plus feet on the table during mealtime is so rude it's barely tolerable)
- tabitha grabs the bag of pretzels with her left hand because she's left-handed and carmilla hands them to her with her right hand because she's right-handed, and needed the more dexterous hand to pull the bag out of her shirt
- kim is a chronic milk-drinker apparently, second time she's had milk on her tray
anyway... sorry for the lateness, i forgot that having so many characters makes pages a lot more labor-intensive. i tried to swap out monday for starting to sketch the side comic that hasn't updated in forever and then... dominoes.
i'll finish this up in the morning, because i'm really tired and there's still a ton to do for this page too.
today i might focus a bit on just trying to draw accessories... they're something i forget a lot about outfits.
stream started at 8:44 pm MT.
stream ended at 11:18 pm MT.
...one outfit i didn't add onto here yet, because i knew it was going to be kind of a pain in the ass to detail, so i'm just gonna finish it tomorrow and add it to the image set then.
this page still needs some cleaning up... stress from commissions have been messing with my ability to fall and stay asleep, which has left me waking up later and groggier lately... mainly this conflicts with a deadline that isn't a certain amount of hours after i wake up, just a certain time.
this page was definitely an attempt at tonal damage control. it was probably a frustrating scene for a reader, to see kim botch it so hard, to meet the uncompromising hostility of the staff, after 40 whole pages (@_@)... so there were little bits here or there.
the owl offered kim some sympathy and mentioned that there was no way kim's evaluation would have gone well enough for her to be released. kim lets what he's saying sink in pretty quick and gives up. some of the plot points on this page might seem pointless if considering the reader's feelings isn't a "point."
overall, i feel a LOT got developed all at once in the scene anyway. the severity of kim's suicide attempt and her self-image had yet to be addressed, and neither had her lack of coping skills besides giving up and snapping.
it also developed kim's views of the rest of the patients so far.
the next scene is with the rest of the cast, where this stuff'll start moving forward and hopefully ease the tone as well.
this stream will have the mic off because i'm not feeling good... i'm just going to be trying to compose a few outfits where sivan and maxine try to synergize the wardrobes with duncan's strictly goth dress code.
stream started at 8:41 pm MT.
stream ended at 11:13 pm MT.
drawings postponed from being posted yet because there are a few extra sketches i want to add... but after sleeping.
well... there is a ton that could be unpacked in kim's dialogue for this page. i think i'll save it until it builds a bit in the story.
... anybody notice the owl switched to referring to kim's therapist as a counselor and started questioning her authority after he knew she was a woman thooouuuugggghhh???
the pettiness perforating the entire room is very palpable for me.
lots of sketches from recently. one of the needle ones is a little older, but best contextualized with trist's vague sketch reference too. some of them are also recent sketch page commissions buuuuttt... i'm gonna play fast and loose with the defintion of sketches here.
like, if the comic counts as a sketch, then sketch pages i did not do for leisure should also count.
(... but really it's because i get self-conscious that most of my leisure art is specifically for and of myself.)
as of posting this, there is no shading or background detail on this page yet. sorry for the lateness... extremely stressful life business combined with just having a shitty body today.
i didn't want to COMPLETELY ruin my sleep schedule, as shading this will take another several hours... so i decided base colors for now is acceptable, and i can finish it on a fresh head in the morning.
you might notice that some of the lines are colored in... i usually don't do this before laying down any of the shading.
the new line style with more vibrant lines are to go with the new shading style, mainly -- blending the shading is a method of contrast adjustment, and tweaking the color of the outlines is just another type of contrast adjustment. to my eye, and presumably others', it helps it look more polished than pure black lines.
if i'm being honest, kim's wristband is also something i usually don't add until the end, even past the second stage of lining... it's just a really annoying detail to keep track of, and while leaving small things up to me at the tail end of a deadline shift is like playing with fire, just knowing i have a checklist of details that need to be added in post-production tweaking helps more than assuming i drew most of the details at some point during the rest of the process unless i'm especially perceptive on a given night.
anyway, thanks for the patience, and good night.
EDIT: finished, and i left the unshaded version up for the sake of curiosity and comparison since i can do that now.
... i also fixed a few continuity errors i noticed at the very end, like the fact that the owl's clipboard suddenly didn't have a paper flipped over the back...
technically, i guess you could claim he may have flipped it off-screen, but... i didn't like that. it felt like it would be more consistent to just edit the paper back in. on the front page is probably just her basic information and i don't think he'd be jotting down notes on like, the spare address line.
today will proooobably be a shorter one, 60-90 minutes. it's a fashion stream, i have a few outfits i collected for reference, but feel free to suggest outfits to draw characters in too.
stream started at 8:15 pm MT.
stream ended at 9:42 pm MT.
... and some images from it!
here it is... the meat of this plot point...
i'm still not fully satisfied with the colors of the scene-- not grey enough.
the owl's a little tough to write. i wanted to make him obviously observation and aware of the emotions in the room... capable of expressing empathy as a person... to contrast with later actions.
also... when he clicks his pen, i thought it was hilarious that he clicked it twice for emphasis. did he not realize it just left his pen in the same position as when he pulled it out? does he leave his pen's nib out in his pants pocket just to be able to click it twice? did he forget to click it shut last time and quickly realized his error, forcing him to try to casually click it twice? who knows! i decided to add the third click as a last-minute decision to acknowledge the strangeness.
it's a little risky adding humor to this scene... but i'm hoping it'll help the mood build over the pages.
hi again folks.
i originally drew a different image for this monthly update, but it featured eating a lot of food, and i realized that kind of imagery looks a lot like feeder fetish art even without the weight gain aspect... so i drew this instead, today.
i don't have much to say (maybe just because i have a comic deadline i gotta work on too, but)... i think i got a decent amount of work done last month.
for those wondering about my dog, she had her teeth cleaned, they couldn't pull any because her jaw is very small and prone to breaking without a specialist. what was more of an issue was that they didn't tell me she was having kidney problems until i picked her up from the appointment for her teeth cleaning. they gave me antibiotics to administer to her for a 10 day cycle and we're getting her blood taken again on the 7th. getting there is really hectic without a car, because rideshares don't really like animal passengers, and there's no feasible way to carry her all the way to the clinic on foot with the desert heat, for her sake... but we figure it out. it's just exhausting. hopefully her next results are showing more normal levels.
OH, and another thing: PATREON FINALLY ADDED THE OPTION OF MULTIPLE IMAGES IN IMAGE POSTS!!!
this is the most intuitive way i post... lots of sketches and loose art packed together, playing off of each other, etc. and unlike tumblr, there is no limit to how many images can be added. i don't know what i'll do with this newfound power, but i'm really considering doing more sketch dumps with art i usually just only post in a discord server or on twitter once, if at all!
i already tested it out with a traditional art post, and it's kinda wonky, but it eventually worked. for sketches that aren't so thoughtful or about the process or writing, i'll probably just post them to all of the tiers. this also means i can technically upload comics in an easier reading format by uploading all the pages into one post here...
i dunno! i'll think on it more.
anyway, my wife also had a psychiatric evaluation for vocational rehab, and might get called back at the end of this month by her old job as the work season picks up... so hopefully this will be the last month where i'm kind of just floating out stuff while trying not to push through a ton of real life stress.
thank you for the continued support, and a poll for streams will be up shortly! i really had fun with the streams last month.
i'll probably just be working on a queued commission or 2 for this stream. my wrist has been hurting today so i don't want it to be a longer one...
stream started at 8:57 pm MT.
stream ended at 10:25 pm MT.
page 36 already... regrets? well, i'd say i have about 35 of them! ;_;
i was sick this week (i think i have a wisdom tooth that came in suddenly), so i'm relieved i got this page done in a timely manner... with a couple panels above the minimum, even!
anyway, this page is definitely not the MEAT of the plot's action (no pun intended)... i could have jumped straight into the evaluation, so one might question why this page is mostly... waiting in silence. and if my adderall hadn't already worn off hours ago... i would explain why.
in all seriousness, it's mostly for tone... in my opinion, i don't see much of a point in the element of fiction without the emotional aspects like characterization and the visual equivalents of sensory descriptions. and waiting... more waiting... being taken around to different areas, planted there, and being told to wait -- as somebody with adhd, it doesn't surprise me that this was one of the biggest elements i remember of stays in wards... it's a lot of waiting.
here, in terms of the literary purpose, it set a strong contrast to kim's sense of urgency, which preps the reader for how this scene is actually going to go (not how kim wants/is expecting). it also characterizes kim by lingering on her while she's alone in the room, and the psychiatrist, knowing he's late, and hasn't read the papers on his patients until he's in the room in front of them, even with the block of time being late gave him.
definitely more of a page that's written with reading the entire thing as a cohesive story all in one go in mind more than reading it as weekly updates of entertainment, but i try to keep a good balance between both of those priorities... i think it can foster some real creative improvisations.
wasn't expecting to get this one done. and while i would prefer to have had more time to work on it... i would prefer to not work on friday more.
i was originally contemplating cutting the part where kim glances into the quiet room and sees sugar taking a little nap, and the hyena nurse would bring sugar into the room to replace kim as a head instead of tabitha, announcing that she fell asleep again, which would serve the same expositional purpose.
while there were a bunch of small little reasons for choosing not to axe it, but mainly, i preferred the seeping sense of dread imagining somebody like tabitha being pulled into a role playing group therapy session (sorry, tabs).
i'm pretty okay with most of the shot choices on this page, at least. it's mostly the little details or tweaks that didn't get put in, but the compositional strength is much more important to me for a story.
whew... sorry, i mentally lost a day this week somewhere and had to crunch hard for this one today. i wanted to make this one longer to not leave it on an awkward cliffhanger-y part, but last week's page was already late. i didn't even bother to upload it here by the time it was done, as the main site is also easier to navigate for reading.
anyway... carmilla's introduction. she seems to already be making an impression on kim, but it won't last very long for now; kim is going to be pulled out for her evaluation.
carmilla is one of the cast members who isn't introduced at the very beginning with the rest, for a few different reasons, which i'm not sure i'll word well in the amount of time i have left before posting this at midnight...
i didn't want the audience to be overwhelmed with the entire cast at once. staggering some of their introductions helped solidify the narrative revolving door structure and mitigate this.
it's also because carmilla is particularly hostile towards staff members in the ward. i felt with kim's arc, it would have been harder for her to believably navigate the structure of the institution if she had somebody much older than her encouraging an uncooperative stance with the staff. kim doesn't know much of carmilla's home life, and she wouldn't think about it much. this way, she got a chance to fail on her own without being able to blame it on carmilla or the others for not joining in.
and these characters aren't in a story which necessitates many personal discoveries. all of them i gave what i felt were compelling arcs, but they aren't really huge epiphanies. they're kim's discoveries about their characters which help her figure out herself, and her view of their inner lives is limited. so some of the characters being introduced later stopped them from needing their arcs stretched out or built upon too much for such a story.
hello. it's whatever streams so today i'm just gonna do... some of those painting thumbnails and then work on some comic panels.
stream started at 9:06 pm MT.
stream ended at 12:38 am MT.
the update image pretty much says it all, i don't need to give my life story but july probably won't be a great month from me. in august... my wife says she's much more likely to get a call from her old job as the workload picks up in the busy season, and she'll be having a psych evaluation for vocational training as well...
i'll see how it goes and try to update as time and energy permits. i've been publishing a lot of smaller diary comics that i usually do before or after a full day of work just directly onto my art blog, so if you don't really follow that and just pay attention to this site, there's some stuff there...
thanks for the patience, poll will be up shortly.
i noticed that i haven't actually colored or COMPLETED any art on the stream much for a while, so i'll be trying to make these choices primarily focused on giving coloring more art a shot... i think i've gotten substantially better at it since i colored comics on stream more regularly.
going to try finishing this comic i've been working on for most of the month this stream.
stream started 6:42 pm MT.
stream ended at 10:15 pm MT.
i was feeling weird this week, so the art might look a little weird.
anyway, no elaborate commentary on this page... sometimes it just ruins the emotional development of the scene, y'know?!
just going to be working on the same comic as the last stream... twitch's servers are being somewhat capricious today so i might disconnect during this one.
stream started at 9:05 pm MT.
stream ended at 11:58 pm MT.
whew. this page was rough... like every page. i'm just glad to have gotten it done in a timely fashion.
i haven't posted any updates on writing progress because... i chopped a bunch of scenes from the script of fresh meat and hit the point where i don't actually have the interactions scripted yet. so i need to really try to pry some of the brass-and-tacks hard rough draft scripting from my brain.
i'm in the mood to talk about the writing a bit, so first i'll talk a little bit about what i was chopping in the script. for reference, while doing page 23, i said carmilla's appearance was 8 scenes away from that point. this is the third scene to happen after that point, and carmilla is very probably going to be in the scene after this. so, about 50% of the script got pared down.
my first line of defense for trying to deal with a script that's turning out way too long is looking for anything superfluous or literal -- in my brain, nuances can mean a huge difference to me, especially when i'm afraid that readers might not be able to put larger mental leaps together (i will admit there's a large gap in reading comprehension in the given audience of fresh meat).
a digestible example of that would mean, for example, on this page, i know that kim needs to move to the hallway and sit at a phone.
in the most literal way, i could show her walking to the phone through several panels.
in the least literal presentation, i could have cut straight from somebody informing her she has a phone call to kim sitting at the phone with it ringing.
the latter is much easier to draw, obviously, but it demands a lot more from the reader to put together what happened in between those 2 panels.
with that said, some scenes could be merged just from re-reading what i already canonized and figuring out what i thought i'd made clear enough, and some could be merged just because they were only separate to not overwhelm the audience with plot happening.
this scene is ideally going to be a composite of 2 scenes, one where kim learned that judy was going home and felt betrayed, and one where she got a call from her parents. in between that scene was going to be one more where she was told (SPOILERS i guess) that she isn't allowed to make phone calls -- that got moved to later instead. i guess maybe it isn't the best choice... i don't know. sometimes it really isn't about what's technically correct and just what i think is best. some elements in the decision:
- as separate scenes, kim had more room to express hostility towards judy. she was going to hear that judy was getting released, go out and ask about her evaluation, blow up at the nurse manning the counter, and judy would come to collect her. kim would ask why she cares anyway, since she's leaving.
i already preemptively merged the beat where kim asked about her evaluation into a different one a few pages ago, so that was then superfluous. she expressed hostility towards the main cast instead in the previous scene, so that was also redundant.
- i felt that by the time i'd reached this page, i'd clearly shown a lot of staff aggression towards kim already, and didn't need to push more on her for the plot
- i also felt that seeing how many pages this had added up to, the audience would probably appreciate getting to the next plot element, kim's evaluation sooner rather than see more of the same old
- i knew that with fewer scenes, the audience's sense of time would be dubious, especially with the lack of clocks in most of the scenes. i decided that i would just have to assume they would be able to piece together approximate times based on recurring staff on duty, the slight changes i make in the lighting from scene to scene, and exposited information that indicates time like how kim skipped breakfast or that check-in had already occurred.
- upon reviewing kim's parents, i thought that she should probably have to call them. originally i didn't want to include her parents more than i had to, but i started writing this comic years ago and it's changed a lot, as has my view on how people come to being suicidal, especially actively suicidal as kim is.
speaking of her parents... that's another last thing i wanted to express thoughts about.
i actively remind myself not to make all of my protagonists white. for a while i went with some kind of informed sense of diversity as it exists in real life, so... for example... it doesn't need to be justified why kim is asian, knowing that asians exist all over the world. but since she's a fictional character, some things do need to be justified, so i know that i need to exercise caution with double-checking and modifying character designs or deciding they shouldn't be a certain race due to the overwhelming stereotypes associated with given characteristics.
chinese names and how they're structured aren't intuitive to me, and i'm just hoping my research was enough for a simple name for her mom. she's obviously somewhat more assimilated, but i don't want to always just point at a given character and say "assimilated, because it's easy! for me!"
i've asked my wife for some substantial guidance with how i should handle kim's parents. i am aiming for a somewhat emotionally distant set of parents who are kind of pushy, and don't seem to acknowledge anything they consider childish or embarrassing, basically. i'm not sure if i'll include her dad yet, but i do know they won't be visiting. it isn't about BEING chinese in a psych ward, it's just not treating her like a white character, and i think this level of detail and allusion is sufficient.
mainly, i just wish i'd had more time to consider it, because, besides the necessary research, i've learned that suicidality isn't something that's wrong with your brain, most of the time. there's no suicide chemical or neurons that you happen to have.
most people are suicidal because of overwhelming, painful circumstances they can't escape, and while that isn't always due exclusively to home life, at this point, i believe people don't reach this level of desperation unless their support structure at home is failing them completely... so i knew i needed to include that in kim's characterization to some degree when i got to this point.
when i first conceptualized fresh meat -- and i'm really feeling its age as something i came up with when i was like 21 at this point -- i conceptualized myself as a suicidal person. i didn't know why i was like that, even though i could give reasons for why i wanted to die; they didn't feel like they explained why i was SUICIDAL, because i knew other people also dealt with any individual issue and didn't react how i had.
either way, i want to finish the story, since i'm this deep in it, but i've accepted it's never going to be anywhere near perfect in my eyes, since i don't resonate conceptually with it anymore.
anyway, i think that's all i have to say about this page, sorry if the long talky talks about writing are annoying. this gave me at least an idea to write some thoughts down on whether or not to resuscitate a story...
stream today might be muted for its entirety because i'm stress-crying and it's not a great look for the mic, it's involuntary but i'm realizing shipping streams were perhaps not a great option for me in actuality.
i'll also be very probably moving future streams to sundays instead of saturdays or just switching it up regularly between the 2 days depending on which is better.
stream started at 7:28 pm MT.
stream ended at 9:20 pm MT (heyyy not such a bad run time)
sorry, this page isn't all the way done, but it's definitely done enough to upload at the usual time and then finish an hour or 2 after midnight... i've been worried about my dog, who needs her teeth pulled, and recently she's refused food a lot except if i hand-feed her. it's taken up my time both in terms of what a lack of sleep from stress does and from just the time it takes to actually perform the labor.
this was also kind of a lengthy page, comparatively. webcomics are tricky, because pages should end on specific kinds of beats to stay comprehensible (ie. can't end a page mid-sentence, still kind of a dick move to end on a cliffhanger, etc.), but they're usually on a schedule where anything extra can make or break timeliness.
i still like the format, because it makes sure i actually write the stories i want to, and i think being prompted for somewhat unconventional methods to meet the time sensitivity can really put a new spin on ideas and keep me engaged if i approach it like a puzzle with a positive attitude.
for this page, i had the idea that kim could shove the burger into her mouth completely when prompted for her name, and this might save me length in the comic. it'd be funny, the expressions would be interesting to draw, and the scenario would appease my anxiety about not drawing characters actually eating food in food settings much... in the end i decided this just wasn't one of the instances where i should make drastic changes to the events of the story.
thematically, kim had a choice between solidarity or perceived relief from punishment depending on how she reacted to the situation, and if she'd engaged in the behavior of mimicking the other patients at the table in playing stupid, it'd be way too early for the change of heart. it also would have wrenched some obvious plot points later and in the end would've caused me more issues trying to work around this one time i wanted more immediate relief from the pressure.
i might still try working in the idea later to a scene that's lacking if needed, but sometimes that's how the process of ideating different options goes. i've been trying to engage with my ideas positively again that way because i do end up refitting a lot of proverbial puzzle pieces into other spots just because i like them so much, so it isn't worthless to try if it fails to actually solve my current problems.
on a more positive note, i think i'm starting to get a grip on how to frame scenes where there are like 4 or 5 characters clustered together in many of the shots in a way that isn't like 4 or 5 times the amount of effort (although obviously any additional characters or objects inherently raises the effort level to some degree).
in terms of color choices, the deer on this page is the same color as sugar's eyes, but his shading is the color of the shadows on her tan markings to give the impression that it's a different shade of blue... and that he's not as shiny as an eyeball. the highlights on the red bracelets are, tangentially, also the same color as the shadows of sugar's tan markings.
this will be a short one because my wrist hurts (getting a brace tomorrow, will probably just take an impromptu week off from drawing at all if it doesn't get better with that)...
stream started at 9:07 pm MT.
stream ended at 9:48 pm MT (wasn't doing super great, gonna try to do a better stream either tomorrow or on tuesday instead :P)
oh how i wish i could cram more panels into these pages... but a lack of energy and time. some interactions look a lot shorter on a script.
anyway, sorry about the lateness, patreon was down for maintenance. i don't have much to say about this one. all of the objects and images in the panel of sugar's thoughts were different hints related to the word "gravity."
new month, new update.
last month was up and down. i didn't do any updates for the side comic, so that was a big "down"... i did some other stuff, though, and i've still be updating fresh meat. i've been struggling with making financial stuff work and also trying to help my wife figure out some kind of financial independence, which makes me spend most of my free days on commissions or writing instead.
i'll figure it out! ugh!
anyway, i have few updates for june at all. just going to keep on trucking and try not to fall too far down the hole.
happy pride month, poll will be up in a bit.
whew... cutting this one a little close, huh!?
kim's busy face-heel turning, i'm interested in the repeated panel here at the beginning. the last time was on page 13.
i'm still trying to figure out how to do the cafeteria backgrounds in a way i like, though... ugh. there were about 4 scenes cut out of the script between this page's scene and the previous page's, also, so... i'm cracking down!
probably going to be trying to design a couple of character concepts to go with the lovebird from last week.
stream started at 7:41 pm MT.
stream ended at 9:40 pm MT.
i didn't mention it on the last page, but that chicken nurse is named glen, and she is a woman. she is a little more androgynous than the other nurses.
i think of her as the type of person who's had some lucky qualities (like a good memory, hence why she remembered what room kim's bathroom key would be so fast) and really ran with it effortlessness as a part of her identity. you know, the kind of person who is laid back, OR ELSE... (someone did notice she was playing solitaire on the computer in the last page, haha)
kim has been pretty stressed out, but she hasn't cried yet, so... now she's cried. she is just a kid, after all.
tangentially... since switching to this coloring style, it tends to emphasize my desire to use as few literal RGB colors in the palette as possible.
it's given me some opportunities to recycle colors in novel ways... for example, the shine on glen's beak is the exact same color as kim's white underbelly marking. the highlights on judy's hair were the exact same color as her beak and midtone.
even more tangentially, i've been trying to figure out more about shot compositions that look "weird" to me, and i'm still wanting to do a little comic about it like i did about the added length comics take on from script to drawings... but mainly i've realized it's mainly just that the eye has some natural expectations for how bodies are framed.
for example, here... maybe it's just me being nitpicky, but the second panel's framing looks much "cleaner" to me. that's a bust shot. the other one was just a little farther down the body than a bust shot, but not quite long enough to qualify as a waist shot.
another example of a panel i ended up redrawing because the framing was a little off and stilted to me...
this one showed the knees because i wanted enough room to show the fist, but it wasn't really intuitive enough to draw it confidently... even though i hate doing the action bubbles, i felt a lot better repositioning the hands and cutting it off at the waist (as far as the eye can tell).
this is probably going to be a short one, might try designing some characters meant to be presented as a trio.
stream started at 10:03 pm MT.
stream ended at 11:06 pm MT.
sorry about the shabbiness of this page... i had computer problems that forced me to start from virtually scratch (only the first 2 panel sketches were intact) yesterday. i didn't really want to sacrifice my free day if i didn't have to, though. it messes with the whole schedule if i do.
it might look normal (that's the goal), and i won't list off all the reasons i shouldn't get paid for my time, but some thing i wouldn't necessarily let slide, like the camera pivot in those 2 vertical panels (very messy from a cinematography standpoint).
originally i was expecting this scene to be 2 pages. now it'll probably be 4. such is the way of pacing when pages need to come out with some level of immediacy, i guess, but it probably would have been longer than intended anyway.
i have to question the necessity of all of the beats and breathing room for awkward comic relief, but i'm the kind of person who would vow off laughter and happiness if i felt like it was able to be interrogated and voluntary.
regardless, on this page, some things are established: the sense of surveillance, and therefore the other characters' possible performativity even in non-therapeutic setting, in addition to checking back in on the linear brass-and-tacks plot of the story.
in terms of raw character development, these set expectations for kim and the reader to be built upon later with the more prominent supporting characters. many of the readers of this comic have been hospitalized at some point, and know what it's like already.
however, i think, when reading, you can be interested in a character's reaction more than your own, especially if you already know the given information -- you can insert some reference to filmmaking 101 regarding building suspense.
an ideal story for me is one that can be consumed in the standoffish way of a prospective audience member first - you wait for something new or smart to convince you the writing is "good," your own experience is the priority - then again, with more investment in the text purely for what ride it takes you on - you care more about the experience of the subjects (usually characters) in the text because your own has proven it was demonstrably safe to - then a third time to dissect how the story worked on you and the choices that were made - where you mainly care about the experience of the person or creative team behind the work.
it's a little difficult to feel like i'm layering all of those prospective goals in my own writing. i think i usually work backwards through stories where i consider the author's intent first nowadays, but sometimes i'll look for something completely new to me to shake that off.
i'll be trying to design some concepts for monday's family this week, since last week i revisited some parents' designs...
stream started at 7:51 pm MT.
stream ended at 9:22 pm MT.
whew. well, this was another bad week for me.
in this page i initially drew judy about as nervous as kim due to the awkward tone of the page. i realized at her age, she might actually not be nearly as anxious (especially if she doesn't have social anxiety), and redraw some of her expressions. instinctively i generally write characters who view each other as equals, and they don't get along well if one doesn't view the other as an equal, but that's only a start, and sometimes needs to be adjusted.
originally, i wanted to do at least one more row of panels (probably ideally 3 more rows), but i just didn't have time. it's hard to pace a webcomic between mental illness and a pretty long panel minimum...
you see, in the next page, which was supposed to be on this one kim basically [a truck blaring its horn passes by for 1 week straight]
this stream will probably be one of the short ones, sorry, i'll make up for it with the later ones!
stream started at 8:21 pm MT.
stream ended at 10:10 pm MT.
this page is a little ugly because this week wasn't great for me.
eventually i want to pick at one of these pages to see if i can incorporate some level of blending, although i have to admit that it's relieving to go at them on a level where i can keep up even during a bad week.
i also have to admit that the pages have felt much more "legible" recently, but that might be because i've also been sketching the foregrounds, backgrounds, and middle grounds in different colors, so the depth of field is baked into the shots more.
this character, who i think was the most confusing to guess for readers, is a banana bat. her name is jasmine, and she was supposed to be introduced by name, but i'm considering removing it on the next page, depending on how the pacing plays out (also because the pacing page prior to this one implies that kim should already know her name from group, but judy doesn't know that, so she may or may not try to introduce them).
hello folks. it's a new month, so an update from me.
this one is a reference to august's image of last year, which was kind of a catalyst for retouching trist's fursona and for trying out limited palettes more confidently. it was one of the first times where i felt like the limitation of the colors made the choices stand out in a nice way rather than struggling to remain cohesive and bold.
anyway... may updates. i feel like i got a lot and simultaneously not enough done last month...
when i look back on what i did during just april, though, it was more than i thought just the one month contained. i kept consistent weekly fresh meat updates, which was good.
i'm also probably going to remove the stretch goals, as i haven't met them for a long time. they were designed to be for something like "if i make this much, i'll buy a new camera so my videos are crisper" and not really a permanent increase in workload...
the tiers will stay, and i'll just think about if there are any stretch goals i'd like to replace the old ones with. the amount i make in a given month hasn't really budged in a while, so it's not exactly top priority.
i would still like to do more updates, but i'm just going to try to remove the sense of restriction and obligation... i drew a lot of folie a dupe strips last month and ended up just posting them publicly right away instead of here solely because i said i wasn't going to upload a majority of filler comics as diary comic entries again... which is kind of a superfluous restriction to have put on myself.
i do at least trust myself to not just fuck around and do nothing if not kept on a tight leash, though. i do genuinely love the work i do and more often than not spend the free time i get drawing and writing as well (hence all of the folie a dupe strips).
i do want to make it goal for myself to try to finish this side comic that's been on the brakes for like half a year now sooner rather than later, though.
i'm probably also going to try to post more about story development as i try to work up the streams i did about felix, monday, the twins, and outis. i get a little antsy about writing side comics when i haven't really consolidated The Big Picture yet...
i worry i'll lock myself out of an important conversation in the bigger stories if i'm not extremely careful with the side comics. the anxiety about repeating myself and revisiting topics is probably also something i'll need to work on eventually...
anyway, that's all for now. this one's a little vague because i don't want to do what i did last month with expectations and promises i hype up way too much in my own head as important.
thanks for the patience, stream will be up shortly.
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