Comic 986 - Checking in and more (lots more)

20th Sep 2017, 7:10 PM in Special
Checking in and more (lots more)
Average Rating: 5 (2 votes)
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Jocelyn 20th Sep 2017, 7:10 PM edit delete
Jocelyn
It's been a couple weeks since my last formal check-in update, so I'd like to take a moment to share where I'm at right now. And brace yourself: I've got a lot to say today. ;P

As I said last time, I am in fact back to working on Rain. I just want to work up my page buffer so I don't corner myself into having to slap everything together at the last minute (thus causing the stress that led to this hiatus). I've been doing exactly that (alongside working on my buffer for my second comic as well, as this is a good, convenient time for me to get ahead on that with no pressure). I've been trying to alternate between the two to reduce burnout and I think that's been working pretty well.

The catch is that I'm not always drawing. Upon a recent reread of the last few chapters of Rain (as well as the next few) after a long time away from it, I'm seeing a lot of pacing and tonal issues I'm not entirely happy with. So I'm spending a fair bit of time going over everything to better balance the story. The good news is that I'm getting closer to where I want to be. The bad news is I still don't know when I'm coming back, because I really would like this all to be completely ironed out before doing so. This way I can offer you the most enjoyable reading experience possible, while allowing myself the smoothest writing process going forward.

And while it is a process, I think it'll have been worth the wait when I can get back to regular posting.

~

If I may, I'd like to talk about my other project for a bit too. I've been very tight-lipped about this, but if I'm being honest, I've started planning for it probably close to a year ago now. I admit, I don't totally know why I've been so quiet though. I'm actually really excited for this, and I've been really driven for a while. I think I'm just nervous because it's not something previously announced/seen like Magical or Lavender, so I'm afraid people will hate it on principle for what it's not.

Maybe that doesn't make a lick sense. But irrational fears are no stranger to depression and anxiety. So let me try an push through my worry and finally unveil this thing.

This new comic is called Moonlight Wanderers, and it is a Nuzlocke comic of Pokemon Moon. If you're not familiar with the concept of a Nuzlocke, it is a self-imposed challenge when playing a Pokemon game where any time one of your creatures faints, you are to consider them dead and you can no longer use them. It leads to great emotional attachment and can sometimes be very intense, as every choice you make matters. And a Nuzlocke comic is a fairly common trend where people basically write about how their experience with the challenge went. That is Moonlight Wanderers.

Now, it's not just a retelling of the game's story with minimal input on my end. Rather, in the case of MW, I use the game story and characters as a guideline and go off the rails as I go to really make it my own. But if I want to tell my own story, why not something original, right? Well, I admit that in a lot of ways, this is just something I've always wanted to do. But also, this is going to help me with my original works later.

Rain, as you well know, is not the most artistically complex comic out there. Most pages are just characters standing around talking with little to no action, and backgrounds are non-existent about 98% of the time. For Rain, I believe this works. It doesn't require much to tell it's story, and I personally believe the minimalism is more optimal for its look.

But what about after Rain? Magical will feature battle sequences and monsters. Shangri-La also features combat, a large array of creatures, and a unique setting that is very significant to the story. What works for Rain, might not be ideal for my other works. And to be honest, I don't think I'm really prepared for that. I'm not sure how to approach drawing creatures and battles and backgrounds, and I don't want to present Shangri-La or Magical or any other stories as anything less than the best they can be.

Moonlight Wanderers gives me the opportunity to come out of my comfort zone, and forces me to draw a lot of things I wouldn't normally (thus allowing me to improve in more areas). But it does so with a sense of familiarity. Thanks to the Pokemon, I'll be drawing a wide variety of creatures very regularly. Battles would happen often enough that I'd have to learn a lot of more unique poses. A story focused around a journey means there will be a number of locales to be depicted, so paintbucketing a panel green and saying it's the color of the walls might not always cut it. And if I need help with any of these things, there are plenty of references to utilize. It's not going to be perfect, but it will offer me the practice I need to feel more confident in being able to present my original works that might themselves be more artistically demanding.

Tomorrow, I'm planning on posting the first page of Moonlight Wanderers on my Patreon. This isn't me officially starting to post it, and the comic will not be exclusive to there when it does start. When the first page eventually does go up widespread, it might not even look exactly the same. Rather, I just want to post this to a limited audience for now as a sample of what I'm hoping to work toward. And ideally, I'd like to hear what people think (good or bad). So if you want to be involved in a bit of an advanced screening and help me make sure I'm onto something good here, you can find my Patreon here. As long as you're a patron, you'll get to see it. ^_^

If you don't want to or can't do so, that's totally fine. The comic will probably start up some time before the year is out either way, and now that it's officially unveiled, I have lots to talk about to hopefully hype it up until then.

~

Final thing I wanted to say that has nothing to do with art or writing or comics or anything: As of a couple days ago, I'm five years on hormones. It's such a surreal milestone. I mean, the calendar can't lie, but it's really hard to believe somehow. I just still kinda feel new to all this. Is that normal? Any other longtime transitioners feel like this?

Of course, I am happy though, however hard it may be for me to comprehend.

~

Anyway, the hiatus has been long and still continues, but hopefully, this offers some good news and things to look forward to in the near future. While I can't name an exact return date just yet, we're getting closer and closer everyday. But thank you, as always, for your continued patience. It's meant the world to me through some difficult times recently, and I'm hoping I can reward you for that patience very soon. ^_^

Keep on being awesome, folks! Take care for now!
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Comments:

Reegan 21st Sep 2017, 12:11 AM edit delete reply
Can't wait for rain to get stared agine glade you are feeling better.
Drumada 21st Sep 2017, 1:34 AM edit delete reply
Glad to see you're feeling much better! As I've said on all your previous updates, take as much time as you need and do what you need to do to feel better!

I also just wanted to throw out there that a friend of mine told me they have been questioning their gender for some time, and I made sure to heartily recommend Rain. After all, it gave me the courage I needed to come out to my extended family and workplace!

Take all the time you need Jocelyn, its much more important you feel ok than to see a regular comic update. (Of course with that said, I look forward to what you have in store!)
Guest 21st Sep 2017, 1:50 AM edit delete reply
glad to hear things are still going forward, and don't burn yourself out. if you need a break, take it. best of luck with everything, and looking forward to the return. ^_^
May 21st Sep 2017, 1:51 AM edit delete reply
super hyped for rain to come back!! no pressure though, take as much time as you need.
Mouse 21st Sep 2017, 2:38 AM edit delete reply
I am headed into my 6th year before too long, and I feel that too. To be fair a lot of my earlier stuff was done during a hectic time, and so I didn't get to explore too much. this was followed by getting more stable, but then having been transitioning so long no one else much cared, and so I didn't have many folks to bounce stuff off, and they all seemed a bit offput by me approaching it very much like a newbie ><

it is hard to believe it has been that long though, I started part way through college and it feels like I just graduated...
Jackie 21st Sep 2017, 7:58 PM edit delete reply
Thanks for the update. Good to know the drawing continures, and just knowing that makes the wait easier (for me at least). As always, take the time you need, we'll wait. Enjoy all your projects - that's ultimately why you do them.
Faceless 23rd Sep 2017, 1:15 PM edit delete reply
Take your time, girl. While we, your fans, are chomping at the bit for the next page, we all understand life is complicated. I personally would rather you take a six month break to get all the backlog you want if you need to, than get an anxiety attack over the pacing.

Thank you for not just up and disappearing like some of my other favorite webcomic authors (Elf Only Inn and Venus Envy come to mind), and keeping us posted. It's appreciated. :)
bgb16999 23rd Sep 2017, 7:55 PM edit delete reply
bgb16999
I still haven't played Pokemon Sun or Moon, even though I'm a fan of the games and have most of Nintendo's handheld devices going back to the original Gameboy. Life just keeps getting in the way of having a lot of time for gaming.

Still, I expect I'll probably be able to understand your next comic, for the most part anyways. So, I'm looking forwards to reading it, as well as any subsequent comics you make.

As for the whole delay thing, I'll reiterate what I say every time there is a delay: I want to read a comic that is as good as it can be. A late comic is better than an on-time comic if it means you can make it better.
Kelabeth 24th Sep 2017, 5:41 AM edit delete reply
I just passed the 10-year mark on HRT and it still seems kinda crazy that it's been that long.
Miamistax 24th Sep 2017, 7:31 AM edit delete reply
Miamistax
You are without question the BEST hiatus-taker in the history of webcomics. I really appreciate that you take the time to give a detailed explanation of where you are and how you're doing. As to your comment about Rain not being "the most artistically complex comic," sometimes simple is best and I totally agree that, "minimalism is more optimal." As to when you'll come back, I agree with Faceless's comment. Thank you for sharing your story with us.
Mikasi 26th Sep 2017, 12:46 AM edit delete reply
A....a nuzlock comic? I'm looking forward to your other ones, but I fear nothing but sadness and pain from anything nuzlock related.
Guest 5th Oct 2017, 7:18 AM edit delete reply
A rain check(-in)
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