Page 676: Fire -40-

This page hit “as done as I can get it for now” on August 21st. I rendered and did effects processing for the entire scene before I got started on the line art – as the sole page of the scene without drawings the last page of the final scene of Transitional Voices was the first page to be completed.

The two month wait between completion and release is considerable, but pales in comparison to the nearly five year wait between the first plot reference to what pretty much has to be the ass-end of a wormhole and the thing finally appearing on screen.

I’ve been playing the long game.

The “front” end appeared on a computer screen in January of 2012.

This shot is a companion of sorts to Subversion -38-. My original remarks on that page were terse, as I was exhausted by the final sprint to finish that book. My remarks here will also be terse – I’m in the final stages of preparing for a move. These are my final hours in Pittsburgh. Expedience is the word of the weekend – of this post, specifically.

The story is now finally at the point I had intended to start from back in 2002, though it’s going to be awhile before the next installment enters development. I intend to stick to the production roadmap I laid out in the blog post that announced the ATC Patreon page, which means I’ll be doing some editing and a lot of work on the website and support material before things start moving forward again. I clipped a lot of the low-hanging fruit while preparing for the final scene of this chapter and I did some more work immediately after production wrapped. Since then the comic has been on production hold. I’ve been preparing to move, and in addition to getting things packed or thrown out that’s included keeping the workstation instance of ATC rsynced to my PC, laptop, and a couple backup hard drives, on the theory that if I spread the thing around it will survive. I’ll be doing the final syncs this weekend, after I write this page post but before I post it, and full copies of all 384 gigs of comic data will be heading in three different directions via two different methods of transport before most of them converge somewhere else.

You can, I hope, see why I wanted to finish this book before I moved, and why I decided to finish posting it as my final web communication from Pittsburgh. All books that started production in Pittsburgh are now functionally complete – if it takes awhile to get back into the swing of things post-move that’s fine. ATC is finally in a place where I can put it down for awhile if I need to. This is a new place, a place the comic has never been before.

I intend to make the most of it.

Blog: And for my next trick…

Transitional Voices is provisionally complete. According to the ATC Production Roadmap the next item on the to-do list is the “Science Pass” and “remastering” – a giant full-spectrum cleanup edit that will haul the comic cosmology kicking and screaming into the 21st century.

I’ll be starting on that soon. The idea is to steamroll through the material, make the required changes, and then make some PDFs. And probably CBZs since those are easier to make. If you support ATC on Patreon at a $10/month level you’ll hopefully have something to read – a lot of something – before the year is out. If you don’t, you’ll probably have to wait awhile to see the edits reflected on the site. While recent edits have been extensive this one’s going to be epic. The file structure will be overhauled, The Dualist and chapter one of TV will finally be configured for print, and some of the more willfully obtuse bits of the plot will (hopefully) be streamlined into something easier to relate to.

I’ll be doing a few graphics tweaks but for the most part that’s over with – all of the major graphical edits on my to-do list were done during and after the production of the final scene of Fire. I won’t be adding new pages. I will not be adding new scenes. I will be folding Observer Effect into Dead City Radio, moving Interstitial into Transitional Voices, renumbering everything to list correctly, and then overhauling the web site.

A large amount of the mental heavy lifting has been done – for the most part this is a vast pile of work that just needs to be plowed through. This phase should go relatively quickly when I get started on it. I say “relatively” as there’s no quick way to tweak and renumber almost 700 pages, and I say “when” as I’m still figuring out my post-Pittsburgh workflow. The incentive to get this leg of post-production done is the work that comes after – cleaning up assets and generating material for the restructured cast and lexicon sections. Shining ATC into product.

I’ve been searching for a conclusion for a couple of hours, but I’m coming up dry – it isn’t something I’ve thought about or rehearsed, unlike the massive list of post-production edits that are about to go down. I’d say “Courage” but Apple recently turned that word from an obtuse cultural reference into a worldwide punchline so I’ll sign off with something more appropriate.

Recalibration.

Further bulletins as events warrant.