Cutting to Xand for the last panel of the previous page and the first panel of this page serves two purposes – first, we’re checking in on what’s going on in the cargo bay; and second, doing this enables extensive editing of the goings on in the rec area. Raven pulling a medkit out of a storage bin while Ornix does whatever he’s doing is hardly gripping cinema, though without the shuttlepod serving as a handy “B arc” I’d feel compelled to show those details as keyframes. By running two plots in parallel I was able to cut around a lot of artistically tedious stuff, which is a Good Thing™.

The medical kit and the drawer it came out of were modeled specifically for this scene. The rec area drawers are all showpieces, or were until now. Thad happened to flip out right next to a drawer with a medical kit. How convenient!

While panels one and four look pretty good, I’m not thrilled with West in panels two and three. Fortunately the scene is complete and he looks Fine in all other appearances. Importantly, his lighting and shading are consistent in all of them, including those panels. In panel two the camera is right under the fluorescent light above the airlock, which produced a washed-out flash effect on the test dummy. Panel three was brought up to “eh.” from “bleh!” with a few edits – not a winner, though it does help to underscore the issues with panel two. I’m much happier with panel four, particularly Thad and Raven and the HRD smoke being sucked into the conveniently located ventilation node. I’m also reasonably happy with the rest of the scene, which we’ll be seeing over the course of the next four weeks.

Also over the next four weeks – some kind of announcement regarding the Ceremony Reunion and Ka-Blam-produced hardcopy of early parts of the story. I probably should have said something weeks ago but frankly just staying functional is a hell of a lot more effort than it should be lately. Reflexively hiding from Bad Shit I’m Incapable Of Dealing With in ATC production is great for the page count and asset production but it doesn’t do much to address other issues. It turns out that the long-{promised|threatened} limited edition vanity-pressed hardcopy isn’t the orgasmic blessing it seems to be to other artists – it’s more of a cancerous malediction, a terrifying collapse of the escape tunnel, an undesired, unplanned for intrusion into the place I’d created to escape from such things. It’s a double dose of badness, actually, and the fact that I’m feeling a broad spectrum of negative emotions about something I damned well should be pants-changingly happy about just cranks up the neurosis.

In fact the hardcopy – consisting of Observer Effect and Whitehouse released as “Dead City Radio #1A” with a new cover – arrived last Friday. It’s been in my apartment for nine days and aside from some muttering about it on IRC this is the first I’ve been capable of acknowledging it and I had to kinda sneak that fact around the Wall Of Nope. In fact I just touched it for the second time, to confirm the shipping date. Next week I might actually open it and check over the contents. I don’t want to deal with selling the thing; I don’t want to deal with shipping, with the post office, with addresses, with assigning a monetary value to the work and worse I damned sure don’t want to be doing that IN PERSON or AT ALL REALLY and the fact that it’s inevitable if I want to do comics “for real” just makes me want to fucking vomit. I have a little under a month to get over it or set it aside, which is probably a good thing in that given a choice in the matter I’d pick “NEVER!” and go back to working on pages while ignoring everything that sucks, which is everything else. I’ll strap on the happy helmet when I’m able – it’s taken roughly a month to get to the point where I can say this is a thing I am having a problem with, so it could be awhile.

That isn’t the only thing I’ve been ignoring – bills, paperwork, proposals, correspondence, client communications – all were and are a distant non-priority while I ground through ATC pages followed by 3d asset development. Justified by the fact that I have to repeatedly put all things ATC on the back burner for weeks and months in order to deal with other things. The other things never end and must be actively warded against in order to create the time required for comic production…. or the other things are a distant bell and I’ll get to them when I’m done with this thing here which I’m going to model down to the rivets and texture in devastating detail because if it takes two weeks instead of one week it’ll LOOK BETTER and even better that’s two weeks I can IGNORE BULLSHIT for GOOD REASON etceteras and if I had this level of personal awareness at the outset of the project I would have bailed on the amplifying factors – invasive roommates and a life without privacy – and things would have gone very differently. As it is it’s all but impossible to separate the project from the long-standing function of the project, that being a form of protection against unpleasantnesses actual and abstract.

I think I need to do a comic in which mental health issues are visually represented, instead of inferred through the structure of the narrative.

But not today.

Next week: This year’s finals of the All-Daedalus Summarize Plot Competition!


  • Thaddeus Gallahad

    A traumatic Awakening in the summer of 1997 was just the beginning of Thad’s emotional problems. The disappearance of most of his Pittsburgh friends a few weeks later compounded his issues and, while he...

  • Ornix Khan

    Ornix doesn’t let trivial things like ethics and morality get in the way of his loyalties or sense of reality. A longtime friend of Thad and a fellow “victim” of the Templar Waking God...

  • Raven Lockheart

    A South Jersey punk with a bachelor’s degree in psychology and a Templar-forged Master’s degree for field work, Raven posed as a high school guidance councillor during the early stages of the Waking God...

  • Inga Murnau

    The twin sister of fellow Templar Aleksis Murnau, Inga has been assigned to the Castores by way of Kaysoo. While Inga has all of the qualifications required for language work she’s not aboard ship...

  • John West

    The first extraterrestrial human to be born on Terra. Home-schooled by Templar, he left the organization in 1997 citing management issues and took the Daedalus with him. John is an incredibly talented Navigator, having...

  • Xand

    A pink-haired mechanical genius with a full complement of prosthetic limbs (one “bolt-on,” three high-quality synthetics) and no memory of her first twenty years, Xand is the Daedalus flight engineer. A non-terrestrial human with...

Glossary Articles

  • Castores

    A Foundation class heavy cruiser, the Castores is a long endurance survey ship leased by Expert Technologies with a Templar command crew officially following up on first-pass charts plotted by smaller Discovery class ships....

  • Compartment A3

    Compartment A3 – the rec area – is the living room and kitchen of the Daedalus. The compartment provides access to the bathroom, the spacesuit locker, the cargo transfer lock and the central corridor....