20100120 (5) – Initial assembly from strips 137 – 140. Strip 140 was jpeg’ed on September 27, 2008 – sixteen months ago. Amusing (to me, anyway) that the comic with the biggest production gaps will resume before the “main” work does…. though like TD2E, it’ll be awhile before these pages are up, and more time before the comic resumes in strip form.

20100126 (1) – Replaced Gerry’s mumbling with an even less legible scrawl. While the character intentionally bears little to no resemblance to the original security guard, I felt it important that he be just as illegible – which in this case means not only illegible “text,” but also nothing that even remotely resembles a font.

20100127 – Gerry is now Barry. A minor detail, but worth mentioning.

20101225 – Original strip metadata:

Strip 137, 20080728

If I was on the ball – which I seem to have fallen off of – this would have been up yesterday morning. A crap weekend (a crap summer), energy-wise – the linework for this was done about 24 hours ago, scanned and assembled in minutes, followed by many, many hours of slackjawed staring at the monitor with the occasional twitch of work.

Locational transition featuring a cigarette butt-stomp, or Deeply Meaningful Symbolism re: Whitehouse’s mental state? Or quite possibly both?!

You decide.

Strip 138, 20080729

Gerry (Jerry? It’s not like I ever read his nametag or anything) was a thoroughly unintelligible security guard who worked the complex around the time the story takes place. When I say unintelligible, I mean it – the guy sounded like the offspring of the Team Fortress 2 pyro and a cement mixer. A cement mixer that spoke yinz. Never did understand a damned thing he said. Neither, I think, did anyone else.

That’s Pittsburghese for you, though – this town will stop loving football long before it embraces the hard consonant. A lot of the locals, when they speak… sentences do not emerge. What comes out is a pile of loosely related vowels, punctuated with the occasional grunt and the glimmer of realization in their eyes that they’re not getting through to you. It’s not for a lack of trying – the inhabitants of the region all seem to have evolved some sort of highly specialized section of larynx – a post-larynx, perhaps – a section that belt-sands all of the hard pointy bits of words clean off, leaving only the most basic impression of phonetic intent.

That’s how you can tell the imports from the locals – the imports sound sober by comparison, even when they’re drunk.

Strip 139, 20080818

The suspense. Feel it.

As much an excuse to wedge The Girl from Ipanema into a future DCR soundtrack comp* as it is a natural pacing break in the story.

The next strip is The Most Important One Yet, so it’s only fair there’s some Waiting For An Elevator to even it out. And we’ll be Waiting for awhile – I’m in the middle of the first Apocalypse I’ve been issued in quite awhile. Over the emo hump, on to the Getting Stuff Done bit. So this could be my last New Art for a few weeks.

Inks are a bit chunkier than I’d like, but I was operating under The Clock and on the phone with my Male Parental Unit at the same time. Inking is one of those things I can mostly disengage my brain from (ask a few people who’ve talked to me on the phone – “I’m inking” is my frequent answer to “So, what’re you up to?”). Point of fact, several panels of The Dualist and DCR have gone from gray to black while phonering with the MPU. As such, quality is more a factor of yet another micron going south on me (and not having a spare in better condition) than it is technical laxness.

I should probably try a dip pen again at some point.

This is the first strip to be worked in multiple locations. Cleanup, strip assembly and shading (and posting) were done at the South Side Beehive, soft-proving one of DCR’s incept guidelines – that being the ability to do the comic in any location on any hardware. And it is doable, if far from optimal – the strip would have been up last night if I’d remembered to toss my mouse in my cable bag, but I forgot. Again. Not this time, fortunately. In a previous life I was Down With The Trackpad, but after six or seven years of arting with mice, trackballs and tablets, using a trackpad is like trying to masturbate with my nipples instead of my left hand – comical, awkward, ineffectual… with a good deal of grunting.

Fine in private, but it does tend to make one feel a bit self conscious in a coffee shop.

* The Comps are Coming. Probably later this year, for The Dualist and DCR.1.

Strip 140, 20080927

Six weeks is hardly a record for not updating – though it feels more like six years, honestly. So that counts for something. At least when I was previously not updating DCR I was updating other stuff – six weeks of no art at all is crazy shit, man.

Perishable skill, drawing.

More strips later this week, I hope. I can bang out a few more before I’ll need to model the building exterior, parking lot, and Whitehouse’s apartment. Much like the most recent chapter of ATC, it’s one of those funky plot situations where I’ll need to model a large amount of what I need to do the book just to finish a single plot thread.

Something to do with all of the vacation time I have yet to use. Exciting!


Mastering notes, 2016.12.31 – Setting post date to the metadata date of the last strip of the page, 2008.09.27.

Cast

  • Jesse Baris

    The older and more experienced of the two agents assigned observational duties in Pittsburgh, Jesse has specialized in Remote Viewing and intuitive information gathering – skills that are particularly useful in the target-rich swamp...

  • Tantek Cestric

    A former United States Army Ranger, Tantek has been with Thule Garrison since the Waking God Protocols field trials of the mid 1990s. He works well with Raven Lockheart, typically functioning as muscle though...

  • Ivan Kursk (Greymalkin)

    A former Soviet military officer, Greymalkin disappeared in southeast Asia in the spring of 1968. He surfaced in late 1969 as an adviser and fixer for Michael West, succeeding West as head of Thule...

  • Jason Whitehouse

    The king of social engineering, the crown prince of noise, and a self-described “Post-American Electro-Snob.” Jason has a deep interest in industrial, electronic, ambient, metal and gothic music, and a well-researched interest in radio...