20130728, 10:29 – I finished this page last Sunday night. Since then it’s had a couple of minor adjustments but has otherwise remained good to go. A study of boredom and light over time, this is the first ATC environment to be rendered at multiple times of day since the night/day of the mall parking lot. While not a whole lot happens here plot-wise, the page presented an excellent opportunity to explore various lighting and shading scenarios from a single locked-down camera angle. I haven’t done that since April of 2008 and I feel this page turned out a lot better than that one.

Thule scenes in this book are short but fairly important – short enough that it makes sense to do things I wouldn’t otherwise do due to insane technical requirements, expensive rendering times, or head-desking art tedium. Panel one of the previous page and panel one of this page meet that requirement. Matching camo netting shadows is serious work – unlike one-off camo, which is ultimately just a bunch of squiggles.

In addition to the lighting and time study, this page also marks the first appearance of drugs and liquor in Transitional Voices – I was going to say drugs and alcohol but then I remembered that Space Beer appeared at the end of Earth. Now all this book needs to be a proper ATC installment is for Beef Knuckleback to die some more. This is the first appearance of marijuana in the story and the first cigarette-shaped anything I’ve drawn since I quit smoking (tobacco, and anything else by extension) at the beginning of the year. While I’m not big fan of pot and I’m a huge anti-fan of pot culture, that shit does have properties that make it superior to Hønk EuphoniÃ¥’s Fine Brown Gosling Quality Pennsylvania Rum when used as a relaxant.

Tantek doesn’t seem like much of a boozer, anyway. Especially on duty.

Speaking of duty. I’m finally getting around to doing some illustration work that was paid for in April. I have other illustration work on deck that I’ve been struggling like hell to make headway on, as I’m trying to balance that against a web job that pays a heck of a lot more. The Daedalus bridge has been relit and overhauled for the next scene. The other big prop for the scene has been built, looks great, and still needs textured. Placement dummies need a few adjustments. Dummy and texturing work needs to be done before I can start rendering work on the 41 remaining chapter backgrounds. To get a page out next weekend I’d have to use most of my work time this week and if I do that I will not be getting work done on projects that have already paid me or will pay me. So I’m effectively taking August “off.” I’ll still be texturing and rendering, preparing pages and likely waiting until all seven remaining pages are rendered before I draw any of them – but I’ll be doing it at a reasonable pace that affords me the time to work on the paying stuff, and to actually get large amounts of that done in a profitable (read: not having to borrow money to buy food) amount of time.

Depending on how things go, I may start posting again in mid to late August, or I may go for two a week in September, or I may take August off in full and trickle the rest of the chapter out at the current weekly pace while I gear up for chapter three. I dunno yet. We’ll see!

In the meantime, waiting and smoking and boozing and snoozing. Still life with radio. Slurping and drooling and hurrrr.

Cast

  • 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...

  • A qualified helicopter pilot and dedicated gin enthusiast, King divvies up his time between gin consumption, the occasional flight, and “tactical adjustment” of various Templar agent documents, identity papers, and photographs.

  • 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...

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