Supplemental, 20140703, 22:00 – Swapped out the hand-crafted Rhodhe text in panel four for a Rhodhe font. I’ve generated a complete a-z Rhodhe typeface for use with the rest of the scene – it debuts For Reals with the next page but I figured I’d come back and do a quick edit to this one in order to keep everything consistent. And FONTASTIC.

Original Blurb – I swear this page looks better on the site than it does in photoshop. Though the version above is cropped – this page is full bleed.

Had I tried to stay on schedule this page would have been up on the 22nd and it would have looked like complete ass, as it would have been seriously rushed. While I admittedly spent more time than needed on the sickbay mockup, that wasn’t the only scheduling oddity. My mom was down for a visit on the 21st and that took priority over Business As Usual. Had this been a “regular” page taking place in the Daedalus rec area (like the early part of the scene) things would have either stayed on schedule or very nearly, as Sunday would have been line art, cleanup, and shading. Instead, Sunday was environmental work and pencils and the decision to stop there. Monday was inks and cleanup and work-work and by Tuesday the page was basically done but practically Sitting There as I fitfully picked at wee little bits of panels three and four for a few minutes every few hours over the course of a few days.

It’s not just the usual OCD perfectionism, mind you – since I’m posting this thing a page at a time I basically have one shot to get it right if I don’t want to come back on it and disrupt continuity with edits, expecting everyone who patiently waited for the story to trickle out the first time to read it again. This usually isn’t an issue, as ATC’s production values are a known thing at this point. Until SCRIPT REVISIONS and astral space come into play. Whenever that happens the time table goes out the window and completion estimates explode from discernible blocks into a hazier than usual fog of whenever.

Deciding to miss rather than post late removed the pressure to get another difficult page ready to post in far less time than it’s going to take to do it right. The skip keeps the pressure and misery of comic production from getting totally out of hand – ideally there shouldn’t be any of either of these things but pressure and misery are things I’m naturally prone to. I’ve got depression things and self-worth things and all kinds of brain things. I feel like I’m a non-entity and am prone to interpreting the absence of positive reinforcement as proof of non-existence. The fact that what ATC is doing right has to be inferred from what isn’t being complained about is, frankly, distressing. The fact that it took awhile to nail this page is a different kind of distressing. I hate production speed bumps, but I’d rather this one took awhile than struggle to get the next four pages done only to realize that I need to redo them, or do more to them, or that I’m otherwise creating needlessly inferior work that fails to get the point across. Time spent here should equate to less time spent on the rest of this part of the scene. I hope.

The story is heading into artistically difficult territory. Less oh shit I have no idea what I’m doing this is HARD or let’s get symbolic, more every panel a painting. Hopefully this page being a pain in the ass has soaked up the quota for the scene and the remainder will be fun or at least an exercise in realizing a specific vision instead of desperately flailing around until something that looks good grows out of the muck.

On that note, I got a bit silly with the Steam Summer Sale. I was gifted a few games and that kinda whet my whistle and dammit I spent somewhere between a grocery bill and a utility bill for games that will last me until the holiday sale of PICK A YEAR. I may report in some detail further down the road, as I’ll be downloading games for quite awhile. Steam is set to use 64KB/S and has invoked The Witcher 2, Terraria, Just Cause 2 and BrĂ¼tal Legend since the sale began. It’s about 3/4 into Metro: Last Light at the moment and after that comes The Swapper, Fallout 1, 2, and Tactics, Shadowrun Returns, Kingdoms of Amalur, Orion Dino Horde, and E.Y.E.: Divine Cybermancy. Those last two were gifts, as was Terraria. I owe xeno a Monster for those and I owe esch a couple of beers for starting things off shortly before the sale with the gift of Goat Simulator, which has the best patch notes in human history.

So far I’ve played through the Witcher 2 tutorial, lost around seven hours to Terraria. completed the story missions for Just Cause 2 and gotten a few missions into Brutal Legend.

  • Terraria isn’t so much a game as it is crack cocaine in the shape of some kind of lemmings/metroidvania hybrid. Unlike alcohol or cigarettes I was able to stay away from it after the initial high wore off. Terraria is technically a game but it’s really OCD in game form. It’s enjoyable in its own right but frankly I know myself well enough to know that this kind of game is more dangerous than fun.
  • Just Cause 2 is Action Movie: The Game. It’s also everything I loved about the 8-bit Bionic Commando combined with elements of GTA and I’d be playing it right now if triggered explosives hadn’t glitched out on me yesterday, wrecking my open-world chaos buzz.
  • Witcher 2 is way more plot and combat complexity than I’m up for at the moment, though it looks gorgeous and promises to be satisfying when I’m in the mood for it.
  • Brutal Legend has the best intro and menu of any game I’ve ever played. The game itself is Very Metal, though my love for the world has been harshed a bit by my historic distaste for RTS. This is tempered by the fact that the story and gameplay are seamlessly blended together. I don’t mean Half-Life 2 “walking cinematics,” I mean the gameplay is a natural outgrowth of the game world and the plot. Homina homina.

All this video gaming has come at the expense of ATC production, as I’ve been keeping on a roughly enforced Work {Play|Comic} Bed weekday schedule. I took Saturday off for JC2 and Brutal Legend; progressing the comic after I post this page is on today’s to-do list, though I don’t yet know how far I’ll get with that. I’ll settle for getting the file for 3.30 set up. 3.30 and 3.31 are one hell of a two-page spread – I’ve done spreads before but nothing like this so I won’t be surprised if the delivery date slips again. I’d like it to not, though, as keeping things on schedule means we’ll be spending July in Thad’s head.

Next week: Inside Thad’s head!


  • A distant cousin of Thad’s, Rayne is Spinoza’s assistant, and the only Templar who’s been able to figure out the ancient BMRI hardware installed in BMC’s psionics observation ward. Rayne is a POG, preferring...

  • The ranking officer aboard HX-47 Sabrosa, Grij is the supervisor and final authority for all paramilitary field operations and training in which the vessel is assigned. The former Director of Applied Psionics Research for...

  • As the Chief Medical Officer (CMO) of the Sabrosa, Roberta Kelly hasn’t had a whole lot to do until recently. While Heirotus employees are safety conscious and space injuries have a tendency to be...

  • One of several resident psychotherapists at Bethlehem Medical Centre. A trained psionicist with a specialty in stealth spelunking and event recovery, Murnau can poke around the average mind without raising much of a ruckus....

  • 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...

Glossary Articles

  • Astral Space

    A cognitively-informed plane of perception, Astral Space is a blanket term applied to Astral Projection, Remote Viewing, and other forms of cognitive or psychic non-corporeal translocation in which the physical location of the characters...

  • Sickbay

    The Sabrosa‘s sickbay is a state-of-the-art modular medical facility. Located at the base of the ship’s “neck,” the sprawling series of compartments features per-compartment life support, advanced particulate scrubbers, dynamically adjustable lighting, and a...

4 thoughts on “Air -29-

  1. AvatarSTrRedWolf, :

    Well worth it.

    • dmhdmh, :

      Thanks! :) The real stressor is the script changes – they’re minor in this page but really add up over the next four.

  2. AvatarSTrRedWolf, :

    And supplemental reply: I bet the font will be held for the ATC trade pub printing Kickstarter as a reward.

    I also bet ATC will be delayed again due to Anthrocon (being July 4th weekend and all).

    • dmhdmh, :

      Possible Patreon value-add if I ever go in that direction… and Anthrocon hasn’t impacted the production schedule. ;)