Would have been up sooner, but for two things. Thing A is that I decided to bust out all renders using this environment in one swell foop – so the next two pages are already in the background bag and ready for linework.

Thing B was the NDS edition of Orcs & Elves, a fantastic stripped-down oldskool RPG in the fine tradition of Ultima Underworld or Eye Of The Beholder, only bred with the iD Software gameplay traditions and a dash of oldskool DnD, instead of the Horrifying Complexity such games usually revel in.

Oh, and I got crap for sleep this week. Four and a half to five hours a night is useable when you’re restoring backups and filling in blanks on a rendering card, but it sucks ass when it comes to Happy Fun Art Time. This pays off in the short term, however, as the renders are done, I’m reasonably well rested, and all that remains for the next two pages is linework.

On a technical note – and this came up in an email exchange with Mike earlier this week – this is the last appearance of Val in fishnets. I’ve been drawing them since December of 2003, along with the belt and boots – and while they’re great for pinups or short scenes, I went and found myself in a nice deep hole that didn’t leave a natural out for the damned things until now. I was able to work around the design/consistency/high-detail challenges of Xand’s arm and Tantek’s exoskeleton over the course of The Dualist in the context of the story, but any cop-outs with Val’s outfit would have either stank of Bad Writing or gone against the general theme of Earth, so.

Aspiring comic artists take heed – complex or high-detail character design* is something you need to seriously think out and make sure you want, as opposed to doing what I did with Chapters One and Two of The Dualist, not realizing I’d have to live with my design decisions for a matter of years instead of, say… months. One of the first lessons to be applied to DCR.

And yes, the hamper thingy is green for a reason.

* Relative to your skill level, obviously. I will never draw Iron Man.


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