2018
08.18

Chapter 19 is up here.

There’s still some visual issues but I’ve spent enough time editing it now and need to move on.

Chapter 20 is going to be a large undertaking, with some writing still required and several scenes that will be difficult to draw, so while I will try to finish it by the end of this year, I may fail in this endeavour. Major cliffhanger incoming!

I also plan to take some time off to try writing up the early chapters in novel form. It’ll be interesting to see how this compares to the graphic novel approach (I know it’ll be a lot faster!)

Thanks for reading. 🙂

2018
07.24

I’m currently going through the edits on Chapter 19. The start of this process for each chapter is usually where I look at the mess I have created and fall into a pit of despair. Then somehow I dig my way back out, finally ending up with something that I’m not entirely embarrassed to release. This time is no different!

In the past year or so I’ve strongly considered redoing this story in a novel form with occasional illustrations. It’s an attractive idea as it would be a lot less work and allow me to break free of many of the constraints of the visual medium. (I was going to make a list here of all the visual aspects I struggle with, but decided it might be better not to point them out. You may be aware of them already!)

But I’m aware that original written fiction is difficult to find an audience for. Even if your work is worth reading (by no means a guarantee) standing out amidst so many other writers is almost impossible. As small as the current audience is, it is at least a number greater than zero, which I am very thankful for. This is one of the main reasons I went with the graphic novel format in the beginning. I also don’t read science fiction novels myself, and so would feel like something of a fraud trying to write one. Most of my reading is history and biographies instead. And I want an excuse to keep drawing!

I’ll probably let the idea stew for a while longer. There’s a big break-point coming up in the story at the end of the year where I can make a decision on whether to reboot everything in a different format.

In other news, I’ve recently switched image CDN again as the existing one was raising prices and removing features – always a winning combination. Please let me know if you experience any problems loading pages.

Thanks,

Mark

2018
05.31

I’ve finished the first draft of line art for Chapter 19, and have now moved on to first edits and colouring. I expect it will be a few months before I have another update as there’s plenty more to do, and the summer weather will be a great distraction!

2018
03.30

Chapter 18 is up here. It’s a short one – these pages were originally going to form the end of Chapter 17, but I cut them out last year because it was taking too long.

Jyoti has just done the single worst thing any Fleet officer can do. This will, of course, end badly for everyone. 🙂

I’m working on Chapter 19 now, after taking some time off to do rewrites. I’m excited for what’s next!

2018
02.27

Last month I worked on updating the art for Chapter 3, but stopped early when I realised it was eating up too much time. I really half-assed the last set of edits in 2015 – at least this time I’ve put in about 70% ass.

Now I just have to avoid looking at the other old chapters while I finish off the next one! Chapter 18 is coming along well as it’s quite short. It’ll be out next month, barring an act of God or an escalation of my Stellaris addiction.

2018
01.01

It’s that time of the year where I go back and pick a chapter to retouch. I’ve just started looking at Chapter 3 – a chapter I thought I’d fixed up in 2015. I was wrong. 🙁
Here’s the progression of an example panel over the last 5 years (plus an earlier character reference sketch):



I’ve been progressively increasing the saturation and contrast of the character art, in addition to using fewer, cleaner lines. It’s also amusing to note how Jaime’s hairline has recovered since 2013.

The original 2013 art is clearly an embarrassment, but somehow the me of 5 years ago thought it was suitable to upload it to the internet. I have a suspicion this was not just due to my inexperience but the unhappy state of mind I was in at the time. Unfortunately there is art that needs fixing in many newer chapters, and I released Chapter 17 knowing that there were many parts of it that will drive me crazy in years to come. 😀

It would be nice to plateau/stabilize on a style and quality at some point! But I guess I’ll just have to see how things go.

2017
12.31

Chapter 17 is up and available here.

This chapter has taken a long time to produce. The high page count, some complex visuals, tricky dialogue re-writes and distractions in my personal life have all stretched the schedule out. I had to cut the end of the chapter off to get it out this year (and only just succeeded with hours to spare!). But it’s done now, and I hope the bits that work outweigh the bits that don’t.

Let me know if there’s any typos – the last edits are always the most dangerous.

The good news is that the next few chapters will be much shorter and (fingers crossed) will not take so long to draw.

2017
12.25

Having some time off in the holiday season means that I can finally get this monster of a chapter finished! It should be out in the next week or so.

2017
10.19

I’m done with the first draft of Chapter 17, and have started editing. The page count crept up again, so I’ve decided to split it into 2 chapters so that I can actually release something this year.

This has proved to be a tough chapter for a couple of reasons. First there’s quite a bit of action, and second there’s some big exchanges where the dialogue needs to be laser precise to properly justify and articulate various character actions and attitudes. This is what I have to suffer for trying to write a military drama where everyone is supposed to be a competent, rational professional. 🙂

Things are starting to come together, just a lot slower than I would have liked. There’s no art to preview yet as I don’t like putting out derpy, un-edited panels, but there will something on the next update.

2017
08.08

Just a quick update. Most of the basic line-art for Chapter 17 is now complete and I’ve started work on colouring. This chapter is now up to 20 pages, many of which are long, and likely to keep growing in length! I’m making good progress but I’m not able to give an ETA yet.