It’s a brand New Year, with the same old resolutions to break. 2015 was a mixed bag for me personally, so I’m hoping that 2016 will be a little better. For the comic, I’m finally done with the distraction of fixing up the art in Chapters 1-3. I expect this will be an ongoing challenge. Art (as one of my favourite sayings goes) is never finished, only ever abandoned.

As I’m working through Chapter 12, the setup for the main storyline is finally coming to an end, which means I can get stuck into the fun stuff. If you liked Chapter 3, there’s a lot more of that on the way, with much higher stakes involved. Conflict, betrayal and some shrinkage of the main cast list. Happy 2016 everyone! :)



Chapter 11 is up! The leave period has taken a lot longer than I expected, but we’re almost back off the ground.


I’ve also been taking time to go back and touch up some of the bad art in the first few chapters. I should be done with that by Christmas, and then it’s on to some exciting new stuff for 2016. I hope everyone has a good holiday season, and thanks for reading!


Chapter 10 is up. This is a short one but it’s still taken several months to draw due to a shortage of free time. For once I’m fairly relaxed about how it’s turned out!


I have also switched my drawing over to a new PC. Lots more CPU and RAM, plus my first SSD, is allowing me work faster and with no time lost to blue-screens.

I have a suspicion that much of my ‘morning after syndrome’ is caused by drawing at the wrong time. I was surprised in this chapter when I went back one weekend to add four new panels for pacing and they all turned out well, with few edits required. So I suspect that drawing in the evenings after work when I’m tired has been causing some problems. This sounds obvious, but doesn’t feel so when you’re actually drawing. More studies required!

Lastly, I’m aware that the readership of this comic is still really small. I don’t know if I’m producing anything of value, and I know that any appeal it has will be narrow. But I am enjoying working on it, which is the most important thing, and there is some exciting stuff coming up, so I intend to keep going. :) Thanks for reading!


Chapter 9 is up. Small warning – there’s some (mild and hopefully fairly inoffensive) nudity towards the end. The leave period is turning out be a lot longer than it looked in the script, but things will get back into space soon, I promise.


This has been another tricky chapter to work on and has taken longer than I expected given the number of pages. I hope it’s turned out alright in the end. Trying to present a plausible flow of arguments in the court room scene without it becoming too tedious was a challenge. So was handling the various states of undress in the last 2 pages. I hope I found a tasteful balance. I don’t know how weird page 10 is going to seem to people, but it seemed like a fun idea to play around with. Nothing ventured, nothing gained!

There’s some interesting parallels to the first chapter in this one as well. My favourite scene to write and draw was Jyoti’s extra piece of backstory – no prizes for guessing what industry I work in.

I could ramble on but I’ll keep this short. Releases make me incredibly nervous. Thanks for reading.


I may not be strongly inclined to post between releases, but that doesn’t mean I’ve not been busy. This last weekend I finally went through the nerve-wracking routine of sitting down and reading the latest chapter from start to finish in cold, sober silence. I’ve accepted that I’m not in a good position to judge whether what I’m doing is any good or not, but I’d like to think that I still know when something outright sucks and, to my great relief, I don’t think this does, despite some difficult scenes.

The last two chapters I’ve been using a slightly different process, which involves making a pass through the entire chapter for each stage (script → layout -> reference -> background -> line art → colouring -> edits), rather than completing one page at a time. I believe this time-lapsed approach helps to catch more flaws in the art before they’re compounded, but there’s still a lot that gets through, which I’m trying to edit out now.

In spite of family duties, the hot weather and the ever-present drudgery of work, I’m still making steady progress and I hope to have Chapter 9 out in a couple of weeks. In the meantime, the artist in me can’t let a post go by without pictures, so here’s an example of some of the rough references created for recurring costumes in the leave period. Dressing characters appropriately is fun, and working from a reference is vital to ensure some continuity between panels and scenes. (Hey, I do at least try…)



After several months of work, it’s time once again to stop fretting and editing and release some darn pages. So Chapter 8 is up!


You may be pleased to hear that this chapter includes violence and scenes of a sexual nature. It also includes my first attempt at an action scene, which I hope turned out okay. There were so many more panels I could have drawn, but in the end I kept it short and simple. With all the speed lines and sound effects I felt like a proper comic book artist at last!
I also found a legitimate use for the dialogue box heads later in the chapter, and I keep finding that I really like using the colour pink. I should hurry up and get things back into space before it all dissolves into a fuzzy pink glow…

When I have the time spare I’m (very) slowly fixing up some of the art in earlier chapters. Chapter 5 in particular was just awful, I don’t know what I was thinking for that entire 4 month period…

I hope you enjoy this latest chapter anyway. Feedback and advice is always welcome. Thanks!


So, Chapter 7 is done. These have been a difficult few pages to put together, as the scenes are low key, some of the subject matter is awkward and these character beats aren’t (yet) very relevant to the main plot. On the plus side, it has my favourite pair of panels drawn so far, one of which I nailed first time with no further edits required. Sometimes that just happens and it’s great.
Originally this was the first half of a more well rounded chapter, but I had to cut it down to a manageable size and shuffle some scenes around to make them fit the timeline better. Which means that a disproportionate amount of action and plot development is loaded into the next chapter. I hope this fairly short entry isn’t too offputting as a result.

Aside from struggling to get the tone right for this chapter, I’ve been haunted by the existing pages lurking in the background. When I finished these earlier in the year after so many edits, I thought that I had finally fixed the myriad problems that they had. But every time I look back I find that I was wrong and they’re still full of gaping, obvious flaws. How could I have been so wrong? I’m still struggling to get a grip on this peculiar phenomenon, and I’ll be trying to set some time aside in the coming months to fix up some of the worst offending pages.

For now, it’s time to stop worrying about this chapter and move on to the next, which I’m excited about. It’ll be back on course with the main plot, including a proper action scene and the beginning of a development for one of the main characters that will end very, very badly. I hope everyone is looking forward to a good 2015! Take care.



It’s time to stop worrying and editing, and publish and be damned, so Chapter 6 is up and available here.

I’m afraid this isn’t a very eventful chapter, but there’s a bit of backstory to explain where things started off in Chapter 1 and some more time spent out of uniform.

Any feedback or corrections are welcomed as always. Heaven knows I’ve probably missed a bunch more grammatical errors in such a long chapter. As mentioned, I’m planning to cut the next chapter in half so that it doesn’t take so long between releases. The main plot will resume shortly!




The first draft of Chapter 6 was finished last weekend. Chapter 6 will be the longest yet at 18 pages and Chapter 7 would be even longer, so I think it’s time to start sacrificing some elegant cliffhangers and start splitting up these longer chapters into more manageable lengths.

Alongside the second pass on Chapter 6 I’m slowly working my way back through the pilot chapters and correcting some anomalies. Joshua kindly provided a detailed list of textual errors that needed attention. Joshua, I don’t know if my return mail got through since I’ve got an unreliable relay system setup with that account and my gmail, but I wanted to say thanks again.

I was dreading a return to the early pages but, although parts of them are as bad as I feared, touching up the art has been kinda fun. It’s interesting to see where my process has tightened up and the stylistic improvements that have been made over the last year.

It’s baffling how many terrible bits of character art got released after so many edits and, like those dialogue errors, it’s always humbling to see just how poor we are at proof-reading our own material and how badly it can age. :) There have been relatively few edits required on Chapter 6 though, so I hope to have it out in a couple of weeks.


Work on Chapter 6 is going well. It’s a long one, and I’m currently on page 11 of 18.

In answer to a query from abhifx last week, here’s a brief run-through of my process for producing new pages:


All of the story has been laid out in advance in script form. I wouldn’t do this any other way, as I don’t think making the story up as you go along leads to good results. I’m not a natural writer and I find writing to be a difficult mental puzzle, albeit rewarding when the parts all click into place. I hope this deficiency can be overcome with a brute-force approach of repeated edits over a long period of time. The script gets another one every time I read part of it.


2- 3D renders of locations:

All of the locations are built in Blender. I’m not greatly skilled with 3D modelling, but I decided to use it for all the backgrounds for two main reasons:

  • Practically all the locations are non-organic in nature, and therefore well suited to artificial construction instead of free-hand drawing.
  • Hand drawing backgrounds is *very* time-consuming. With 3D, once the initial overhead of building a location is complete you can render any number of shots very quickly. Locations also remain consistent over time.
  • The challenge when initially exploring this approach was visually matching the renders with the hand-drawn art, but a few set photoshop filters now takes care of this. I have to avoid making the 3D models too detailed or they don’t match the more simplistic line-art!


    3 – Storyboarding a page:

    I start a page by making really crude sketches of panel and dialogue layout on a sheet of A3. I find good old-fashioned pencil and paper can’t be beat for ease of translating thought into form. This only takes about 15 minutes – it is very badly drawn. :)

    4 – Drawing a page:

    Here’s the big bit. I’ll run through it in 6 distinct stages. The tools used are an ancient copy of Photoshop and my beloved Wacom Cintiq:


    4-1 Panel and dialogue layout:
    The storyboard is translated into a framework to draw onto. Initially I tried doing the same clever things with panels that I’d admired in other comics – non-rectangular panels, breaking panel boundaries, unusual flow between panels. This was exhausting and I quickly gave it up in favour of a very rigid 3-2-1 panel arrangement and fixed rules for the positioning of dialogue boxes. I think this was the right decision, as it turns this stage into a fairly efficient, mechanical process, and this is not always a bad thing in art.
    Incidentally, I know the addition of the mini-dialogue heads will be contentious. I’ve toyed with various alternatives and can only say that I find this to be the least worst option. They add some much-needed colour and visual pop to the page, and are useful in identifying which character is speaking in situations, as will occur frequently, where they are not present in the associated panel.

    4-2 Adding reference:

    I find that for good results, reference is essential. I used to chafe against this fact, and saw it as ‘cheating’, but I’ve now come to embrace it. So at this point I go searching a variety of image sites for pictures of people in poses that match the storyboard. Often these references will need to be collaged together, and tweaked to better match the build of the characters they are representing.
    A note here – finding good references in microgravity is very hard! This is the reason I decided to downplay the visual effects of microgravity from those originally planned, and characters spend little time free-floating.

    4-3 Adding background renders:
    For each panel, the background is rendered from the appropriate location. The image gets run through a few photoshop filters to add outlines and help it match the hand-drawn art better. Matching the references to the background is tricky, especially when they are physically interacting with it, such as sitting down.

    4-4 Line art:
    My favourite part of the process! Although the line art is drawn over the references, only the outline of the form gets used. I keep a separate file of references for characters and clothing.

    4-5 Colouring:
    This part is rather mechanical – colouring in! I usually work without strong object source lighting, using a reference palette for skin and clothes. Too much attention to shading, especially on faces, can really trap you. I do find it necessary to have some video or music playing nearby to help keep this stage from becoming too tedious.

    4-6 Applying filters, background details
    Filters are added to all the new layers. These add a colour overlay to reduce contrast and saturation, a soft light gradient and inner light shadow to help them sit more naturally on the backgrounds. Shadows, light glow, data displays and other extra background details also get added at this stage.

    5 – Final edits

    Like the script, the page will require several more edits, usually made months later when all the other pages in the chapter are complete. Distance in time is important for re-assessing any work. Key priorities are clearing up any obvious visual errors, especially ‘derp-face’ which is common, and adding elements such as data displays or background crowds which I didn’t have the energy to add in the first pass.
    For example, the shadow behind Jaime’s head in the example above looks instinctively out of place and I’ve already fixed it by moving it off the the left.

    I hope this was of some interest. A wonderful and sometimes frustrating aspect of any creative endeavour is that there are so many right (and wrong) ways to get to your destination. This is the one I’ve settled on after some trial and error and I want to stick with it, hopefully avoiding much of the stylistic drift that can occur over time. Let me know if there are any additional questions, I’ve spared you from plenty of tedious details. :)