This has been a nightmare to upload. WordPress has done it’s damndest to make me put my fist through the screen.
First of all: Thank you to those who still drop by occasionally and check for updates… especially to those who have stuck with me since the early 2k mark. The small amount of visible activity on the tag board and the now-and-then email reminds me that people do still visit here and reminds me that, at one stage, I did have at least a small fan-following (and pumpkins every year).
I do intend to keep going with this comic.
But I recognise it will be hard to begin with because I’ve got some major mental-blocks to get through:
For the last three years every time I’ve pulled out my GoneAstray sketchbook I’ve looked at the hasty scrawl of the previous panels and thought “These SUCK! I can draw so much better than this if I just put in the time… I don’t want to give my readers inferior, ratty scribbles. And I need to figure out the next story arc, I want it to be good… I’ll come back to it later…”
And then I’ve put the sketchbook down and gone off to work on other illustration projects from scratch.
I still like the basic designs of my characters but they all need minor updating to integrate my evolved ability as an artist and the existing style of the comic. I want to pour more time into the backgrounds and make the panels more dynamic. I want to overcome the awful anatomy of the past – but it won’t happen unless I get started on it again.
So: Today’s panel is rough as guts – Nothing much happens but – I drew it, I got it up and that’s more than I’ve managed since September last year. [and I’m having problems uploading the thrice damned thing… I may not manage it tonight… damn it! Somehow I’ve got a gif of a cat-flowing-down-stairs hard-wired into WordPress and it won’t be deleted.]
I’m going to aim for a panel a week and to also draw an updated reference sheet for each of the main characters to figure out a consistent way of depicting them.
I recognise I am a shallow creature in that I love feedback and it greatly motivates my work. Knowing that there is someone out there in the void interacting with my work inspires me: so if you can give me a shout out in the comments section here, or on any of my other social platforms –
: tell me your favourite character, the story bits that worked best for you, remind me of where the missing panels are (I know there are a number missing – I’m going to look into it – I promise) and basically just let me know I’m not alone in the void – and I’ll work towards getting a panel a week up again.
I’ve been away at a medieval event o’er the weekend so not yet pencilled up the next set of panels – hopefully I’ll get to it later in the week.
However my bestiary-muse grabbed hold of my pen hand this morning and summed up the life cycle and general habits of the Tourtot (that huge tortoise-creature visible in the background a few panels ago). This has lead to me deciding to rejig my bestiary pages some time in what remains of this month, with new illustrations, and to set them on a separate server so I have complete control over the web layout (which means I need to create a new simple web layout that I will be happy with (why do I so love making things harder for myself)). Meanwhile I better get back to my actual work and leave you all in suspense.
Not dead! No sir- no how. Just GA has been off the list of priorities again. However I’ve realised that I’ve had two unposted panels forgotten from last year still to post and will, once again, work towards getting some sort of structured, consistant update occurring.