Light & Darkness – Part 31
First comic

Monday — July 14th, 2014

Light & Darkness – Part 31

For the language junkies, the final word there is “imene”.  It means “finish.”   Because the chapter is done, you see.


Blah Blah Update Blah Blah Plans

First and foremost, let’s get the sales pitch out of the way:

December 2015 Wallpaper Preview

The December wallpaper is go on Patreon.  If you’ve been around since the dawn of time, you might remember I used to do monthly wallpapers for about half a year back in who even knows when.  Well, that pattern is back, and any given quarter seems to be getting some semi-intentional combination of Trelldain, Pony and some third thing that I just sort of up and do for giggles.  December gets Trelldain, so I figured I’d give a heads up on the cuteness in store for y’all with Mark and Snowy dealing with the holiday.

You can grab that if you’re a patron, and you can find out what that entails by checking out the Patreon page.

If you’re wondering why the heck you’d ever give me money, as this site has not exactly been a bastion of abundant activity, let me point you at what I have been up to, and we’ll… we’ll get back to the Trelldain situation, I guess.

First and foremost, while HP hasn’t been flying forward at any sort of incredible pace, Lonely Hooves absolutely has.  While I can’t say it was ever my plan to take on fanfiction full time, my lovely fiancé has taken on inking and coloring duties for my absurd horse adventures, which has freed up enough time that we’re pushing LH out twice a week, every Monday and Thursday, for the eyeballs of literally hundreds.

That last bit is particularly exciting to me, as LH has pushed my DevART past the 500 follower marker and its independent Tumblr has recently passed 200 on its own.  This isn’t mindblowing by most standards, but compared to how I usually tend to do, and considering that we’ve only been updating like this for about six months, I find myself undeniably spurred by the support.  We’re closing in on the end of the first chapter, and I do hope that any of you who stumble upon this decide to give it a gander, as I’ve tried to make it pretty accessible even if you’re not up to your earholes in pony.

Trelldain, meanwhile, has been a desolate graveyard for, um…

a year and a half?  I actually thought it’d been longer.

So here’s the deal.

Our story here is at a bit of an impass where I’m deciding what I want to do with it.  I’ve been trying to decide this for a very long time, but recent considerations have brought new thoughts into the process that have me reevaluating certain “significant” events meant to take place in the future, and if those events are not only actually insignificant, but entirely unnecessary.

I’m not sure when or even if I’ll come back to SoT with any level of commitment; the next chapter has sat, largely written, for over a year, waiting for me to find my heart for this again.  I’ve been weighing options, from simply resetting everything from Redux, carrying on as is, or even just taking Light and Darkness as the series going forward.  Possible variants in the timeline have been getting weighed, ranging from simply cutting lighter scenes to saying “eh, screw it” and jumping ahead ten years to a world where the Kait won, all other threads and setup be damned.  I’m not sure what I want, and that leaves me in a pretty crap spot, but for SoT to ever recover something on that front needs to spark a fire in me that presently just isn’t there.  Truth told, of the options, waiting until I’ve the proper time to devote to the story again and just wiping the slate clean is increasingly feeling like the favorable option, and there’s a heavy weight with a decision like that considering that I spent a decade chipping at this story which, ultimately, is still in the single-digit percentile with regards to completion, doing my enthusiasm zero favors.  (For some perspective, LH is cut into arc “seasons”, literally crafted so I can call the thing off at any given one of them, and we’re already closing in on the intended 10% marker with the end of the first chapter.  I’ve learned some lessons, it seems.)

Opening a post on a Patreon pitch just to talk about how much more satisfying your fanfic is than your personal work could understandably raise some eyebrows, I get that.  Truth told, even with Trelldain fizzled out, there are projects I wish to pursue; Ridellia Heavens remains a slow but stubborn effort, I’ve had notions of an Imagion reboot for quite some time, and a couple lesser ideas have been kicking around recently as well.

I don’t know if any of that excites you.  If it does, your continued support, be it financial or simple contributions of enthusiasm, will always be appreciated.  If it doesn’t, thanks for sticking around like 18 months to let me break it to you that HP as it stands is quite likely dead in the water.  That’s still a pretty solid commitment, and I’m sorry to be a killjoy.

Someday, in some capacity, I’ll return to this world.  Right now, though, other things are calling me, and I can’t help but feel like each and every one of them stands to serve my goals better than the ruins of what they’re being built on.

I’ll try to do better about keeping you lot posted, but if you’re interested, I’m pretty present on Twitter, Tumblr and DevART.


Some Overdue Revisions

So it’s been a [cruelly] long time, eh?

I’ve done some minor revisions to the site that may or may not be fairly noticeable; a few links up top have been removed (About/FAQ was outdated and made redundant by the Guide, imo, the Forums are inactive and largely replaced via Disqus on the site proper, etc.) and the TWC vote link has been replaced with a pretty little Patreon button (because frankly I’m not supporting TWC votes nor really paying attention to my list placement anyway).  This also comes with the news that I did, in fact, launch the Patreon!  How exciting.  I’ll sales pitch you in a bit, but first:

The old store page is also dead and gone for many a reason, and I’ve moved the whole thing over to StoreEnvy, where I can better track orders, more easily add new goodies, and the overall user experience is just a lot nicer than a makeshift Paypal button.  There’s a nice selection of prints on top of the previously available goodies, and I’ll hopefully get buttons added in there soon!  It’s all much nicer so give it a gander and tell me what you think.

If you’re (rightfully) wondering what’s up on the comic front, I’ve more or less beaten back an unholy long stint of writer’s block and have resumed (admittedly slow) progress on the scripting and initial draft for this new method of “making the whole thing at once and seeing what happens.”  It’s going well.  If you want to see such madness progress, I’ve been intending to work on all this over on our new Picarto channel!  But such secretive things obviously aren’t for everyone (I told you a pitch was coming) -so if you’re interested in that sort of thing, go check out the Patreon tiers; $5/mo. will keep you updated on all my secret knowledge, and $10/mo. lets you dance around in private, Patron-only livestreams wherein you’ll get to see the story come to life or what have you, which is pretty slick.  Also, the more people paying that sort of coin, the more I’ll aim to do said streams, because social pressure and what not.

That didn’t need to be in italics, but I went most of a sentence without and it started to feel wrong.

As for other projects, Lonely is healthy at the moment (albeit still slow going), Ridellia is sporadically poked, and things are generally productive at the moment, which is a good place to be imo.  Hopefully I’ll have something major on some front or other to throw at you lot in the near future.


Plotting and Planning

Hey guys! It’s been a while since I’ve posted much of note, so I think we’re due for a thought-dump, and it’s actually one I’ve put off for a while because I’m such a fan of proper panhandling that I wanted to delay it as much as possible. That should provide a fair sense of where this is going.

You know how every gosh-darn artist and creative has a Patreon to the point that you’re probably tired of them now? Well, I figure that’s come full circle from being new to being a bandwagon to finally being a thing I can join again without it being a joke, so I’m heavily considering setting one up. Let’s talk about why! It’s exciting!

You may have noticed that, aside from updating with pathetic rarity in recent months, HP as a site has just straight up been down for decent periods of time. This is because real life is a thing, and it affects both me and Travis, who so generously provides my hosting and has for years. While HP isn’t the only site hosted on our little network of sorts, it is a significant chunk of things, and given how things have been in recent months it might be super cool to finally take some of the burden off the poor guy and have the site partially support itself! That would be neat. That’s like a basic benchmark, really.

Aside from that, full 40+ hour work weeks really bite into the sort of time it takes to produce comic pages that take 10-20 hours of work a piece to put out there, even ignoring the sort of time required to keep oneself sane and not live in some sort of hazardous waste condition. Chores are a thing! They must be done! This is adult life! That said, if we could raise enough that I could evade a full work day and instead focus that on my unholy craft, that opens up a lot of time that I could use for little things like, say, making comic updates or pursuing my awesome side project.

Those are the hopes. Those are the things. But there’s a little hinderence with regards to what exactly I’m going to raise cash for – rather, what you guys would deem worth spewing money at me over. To that end, I’ve considered some options:

  • Per-Page Campaign:
    These are pretty common with webcomics, and you know exactly what you’re paying for; in this case, for every page of HP I put out, whatever you guys pledge comes to me as income. (Pledges can be capped, so I can’t put out 10 pages in a week and rob you blind, which is pretty smart of the people in charge, to be honest.) I would only do this for HP! I know Lonely has its fans, but it’s a fan work and I don’t feel comfortable raising money for its creation; it remains a free-time only passion project (it’s not dead, either, I promise!), and save possibly some future print offerings it will remain as such.
  • Monthly Campaign:
    This covers all the garbage I do, like a general “go for it” vote of faith. I feel like, with my work in particular, this simultaniously suits my goals better, but also is less likely to work out as I sink months into a bizarre shooter half of you probably won’t even care about. This option, consequently, is sort of losing, despite being heavenly, because the whole idea here is that you all get something out of it.

“Yeah okay, so on that…”

Rewards, I know! I’ve given this a lot of pondering, too, so here’s where I’m at:

  • In-Progress Page Postings
    Patreon makes this super easy with the feed; basically, for whatever base amount, I can let you guys in on the step-by-step process of pages, not only letting you see the magic happen, but potentially letting you see pages well before their proper posting, so you can gloat about it to your friends or whatever. (You’ve shown your friends HP, right?) Patreons also tend to offer private backer-only streams, which I am completely down with doing.
  • Sketch Stream Reservations
    I’d probably limit how many of these I can do, but basically this one’s two-fold: I’d love to get back into weekend sketch streams, and this would let you nab a guaranteed place on the roster, say, once a month, just as part of the pledge goal. I say I’d limit these because I only do so many sketches per session, and also I’d like to give non-backers at least a vague chance of getting in on things, maybe. We’ll see.
  • Early Game Builds
    This favors the “per month” option a bit more, but my happy aside project I’ve been mostly consumed with since September or so is a curtain fire game that would totes love a little user feedback from time to time; to that end, this is almost like a you-scratch-my-back-I-scratch-yours scenario, I suppose. Barring the monthly option, I’ll probably just offer this at whatever level of per-page tier. It’s my present baby and I hope you’ll all love it once things are properly moving.
  • Discounts / Gimmes
    There’d be different tiers here, probably, and this is tied to another project I need to undertake called “drastically updating the store,” but backers of certain tiers could get discount / promo codes for special sales, or (as an example) be guaranteed a copy of any new book or print that comes out, and other such fine things. (I’m not sure if I’d have to limit this by country. We’re just ideas around here; I’d have to look into it a bit more.)
  •  The Old Monthly Wallpaper
    Remember these? I did monthly wallpapers for about half a year as an experiment. This would probably be one of the lower tiers, if not baseline, but I wouldn’t mind bringing it back if people are interested!

Those are my present ideas. I’m open to feedback on the matter of all sorts, so let me know!

As for general updates:

The next chapter of SoT remains at about the halfway marker on thumbs; I’ve not been looking at it a lot, as I’ve been thinking about where things stand and how I’m going to move forward. (This whole post is sort of the result of some of that, truth be told.) I’ve recently began chipping away at it again, but am juggling it with a rather hefty commission “piece” that’s on a bit of a time crunch.

Lonely is sitting around in my head being a great story I wish I had more time to actually tell, but it’s not going anywhere so don’t fret that nonsense. My glorious passion project on the side of both of those has been waiting on a couple fronts, but I think I’ve a solution to one of them. Also, look forward to another bad attempt at hand-drawn spriting soon, because I’ve been whittling at one of those again too. Good golly.

Next goal: hearing feedback on this, working out a schedule again that’s not insane. Wish me luck.

The Laziest Status Update

Guys, you like knowing when to expect more weird magical rodent noise, and I like being lazy.  Today we both win, because I needed to write up a DA journal thing anyway, so I went ahead and just put it all there.

Whazzat?  You didn’t know I had a DA?  Well, how fortuitous.  Now you can follow me and all my delightful doings over yonder as well.  They don’t get a lot of what goes on here, though.  Oh no.  You guys are special.

The next chapter is about halfish scripted and laid out at this point.  I’m trying a different approach with this one, but that works out okay for me because I’m juggling a fair smidge at this point in time.

And, since it came up on DA, with regards to prints and con prep, anything you’re all dying for?  I’ve no sense for these things.

‘Twixt the Tales Update

Been a couple weeks since the end of Light & Darkness, so I thought I’d fill y’all in on what I’ve been up to.

First off, we have my latest remix, this time of Eurobeat Brony’s “Batty”. This one’s been doing really well, and even got an EQD spot! So that’s rather cool.

There’s also “Moonlit Razi”, a somewhat sultry piece done up of one of my fiancé’s RP characters from her own attempt at offshooting Legends. Both of these are dead, but there’s strangely synchronous whisperings and chatter, things stirring, something trying to happen. I’m hoping something comes of that, but in the meantime there’s a mouse bein’ sexy or whatever. It’s nothing practically outside of HP’s normal bounds, but it is decidedly meant to be a bit more risqué, and for that reason I choose to keep it linked over embedded. It’s a weird line, but a line all the same.

That was a super productive week one, which would be followed up by weird exhaustion leading into super exciting illness. This last week leaves little to show on account of that, but through my muddled exhaustion I can say I’ve gotten out something, sort of.

Screenshot 2014-07-28 16.29.39

Yup, I’m trying this again.  It’s not a priority project, but it suited my mental state pretty well.

My goals this week are to try and get some commission work going before I get back into the full swing of chapters again, but I do hope to put a considerable dent in writing out the next chapter in the process.  It’s a doozy and I’ve been teasing it for ages, but for now I’ll say the interlude occurred for a narrative reason, and we’ll be returning at long last to the core group of our little story for a good while.  What happened after the events at the arena?  You’ll finally get to find out, albeit in the usual demented manner where I never just up and tell you as soon as you’d like.  I’m cruel like that.

I’ll keep you guys posted as things develop, but in the meanwhile, Maiz just started chapter 6, and I’ve long been saying that if you guys like HP, you’ll probably enjoy Maiz as well.  Give it a shot?