Saturday, 31 August 2013

Lanschilandia comic page: Borderline Chaos, pg. 6

Tails of Lanschilandia! Here's the page!

I don't have much to say about this one, and after a marathon of sketching out page number 8, I don't believe I'm in a condition to write a lengthy post.

Some more Phoebe goodness here (who, by the way, has recently inspired a CafePress design) and Bad Bat and Batty finally reappear. Batty turned out very pretty; I already feel sorry for what I may be putting her through later in the story. As you may have noticed, her outfit changes all the time. Her hair colour is slightly different here as well; I may experiment with more drastically different hair styles for her in the future. It will be interesting to see if she remains recognisable, though as she's the only female bat in the comic (so far), I don't think that's going to pose a problem. Still getting used to Anserian and the King; their expressions will probably remain a bit stiff until I gain better control of them (though Anserian's isn't likely to change much even then). Panschi's expression in the last panel, on the other hand, looks like he's about to "take your haaat, siiir", which was fully unintentional.

Enjoy the page!

Friday, 23 August 2013

Lanschilandia comic page: Borderline Chaos, pg. 5

Tails of Lanschilandia! Here's the page!

This has been quite an enjoyable page to make, and also one of the more important ones in quite a while. We get our first look at a few new locations in Lanschilandia, as well as three new characters. We also get to see the reason for the chequered background used on the website and in the title panels (which was totally what I had planned when I made that design choice, yup).

I had actually not finalised these new characters' designs until the very day I started sketching the page, though they have been lingering as "outlines" for quite a while, waiting to be used. I think they turned out quite well, though they're going to look somewhat stiff until I'm more comfortable with drawing them. I like what I did with Minister Anserian's speech bubbles. You can tell someone is talking formal if they're speaking in Times New Roman. So, why is he wearing 18th century fashion in a vaguely mediaeval setting? Because it fits his character. Although I'm going for a Fantasy-type feel, I had never really planned to limit myself to any specific historical period (after all, it's not set on Earth in the first place); this gives me a lot of freedom for interesting things to do with characters and plots, as I can just use whatever "works" without having to make sure it's period-appropriate.

Of course, the true highlight here is Phoebe, the herald. The idea for her popped into my head completely at random one day, and it probably shows (not a bad thing in my book). She's positively loony, if you couldn't tell from her eyes. She was going to have a real trumpet originally, but I thought it was a lot funnier this way. Watching too much Pingu probably had something to do with it, too. There may be more Phoebe in the future depending on her popularity and whether I feel like using her more; I'm not excluding the possibility of a "day in the limelight", but that will probably take a long while to happen.

Enjoy the page!

Friday, 16 August 2013

Lanschilandia comic page: Borderline Chaos, pg. 4

Tails of Lanschilandia! Here's the page!

This one was finished quite a while ago thanks to my five-day schedule and doesn't have too many things going on, so I don't have all that much to say about it at this point. I accidentally lost the original linework prior to being converted to a Photoshop path, which I'm rather vexed about, even though it probably won't ever be needed again. I just enjoy keeping past stages of the work process around for reference.

This page marks the return of the teacups so commonly seen in A Spoony Experience, now on a brand new tablecloth. There's also some squishy stuff going on, as well as the in-comic debut of one of Parsley's middle names. I adore her expression in panel 4 and especially 6. She looks like a Muppet, though I can't pinpoint why.

Enjoy the comic page!

Friday, 9 August 2013

Lanschilandia comic page: Borderline Chaos, pg. 3

Tails of Lanschilandia! Here's the page!

Well, I guess I'm updating this weekly for the moment. I have been more or less successfully following a task-based 5-day schedule for creating the pages (layout and rough sketches -> fine sketches -> inking -> colouring -> shading and polishing). Let's see how that will work out in the long term. If I can keep it up without significant breaks, I can establish a buffer and won't need to worry quite as much about being on schedule in the future. Hurra for task-based planning! I highly recommend this method over a single loose deadline for the entire finished work.

I don't have much to say about the page itself. I got lazy on some of the backgrounds, but things have already been shown in detail on the previous pages, so I think it's not too major a thing. Parsley is officially adorable in panel 4. Shading Kakralomino's hat brim shadow was odd, but I think the results look fairly interesting. Be on the lookout for a return of the construction sandman.

I have nothing more to say on this, so enjoy the comic page!

Wednesday, 7 August 2013

Book Review: "The Nut Heist" by Trisha M. Wilson

Like ever so seldom, it's book review time again! Once more (and as will likely be the case in all future reviews), we're looking at an indie ebook: The Nut Heist (A Tale from the Aksoy Forest) by Trisha M. Wilson.

Trouble is brewing in the Aksoy Forest and the kingdom of Aquerna: not only is the squirrel populace being hit by a tough winter, but the malicious Lord Zenith is not making the situation in his cousin's kingdom any easier as he plots to steal their nut stocks for himself. Will the citizens of Aquerna be able to make it through the winter regardless?

The Nut Heist is an interesting take on a "talking animal" story, set in a world of civilised squirrels and similar animals. While this may seem like generic children's book fare (and certainly is appropriate for children), it is through the vivid and charming presentation of the setting that it becomes a lot more than that. Even at its short length, it's an immersive experience full of details and lovable characters (including a lot of strong female ones!), and it's easy to appreciate the amount of care and thought that the author put into her setting - light provided by needles instead of candles, nuts and seeds instead of money in a bank and attacks by "giants" all help shape an interesting world from the perspective of a squirrel.

The only potential criticism I could bring up is the story's length. At about 13k words in 5 chapters, this book is indeed fairly short and may be over too soon for some tastes. However, its compact length allows it to maintain a steady level of quality until the end rather than suffering from fatigue like some other books do, making the overall experience a lot more enjoyable.

The Nut Heist is highly recommended for anyone who wants a short, entertaining read with children's book charm (especially if you're a fan of anthropomorphic animals/Furries). If you missed the link above, the book's Smashwords page is here.

Friday, 2 August 2013

Lanschilandia comic page: Borderline Chaos, pg. 2

Tails of Lanschilandia! Here's the page!

I have been trying to see if I would be able to maintain a weekly update schedule for Tails of Lanschilandia if I were to set one. This page took precisely a week to make (weekend included), but only barely got finished after working on it relentlessly with little time to take care of anything else, which is not really beneficial to my Fantasy writing. I must admit I'm rather puzzled how other webcomics with similar page formats can maintain such a tight schedule, but I shall take my non-existent hat off to their creators.

Unless I can find a way to speed up the creation process (cloning device?) or decide to go with a strange schedule like "a new page every 9 3/4 days", Laschilandia is likely going to remain sporadic for now. (Hint: You can follow this blog or other various accounts of mine to know when it updates *cough*.)

Enjoy the comic page!