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Beechwood & Bloom: Paranormal Investigators

Beechwood & Bloom: Paranormal Investigators

by Mort Harris
After finding a mysterious book full of paranormal observations and an equally mysterious device able to detect paranormal activity, highschool freshmen Natalie Beechwood and Noah Bloom decide to form a paranormal investigation agency to uncover the mysteries of the small town of Morgansburg, MD.
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142
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Last Update
1 Month Ago
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5
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41

Beechwood & Bloom: Paranormal Investigators

After finding a mysterious book full of paranormal observations and an equally mysterious device able to detect paranormal activity, highschool freshmen Natalie Beechwood and Noah Bloom decide to form a paranormal investigation agency to uncover the mysteries of the small town of Morgansburg, MD.

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Mort Harris
August 13th, 2017
This is the third page of the three-page finale. Please view the previous two pages.

This is the two-year anniversary of Beechwood & Bloom: Paranormal Investigators, and I'm finally getting around to posting the finale (it got awkwardly long by the time I'd finished it and so I figured "go for symmetry"). I'm sorry about the radio silence these past two months; in addition to getting ready to move across the continent to attend college full-time, an ordeal in itself, I've been taking a creative refresher, experimenting with non-B&B projects and continuing to work on B&B in tightening up my plots and pinning down specific themes and aesthetics - believe it or not, I've actually plotted out a full first season of the rebooted Beechwood & Bloom. It's been difficult figuring out what exactly I want out of the comic, but I think I'm getting there.

There's another reason I've been silent - I am pursuing proposing the Beechwood & Bloom reboot to a major webcomics publisher. I'm not entirely sure it's a good idea to discuss which one, especially since I'm still finishing up my proposal, but they're a respectable organization and host a lot of comics I like. B&B is still and always will be a labor of love, and profit has never been my goal, but I do want to try to reach out to a wider audience, and I think this is going to help me do that. Because of the six-week maximum wait period, not to mention adjusting to a full-time college schedule, we're probably looking at a reboot start date in October or early November; I'll keep you all posted, both here and on my Tumblr, nausicaaharris.tumblr.com. (Speaking of which, I've settled on a pseudonym more reflective of my gender, so look out for the new Beechwood & Bloom: Paranormal investigators by Nausicaä Harris! [Umlaut preferred but not expected.])

I've talked before about how I've grown with this comic, back on the news page. So, for this, I'm just going to leave you with some notes on what to expect next time around, and a sincerely heartfelt thank you:

Noah's gone back to his original sci-fi setting and reunited with his old buddy Elukima Radamanth; I like him a lot better when he's off Earth. I don't know when I'll get to telling his story, but he still has one, don't you worry. Perry, Nat, Noora, and Danielle are all staying (although some names have changed slightly). I'll also be introducing a new member of the team, Mal Lopez, a punk kid who's more agile than seven goats and is the only normal human in the main gang. The kids are also going to start out in 10th grade, not 9th grade; it gives them a little more mobility and also means that they're going to be mature enough to do dating earlier in the story, since a woman wants to get right to writing the gay romance stories she was denied as a kid, dammit!
I've moved a bit beyond the Gravity Falls-inspired "mysterious journals" thing; the role of Observations #1 will be taken by the mysterious "Macedonian Tapes", mostly because I love the aesthetics of old recording equipment. The design of the Weirdometer will also be changing to something other than "an arbitrary box I built with Lego Technic parts one time", and will be much cooler.
I will stop being such a coward and start confirming that extraterrestrial intelligences are visiting us in the B&B universe. I'm not "wasting an alien design" on my space settings; I'm giving myself room to design more aliens. I will also explain why Morgansburg is full of weirdness instead of leaving it unexplained, and put more emphasis on a central plot.
Monsters encountered will include: mysterious lights in the sky, histrionic ghosts, gorgeous gorgons, the dreaded Hungee Boy, allistic people, the Dover Demon, accurate windigoag, teenage crushes, capitalist crustaceans, snarks (possibly boojums), smiling men in dark glasses, psammeads, and the military.
Thank you so much for sticking with me on this journey. I hope you'll continue to do so.
Mort Harris
August 13th, 2017
This is the second part of the three-page finale. Please proceed for more information.
Mort Harris
August 13th, 2017
This is the first part of the three-page finale. Please proceed for more information.
@Mort Harris: Also, whoops! Managed to bury this deep in the comic, so if you came here yesterday and didn't see this, that's my fault.
IF IT'S AFTER JUNE FIFTH AND YOU'RE LOOKING FOR THE START OF EPISODE FOUR, GO TO THE NEWS PAGE 'CAUSE I HAVE A PRETTY BIG NEWS


So, sorry about not posting anything Friday; I’m in a bit of a mental state. That said, this is the development drawings I was talking about, and I would like to hear your opinions about the evolution of the comic.

The first thing is, what are y’all’s feelings on me not erasing most of the pencil lines once I ink? I think it makes the art a bit more dynamic, but I’d like to hear my readers’ suggestions.

The second thing is, what about the lettering? You know what my ordinary printing looks like, but what would you feel about the slightly flowery lettering I can also do, or using different fonts for different character voices, and/or using speech bubbles?
If you're wondering why I spent three whole pages on this guy saying not very much, that was kind of intentional - Nat & Noah solve problems by talking. This guy doesn't.

And that's the end of the episode! I'm going to take a one-week break while I prepare for the next one, but I'm going to be posting some development pages in the meantime, so stick around!
This guy!

(will i ever get tired of that? no)
*Tom Siddell voice*: This guy.
In their campaign, it breaks down as follows:

Luke is the DM; his Underdark campaign is an homage to, by which he means ripoff of, Sunless Sea. It’s generally a lighthearted and heroic campaign, which of course means that he drops plot, sorrow, and horror on the players when they least expect it. Yes, he wears a robe to DM.
Nat is Iknik Blackstone, a lawful neutral-to-good drow Mastermind rogue with the Waterdeep noble (technically Akleshgaad merchant, but) background. She’s basically just Iknik Blackstone Varrick, complete with appreciation for women and science and with a burgeoning “con-shunse”.
Perry is Ssillissk Sawtooth, a neutral good lizardfolk Gunsmith alchemist with the folk hero background. She has a secret ancestry as the queen of the lizardfolk, a secret passion for dressing up fancy, and a very nonsecret gun. Perry has big plans for when the nerd lizard becomes queen.
Danielle is Taamas Zhr’tasz, a lawful good duergar Order of the Immortal mystic with the city watch background. They are disgustingly pure-hearted and given to cheesy speeches. This is a calculated effort, because if you act like the big dumb hero who only uses their mind to manifest claws, nobody suspects that you are also capable of deduction.
Noora is Field-of-Garfish, a blatantly chaotic evil tabaxi Archfey Pact warlock with the guild merchant background. He is the cartoonishly evil teammate, always on the lookout for a deal, whether economic or Faustian. Noora is the only one who listens to TAZ at the moment and she is of two minds over whether to let the others in on the joke or keep them from realizing what she’s up to.
Noah is Floran Ararat, a chaotic good tiefling Oath of Vengeance paladin with the urchin background. The name and horns come from Noah’s trollsona, the alignment comes from Noah not really understanding the alignment system, and the rest is Noah completely misunderstanding the tenor of Luke’s game. Luke really doesn’t want to keep anyone from playing what they want to, but Floran is edgier than a razor blade factory, and Luke’s having a hard time keeping the others from having fun with Floran’s tonal dissonance.

Luke's house layout, and the sun chips, are taken directly from my highschool D&D group.
Notes on their Discord handles:

Floral Batmobile (Noora): just her general aesthetic.
sexy sandworm humanization (Nat): don’t look for this.
cardboard Zac Efron cutout (Noah): a reference to a Homestuck post I inadvertently helped to make viral.
Tjardigreid (Perry): a pun on tardigrade and Tjardus Greidanus, maker of the infamous The Final Sacrifice (MST3K experiment #910).
[S] Jupiter: Ascend (Danielle): a pun on Jupiter Ascending and Homestuck orthography.
cool motive, still cannibalism (Luke): a paraphrase of a Jake Peralta quote from Brooklyn Nine-Nine, related to Luke’s interest in Fallen London, which contains frankly an unconscionable amount of cannibalism.
I figured out a way to post the chatlogs that (I think) will not horribly kill the site!
Today's is a DOUBLE UPDATE; Smackjeeves won't let me change which page I display so I will be posting the secondary update at NOON. If you have come here from my mirrorblog and it is after noon on Monday, kindly click the next button to see the second part of the update.
NO COMICS THIS WEEK, BUSY FINISHING HOMEWORK BEFORE FINALS AND SUBMITTING COLLEGE ENROLLMENT DEPOSITS
Mort Harris
April 16th, 2017
This is not a double update, for which I am sorry. My attention was focused on making another, arguably more important comic .
Sorry about the wait! I am, however, fully refreshed from my travels, so that's good.
I am travelling this weekend, so the Monday update may not go up until the afternoon. I'll have time to draw, but I will be away from my scanner.
Tried inking Nat's hair with a felt-tip pen. Not going to do that again.
I have had this scene in my head for at least a year and it's really helped me get a handle on Nat's character, and I'm glad to finally be putting it up here.
Sorry this was late, but I do actually feel well-rested now, so.
I am so glad to be able to draw Noora's tusks and claws overtly rather than merely hinting at them. She looks so much more natural to me that way.