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Loud Era

Loud Era

by mitchellbravo
The daily trials and tribulations of a group of friends entering adulthood- funny, sad, relatable. What happens when you're standing on the edge of your own future, and the drop looks pretty steep? Friendships fade and endure, self worth is questioned, substances replace solutions.

Historical slice of life fiction, begins in 1917.
Occasional mature language/content.
Traditionally drawn and colored.
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16 Hours Ago

Loud Era

The daily trials and tribulations of a group of friends entering adulthood- funny, sad, relatable. What happens when you're standing on the edge of your own future, and the drop looks pretty steep? Friendships fade and endure, self worth is questioned, substances replace solutions.

Historical slice of life fiction, begins in 1917.
Occasional mature language/content.
Traditionally drawn and colored.

Recent Comments

@Squirreltastic-Blue: he's the most leonest in the whole comic.
@Oly-RRR: it's been really eye opening looking back on how much I struggled with keeping the comic afloat at different times. And so many embarrassing noob choices omg. Flid era was merely the tip of the iceberg D: XD

Yeah, it's been my experience that kids notice differences and may be wary of them but overall want to make friends and aren't fearful or judgmental unless that seed has already been planted :/
I read all the stuff and I enjoyed it! And I guess it gave me some zen too because we both have been throwing out the pages but keeping the story and I dunno, I needed to hear someone whose comic I like did that too (and survived).

And gosh, the current flashback page. :c It's always the adults making sure to point out the social/ethnic differences to kids, and then they grow up like Phil and the cycle repeats.
Leon is still my favorite. Long live the Leon!
Will NEVER get tired of drawing Mr. Harper, my favorite secondary character.

Made a doozie of a blunder in the first panel with my markers, but in trying to fix the mistake I think the interior looks even dirtier and gloomier and mroe accurate than it had originally been.

Page title derivative and cliche, but With a Little Help From My Friends has come on as I'm writing this post, and you can't fight good timing.


<h2>#9: Aggie and Tony's bet. (link)</h2>

Length: 2 pages, 3 pages

Why it's #9: I like the way this whole interaction unfolds, particularly the second half of the scene, which picks up here. I think you get a good sense of Aggie and Tony's relationship and their closeness while still remaining at arm's length from each other. Tony's look of dismay after the reveal on the last page is my favorite snapshot within the vignette.

<img src=" "></img>

I also don't think the merging of computer editing and traditional coloring looked bad at all throughout most of the scene. Unfortunately it was miserably time-consuming and inefficient- more so on pages with more curved or complex shapes, pages like these with straight and square lines were more forgiving- (not as bad as pasting dialogue bubbles after tracing them on a window, but still bad), and I think it missed more often than it hit, but looking over these pages now I like the softness it lends to the interior night scene. I may try to dip my toe back into those waters with upcoming scenes I have in the pipeline. This is one of those scenes where when I look back on it, I remember little details and little touches I put into it that are just nice to remember when I think of my old art as being irredeemable shit.

'Til next week!
The city is not on fire.

To answer other "burning" questions, no, this and the previous page are not heralding the beginning of every page having a racial or ethnic slur on it somewhere.

And, it's March 12th! This is a day near and dear to my heart, as it marks ten years since the very first Loud Era page was uploaded.


<h1>** BORING STUFF **</h1>

The original first chapters have long since been removed, so the actual earliest page on the site currently was actually from December 10th, 2009, but I'm going to celebrate today anyway. It's been a long time since I looked back on those early pages, and it's almost absurd how weird they are.

First a quick timeline:
Spring 2006: I begin crafting a story, mostly mentally, about a group of 8 friends around the time of WWI. Random sketches can be found throughout various notebooks of this time.

Summer 2008: I grabbed my paints & pencils and started making comics about this gang. At one point they take a trip to the beach; another book features small vignettes of random character pairings watching clouds, going shopping, et cetera. I do not know where these pages are now. I have a bad feeling the beach one got thrown out in a flurry of embarassment not long after it was made.

March 2009: The first Loud Era webcomic strip (then known as Lateral Geotaxis [I know, I know]) goes live. Looking back on it now, it reads almost like a fever dream. I hadn't fully committed to the time period, so characters wear T-shirts, use modern slang and syntax, Paul Newman is explicitly featured in the comic, and there's just weird stuff going on with the art. I was using colored pencils and some really poorly used watercolor. I didn't have a good editing software yet- or I may have been using GIMP and just really bad at it- so to keep dialogue bubbles clean, I would lightly write the dialogue on the page where it would end up, draw the art around the dialogue, then go back with a piece of printer paper, hold the whole page and the printer paper on a window on a sunny day, like a light table, trace an outline of where the dialogue needed to be, move to a desk and pen the dialogue, cut the dialogue bubble out, and finally paste it onto the illustrated page. o_o

Overall, the tone of this chapter fell out of alignment with where I eventually took the story. Some character elements are in play, but overall the cast seem like exaggerations or parodies of what they would settle to become. The chapter ended with "Season 1.5," which featured a flashback to the gang as children in 1907, and was done all in "black and white" (I forget if it was done just using gray markers/pencils, or converted on the computer, and knowing my bizarre and confounding need to reinvent the wheel at every instant with my earlier art, I think it may have been the latter). I never finished "season 1.5," and at some point, possibly later that very summer, quietly swept these first 40 pages off of the site.

September 2009: I begin a two month long plot about the gang's Halloween adventures, which was more "grounded" in terms of being more chronologically coherent and less surreal than the previous chapter had been. It's still tonally different from the rest of the story onward, with lines upon lines of dialogue ("witty"), inconsistent pacing, and overall just nothing important enough to warrant keeping.

Chapter 2 then picked up where the current archive begins (after Joseph's musing at the beginning), followed by chapters 3 and 4, which were all re-edited for pacing and boiled down into what is now chapter 1. Many of the early archive pages you now see are actually combined strips that originally stood alone. I am eternally grateful to UrbanMysticDee, who called my strip out for having, if I remember his wise words correctly, "Too many little pages that don't go anywhere."

March 2012: At this point, I moved my site entirely to Smackjeeves, where it has remained since and will remain until this site closes down or some other shitty thing happens. Around this time, I wrote what is now the introductory few pages of the comic, and began to condense and edit the previous chapters down from 97 pages across 4 chapters to 60 pages across 2.

2016: The first chapter is deleted from the comic archive. Sometime between this year and 2017, I draft a new version of the current first chapter, intending to redraw and reupload scenes to make the current first chapter less shitty. I still have these scripts, but never went on to draw them. I have achieved a zen-like peace with the early pages; they are shitty, but they tell a story, they make sense, and some of them actually use some cool techniques or have good jokes. I've deleted more pages from my archive than some webcomic creators ever make in their whole pursuit of the hobby. I think now it's best to continue moving forward to new pages, new stories.

<h1>** FUN STUFF **</h1>

Because I'm a big flowery baby, I decided, since I've been at this solidly for 10 years, that for the next ten updates, I will COUNT DOWN my TOP TEN favorite Loud Era scenes. The criteria, of course, were specific and relentless, but can be boiled down basically to "scenes I still enjoy rereading, that may be technically well composed, may actually be funny, or add notable depth to a character or inter-character relationship."

Without further ado, here's...

The Legend of Kelly Madison. (link)</h2>

Length: 3 pages

Why it's #10: This relatively early-archive scene shows Clarabelle and Leon getting to know each other a bit at the prom, as Cal's ex-boyfriend/arch nemesis is dangerously lurking off-panel. This page is my favorite within the scene:

<img src=" g">

The expressions really tickle me on this one, and I used one of the Leons on the bottom row as an avatar for a while (old-time readers may remember). The scene wraps up with a sweet assurance from Leon, and even though the shading and facial proportions are a bit wonky, I still think this is one of the best scenes in the comic.


<h1>CLOSE THE BROWSER <br><br>
AND <br><br>
February 17th, 2019
@mitchellbravo: Now I definitely need to send you that podcast because they deal with a historical case in the South of the US as well.. Personally, from what I could observe, I think there's always a small percentage of people who treat others as they'd like to be treated themselves, a majority that "goes with the flow" (which usually means verbal casual hostility with occasional outbreaks of violence) and the other side of the spectrum that steps over the line to the point that EVEN BACK THEN police ends up treating it as a crime.

It gets me both hopeful and sad - it's great to see how things changed for some minorities even just during our lifetimes but then it always seems like too little, too slow.

Yusss, all our conversations going from Real Serious Issues to butts and back!!!
@Oly-RRR: I wouldn't really *want* to know, I guess, but one thing I wonder about is how racist would a person have to be back then in order for it to be like, too far? I mean Loud Era takes place in the northeast U.S. so you don't have so much of the segregation laws as there were in the South, but things were still really shitty in lots of ways so I wonder about where the line would be drawn for the average person.

Yeah I mean it's not like I get a huge readership on here so I don't think me writing or not writing a word would make huge waves... I just would rather preemptively address it than wait for it to be asked, you know? :/

aaaah it's so nice responding to your comments again!!!!!!
February 17th, 2019
@mitchellbravo: OMG perfect analogy is perfect! X)
February 17th, 2019
@mitchellbravo: It was in a mining town in Canada, I forget if it was late 80s or mid-90s (but definitely that time range) and the person was in his late teens at the time. I should just send you a link to the podcast but it's so sad in multiple ways. D:>
February 17th, 2019
@Oly-RRR: It was great to finally get to draw her even if she wasn't 100% how I'd planned her.... ljust that feeling of finally seeing her on the page, like if I ever got to meet you in person :D :D

And LOL at the Phil comment XD
February 17th, 2019
@Oly-RRR: Yup same D: D:

Yayyy I'm glad- I'm trying to get back to the kind of coloring I could do a few years ago, it's like I need to retrain my brain to be abole to take those coloring risks and have them work out...
February 17th, 2019
@mitchellbravo: This is so sad because there is A LOT of people like that out there... So you're torn between wanting to help them and wanting to punch their teeth in. ._.
February 17th, 2019
@Oly-RRR: I love Happie Eddie so much D:<

YESSS oh man that must be hard to pull off in this day and age, was it someone still living at home with their folks or an adult out with their own family??
@Oly-RRR: :D :D :D :D

Phil is definitely the kind of guy who was a nerd as a kid, got bullied, and has now swung the pendulum as far the other way as he knows how...
February 14th, 2019
...okay, it's getting much harder to like Phil now. >:C I get that he's a product of his environment but then so is Eddie and he's not like that.

I really liked your explanation! I can't really say much about it because I'm sure we discussed this multiple times but words can hurt, and while we all come from different backgrounds each of us can (and has to) choose which words we let out there in the narrative and which are too much.
February 14th, 2019

I have to admit I didn't realise it was her at first but during this page it all clicked! It's so cool, seeing characters I was looking forward to see. 8)

And I get this feeling of not quite being "at ease" with a new character design buuut she looks appropriately nerdy to me already so I can't complain. It would be nice for Eddie to get some company other than Phil (even though Phil would disagree).
February 14th, 2019
Can't take too much party time, can he? I can relate, big gatherings can be exhausting even if it's all going well.

I really like the colour scheme here, like purple is a relief after all that red and orange. :)
February 14th, 2019
Yeah, I was just thinking, it's weird seeing Eddie happy but he should get more of these moments. X)

That reminds me, I've been listening to a true crime podcast where one of the family members had a car he kept in secret from the rest of the family. Made me think of Eddie. And that person was pretty unhappy with their home life too as far as I could tell...
February 14th, 2019
It's good to see Eddie and Phil. And new pages. And just things moving ahead. <3

Teehee, Phil thinks he's so cool there but it's not like he's fitting in either.
It was no mystery what Phil said, but it certainly is a different time in this comic. Most people in that time wouldn't bat a single eye at it and if we compare it to a show, it's often acceptable to maintain your rating by using a censor beep which is how I read it.
Much like you, I too have a metaphorical list of words that I wont put in my comic even if would be likely the character would say it given the situation, characteristic, and other contexts.
I'm not sure about Loud Era, but in my own comics the goal is to appeal to everyone (including myself), and not to just children or adults exclusively.