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Torino is just some comic/history/paranormal nerd who likes cats a whole lot.
hoo boy this page nearly didn't happen because my computer went kaput just when I'd nearly finished it (luckily I didnt lose much), and I thought it was done for but it turned out it was just the internal battery that was dead (apparently this can prevent startup for some reason). It started working again after I took it out, but it still makes funky noises now and then. I really hope it'll be okay, because if I lose it there won't be another new page for...half a year or so.

Anyway, there are conveniently some large trees around Observatory point. It was another reason I chose that location.
@shiisiln: I'm glad! It's always encouraging when people leave comments and give me some indication that they actually enjoy my dumb stuff because I tend to assume no one does by default 8')
Behold. The page that took longer to draft than any other page in the history of this comic. I think I drew at least 15 different versions of how this would go down, even though it was a page I'd been planning for two and a half years.

Syd always had a flair for the dramatic, huh. But this might not have gone to plan...

More points:
-Observatory Point is a popular spot to propose.
-If it isn't obvious, Matilda is the butler's wife, and yes he also has a name.
-I really wish I'd gotten time to draw the christmas comic I planned on, which was meant to foreshadow this.
-I'm admittedly a little nervous uploading this

***Next page: March 15th***
@Lora: unfortunately they've actually gotten worse, I also don't have time to draw backgrounds anymore so have to incorporate free-use photos.
Sorry for the wait on this.
Funnily enough this arc was only going to be three long pages originally, which is why I wanted to get them all done pretty quickly, but as soon as I actually drafted it properly it ended up much longer. I wanted to be able to get the pages uploaded pretty close to eachother so that people dont have to wait an entire week between each one, but that isnt possible when I work full time.

Some fun facts:
-please google 'sydney botanical gardens satyr' if you want to see that actual real statue. I thought it would be funnier to just not explain that whatsoever to leave the readers with the exact same sense of 'what the HELL is that' that I had when I first encountered it out of nowhere without expecting to, but it is an actual statue of the smuggest satyr I have seen in my life, and Syd wouldn't be too flattered to be compared to it, even if Mel is joking.
-Both the crane game and the photo booth stuff would have happened in the area around the Capitol Theatre where there is a whole load of the things. The original draft had Mel getting angry at the obscene markup Sydney charges for using the photo booth machines - the same machines that are 400 yen in Japan will cost you $12AU+ there.
-The sunset view is from Observatory Hill.

******Next page forecast: Thursday March 8*******
So the page should have gone up yesterday, and I did edit the forecast to say Thursday...but the truth is that I had been horrifically tired since getting back from my holiday, and I couldn't figure out why until yesterday when I ended up having to see a doctor, because I'm sick as hell. Right when I thought I'd managed to get through the winter without getting really sick like I usually do. I'm getting better but it's best I don't push myself because I have a career's fair this weekend that I want maximum alertness for, but also because...I really don't want to rush this arc. I'm already kind of disappointed at the lack of shading. I realy can't draw at all when I feel like this.
In exchange for making everyone wait again, you can at least get one of the draft panels. To tell the truth I was gonna draw a quick bit of bonus art for this but like I said, I can't draw at the moment.

*********The new forecast for the next page is February 28! It would be sooner if it wasn't for the career fair. Maybe it -will- be sooner, but it won't be earlier than the 25th!************
(haha I forgot to put the title in the comic and can't edit that in until later, because I'm currently on holiday and have this queued to post)
Remember Super Valentines Day? Ultra Valentines Day eats Super Valentines Day for breakfast, because it's multiple pages, and they're all real long like this! It's time for an entire Valentines (Mini)Arc! An actual, real plot!
Because of the length and how hard it is for me to get pages done with a full time job, I had to skimp on the shading, but I might add that at a later date. We'll see.

****CURRENT FORECAST FOR PAGE 2: Thursday 22nd*******
Happy 7th Anniversary, Southern Cross!
Hey look, it's a whole load of lore for a character -literally no one asked for-! So then, if you haven't been imagining the narration being voiced by a gentle old man, you've been reading the comic wrong all this time, and now you have to reread it.
This concept was actually going to be done a year ago, although the tone of the comic was a hell of a lot sadder, and is the main reason why I never got around to it. You can see only touched on it briefly in this version, but the older one centered much more around the number of butlers Sydney has gone through and the fact that he kept forgetting they would change with each new generation - and why the others try not to get too emotionally attached to their own. Obviously, that is depressing as hell, so I didn't end up doing it (plus I had no time to anyway).

Anyway, this has been an episode of 'No one on earth thinks about the logistics of gijinka harder than Torino does'. It was mostly born from me wondering who did this and that for Sydney, because its unlikely he would have done it himself, and eventually the concept of some mystery elite family who get to know about the existence of anthropomorphized cities took shape.

(And yes that does mean that he called Brisbane a slob, but Sydney probably told him to say that.)

Next arc starts on Valentines Day!
'I should redo those character intros, that will not take very long at all' haha, whatever past-self. But now they're finally finished!
Although this Perth page looks a lot better than the 2011 Perth page, I'm still not really happy with it, because Perth is really damn hard to draw. His new intro is pretty similar to his old one. Darwin actually has a snake around his neck, but its pretty hard to tell after I resized the page.

I'm hoping there can be a new update next week. Usually when the comic updates its on a Thursday (and this is...really, really late on thursday night right now so still barely counts), but next week the update (if it gets done) will be on Friday, since the 26th is the comics anniversary. (it's also Australia Day but whatever)
I hope I can get that done but it's going to be something slightly different to what the comic is usually like, but it's actually something I meant to do a year ago and never got time to. After that, I will hopefully have a proper schedule for the next arc which is scheduled to start on valentines day.
WHEW I thought I wasn't going to get this finished in time but I barely made it. I didn't want to have to delay it another week.
This page is similar to the old one with some main differences, especially the end. You might have noticed babyMel isn't in the Adelaidevision lineup anymore either - this is because he also wasnt founded as a convict colony (however since Melbourne did still receive convicts, was founded by the son of an ex-convict and had such a strong connection to Sydney, Adelaide still thought he was icky anyway)
To be honest, I feel kinda bad about how little attention Adelaide gets compared to the other characters, and the truth is she's the most difficult character of all of them. She's also the one who changed the most since 2011. i'm not...entirely sure what happened. She originally had what was supposed to be a recurring gag that she fell asleep a lot which was entirely based on the fact that 'sleepy' is an adjective I see used to describe the city a lot, but this gradually got phased out cos it was kinda dumb and seemed awkwardly shoe-horned in for the most part. The other quirk she had - that she 'ocassionally' had a sharp tongue despite her gentle appearance, gradually just took over and became her main personality. woops.
Perth time next week!

fun fact: the adelaide-vision sydney also has flies buzzing around him but when I added the spooky crosshatching you cant see them anymore 8'(
@L: yeah, it's kinda odd because without the followup strip it's a little meaningless, but she is actually telling him where she hung the mistletoe, and he is pretending he has no idea what she's implying.
Merry Christmas!
I hope everyone had a salvageable 2017!
I completely underestimated how long this would take to finish. The sad truth is, it was intended to be uploaded on my usual uploading day (a Thursday), and there was going to be a followup bonus strip to be posted on christmas eve. Unfortunately....this took so long there was no time for the followup strip. Oh well.
Part of this is due to me just not being able to use Clip Studio very well...this was actually the first time I'd tried properly colouring in it. Of course it's been so long since I actually did a colour illustration that I have almost forgotten how, so I'm not really happy with this. (that and the perspective is pretty whacked...I used RoomSketcher to help with it, but it's still kinda off) This is at Sydney's beach villa.

Southern Cross will return in 2018 with the remainder of the redrawn intros, followed by a major plot development. I am actually unsure what to do from there because about a month ago I received an email from Smackjeeves about how the cost of comic hosting is going up by $10USD, and to be honest I just don't think I can be bothered paying $30USD a year to have a .thewebcomic URL. I am potentially considering other hosting options, although it'll be a huge pain to move everything. Otherwise it'll go back to, which kinda bugs me, but that price hike is just too much. Anyway, I have until next September to figure out what's happening there.

Happy holidays to everyone!
@Welsh Rat: while Darwin is definitely the strongest character, the truth is that -anyone- could beat the snot out of Sydney.
As you can see Darwin's is exactly the same as the original, so this is more like a remaster than anything else. The only real change is that the background of the first frame was changed from Uluru to Kakadu. Uluru may be the most famous landmark in the NT, but it's still pretty far from Darwin whereas Kakadu is a lot closer.
I guess cosmetically my art improved since 2011 but underneath the surface my anatomy is still as bad as ever D:
I actually really like both of Darwin's original intros so it was hard deciding which one to use. This one feels more like an intro though, but I still want to redraw the one where he wrestles the croc in the hotel pool. It can just be a new general strip instead of an intro one.

I don't know when I can do the next one, but this may be the last one for this year if I want to draw a christmas pic in time. Only two to go!
So I still can't quite guarantee this comic's update schedule, other than the fact that its still always on a Thursday and is at -least- every 2 weeks. I can hopefully get through the rest before the end of the year - there's only 3 more to go. I am hoping the next one can be uploaded on December 7th.

Hobart's new intro is basically the same as her original second one, although everyone being purposefully malicious to her was removed, because I dont even know why I included that to begin with.
Syd and Hobart are childhood friends, but Syd doesn't really realize that she doesn't find these kind of jokes funny. He wouldn't intentionally be horrible to her just like he wouldn't intentionally be horrible to Canberra. Her crush on him is regrettable, but she isn't a masochist. I originally had a part under the last panel with Syd receiving an angry phone call from her, but it didn't flow as well. The angry phone call probably did happen though.

Hobart kind of gradually got more and more neurotic and anxious, didn't she...
I'm back, and feeling better. And so is Canberra! I decided that Mel and Syd get to have two intro strips as they're the main characters, but everyone else gets one. To be honest this is how it was originally going to be back in 2011, but I thought my ideas were too good and needed to be too strips. Looking bad, most of them were...not that good at all and two wasn't necessary.
(Plus the entire joke of Can's original first intro strip was that Sydney was an asshole to her. He was in the early days of the comic but this gradually got phased out, so it seems incredibly out of character now. He's a git, but not to his daughter. The second one (which is the same one used here) did play off that, but with the first one gone it now seems like he's just oblivious instead of outright trying to sabotage her. Early-Syd, you really sucked. No wonder Mel could hide his feelings easier.

Throughout the years Canberra gradually started resembling Syd and Mel more, which was unintentional at first but not anymore. She does look a bit more like Mel to me though.
@L: If you are interested the name of the artificial beach is Streets Beach. It's kind of like a giant pool with sand, but it looks pretty realistic. I've swam in it twice when I was a kid.
It's funny you mention that because there has actually been concept ideas for Cairns, Goldcoast and Alice Springs for a while, they just ended up being thrown in the pile of 'stuff I wanna draw for the comic eventually' and still haven't gotten to. These three mostly because they are arguably more popular than their state's capital when it comes to tourism. I am still working on their designs. Goldcoast is basically a younger, teeny-boppier valley girl version of Brisbane, Cairns is a stereotypical chill surfer (moreso than Perth) but it's hard not making him just look like adult Darwin, and Alice is basically a genderbent Darwin (but tougher).
We're slowly, slowly getting these done. Sometimes they take two weeks, sometimes three. At any rate, they always go up on a Thursday.
This new one has the same punchline as the old first one, with some of the content from the old second one mixed in.

As for why this one took so long, my ability to get anything done has been suffering a lot lately due to a deteriorating mental state. I wasn't going to talk about it here, but when it's having such an affect on my ability to draw and when it's something that does concern me, I can't not mention it. The following is something I'd prefer you to keep out of the comments section - I'd much rather comments on the unrelated comic above. The long and short of it is that my own government is currently allowing a vicious hate campaign against me, and people like me, in the name of allowing ''civil debate on both sides'', which is the kind of thing you would say when you're discussing the pros and cons of a movie and not someone else's civil rights. There is no civil debate. I don't even live in Australia at this moment (although I'm likely returning within a year), but the kind of things the 'No' campaign are for some reason allowed to say have a dangerous affect on my mental health. I cannot even imagine what it's like for people who are actually there and inundated with homophobic nonsense on the daily. It's been difficult to concentrate on almost anything without the nagging feeling that a very loud and very angry portion of the population thinks you are not only subhuman, but that it's their -right- to say so. Not that this is in any way news to me, but the government insisting on this being just an ''opinion'', let alone seeing so much hatred coming out at once, is enough to turn anyone's stomach and completely drain oneself and frankly it's a wonder I drew anything at all.
That said, I hope, no, I trust that any Australian readers of voting age are saying 'Yes'. If you are in the 'No' camp, I would tell you that I'm not comfortable having you in my audience, but to be honest I'd be completely baffled as to why you'd even be reading this comic in the first place, or would you'd even have been getting out of it - unless you took a wrong turn and ended up here somehow. I am sure that there are people who are ''''uncomfortable'''' with '''''politics'''' appearing in spaces like webcomics where they ''''''shouldnt'''''' be, and to that I only have this to say. It's easy to dismiss anything as ''politics'' when it doesn't concern your life, and I find it hard to care about other people being ''uncomfortable'' with what I say in an author's note section of a webcomic when calling my own feelings ''discomfort'' would be an understatement. And if I can make at least one queer reader feel like they're not alone, then it's worth it.
Anyway. This horrific farce is continuing until mid-November. I obviously still want to keep updating then, but expect delays.
Okay so I was right about when the next page was going up (a month) but I was wrong about two other things.
First of all I said it would be Brisbane's, because I can't keep track of my own pages, but that was my own mistake.
Second of all I said that one month would be enough for a buffer and AHHAHAHAHAHAHA it most certainly was not and this is yet another page finished last minute. I'd put in the usual excuses about how much busier I am now and how forcing myself to put out pages makes it feel more like a chore and leaves me with even less time to relax than I had before, but that's old news.

Anyway you probably noticed there's no tones except in the background of the first panel (which is a photo of Hyde Park) - this isn't because I ran out of time or couldnt get them to look right, it's because I decided doesn't look good no matter how hard I try anyway, and to be honest, the page looks better this way. To me, at least. I'm kinda sad I could never get the pages to look the way I wanted to with the tones, but thems the breaks. It sure did make this page a hell of a lot less stressful, which is a good thing, because drawing has been so stressful for me lately that it stopped being fun. I've been trying to fix that, and I did manage to have more fun drawing this than the previous panels, so I guess I should just stop trying to shoot wildly outside my skill-range and instead build up to it - because failing at want I wanted to do ends up draining my motivation compared to things turning out better than I expected.

As for the next page - my estimate is in two weeks (so, september 7?) but it will likely be delayed because there's some other stuff I want to draw in that time (it's a certain virtual diva's 10th anniversary at the end of this month). But then there really will be Brisbane's page!

*Vivid is an art festival in Sydney that basically turns huge parts of the city into a light show. Some people think its really cool and impressive, others think its really obnoxious and tacky. But it does suit his personality a lot, it's very flashy.