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Torino
Torino is just some comic/history/paranormal nerd who likes cats a whole lot.
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.
@mistress_overlord:
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 that...it 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.
OK SO FIRST OF ALL: Mel's page cooperated a lot more than Syd's first one did - the only rendering error I cant seem to fix is that the shading on his jeans completely disappears (and -only- the shading on his jeans). I didn't have time to fix that so I might try later.
Second of all: this was meant to go up last week, but i completely underestimated how little time I'd have the week before coming back to Australia to visit (turns out you're really busy before a 2 week break) and the first week in Australia (turns out you don't have a lot of time for sitting in your room like a hermit drawing when you're visiting family) so once again this page is not only a week late, but finished at the last minute (i have a flight back to japan to catch tomorrow...)

Obviously I am not good at buffers even though this comic really, really needs one.

For that reason, the next page won't be up for another month (Brisbane's)! And hopefully then I'll be able to upload more regularly.
*As you can see this one is mostly the same as the old one but I changed Sydney's dialogue in that one frame where he looks like he enjoys money a little more than someone should enjoy money. The old one is actually really funny to me because I have NO idea why 2011 me considered $20 parking to be expensive (Granted I knew even less about driving then than I do now, which is still not a lot, but seriously??). I got to experience some of Sydney's ludicrous parking fees myself when I had to visit the US consulate to get a visa for my vist back in 2015.
The second point about the housing prices is based on the fact that apparently, the median house price in Sydney has now reached 1 million. The skyrocketing cost of living in Sydney in recent years has been a major topic for a while now and is regarded as a massive problem, so Sydney might not be keeping his popularity for too much longer. Or his alleged 'liveability'.

Anyway about the art itself - I thought I had the issue from the last page figured out, but I actually hadn't, and it required another whole week of battling with Clip Studio. The good news is that I kind of got it, the bad news is it still isn't 100% how I want it (I dont like the checkerboard moire pattern that appears on some of the tones and the dots still look kinda big to me) but the lineart has now survived the export intact.

Next up is Mellykins, due for July 20th which I will be uploading from the comfort of my house back in Australia as I'm visiting for two weeks. I am looking forward to escaping the horrific summer in Kyushu and cuddling my cats. Unlike Syd's only being a touchup Mel's intros will be almost a complete rehaul (he had the worst ones in the original in my opinion), so look forward to that!
Not dead, just sleeping!
A good while ago I said I was going to redraw all the intro strips, half because looking at the art and page layout of some of the old ones makes me break out into hives and half because I wanted to change some of the things in them. As you can see Sydney's first one is content-wise basically the same as the original, although future ones will have more differences.

Anyway HOO BOY gather round and let me tell you a tale of the most cursed page in the history of Southern Cross - this one. This was originally meant to go up in May, but I had the worst art block in the world and didn't finish it until halfway through June. I redrew some of the Sydneys on this page up to five times because it was like I suddenly couldn't draw the git anymore.
I'd also decided to get more used to Clip Studio, which I'd previously used for the halloween special last year with no major issue except it didnt look as good as I wanted it to. Well.

I have no idea why but this page, despite actually looking good in Clip Studio, would not render. No matter what. Any attempt to save this page resulted in a hideous mess of horribly rendered tones. It kind of looked like what happens when you accidentally move the colour layer above the lineart layer. I think a lot of it was due to the size I drew it at, but resizing it didnt really help. Basically, even though I had the page completely finished and ready to upload last thursday, I -literally couldn't- because of this. I spent the rest of the week trying to figure out the solution to the problem, i kept tinkering with the settings and trying everything I could think of and rendered the page at least 30 times in different settings, none of which looked any good. You have no idea how easy it is to get sick of looking at Sydney's stupid face. I came pretty close to throwing in the towel but I didnt want to have to redraw the whole damn page after how long it had taken.

So eventually I went 'screw it' and screencapped the page from the program in two halves and spliced those together, which is what has been uploaded here. It's far from a perfect solution, because as you can see, now the tones don't look like tones at all, and instead just look like flat greys. Which kind of defeats the purpose of using Clip Studio to begin with. Maybe I'll fix up this page in future but at the moment its gone on long enough.

What annoys me is that I wanted to have a buffer in store for this slew of updates but this crap took up all the time and I never got to (the next one is at least at draft stage though). I want to figure out wtf the problem is -before- i take forever inking a page this time but I think I know how to prevent it happening again.

Next Sydney page will be up next thursday, -hopefully-. Then there will be a week break before Melbourne's new ones start.
@L: No spring colours intended given that easter is in autumn lol. I have never thought of easter as having specific colours, only being 'colourful' due to the foil on the chocolate eggs.
Woah! An update!
...technically, anyway. I would have liked to draw an easter comic, but I don't have the time lately.
I really wish I could update this comic as often as I'd like to.
But I promise new content will come eventually. What I can't promise is when. Do check back within a month, though!
Welcome to 2017, Southern Cross!
Sometimes I'm amazed this comic is still running haha. Its the first update of 2017!
Anyway the valentines special i did back in 2013 was one of the most fun things I've drawn for the comic and I wanted to do another one some time and never really got the chance, half cos of time and half cos I didn't really know what to draw. Luckily for me, I discovered its actually possible to make a vaguely educational valentines episode for this comic.

Melbourne's fangirls from the 2cities arc are back - and they're also right, it's true that many of the miners became so wealthy during this period that they were able to splurge ridiculous amounts on Valentines gifts to send home. Apparently the preferred gift was a ludicrously decorated silk pillow. I couldn't find any pics of these, but I did find pics of the ones in France which they were apparently similar to. It 's said that the Australian ones in particular featured a lot of seashells as well.

There were apparently much more elaborate gifts sent, such as taxidermied birds, which is not exactly romantic in my opinion.

As for the city identity of those fangirls, I still haven't formerly decided. Maybe they're french.

I hope to have more updates in the coming months so keep on checking back.
Christmas Requestathon is up! vvv
See it here: http://southerncrossthewebcomic.tumblr.com/post/154894473345/requestathon-2016

Unfortunately I couldnt get through every request due to having a lack of time to do these.

Southern Cross will return in 2017!

Thank you so much to everyone who stayed with this comic for another year, and to those who have recently started reading who plan to stay.
It's back! Rules are below, please read em:
The Requestathon I did back in 2014 was a lot of fun so I'm gonna do it again.
The old one got deleted when I lost my tumblr blogs, but I just reuploaded it on the new blog if you want to relive the memories, or know what it's all about:
http://southerncrossthewebcomic.tumblr.com/post/153972883905/southern-cross-reque stathon-2014



Rules of the Requestathon:

1. Make the requests at the tumblr's ask box. The url for that is http://southerncrossthewebcomic.tumblr.com/ask
You don't need to have a tumblr account to send a request!

2. You can request something from any character from the comic - this includes their child forms and the assorted animals.

3. The comic's rating is PG13, and I'm sure none of you want to see my awful attempts at anything more risque so just use your best judgement here. No 18+ requests is what I'm saying here.

4. You can submit more than one request, but I might not get time to draw them all.

5. In the event I end up with a lot the ones with a christmas theme get priority.

6. THE FINAL DEADLINE IS DECEMBER 21st.

Depending on how many I get, I might post them in small batches leading up to Christmas on the comic site (ie here), or I will dump them in one hit on the tumblr blog on christmas eve(like last time).

Have fun!
Torino
October 31st, 2016
and then syd used a nightlight for 3 months.

I'm glad I technically had time to finally do another Halloween special, but I wish I'd had more time because this was intended to be at least one or two pages longer. The original draft from a few years back also introduced a few other haunted places in Sydney but there wasnt enough pages in the final one.

Anyway, I'm going to be taking a little break from Southern Cross for a while - I don't know for how long yet. I want to take the time to draw some other things - if I manage that they'll be on my art blog (torinoart.tumblr.com) - but there's still SC content I want to do as well. Maybe I'll manage a christmas special, I definitely can't guarantee that (I'll definitely upload -something- though, even if it's just an illustration).
There's also some stuff I kinda want to do concerning what the -others- were up to dring the Two Cities arc...and I really, really want to redo the character intros cos seriously. Those things suck.
Torino
October 28th, 2016
That's two pages on the days I said I'd upload them! (even if this was intended to go up in the morning, not at night...)
Hopefully the last one can actually be posted on Halloween, although it might end up being posted at night too.

better luck next time Darwin.
Torino
October 24th, 2016
Here we go!
I decided to give Clip Studio Paint another whirl. I like the tone effects but it's got a bit of a learning curve and I'm still not very good at it. Hopefully I'll get used to it.
Just to remind you of the schedule for the Halloween episode:

Page 2: Friday (28th)
Page 3: Sunday (31st)

(and a standard disclaimer that this could end up changing without notice)

(fun fact I havent drawn Adelaide/Canberra/Perth in so long I kinda forgot how)
There we go.

I really wish I could have gotten a break in before this but due to the timing I wont: The halloween special starts next week and will be three pages long.

Here is the schedule for that:

Page 1: Tuesday (25th)
Page 2: Friday (28th)
Page 3: Sunday (31st)
There's one small bonus page after this. It's not much, but it will be up next week.
The actual story arc finally finished here though.

I started it in February 2014. It seems weird to finally finish this chapter. It was the biggest undertaking I've done for this comic so far - it had the most research but also the most 'translation' (as in 'translating' historical fact into dramatized fiction). It was a slightly different approach to how the comic has been until now and I don't know for sure if it truly worked. I'm sure I lost a few readers along the way, but I know I also gained a few. I'm really thankful to the people who stuck around to the end. Even though the tone is different to 'regular' Southern Cross, this has been the story arc I've wanted to draw since I started it.

To tell the truth there are plenty of areas I'm not happy with at all, and parts where I have no idea why I drew them the way I did. Several parts were redrawn many times and I can't help but feel that the ending is too similar to the Federation arc in which one of the female characters hugs Syd and Mel simultaneously. But for better or worse, it's finally done.

I hope you enjoyed it at least a little bit.

There's stuff I still want to do with Southern Cross. There is a Halloween special I've wanted to do for years now, so we'll see if I can get that done. After that, I need a break, but the comic will return in time. I hope you're still around.

-Torino
@Yanderelaide: there's no deep reasoning behind syd's eyes being green, it's just the colour that suited him best. (he went through a lot of redesigns way back when I first thought of the concept of this comic purely as a joke and didnt actually intend to draw it seriously.)
I also kinda wanted his eyes to resemble a cat's.
@Mastakazam: Just dont stuff four in your face at once.