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Torino is just some comic/history/paranormal nerd who likes cats a whole lot.
I really need to apologise for vanishing for several months. To tell the truth, I had been planning to post a 'hiatus announcement' page, and then never being able to due to various reasons. The number one reason was that, truthfully, this year went way, way too fast for me and I kept feeling like the last update hadn't been that long ago.
The second reason is that this year was full of personal difficulties that made it really difficult to draw - which is ironic, because the year was actually really productive. I did another convention, I was in two zines, and I did a whole load of fanart, but being able to come up with SC content was ridiculously difficult. I kept meaning to come back to it, but then I ended up busy with a bunch of other things. But, finally, I forced out this hiatus announcement so there could actually be some indication that the comic didn't abruptly die.

The silver lining is that I took so long to do the hiatus announcement that the length between the announcement and the next update is almost small enough to make it not really matter anymore, so this is more a post to say that Southern Cross is absolutely definitely getting a Christmas special this year, so please stay tuned! I can't say when its going to start because I'm still tossing up between two concepts - one would need to start in the first week of December and the other can start a little later.

Anyway, thank you for those who kept checking back! I'm really lucky to still have fans despite disappearing with no explanation, and I hope you enjoy the Christmas episode when it starts.

Also: I'm still not sure what I'm going to do regarding the changes coming to Smackjeeves, although now that they've gotten rid of the subscription plan I'm not as forced to stay. But no matter what I do, I do plan on giving the whole comic an overhaul at one point and moving/replacing a bunch of the old strips.
@Chaotic: thank you so much for checking in, it means a lot! I’ve been kind of terrified of how quickly this year has passed for me because it still feels like May was only recently and yet it’s already been months with no update. I really should have put up a hiatus message but I ended up too busy for even that. I ended up getting very busy on a variety of things and had no time for SC, but I’ve been thinking about the next updates the whole time. I still don’t know when I can update but it’s definitely going to be this year and hopefully even some time in October.
I have thought about a webtoons mirror before, first I need to get more familiar with the interface though.
Hey, remember this comic? The original is from 2011 and so for 2019 I redrew it. I changed some of the text and added a few panels, but it's mostly the same. It's refreshing to see it with new artwork! It's part of my current mission to redraw a bunch of the old strips, because I am seriously thinking of deleting them, or at least archiving them elsewhere.
Here is the old one to compare it with, while its still up.
Sadly the easter bilby is also endangered! I only found out this year that Cadbury discontinued theirs last year, and I didn't see any in the stores whatsoever except for the Pink Lady ones in Target, which there were hardly any of, and then there were none at all when I went back to buy some. I hope its because everyone brought them all. I hope everyone keeps buying them and they get more popular again!

By the way, I decided to change the font as well. I have no idea why I was so committed to using the font MilkRun because it really didn't look great, but this one (Wild Words) is much more natural for comics.
Southern Cross enters 2019!
Here's a much shorter valentines special. Originally I planned to have Mel helping Hobart, but he's probably busy.

For lamingtons, you can basically use any sponge recipe, so do what you feel like. There is the method of leaving the cubes out overnight so they slightly dry out, but I dont like this, because I like them super soft and fluffy - thus chilling or even freezing them is better.

I was also meant to upload the new banner today, woops. I'm gonna have that done by the end of the week, hopefully even by the end of the day, along with a new news post about it.
Hurray! It's finally here! After a whole load of things including a two-day blackout delayed it by a whole bunch, I finally got it done! I did have to cut a few requests sadly.Originally I was going to upload it direct to the comic site in several parts spread out over the week leading up to christmas but alas that was not possible to do time-wise, and so it's hosted on tumblr as normal.

>>>>>> Merry Christmas! Here is the link for the requests. <<<<<

Thank you again! I can't yet say when the comic returns, but there's a few things that need fixing. Including that banner I've been meaning to change since 2013.
Submissions are open until 11:59 December 22nd, Australian time!

The Requestathon is a Christmas present where your requests get drawn.
2014 version here
2016 version here.
If there's anything you particularly want to see, now's your chance.

Usually the requests are taken via tumblr, but this year I am using curiouscat.
(the link, again, is here)You do not need a curiouscat account to do this, but you can use one if you'd like your name to to be credited for the submission. (Alternatively, you can just include your name/nickname on an anonymous message, but only if you want to)

1) Obviously your request has to involve SC characters, but that includes every character who has ever appeared and not just the main 8. That means anyone from Syd's butler to the numbat and bilby in the site background are eligible.
2) The requests don't -have- to be Christmas related, however if there are a large volume of submissions the Christmas ones will take priority.
3) SC is rated PG13 on smackjeeves, so the submissions must also be PG13.
4) You can submit more than one request, but don't go nuts.

Anyway, seems like this tends to happen every two years. It's time for round three! Sorry for the tremendous wait in getting any update to this comic, but lets end the year on a fun note. This will also be the beginning of Southern Cross 4.
@Tamfang: I do have stat counter installed for analytics but i didn’t think the display depended on this. This is the first I’ve heard of it causing a viewing problem which is unfortunate. But I wouldn’t have expected it to affect the images/pages.
@Tamfang: That's odd, I've tried it on different browsers, including on a brand new phone I'm not logged into Smackjeeves on, and I can still see it. What browser are you using?
I made it!
It's finished! The Valentines arc that never ends finally ended!
It was, obviously, somewhat different to the other arcs so far, and not only because it concerned the present as opposed to the past.
I may have mentioned this previously, but although this arc had been in planning for about 3 years (and I had planned to start it as soon as marriage equality was achieved in Australia), it was never meant to be this long originally. Part of the reason it ended up so long was because the original draft was a sequel to a planned Christmas special that never got done. But then the whole thing took so long its kind of surreal to not have to work on it anymore.
My main regret is that I couldn't make it look as good as I wanted to due to time constraints, and it lacks the detail of the Two Cities arc.

What's next for Southern Cross? First of all, a break. But I'd like to do some more fun things before the end of the year. Maybe I'll do another request-a-thon for Christmas, or another character poll (I can't help it, I love character polls). What do you think? Comic content will probably go back to short jokes for a while, but there are also some -other- new characters I want to introduce - not butlers, either.

Thank you for reading until the end of this arc - whether you're new or someone who's been here for years already, I hope that you enjoyed it.
Well at least it isnt my fault the page is kinda late this time - I had it all ready to go and then smackjeeves wasn't working - and then I had to go out. Luckily it started working again by the time I was back.
Anyway, there was actually some concern about whether the butler's wife Matilda was still alive or not, but as you can see she is. He also has the NSW coat of arms on his phone, which may or may not be one exclusively for Sydney to contact him on.
And so another thing changes.
This arc is almoooost done, just a few more pages. Look for the next one next Friday.
Well, I tried to get it done while it was still Friday but ended up late. I kept switching some stuff about how this page segues into the next one and it took me too long to get it right.
Everyone has gone to The Pancake Parlour, a restaurant chain I make sure to visit every time I go to Melbourne. There's no deep meaning to this. I just really felt like pancakes and wanted to draw them.
Also, sorry Mel. You knew he was embarrassing, and now you're stuck with him.
Even with the extra time I still kinda barely squeezed by on this one. Just in case you missed it last time, I have changed the upload day from thursday to friday AU time.

If you're wondering why the others would all just assume it but only Bri would immediately question the technicalities, that's just what she's like (as well as being considerably closer to both of them). Canberra is also the type to question the technicalities...except when it concerns the two people she already decided were her fathers. Poor Darwin thought he finally had his head around it. Adelaide and Perth really don't give a damn. And Hobart....I guess she's not that perceptive, or perhaps was too blinded by her own doomed hope.

By the way, Mel genuinely believed all this time that he was incredibly convincing in the act he puts on of not liking Syd, and honestly thought the others would find his true feelings a surprise.
It's the first page I've drawn since I moved back to Australia again. ...Which is also why it took so long, as there was an international move in between this and the last page.
I think from now on (or at least the rest of this arc) I will change the upload day to Friday instead of the usual Thursday. Next page may or may not be late, but I'm hoping for August 11. Its kinda weird that a Valentines arc is still running in August.
I also feel like I haven't drawn Adelaide in forever.
Sorry for this page being a day late, it was actually really difficult to draw. I am really bad at drawing hugging, which...probably shows) and...thats basically what every frame of this page is.
It's the last page I draw in Japan, and I'm back in Australia on the weekend. Hopefully the next page will be up next Thursday or Friday.
Relax, Mel, it's just like ripping off a bandaid. That you've been neglecting to take off for over a hundred years. It really has been a while that theres been a colour page.
****ANYWAY: There's a week break before the next page, so expect it on the 26th.****

I am currently more busy than I have ever been in my life because I'm moving back to Australia again soon, so I don't have a lot of time for drawing. I really wanted to get this arc finished before I moved, but instead it's taking this long (although, hilariously, the original draft of this was only 3 pages long, but thats because it was piggy-backing off of a christmas special I never had time to draw last year)
Sorry for the wait!
It's been a while since they were in the same space again. The next page shouldn't have any delays and should be up Thursday as usual.
I wonder what's in that alley?
Hurray! No more of this damn bar on the next page! The world's longest Valentines Day is finally over!
The arc itself isn't, though. I'm gonna put a one week break here, so the next page will be up July 5th.
These pages have been taking a while lately, this one did mainly because I've been sick all week.
Hopefully next one will be quicker and also look better. See you next Thursday.

Mel has a poster of the Story of the Kelly Gang, the first ever feature film (which was also produced in Melbourne), half for pure hipster cred and half because he definitely has a giant crush on Ned Kelly.
Sorry that the page updates have been quite late in the day recently. This one took longer due to being a physically longer page.
We're finally back in the present day.
I had worried about the ending of the flashback seeming abrupt compared to the amount of buildup, but I also think Mel's emotional breakdown and its effect on Sydney needed enough context.
The Syd and Mel that appear in one panel toward the end there are most likely from the 1960s! Originally I wanted to have a much larger panel with a whole load of different designs throughout the decades as some kind of indication of the passage of time, but I didn't have enough time to, especially as it would have involved even more new designs. The other periods are something I hope I get an opportunity to revist, though.

I wonder what modern-Mel's up to right about now...