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machsabre
This is a short description of my likes, hobbies and stuff. It's very important as you can well see.
  • Real Name
    Dave Reynolds
  • Gender
    Male
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So this was something I was hoping I could avoid. But apparently, life decided otherwise.

I’ll be blunt. The comic is going on hiatus until at least sometime in March or so.

Here’s what’s going on. I’ve mentioned that my fiancé Andrea (who is also the co-writer of the comic), we’re getting married as well as moving across state to Pittsburgh. We thought it’d be a lot more spaced out. However, due to her job requiring her to start a few weeks earlier than we expected… We’re literally getting married and then moving a day or two later. On this same note, I need to find a more stable source of income, because… Well, this ain’t exactly paying the bills. So I have to find work out there as well. Basically we have three major life events happening at the exact same time.

Needless to say, we are stressed and freaking out like crazy.

So like I said. Hiatus. And when we return, I’m going to try something I think is a little crazy. Hear me out here.

My last webcomic, Shadowgirls, ended prematurely as well, on a cliffhanger with no resolution due to creative differences. I always hated that and I will be damned to let that happen again. I really like this story and we’re only just at the beginning of it. (We’re like already one sixth of the way through the first volume.) I want to see this through. So in March or so, things will hopefully have calmed down by then and I can resume production of sorts again.

But one of the problems I think with telling a long form dramatic comic book as a webcomic is having to read each page a few day at a time. Let’s face it. If you’re taking your time with 16 pages to establish mood and tone is all neat, but in webcomics terms, that’s two months. I don’t know if I have the patience for that pace. And I’m the creator! This is not a unique complaint. How many people actually wait for a few weeks to read a comic in binge format? Quite a lot, I believe.

We write these chapters in 12 page increments. When we come back, I’m not going to update the comic on a page by page basis anymore. We’re going to upload the entire chapter at once. Does that mean longer in-between updates? Yeah, it will. But I think it’ll be better for it. (Hey, a lot of us read monthly comic books. This hopefully will be no different.) Also, if I get to a page that requires a little more time on it? Then I can spend time on it, without feeling rushed for the update time. Now I do not know if anyone else has done this, and yes, I know the arguments against doing it this way. Hell, a few weeks ago, I would have agreed with them. But it’s an interesting experiment, and let’s be honest… I’m in an actual position to get experimental here.

Now if you’re a follower of mine on Patreon, I’ll be posting the pages there as I complete them, and I’ll put them in the $1 category to boot. But eventually, you’ll get them here too.

I apologize for this mess. I didn’t really plan things out as well as I would have liked. But hopefully you’re all cool with this and this will be better all around in the long run. Thanks for understanding and we’ll see you sometime in March or so.

-Dave Reynolds
@OwLbear: Sadly based on a few assholes I knew in real life.
So it seems that Callie and Chad have a wee bit of an antagonistic history together. This is going to be a big part of their story going forward.

You might have remember me mentioning that there's both a marriage and a moving coming up here soon. Well, that's happening here soon and we have to start packing. And as Thursday's page just does not exist as of this writing... We're going to miss Thursday's update here, but we'll be back on Tuesday. I apologize for this and hopefully y'all understand.
And we're back to Callie and the Tacocat. And we now say hello to Chad.

Friends, Romans and countrymen...

...Chad is a dick.
It's a little early, but I figured what the heck. We've been gone a week and a half.

So... New page here and a new chapter. Next page should update like normal. But like I mentioned last time, we're dealing with getting married and moving cross state soon... So there may be a delay or two in some upcoming pages during this chapter. I'll let you know before when those might be. At the very least, it'll all the real life stuff will be over with by the first of March. :)
And Madison speaks! Pretty much imagine Shelby Rabara, Peridot's voice actress from Steven Universe doing her voice and you're good. And this wraps up the first chapter of the comic.

We're going to take a week and a half break in-between chapters here. One is to catch up and get ahead so I don't blow through pages, and the other is to finish up a couple commissions I promised people I'd do. We're getting married AND moving across state in February and I'd like to have those obligations off my plate before it happens. (So with the upcoming chapter, there MIGHT be a missed update here or there. I'll let you know the update before though.) So I'm sorry in advanced for any delays.

Hope your New Years was good and we'll be back on the 15th, for the second chapter, "Life on Mars". :)
And we continue along with Madison's exploration. It's uh... Okay, seriously folks, she IS going to do more than scream and run away, I promise.

Originally I had this elongated scene written out which showed the entire reasons and events that brought her here... But I felt that was a little too much at once. And it has no real bearing on the main story for the first book here. And it's better to save it I think. ;)

See you Tuesday for the first chapter's conclusion!
And thus enters the other main character of the comic. Say hello to S = 1/4 c3k/Gh A, also known as Madison.

Yup, it's all downhill from here folks. See ya Thursday! :)
So here’s the story about these two pages. Originally, they were pages one and two. More importantly, they were drawn before the script was even written. I knew before I even wrote a single word that I wanted this scene set to the tone of Carl Sagan’s ‘Pale Blue Dot” message. Every single version of the story that we’ve made, from when it was a continuation of Shadowgirls, to a reboot, to it’s current standalone incarnation… These two pages have always been there.

But this doubling up of the pages... Is this something that is preferred? Having two pages at once, one time a week or keeping it how it is now?

So next Monday is Christmas, and that won’t affect our update schedule at all, so we’ll be here on Tuesday. So Happy Holidays folks, be safe and warm and please join us back here Tuesday for a frog.
This page is a perfect example of how I’m doing this comic. Sort of a modified “Marvel Style” of writing. For those that don’t know, Marvel Style is named after how Stan Lee and the artists who worked on the older Marvel books int he 60s used to write things. Stan would give a rough page synopsis, and the artist would actually flesh the story out in visuals, and then Stan would go back in and add the dialogue after the pages are done. This allowed Stan to work on several comics at once, and give the artist a lot more leeway with the visuals. Yes, this means that Jack Kirby, Steve Ditko, John Romita Sr., John Buscema and the others were all co-writers.

When it’s just me and Andrea on the book here, it’s a lot easier to go with that writing style than the traditional one. So while there IS a full script to work off from with Stargazer Apogee here, there are details are are sacrificed for the sake of visual storytelling.

With this page, I mentioned a few pages ago, with Callie talking to her boss was originally going to be a page longer. Last Thursday’s page was actually a late last minute addition to the story. Like literally, two weeks prior to that page going up, it didn’t exist in any conceptualized for. And the conversation on that page (which changed a bit from it’s initial run) also affected the events on this page. There was originally going to be a lot more dialogue on this page… And that’s when I realized that I was able to drop about 90% of it, because I think the visuals told all that was needed to be told.

Winging it! :)

Next Thursday will be a double page update, as it’ll be pages eight AND nine, which has an interesting story attached to that as well.
Originally the words on this page was going to be in actual Spanish with the translations underneath. HOWEVER, I don't know Spanish, and the Geologist is still just learning it. Not to mention, the page would be REALLY cluttered up. So I chose to cheat and go the lazy route. Sorry. Seriously though, if Stargazer Apogee does well enough, maybe we should look into making a Spanish language version?

Oh, and the "Cheese Bitches" story? That actually happened for real! Here's how it happened. It was late June, and I get this phone call. It's a Williamsport area number. My phone still has my Grand Rapids, MI number. So I figure it's someone it might be someone at work who's number I don't have or someone calling about someone else's reference. No biggie. So I pick it up and answer. And this is the best I can to transcribe that phone call. (Imagine the dude really over excited.)
__________________________
ME: Hello?

PHONECALL: Bro! You gotta get over here bro! We got some cheese bitches coming and it's gonna be f***in' lit!

ME: Cheese bitches? What's a cheese bitch?

PHONECALL: No, blintzes! Is this Mike?

ME: No, this is not Mike.

PHONECALL: Do you know Mike's number, bro?

ME: I know several Mikes. But probably not the one you want.

PHONECALL: S**t. I'll call his girl. She might know.

ME: She might. Good luck man.

(momentary pause)

PHONECALL: Hey bro, YOU wanna come over? We got cheese blintzes! Girls are comin' over and we're all gonna watch Glow!

ME: Nah, I gotta work tomorrow, and my fiancé would be upset if I watched the show without her.

PHONECALL: She can come too, but it's chill bro! Peace! *clicks*
___________________________

1. I honestly believe that they really just excited to watch Glow and eat cheese pastries. And I can't blame them. I liked Glow a lot, and I like cheese pastries!

2. I wish I had parties like these when I was younger. I would have felt a lot less awkward.

3. Where the hell do you get decent cheese blintzes in the middle of Buttcrack, Pennsylvania?
And Callie returns home. Poor Cal...

So, about this time, I should talk about stuff coming up. Obviously Christmas is in a few weeks here, but I don’t believe that’ll affect us, as it falls on a Monday, so updates like normal there. (Ditto for New Years.) In fact, we should be pretty clear and on course all the way to the end of the first episode here, which should wrap up on Jan. 2nd.

We’ll probably take a week off after that. In fact, just expect a week off in-between all normal length episodes. (A normal length episode is 12 pages.) Even though it falls on a Tuesday, and is only eleven updates, next week Thursday’s (the 21st) update is actually two pages. One’s a splash page, and kind of two parts of the same scene, and I didn’t feel right splitting it up like that. (It’ll make sense when you see it.)

However, some time after that, I’ll not only be moving across state to Pittsburgh, but getting married sometime next year. That may cut into things a bit and I will give you a heads up if that happens. But otherwise, we should be on course here.
@Angry Spork: There's a *little bit* more to it than that. But that'll be revealed sometime this season.
You know how a lot of stories goes through multiple revisions before the final one? Well, this one was no different. Originally, the opening scene of the comic was Callie coming home from college, and somewhat arrogantly thinking that she’ll find a new job in no time, since she’s got a degree. Well, as most of us who have student loan debts will agree with, that’s far easier said than done. There was a montage of her having various interviews, including:

• A Barista (which was already overstaffed and not hiring)
• A Pharmacy Tech Job (which she was unqualified for)
• An Insurance Job that wanted her to spend two grand of her own money to get certified. (Two grand she didn’t have.)
• A Waitress at the Unilateral House of Waffles, but they’re OVERhiring.
• A Hostess at a strip club, but she just outright said “no”.
• A pizza shop sign spinner where she’s baffled it requires five years of experience.
Until finally coming home to tell her mom that she got a job at the Tacocat.

While some of that would have been funny, it really would have slowed the story down.

And there was also another page, right after this one, where she had a longer conversation with Mike there… But it ended up being kinda redundant, as there was no new information revealed and it also didn’t really push the story forward any.

I still might draw those pages for the collection though.
One if the problems when starting a new series that's released on a twice-a-week format is that it can take a little bit to get the story going. I mean, these first seven pages are essentially character building pages for Callie, as well as showing her world. If I was smart, I would have uploaded the first seven pages all in one fell swoop and started with page eight... But as I am only JUST about to start drawing page eight, that would be putting me in a bit of a bind.

Originally my plan was to draw this entire book, all 70 something pages, before starting to upload anything. But as anyone who's done a webcomic know, it's easy to talk yourself into postponing things, saying I'll do this and that later. I had been trying to get anew comic started for almost six years now. Now granted I had a long history of what happened between now and then, and sometimes it wasn't my fault. (Uprooting my entire life and moving across several starts to be with Andrea, getting a new job, odd ass hours, getting engaged and dealing with a bout of depression that I needed meds for, etc.) And other times, it was totally my fault. (One word: Overwatch.)

I was originally going to wait until early January to launch, but I realized that if I didn't do it now... I was always going to have some excuse. So I forced myself to launch. Currently I'm three weeks ahead and hopefully I can keep it that way. :)
@Guest: Eight to ten years afterward, give or take. Callie's about two years younger than Becka.
@OwlBear: Not in this first volume. But down the road, it's highly likely. Both books take place in New England. (And it'd be a more than just a cameo.)
So it's been a few years since I've had an ongoing series. And it's taking me a little bit to get back into the groove of this whole comic book production bit here. Originally I was going to plan for a Monday-Wednesday-Friday update schedule, but then I remember just how utterly miserable I was back in the old comic series on that schedule. And I was mostly single and unemployed then. Now? Not so much. I mean, basically the entire webcomic industry has almost completely changed since the Shadowgirls years... And for the better I think. But yeah it's like trying to re-learn to ride a bike again... And I remember I used to fall off my bike a lot.

By the way, for those curious: Shadowgirls? Same universe.
@Akamaz: Weeelllll... The Tacocat logo WAS done in a high resolution... *hmmm*
@Inara Jones: That's okay... I may or may not have been checking this on and off all night. :)