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The idea of things like “ley lines” or “soft spaces” is an interesting thought. Like most paranormal phenomena, if such things actually exist, they’re more likely psychological artifice than tangible properties, but in that way, they DO still exist—though granted, in a less empirically satisfying way. Such things don’t always play nice with deliberate observation either, which makes them infinitely interesting to speculate about, but somewhat elusively bitchy to actually study. If such things ARE real, they have an annoying habit of happening rather capriciously, if they happen at all, and rarely (if ever) on demand.

Consequently, when it comes to all things paranormal, divine, and supernatural, the frustration of human curiosity might well be summed up by a single question: “Why won’t you answer me?!”

It’s the sort of question we ask of nature all the time, and usually there’s a way to pry out some kind of response through tools, observation, or through the application of the languages of mathematics and physics. But if there is, in fact, any higher or unseen powers at work in the cosmos that are resistant to conventional means of observation and detection, the question is more poignant and less easily answered (though plenty of people might insist otherwise). I don’t mean prayer or supplication; I mean standing on the precipice between ourselves and infinity and asking for a clear and unmistakable reply. You might reasonably assert that, despite the question and the desire for an answer, we don’t really expect one to be forthcoming—at least, not a weird and obviously unnatural response.

So...what if you hollered into infinity for an answer, and it worked not as expected, but as intended?

-van
No harm in trying, right?

-van
Back to Andy and Hector, who are indeed lurking at the site of the arrival of the mysterious beast. For now, I'll leave it to Hector to explain things :P

-van
For the moment, Gogo has charitably given Didi the helm, and that’s a fairly big deal, but spare a thought for ol’ Uncle Roy here...

In the space of an hour or two, Roy has entertained a proposal from his nephew Andy to rent a vacant apartment to a rather strange young woman of few apparent means, who has appeared out of nowhere, eaten a troubling amount of pancakes (and syrup), and Roy has also thrown this stranger straight into the job of renovating a dilapidated old house. There has been very little discussed in the way of statistics—like rent, wages, paperwork, identification—and if that all seems a little reckless and irresponsible, that’s because it kind of is.

I think that’s why Roy’s hustled Gogo/Didi over to the job site on the quick; this might all be a stupid idea, and it might be better to get things moving first, and ask permission from “the boss” afterwards. Or it’s just possible (let’s be realistic, here) that Roy realizes that he’s hastily agreed to a LOT of things for the sake of the exotic, young, noticeably fit and pretty lady, and it MIGHT just be better to keep her busy (and out of sight) while he hammers out how this is all going to work. Just sayin’.

Not that any of this seems to have occurred to Gogo—or to Didi, who seems quite satisfied with the situation, and eager to have a project to occupy her right off the bat. And it’s nice to have projects to take your mind off existentially troubling things, like fierce Kaiju combat or the implications of warping across worlds.

Surely such things can wait for now.

Heh heh…

-van
“WHAT THE HELL, DUDE? NO PAGES FOR <insert however long it’s been between comic updates> AND WHEN YOU FINALLY *DO* POST, YOU FORGET THE STUPID COLORS?!” is what I imagine you’re asking, even though I know you’re probably not, because you, the Bomango readers, are a kind and gentle folk who do not ask such things in such a coarse and untowardly manner.

Except for maybe a couple of you. Yeah, YOU guys over there in the back giggling and looking at your phones. PUNKS! Nothing’s ever good enough for YOU, is it?

Oh...sorry, I was projecting for a second there. Those appear to be mirrors. ^_^;

Anyhow, I recently posted a poll to my Patreon expressing my misgivings about full-color pages now that I’ve done them for quite awhile.

Basically, while I do like how a bunch of them have looked, I haven’t been all that thrilled personally with all the pages being in color, overall. Some scenes really do benefit from adding color to them. But I’ve found that picking and choosing and adding colors for every scene is a lot of work that often yields mixed or even disappointing results for me. Some pages end up feeling overworked, over-glossed, or even a little unnecessarily flat or distracting when they’d have done just as well without such details.

That might just be a personal aesthetic, but it does get in the way of storytelling for me to get hung up on color picking or putting several hours into coloring something that just...doesn’t...look quite right...yet...(more gradients, that’ll do it...)

So the HECK with it, I says. And according to poll respondents, that’s alright with most folks. I’ll still color some stuff anyway. So let’s get on with the show!

-van
As you might’ve assumed, I’ve been a little jammed up trying to stay on top of current and new commissions in addition to keeping the ball rolling with Bomango, so it’s been more of a gap between comic updates than I intended. But whatever, art can be busy business, on with the show!

We’re back to Uncle Roy and Gogo—or Didi, such as it is—and we’ve arrived at an impromptu episode of “This Old House”, in which we’re getting the rundown of the work of sorting out the details of some home renovation, and also sorting out the details of some interior goings-on in the headspace of Gogo (or...Didi) as well.

“What the heck?” you may be asking. “Weren’t we just in some dark world with monsters and guys with guns and a creepy lady with funky colored dialogue?” you may add.

Indeed we were.

...stay tuned :)

-van
“We’re-the-Bloodhound-Gaaaaaaannng!”

Okay, they’re not LITERALLY bloodhounds. Or dogs. They’re Moto’s “Yamadutas” (or “dutas” or “dooties” for short), so named because it sounds badass to have pets that are your “messengers of DEATH”. And what’s the fun of mad science without having some henchcritters to do your bidding? If you’ve got it, FLAUNT it.

-van
Hey there, comic-reading human or misguided bot!

Here's where I usually offer up a trite little blurb about the above comic that generally doesn't enhance the overall reading experience all that much, but I suppose I ought to self-advertise a bit real quick:

(ahem)

The comic, as always, is free and available here and on deviantart https://www.deviantart.com/vanheist along with miscellaneous other art stuff of mine.

And over at my patreon at https://www.patreon.com/VanHeist patrons can get full size versions of each new comic page, the unlettered art, and the black and white line art as well, on top of monthly sketches and commissions and the odd bit of art that remains patreon-exclusive until someone makes it not-exclusive XD If you're already a supporter, thanks a TON. It makes a huge difference in my daily life.

Anyhow, sales pitch over. Enjoy the comic. And Moto. I like Moto.

-van
...and this is who's on the case.

I've been looking forward to this intro for a long time, and to what's still to come now that she's here. Ladies and gents, please allow me to formally introduce "Moto" :D

Oh! And I believe this is also the first time we've visited Gogo's native world WITHOUT it being through the lens of a flashback. So that's also pretty cool.

Strap in. I didn't introduce this firecracker to have her do nothing ;)
SWERVE into the scene shift with me!

Remember how Gogo was a giant monster in a fight with a very serious-looking fire-fisted woman? Well, turns out they're both missed, but someone's on the case now...
Strap in for ACTION!

...and for safety, of course.

If you’re wondering who the heck this “Didi” is that some commenters have pointed out, or why Gogo seems to be acting a bit strange, you might be a newer reader or have only read this particular story so far. Welcome to Bomango! (You don’t have to already know about her for the purposes of this story, it’ll make a little more sense in time).

A friend of mine pointed out that I didn’t seem quite as hyped about Didi finally making an appearance as I might have been. Don’t worry. I’m pleased that Didi is here. There’s just a LOT of stuff lurking just ahead, and I can’t rest on Didi just yet ;)

-van
Gogo has a bit of a claustrophobic affliction when it comes to climbing into smallish spaces, especially the kinds that move on their own. Perhaps she just doesn’t have much experience with vehicles, or she’s got the bug that doesn’t let her passively relax while riding (or maybe part-monster people have a hangup about enclosed spaces).

She could ride in the back, perhaps, but this dilemma has presented an inner opportunity to suggest a different and slightly unexpected approach by another “passenger” altogether... ;)

- van
Gogo’s ready to get RIGHT to work, and she’s barely out the door before a minor obstacle swerves into view: A TRUCK.

Now, a truck is no match for Gogo in a straight up fight, this is true. However, this is not about fighting a truck; it is about RIDING in a truck. No big deal for most people, but Gogo isn’t most people...

-van
The Steve Stamp of Approval. She’s got this. Not to worry.

Now, on to a production note!

Bomango has been updating a little slow and irregular lately. For one reason and another, April was not very productive for me, so I apologize for being a slug :P

Over the past year or so, I’ve gotten a few good critiques about the story that have pointed out that, regardless of the update schedule or how much fun the comic is (or isn’t—each to their own, right?), the story itself hasn’t unfolded very quickly—or at least, we haven’t gotten much in the way of conflict or central premise. I do tend to over-write and meander about sometimes, and there’s been a lot of setting the table in the story without quite getting down to serving dinner, so to speak.

This coming “day” within the story was already planned for a long time to be a big step forward, but as I contemplated some feedback I’ve gotten from readers up to this point, it started to become clearer to me that some story elements I had originally intended to be further off didn’t really HAVE to wait for their time in the spotlight. As a result, the next leg of the story has a lot of moving parts that I’ve been working to set into position, including some surrealism, action, and the introduction of some new characters that, if I pull this off, will really break into some new territory!

There’s also a character I’ve been dying to finally drop into the story (besides the one longtime readers might be thinking of that begins with a “D”), and we’re finally getting close.

I might be slow sometimes, but the way of the glacier is like that. Stay tuned!

- van
WRONG VOWELS, DUDE.

The boys do indeed have the whole day to themselves, and what a day it’s gonna be :D

Thanks again for your patience and readership, folks! The day‘s just beginning!

- van
VanHeist
April 6th, 2019
My friend’s dad always asked that question. “What’re YOU boys tearin’ apart t’day?”

We also often rode bikes, so in a way, this is a very autobiographical comic.

- van
Sorry for the extended gap between updates! I held off on posting until I had three new pages in the bag, so hopefully the wait’s paid off a little more handsomely...

If Gogo’s going to casually open the bag and let the first wave of cats come leaping out of it, technically she could do worse than Hector. Still awkward, though. It’s one thing to be secretive, but it can be real frustrating not being able to neatly articulate WHY you didn’t tell your friend about the super-cool thing you saw.

- van
VanHeist
March 20th, 2019
In fairness to Stepmom, Pablo ought to know that he’s a little peculiar-looking, and that strangers might not instantly accept this gracefully.

...but still, that lady crazy.

Okay, remember how I just suggested a page ago that Cora May might have a somewhat ambivalent attitude towards her stepmother? It’s possible that it’s SLIGHTLY more antagonistic in nature, but the important thing is that you don’t need to worry about Pablo, because he got out of there safely.

-van
VanHeist
March 20th, 2019
Meanwhile, Pablo is out on the town, doing mysterious things that only Pablos can know, and so we find ourselves at Cora May’s house, where those things include greeting the nice lady coming home from her morning jog.

I’m going to bend the rules of “show rather than tell” here, because it doesn’t really need to be a mystery: the easily-spooked woman here is Cora May’s stepmom, and our little purple princess’s attitude toward her is such that...well, if stepmom is freaked out by little blue creatures, it at least makes breakfast interesting.

-van
Aaaand part three! (here's part 1 if you just got here: http://www.bomango.net/comics/2759848/new-old-friends-1/ )

As anyone in almost any field of production, creative or otherwise, can attest, you often put a lot of time and effort into something that’s wildly disproportionate to the time and effort it takes to consume it. Something as simple as a quasi-vaudevillian sketch like this looked like peanuts when I wrote it up and laid it out in thumbnails, but after a couple of days spent working on the actual pages themselves and pushing back the ETA of completion a LOT farther than I initially estimated, I have to admit, comic work can be one hell of a slog—even when you love doing it.

I began yesterday with one page in the bag, and figured I could knock what was left out of the remaining two by early to mid afternoon. By 10 pm, I was only just getting to the shading and highlighting, when it finally occurred to me that there was upwards of 40 individual character drawings with comparatively few repetitive shortcuts for me to have taken in rendering them. (Thank God for that restaurant counter, fixed camera angle, and lack of full body drawings or detailed backgrounds). It took longer to do this short scene than it did to render several pages of Gogojira in battle.

Mind you, I’m not complaining. I’ve enjoyed the hell out of doing this, but there are times when I’m slightly overwhelmed by how much I can miscalculate the potential workload I’ve made for myself. (I’m sure you other artists understand the feeling all too well). The amount of time you spend on something can also skew your own perception on the work itself. Spend enough time crafting a joke, for example, and after awhile you can begin to wonder if it was ever even funny in the first place (same goes for drama, action, etc).

But anyway, I do love this scene, regardless of whatever amount of work it took. It’s not truly a classic “who’s on first?” routine, of course, but sort of the same spirit, and if you’ll allow me to flatter myself, “Thank you, Hector” is personally one of my favorite panels I’ve come up with in recent memory. This whole scene felt to me like the characters found a real groove that hasn’t quite happened yet in this story. I’m really pleased with it, and I hope you’ve enjoyed it too!

van