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maiji
happy little squirrel
today!
Is also Emmie's birthday! Happy birthday Emmie!
SHEEPS SHEEP!!! *karate lamb chops*

Just a note for those who may not see the webcomic news page - my online shop is open again, with Now Recharging book 2 available :D You can check it out here!
Happy belated Canada Day!! Hope you all had a good one with people you care about ♥️ It was a bit of a stressful long weekend, but definitely one that made me feel very fortunate in many ways. Being in the ER for several long days (not for me but a family member; hopefully everything is looking up soon 🙏) meant I was able to spend important time with family... and during the lulls also finally finish this North Bound story 😂

I’m excited to finally be able to introduce prequel Seizan! Seitei in the anime as they changed his name there, but I always use the original manga name. You might be wondering why his true form is a rock. First of all, many thanks to my sister for the inspired suggestion a long, long time ago, after I mentioned to her Seizan's true form should be associated with mountains of some sort. As soon as she said it, I realized it made PERFECT SENSE.

If you recall, in episode 104, Raizen’s old friends release massive energy that send Yusuke and Hokushin flying. They are then assisted/anchored down by Touou and Seizan, respectively. (See screenshot here, in between Touou and Seizan's sections.) The ability to stay put in this instance obviously has less to do with power levels and more to do with size/weight, since Yusuke and Hokushin are both S-class while Touou and Seizan are A-class. Touou's a giant, so this checks out. However, while Seizan's certainly a little taller than Hokushin, he doesn't look that much bigger... BUT if he’s actually a super dense rock, he would certainly be able to prevent Hokushin from getting blown away! So that’s my headcanon forever.

The title is a nod to Seizan’s various appearances in the Loyal Retainer/Ends of the Earth series, where he and Hokushin address each other as “old friend”.
A demo Emmie I drew at Anime North this past weekend as an art sample. It has gold watercolour so Emmie sparkles in person :D

Ever since I moved Now Recharging over to Smack Jeeves, I've been pondering what to do about including the omake drawings here without breaking the flow of the comic or creating a ton of extra work for myself. I think I'll just post them as I create them, and then at the end of the chapter move them all to the end of the section. Hopefully that helps to minimize interruptions in reading the main story. I'm open to suggestions!
Prequel Hokushin painted during a bit of downtime behind my table at Anime North this past weekend. Gold watercolour so he’s sparkly in person! Thank you to my friend atorier for the paper!

I’m working on the next comic for this… I swear…
This was originally posted May 21 on tumblr. You can see a detail of Hokushin's head and a photo to compare the colours.

Another old sketch that’s been lying around my work area for a while so I finished it. I just wanted to play with inks and do something really brushy! Hokushin’s colour scheme is from Makai Touitsu Saikyou Battle instead of the original Yu Yu Hakusho anime; his palette there is a lot brighter. Although to be honest you can’t really tell in this picture.

Colorverse Vortex Motion (the ink used on Raizen and Yusuke in the background, it’s a dark red-grey that goes burgundy-lavender-pink with water) is one of those “this is impossible to capture” colours. The photo shows a little closer to what it looks like in real life… ish.

Also I just realized there was practically no reason to write North Bound on this since there isn’t really anything about this illustration that looks outside of the actual series, but whatever writing practice hahah
@Guest: Ooo, that sounds like it would be fun! I might try to make one after I finish this chapter. At the very least I can promise you will see lots of the Prince's facial expressions in Wakening! :D
@Merrsharr: M for maybe, maybe not...? :O But either way I'm delighted you are thinking about this! xDb
Excited!
I'm extra excited for this chapter because it's one of the earliest stories I started writing for Now Recharging, all the way back in 2015. Wow! Time flies!
Art therapy
Susan's activity is based on a simple art therapy exercise I learned from the staff at Emily's House to help children who are dealing with the death of a family member or friend. I think it's very helpful for adults too - even though I had a sense of what was coming, I personally found it relaxing and powerful just to knead and to do something and then to see the results. Many thanks to the amazing Heather who did a wonderful demo!
@Merrsharr: I hope this comic helped bring you back to some good memories with her...!
@Merrsharr: I was having a very rough day and your comments seriously helped me get through it. T_T Seeing them pop up was amazing. Thank you so much for taking the time to read through Now Recharging and to write so many cute, funny and sweet words as you went along! It means a lot, and I'm so happy and honoured to be able to know that the story moved you and I hope you enjoy the future pages and chapters just as much! <3
@Just to confuse people I've: Ah! Thank you so much for taking the time to write such a lovely message - it made my day to see it! Thank you for all your dedication going through it, and I hope the rest of this chapter, and the one to come, are worth the wait :D
This was supposed to be a very short quick draw but it ended up being practically 2x the number of pages I originally intended.
Happy Family Day
It's Family Day over here, and I've been spending a lot of time with my parents and my grandfather. I feel incredibly blessed to have all of them in my life, and also immensely grateful that I have the luxury of being able to feel that way. Wishing you and your family, whether they are related by blood or not, all the best. <3
@dmr11: That's right :) I made this adaptation based on the fact that in the original series, Hokushin says that he can reach out and grab a rock from 20km away, and his arm is shown stretching in both the manga and the anime (much more obviously in the latter).

Hokushin's never officially identified as a rokurokubi, but quite a few fans made the association over the years. In one of the stories that will be posted in the future (probably mid next week), A House That Holds Long Limbs, I go deeper into the mythology of rokurokubi in the NORTH BOUND universe. Hope you enjoy it! :D
Originally posted December 24, 2018. Original comment: "妖怪がいるのか
Any demons here?[...] Inspired by some old Japanese prints with shadow puppets - one of them included a rokurokubi."
Original comment from January 15, 2019: "And that’s why Hokushin’s still eating humans when Yusuke meets him.

Phew! Another 51 pages done. A new set of the latest North Bound comics and art will be going up on pixiv soon.

1) Some writer/artist problems: dead bodies and blood. I had a lot of discussions with myself about this, and even just now (before hitting post) was like, “Is there enough/too much blood?” Well, it’s a dead body, so no blood pumping… but not dead so long that all the blood has coagulated… so most of the blood on Hokushin is just him making a mess on himself I guess. It’s times like this I’m glad the drawing style I’m using is so sketchy and open to wide latitudes of interpretation lmao

2) I’m at a bit of a crossroads now. I have one more story that’s ready to draw, and then I can go into the introduction of A NEW CHARACTER who is a character already existing in Yu Yu Hakusho. Except I’ve developed scripts for other stories with just Hokushin and Raizen before this other character joins. But I’m tired of putting off the appearance of more characters who will be with us for the long haul. I can always go back and draw “more fun times with Hokushin and Raizen before everyone else showed up” since everything is an ancient flashback anyways right?? Anyways we’ll see what ends up getting done first in between all my other projects.[...]"