Ordinary Mortal (I'm never on!)
Enoch Strife's The System
Trapped in the Closet, with the Devil
Holy of Holies
December 30th, 2018
Don't feel like waiting 300 pages. This is actually one of the first scenes I conceived, back in September 2001.
Yuri effortlessly opens the Heaven's Gate and enters the Holy of Holies to find Sweet with the Ark of the Covenant and Shekinah.
This should be impossible because the gate is protected by an unbreakable quantum code and a fail-deadly 100 megaton nuclear device that would detonate should the gate be breached. Although nuclear devices of arbitrary yield can be made, it would be impracticable to make a device larger than 100 megatons, as beyond that point the fireball would have a greater diameter than the thickness of the atmosphere and any additional energy would escape harmlessly into space.
We first see Shekinah as a being of light on what was at the time page 36 when Prisoner # 77658 makes contact with her. She appears for the second time on page 110 where Sweet addresses her as "Mother". Page 110 is also the first time we see inside the Holy of Holies, where only a handful of people (including Sweet) have access.
Shekinah is seen here fully intact, where as on page 110 she is hooked up to machinery (seen here hanging from the ceiling) with bits and pieces of her body dangling about. Material had previously been harvested from Shekinah for various applications. By this point the harvesting has ceased and she has had the time to regenerate.
As for just what Shekinah is, for the longest time I didn't know. Recently I've had an epiphany and realised that Shekinah is a tree. Those appendages are branches, and her tail is a trunk with a large taproot with accessory roots extending out from it. She is the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil, who has long ago been made a slave of the humans.
Why is there a lake of blood inside a clear glass room beneath an even larger lake of blood inside a giant cave beneath a city? Because it's cool. I don't think there was any deeper reasoning when I came up with that idea. It's just cool.
December 27th, 2018
Character sketches, mostly from the first comic iteration of the story titled "Outlaw Seed"
December 13th, 2018
The very first page. Sweet at the helm of The Pinnacle Research Group and the US Navy voyage on a 19th century ship (because that's the only model I had). Despite looking directly at the model I still managed to make it look wrong.
Here we see Sweet with a full beard, not just the goatee.
December 6th, 2018
Skyla, after the end, telling Jason to finish the final judgment and telling me to finish the book after 17 years.
I've had the most difficult time over the years drawing Skyla, which is why I haven't done any pages with her up until now even though she's one of the most important characters in the story.
And I did make her neck extra long on purpose.
November 29th, 2018
The farther away something gets the duller and greyer it gets. The Moon actually has many colours (including some bright orange rocks the Apollo astronauts discovered), it just looks grey from the Earth because it's so far away. In reality the Earth would look a lot smaller and a lot greyer from the Moon, but that wouldn't look cool enough.
The hardest part, by far, was the "terminator", the transition between the day side and night side of the Earth. I had to run that through many filters to get it right. The Moon was probably the easiest. It's ground turkey frying in a pan with the pan digitally removed. I take pictures of strange things in the hope that some day I can use it for something. Today is one of those rare days when I do get to use a strange picture.
It would take 9.21X10^24 J to melt all the ice in Antarctica, a little more for the rest of the ice in the world. This is all the energy humanity will produce for 100,000 years, released all at once. It is more energy than the asteroid that killed the dinosaurs. And yet we survive and so few question that.
Adam and No Eve
November 25th, 2018
God: "All creation is retroactive. Everything you choose now will change the past so that this beginning was the original beginning all along."
Adam: "But then, in what sense do I have a choice?"
God: "Everything begins with choice."
Adam: "But if my choice rewrites the past to guarantee that I would make this choice, in what sense do I have a choice?"
God: "Because you can always choose again. And you can keep choosing until you find a world you find suitable."
A Deeper Cut: The World of 2014
November 4th, 2018
I hate it when books don't include maps so you know where everything is. Here's the map for the story with a bit of history.
A Deeper Cut: A Final Blueprint
November 2nd, 2018
The Whole World Knows How This Story Ends. Here's How It Begins....
Everything Begins with Will. The Immortal Judas Iscariot, living under the assumed identity of Elias Sweet, Raul Einrich, his Second-in-Command, The Genesis Machine, and The Eschaton Machine, fight for who will control the End of the World.
August 11th, 2018
Second mention of The UnBathed! All the band members wear face paint and the one guy has a mohawk. Literally nothing else is known about them. I put a bar over four of the letters because a lot of bands have symbols over or under their letters to make them look stupid or something. I thought it was funny.
That extra bit in the fourth panel, where the text box has a like window thing or something, that was totally unplanned. There was way too much text to fit in the previous panel so I just put it off to the side in the original. There was still too much text when I typed it up so I kept the side box, but the box wasn't big enough so I split it open (with white not being the default background) and decided to keep the window effect because it looks cool.
The guy smoking pot originally had a caption that I removed.
What happens when you leave the place you're supposed to be haunting? Who knows. Maybe you enter a nightmare realm filed with disembodied asses or something.
Melanie's seen some shit, man. She was like in Nam.
Okay so with the whole God appearing in a flash of light thing, that was in the original, only it was really crappy looking and God looked different, and I changed the dialogue. I decided on making God look like Richard Rose. Look him up. I got the idea to have God appear in the form a person needs most to see. Since Melanie loses her grandfather, one of the few people she was close to, in the prequel I swear I'll get to eventually, God appears as a grandfatherly homeless man (who wears tight leather pants and surplus Army boots).
July 20th, 2018
This is a pretty good page, I think. That bit about the 3D Magic Eye is absolutely true. When you read the stories about how s̶o̶m̶e̶ most of these big name fake skep-dicks become atheist materialists you'll see that it's always for the stupidest reasons. These people have ONE negative experience, mess up ONE experiment, and then they have a reverse epiphany and come to the conclusion that psychic abilities or God or anything they deem "super"-natural is fake, and then the ONLY way they can have an orgasm is by being an asshole and destroying other people's lives. They're trolls. Skep-dicks are trolls, plain and simple.
June 16th, 2018
This page was done in a trance state and is sort of like asemic writing. It contains no intentional meaning, exists nowhere within the continuity of the story, but is still an official page.
April 15th, 2018
Where to start with this? First real page in exactly 4 months.
This page was always a non sequitur, for whatever reason. I just liked the idea that "Your worst nightmare come to life" is something overtly cheerful instead of the horrible bleak bleakness of the rest of the book. That's probably the best panel in the entire book so far. I really like it.
Panel 1 was redrawn just yesterday. I had to. The original joke was horribly unfunny. I drew the new panel on a piece of grey copy paper purposefully, for whatever reason. I thought it would be funny if it was grey and grainy instead of white and smooth. I also like that the art is totally different. That also makes it funny.
The joke with the nipples that can weld steel was a joke from the radio show I was listening to that I changed to make it funnier through the use of absurdity. The radio made a joke about hard nipples but I didn't think they went far enough with just how hard those nipples were, so I wanted to go way out of bounds and imagine what if Superman had hard nipples. What could Superman's nipples do? Weld steel.
I had to make the barf green because what else could it be? I didn't want ye dear reader to get confused as to what it was. It looks a thousand percent better.
The Amazing Andy. The first of the Skep-Dicks who get killed in this book. Here he's making a bullshit argument that just because a magician can reproduce the effects of a psychic using trickery that means that psychic powers don't exist. It's a red herring. It's something that's true but ultimately irrelevant, just like OJ's gloves or his knit cap. A ventriloquist can reproduce the effects of a radio, that doesn't mean radio doesn't exist.
It's also blatantly false, at least with regards to spirit mediums. Under the double-blind (eventually quintuple-blind) protocols used at the University of Arizona the control magician using cold reading had an average accuracy of 35% where as the genuine mediums had an average accuracy of 80%. It's gotten to the point where the evidence is so overwhelming that to use any of these fake "skeptic" arguments is blatant deception.
As for the book with no plot, just random jokes, I'm not sure, this seems like it might be just such a story, if you want to even call it a story. I'm certainly going to try to salvage it and create a plot, but so far it does seem like just mindless rambling.
January 4th, 2018
Drawn on a napkin in a coffee shop on 1 January.
This comic is the first time since 2009 that I've drawn Yerk, Crow, and Whistle. The only crossover with the trio and Melanie was in 2003. I'm introducing a new character: Luggage!
In the world of O.O.O whistles are alive despite having no organs except legs (and sometimes hair). They can see and eat and talk and hold things perfectly fine. They also tend to live longer than humans. Whistle is a WWII veteran, and good personal friend of Bob Dole, and his parents are still alive and active and in good health despite being over 110.
We get to see here, probably for the first time, that the flames on Melanie's boots are some sort of metalic colour that changes between pink and green depending on how the light falls on them.
Extra: Tales of a Hidden River Front Cover
December 16th, 2017
Tales of a Hidden River was a proposed book of short stories that went along with the Revenge iNC. series.
Hidden River is a town in Ohio that vanished overnight. It served as the setting for the second half of the series.
Every so many centuries a great master appears on the Earth. One of them incarnated in Hidden River in order to get the townspeople to turn away from sin. After meeting with a less-than pleasant welcome the master decided to drag the entire town to Hell rather than turn the other cheek.
After a group of teenagers disappeared in 1985 while exploring the area (it's implied that the town pulled them there and that it's growing and feeding off of human wickedness) it was quarantined by the US government. The paranormal organisation from Geist hired Melanie to find out what happened to the town and to stop it from expanding.
Unexplained mass disappearances turn up frequently in this series, as evident in Kincade, which begins with the professor explaining his theory for what happens to these towns. He's not wrong, there are just many different reasons for the disappearances.
December 16th, 2017
How do you like that stair case? I wouldn't want to climb that thing every night.
"How the hell did I get like this?" I ask myself the same question all the time.
The editor of the Lydia Journal-Constitution (his name is Ed) is actually a pretty cool guy. Here we see him exaggerated through Mel's perspective, but later books in the series show that he's one of the more decent characters I've created.
Not knowing much of New Hampshire or the north I decided on the idea of covered bridges. New England towns must have loads of covered bridges that get dusted with snow every winter, which lasts like ten months of the year up there.
That last panel. Here I was thinking this could ever be finished in just two books. I changed the dialogue a bit. The next page will be the first that requires some re-drawing because I don't like the direction the story was going. That page will probably appear in January. Certainly not before Christmas.
Extra: Book 4 Page 1
December 2nd, 2017
The first page of Geist, unfinished. Here you get to see how pages look before they're made all readable and nice. I drew on lined paper with a roller ball pen and taped stuff together. About half of each page was nothing but notes on effects to add, because all that black is expensive. I don't know why I did this page when book 3 hadn't even been started yet, but it was interesting. It's the only page from books 4-6 that was ever drawn. Those books have been cut, but this page is still canon, which is why I'm including it here as a kind of epilogue.
SPOILER: Martha dies somewhere between books 3 and 4.
Mel shaves her head and heads back to California, temporarily. Here it says Los Angeles, but her home town of San Pleqi is a fictional suburb of San Diego. I hadn't figured out exactly where it was in 2006. All the dialogue at this point in production of a page is just suggestion. Nothing is absolute until it's finished.
Poster for New Adventures in Hi-Fi in the background. One of the best albums of all time.
Text says "Disjointed Narrative".
Girl's name is Sofiana. She and Mel have fun, nothing serious happens, then break up. Nothing happens. If anything happened Mel wouldn't get to go back to New Hampshire and battle the evil ghost.
Extra: Book 4 Front Cover (Unfinished)
December 2nd, 2017
Unfinished cover for what was going to be Book 4: Geist. Here you get to see what a cover looks like before it's made all fancy like. The series was originally planned to be six books long, but I didn't like the original end so I'm stopping at book 3.
Notice that on the first three covers there's a question mark looking symbol. That's Revenge Incorporated's sigil. The eye looking thing with the arrow is Melanie's sigil, symbolising that she's now the focus of the series, after, SPOILER, Revenge Incorporated is defeated. You can see Mel's sigil on the cover of Kincade.
The mansion at 777 Hill Street has a powerful chaotic evil ghost hidden in the attic, which was locked until the end of book 3. A paranormal police force teams up with Melanie and special guest arch-skeptic Michael Shermer (played by Stanley Tucci - he lives) to exorcise the ghost before it escapes. The threat is much smaller in scope because this was just a one-shot between the two main arcs of the series.
November 25th, 2017
Dirk! His name is Dirk! Man, I forgot that and it was really bugging me that I could only remember two of the three losers' names.
"Can you be scary?" I figured that nothing I could draw would be as scary as the reader's imagination, that's why you don't get to see what his face turns into.
That ornery creature in the margin is Plumb-Bob! I created him in 2002/03 during an horrendous period of writer's block. I drew, horribly, twenty-some pages of stream of consciousness nonsense and bodily functions. After a few months of that I got over my writer's block.
I don't know how clear it is, or not, so to clarify, Chickless is confused about Revenge iNC.'s powers. She thinks he's using some sort of trickery, like David Blaine, and, in fact, she thinks David Blaine is a better magician. She doesn't realise that Revenge iNC. is the real deal. Revenge is then able to perfectly mimic her voice and enter her, and the others, into an illegal contract against their wills.
When Melanie slams the door open I think that stuff around the panel is supposed to be barbed wire.
When Melanie left California and traveled the country, eventually making her way to New Hampshire, she rented a room with the old people. They are really super cool and probably the only characters who are not assholes.
November 10th, 2017
That first panel is one of my favourites in the entire story.
There we see a poster for The Unbathed. We also see a plain wooden floor. I have a plain wooden floor, and it shows up a lot in my comics.
AND we see the margin writing being changed into candy corn. After page 5 when I decided to continue the story I got the idea to hide pictures of candy corn throughout the book, not just in the margins but all over. There was going to be a contest to see who could locate all the pieces.
In the third panel we see a Scottish guy impaled by a golf club. I thought that was funny. I wanted to make this afterlife waiting area funny, so there are people who had succumbed to humorous deaths.
I don't know, I got the idea that people who die from certain means, like suicide, get stuck haunting places as penance. And they don't get to update their appearance, they are forced to appear as they had died for the duration of the haunting, which can be many centuries. Normally when you die, as we see in a later page, you can alter your appearance so the cause of death isn't obvious, but if you're being punished then you can't.
In the fourth panel we see three unfortunate characters who were going to die in a story I never got around to writing about people trapped in a house with a monster. The beginning of that story will appear in the beginning of the prequel to Revenge iNC., called Kincade. The guy to the left was the victim, the guy in the middle had abducted him and brought him to the house under the control of a demonic entity, and the guy to the right was a SWAT officer who was killed entering the house. In this world not only ghosts and afterlife bureaucrats exist, but demons exist, and it's not entirely clear what demons are, but they can and do possess people. This particular demon has been around in the Americas for thousands of years and was responsible for the collapse of different Mesoamerican civilisations throughout the centuries. In the beginning of Kincade a professor of mythology and the occult is giving a lecture on civilisations that vanished overnight, and he makes the connection to this supernatural force that he is speculating is responsible. It turns out that this force exists and it is actually self-limiting, but sometimes people things to mess with the system and all hell breaks loose.
The entire second half of this page is nothing but foreshadowing.
October 31st, 2017
Happy motherfucking Halloween, bitches! No treats, just tricks.
This is probably my favourite page that I've drawn of this comic, this one and the armpit farting, but you'll see that one later. I drew the top half of the page weeks before the bottom half. The first four and a half pages were part of a promotion in another book.
You can just see my Roman heritage bleeding through, with those pollarded trees and the Mediterranean cypress. This is New Hampshire in the winter, so those trees should be covered to keep them from getting killed by frost, but this is magical realism, not real realism. When you throw someone out the window in the really real world there's no coming back.
Melanie makes reference to not getting paid. In the series that originally preceded this longer story it was established that she moonlights as a con-artist.
Intimidation is a fictional store I invented. I don't know what they sell there, even though I'm like the god of this universe and I'm near ubiquitous, I've deliberately never been inside. The door to the store is a gaping mouth surrounded by torches. They have a smoke machine, so you can't see what's inside. Apparently they sell clothing and probably drug paraphernalia. I think I might have hallucinated this place into existence once, I'm not sure.
The people who shop at Intimidation often are the same people who listen to music by the band The Unbathed. Suffice it to say that if these people are too cool for Melanie then she must be one hell of a loser.
This "Ded Gurl" as I call her (I don't think her name is ever mentioned in the story) may be complaining about getting dumped by Kyle, but he seems to get a bad rap. He's apparently been dating (or at least having sex with) the same person from 1999 until 2006. Still, every time I have a douchebag character, no matter what name he has in the story I always secretly call him Kyle. Ded Gurl's not based on anyone in particular. Neither is Kyle.
151 Hidden Depths
Chelsea and Kitty
Tales of the Red Shark
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