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Rank: 7th Most Hilarious Poster
#1 Most Annoying Moderator

probably not working on my comic, probably should be.
thank god whitney she'd be DEVASTATED if you missed the mini quiches

gonna give a 45 minute ted talk on Picture frames-

I've commented before that my aunt owned an antique store for like 30 years of her life (and yeah, that's likely where I started to find an interest in Old Stuff). My grandfather, who by many accounts was a jack of all trades, for some time operated a framing business out of the basement of the shop. Young me wondered how you could do business just selling picture frames to people. Old me appreciates that there's definitely more skill involved than just "insert," and sometimes I lament the lack of really beautiful picture frames available in regular stores- growing up, paintings and portraits in our home were framed with appropriate levels of embellishment. Some pieces stood on their own with a relatively simple beveled edge, others had really ornate frames that supported the beauty of the framed image itself.

When I was about 6, I used to go to an art class on Saturday mornings. I loathed getting up for it because between that, school, and mass, I never had a day to sleep in (in retrospect I was clearly chronically insomniac). One day we did a neat technique that involved laying down lines of glue on sandpaper and then pouring colored sand onto the glue. I made a striped lizard with like 8 different outlines around it. This piece must have made some sort of impact on my grandfather as it, of all the pieces I made and possibly treasured, was set in this insanely intricate frame and later hung in my bedroom beside a large piece of religious art.

This is all to say, design and embellishment does not come particularly easy to me and I tried really hard to give the picture frames in this scene at least a modicum of character, even if the impact isn't as much as I had wanted it to be. One thing you may notice about architecture and antiques from the post-Colonialist period onward that is lacking (in my opinion- I haven't talked with regular people about this) in today's structures and furniture is a fairly consistent level of high quality detail imparted by craftsmen to everyday objects in a sometimes functional, but often purely decorative manner. Nooks and crannies and added shapes create cohesive uniqueness in a piece. Earlier pieces and buildings tend to be built with functionality first and foremost- shapes that were easy to turn or cut and assemble, because you needed this house/table/bench ASAP and then had to get back to your farming, cooking, washing, sewing, smithing. The average family in the early years of the U.S. colonies built their own furniture rather than buying it from a skilled craftsman. As tools and machines began to make just plain surviving a little bit easier, you had the time to make things a little more beautiful, and why not take that opportunity? Furniture had to be built to last, and since you intended to keep it (hopefully through the end of your life, and then pass it on to your family), it made sense to impart quality and beauty up front- or, more likely seek a skilled carpenter to sell you or build you the piece you need. You might spend far more than we'd expect to spend today on, say, a dresser or end table, but you expected it to be a one-time purchase that could be repaired or tended to as needed, rather than fully replaced if something was broken or loose.

(I don't know a lot about antique furniture & architecture, but I know enough to talk way too long about it...)

I guess the point of this is I think about this shit every time I'm drawing a house or an object in this comic, and I've tried to build a larger repertoire of styles and stylistic flourishes to incorporate so that it doesn't seem like I'm drawing, say, the same windows every time (I'm drawing the same windows every time) but I still can't get it to come through naturally rather than a mid-thought or after-thought. I've always got a tab open or some printout of like "late 1800s service table" and even then it feels like I"m half-assing something. One thing I'm trying to get better at is representing some of the beauty of what things looked like in the period this comic takes place. I think I'm better at it than I was 10, 5 years ago, but I'm still not where I want to be. (And don't get me started on clothing...)

You are really good at evoking a visceral sense of discomfort and crawliness....

... I mean that in the best possible way <D

Aww thanks, yeah that's definitely a big part of it! Part of my problem is also just getting all the colors to look cohesive like they're part of the same picture... having a separate "multiply" layer is my friend for this reason but it's nicest when the stuff looks good on the page to begin with :/
@Squirreltastic-Blue: That's a good way to think about it. And it's fair to treat it as published if it is availalbe on the internet to the public! I think spelling errors are one reason to edit things, though as far as actually revising content, I support it in cases where somebody has made maybe a bad joke or reference they no longer want to be associated with. For ex. with my gag a day comic I made in 10th grade, I had one strip that I thought was cute and funny but when I looked back at it a few years later, it could easily be read as an anti-trans joke, which is really not my scene, so I took it out of the archive.

And that's so kind of you, thanks. :) I feel a bit like I"m pushing a rock uphill these days with coloring so I really appreciate the kind words.
@Oly-RRR: Exactly! I think it's fun to have kind of a reverse reveal in some sense...


Loud Era has finally circled the sun once. If you peek out Joseph's window on the first page of the whole comic, you can see the leaves of an early October tree starting to turn.*

I have a love/hate thing for autumn scenes. The colors are fun to pick but I'm never entirely happy with the results, although I think I've made some progress since 2009.

*Here's a good example of the general rule in webcomics about not redoing old pages, because sooner or later even the redone pages are going to become your old pages. I added this introduction in 2012 to buffer readers from immediately smacking into pool of dried concrete with the old 2009 art, and at the time I was absolutely pleased as punch with how the art turned out. Now that I have some additional years I can see a lot of proportion issues, etc- it's still passable and I don't mind having it right at the beginning of the comic, but I'm glad I didn't give in to the urge to redraw and rewrite old chapters as I had been playing with doing a few years back.
What inspired the "masks" that Velasco and Maestro appear to wear? (or just the design of their faces)
I can't put my finger on exactly what style it reminds me of, but some of your character designs, particularly this guy, give me a serious feeling of familiarity. Maybe a bit of Courage the Cowardly Dog villain, but mixed with something else as well that I haven't been able to ID properly.

I'm struggling with what to do about content warnings- I don't want to put them on the pages with the content, because a)that's likely too late and b)idk, it seems like it messes with the flow and can be spoilery? I have warnings in my SJ site summary, but I don't know how many people see that.

Maybe I ought to just go ahead now and list anything I know I have planned for "eventually" and hope anyone who needs the warning sees it before they come aboard :/

I hope it's okay that I'm continuing to read here on SJ :) :) Congrats on the well deserved acceptance to SpiderForest, I've heard great things and one of my old favorites is hosted there!
this page has the appropriate disorientating feeling of a mid-late 20th century 3D print viewed without the glasses
@Oly-RRR: :D :D :D :D

I always felt that way too, like I know some folks argue that flashbacks are a crutch for lazy authors but I think sometimes scenes like this pack a better punch when you already know the characters a bit?? :/

*reaches over ocean for high five* yassss. The past week and a half with school starting up again have knocked me down temporarily but I'm hoping I get into a routine and can get back to the next scene !!! Fingers crossed for this year as I shouldn't need to do as much work outside of ... work as I was doing last year *wishy face*

@Oly-RRR: Tiny Sickly Joseph has won the award for "Critter Most Needing A Hug and Most Likely to Refuse" too many years running :( :( and yeahh :( :( I didn't want to make it hyper explicit but between the trapped feeling and the woozy haze of painkillers he made a few attempts :(

It's been a lot of fun writing and drawing little Cecilia :D :D
@Oly-RRR: omg loving Sad Feel Green XD It was super fun to do but the effect looked better in my practice sketch than in the real thing... meh >:[

@Bloomer: probably TMI but I get bad random eczema so chunks of skin coming off is unfortunately relatable .n. though I've yet to cough up my insides as on this page
The composition of this page makes him seem so terrifyingly isolated- and second to last panel gave me a yucky shiver D:>
@super-chii: I'm glad he found just the shirt to advertise his LARGE LOG

also YAY KNITTING!!! So funny seeing this today as I was thinking of getting my knitting stuff out of the closet for the fall :D
The splaying little kitty paws ;;
@The_Hankerchief: Thanks for the reread and the compliment :) :) It's hard to wrap my mind around the fact that I did this page 6 years ago.
@The_Hankerchief: Bunk beds, man. My sister and I had separate rooms so we never had justification for one, but I remember being keenly jealous of my best friend and her younger sister (who was also my sister's age). The younger sister had the cavern-like bed on the bottom, and my friend had the exclusive top-bunk which gave us access to the ceiling fan (which had an adjustable dial switch to control speed). During intense games of Good vs. Evil, Barbie Edition, the top bunk was the "evil barbie" lair, and kidnapped "good barbies" were often tied on to the ceiling fan and spun at gradually increasing speeds until rescued by their colleagues. It's a miracle we never broke that fan.