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

probably not working on my comic, probably should be.
This is a really heartwarming page and interaction. <3
@Oly-RRR: Drawing the kids put me in a sad mental place, honestly... I put myself in Aggie's place and want to like, turn around and somehow rescue them but that's not really on her agenda at this point in time :( :( There's just so many layers of sadness and neglect...

Yayayayyyy thanks :D :D :D It was super fun to do this scene and I feel like stuff is starting to come back to me now that I'm (relatively) regularly drawing stuff again?????
@Oly-RRR: I think that's the only way I've been able to keep going for all these years is having differnet avenues to pursue... like I know there's characters I haven't spent as much time on but i feel like as things unfold their time in the spotlight comes up to the service (MEANT SURFACE, LEAVING THAT TYPO)
@Oly-RRR: Yeah, almost like a cutting-off-your-nose-to-spite-your-face move at trying to fit in :( :(

Oh man I'm glad I conveyed that feeling well on this page. It's sad and sucky and I think a lot of people don't realize that "fun times" can sometimes help but sometimes a person is just really deeply entrenched in a problem bigger than you can help with :(
@Squirreltastic-Blue: Keep it between you and me, but the only reason I've got decent updates is I finished all the scene and shceduled them ahead of time to upload... * makes shushing motion* Hopefully I can finish more of the next scene soon and keep up the pace!!

Lmao that's Aggie's mom from 2 pages ago, pregnant and a bit agoraphobic and none too happy about being dragged along for this D:>

And that's true- they tend to exist in a state between disappointment/boredom and general contentment :P I need to get back to practicing expressions soon.


@Oly-RRR: OHMYGOODNESS LOL AT THE FORGOTTEN CHILD IN THE ATTIC (Last night at my old kids' musical I saw the boy who used to be my little match girl attic boy that I told you about, he's super tall and so definitively a mopey inward teenager XD I'll ahve to tell you more about that in a separate PM or email though...) YES PLZ COP ERA

I've been having a weird and pointed fixation with Joseph lately and I'm not sure why???? Like his are the only plot points I've been wanting to think about for some reason???


YAYAYYAYYYYYAYYYYYYYY yayyyyyyy :D :D :D :D
@Oly-RRR: XD XD XD

Luckily (?) it's the same baby, just shitting endlessly and I'm not jealous about the era before disposable diapers....


YAY LOL it's still one of my faves (obviously since it's in the countdown) it's just so silly but also very much fits with something they would do :P :P
That expression in the second to last panel says so much.... :(


And omg I'm in love with the last panel
@Squirreltastic-Blue: he's the most leonest in the whole comic.
@Oly-RRR: it's been really eye opening looking back on how much I struggled with keeping the comic afloat at different times. And so many embarrassing noob choices omg. Flid era was merely the tip of the iceberg D: XD

Yeah, it's been my experience that kids notice differences and may be wary of them but overall want to make friends and aren't fearful or judgmental unless that seed has already been planted :/
*shrugs*



TOP TEN FAVORITE LOUD ERA SCENES
<h2>#5: Uly's Bar Story (link)</h2>

Length: 6 pages

Why it's #5: Where to begin? Ulysses is not featured often enough in this comic, and I loved giving him 6 pages devoted to his adventures. Here he shares with Joseph the story of running into The Wrong Bar during war time. I love the textures lent by the colored pencils, and it makes me wonder why I've shied away from using them this past chapter. The best page is when a fight erupts between Uly's friends and the bar patrons. I KNOW IT'S VIOLENT AND PEOPLE ARE GETTING HURT BUT I THINK IT'S PRETTY GOOD PHYSICAL COMEDY


<img src="http://www.smackjeeves.com/images/uploaded/comics/b/9/7/b973f86b5NTrw.jpg ">

The scene ends on a heartwarming note as Uly is reunited with an old friend.






And with today's post, this Aggie flashback sequence is drawn to a close. Next time (next week???), we'll pop over to Virginia to see how Cecilia is faring at her current shared birthday party, this time with her beloved cousin.
Not much I can say about this page, other than I think it's the first page that wasn't a promotional image or Uly's prized valubal picture from the introduction where the entire original cast appears at the same time (Aggie, Cal, Cecilia, Eddie, Joseph, Marie, Tony, Uly). It's also close to them all being in the same panel, if Tony had taken several steps up.



TOP TEN FAVORITE LOUD ERA SCENES
<h2>#6: Cal and Aggie "Break Up" (link)</h2>

Length: 6 pages

Why it's #6: I'll address the elephant in the room- chapter 4 was when I was getting really experimental with abstract backgrounds, so the colors and geometric shapes will seem pretty bizarre. I think they work decently on the page I'll display below. Besides that, I think the inking and coloring are pretty tight, and actually better than my current work -_- Anyway, I like this scene most for the contrast between the two girls- rich Cal, who's stamped out a budding relationship with Leon due to ethnic differences and concerns over social status, and Aggie, who's worked for everything she's ever had and is looking to take any opportunity to get away from her living situation. Each has their reasons, isn't willing to listen without judgment to the other, and is too worked up to hash things out with any measure of patience.

Aggie's words leave an impact on Cal, as is seen later in chapters 5 and 6. Did anything Cal say sink in? You'll have to stay tuned for that answer.


<img src="http://www.smackjeeves.com/images/uploaded/comics/3/a/d/3adf7eb91R0Og.jpg ">
What did Cecilia wish for?


Marie will gladly take any & all slices regardless of frosting quantity, thanks.


Mrs. Harper is in talks to star in the Murder She Wrote comic revival.



TOP TEN FAVORITE LOUD ERA SCENES
<h2>#7: Meeting Freddie (link)</h2>

Length: 4 pages

Why it's #7: This may seem like an oddly recent and inconsequential selection- you may not think much of this scene or find it particularly poignant or important. Well, this is one of my favorites mostly due to Freddie's neck-wringing annoyingness, but mostly because of the way the visual humor comes across. This scene buzzed around in my head for years and I was really pleased with the way the action was conveyed once it hit the page. And of course, any time Marie appears on-panel (see today's comic) it's a good time. I think the page has some decent movement, and it was also fun drawing basically a bumpkin version of Eddie for a bit. This isn't the last we'll see him!


<img src="http://www.smackjeeves.com/images/uploaded/comics/1/m/r/1mrezv41dfLkcu.jp g">
You need some upbeat Dixieland jazz for the top panel, and a mid-90's sitcom record scratch sound effect for panels 2 & 2.5.



TOP TEN FAVORITE LOUD ERA SCENES
<h2>#8: Joseph's Prom Night Problem. (link)</h2>

Length: 2 pages

Why it's #8: In order to be able to dance at the prom, Joseph overdid it with his pain medications, which by the end of the night, and after so much physical exertion (exert! exert!*) , have catastrophically worn off. I like the interaction between Joseph and Cecilia and the picture it paints of the nature of their relationship- in terms of both of their expectations and understandings of one another's "role." Art-wise, you get to see Cecilia with her hair down, and Joseph looking miserable and ticked-off.

<img src="http://www.smackjeeves.com/images/uploaded/comics/2/3/3/233b8439et4YS.jpg ">



*Two scenes that were also really qualified runners** up for this countdown, & feature my peculiar reliance on the word



**oh god I'm so sorry.
I used to get car sickness really badly... especially in college when I'd go long stretches of time without getting into a motor vehicle. I'm still susceptible to it (especially depending on who's driving). I wanna give Julian some Sea Bands D: D: D: I can just imagine the sensation swerving around all the winding forest roads.
Will NEVER get tired of drawing Mr. Harper, my favorite secondary character.

Made a doozie of a blunder in the first panel with my markers, but in trying to fix the mistake I think the interior looks even dirtier and gloomier and mroe accurate than it had originally been.

Page title derivative and cliche, but With a Little Help From My Friends has come on as I'm writing this post, and you can't fight good timing.



TEN YEAR-VERSARY POST TIME

TOP TEN FAVORITE LOUD ERA SCENES
<h2>#9: Aggie and Tony's bet. (link)</h2>

Length: 2 pages, 3 pages

Why it's #9: I like the way this whole interaction unfolds, particularly the second half of the scene, which picks up here. I think you get a good sense of Aggie and Tony's relationship and their closeness while still remaining at arm's length from each other. Tony's look of dismay after the reveal on the last page is my favorite snapshot within the vignette.

<img src="http://www.smackjeeves.com/images/uploaded/comics/3/d/4/3d4dc303aV5uN.jpg "></img>

I also don't think the merging of computer editing and traditional coloring looked bad at all throughout most of the scene. Unfortunately it was miserably time-consuming and inefficient- more so on pages with more curved or complex shapes, pages like these with straight and square lines were more forgiving- (not as bad as pasting dialogue bubbles after tracing them on a window, but still bad), and I think it missed more often than it hit, but looking over these pages now I like the softness it lends to the interior night scene. I may try to dip my toe back into those waters with upcoming scenes I have in the pipeline. This is one of those scenes where when I look back on it, I remember little details and little touches I put into it that are just nice to remember when I think of my old art as being irredeemable shit.


'Til next week!
The city is not on fire.

To answer other "burning" questions, no, this and the previous page are not heralding the beginning of every page having a racial or ethnic slur on it somewhere.



And, it's March 12th! This is a day near and dear to my heart, as it marks ten years since the very first Loud Era page was uploaded.

-FOR BORING STUFF, KEEP READING ON!
--FOR FUN STUFF, SKIP TO THE BOTTOM OF THE POST!
---FOR ENJOYABLE QUALITY TIME WITH LOVED ONES, CLOSE THE BROWSER AND CONTACT THEM!




<h1>** BORING STUFF **</h1>

The original first chapters have long since been removed, so the actual earliest page on the site currently was actually from December 10th, 2009, but I'm going to celebrate today anyway. It's been a long time since I looked back on those early pages, and it's almost absurd how weird they are.

First a quick timeline:
Spring 2006: I begin crafting a story, mostly mentally, about a group of 8 friends around the time of WWI. Random sketches can be found throughout various notebooks of this time.

Summer 2008: I grabbed my paints & pencils and started making comics about this gang. At one point they take a trip to the beach; another book features small vignettes of random character pairings watching clouds, going shopping, et cetera. I do not know where these pages are now. I have a bad feeling the beach one got thrown out in a flurry of embarassment not long after it was made.

March 2009: The first Loud Era webcomic strip (then known as Lateral Geotaxis [I know, I know]) goes live. Looking back on it now, it reads almost like a fever dream. I hadn't fully committed to the time period, so characters wear T-shirts, use modern slang and syntax, Paul Newman is explicitly featured in the comic, and there's just weird stuff going on with the art. I was using colored pencils and some really poorly used watercolor. I didn't have a good editing software yet- or I may have been using GIMP and just really bad at it- so to keep dialogue bubbles clean, I would lightly write the dialogue on the page where it would end up, draw the art around the dialogue, then go back with a piece of printer paper, hold the whole page and the printer paper on a window on a sunny day, like a light table, trace an outline of where the dialogue needed to be, move to a desk and pen the dialogue, cut the dialogue bubble out, and finally paste it onto the illustrated page. o_o

Overall, the tone of this chapter fell out of alignment with where I eventually took the story. Some character elements are in play, but overall the cast seem like exaggerations or parodies of what they would settle to become. The chapter ended with "Season 1.5," which featured a flashback to the gang as children in 1907, and was done all in "black and white" (I forget if it was done just using gray markers/pencils, or converted on the computer, and knowing my bizarre and confounding need to reinvent the wheel at every instant with my earlier art, I think it may have been the latter). I never finished "season 1.5," and at some point, possibly later that very summer, quietly swept these first 40 pages off of the site.

September 2009: I begin a two month long plot about the gang's Halloween adventures, which was more "grounded" in terms of being more chronologically coherent and less surreal than the previous chapter had been. It's still tonally different from the rest of the story onward, with lines upon lines of dialogue ("witty"), inconsistent pacing, and overall just nothing important enough to warrant keeping.

Chapter 2 then picked up where the current archive begins (after Joseph's musing at the beginning), followed by chapters 3 and 4, which were all re-edited for pacing and boiled down into what is now chapter 1. Many of the early archive pages you now see are actually combined strips that originally stood alone. I am eternally grateful to UrbanMysticDee, who called my strip out for having, if I remember his wise words correctly, "Too many little pages that don't go anywhere."

March 2012: At this point, I moved my site entirely to Smackjeeves, where it has remained since and will remain until this site closes down or some other shitty thing happens. Around this time, I wrote what is now the introductory few pages of the comic, and began to condense and edit the previous chapters down from 97 pages across 4 chapters to 60 pages across 2.

2016: The first chapter is deleted from the comic archive. Sometime between this year and 2017, I draft a new version of the current first chapter, intending to redraw and reupload scenes to make the current first chapter less shitty. I still have these scripts, but never went on to draw them. I have achieved a zen-like peace with the early pages; they are shitty, but they tell a story, they make sense, and some of them actually use some cool techniques or have good jokes. I've deleted more pages from my archive than some webcomic creators ever make in their whole pursuit of the hobby. I think now it's best to continue moving forward to new pages, new stories.






<h1>** FUN STUFF **</h1>

Because I'm a big flowery baby, I decided, since I've been at this solidly for 10 years, that for the next ten updates, I will COUNT DOWN my TOP TEN favorite Loud Era scenes. The criteria, of course, were specific and relentless, but can be boiled down basically to "scenes I still enjoy rereading, that may be technically well composed, may actually be funny, or add notable depth to a character or inter-character relationship."

Without further ado, here's...

<h2>#10
The Legend of Kelly Madison. (link)</h2>

Length: 3 pages

Why it's #10: This relatively early-archive scene shows Clarabelle and Leon getting to know each other a bit at the prom, as Cal's ex-boyfriend/arch nemesis is dangerously lurking off-panel. This page is my favorite within the scene:

<img src="http://img3.smackjeeves.com/images/uploaded/comics/b/a/a/baaccca1et7JR.jp g">

The expressions really tickle me on this one, and I used one of the Leons on the bottom row as an avatar for a while (old-time readers may remember). The scene wraps up with a sweet assurance from Leon, and even though the shading and facial proportions are a bit wonky, I still think this is one of the best scenes in the comic.



SEE YOU NEXT WEEK FOR MORE FAVORITES, MORE SCENE


<h1>CLOSE THE BROWSER <br><br>
AND <br><br>
SPEND TIME WITH YOUR LOVED ONES</h1>
I have a love/hate relationship with drawing trees. I feel like i can get the trunk/branch structure right but I never pull the leaves/needles off well.
I feel the same about comments I receive, too :) I've really enjoyed the story so far and I'm glad I got caught up now and can follow it onwards.


I'm pretty sure I referred to Julian as "he" in some of my comments- I'm sorry for making that presumption.
@Oly-RRR: I wouldn't really *want* to know, I guess, but one thing I wonder about is how racist would a person have to be back then in order for it to be like, too far? I mean Loud Era takes place in the northeast U.S. so you don't have so much of the segregation laws as there were in the South, but things were still really shitty in lots of ways so I wonder about where the line would be drawn for the average person.

Yeah I mean it's not like I get a huge readership on here so I don't think me writing or not writing a word would make huge waves... I just would rather preemptively address it than wait for it to be asked, you know? :/


aaaah it's so nice responding to your comments again!!!!!!
@Oly-RRR: It was great to finally get to draw her even if she wasn't 100% how I'd planned her.... ljust that feeling of finally seeing her on the page, like if I ever got to meet you in person :D :D

And LOL at the Phil comment XD
@Oly-RRR: Yup same D: D:

Yayyy I'm glad- I'm trying to get back to the kind of coloring I could do a few years ago, it's like I need to retrain my brain to be abole to take those coloring risks and have them work out...