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Eeeh, who am I kidding? Clearly I don't have the same cultural relevance or commentary on the experience of local society as The Guy Who Hung Banjo Parts From The Ceiling. THAT'S the kind of art that speaks to people.

Actually, snark aside, I feel kind of bad that I can't give a shout-out to the actual artist who did the piece on that wall. I THOUGHT I'd written it down, but I can't find it in my notes, and it's not on the art collection's online list. At least, I don't THINK it is. I might be wrong, because the list seems to have a bunch of entries without any pictures, so I might have scrolled right past it and never realized. Clearly, I'm shocked and appalled that someone somewhere might not be regularly updating and maintaining a website. Who even does that? I sure wouldn't know. Nope, not at all.

...also, this probably would have worked better thematically if the old comic were from Animazement, not Otakon ("as part of our effort to support art that expresses the experience of North Carolina, here's a comic about something that happened in Maryland!") but come on. How could I NOT subject everyone to the image of a fat, hairy Lum cosplayer blown up to cover and entire wall?
*bites tongue in several different ways to avoid giving out spoilers*

Personal, I really wanted waffles by the time this page was done.

Regarding the Incentive, I didn't MEAN for it to happen, but that definitely does look like Finn from Adventure Time started his own army.
Wait, what? A page going up at just around midnight, but it's only half-finished? Yeah, things are a bit weird right now. If you were paying attention last week, I mentioned that a heft dose of Real Life was coming up this week, and that's why I needed an extra day or two off. Basically, I have to actually get up and leave the house every morning this week. And, like, interact with other people... and DO things. In other words, my usual "work at the computer straight through the night until I can't physically keep working, whenever that may be" schedule won't work this week (he said, as if it's worked at ALL in recent memory). That's why I needed to not be playing catch up and actually have a head start on this week's pages... all of which flew out the window when I realized I still had to do an extra page for Father's Day. So, yeah, that distraction ate up a lot of the time I meant to spend on today's page, and with an unavoidable deadline just a few hours away, I need to go ahead and get some sleep while I can. So black and white, not-quite-fully-edited page goes up right now in the wee hours of the morning, and I'll get the finished draft up sometime around noon, depending on when I get back. It just never gets any easier, does it?

But if you missed it Sunday, be sure to go back and see that Father's Day page... and don't forget an especially adorable TWC Voting Incentive!
Now THIS is a pages that I drew at the con and actually COULD use... largely because it was more than half blank page before I started editing. Actually, the funny thing is that I originally had the idea because I thought a mostly copy/paste page would be something I could finish up faster than usual. I've FINALLY become genre savvy enough to realize that any idea I come up with to save time will end up taking MORE time in the end, and it definitely wound up taking longer to move things around and find the right spots for this effect to work than just drawing something in one go would have, but I don't even care, man. I just think that endless zoom is trippy and cool.

And this isn't even the first time the blurring of actual event and record of said event has bent my brain.
It's times like these that we need to stop and consider the possibility that Tabitha's Dad MIGHT not be that good at what he does (at least, not any more)
I really need to stop saying I'm taking a day off, then realizing after the fact that I was supposed to be doing an extra holiday page anyway, so nothing really ends up changing. But then, if I were good enough at time management to avoid stuff like that, I'd be good enough to avoid needing a break in the first place.

...also, we really need to see what the heck Tabitha does on Mother's Day, don't we?
Sometimes things like Opening Ceremonies have a problem with the mics being too quite, or just not on entirely. That was not an issue this year, those were some HOT mics. I dunno if something was weird back at the controls, or if the people onstage couldn't hear themselves properly and thought they needed to be a lot louder than they really did, or what, but everybody's greetings were speaking-popingly loud this year. Then again, I shouldn't be TOO mean to the sound guys, because I'm pretty sure Kotono Mitsuishi would have burst an eardrum or two regardless. I think there were people in Ohio wondering why they heard Sailor Moon just now. Of course, anyone who remembers Excel Saga will be surprised by NONE of this...
OOOoooh, that's an interesting idea. I mean, the fact that it's supposed to speak and act as a single character would make it hard to depict as a hive mind/swarm, but a constantly fluctuating shape WOULD make a lot of things simpler to do.
...okay, so what's my excuse this time? The page is a full day late, so it's gotta be a good one, right? Actually, it kinda is. I got started on a new Conventional Wisdom page Sunday afternoon, right around the time I really SHOULD have been starting on this page. I told myself there was plenty of time, though, since I'd already drawn that page done while I was still at the con. This would just be a simple matter of editing up the finished art rather than drawing something from scratch... so of course that draft turned out be so sloppy and unsalvageable that I would up having to re-draw it from scratch anyway. And of course, by that point, I was already running waaaay behind schedule and had to take a really inconvenient nap and everything just spiraled out of control and here we are.

And you know what the worst part is? This was supposed to be the QUICK page. I knew there a number of pages comic up that were going to be pretty complicated to put together, so this little ditty that's two-thirds a block of cursive text was supposed to be the page I could knock out in a hurry and get a head start on the trickier stuff. Ain't no way that's happening now, though, which is forcing me into a really, REALLY obnoxious predicament. I know I already did this in VERY recent memory, but I'm gonna have to make this the only page of Far Out There that goes up this week. If I try to scramble and get something up by Friday, it's just gonna wind up late again, and throw all of NEXT week into disarray too. And I've got a lot of real life to worry about next week, so trying to get caught up then would be even harder than it is right now. So, yeah, taking a break from deadlines for the rest of the week to hopefully get a head start on next week's stuff. At the very least, I'll try to get a few more Conventional Wisdom's out of the way so I won't have to keep dividing my attention. Sorry, guys!

If nothing else, at least I managed to get a new Voting Incentive posted on the correct day...
This probably needs a LOT of context if you haven't already been reading Conventional Wisdom for years and years. Back at Ichibancon 2014 I wanted to depict some first-time congoers in Baby's First Cosplay, so I looked around to see what the trendiest costume picks of the younger attendees were. I came away with Madoka Magica (or at least that Kyubey hat), Homestuck, and Doctor Who, and when those characters went over pretty well, those three costumes became something of a fixture around here. The problem was, well, you know how The Kids are with their fads and changing tastes and hula hoops and what have you. As time went on, I began to worry that these designs were getting too dated for the kids to represent The Younger Generation anymore. I actually did change their costumes up in 2016, but that was a decision that didn't stick. Still, I found myself wondering if it was time to change things up for real this time... and once again I find myself inclined to just leave things the way they are.

Incidentally, this was one of the few pages I actually managed to get drawn while I was at the con... and wound up having to completely redraw it anyway once I got home, because stuff I draw during the con almost always turns out like smelly garbage.
Realistically, there's no reason to assume this page wouldn't get fully colored in before noon, so I probably don't even need to post a half-finished draft of this page... but I'm also really, REALLY sick of treating "some time around noon" as an acceptable time to start thinking about getting a page finished. There was once a time when not having a page finished and online at midnight was UNTHINKABLE, something I'd have to go the extra mile next time to make up for, and these days I'm apparently just fine with allowing the better part of the day slip by before actually getting anything done. I really need to start at least TRYING to get pages online at the start of the day again. Like, even if I don't consistently pull it off, just treating it like something that OUGHT to happen again would be a step up. So here's some line art for the morning crowd, with a colored-in version to come by lunchtime.

That existential crisis aside, I had a much easier time drawing this page than list time... at least as far character art goes. The layout was a real beast to work out, which is a funny thing to say about a single panel. But as you've no doubt noticed, I couldn't figure out a way to get both the screen the kids are supposed to be looking at AND the girls behind them into the same shot. At least, not without showing at least some of them from behind, and actually showing the character's faces seemed a lot more important than a computer screen on a wall... even if it IS awkward to not see what they're reacting to. Honestly, I'd have REALLY liked to show the boys in more of a tight, head-on close up, as if we're looking at them through the screen they're reading, but I couldn't make that work and still fit the girls in the back. And even with this final layout, I STILL had background problems. I'd also hoped to slip a little extra something into the view out the window, but there's so much stuff cluttering the page, it wouldn't have been visible enough to be worth the effort. Maybe next time.

And speaking of the future, more sneak peek concept art on TWC!
You know, I actually haven't seen anything about that one guy (of whom I ABSOLUTELY know) in a while. Not sure how to feel about that.
To avoid giving anyone out there the misguided impression that I'm some sort of authority on literally anything ever, let me stress that the following is based entirely on personal observation and hearsay. I am neither well-connected nor dorky enough to have done any kind of research to find actual attendance numbers for this year. That said, the general consensus was that Friday was much more sparsely attended than usual, and that the culprit was Momocon occurring in Atlanta the same weekend. Overlapping dates is nothing new with cons, especially when that date's a holiday, but a lot of the time those cons are different enough and sufficiently distant from each other as to avoid eating into each other's attendance figures. If Animazement and Anime Boston are on the same weekend, for example, there's not THAT many people in New England who would have gone this far south anyway, so the numbers don't really chance. Raleigh and Atlanta are just close enough for that to be an issue, though, and on Friday a lot of people were fretting that the convention would suffer as a result.

Then Saturday happened.

Again, I don't have any hard numbers, just my own observations, but the crowds seemed to be up SUBSTANTIALLY the rest of the weekend. The way I figure it, competition with other conventions really only affects that hardcore niche who stay for the entire thing. All those people who only show up for Saturday? They were never gonna drive two states away to do that, so that portion of the attendance remained unaffected. In fact, from what I saw, the attendance on Sunday actually might have been GREATER than usual. It was certainly busier than I'm used to seeing at the tail end of the con. People were still in full cosplay and doing crazy stuff and actually speaking in more than a low, agonizing groan. Usually Sunday is just a bunch of disheveled zombies standing around waiting to check out of their hotels, THIS was amazing!

The moral: maybe don't decide whether a convention is a success or a failure at noon on the first day.

...also, I don't know why I'm talking about Sunday on page 3. This is rapidly turning into a very non-linear update.
Actually, yeah, that's a good point. Layla's vengeance would definitely be of the non-lethal variety.
(Also, sentences like that are really weird to write when one of the words is also the name of one of the characters)
See, I think she'd INTEND to do that, but her pesky, inconvenient streak of basic decency would get in the way and ruin things before she ever had the chance to go through with it.

Also, rest assured that if Layla's husband ever cheated on her, regardless of the reason for getting married in the first place, there would be no divorce. The guy has to be ALIVE for a divorce.
She wants to THINK that, yes, but it's a certain Nitpicker's professional opinion that Layla's significantly less underhanded in practice than she is in theory.
Exactly (Incidentally, this is also the reason every attempt at shipping Layla with anyone ends in failure. The one thing she needs out of a partner is the ability to completely let her guard down, and she doesn't feel like she can do that with ANYBODY right now)
So, the page is late, and obviously half-finished, but it's still SOMETHING going online on the scheduled update day, so... improvement? Yeah, sorry about this, but this was definitely one for the "this page just didn't want to be drawn" category. I actually had to stop, after several hours of editing, and redraw some faces from scratch so I could copy/paste them into the page, the original art was so unsalvageable. It's not surprising, honestly. After the past few weeks, with cons and sickness and what have you, of COURSE I'm gonna be a bit off my groove right now. Thankfully, I guess, this was a page where all the colors and background detail and stuff wasn't really essential to the writing, so I could slap the halfway-done version up here and give you SOMETHING to read while I fiddle with colorful storm clouds for the next several hours.

Anyway, before anyone thinks Layla's being too mean, I remind you that she doesn't trust ANYBODY as a general rule, so it really has nothing to do with whether or not she considers someone to be her friend. And really, Tabitha of all people is totally used to liking a person while simultaneously regarding them as potentially dangerous. Have you SEEN her Dad?

And last but not least, more preview art over at Top Webcomics!

EDIT: MAN I'm glad I went ahead and posted the line art version when I did. Not only did the backgrounds take even longer than expected, but I wound up with some weird computer trouble too, to the point that I'm kind of afraid I might have wound up losing the whole page entire page already if I hadn't saved a draft. Fun Times!
Welcome to my entire life
The forward linear progression of time continues to be my greatest foe in life... and not JUST in the sense that me getting sick for a week sort of robbed the previous page of most of its "oomph."

But yeah, I've been to more than twice as many Animazements in downtown Raleigh as I ever did back at the Sheraton Imperial, but the RCC is still "the new location" to me. It helps to remember that those first few Animazements were the first conventions I'd EVER attended, and were the only ones I'd go to all year. As you can imagine, that gave the Sheraton time to make a muuuuuch deeper impact on my psyche than the comparatively larger number of weekends at the RCC have managed. Heck, I wasn't even drawing this comic when AZ moved, and I STILL feel like I remember more about those early years than most of the ones I've extensively documented here.

And, also, there's the whole "getting older" thing. Can't leave that out.