Saturday, December 29, 2012

The Legend of Falconheart, Chapter Two

                The elf and the goblin walk East into the desert, back from where they have come.  The Sun is retreating across the Western sky, racing for the sea past the badlands.  Hackard considers the soldier’s plan:  if they are heading to the Northern Wastes (as the Northern Tundra has been called since flying Sagacia was dragged down across it), then the quickest route would be to travel through the forest past the desert, cut through the ape farmlands, skirt around the shore of Lake Mountainsroot, and then pass along the foothills between the mountains and the great plains.  It is a journey of perhaps two weeks on foot, but her new “bodyguard” does not stop for food, water, or rest – that should cut the travel time at least in half.  Somewhere along the way, she may find a way to bend the glyphed knight to her own will (if the legends were true, then this soldier was some manner of undead, created to be a servant and now without a master); and wouldn’t that be something to bring back to the Southern Jungle!  She would be the toast of all Santuji, and this ancient war machine might be able to put an end to the foolish border skirmishes between the apes and the goblins for good.
                That was all very far down the road, though.  In the meantime, she had to traverse deep into ape territory with a glyphed knight.  Hackard herself was small, and one goblin could easily slip unnoticed through large and sparsely-populated areas; the glyphed knight, for her part, would probably pass for one of the Blackened Guard.  Indeed, her order was the very inspiration for the elite soldiers’ uniforms.  While the apes didn’t get it quite right, the resemblance was probably good enough to fool any country bumpkins they’d be likely to meet.
                The soldier pauses:  she senses something, and draws up her hood to cover her elfin ears.  A few tufts of hair poke out over her forehead, mostly black, except for one bit of white over her right eye where a long scar crosses her face from jaw to scalp.  Even this, though, is normal for a soldier – she looks like any ape, albeit an unusually tall and slender one.  Hackard stares out over the horizon for some seconds, and then sees it:  something coming out of the sky from the East. 

Friday, December 28, 2012

The Legend of Falconheart, Chapter One


Well, it turns out that I really suck at drawing after being years out of practice.  Who could have guessed?  So since my drawings aren't up to the task, I'll use my words instead.  I really wanted to do this as a graphic novel, since I can show one story while telling another in that medium.  But whatever.  Here's this, and I'll have another up over the weekend, and then we'll see where it goes.  Cheers!

Chapter One
                The ape farmer runs through his cornfield, bending the weak stalks aside as gently as he can.  Meager as it is, it is almost time to harvest, and the last thing he needs is a thief stealing what precious little is leftover once he’s set aside enough for taxes and next season’s seed corn.
                “Oi!  You there!”  He shouts as he gains ground on the red hood in the distance.  Something next to the hood is shining – the glare was what alerted him to the intruder’s presence in the first place.
                “Hey!  You can’t just – ” he stops short at the sight of black armor.  The intruder has also stopped, standing in full view with a single row of bent and yellow-green cornstalks between them.  A simple X-frame holds a poleaxe crossed against a pair of short-swords, overlaid with the tattered remains of a red cape that flutters beneath the intruder’s shoulder blades in the breeze.  “Ho!  Sorry, sir knight.  I did not – ”
                The farmer is brought up short again – the intruder has turned to face him, and now he can see that he is a she.  The farmer falls to a knee, head bowed in genuflection.  “My apologies again, battlemaiden.  I did not see  your blackened steel.  Most passing soldiers stick to the road.”

Sunday, December 23, 2012

Happy Holidelays...

I had hoped to get the next page up last night (it was half-sketched on Thursday, and Friday was "End of the World" partying), but there was Christmas shopping to finish up.  So, y'know, Sunday... but stuff came up.  I have the page scanned in and sized to the panels, all I have left to do is the lines and colors (the easy-but-time-consuming part).  But with work time and family time, I won't be able to even look at it again until Wednesday... and I still have packing to do.  So!  I probably won't finish it Wednesday, but Friday looks good.  Saturday at the latest, as I'm free the entire day.

This is mainly a public way of telling myself to do it, but whatever - if that's what it takes, then that's what it takes.  Stay tuned!  I should be faster and more regular at this as I get back into my groove, and when the holidays are past.  Best wishes to you & yours, everyone!  Mwah!

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Page one

Nothing like simple shapes and artsy-fartsy effects to work out the kinks.  If all goes well, this should auto-post just short of 1pm (GMT -6).

(You can also click that page for full resolution.)

Now I have to draw a freakin' cornfield.  (I secretly hate drawing scenery...)  Whatevs.  References make everything easier.

Monday, December 17, 2012

Thoughts on "Tooth and Claw"

Tooth and Claw is a story that I really want to tell, but I've run into a problem:  I've been telling it wrong.  I can best describe this with reference to The Quantum Mechanic.

While I was writing TQM, I had an excellent dynamic going:  I was thrilled to be writing it, and I was writing by the seat of my pants.  No joke.  I had an idea of what I wanted to write, and where-ish it was going to go, but I was excited about what comes next.  I was always at "A," and I had to get to "B," and that was exciting to me.  So all I did, each and every day in that fabled November, was write out how to get from "A" to "B."  Easy-peasy.

I can't stress enough how thoroughly this dynamic permeated my writing process - I didn't even know that there would be a villain before I wrote him in.  I literally texted Z the day after I wrote chapter six, because I had no idea where to go next, and he told me that my story needed a villain.  I saw with perfect clarity that there was a villain ready to hand, and a role for him to fulfill, and a new direction for that relationship to take the story - and so it went.  If it weren't for Z's day-of advice, there would be no Entropic Engineer.

With Tooth and Claw, I have many "As," and many "Bs," and I know how a great deal of them are causally and motivationally connected.  My problem was that I set out to connect all the dots in a linear fashion (as I mainly did with TQM), but that wasn't what I was excited about.

Saturday, December 15, 2012

As foretold in the prophecy...

OK, so awkwardness out of the way first:  I got fired.  Again.  Sheesh, I hope this stays at two... one is an isolated incident, two is a coincidence, but three is a pattern.

What happened was, back in July, I got into a "verbal altercation" with a coworker.  Me and my big fuckin' mouth, all over again.  We were bantering, as was customary, but then he crossed an HR-line.  No big deal, right?  I mean, in this shop, I would hear the word "nigger" shouted at the top of someone's lungs at least once or twice a week.  Not "nigga," but "nigger."  So I figured, well, he crossed that line first... so now it's safe for me to cross it, because I know I'm not gonna report it, and if he does, then he'll get in just as much trouble.

He threatened me with violence because I made a "Yo Mama" joke, so I quoted The Exorcist at him, going straight for the jugular as I am wont to do.

Problem is, I don't think this guy's seen The Exorcist.

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Ahh, shit.

Some shit went down a couple days ago.  I don't want to talk about it, but I also don't want to fall off the face of the internet without a word.  Therefore:  awkwardness.  My heart's just not in this right now.  I'll be in better shape on the 15th.  Until then, I just don't want to do anything.