Surprise: Kirkee is weirdly powerful.
I wanted to say a few words on webcomic voting. Specifically, Top Web Comics, as I know some of you are voting for Velharthis over there.
First of all, I can’t thank everyone enough for their votes. It helps me drive new readers to the site. For example: in the past 30 days, I’ve gotten 65 visits to Velharthis through the site because of your votes. They were my top referrer in that time frame. In the past year, I’ve gotten more than 1000 hits from the site. I’ll never know which readers actually end up coming to me through what method; only you, dear readers, can actually tell me that. But I assume I must have gotten a few of you through that site, and it was thanks to established readers taking the time to vote!
I feel like doing the airline schpeel they do after you land. Like, “We understand you have a choice in your webcomic reading today. Thank you for choosing Velharthis!” Honestly, there is a lot of choice out there. It often feels like shouting into the void. But I realize many people who read will express their appreciation in different ways. This is one way.
So…Thank you, thank you, thank you!
In general comic news, I realize there is an issue with the June 14th page (Jenise is missing words in a word bubble!). I’ll fix that as soon as I get access to the file this weekend.
We’re quickly approaching the end of chapter 11, and I am still finalizing page layout for chapter 12 (the step before sketching of pages). There will probably be a buffer of time with no updates again, but I’m not sure how long it will be. Hopefully not a long time, but I’ll keep y’all up to date. My allergies are much better now, but the medication makes me sleepy and sometimes depressed for no reason. I have an annual physical coming up very soon, so I can talk to my doctor about all of this, but as with most health-related things, these chronic issues are not fixed overnight.
Work-wise, trying to cram everything into chapter 12 has been slightly daunting. There’s a lot to wrap up and set up for Book Two. I’ve got an epilogue for Book One also written. I might include it in a print-only version of Velharthis.
One the print front, didn’t get a lot of verbal traction from my call out about getting it printed, but that isn’t terribly concerning. I know it’s deviously hard sometimes to get feedback from people. I think I might just do a very small initial print run and skip Kickstarter. I’ll keep y’all up-to-date on that as well.
A while ago, I saw a post somewhere on the internet where a reader (former reader?) was complaining about the reboot of Velharthis. I say “complaint” but maybe it was a heartfelt lament. I’m not going to identify the reader in question, but they probably know who they are, if they see this post (I mean, if you link to my site and someone follows said link, I’ll see your post eventually, so why pretend I didn’t?). This isn’t a witch hunt on that reader, anyway, more like a springboard for conversation that I’d like to use.
The short of it is that said reader was not pleased that I had rebooted Velharthis a few years ago. They liked the original and wished I had kept with it. OK, fair enough observation from someone who doesn’t know the backstory as to why exactly I rebooted the comic. I don’t even know if I ever talked about it anywhere, and I’m too lazy to go back and find any posts where I may have explained it, so let’s have a review…
The story for what would become Velharthis actually came about when I was still in high school. This was… a long-ass time ago. I wrote a story for some friends. It was silly and weird and formed the basis for Jenise, Peter, and Hexten. As a nifty aside, the name “Jenise” is an amalgam of the names of two childhood friends of mine, “Peter” I named after the many immature men of both literary fiction and history, and “Hexten” I borrowed and changed slightly from a name I saw on a video game box at Blockbuster one day. The fact I have been inside an actual Blockbuster should tell you just how old I am.
I have rewritten Velharthis many times, trying to build out the world, add in extra characters, picked up and abandoned tropes, and figure out what the hell it’s actually all about. The central figures have always been Jenise, Peter, and Hexten, and their struggles with one another. That’s probably telling of where the story will eventually end up, if you’re wondering. Not much of a spoiler, really, but there you go.
Skip ahead a couple years and I’m in university. I decided to turn Velharthis into a shitty webcomic. I had no idea what I was doing but I liked comics so why the hell not. However, I eventually wrote myself into a corner, and fucked up by including some rather grandiose set-ups in the original that were never going to pay off in a way that made any sense. The situation was bad.
Also, the art was very shitty.
Now, I get that some people are gonna chime in with, “But I liked it!” and that’s fine. You like it. No one has the right to say you’re wrong, because you’re not. You like what you like. However, it’s my art so I get to give my judgement on it. You don’t have to live with your name attached to it forever and ever. You also don’t pay my server bills. I do.
And that brings me to my next point: this is a free comic. I’ve never made people pay to access this comic. I ask that you click on ads you like, and whatnot, but again: it’s free. You don’t have to support me, but if you like the comic, you can leave supportive comments, and just generally be polite to me.
One last point I’ll make is that most of you don’t know me personally. I’m pretty open about what’s generally going on in my life so that you’ll understand why I’m not working on this comic full-time (long story short: money). But you have to understand that everyone’s got their own personal story. Some people luck out and might have the financial means and time to devote to a free webcomic. That is awesome. I do not. Besides socio-economic concerns, there are so many things people can struggle with; family, health, politics, religion, gender, sexual orientation, mental health, education, etc. The list goes on.
This is more or less the rant you’ll hear from a thousand artists and writers. It’s nothing new. I just sometimes forget there are people around who may never had been exposed to this discussion before, and I guess it was time to bring it up. I hope it’s been informative.
Hopefully everyone’s enjoying chapter 11 so far (I haven’t really heard much so I’m going to hope everyone likes what little they’ve seen so far). I know it’s slow-going but I think once it’s all posted you’ll discover some interesting developments.
Chapter 12 script is written. Just need to get it edited. There will probably be a Book One epilogue chapter. It would be short, but a set up for some things in the next book that I didn’t want to put in chapter 12.
Also thinking about printing Book One. If I do, I’d want to at least add in a special print-only colour prologue. I mean, I suppose I will get it printed one way or another, but I’m wondering if I want to just do a short print run and just sell them myself or run a Kickstarter. The thing that’s making me indecisive is that I really don’t know what the interest level is. So I guess what I’m asking is: would people be interested in a Kickstarter with several extra goodies available (I am thinking of doing enamel pins, special print poster, extra digital bonus chapter stories etc)? Let me know in the comments, if you would be so kind, or if you’d rather keep things private, please feel free to shoot me an email at louisa @ velharthis.com
Because chapter 11 is done!
More or less.
The first 8 pages are ready to go. Page 9-21 and page 25 just need text. I’ll do the cover page this week. That means we are ready to go!
So, launch date for chapter 11 is April 10th! I’ll only update two pages a week to start (that means Monday-Wednesday update schedule). We’ll see how chapter 12 goes and will let you know if I can change it up to Monday-Wednesday-Friday at a later point.
Toning the comic means laying down all the “colour” areas. Even though the comic is in black and white, the greys and other effects give visual depth to many areas. It’s generally the fastest part of the comic, so I’m on that now. I’ve got several pages done, but I would like to have a large buffer of completed pages before starting to post them. We’ll see how this week goes and I hopefully can start posting this chapter in April (I mean, it will for sure be April at this point – I just don’t have a date).