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It sucks.
by ranger_brianna_new on 6th Aug 2012, 6:48 PM

I just released comic 2. It sucks, big time, but hey, that's one of the reasons why I sought help with my scripts. :P So that the badness I knew which would be comic2 could be avoided in the future. With luck, I'll be able to do things better, as I really, REALLY hate the last two panels and pretty much everything in them. Granted, yes. They are mainly taking from my original comic 1, in that I transitioned from one group to briefly show the other two, and it's something I needed to preserve. And the original comic1 was incredibly weak.

 

...But STILL, it's AWFUL. >_<

 

Ah, well. I don't think I've got any strange perspectives to deal with in Comic 3, so that should update smoothly. And by the time I have to do comic 4, I'll have hopefully improved enough on my execution for The Elementals and The Latens that I won't need all of the cheats I used, I won't be putting together what looks like a half-finished product, and I won't be making junk.

Not an update...
by ranger_brianna_new on 1st Aug 2012, 4:11 PM

I couldn't exactly think of anywhere else to put this, so I might as well make a blog post about it.

 

Basically, I did some thinking about the interaction between science and magic. There's a science to magic (as my meticulous planning is quite handily proving :P), and a magic in science. The two are typically considered separate entities, but for some reason, I've always thought that they were interlinked. I always felt like they had a connection, and that ultimately, one could not exist without the other. And most of all, I felt that everyone had it within them to use both. Now my settings don't always reflect these elements, but overall you can definitely see these beliefs being present, and I think I finally understand why--

 

Because I made a parallel connection, between science and magic with another concept: left brain and right brain. The left brain is seen as the place for more logical people, the right brain for more creative people. Everyone uses both sides, and they support each other, but one side ultimately ends up being dominant. Yet they constantly cross over, with people taking elements from both sides--in my case, for instance, I consider myself to be extremely right-brained, with my overactive imagination and passions for things such as writing and drawing...yet my methods of drawing (and even writing) are actually quite methodical and, well, logical, like you'd expect from someone who is left-brained.

 

To give an example...my whole life, I've seen things in many ways. One of the ways is that I can turn a pencil into anything--it can be a spaceship, it can be a spear, it can be a pencil used by a character in a story, and so much more. (Right.) But simultaneously, I look at the pencil and I see its shape. A better example would be landscapes, where I can take a mental snapshot of it, and then I put in wireframes mentally--the trees go here, the telephone poles go there, I'm on the road driving here, and so on. And flesh those skeletons out, into shapes.

When it comes to art, this means that I see things quite analytically--I see circles, spheres, cylinders, squares, rectangles, triangles, lines, curves, and other such geometry. I see shapes, while also having a mental snapshot, a wireframe so to speak, of how it looks. Which when you think about it, is pretty left-brained in nature. It works that way for stories, too. I have the whole story planned out in my head, and it rushes too fast for me to capture it all...yet I need to capture it in order to write. So I add a process, I slow things down, take shots of the important areas and focus on fleshing those out, and then from there work on filling the gaps.

 

And it works this way when I do games as well. In Werewolf games, for instance, I was known for being extremely logical--but in truth, what I was really doing was processing the information which my brain was already going through rapidly, and taking snapshots, freezeframes, of only the things I saw as being most important, and those are the things I focused on, amplified, and concentrated my effort on. I had hundreds of crazy wild theories, most of which I knew were impossible or implausible, all which came at me fairly rapidly, because I think too fast and get too many ideas in my head. And using the logic I had, I could analyze the situation, compare it to notes of what I had in my mind, and form a conclusion from it.

 

My wording's not exactly the best, but you can get the idea--basically, while one side might seem dominant, both are used prominently.

 

And I can see this applying to Science (left) and Magic (right)--the two mix all the time, with one of them being ultimately dominant. Yet they both play a part. They both have unique functions, things which the other cannot do, or cannot as easily accomplish. There is much overlap, naturally, and therefore quite a bit of redundancy, but neither is as strong without the support of the other, with the two working together to form the setting.

And we're live!
by ranger_brianna_new on 30th Jul 2012, 6:09 PM

I was beginning to wonder if I had it in me to accomplish the task I set out to do. And for a while, it looked like I had failed. But through countless sacrifices (you have no idea just how much I had to give up in order to make it work out), sheer determination and absolute stubbornness, I managed to pull on through. It's done. My first comic has been released! I'm absolutely thrilled with what I did, and I'm looking forward to pulling it off week after week after week. My only wish is that others will learn to enjoy my work as I have learned to enjoy it. I put my 150% into making the comic. The dialog flows so much better than originally, the pacing is better, my characters look (mostly) amazing, and the amount of emotion I conveyed really is pretty groundbreaking for me.

 

I still have a long ways to go. I am just getting started. This is just the beginning, and I have much to learn, and a great many years to grow. Yet it feels like such a grand beginning, filling me with energy I've not had for a long time. It might be a small start to you, it might not look too impressive at first, but I swear, I'm going to get better with time, and I really hope that--even if you don't enjoy things now--that you will by the time I'm through. :)

A Foolish Endeavor
by ranger_brianna_new on 23rd Jul 2012, 7:12 PM

So I said that I'd only use this blog for important updates, right?

 

Well, I didn't really consider my birthday comic (speaking of which...happy birthday to me, happy birthday to me, happy birthday dear Brian, happy birthday to me) to be important enough to be worthy of this blog as an update, despite it technically being a comic. It felt like if I did so, it'd be anticlimatic.

 

Well, I just found a way to make it anything but. I've made up my mind as to when I'm going to be updating--every Monday at 6:00 PM, PST. Yet as I declared during the birthday comic, I'm nowhere near close to ready to relaunch my comic. So it'll be a while before I can release anything new, right?

Not with my idea. It might end up backfiring on me, but I developed a plan: what if I were to keep updating every Monday at 6? But not with new content. Heavens, no. I've got six comics which are obsolete. What if I began...updating those?

 

And that's where the idea comes in. It wouldn't show up on the "Recently Updated" tab for ComicFury, and it'd be invisible to anyone not physically checking out the changes...yet what if, one comic per week at a time, I began to update...and then didn't stop once I had gotten through everything which I've already done? This would accomplish a number of things at the same time, hence why I'm going to do everything I can to make sure I succeed. First off, it gives me a chance to gradually get used to my art style. Rather than suddenly beginning, I'd have a head-start. Beyond that, rather than a simultaneous upload of half a dozen comics (which would be tedious), this far more gradual method would be less stressful. Furthermore, with this method, I can continue releasing something every single week on schedule--setting a pace for me to keep. And that'd form a habit, and with the habit formed, I'd be more likely to succeed.

But it gets better! On my TVTropes page, I said that I wanted to release The Descended in two months. Now I'm not sure how many comics my new script will take, but it'll be at least two extra, meaning 8 updates--which is approximately two months, giving me perfect timing in that regard. Yet most of all, it puts me on a definite clock, a pressure to finish things. While I didn't finish NaNoManGo, I did a lot of work during that month (more than before or after), as just one example of how the pressure of a time limit gives me reason to continue on. Not wanting to stop updates dead (no more schedule slips! Successful webcomics don't have them), I'd make sure that nothing would make me miss one--meaning that I'd have to have all the details set out well in advance, something which I've been doing gradually, but not consistently.

 

So that's my grand plan. It might not work, but I'm going to try it. As foolish as this ambitious idea is, it stands a chance of working. So stay tuned!

Just a ramble.
by ranger_brianna_new on 24th Jun 2012, 8:38 PM

This isn't really an update, but I just felt like I should post it somewhere. I know not many people read my blog, and I'm fine with that, but I figure that...well, anyone who does will appreciate me having posted this. It gives a huge insight into my mind, something I often try to give you but rarely convey as well as I could. It changes subjects multiple times, but everything in it is still connected. So read as much or as little of it as you'd like, and try to take some lessons of your own from it. I've given my best guesses as to the message I'm trying to say, but really...in truth, I don't think I really have one, and that when I typed this, I wanted you to read it and make your own conclusions, take your own wisdom from mine.

 

 

Sometimes, you just have to talk. This is something which if anyone responded to, I’d be more than happy to post about, but it doesn’t look like it’ll be happening, yet this is a ramble which I want to make and don’t want to forget about.

 

So here it goes.

 

 

When I posted about Misfile, I said it was a fun experience—and that was an understatement, in that it only scratched the surface of what I meant. I’m sure people probably interpreted it as me just liking the story, liking its humor, liking its characters, liking its art, or something else like that.

 

…But is far, far more than that.

 

Rather…when I said that it was fun…I felt that I was really there. You know how all the time, I say how my own characters are so real that I can talk and have conversations with them? That they to me are more than just characters, but are actually real people?

 

…Well…if the comic’s well-written enough (and I can tell you here and now that Misfile most certainly is), then…I feel it for other comics as well. The characters within weren’t just characters. I could feel them as if they were actually real people. And while I may never know them as well as the creator or some obsessive fans who take this a lot further than I would…I still felt like I knew them, like I could connect with them as good, honest, real people, making me want to become one of their friends.

 

And it went further than that. I could hear what they’ve heard, and what I was hoping they’d hear. I listened to what they’ve said, and what I’ve been hoping they’ll say. (Predicting the future in webcomics never turns out even close to how you expect, but that doesn’t stop me from wishing.)

 

But why? Why do I think of them in the present and more importantly, the future? Because I care for them, as much as I would any real person. And when it comes down to it…I want them to be happy in their lives. In comic terms, this would be that I want them to have a happy ending, where everyone is happy and has as few regrets as possible, that everything worked out perfectly—an impossibility, I know, but something I still wish were going to happen.

 

But it doesn’t have to just be the comic’s end. When it comes to their every-day lives…I want them to feel good about their lives, rather than miserable with the hand that they have been dealt. (Again, not very likely, but, uh…more probable, at the least. :P)

 

 

I know that’s hard to explain, but…well, I really do feel connected to them, as if I were really a friend of theirs despite them not knowing me and me having just gotten to begin to know them.

 

 

In a way, though, I suppose it makes sense, given how I am in real life. I’ve never been able to hold onto a friend for more than a year or two. I just…drift away from them with time. And even when trying to fit in…I tend to stand out awkwardly.

 

Beyond that…it extends to online life as well. I thought it wouldn’t…I thought that I could stay connected forever, that I wouldn't have the same problems, swearing to keep close to what I treasured...but it most certainly does, much to my absolute horror. Everyone I’ve ever gotten close to has either vanished or slowly faded away from me, leaving them as little more than a ghost, a phantom memory in my mind which I often lose the proof of ever having existed. And which I sometimes fear is mutual, in that I remember them better than they remember me.

 

The first people I was close to I alienated. The second people I was close to vanished. The third group I was close to had so many problems we destroyed ourselves, and I just…wanted to stay away, despite the fact that they were for the most part still good people and very good friends.

 

The fourth group (which I sometimes consider to actually really be the first group, because it’s the longest-lasting and most consistent) has slowly but surely been slipping away from me. I’ve lost contact with them, I’ve lost my bond with them, I’m completely and totally…drifting away from my good friends. The first people I think I actually called friends, in fact. They were that close to me, and I really felt bonded to them...yet they've all-but vanished from my life...

 

The fifth group I’ve at times completely abandoned, and while I’ve tried to rekindle the flame of passion there…I keep on eventually…drifting away.

 

And the sixth group, ComicFurians? Well, at the moment, we’re close…but I have previously drifted away, and I’m horrified—absolutely terrified—that it might be happening again; it already feels like it’s started. (My webcomic, here, The Descended, what you're reading at this very moment, was supposed to help stop that, but it's not working. Rather, I think it is and if it weren't for this webcomic, I'd have left already...but that it's basically just on life support and that I'm failing to keep my connection alive.) Despite my efforts to get closer, I feel like instead of bonding with them more I’m actually getting further away from them, spending less and less time devoted to them, abandoning them just as I feared I would do.

 

 

So bonding with fictional people makes a lot of sense. You can always come back. On the internet, you can’t really do that. Sometimes the posts and/or site are gone, sometimes your account is, or sometimes everything’s still there but the magic, the liveliness in the posts, has vanished.

 

Fictional people…well, don’t. Sure, they can disappear, if the comic is removed from the internet, and sure, they can (and do!) fade from my mind with time…but I can always come back to them, start over or continue from where I left off.

 

 

 

I know…it’s bad. I shouldn’t be like this, but I am. And, hey…I’ve come to accept it. My councilor has multiple times asked me this:

If I could go back, would I change it?

 

The memories of the past make me sad, because I long for them in the present. I want to have those friends, I want to be part of a group, I want almost more than anything else to fit in (and yet at the same time still stand out as an individual), all things which should be possible because they happened in the past…but which aren’t happening.

 

Yet despite the sadness thinking of the past brings up…despite the mistakes I’ve made…despite how much I wish I could change the way things were and the way things are…my answer to the question of “would I erase it”?

 

No.

 

I would not. I cherish the memories. I’d never want to get rid of them. Yes, there is some incredible sadness in there, and things can be incredibly painful…yet nothing in there is something which I wouldn’t want to have experienced. The bad things were things which I needed to see and experience, to make me grow as a person, to teach me to recognize and accept my mistakes.

 

And the good things which I miss…well…they were good things. Why would I want to get rid of them? Why would I want to forget all the happiness I’ve had in the past? When I feel miserable, yes, it makes me sad to think of better times…but I was still happy in those times, and I never want to lose that.

 

And going down that train of thought…well…it makes me realize many things about the present as well. Mainly, that I shouldn’t take anything for granted, that I should cherish everything I have while I have it. That I should look and see happiness whenever I can, and enjoy every moment I can squeeze out of it when I otherwise feel miserable. Every day, I might feel a little depressed...but I am never truly sad so long as I have this in mind. Look for good in life, and you will find it; I can almost guarantee it. You just need to know where to look, and I've never failed so far.

 

But more than anything else, it’s a reminder that I should work to make my life better in the future, that I can still try to be happy in the future, that it is possible for my life to some day be better than it is now. (Not that it’s bad, mind you, because again, I like to think of what I still have, while still remembering everything I’ve lost, but that still means I want to look forward to what I have yet to gain.)

 

And I think that’s another reason I bond so well with those who are not real. (Well, they are real as far as I’m concerned. They have their own universe, and when their creator brings them to light…they are people, not characters.)

 

Because I see all of this in them as well. And I can apply it to others as well. I try to make others’ lives better as well. I don’t think I often succeed, and I’ve been horrified to see some awful mistakes where I make people miserable…

 

…But nothing makes me happier than knowing others are happy, especially if I helped play a part in it happening. And if I’m lucky, I might make some people miserable short-term, but like me the misery in the long-term makes them better.

 

(So I can hope, anyway. Obviously, I'd prefer to have never made anyone miserable at all, but it happens whether I want it to have or not. It may be little more than naive idealistic optimism, but I'd like to think that what sadness I caused for them ended up making their lives better once they learned to deal with it. It doesn't excuse me having ruined an element of their lives, but...it'd mean that I'd at least have a consolation prize in that it ended up working out in the end.)

 

 

Besides…life could always be worse, right? As low as you know, you can always go worse, yet that also means that you can always go higher. In my case…I have a full family, who I am close to. I haven’t had a single relative I’m familiar with actually die—even my grandparents are alive, something many people do not have the pleasure of.

 

And while their failing health concerns me, that concern is proof that I care about them, and despite how much I can sometimes appear apathetic, knowing that I still have emotions, that I would care if they die (rather than my dreams where I frequently see that I wouldn’t)…it all means that I have some people near me that I cherish and would hate to have lost.

 

(Same goes to my pets as well, of course.)

 

 

 

What can be taken from all of this? Well, obviously, I’m a bit of an unusual guy, but I suppose it means that I’m still quite human. Sometimes it feels like I’m not. Sometimes I feel so distant, feel like I can’t connect, like I’ll never be what I want to be. But just talking about it helps.

 

I love to see others happy. I’m not the best at making it happen for others (though I try whenever I can), but when they are, it makes me smile. And I like myself to be happy as well. There’s not really much point in getting depressed about the past or things in the present I can’t control, after all.

 

I’m not really sure I can wrap things up on this topic. Basically…I like to see people living their lives to their fullest. Be it characters, be it myself, be it others…I really think that people should enjoy…everything.

 

I might sound like a freak for all this rambling…but honestly? When it comes down to it, I’m okay with that, and quite frankly…I don’t think I’d want it any other way. This is just who I am.

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