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Ranger's Rant of the day:
by ranger_brianna_new on 7th Nov 2012, 1:08 AM

So Firefox crashed, but that's not my rant.

Firefox crashed while I was writing my vent, about TVTropes.

Specifically, how I've been banned from editing. Now if it were for other pages, I'll need to know why.

But for my own, well...that's why I was ranting:

THE PEOPLE EDITING MY PAGE DID NOT DO THEIR RESEARCH. I strongly suspect none of them had even read my webcomic.

 

I was ticked off. SERIOUSLY ticked off. I had to restrain myself from dropping f-bombs in this rant, but let me summarize things. When I'm in a more calm mood, I'll go over the details of all of them.

 

-Emphasis. Lots of it has been deleted. The thing is, the emphasis I placed in the article mostly came from emphasis in the actual comic itself. I've got the documents to prove it; I can put up the exact quotes to show it.

-But far more blatantly...deleting all YMMV items, deleting character alignments, deleting things such as the Uncanny Valley, deleting ChaoticEvil and LawfulGood from the page and such. The thing is, THOSE ARE FUNDAMENTAL PARTS OF THE SETTING. Anyone who's read the comic, heck, anyone who's even visited the site at all will know that my comic features canonical character alignments.

When I've calmed down, I'll recompile the whole list. Everything from Ironeyes's removal of MidnightBlueEyes (sure it's not a trope now, but it was when I added it--how do I know? Because I visited that page and read it in painstaking detail to make sure it applied. And it did) to FamilyThemeNaming. (Firefox crashed as I was checking that line out, since I wasn't sure about it.) And then beyond.

Now mind you, my list of complaints doesn't mean I hold any ill will, nor do I think that all the changes suck.

Some of them I like, and most of them I understand. So as much as I'd love to shout, "STOP VANDALIZING MY TVTROPES PAGE!!!", I can't, since their intention (while misguided) was to clean it up.

They failed, miserably, because they Did Not Do Their Research quite obviously, but their minds were in the right place, so I can't blame 'em.

It's just that, well...they lobotomized my page, without being at all familiar with the setting.

Heck, I explicitly said IN MY TVTROPES DISCUSSION PAGE, that Character Alignments were a canonical part of the setting, so there's no milage to be varied; it's set in stone. So it really irks me, that I'm going to have to go through the trouble of getting unsuspended, so that I can rebuild my page.

And, well, one of the things said was not to abuse the invoked tag. The thing is, when in the actual comic, I INVOKE THE TROPE, what other tag am I supposed to use? I'm invoking the trope. Specifically invoking, say, ChaoticEvil as an alignment. Specifically attempting to invoke, say, Uncanny Valley. Those are things that I put in the comic itself, and explicitly state having the intention of it being in the comic itself. So it's not YMMV items. It's in the comic itself, as explicit as can be.

 

So, I'm going to compile when I've calmed down the list of things which they're doing wrong on my page and I was doing right. I'm going to explain exactly why, if that was the reason for the suspension, it should not have happened. 'Course, if the suspension were for other pages, well, then, that's something I'd have to be shown what I did. I mostly just have been adding to ComicFury pages, in much the same format as they were already in, keeping things consistent. I state clearly each time my reason for editing (maybe a little overly verbose in doing so), and make the examples as relevant and as detailed as I can.

So again, I kinda doubt that it's for any page other than my own. And on my own, I'll admit there are some mistakes, but far less than people have assumed. Of all ComicFurians, I'm the one who knows TVTropes the best, but I don't keep track of things constantly. Things get renamed, tropes get dropped and merged, and I can't realistically be expected to keep up with that. And I never add a trope without doing my research. Research which at the time supported everything in there as being valid for the example.

 

Could I make a mistake? Sure, I can misinterpret things; I'm only human. Could tropes change under my feet? I'm positive they have already a lot. Can policies for pages change? Clearly they can, since what was acceptable and standard  at one point is no longer so. (For instance, when I made my TVTropes page, I made sure to model its format after several respected TVTropes pages, such as Hellsing.) All that means is that my methods are antiquidated, not wrong. Could I describe things in more detail sometimes? Yes, I sometimes neglect that. Do I describe things in too much detail sometimes? Yes, I do.

But it also runs both ways. Can others make mistakes? Yes. They have, in not being familiar with my work. Are they willing to accept that I added tropes before they changed? Not often, as they'll delete without replacing more frequently than not. Are they willing to accept that my page was created and formatted a long time ago? Well, apparently not, but I'll find out soon enough if they realized this. Do they cut out details which are important? Yes, yes they do. Are their methods of welding things together perfect? No, they are not, as their efforts often mangle the meaning and twist it into something it's not.

 

I'll get it all sorted out soon enough.

But I'm just...gah, thank goodness I'm a trained mafia player. If it weren't for my experience in trying to keep rational thoughts and reasoning despite being passionate about something, well, then the above would be a little more hostile. :P

This leaves a sour taste in my mouth, so I'm considering not updating while I sort out this mess.

What the hekc's wrong with the site?!?
by ranger_brianna_new on 4th Nov 2012, 2:01 PM

To those few who will actually see this when it's a problem, I owe an answer to the above question.

Right now, I'm working on slightly customizing my site to be a little more unique, with a LOT of help from the coding wizard MatthewJA. (I'm almost completely incompetent when it comes to coding. I'm not always a complete idiot and can sometimes figure things out by myself, but for the most part, I require his step-by-baby-step guidance. :P)

 

Now because my comic's not very popular at this moment, not many people are likely to see how things are currently a bit off, but a few could. Let's just say right now that we're working out the very slight bugs in the system. :P

Hopefully, by the time most people will see this, it'll have already been fixed.

With luck, it'll make my site look awesome, though.


I might as well announce it now--I have a new piece of fanart. It was actually created some time ago, by JRChace as a reward for subscribing to his webcomic Alignment. (It's an awesome comic, full of absolutely hilarious humor and a nice art style which you can see is consistently getting better, along with a great D&D-esque setting. You should go check it out, especially if you like my comic.) However, because he created it as part of a group shot, he waited until he had finished said group shot to give the individual photo. Here's the final group shot:

Alignment group shot featuring Davos of The Descended

At slightly reduced size. (Full size here.)

And here's Davos by himself, in all his wonderful glory:

Davos of The Descended as drawn by JRChace

He really nailed it. To be honest, he drew Davos better than I draw Davos, so that should give you an idea of what to expect in his comic. It's just as awesome as it seems--nay, it's even more awesome than it seems, so I'd highly recommend checking it out. :)

Ranger's Ramble of the Day #3
by ranger_brianna_new on 27th Oct 2012, 8:29 PM

In real life, I'm pretty much just an average guy. When it comes to helping others, I'm the "generally nice guy" kind of person, who'll help out when he can. However, this basically-nice attitude means that whenever it's inconvenient for me to help others, I very rarely do--and I feel horrible for it. It's absolutely gut-wrenching, in fact, when I ignore others in need of help in favor of my own selfish desires.

But more on that later. I'd also like to point out how I love to help others out, yet hate it when I myself need help. That's 'cause, in my mind, I should be the one helping them, so the thought of them helping me only makes me feel worse, as if I owe them everything, yet can offer virtually nothing.

 

This has pretty much formed the basis for my online persona, only amplified significantly. When it comes to helping others, I'll do everything in my power to do so and go out of my way to help, even to my own detriment. Like in real life, I have a limit, but it's much higher--I can't offer artists-in-need money (since I have none to give :P), and often-times lack the time to give them some other form of serious support, but other than that, I'll do literally everything I can to help anyone I know.

And this is especially true for my friends. I'll admit, part of it's a selfish desire, that because I've been in such pain, I don't want to see them in pain, either. And I'll further admit that the reason I'm so willing to help is more personal than unselfish, because the main reason I want to help is because I feel that they've helped me out so much that I should do literally everything I can to help. Because, it's as in real-life: I don't require help that often, but when I do, I've got an awesome community full of friends to support me in ways they don't even realize they are.

ComicFury is like a family to me, and honestly, I feel quite protective of said family, and all members in it. I do whatever I can to help out, whenever I can, and in general, try to provide a shoulder to lean on when it's necessary to do so.

 

I've been there. I've been through my own personal hell. And it was ComicFury which helped get me out, the support of my second family, the support of my good friends who I care deeply about that helped me get out. So I feel as if I should return the favor in any way that I can. They've always helped me, so I'd have to be a real jerk to not do everything I can to help them back.

 

So the basic point of this blog is...well...if you ever need someone to help you...I'll be there. I may not be able to do much...but I'll do everything I can. I may not have experienced your exact situation, but the chances are quite good that I've experienced something similar enough that I can connect. And even if I couldn't, I'll still do whatever I can to help you out, 'cause that's just the kind of guy that I am. :P

I feel as if there's a lot more to say about this, but...the words aren't coming to me. I'll just leave it there for any to see. Shoot me a PM, send an email (it's my username, ranger_brian_new@yahoo.com), leave a comment, whatever. I'm always here to help, because more than anyone else, I know what it feels like to be alone and without anyone to help, and so I never want to see someone else feel that way again.

This is getting old fast.
by ranger_brianna_new on 21st Oct 2012, 7:20 PM

While I've made a lot of progress on making my next comic, I've only got one panel done so far, and it's kinda hard to tell a story with each comic being only one panel. :P

I don't really have the time to spare to be doing a webcomic at the moment, to be honest, so quite frankly, until I get much faster at doing my art, and/or I have more time to work on my comic, updates will come whenever I can get 'em, regrettably.

 

On the bright side, I have some good fanart!

The Descended Sasha fanart by systemcat of Light Bulbs

A nicely-detailed picture of Sasha, from systemcat, who runs the webcomic Light Bulbs.

Ranger's Ramble of the Day #2
by ranger_brianna_new on 7th Oct 2012, 2:53 PM

So right now, I feel the need to elaborate on a comment I made in my links page. When talking about Mag-Isa, I said that I'm not religious, but I am spiritual. This comment might confuse some people, but I can pretty much tell you right here and now, that the two are not one and the same. You can be religious and not very spiritual (though this is quite rare), just as you can be spiritual and not very religious. That's because religion covers specific beliefs, such as Christianity, whereas to me, spirituality is more the underlying themes which are present in most religions. Belief in some fundamental ideals.

 

Basically, being spiritual covers the metaphorical sides of things, the underlying, the subtle, the subconscious elements of the beliefs. I could go on all day about the details, so I'm not sure how well I can explain it to you. However, basically, I believe in all the things of a religious person...but in a more general, undefined, broad scope, rather than the relatively-narrow perspective any specific religion would give me. To put this in perspective...

-I keep an open mind to all religions. I prefer not to reject any belief out-of-hand, no matter what claims it makes, simply because most religions do have some spiritual side to believe in, rather than just the literal texts. Common themes, for instance, tend to include forgiveness, kindness, respect for all things, and love, to name just a few. I could elaborate, but I think you get the picture. The words aren't what's important; the message is what is. (To give an example--even to a non-religious person, I imagine The Bible would be a great piece of literature, because it gives underlying themes of humanity and inspires a sense of hope. I haven't personally read The Bible all the way through, but I'd love to some day do so, for that reason.)

-I believe in the concepts. The strongest of these I can think of is the concept of a higher power. I may not believe in God specific to, say, The Bible, but I believe in the concept OF God, that there is a force greater than humanity, and that this force guides us in subtle ways. Quite simply put, it'd be arrogant to think that humans are the ultimate beings, so really, there MUST be SOMETHING greater than us. We may have several powers of gods, and in our own creative realms (for instance, me of The Descended), we can be gods (I'm the creator of The Descended. If the World of Soano was as real as I imagine it to be, then I'd be its ultimate creator, its God of gods, so to speak), but in real life, we're nowhere close to godhood. We're simply mortal beings, who in the grand scheme of things are quite fragile.

So I believe that there's a force greater than us, because otherwise, we'd be the top of the chain. What of the argument, however, that "if there's a higher power, why is the world in such a sorry state?"? Well, again, I believe things aren't quite that obvious. If there's a higher power guiding our actions, then it'd do something more subtly. You can't ask for divine intervention to save you. Ultimately, it will be your own actions which help yourself. That doesn't mean a higher power plays no part, that it's all you, but I do believe in this--that sometimes, the higher power's way of helping is letting yourself help you. There have been times, where I felt lost and was beginning to lose help, feeling desperate. I knew that I couldn't wait for help, since the only one who could help me is myself...yet still, I prayed for help, anyway, to be guided in any way I could, and when those prayers truly mattered, when it was something I truly desired and wanted to fight for, I found the answers I was looking for within myself. Easily something you can write off as coincidence, but I choose to believe that it was my prayer being answered.

Everyone has desires, everyone has wishes, and I believe (as silly as it might seem) that the higher power does what it can to subtly grant these dreams reality. To me, this is closely tied to another concept:

The difference between "fate" and "destiny". To me, they are not synonyms. I firmly believe that we are in control of our own lives, that we control our own fate. We make ourselves. We can take an infinite number of turns in our lives, go in any direction, have multiple outcomes. Yet the path we ultimately choose, the fate we decide for ourselves, what eventually becomes our life as a whole...is our destiny. We have the choice to do things one way or the other, and in some alternate universe with a different destiny, we choose the other, but in this destiny, this universe, we choose the one we do.

It may or may not make sense, but I think you can understand the basic concepts, as silly and idealistic as they may seem. And how easily I can tie the concept to that of a higher power, because I believe the two are linked. Ultimately, we control our lives, both through the bad and the good, but I believe that we are being guided on a particular pathway as a whole, by some force we can't possibly understand. I realize it makes no rational sense, but it's how I feel. As I said, it's something extremely spiritual: that belief, that we're ultimately not the most important things in the world.

And it goes further than that, of course. Another thing frequent in religion is a belief in the afterlife. This is more wishful thinking than anything, but I do have that feeling. I don't know what lies after death (and am not too keen to find out, thankyouverymuch; I rather enjoy life, as the only time better than now to live is tomorrow), but I certainly hope it's not nothingness. I want to hold the belief that, somehow, things continue after death. Reincarnation, afterlife, whatever. I want to believe that death is not the ultimate end*. I realize that life has no meaning without death, so it's something which is definitely a part of this world, but I still want to feel as if death is not the end, but merely a new beginning.

Still, though, I take things one step further. Because there's no way to know for sure that there's something after death...because there's no rational way to prove that life continues after death...because despite the feelings I have somewhere deep down that life does not end at death...well, there's still the possibility that it does, gloom as it sounds. So that's why, to me, I always emphasize the importance of living out life. Because the possibility exists that death is the ultimate end...well, then, you'd only have lived once.

...So why not make that life have as much meaning as it possibly can? I know that I certainly am trying. Though my beliefs differ somewhat from the article, you can think of it a lot like The Anti-Nihilist. Life has as much meaning as we give it, so if we just go through life waiting for it to end, to die...then why did we bother with life at all? Going through the motions of life...isn't living. I know from experience that at my all-time low, I felt dead inside, trudging through life despite being empty. But coming out of that all-time low...I realized that I could live my life, that I should put as much meaning into it as I could, specifically for the reason of knowing that it might all end and be for nothing: that what time I DO have becomes all the more important.

I try to take very little for granted because of this, enjoying as much as I can, having respect for as much as I can, because I respect all parts of life, both the good and the bad, and wish to embrace it all, to have as much of a life as possible. Life has meaning. I wake up because I have that life to life. I live because I have that meaning of life, and my life is important because it has meaning. It seems like circular logic, but again, think things through metaphorically, and you'll see why it's so important.

 

I know, this is probably something you easily dismiss, as naive idealistic ramblings of an optimistic fool. But try taking some of these beliefs to your heart. They sound silly, sure, yet...they've helped improve my life. I went from the verge of death to being more alive than ever before thanks to things like this. It sounds odd, but it works wonders.

 

*Note that I also believe that there are ways to continue life even after death without involving religion. It comes in two forms. Living through blood, and living through names. The former is obvious; all living things have it within their nature to spread their genes, for their "blood" to continue on into the next generation. This urge is quite strong for humans, and I'd be lying if I said I didn't wish I would. The latter is more variable, but still quite present. What do you think the purpose of history is? People have achieved immortality in their names, by having everyone remember the deeds they have done. It's quite rare for this to have lasting impact, as it's impossible to know what people will remember years later. However, it can happen on a lesser scale, mostly through family (and word of mouth, oral tradition). Anyone who has family will have stories of family members in the past, be it ancestors or relatives. The tales may change, a lot of the details will be lost and morphed with time, yet for a long period of time, the individual will still have, in a sense, lived on after death, by the tales we tell of them.

This is becoming easier and easier with digital things, as records become more permanent (harder to lose), people write things down more often and more reliably, the internet making things more widely available, and other such things.

Yet another reason why I firmly believe the best time to live in is right now. Other than tomorrow, which will be better. It's a driving force of my life.

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