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It's my birthday, and I'll cry if I want to...
by ranger_brianna_new on 23rd Jul 2013, 9:53 PM

Cry if I want to, cry if I want  to...

You will cry too if it's so beautiful. :P

 

So it's a bit late (sorry, guys. Didn't have anything finished earlier in the day, and was too busy later in the day thanks to my schedule) to most of you. I'm in one of the few timezones where it's still July 23rd, and even to me, it's kinda on the late side. (~9:40 PM as I type this.) Meaning by the time you actually read this blog (if you actually care to read my blogs... :P), it'll be the 24th. But that doesn't matter; I've had a birthday party celebrated two weeks late, so one or two days late on your end won't be bad. :P

 

But anyway, I put up a birthday comic. I describe it a little in the alt-text and author's comment, but what people may not realize is that on one year to this very day (and, technically, three hours ago--it was released at six), I actually went through the trouble of updating my comic. There was no cover for Arc 0 at the time. There was no "Descended 1", yet alone, "Descended 2", 3, 4, 5, 6, or 7. There was no Q&As, there was no filler. (Although, one could argue in that regard, I was originally fortunate... :P) There was only the original six sprite comics, and nothing else.

So this day holds more value to me for my webcomic than it does for me in real-life. As far as my birthday goes, it's just another number; I don't really care about my technical age (it's not my true age, anyway), so it's just another day to me when my technical age changes. It's not like I actually receive any real gifts, or have a grand party, either; there's nothing present in a birthday which makes it obvious to be a birthday--meaning, that the value I place on this day is far more focused on my comic. Because that's what keeps me going. And it was one year ago, to this very day, that I updated it. And that update sparked a series of updates continuing after that. That update marked the relaunch of The Descended, coming from an obscure dead sprite comic on indefinite hiatus to be lost in the internet void...into a respectable comic that people could actually enjoy. All from that single update.

And that comic helps to celebrate it.

...That said, I did receive some birthday presents from ComicFurians. (They're awesome that way.)

Doomy's drawing of Davos

Never before has he looked as sexy as Doomy drew him being. :P Seriously, you should go check out her work; she's a crazy-talented artist. Her main comic, Demented, is on a hiatus because releasing pages weekly is too stressful on her (and, if you pay attention to my comic, you'll realize how I know that feeling all too well), but you should still support her, so that she'll have some loyal fans when she comes off of her hiatus with a buffer. ;)

 

I also got a piece of artwork from Spitfire, showing me (as my avatar) interacting with the characters from Sandbox Drama, Spitfire's current main comic.

Spitfire's birthday present

I highly, highly recommend reading. :)

Minor changes to enhance your reading experience:
by ranger_brianna_new on 17th Jul 2013, 12:35 AM

Or detract. :P Still kinda new at the whole site design thing.

-This has been a function for quite some time, but never announced. You can navigate pages by pressing the arrow keys; left arrow will take you to the previous page, and right arrow, to the next page.

-There's now a navigation bar above the comic, so that if you forget about the arrow keys, you have yet another location where you can navigate pages from.

-There's now an extra "post a comment" button, above the author's notes, so that on rambly pages, you can skip them entirely. :P

-The archive page now has number of comments on a page attached onto it, albeit in a haphazard manner. (I was improvising.)

 

Again small changes, but worthwhile ones. Still have a ton of things on my to-do list, though. :P

Hiatus is not spelled "D e a d".
by ranger_brianna_new on 3rd Jul 2013, 11:46 PM

Yes, I put The Descended on hiatus. That doesn't mean I'm not working on the comic at all. It just means I'm not working on it as much as I need to in order to continue be called an active webcomic. I'm still doing things, and in fact, have mostly drawn the sketch for the next page of the comic. But I'm also doing a bunch of other stuff. For instance:

-MatthewJA is giving me a crash course in how to code things, so that HOPEFULLY, I can make more progress in customizing the site.

-Even without his help, I've discovered a few tricks. For instance, I'm adding alt-text to as many places as I can (as an example--all the standard pages on the navigation bar you see on top should have them), though I'm still trying to figure out how to do other places (characters/about/extra/links, all of them being extra pages) and trying to do more than simple parlor tricks. (I have some buttons I want to add in, and am honing in on what must be done.)

-I've begun expanding my influence to other places. You already know about TVTropes (and how I've left there, thanks to my suspension and continued destruction of my page), but others are being used as well, visible at the bottom of the page: among them, top webcomics (a biggie), InkOutbreak, and Top100 all spring to mind. (I briefly got up to 41 at one point for there!)  Are they ideally placed, no, but see above; I'm learning about these things slowly. But there's more. I've got a shiny new twitter account, along with a corresponding tumblr. Have absolutely noooooooo clue how to USE them, mind you, but I have them all the same!

-I realized a bad habit I have when reading a webcomic I'm not familiar with: I can't remember what it's about. :P I have to check the comic profile to get what it's about, otherwise I'll often forget, have to work it out myself, and be left slightly slow to catch on. My about page as it was kinda dealt with that, but not very well. So what did I do? I updated the About page, and added bits from the Comic Profile for help. It's not perfect, but I think I like it!

 

I still have a to-do list a mile long, though. Everything from the background (that tree is kinda lame) to updating the info on the characters page and adding new art to reflect new appearances and all that. Finishing the class abilities and uploading them all, cleaning up the Setting section and finishing the worldbuilding required to complete it, and redoing the inspiration page all come to mind. Oh, and then there's also the Links page. There are a TON of absolutely beautiful comics on ComicFury. I read close to 30-40 a day (no exaggeration!), and I love them all. You'd never know it by how short my Links page is; I owe it an expansion so badly.

But I think most of all, what I need to do is to draw. That's the one piece of advice that everyone keeps saying: to get better, you need to draw, draw, draw!

 

Wish me luck on my continued endeavors!

*insert solid chain of curse words*
by ranger_brianna_new on 4th Jun 2013, 11:09 PM

I've been feeling absolutely exhausted as of late. Dangerously tired, in fact. It's obviously been influencing me to go to bed sooner, which results in less work being done, but...it's begun to spread, and in fact when I say "dangerously tired", I mean actually hazardous to me I-could-fall-asleep-while-driving tired. My mental awareness during the day has been plummeting just as much (if not more) than my awareness during the night. It needs to stop, which means I need to do whatever I can to get more sleep and hope (pray, really) that I recover from it.

 

What does this mean?

H-i-a-t-u-s. The dreaded six-letter word. Producing my comic might be causing me actual serious physical harm, so I need to stop doing it. I got advice saying that I need to reduce my workload until I've recovered. And I don't like it, but...they're right.

I can pick the comic up later after I have gotten better.

I can't pick the comic back up if I end up physically disabled (or worse, dead) if my neglecting getting better leaves me seriously damaged.

 

I don't like it. I don't like it at all. I feel like a failure. Every fiber in my body is telling me this is the wrong choice, that I shouldn't be giving up like this.

But I need it. I don't want it. I don't want to stop, I want to keep updating, to get to the level of talent I dream of getting at. If I don't keep practicing, I'm not only not going to get better, but I'll just end up getting worse. But even so much as practicing my art is spending time that needs to be conserved for silly things such as sleep.

I always joke that sleep is for the weak.

Well, I guess I'm just about the weakest guy ever. :/

No update this week. D:
by ranger_brianna_new on 2nd Jun 2013, 7:32 PM

Sorry, but I don't have anything at all done. (I could make excuses all day long, but needless to say...busy week, on top of my body playing catchup. :P) Not so much as a sketch, and in my current process, I sketch the page, scan it, and digitize it. I could throw filler up, but the simple fact is, I'm going to miss this update entirely. I've got nothing to show. My apologies.

 

I'll try to make it up to ya, though. There are a ton of good threads I've been meaning to gather advice from. Everything from color theory (something which if you read the author's notes on a couple of my pages--the Nathan reward sketch included--you'd see to be one of the things I'm worried about) to making realistic wrinkles in clothing to formatting pages to dynamic posing for action scenes (this is a biggie!) to varying facial structure in my characters (a HUGE concern of mine!) to pacing.

I'm not going to turn it into an obsession, but I'll spend a few hours taking good notes. With luck, you'll see an improvement in the next page, though this is probably a gradual change to slowly be implemented with time. Still, this is my pledge to make up for the missed update by bumping my artistic skills up another notch.

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