When I last made an update, I was at the tail end of a teaching job, and in February I snagged another one almost right away. The only problem was that this new job was NOTHING like the other one - I've been creating and teaching lesson plans basically every day from scratch for the last 3 months. Add remote teaching to that and there's a recipe for total time and mind anhilation. But I made it! Yesterday was the last day of school, a fitting birthday celebration, and over the past few days I've had the refreshing opportunity to reaquaint myself with all of my drawing tools. And man it's been fun! The good news is I'm getting this comic back on track. The bad news is I'm out of a job and hoping to get picked up by a school district for next fall. That's still up in the air as it's late in the school year and most opening have already been filled. But we'll see! I may have to leave the area and venture out, but that's okay! No telling what any of that will do to updates, but I'm hoping building a heavy buffer this summer will cover that pretty well!
Any and all comic art I've done this week stems from doing something different for my students - sharing with them my creation process via speedpaints. I created a total of 4 - sketching, linework, coloring (featuring Ryden - can be seen on the illustrations page) and background painting. Each is a different piece and were just as fun to edit as they were to create! HERE'S THE VIDEO FOR IT! It runs almost 10 minutes (was 20 before heavy speeding!), so get cozy and grab some tunes for yourself! I put music on the video itself, but here are my recommendations (aka what I was listening to while working): Red Swan, Vogel im Kafig I, Vogel im Kafig II, Call of Silence, Bauklötze- what can I say, Shingeki no Kyojin is a treasure-trove of good music.
Music from the speedpaint video comes from Kevin McLoed at Incompetech (whom I hope to work with in the future for a Battalion-related project, but shhhhhhh)
I've also been looking over old comic work (circa 2012) and wanted to do a "draw this again" type thing every once in a while, posted probably in the Captain's Log so as not to eat up update space! Funnily enough, I went trolling through old files on a separate hard drive and found quite a few pages from the most recent, newer version of Chapter 1 finished and ready to post. Like 1/3 of them. Oops. Too bad I edited the script, too, so those aren't even really useful anymore.
I wanted to wait until the most recent ComicFury Crossover Exchange was complete to do anything with the site (that's just about the only comic-related art I've been able to do until now :/ ). Now that that's over, all of the pre-existing pages - wth the exception of the cover - will be deleted in the coming days and I'm hoping to start officially updating mid to late June!
Cheers and Happy Summer!
Happy New Year! Greetings and
Welcome to 2020!
It's been...a while, hasn't it? The last page of Battalion updated in August 2017. Over TWO years ago. And a lot has happened since then. I've had art blocks and classes, job troubles and rewrites, dead computers and no money. It's been a ride, but here's everything that happened since, and I feel that I owe an explanations, answers, and promises to the folks who have been here a while, waiting, and patiently so, for this comic to finally hit its stride.
(Skip to TLDR to skip 2 yrs of life-dump)
In that August, of 2017, I started my student teaching experience. After years of taking classes, I was finally getting into what I really want to do, and believe me, I love it, but it is so much more time consuming than anyone besides a teacher truly knows. The experience was once a week, in addition to regular classes. Early December, I moved three large goldfish from my family home to my current home. I'd had them for three years, and they meant the world to me. But they didn't make it and I was devastated. All that work for disaster, and I started to give up on the things I loved for fear of failure. But I pressed on with teaching, because I wasn't going to let one horrible thing ruin the rest. The following semester, Spring 2018, student teaching was every day, involved planning and projects, and state exams, in addition to normal classes.
I passed my student teaching without much trouble and was kind of sad to be leaving. Summer brought another class, but at the end, I walked away with my first degree (woohoo!), and returned to school in Fall 2018 and Spring 2019 for another degree (double woohoo!) along with my teaching certification. With two degrees - Math and Education - under my belt, I was ready to take on the world.
But from last spring to now, I've been looking and interviewing for teaching jobs in my area, with no real success until October. 20 apps, 2 interviews, and nothing for months, it was disheartening. Didn't expect to get something right away, but good grief. In that time span I'd barely drawn anything except for some horse art RPG stuff, a few Battalion pages and a new cover. Most of which was in late 2018, when my drawing tablet just...refused to boot up at all. Most of my files were backed up, but the stuff that mattered most to me, to this comic, was lost. Even the new scripts and all the roughs for a promo animation I'd planned to release that spring, were gone. The only things I was able to recover were resized, jpeg versions of the pages and covers I had sent to a long-time friend and fan. It wasn't great, but it was something.
But that event made my motivation tank. Along with the school work, I really had no drive to put in the effort to redo all those things, much less continue with the project.
Last October I landed a short-term teaching job, currently have 2 school weeks left, and I have no idea what to do after this besides start applying and hope for a job offer for next school year (and definitely something between then and now to keep the student loan payments at bay.
(TLDR; student teaching, dead goldfish, student teaching, more school, dead laptop = lost files, more school, two degrees, no job, moving, job... now here we are)
2020 is going to be the year I accomplish something. The year I bring a project I've been nursing since 2012, on and off, to life again. It won't be finished this year, probably not next year either, but by God I'm going to do something I can be proud of.
I want my characters to flourish.
I want you to see them triumph.
I want to write and draw and love them all over again, and see their adventure go as far as I can push it
So thank you - all of you - for sticking around, for showing support, and giving feedback.
And I hope you'll continue to support myself and this project until the very end. And perhaps beyond. I have no idea when I'll start posting, trust me, I've got a few pages, I really really want to just throw out there, but we need buffer. Y'all have waited long enough. This hiatus is OVER!
Finally, I sincerely hope all of your wishes and dreams for 2020 come true and know that I'll be right there with you!
With Love, Spotty
PS - Here are some previews! :3
And keep an eye out for site updates and Battalion's participation the 2020 Blind Date Crossover Exchange!
Made some pretty good headway with the site design. So far I've updated all the pages except Explore and Shops
and there are new links and pages to play with. About, Files, and Extras have all been updated (but still not
entirely completed). Up next on my list is to finish the About page art, and then the cast pages under Files, which coud take a little while.
Unti then, the comic will update every Monday with a small strip unti July 10th (tentative)
when Mission One will start.
(Pssst....there will also be previews and goodies posted on the Facebook page)
Not a comic update, per se, but I will make this worth your while for reading.
(If uninterested in outside art, just skip to the good part at the end of this post :P )
So HARPG stands for Horse Art RPG. It's basically a game on Deviantart
where you own, train, breed, sell, and show horses through (mostly) art.
It's fun but sometimes is a bit time consuming. I have a stable of 30+ horses
and I like to devote time to each, even if it takes a while to give them their due turn.
Here's a link to my stable and some artwork - Raven's Crown Equestrian
So back in June 2016 I signed up for an eventing competition with three phases -
Dressage, Cross Country, and Show Jumping.
Each phase had its own start and end date:
June-September, September-January, and January-April, respectively.
It was a lot of work but also a lot of fun, and the large span of time between deadlines
helped with working around school and life events.
Each phase was judged on its own, and then at the end, each entrant
is ranked based on those 3 scores.
I entered the show with this lovely lady - RCE Kilven Avulla Tai Paalle Sen
(who definitely, totally, absolutely needs a new reference image)
and we scored pretty darn well in all 3 phases and in the overall judging.
I'm happy with the results, and that's what really counts.
And if I thought the placings rocked, the improvement in art from
one piece to the next is really bananas.
So here are our entries and our placings......
(Click to see the full pictures and details)
Dressage Phase - 5th place
Cross Country Phase - 3rd Place
Show Jumping Phase - 2nd Place
and 3rd Place Overall *Happy dance*
So yeah, it was a fun experience, I got to work on my horses
through the chaos of the last two semesters, I de-stressed,
and I learned quite a bit in the background and realism shading departments
And now the reward for scrolling through all that :)
(Aaaaaaaand some background tests)
Whoops, should probably update this a biiiiit more often.
Once a week maybe?
With each new update?
I dunno, we'll see.
School is murder, but spring break is coming up next week
so I get a chance to hit the comic and the site deisgn HARD.
It's only a week, but I hope to get at least the front page done (I want to add a little more to it),
should do the "Files" pages, which will have a few characters, but no information about them
until it gets revealed in the comic, the shops page really should get finished, but no rush there,
and I HAVE TO do my author page. Absolutely have to. It's been sitting there blank long enough.
I'm also looking into doing some sort of flash game for the explore thing (mostly so I don't have to create
an epic ton of extra pages and do the layout for each individually because that's a HUGE pain).
Page-wise, I'll be looking at getting a lot of Mission One sketched. There are two pages completed
and at least two are completely sketched. Also a new Mission One Cover is in the works, and WIPs
of that and the pages will be posted on the Facebook page :)
(Haha, almost typed 2016..)
Oh my goodness,
almost all the pages in the prologue are finally complete!
11 and 19 are the only remaining pages, and those are currently in progress,
both in the lineart and coloring phases.
Not sure when we'll start posting, but I think it will be quite soon,
with one new page being posted a week!
(I know it's quite a wait for just one page, but the schedule will pick up
over the summer)
Also been fiddling with the site and backgrounds ^^
The prologue is almost complete!
The remaining pages are
11 - Sketch phase,
16 - Line phase,
18 - Line phase,
and 19 - Sketch phase.
Posting will begin...mid to late January I hope.
I'd like to get a larger buffer ready for the coming school semester.
Still haven't updated any pages online,
but I have taken a good crack at completing some prologue pages this past weekend.
Pages 1-10, 12, 14, and 15 are completed.
(13 and 17 are sketched, 11 and 16 are WIP)
The reason I more or less stopped dead in my tracks while reworking the comic
was due to my laptop screen breaking back in August. I had to buy a new laptop
(with a touchscreen that's real finicky) and then wait longer to get a laptop that
actually worked. Since then I've been busy with school and havent had much time
to put toward getting used to the tablet or drawing much of anything.
It's been kind of miserable, really.
Speaking of miserable, the end of the semester is just around the corner,
so I have projects, papers, and presentations coming up shortly.
Just when I got myself back into drawing gear. Lovely.
Still working on pages....
Had to drop the project due to a SUPER busy summer and some other projects
So far I have most of the site design sketches done
(character profiles, shop links)
And I've got pages 1-7 done on the prologue
(8-10 are sketched, 10 is lined, a few others are WIP)
Slowly, ever so slowly , updating webpages. This is the only complete one. The Vol One synopsis is eh. Everything else is OHMYGODWHYYYYYY.
So, please, bear with all the changes. Ugh.
~ Everything after Mission 2 Cleared as of 4/19
~ Shops page updated (banners to be completed) 4/27
Note!!!: Icons to the right are inactive!