The Australian NBN has been rolling out; what a shitshow. (Is “shitshow” a compound word, or hyphenated as “shit-show”?) My download speeds have gone from a lazy 120 to a blistering… 90. And, even better, my upload has gone from 40 to 1. I’m not missing a digit there. It’s now 1. It’ll be a miracle if you even get to see this comic at all.
Update: We’re back.
As you might be aware, Robert and I put Ephemeris on hiatus while I got married, had my honeymoon, and Robert moved house. Well, we had kind of an ulterior motive, too: we wanted to figure out a new update schedule, and I’ll tell you why.
We figured the end of Part Line: Act II was a good place to pause things, because it’s pretty much the exact midpoint of Ephemeris as a whole. I did a wordcount of every chapter, and we’ve written over a quarter million words without taking a break. For comparison, most novels are around eighty-thousand words in total. We’ve written extensive notes over the years, but honestly: keeping track of a story and universe the size, scope and complexity of Ephemeris is exhausting. It’s fantastic and rewarding and fun to write, but it’s still exhausting nonetheless. Plus, we wanna work on other side projects, too. We’ve had some things in the pipeline for years, bursting to get out.
So, the new update schedule is to publish one chapter a month. This will give us time to write without rushing, keep track of what we’re doing without over-stressing ourselves, and still advance the book in a timely and consistent manner. (And, who knows, potentially produce some extra content for the site – but that’s a newspost for a different day.)
I figure it’s not spoilers to break down the rest of the book’s structure, like a contents page, at this point. It’s second nature to us by now, and if anything, the foreknowledge should just enhance the reading experience. The part and act headings are:
There’s a nice cyclicality about it, I think, even if the print versions are going to publish Part Line: Act I as its own physical volume due to overall length. How they’re split up for printing doesn’t really matter; like Lord of the Rings, it is, after all, one single novel.
We’ll see you on the first wednesday of every month.
There’s no comic today, and I apologise. I’ve been grappling with a deep depressive state lately (I’ll be fine, I’ve been dealing with depression since I was a kid) and it killed my ability to draw a comic on time. This is the first missed update in ages, which is either impressive or sucks, depending on one’s viewpoint. Anyway, instead, here are some pictures from my sketchbook. (Click the thumbnails for pictures.)
The sketchbook is a place to practice things, develop new ideas, and just play without any deadlines or audience. I also try and draw something quickly in my sketchbook before sitting down to draw the comic, because I’ve found it really frees up my hand, in both the literal physical sense and the more existential sense of getting my vaguely defined drawing faculties ‘into gear’.
There’s a lot of Space Dan and Aleya, because a) they’re my favourite characters, and b) they’re very easy to draw while still being fun. Sometimes I doodle a little tiny Space Dan, only about an inch or so high, while I’m thinking.
Lore is my favourite person to draw, but I’m never quite happy with my cartoon of her. In real life she has quite pronounced cheekbones, and you can see in these drawings I tried adding them to her character model.
Here’s Robert and Hibiya, among other things.
Finally, a little while ago I was left alone in a room with a laminator, so I quickly scribbled this Ephemeris bookmark, cut it out and laminated it. Which now really annoys me because I got a bunch of the details wrong and am thoroughly unable to fix them, trapped in a plastic prison of my own design.
Regular comic strips will resume on monday, I promise.