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So, this is a first: Uploading an unfinished version of a page with the intention of finishing it later, but I feel this is better than nothing and I should let you guys know what’s up with me.

For the past two months I couldn’t do anything but put my feet up and rest my legs to try and let that wound heal. And it did finally heal, after almost a year of running around with a hole in my foot.

But that’s not my main issue. My main issue is still my wrist and my (in)ability to draw. You can chop my leg off for all I care, but if my arm doesn’t get better, then I don’t know what I’ll do. Over the course of working on AHS my pace steadily decreased, as I experienced more and more pain while drawing. I did get some helpful suggestions by readers, visited a bunch of doctors and therapists, but so far nothing I tried really helped. And now my neck is starting to give me trouble as well.

Part of it is my bad posture, sitting there hunched over that tablet/monitor thing I cobbled together using 200$ in parts. I feel like I’ve got to stop using it, but that means I won’t be able to draw until I get something that will be more ergonomic.
I’m currently looking at the MVP22U from Yiynova because I’ve heard positive things about it and it’s almost half the price of a Wacom Cintiq. Even at that price I won’t be able to afford it for a while though. It’s possible there will be no more updates until I scrounge up enough money for it.

Finally, I have to accept the fact that I’m just more fragile than your regular person. I’ve been pretty stubborn about it, looking at other webcomicers and seeing them produce multiple pages a week, thinking: “I should be able to do that too!” The fact is, I’m not and I may never be able to do that. At least on my own. That’s why I’m considering hiring someone to work with me on the comic, using part of the money I make with Patreon. It won’t be a fair wage at all but it’s all I can offer for now…

So, that’s the plan. I hope it works out because this comic is the only positive thing I have in my life.

Therapy Session 1

I wrote a bit about my depression and other medical issues before, but I don’t think I’ve ever felt as bad as I do now. It’s gotten to the point where I feel like I’ll never be able to lead a happy life, that everything I’m doing is futile.

The only positive thing about my life is the comics I’m drawing and that’s it. But… those comics aren’t doing so well either, my inability to update them reliably is really taking it’s toll on me.

I started AHS to get some practice with comics, be done with it in a few years and move on to the next project. So much for that pipe-dream, because now I feel like I wont even finish AHS in my lifetime, let alone the other comics I wanted to do. I can’t just ignore this anymore like I could a few years ago, when I didn’t have as much to worry about. It fucking kills me that after all this time I’m still not at any of the remotely exciting parts of AHS. The pacing of my comics totally werks guise.

So, in order to try and preserve the only good thing I have left in this miserable existence, I’m going to take a step back for a while and take a hiatus from the comic to re-examine things.
(Kinda shooting myself in the foot a bit because no more Patreon funds during the hiatus, but I feel it’s necessary.)

I’ll need to focus not just on improving my art, but on working more quickly. If the pain in my arm is here to stay, I’ll have to find a way to be more efficient with it at least.

And while I’m practicing, maybe draw a few things I’ve always wanted to, to hopefully cheer me up a bit. Like this one:

Session 1: Some demons I guess?

Session 1: Some demons I guess?

Demons consume humans and absorb their life force. They also have a complete disregard for human life and are incredibly cruel, never trust them! Though they don’t normally have sentient tails.
I want so badly to be at the point in the story where these guys start appearing, but you know…

So, did this feel good drawing make me feel better? Did this “therapy session” work out?

I came down with the flu while drawing it, so no.
Good night.

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Not doing too well.

I don’t really want to post about stuff like this, but I think you guys should know.

I’m not feeling very good right now, neither physically nor mentally. One thing might be related to the other, healthy body, healthy mind and all that.
I just don’t have any energy. Sitting in front of an empty canvas and I can’t even bring myself to pick up a pen.

Depression sucks, especially if you try to ignore it your whole life. A big reason for this: depression and anxiety make you reluctant to talk about it. Hell, even writing this post is hard, it’s not a lot of words but it took days.
It’s called the invisible disease for a reason, and if you don’t let people know, nobody’s going to help you. It took me a long time to learn this.

Basically, I’ve tried to completely ignore everything and just focused on making the comic.
“I’ll never be happy, but maybe this comic will brighten other people’s days.”
Not a healthy outlook on life.

Sorry for taking another break from the AHS, but I’ll need a while to sort a few things out. Hopefully I’ll be feeling better in a week or two.

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Curved Frames with Manga Studio 5

One thing Manga Studio makes infinitely easier than other programs, or working traditionally, is frame borders.
But how about curved frames?

Round BordersThe first time I ever used a curved frame border was on this page. This was when I was still doing the comic with traditional media and I used a bottle to trace the outline. (Did I ever mention that I hate my old art?)
The second time I used a round frame was here. I was still drawing on paper, but this time I added the round frames with Paintshop. There has to be an easier way, right?

While MS makes frames super easy, it trades some flexibility for it. The ‘cut frame border’ tool can only be used as a line, poly line, or a spline. Good luck getting perfect circles with that. Or maybe there’s a way and I’m just not seeing it? While I consider myself pretty well versed with Manga Studio by now, I still discover new things on a regular basis, so leave a comment if I am being dumb.

I didn’t really feel the need to use round frames since then, but maybe I just didn’t want to deal with the hassle…

Looks like other people are thinking about this as well.

So I sat down and tried the best way I could think of to do a curved frame with Manga Studio, while recording the process.

That’s what I came up with and I think it’s okay. As it turns out, even with Manga Studio, you still have to do some manual labor.
An alternative to the “whiteout” I used would probably be a layer mask, that way I could still keep all the layers separate and not deal with the magic wand hassle I encountered near the end of the video.

Apropos magic wand.

The tool I used to delete everything outside the panel borders refers only to certain layers set as ‘reference layers’. You can have multiple reference layers and they are marked with what appears to be a lighthouse… I guess?

reference1

You can also use reference layers for the paint-bucket tool, to easily color in lineart while keeping the layers seperate.

reference2 reference3

These are the settings I used in this case, but I change them a lot, depending on the resolution of the image and the types of lines I’m working with.

Anyway, this was my first sorta kinda tutorial, let me know if you’d be interested in more of this.

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I don’t even know.

argonianmina

Slowly starting to get back into drawing, to see how my wrist handles it. The answer is: not very well. Even after a relatively long break it doesn’t feel like the pain got any better. It really seems like I’ll just have to deal with it at this point.

There’s still that appointment I have at a specialist doctor, maybe that might help? I dunno…

As for the drawing… I wanted to draw my Argonian character from Skyrim and I wanted to draw Mina, while experimenting a bit with a digital watercolor look. The resulting Image doesn’t make much sense, but whatever!

That sketchy watercolor look is something I want to use for IFF in the future. It could save some time, because the way I’ve been doing IFF so far just doesn’t lend itself well to ever finishing it.

Regarding AHS: I’ll probably try finishing the new banner first, before getting back to drawing comics.
There might be something to be said about taking an even longer break. Tendon injuries and stuff like that take a long time to heal after all.

Anyway, just wanted to post something and let everyone know I’m still alive. Hi. Hello.

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