Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Eldritch: Layline 019

     So, hey guys, it’s almost fall!  In fact, the autumnal equinox is tomorrow! And you know what?  Tomorrow is also the night of the full moon!  Maybe I’m just a geek, but I find a full moon on the equinox to be really cool.  I may even get to go hiking with a friend or two to celebrate!
     I’m so excited.  Autumn means I get to carve pumpkins and put bats in the windows!
      And as for the comic page… yeah.  I really am that mean to Faith… especially since we’re less than ten pages to the end of this chapter.
      Also, important stuff! A head’s-up guys… I’m going to be out of town, visiting my sister next week.  That means no update, sadly.  But! I’ll back with another page in two weeks.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Eldritch: Layline 018

      Woo werewolf info!  (To the thirty-or-so people who have already read this, sorry to make you read it again.)  *Laughs* You guys can tell what I spent my days in Bio class doing, right?  That’s correct, I had one notebook for what I thought would be on the test, and another for my werewolf research.  One of my profesors thought I was making notes for someone else once… that amused me.  Anyway, well, I don’t know who was the first person to make the logical jump from ‘curse’ to infection, but man, I do love the idea of lycanthropy being spread by a virus.  Naturally, a retrovirus is the obvious way to go, but I wanted something a little more complex, so I added in the bacteriophage appearance (don’t they look cool?) and behavior.  It made things make sense for my particular species of werewolf, the Grahll, information of which will be put into the comic here and there.  However, thankfully, Faith has put a stop to this deluge of information.
      I hope the lower panel looks like it’s a page taken from an old book.  Seamus has a lot of  oooold journals that he writes in.

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Eldritch: Layline 017

     Whoo, busy week. Work’s been killing me lately. I litterally JUST finished... here's to hoping I didn't mess anything up. XD

     So, anywho, about this page… Hooray Todd! Some people might remember him from Hot Shot Todd: [link] which was an early test run to see how people would react to the world of Eldritch and some of the characters (Back when this was going to be strips instead of pages!) There’s a part of me that really feels I lose something between the novel-format seen in that test run, and the actual script for the comic. I try my best to make for a balance between text and picture, depending on the situation, but, well, what can ya do? Anywho, Todd’s been changed around somewhat… but is still the same old Todd at the end of it all.
      Now… as for what Todd IS… just to clarify, he really means it when he says he’s a fairytale critter. Todd is, essentially, a Big Bad Wolf. In fact, it is Todd’s involvement in the plot that drove the decision to have Faith’s wardrobe always incorporate red in it (as opposed to just the first scene where she’s attacked), and why in this book, she’s wearing a little red (Riding) hoodie. (My friends in real life sometimes see me in a red hoodie, with wolf tribals on it XD) See, if you haven’t guessed, Little red Riding Hood is my favorite Fairytale. In fact, a favorite older piece of mine is Lil’ Red: [link] Which served as a precursor to Faith’s character.
      Anyway, I have always been fascinated with the older, darker versions of the Riding Hood tale. For some reason, some of the folks I know seem to think that the story is German, and the ‘original’ version of the story was from the Grimm Brother’s Fairytales, but I’m talking about stories older than that, the ones that haunted the French countryside’s sewing circles, and was a much more adult tale. In fact, if I understand correctly, the earliest published version of the tale was recorded by Charles Perrault. In earlier stories, the Big Bad Wolf was referred to as a “Bzou,” which was a French term that meant werewolf. However, the French also have the more well-known Loup-Garou. What can I say, the French are freaking awesome when it comes to werewolf lore. Anyway though, for Eldritch, rather than make the Bzou another form of werewolf, strictly speaking… I’ve made the Bzou something similar, yet not to be confused with, the Loup-garou. What these similarities and differences are, I feel are predictable, but I will reveal them in time.
      Anyway, for further reading on Little Red Riding Hood You may want to pick up a copy of Catherine Orenstein’s Little Red Riding Hood Uncloaked.

Eldritch: Layline 016

      Man, I wish I had time to write an interesting comment for you guys, but I’ve got so much to do… including getting going on next week’s update. (I lost my good drawing pencil and only just found it again last night, whoo.) However, I am so happy I’m finally at this point. Been waiting to introduce this character for aaaages. And you’ll get to learn more about him next week!

Eldritch: Layline 015

     Well, I guess prejudice can crop up anywhere. Thankfully, there are always people like Seamus who will give folks a chance. Gaoth, well, he’s a little less forgiving. But I like him well enough… and he’s the only one who could give Seamus a run for his money on Eldritch knowledge.

     And randomly, yeah, I know, Faith’s last name is a clunker. She knows it too.
     …You know, guys, to be perfectly honest, it’s been busy here, so I didn’t have the time to come up with anything really insightful to say to you all tonight. So, I’ll just leave it at that. Thanks for reading guys, and I hope you’re all having good full moon nights!

Eldritch: Layline 014

      I know, I know, you’re all Sooooooo disappointed that the bonnacon is extinct in this universe, right? Seriously though… a bovine beast that emits a flaming substance from its anus? I just… I mean, it’s not the nastiest monster out there, but jeepers. I give them points for creativity, but maaaaan, the bonnacon is not something I really wanna draw in action. I actually have a good reason for it and the others mentioned to be extinct but that’s a story for another time.

      Now… last I checked, vampires ‘come’ from a variety of sources. Blood-drinking monsters are a strange, almost universal phenomena, and though the forms these monsters take vary, cultures from around the globe have strange, vampiric creatures in their folklore. Some of the earliest known sources for vampires come from Slavic myth… but then again, who knows? Before recorded history, who’s to say that Paleolithic man didn’t invent them, only for them to be forgotten and reinvented later, due to the lack of sophisticated writing?
       One of the problems with doing a storyline with mythological creatures is that there’s a lot of ‘canon’ folklore and myth to take into consideration, along with my own silly ideas and concepts. And, well, before anyone takes the liberty to yell at me because “Im, doin’ it rong!!1eleven!!” I’ll say, I know just as well as anyone that in myth, the wizards didn’t create the vampire (Which I will say I am treating differently from, say, Nosferatu). However, this deviation from folklore is both a means of stepping a but away from a previous, failed, webcomic attempt, as well as in a strange way, a means of making the Eldritch world make more sense in my own mind, while working with the “Mages” and “Mancers” in keeping the presence of the now-extinct wizards around (And yes, in this universe, there IS a difference). It’s just another thread in the spider’s web, as it were… and if I make it through a couple more books of this comic, I’ll be able to reveal a bit more of that portion of the web. But I have some werewolfery to show you guys before that…
     Regardless, I spend a lot of time researching all of this weird stuff… and, well, some of it I like, some of it I don’t. On top of that, there are often conflicting myths about the same creatures or events. So, I’ll pick the pieces I like from here and there, ranging from books to documentaries to even good ol wikipedia. And if I still think things should be different… I change them. As Seamus states in this page, according to this universe, humans got some things correct in their myths, but others, well, not. The case in point is historical zombies verses the kickass zombies of modern media. Now, that is not to say that in Eldritch, there aren’t undead, since there are vampires. But it is food for thought. However, while I do not intend the possible “errors” in human stories and myth to be a crutch, or an excuse if I am not accurate, I do intend to use it as a springboard to reinvent myth as I like.
      For instance, regarding the fae-title “Oberon…”
      In the rare case you’re not aware, Oberon refers to William Shakespeare’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream. It is, frankly, my favorite of his works, mostly because it’s full of whimsy and dirty jokes (You can keep your Romeo and Juliet, give me a comedy!) In this tale, Oberon is the name of the King of the Fairies. We’re getting a little glimpse into the social standing and structure of the modern Fae in this page… That at least one Fae has set up a little sanctuary for the Eldritch folk in the area, that the Fae have a strong dislike for the wizard-created vampires, and that apparently leaders in the Fae community have taken Shakespeare’s “Oberon” and applied it as a title or… Maybe, just maaaaaybe, Shakespeare was privy to some information most weren’t.

Eldritch: Layline 013

     Oh no, unlucky page number thirteen! ... though actually, thirteen seems to be one of my lucky numbers. I guess I inhereted it from my dad. Weird. ;D Aaaaaaaanywhoooo....

     Well, first off: Otherkin Community, I tip my hat to you. I didn’t spend very long there at all… but, while there was some craziness, somehow everyone I met was nice. On the internet, this is a miracle of astronomical proportions. Between them, Therians, and a couple of Yahoo clubs/groups for text-based RP, I ended up opening up enough to participate in the internet and eventually get a gallery.
    Now, about the comic… I know I throw a lot of stuff out on this page (and will do so more throughout the book) without a lot of real explanation, and am making some even more substantial deviations from myth. But Seamus’ll address that Next update. Nevertheless, I promise, I’ll come back to Leylines for a bit next book. But there’s a lot of other, more pressing things I need to get to, and let’s face it, the script is kind of dragging here, so please bear with me.
     Anyway… Now, regarding Leylines, if I understand things correctly (and I’ve been wrong before), the concept of Leylines really isn’t all that old, as it’s only been around about ninety years. The term was coined by Alfred Watkins, and was really used to represent simple traveling paths between historical markers, with no supernatural elements involved. However, it seems our current ideas of Leylines are actually blended with an older, but similar concept: Fairy Paths. Both sets of paths connected monuments, but these were the roadways for the Fae folk, just as the name would indicate. If you were to stumble upon a Fairy path, you could find yourself suddenly lost, come down with a strange illness, or become enchanted (and not in the nice way). They were places where strange things happened… and if you built your house on a Fairy Path, well, god help you. (On a related note, the sea and sky aspect of the way I’m depicting Leylines, by the way, comes in part from how I think they’d work “Scientifically” but also from Australian Songlines, which, while not supernatural in the same way, are still interesting.)
     Regardless, I chose to use Leylines instead of the more accurate FairyPath, because, frankly… I think that if magical lines of power existed, other magical races would be bothered by the lines being attributed to any one group. Thus, Leyline is more “PC.”
     Hmm, you know, I think the first time I’d heard of Leylines, I was… maybe ten? To be honest, I don’t remember. But one early summer day, my Dad took my big sis and I out to a hill on my folk’s property, to show me a ring of grass that was growing higher and greener than the rest. (It comes back almost every year… here’s a shot of it from back before we put up an ugly fence: [link]) He informed us that it was a green Fairy Ring, and told us quite a bit about fairy lore. This was slightly unusual, because while my father likes the fantasy genre, he’s really more of a sci-fi buff.
     As it turns out, my grandfather on my dad’s side was an …interesting fellow. I never knew him, but according to my dad, he told amazing stories, and was friends with the strangest range of people, ranging from carnies to astronomy professors. Anyway, he had a wealth of knowledge of Irish folklore, and passed some of it on to my dad.
     I remember some time later hearing the term again on a documentary about mythical things… I think it was on the Discovery Channel and included the Cottingham fairies too, which fascinated me. But the first time I really came across Leylines in entertainment-based media was oddly enough, in The Vampire Diaries. The books were… Twilight before sparkles. But they’ve also shown up in The Dresden Files, and I’m told they also show up in everyone’s favorite MMORPG, World of Warcraft.
      So… here’s to you Mr. Watkins. I’m sorry people didn’t take you seriously, but man, we’re all loving what you came up with anyway.

Eldritch: Layline 012

     Science and mythology time! Buahahahahahahahahaaaaaaaa!
       Now guys, I swear, this is the last page discussing genetics for a while! Seamus’ll ramble about something else for a while next page.
     And okay, okay, okay, on a serious note, I need to say it now. Remember: I’m no Biologist. I’m just an artist and folklore enthusiast who loves science. The great news is that with science, there are set rules, that everyone can play with. The bad news is that there are set rules, that you need to understand a little of before playing with them.
     Regardless, I really love all kinds of science, and I try to learn what I can. But the sad fact is, some fantastical things I just hope my readers (You guys!) are willing to accept. I know that even if there were mythological creatures, that mating with entirely different species would likely at best only produce a sterile hybrid. But I mean, stranger things happened in myth. Like how a griffon mating with a horse produced a hippogryph. …And griffons liked to eat horses for Pete’s sake! But I digress… I also know that the genetic makeup for a different creature being passed along like a recessive trait doesn’t happen in real life, even though many creatures share similar genes/reuse them. I know I’m asking you guys to swallow a lot of psudoscience here, but I hope it’s entertaining, at the very least.
     I guess, sometimes for the sake of what fantastic end you’re trying to meet, you just have to bend the rules when writing Science-Fantasy.
    …And, why yes. Seamus DOES speak in diagrams. ;D I figured it’d be nice for the TL;DR-ers out there who don’t want to read that wall of text. (That and I’ve had that diagram kicking around for ages and just couldn’t help using it as soon as the script allowed.)
     Also by the way, if you’d like to read about some awesome fantasy-related science, I recommend the Flight of Dragons. The actual book, by the actual Peter Dickinson, not the cartoon (which is also a lot of fun, and follows the plot of the Dragon and the George.) I adored this book when I was little, because it made it seem like maybe fantastic things just might exist. He did his best to use the rules of science to make something improbable seem real. That’s real magic right there.
     Now, regarding mythology… Yes, I know that there was only one Nemean lion in myth, and that Hercules killed its ass. But I mean, come on! A lion that could turn into a beautiful woman to lure men? Best hunting strategy ever! Surely, there had to be more than one nemelion for that kind of awesome specialized trait to develop. And I bet the lady nemelions turned into hunky men. Rrrrrrrrrow.
      Also, seriously, if you’re enjoying this, go look at mythology, and not just the Nemean Lion. There’s SO MUCH awesome shapeshifting going on, and not just with that kinky sonnovagun Zeus I mentioned last week. According to several myths, many monsters can shapeshift, though certainly not all into humans (however, for this post, I’ll focus on them otherwise this’ll be way too long).
     In scandinavian mythology, some trolls could appear so human that men sometimes needed to check under woman's dresses for tails (sounds fishy to me ;D). Meanwhile, the woman Melusine could become a very naga-like serpent or dragon (though sometimes she was referred to as a mermaid. Bzuh?) Then there’s the Tartar Yuxa, which became a human woman, and ooh, then there were the kelpies, which could also become beautiful women, lovely steeds, and of course, man-eating monsters. Another shapeshifting river monster is the Armenian Nhang, which, following the common trend, was said to be able to become a human woman, but could also become a seal. A similar shapeshifting monster is the Mama Dlo.
      Thankfully, not all of the shapeshifters turned into women (Hooray equal opportunity shapeshifting!). The Aatxe could turn into a bright red bull (The Last Unicorn, anyone?) but also a young man. Furthermore, in Hindu mythology, some Nagas could take the form of men. The Glashtin could turn into handsome young men, but also children… and man, the Tikbalang could not only take human form, but could take the form of particular humans like you or I. And of course, every culture has myths of people who can turn into animals, like the Nagual, Werewolves, Skinwalkers, all of that good stuff.
      Meanwhile, some races, like the fae folk, were accomplished in the arts of illusion and transformation. The fae folk were well known for glamouring themselves into other forms. And they commonly bore changelings… What can I say, the Fae were perfect for breeding with people. And man, don’t even start on Japanese spirits, like Kitsune and Tengu… many of them were downright gifted shapeshifters and could turn into everything from monks to teapots (I highly recommend the Tanuki tale, The Dancing Teapot, if you’d like some silly shapeshifting fun).
       There’s loads more out there that I haven’t mentioned, and plenty more I’m sure I don’t know about. But this post is becoming a novel… *Laughs* Maybe a bildungsroman tale.

Eldritch: Layline 011

     Okay, I swear, last real splash page for the book. (Please don't hate me) I’m sorry, I just adore doing splash pages… I don’t have to draw things teeeeeeny tiiiiny, and it works swell for 'lumpy' dialogue like this... since Seamus... well, if you've ever read any of my 'Seamus-y" artist's discriptions, he talks a lot.
      Speaking of talking a lot... oh man, hold onto your TL;DRs folks, Nash is about to go on tangent time.
     Ever since I was little, I’ve been fascinated by the possibility of humans or animals being something entirely different from what they appear. Personally, I suspect this was brought on by too many viewings of The Flight of Dragons, and The Last Unicorn. However, it is a theme that I’ve seen now and again throughout my life.
     I think the first place I came across humans with inhuman lineage was in simple ol Greek mythology. Hercules was sired by Zeus, a Greek god… In some stories, Zeus also sired Minos while getting it on with Europa while in the form of a bull (Furthermore, Minos’ wife, Pasiphae, bore the minotaur by mating with a bull given to him by Poseidon). Zeus also went after women in other forms, like that of a swan. I guess this Zeus guy had interesting kinks. But themes like this pop up throughout mythology… thankfully, I had more than just ancient myths to entertain me.
     Later, I found myself to be an avid fan of a show called Gargoyles. Fox, a character I rather liked, turned out to be of fae lineage, and that was passed onto her son. By this time, I was quite an avid reader and was already interested in werewolves and shapeshifters. I was learning about how ancient werewolves weren’t almost always bitten like today’s Hollywood-wolves, but how entire villages and clans could carry lycanthropy. There were so many stories and variations!
     As time wore on, I came across more of the same themes… humans with supernatural lineage. This ranged from Luck Of The Irish, a silly Disney film where a boy discovers his leprechaun lineage, to damphyrs, which are the offspring of a human and vampire, to learning that some native American tribes believed they were related to animals, to a game called dragon storm where dragon heritage causes all sorts of magical mayhem (Including lycanthropy, woot!). It was also this time that I came across the Otherkin community, where plenty of people discuss the actual possibility of being descended from mythical origins!
     And then, there was college (when I started this comic, woo-hoo), and ancient art history class. It was here where I learned even more of mythology than I had anticipated, or had guessed at. Sure, it was the first time I came across creatures like sirrushes (though I did not know what they were called at the time), but I also learned more about mix-breeding between mythical creatures and humans. I was at first shocked to find out that according to some depictions that centaurs were extremely promiscuous, and would actually carry women off to rape them, like in this image: [link] but when comparing that with what I’d already known of satyrs and nymphs… it suddenly didn’t seem so far-fetched.
     And today, oh man, we have all sorts of media regarding and including magical lineage, ranging from good ol Harry Potter, to American Dragon, to the Emily Windsnap books (I have yet to read them… I know they’re for kids, but has anyone here read them? Are they good?) to Percy Jackson (Loved the movie… haven’t read the books though *bad Nash*), and, hopefully sometime soon, Song of the Sea by Cartoon Saloon, which looks like it’ll be about a family of humans and Selkies! *squee*
     When I was young, It seemed there was such a lack of fantasy media, and today, there is so much, I don’t have time to watch and read it all! I feel so lucky that there has been such a glut in the science fiction and fantasy genres…
      God bless the geeks!

Eldritch:Layline 010

     Next week, I’ll be blabbing to you all about paranormal(Eldritch) lineage in myth and media.

      But today: A little ramble about Seamus:
    “Sufficiently advanced science presented to a sufficiently less scientific mind will appear to be magic.”
     Sure, it’s based off an Arthur C. Clark quote, but this and variants of it happen to be something my Dad started saying to me when I was little, and it’s something that’s really shaped my creative development. I personally think my grasp of fantasy would be better if I had actually studied science in school instead of art. And it’s this love of both science and fantasy that eventually resulted in the creation of Seamus.
     Those of you who have been with my gallery and I for a long time may recognize this character. Seamus, whom I’ve also called ‘My mysterious italicized friend,’ has been around for quite some time. To be perfectly honest, this comic owes itself to this character more than any of the others (with the possible slight exception of “Mr. Smilie,” but that’s a story for another time). For years, I’ve uploaded artwork of various monsters, creatures, items and more with little story blurbs, most of which written as though taken from the journal of this character. Because of this, I came to think of everything in my gallery, and everything in my imagination, as being part of a single world. Now, that is not to say that eeeeeverything I have ever uploaded is eeexactly canon for Eldritch… but Seamus is where all of this came together, where all the monsters, ideas and oddities of my interests converged.
     In other words, if it were not for Seamus, you would probably not be reading this comic. And if it were not for my Dad, I probably would never have started trying to make fantasy sound at least somewhat plausible in a world that also follows scientific rules. Thus, there would have been no Seamus without my Dad. My Mom taught me so much about being an artist, but my Dad taught me about being creative, and gave me a thirst for knowledge.
      I owe a big thanks to him.
      Not that that’s out of the way… regarding what’s going on in this week’s page… I know, a lot of talking is going on, and not a lot of action. (But at least I finally have the vocabulary out there for the three basic kinds of Eldritch Folk, right?)
      Anyway, I’ll warn you now: This book/chapter is largely talking and world setting. It allows for a rest after the action and chaos in the first book/chapter, and also, allows me to explain some of what’s going on. (I’ll be explaining more about the Eldritch world as time goes on… one of my favorite tidbits will show up in the fourth book. God, I have a long way to go.) However, it also means it’s a bit shorter than the first book, only thirty pages… though I may cut a couple unneeded ones. I just wish I could do this faster XD

Eldritch: Layline 009

      Oh god guys, prepare for an onslaught of exposition and the introduction of new characters.
      However, speaking of new characters, I really am enjoying drawing Dylan. Or rather, his coyote projection. It’s just fun, and I find myself saving it for last as I work. Randomly, when I first came up with Dylan, I figured he’d dye his hair brown, to be more coyote-like. But when I started doing actual concept art of him, I found the brown hair blended in with his dark skintone and made him look very bland. So, now he only has streaks dyed into his bangs. It’s amazing what will work for me in text, but visually, does not work at all.
     Now… the subject of text brings me to a little stroke of luck I had this week. While browsing the local used bookstore (I can rarely afford new books, but used ones have more character anyway) I came across a book I hadn’t seen since I was young: A Lycanthropy Reader: Werewolves in Western Culture.
     When I was a little girl, I used to love to visit the library. Even in the colleges I attended, while some of my classmates lamented time spent in the school’s expansive library, there were few places I preferred more. I spent plenty of time browsing, and had access to books I didn’t have in my collection. One of my favorites was Adam Douglas’ The Beast Within, another was David White’s Myths of the Dog-Man… Neither of which I have yet managed to locate for my own collection. But will, some day.
     However, when I was a little girl, (back when we used a card catalogue to find books instead of computers ;D) there were only two werewolf books (that weren’t horror novels) I could find. One was Meet the Werewolf, which was geared toward children… and the other was A Lycanthropy Reader. It was in this book that I first came across an interesting tale called “The Other Side” in which a boy crossed a forbidden brook and picked bright blue flowers. Shortly thereafter, he became a werewolf.
     Now, my folks own a few acres of land. And separating the front and back yards from the fields, is a drainage area. Not a brook, but close enough to a child. However, for many years, I was not allowed to cross the drainage channel, the ‘brook’ on my own. Though, some time later (how long I don’t truly remember, as time passes differently when we are young), Dad didn’t mow the field, and I noticed blue flowers growing in it. I was so sure that they must be werewolf flowers that I was heartbroken when he mowed it all down.
      Yet again, some time later, I at some point crossed the ‘brook’ to play. To be perfectly honest, I don’t recall if I asked permission and it was granted, or if I’d snuck across on my own. But after searching around, I found more of the blue ‘werewolf’ flowers. I picked as many as I could carry, and brought them home.
      I dare say, I was dreadfully disappointed when I did not later change into a werewolf.
      However, for years, while I did not know what the flowers were called, I happily thought of them as werewolf flowers, and they flourished in some of the lesser used parts of my parent’s property. I noticed them elsewhere too, especially along roadsides… and yet, it was only after I’d reached adulthood that I learned that my magical werewolf flowers were only common Chicory.
      And yet, to me... they will always be werewolf flowers.

Eldritch: Layline 008

     So, regarding this week’s update…
     You may notice a few names mentioned here like Mr. Von Wau Wau, and Spider. I’ll say it now: you’ll never hear more of them. Not from this comic anyway. Why? Because I had to give a little tip-of-the-hat to the man who helped save my last few quarters of college, Spider Robinson (may his wife rest in peace).
      You see, in the early stages of this comic, back when it was going to be strips instead of pages, I told my Father (my poor, poor beta tester) about the Layline, which as you guys can see, is basically a paranormal bar/club/hangout/whatchamacallit. Dad then told me about Tales from the White Hart, and, more importantly, Callahan’s Crosstime Saloon, by Spider Robinson.
     The book Dad eventually handed me was signed by the author… and dated five years before I was born.
     Now, I’d been working on Eldritch and posting the updates for quite a while by the time Dad brought this book to me, and I was struggling to keep up with the comic and my college work. I was, as all students do from time to time, getting, well… burnt-out. A bad thing when your major is one of the creative sorts, like Fine Arts. I had practically no time to look for inspiration, or see my friends, and felt I hardly saw my folks. I felt like Sasquatch or some other rarely seen beast, stumbling in whenever I finished my work in the lab or clocked out of my job, then stumbled back out early the next day. I was slowly but surely, becoming a bitter, uninspired wreck of a person.
      But this book Dad brought me Callahan’s Crosstime Saloon, turned out to be comprised of several small stories—an anthology. I was able to sit down and read them one at a time, while taking an hour for lunch, or waiting for a class to start. Robinson writes with one foot in the genre of urban fantasy, and the other foot in the genre of urban sci-fi. Space aliens, humans, pookas, vampires and more all existed, and visited the same bar, which was owned by a fellow called Mike Callahan. What can I say? I’m a sucker for the urban fantasy genre. But it wasn’t the genre in the end that made the books so comforting, but the characters. If I was having a bad day, I knew that in the next story, Callahan’s Place would have something up it’s sleeve to make everything a little better, be it a tall tale, unique idea, or a terrible pun from Doc Watson (My Dad and I spar with puns, and they delight me so.)
      My last few months of college, while everyone else was painting and screaming about Stephanie Myers, flailing about their own fantasies of fawning over sparkly or shirtless men, I found that when I painted, my mind was in a simple pub, filled with delightful, friendly faces, and a fireplace littered with shattered shotglasses.
      So… even though I don’t really have the guts to tell him myself, here’s a big ol’ thank you to Mr. Robinson. Maybe your characters had it right when they felt that people came to Callahan’s Place when they really needed it. God knows I did… and I couldn’t have learned Callahan’s Law at a better time in my life. I hope that anyone who needs these books the way I did finds them.

Eldritch: Layline 007

      Oh-ho hooooo. Do I spy a creature from the cover of this book? Why yes, yes I do.
      Anywho, in the script, this Ogre’s name is Mike. Seeing as he’s mainly intended to be a background character, I’m not sure why I named him, since neither of his two companions or other gamer friends have names. Remember the gamers in the first page of this book, asking “Where are they?” If two added to two makes four, then this is the rest of their gaming group. (If I recall correctly, only one person paid much attention to that panel… kudos to them!)
      Long ago, I used to be a tabletop gamer, like the nice ol ogre featured here. Every Saturday, for six hours, I got to be someone else. Once a year, I see two of my old gaming buddies, but am always doing costuming and have no time to sit and game. Frankly, I really miss it. But I DO get to enjoy Tabletop gaming and other geekery second-hand. Howso? Right now, there are only two comics I follow regularly. Cockroach Pentecost, and Weregeek. It’s fantastic… I strongly recommend it!

Eldritch: Layline 006

      Here guys, have another cameo monster.

Eldritch: Layline 005

      Faith is taking things well, I think.
      Man guys, I’ve been looking forward to drawing Maggie in one of her karasutenguie  forms for ages! She sure isn’t pretty, but she is fun to draw. Hehee. You know, in early stages of her design (back when this was doodles on napkins and postit-notes), she had just a bird’s beak, without the teeth inside. However, that toothy grin of hers is just such a common expression for her, that with the beak, her expressions didn’t read as Maggie-like.
      So, funny little story. I kind of made the same mistake Faith made, once upon a time.
      When I was a little girl visiting my grandmother in Arizona, I had little to do during the midday heat and all the time in the world. So, I drew and daydreamed and invented. One year, I came up with a race of wingless gryphons, and thought they were just the bee’s knees. They were often just bird heads on lion bodies. I felt o-so-creative at the time, as little girls tend to feel.
     Then, a few years later, I learned about some of the various types of sphinxes… including the Heiracosphinx. Which looked just like my silly wingless gryphons. Something I thought was new was actually remarkably old. It taught me a little lesson about how important it is to learn as much as you can, as fast as you can. So, I devote a lot of time to reading and learning in my off-time. I daresay that if I had a little more money at my disposal, I would have ventured off to a college where I could have gotten a degree in folklore… which is only slightly less useful than a degree in art XD

Eldritch: Layline 004

       Homigawd, I had been wanting to get to this part for Over A Year.

      I’m so glad it’s not a porn shop on the inside, guys. Aren’t you?
      … On second thought, don’t answer that.
      Aaaaanywho, I ended up working up to the wire on this one, and still wish I had more time (Like, another few days ;D)… There are just so many little details. I’m sorely tempted to post this page without the text as a normal deviation. Man, though… I’d had a whole list of creatures I’d wanted to cram into this page, but sadly ran out of room. Yet, I got a decent amount crammed in there.
     And also, trying to head things off before someone yells at me, I assure you, there is no offence is meant to any fanfic writers. Have you ever noticed that I don’t write fanfic, or even fandom-based drabbles? That’s because I suck at it myself XD

Eldritch: Laylone 003

      Welcome to the Layline, folks.

Eldritch: Layline 002

     Even though this doesn’t show where Faith’s going, I have a fondness for privately run toy shops, and felt the need to picture the shop in Mapleview. There’s usually a spark to such little stores that you don’t find elsewhere.

     Though, to be honest, this page worked a lot better in my head… because in my head, this is all live action video. It wasn’t until last night that I realized I had way better options for this scene. Oh well.
      You know what they say: It’s not the destination, it’s the journey.

Eldritch: Layline 001

     At one point, this was where the comic was going to start. However, this beginning works pretty well for the start of a second book. Changes was going to be done in flashbacks… but at the end, I felt that Faith needed the character development she gets in Changes, especially her human scenes.

Eldritch: Layline Cover


      Somehow, I’ve made it through Changes. So now I get to start on Layline, where we will be able to see more of Faith’s new world, meet new characters, and learn more about what’s going on in this crazy little place.
     Here’s to a new chapter in Faith’s story, guys. And here’s to hoping I can manage to tell it. Thanks for coming along for the ride.

Eldritch: Changes 038

     And that's the end of the first chapter.  I'm really fortunate to have the opportunity to do this comic, and almost everyone has been so supportive of it.  I'm an entertainer at heart... and I'm so glad that my readers on DA have been so kind to me.

Eldritch: Change 037

      ... ‘Nuff said.

Eldritch: Changes 036

      Yaaaaaaay, back to human! *ominous musical cue* For now!   … Aaaand, Jay gets one more little poke in. And yes, the pun is intentional.

Ekdritch: Changes 035

     Such a beautiful morning… so not the scene for a werewolf.  And, well, apparently she’s not stuck. That’s good. Well, it is in my opinion anyway, you guys may disagree. I know Faith’s happy about it at least.

Eldritch: Changes 034

      Oh god, I’ve been looking forward to drawing that last panel for aaaaaaages. What d’ya know, Faith? Looks like you can’t just sleep off Lycanthropy.
      I’m getting close to finishing Changes, and I’m glad to have made it this far. I really appreciate those of you who have been nothing but kind to me as I’ve been going. Sometimes a few kind words help more than you know, even when all I can think of to say in return is a simple thank you.

Eldritch: Changes 033

      Soooooooo… yeah. Last week, I finished things up, posted, went to look at the script and wondered what I was smoking to make me think that ten panels on a webcomic page was a good idea when I wrote this thing up. *Incoherent screaming*
      Needless to say, this isn’t my favorite page. And I kind of want to smack Faith. But Maggie got her home safe and sound, so life is good for now. Leave it to a crow to work things out.

Eldritch: Changes 032

      I actually kind of like this page, save for Faith in the first panel. Rushed as it is, it didn’t turn out too bad, I suppose. Tehee, and I kind of like drawing faith with her tongue hanging out for some reason XD

Eldeitch: Changes 031

      Oh, you know me. Can’t be serious for too long. I guess Faith’s still not buying this werewolf business. Thank goodness Maggie’s there to help.

Eldritch: Changes 030

      When i first did this, I thought I might miss an update, because I was going to be at a con all weekend, but the friend I was with pitched a fit and we left before even the masque. Which was one heck of a bummer. BUT, it gave me time to work on this right? Right.

      Aaaaanywho. Faith’s still a little apprehensive about Crow!Maggie. Poor, scared, defenseless werewolf, right? ;3 At least it seems She's adjusted to that muzzle a bit.

Eldritch: Changes 029

      Faith’s still having problems with all this talking business.

Eldritch: Changes 028

     Aaand here we go. Been doing a lot of work on stuff other than the comic this week, but, it’s time to get back to work on this, yes? Yes, I think so. Hopefully my work schedule will allow for it better in the next couple months, now that the Christmas Rush and Return Season is over. Makes me wish I could afford to be an artist full-time.
     Anywho, yes the crow is Maggie. Man, I kinda wish I could turn into a crow… I’d like to fly. But knowing my luck, I’d get shot by a farmer or something.

Eldritch: Changes 027

     When I posted this to DA, I had mistakently posted the wrong page, and had to scramble to fix it.  Oops!

Eldritch: Changes 026

     Ahh, poor Faith, trying to work out a way to explain what’s happening to her, because she can’t believe reality.
     Also, no offence meant to any crows out there who might object to the suggestion that they might be tasty.

Eldritch: Changes 024-025

     Introducing The Woods. If you couldn’t guess by the two-page spread, they’re BIG. Which is fortunate, because they need to house a werewolf… Faith is going to spend a lot of time here. But man, good grief, do I hate doing backgrounds. If setting weren’t such an important thing, I’d probably be a total lazybutt and have nothing but block colors for it. Though, truth be told, I ended up doing almost all of this way in advance, so that when I got to this scene, everything would be consistent for this shot. I get to use this Background a lot.

Eldritch: Changes 023

     Faith here… is obviously still trying to cope.

Eldritch: Changes 022

    Aaaaaaaaand, I think it’s about time to admit Maggie to the Loonie Bin, don’t you agree? I mean, honestly, WTFuzz, right? Right.

    Also, Faith, welcome to the first stage of being of the Eldritch sort: Denial. It’s okay, freckle-face, momentai.

Eldritch: Changes 021

      My, my. This looks familiar. Oh Maggie. What are you doing out there? :facepalms:
     And oh sweet jeebus, so much bloody text.  It';ll be worse next book, but still...
     Considering how late it is, I’ve probably made some errors. I’ll fix them tomorrow I guess. Though one I won’t be fixing is Faith’s size in the bottom panel. She should be a bit smaller, I think. But oh well. No one’s perfect, and I need to get cracking on the next page

Eldritch: Changes 020

     Tadaaaaa!  Another favorite page of mine!
      And presto, right on page twenty, we have werewolf, and the biggest werewolf cliché of all: howling after changing.  It doesn't mean that there isn't good reason for that and all (watch a werewolf documentary) but it's still a cliche.
     It’s such a pity, Faith liked those clothes too. Hehe, These comics are supposed to be quickly-done so I’d have more time for other projects… but I keep spending more and more time on them. For this page… I don’t mind though.
     The scariest moment of Faith’s life is over… or is it? We’ll see how she handles it next week!

Eldritch: Changes 019

     Well finally, huh?
      So… I’ve been in some scary situations in my life, ranging from math tests to nearly being in a head-on collision because a driver passed out at the wheel. Personally, I think that even that would be nothing in comparison to spontaneously changing into something else, especially with no one around to try to help you, even if the best they could do is call 911.
     While “Faith” and I look somewhat alike, we rarely agree with one another. However, this is one of those times where I think she would agree that this is a scary thing. I’ll let her discuss her thoughts on it later in the comic though.

     And yeah, due to the amount of younger readers for this comic, there will be blocked out words.... Because Faith curses even worse than I do, and my mouth is foul.
     Tehee... and by the way, Feline-looking Faith is a Thriller reference.  Yeah.  I'm a dork.

Eldritch: Changes 018

       So, so, randomly, I’m a moron and decided to play with some brushes a bit in this one. The walls have texture now, woohoo, right? ; ) I’m thinking I may sometime start livestreaming as I work on these. We’ll see.
      Aaaaanyway, Faith needs to take a chill pill, I imagine. She’s always so grumpy.
     But, what’s this? Faith feels strange? And there’s a full moon? My god, am I finally getting on with the story and werewolfing her?
     No. --Psych, yeah I am. Or am I? You’ll find out in a week!

Eldritch: changes 017

      Anyway… not much interesting in this page, other than a close-up of her fish, and her being a jerk and throwing rocks at birds. It’s mainly a time progression page, I’m afraid.
      So, randomly, I did learn something: Hand lettering is a bad idea. I used to do it, but really shouldn’t go back to it. I am thinking that going back to the sketchy style like I have been is a good idea though. I may switch it up or something later.

Eldritch: Changes 016

      Well,   meet Jay. There will be several single-page comics with Jay and Faith in the future, when things slow down and become more episodic for the girl. She’s got a wee bit of an ordeal to go through first though.

Eldritch: Changes 015

      Aaaand, Faith arrives at work. Seems she has a pretty busy, solid schedule cut out for herself. Pity for her it’ll get busier. I feel sorry for poor Mr. Fredrick. It’s bad enough that in retail, stuff arrives off of the truck broken all of the time, but when the new employees themselves are damaged, life really sucks.

      I decided that I preferred the look of sketchy lines to the sort of sterile inked ones. So, slight style change.

Eldritch: Changes 014

      So... Faith's off to work. Funny thing about werewolves and the like. They spend most of their time being human, doing human things. Though, Faith's not quite a werewolf yet.

Eldritch: Changes 013

      Faith isn't always all that nice <:\ I guess I'd be crabby too, if I'd just been attacked by a werewolf.
      Gahh, exposition, exposition exposition. So much setup to get through. I look forward to getting to fun parts.

Eldritch: Changes 012

... For the record, Kafka’s Metamorphosis is depressing. But well written.

Eldritch: Changes 011

      Gahh, thunderstorms really put a crimp in my schedule! ::flails::
      Aaaanywho, about the comic… Maggie’s an odd girl. For one, she’s harder to draw than Faith, because she wears crazy clothes, and for another, she’s really animated (She’s waaay to excitable and cheerful to be in that goth attire).
      And Faith is a big ol grumpyhead (Bite wounds aside). I can’t entirely blame her, but given the opportunity, I’d so rather hang out with Maggie than Faith.

Eldritch: Changes 010

      Hmm… my word bubbles are sloppy in this one. I’ll do better next time.

      Um… anyway, the plot continues! Yeah, I know, she’s not sprouting fur yet. It’ll be a while. Anyway, here I get to introduce Maggie, who is likely tied with Todd as my favorite character. Also, that gentleman in purple Might be important.  Hmm.
      Now. Go forth, my friends, and play with animal crackers. BECAUSE IT’S COOL.

Eldritch: Changes 009

      I actually did this after having to take a few week’s break, due to school. It was good to get back to it.

Rldritch: Changes 008

       Heh… you know, in the original treatment I had for the script, Faith was a lot crasser. I actually had to sit down with my Dad (I can’t thank him enough for all his advice. The poor guy has had to sit through HOURS of my rambling about this and that on this project, and also, on may others) and discuss what he thought would be appropriate as a parent, vs. what I thought was appropriate. Happy medium ensued.