PDR News

I guess it wouldn’t hurt to try to give some updates about PDR on this PDR Website.

As I have mentioned, I am done with school for a while, so I’ve been making the most of my time off. Not by going anywhere or doing anything that would involve spending money, oh heavens no, but I’ve been quite relaxed as I am. I am still very broke, as is my usual situation, but it does feel like I am now broke, but improving instead of broke, and getting worse. So that’s a plus.

It should be obvious from the title (“The End”), but the current Secret Government Robots storyline is the last one. This is what the whole thing has been building up to. It’s going to be pretty long, and I am taking my time with it (it involves more drawing than I’d like it to). It is also not the top priority project I have going on right now (the lack of any audience beyond myself allows me to justify that), but I do hope to get it done before the end of this year.

Haiku!

Remember haikus?
No? Yeah? No? I don’t either.
Were they limericks?

One of the things I am currently prioritizing as higher than webcomic making is reading books. Perhaps the biggest drawback to being in school again was that I was unable to read almost ever. I had to read too much for school, so I never had time to read anything in full, and anything I wanted to read for pleasure became something that stole time from schoolwork. But not anymore! In my effort to get back into reading, I have taken fifty novels from my ample Unread Books Pile and broken them into a smaller, less daunting pile that I am working my way through at the maximum pace a PDR can manage.

At this point, I have to admit, I still feel kind of burnt out from schooling. But once I get a few books read, a few pages done, and one or two other projects off my to-do list, I should probably be less overwhelmed and that will only make it easier for me to do more things. Hopefully.

Super Sunday: The Voider and Sea Chieftan

The Voider

This is going to sound harsh, but someone has to say it: Devils are jerks. Sure, they seem nice when they show up and offer you some kind of great deal. Riches, fame, power to stomp down your enemies? That stuff is all really great, and all it costs is your soul? Well gee, you say, who needs a soul anyway? It probably isn’t even real! This smiling devil seems to know the score, he’s got a nice suit, and all he wants is your name, signed in blood, on this contract? Easy as pie!

And that’s how they get ya. The soul-buying devils are the con artists of the supernatural set, but one man is through with their nonsense. Motivated by nothing more than his belief that deceitful devils are being unfair to their victims, the man known as the Voider, apparently some kind of street-fighting mystic, has made it his life’s work to void as many supernatural contracts as possible. If possible he will help victims get out of their suffering by making use of obscure escape clauses and loopholes, but if that comes to a point where his only option is to hang out at crossroads at midnight and beating the holy heck out of anyone who shows up, well that’s just how it is going to be.

Sea Chieftan

The Aqua-Vikings are a mer-people tribe that values strongness and toughness above all else. As it turns out, this means that many of the most prominent members of their clans are the ones who maintain more fish-style attributes. As you rise in the hierarchy, you find more scaled faces and webbed fingers. But when you reach the top, you find a merman who has barely any man in him at all: The Sea Chieftan. almost like a whale in size, but a shrimp in intellect, the boss of the Aqua-Vikings maintains control of the Secret Faction whose territory covers most of the Earth with his sheer strength. But beyond maintaining that control, the Chieftan has no real goals. He’s content to just tread water while the other Factions decide the fate of the world at large.

I’m gonna level with you: I spelled “chieftain” wrong at the inking point of the drawing and didn’t catch it because I hardly ever use the word. I could have fixed it when I noticed it, but instead I decided it was a character thing. I can do that. Nobody ever said I couldn’t.

Super Sunday: Squarbok and Abigail Red

Squarbok

Hiding on Earth to avoid having to pay off his gambling debts in his native demonic realm, Squarbok now lives in a cheap apartment above a Thrakodacian restaurant in Miami. He likes to keep it low key, he generally eats food that gets thrown out at the end of the night, but lately a detective from his demonic world has been sniffing around and asking questions. Squarbok is going to need help, but who would help a demon like him?

As always, I am drawing inspiration from elsewhere. I drew the guy just because I wanted to draw a weird bighead demonguy, but when it came time to give him a story, I recalled the way that in the Buffy and Angel shows, a lot of demons were basically just weird looking dudes with average lives. So thus so is Squarbok.

Abigail Red

Ghosts greatly outnumber the living, that’s obvious. The Secret Government doesn’t like any group that outnumbers them. To help keep SecGov City safe, the Secret Government has declared it a No Ghost Zone. All SecGov robots randomly gain special abilities at their “birth” and Abigail Red is a 2003 Generation SecGov Robot whose powers included seeing beyond the normal light spectrum, auditory enhancements, and control of a strange otherworldly energy field. In a rare competent move, the Secret Government put her abilities to a good use, making Abigail the official Ghost Hunter of SecGov City. In a more typically incompetent move, the fact that she couldn’t locate any ghosts in the City led her bosses to send her abroad to hone her skills under the teaching of some monks. SecGov City is currently unprotected from ghosts.

This is the first time I’ve done a Super Sunday post for a character in a work I’m actually doing (admittedly slowly during the school year). I just don’t think I’m likely to have a reason to introduce this character in the story of that strip any time soon, so I figured why not? It’s my website. I do what I want.

The Story of the Class I Didn’t Drop

I mentioned the class I dropped during the first week of this year’s schoolin’s, but I haven’t said anything about my other classes. Let’s do something about that. I’m taking a class that is about the history of Vampires.

I wouldn’t say I’m a big reader of vampire fiction. I’ve read Dracula, and I’ve read Salem’s Lot, and I’ve read the Tomb of Dracula comics, but that is probably about it. Still, it seems like an interesting enough topic. So here I am.

So far, I very much enjoy the class. The professor actually lectures! That may not seem like an exceptional thing, but far too many professors I have encountered try to have a dialogue with the class. They stop every five minutes to ask a question, or even just get them to finish a sentence. I get that they’re trying to draw things out of the students so that they have to actually think or whatever, but it always slows everything down. We get significantly more class when they don’t stop class every five minutes. I pay attention to the lectures, so the interminable nuisance. It’s nice to have something better for a change.

Still, though. There’s a lot of reading in this, and all of my classes. I made a real effort to keep up with all the readings this year, and with only three classes I thought I could do it, but I failed. I am already behind. To be truthful, it’s kinda disheartening. There’s plenty of ways, good and bad, that school makes me feel stupid, but none gets to me more than the repeated insistence that the more I read the quicker I should be able to read. I read a lot, but I am and always have been very slow at it. I shouldn’t take it so hard, after all, I skipped whole books I was supposed to read last year without hurting my grades, but it’s sad to me because I really did try and I really did fail.

Anyway, in the meantime, I’ve been failing to keep on top of Secret Government Robots again. This time, it is for a better reason: Kip and I are working on a pretty neat project (details will come in the future). I’m pretty excited about that, so pretty much any time I’ve had that was not already claimed by school, or work, or sleep, I’ve been spending on that. If I’ve now given up on trying to keep up on school readings, maybe I’ll have time to do that instead.

Slow Draw

The program I use to make my Secret Government Robots is called Paint.NET and usually I find it extremely useful. I like to think that over the years I’ve gotten better at using it. A week or so ago, the software updated and it has changed a few things just enough to slow down the process of comic making as I have taught it to myself over the years. I’ll probably have to change my style a bit to speed things up, but I don’t want to do that in the middle of a story. Oh well. C’est la vie.

Another thing that has been slowing me down as far as comic pages is concerned, is that I’ve been doing a lot of character sketches. Ever since I started to color the Super Sunday sketches, which I do with a program called GIMP (almost exclusively for a function to expand my selection, which Paint.NET doesn’t have), I have discovered that I straight up love doing sketches of my characters. I’ve drawn all sorts of characters from SecGov and Hover Head just for my own amusement (and partially so that I can have easily-located reference images). Someday I’ll find a good use for them on the site and it will justify the time I’ve spent on them…