I finally added a Patron only area to the website in which I can dispense Patreon rewards!
At the moment it just has the wallpaper sized panels available to Hoardhauler level Patrons but now that I know it works I can start thinking of other uses for it.
My stem cells are back in me where they belong and I have been deposited back home. Certainly a big improvement on the past three weeks I spent trapped in the same bed.*
I’m still very tired all the time, like “I didn’t know it was possible to be this tired” kind of tired (presumably because I’m still regrowing my bone marrow/blood) but at least I’m crawling my way back to normal function.
At any rate, I’m getting better and will be able to get back into working shape soon I hope. I don’t want to say the whole ordeal is over because that’s a dangerous thing to say with this disease but I have a scan in the next 4 – 6 weeks to see if I’m still all clear and at least until then I am officially done with chemo!
As soon as I can muster up enough energy to wake up at a reasonable hour, I want to try some 5 am streaming on twitch as a way to get back into a work routine but that is all contingent my internet connection here being able to handle such a feat. Doing it early in the morning when traffic is low will give me the best chance but it’s still a long shot, small town New Zealand is not exactly known for it’s first class nets. If it does work, I’ll make another announcement and you can join me a couple times a week while I work on new pages.
As always, Thanks for reading!
*At one point I needed a CT scan and I still didn’t leave the bed. They just wheeled me down, scanned, wheeled me back up and gave me some more morphine till I went back to sleep
I figured it was time to push a quick update out there on how things have been going with me healthwise in case anyone was wondering if I was even still alive or anything. I am. Alive, that is. Though if I had to give this whole ordeal a review I’mma go with zero stars for cancer. If you are thinking of trying out a disease, maybe go with the flu or something. This one’s not great.
There is always a lot of care to avoid saying anything with 100% certainty when it comes to this disease, but it does look like the end is in sight. I still have the most aggressive part of my treatment coming up in a bit which should finish mid July, then I will need to recover from that. After that though I should be able to throw myself back into work with everything I have.
So that’s the main takeaway here if you are waiting for more stories and arts, starting mid July I will be getting back into it at an increasing rate. But if you are curious about the whole journey or are one of the people I know in real life that I’ve been torturing by not telling anything, read on and I’ll give you a recap of it all.
A new chapter of Other Tales has arrived! Just a short one this time it’s a excerpt from a Otherworld history book bout how the Names came to be. I plan on expanding this with five more pages in between each chapter for a while so you will be able to learn more about the history of the world and how things work there.
For the past month I have been embroiled in a painful struggle to clear out my apartment and deal with everything necessary to move but now the end is in sight. As of Monday I will be flying back to New Zealand.
It is a profoundly sad thing to be leaving this city. I spent an hour in the middle of the night just wandering aimlessly around my neighborhood reminiscing. Even managed to find the spot where I caught my first Pikachu. But, all good things must come to an end and I must return home to try and improve my health.
I’ll try to get settled back home as soon as possible and start cranking out pages as fast as I can.
Creating a strip
Because people occasionally ask me about it, I thought I would give you all a behind the scenes look at what my comic writing/drawing process is like.
When it comes to writing, I’m not a big fan of fully writing out all the specifics at the beginning. I usually write in tiny thumbnail sketches of the pages without actually writing in the dialogue. I just draw in little speech bubbles for which character is talking and leave the actual script in my head. For the thumbs, I have a journal that I carry around with me everywhere. I just draw in some a page full of thumbnail boxes every now and then. Continue reading My process
I want to start this bolg post/update thing by saying that I’m sorry.
I’ve been saying that a lot recently, to a lot of people and they all tell me not to be sorry. That this isn’t something I’ve done, that this is something that has happened to me.
But that doesn’t change anything.
People are still feeling bad because of me. I’m still letting readers down by not posting new work (especially those of you kind enough to donate money to me each month) and having a “good excuse” doesn’t make me feel any better about it. If anything it makes me feel worse, because it wasn’t fully in my control and it should have been.
At any rate I feel like I should let you know what is going on with me. Because you deserve to know what you are getting into if you decide to invest your time into something. Ok… here it goes,
Over the last month or so there has been a growing suspicion that has finally been confirmed. I have cancer.
I am going to try, with everything I have, to continue making comics but the truth is that some days I just wont be able to. I didn’t actually manage to put out any new pages for June or July and that is not ok. I know people will tell me that cancer is good excuse to miss a few pages, but it’s not.
This is what I want to do, and I’m going to keep doing it.
Stay tuned for more art.
It’s been far to long since I posted a new page and I feel like I should probably explain why.
Basically, I have accidentally been becoming a literal starving artist.
For the past few months my health has been gradually deteriorating without me noticing, I would get home from work exhausted with very little appetite and just end up going to sleep earlier and earlier each day. At first I thought I was depressed since I’m dealing with a long distance relationship and all the rigmarole that comes with trying to immigrate to the US so I can get married, so I didn’t think much of my constantly tired state until I realised how little I had been eating.
My meals had been getting smaller and smaller for who knows how long and a little over a week ago I made myself some toast for dinner, I only made it halfway through the first piece before I felt so full that I thought I might throw up. So out of curiosity I weighed myself and discovered that I had, in a very short span, lost a little over 12kg (27lb).
A visit to the hospital told me that I, for some reason, have gastroparesis which is when your stomach becomes partially paralysed and no longer moves food along the digestive tract, stopping new food from entering. Meaning the reason I have had zero energy for the last month or so is that I have been slowly starving myself.
I still have a few more doctors visits and tests till we figure out exactly what is causing this (including apparently being violated by a robotic camera snake) but for now I’m on medication that at least allows me to eat a little more and slowly get my strength back. I’m trying to get back to drawing as much as I can but it is still slow going since taking time off to recover is extremely difficult here in Japan so most of the energy I do have is still being consumed by work.
For a while now I’ve been quietly dissatisfied with how I had my Patreon rewards structured. I had originally set it to early access to pages and sketch pages to higher backers but that doesn’t feel great on my end and it just ended up making me post sketches less often which isn’t fair to you guys.
And to make things worse when I started Bridgedflickered I ended up posting it outside of the early access structure because it wasn’t my “real comic” but clearly it’s become one of the main things I do so something has to change.
To that end I have today changed all reward tiers to what I think will be a more beneficial situation for everyone. I am of course open to feed back on this so if you have any thoughts feel free to let me know!
The new rewards are as follows:
First, all tiers gain access to my Discord! I haven’t 100% decided how best to utilise it, but I’m sure we can work something out in there.
At the $1 tier you get my thanks, updates on what’s going on around here and access to Other Tales pages as I draw them. At the end of each chapter I will upload the entire chapter at once here on the coalpoweredpress site.
At the $3 tier you are invited into the inner circle! You can vote on polls to decide elements of future comics, character designs, which story I should draw next, plot twists and anything else I feel like asking you good people.
At the $5 tier you get access to #thehaulershoard on discord where you can find high res, textless copy of each Other Tales page as I upload them and a large textless version of interesting Bridgedflickerd panels. I will also try to give you a preview of the next chapter of Other Tales before I start posting pages anywhere.
And any other bonus stuff I work on, sketches, colour illustrations, etc, will be available as public posts for everyone (with any relevant high res stuff going to my hoardhauler peeps).
Other than that I have removed higher tiers for now because honestly I don’t know what to offer for them. If you have any suggestions or comments please be sure to let me know and if you want to support either comic, please head over to Patreon and consider pledging.
An unfortunate side effect of drawing my comics traditionally is that I can only really do the bulk of the work at home where I have a decent size desk set up with all the accroutements needed to pull one of these pages together.
For a while now I’ve been looking for something I can work on when I’m out of the apartment since I almost always have a tablet on me capable of kicking out digital work fairly easily. But I didn’t want to switch Other Tales to digital and I din’t want to take away from its writing time either.
Enter Dwarf Fortress. If you’re not familiar with Dwarf Fortress, it’s a surprisingly detailed simulation game that models a world according to some loose parameters you set. Fills that world with dwarves, elves, goblins and nightmarish forgotten beasts. Then it tracks a truly mind boggling amount of information about most everything you could ever want to know. It somehow manages to tell you everything about everything while also being vague and abstract enough that all that information is completely open to interpretation.
Basically it’s a very complicated story generator.
After a few hours of playing a game that is more or less just staring at text, you can’t help but construct a narrative that strings it all together nicely. And so that is what I decided to do.
So I have started a second comic called Bridgedflickerd (the auto-generated name of my fortress in game) about my attempt to build a functional fortress. It will be a yonkoma style comic with each strip focusing on something I found funny or interesting in the game. You can find it in the comics section along side the Other Tales chapters. I hope you enjoy reading it as much as I did drawing it.