50 Pages

Two days before Exvulnerum's 4th anniversary, I finally hit the 50 page mark. Boy, have these 4 years been filled with irregularity. For the vast majority of them, Exvulnerum has been on hold (or I've been lazy, whatever is the best way to phrase it.) So instead of having 200 pages like I probably should, I only have a quarter of that.

It's okay, though! I'm actually sort of glad that things worked out this way. Had I maintained regular updates, I would probably be stuck with my old plot from 2010. Now that I've waited, I've been able to revamp the plot and now it's much better. The side characters make more sense now. Extra side plots have been added. The magic system is a thousand times more interesting. I even have the ending planned out.

I'm still not sure if I want to commit myself to Exvulnerum 100%. My main concern at this point is that no matter how hard I try and for how many years I work, I'm not going to be able to get through the plot at a fast enough rate. If I could somehow figure out how to speed up the process significantly, maybe I could hang with it, but until then it's like looking down a long, futile hallway. (Does that metaphor work?)

But then on the other hand, if I give up, it's like DUH then there's no progress at all. So I'm still just sorta chugging along until I figure out my life haha. It would be great to turn this into a source of income.

Honestly, I've been thinking about that quite a bit. How I could possibly turn this into a job and make some money. I know how horrible it is to bank on something like that, though, and I'm not. I'm not expecting to make a webcomic a livelihood--the odds of doing that are pretty low. But my current income is zero anyway, living as a dependent, so anything is better than nothing. And I wouldn't have to get a real job =D Lol.

But no the point I wanted to make was... that... even thinking those thoughts, the only thing that figuratively gets me off my butt and motivated to work on the comic is thinking about the plot and characters and all the scenes I want to make happen. That's the only place where I can find the fire to go on. And that's encouraging. Money is not the primary factor in any of this, and I hope it stays that way even if I am able to make some.

So my current plan of action is to get to chapter 2 as quick as possible which will probably be another 10-15 pages, then after that I'll really formulate a structure to this madness and get on a regular update schedule with RSS and everything.

I was going to say something else, but of course I forgot it already... Ummm...

I'm pretty glad to have gotten to 50 pages. I feel like it's a big milestone for a webcomic and might be the true "hump" that you have to get over to make it a serious project. So maybe things will really take off now.

Anyway, I got some stuff goin on so peace out til next time.

Posted on April 29, 2014.

2014 Update

So it's been roughly another year since my last news post. I only created four pages in 2013, and all during the same month.

I spent the majority of 2013 studying Japanese and working on my novel Genie (about 90,000 words worth of work). So I'm pretty happy with all that. But this month I started thinking about Exvulnerum again and if I really wanted to continue it.

I'm actually not sure what my confidence level in Exvulnerum is. I'm 100% sure I want to master Japanese and 100% sure I want to complete Genie, but I'm only maybe 50% committed to Exvulnerum at this point. The biggest obstacle is how much work it takes. 8+ hours per page is nothing to laugh at. So I'm not sure I can graduate Exvulnerum to one of my ~life goals~ like the previous two things are. It's not something I can take lightly.

But I still like Exvulnerum and like drawing comics, so I've been dabbling in it again. I've created 5 pages in the past 2 weeks (which is an awesome pace, if I may brag) and done a LOT of planning. It's been a good number of years since I last worked on the overall plot, and with years of extra maturity and experience (or something lol), I've made some major changes that I think are for the better. I've reworked the side characters, making them a lot more interesting. I've developed a pretty complicated magic system. I'm excited about all that.

So I'll try to keep making pages and see where it gets me. If I can just make one per week, that would be great. But we'll see. It might be 2015 until you see me again, haha.

Posted on March 31, 2014.

Over a Year

Yeah, it's been over a year since my last news update... awkward.

I've still been working on my novel called Genie. It's 175,000+ words long, and I've been buried for so long in it, working so hard on it. But it's still not done. And that makes me sad, because I feel like I can't work on other stories until I finish it. And I AM going to finish it, one way or another.

So Exvulnerum continues to be on the back-burner. But you know what? Nearly 2 years after my last comic upload, I STILL have interest in it, and I still love the plot. So I really hope that I come back to it after I finish Genie.

Or perhaps sooner. After all, if I eek out a page every couple months in my free time just for fun, there's nothing wrong with that, is there? Still, I'm worried about re-adapting to the art style. In fact, I fear my art skills have gotten WORSE in the interim. Sigh, I hope not.

But TLDR; Genie is creative priority #1, but I still want to work on Exv again someday.

Posted on May 9, 2013.

December

It's been forever, I know. I even forgot how to update this news feed, LOL.

Just popping in to say I'm still here, and so is Exvulnerum. It's not dead, just on hiatus I guess.

I'm currently working on a novel, and I'm really looking forward to finishing the first draft! But I'm also still looking forward to working on Exvulnerum. Soon!

The only thing that sucks about going so long without an update is that from one page to the next, the art style will be all different D: I hope it won't be too different after 6+ months XD

Peace! :)

Posted on December 22, 2011.

The Psychology of an Inexperienced Webcomic Artist

So, since my comic as of this moment isn't very well known, and not a lot of people check this news area anyway, I don't really see a whole lot wrong with treating it--at times--less as a newsfeed and more like a blog.

I've been a digital artist for many years, but only a fraction of that time has been spent creating comics. In fact, as you may or may not know, Exvulnerum is really only my SECOND comic that ever got past page 2 (Turned got to 12 pages). Currently, Exvulnerum has 31 pages (not counting covers), and so the majority of my comic making experience is right here on this site, right here in this comic.

It's easy to see my inexperience. I've never really come across any kind of tutorial for making (not just planning, but making) the actual comic panels/layout, so from the get-go, I just sort of did my own thing and felt it out along the way. Other things I had a better idea about, like the necessity of keeping characters looking consistent from page to page, but it was only through the actual process of practice that I've slowly gotten better at it.

I'd like to think that I've slowly gotten better at a lot of things, comic-wise. And I know that I have a long way to go. There's just one thing that I haven't really improved at, and that's the thing that's bothering me.

I haven't been able to figure out a way to consistently put out pages. I think that there's pretty much two problems here: A.) the actual time-eating monster it is to produce quality full-color pages and B.) the mindset required to continue working on a project of this nature week after week.

The time problem is a huge problem of itself. As the pages have gone by, I don't really think that I've gotten any faster at making them. In fact, as I've grown more accustomed to my settings and characters, I've been spending more time on them than ever before, trying to get the details right. These pages take HOURS of dedicated, concentrated time to create, and I'm not really willing to sacrifice quality to speed up the process. After all, I am not a very "good" artist in comparison with other artists (maybe I'd be considered "good" when compared with the population of people as a whole, artists or not, but that's not really the point) and so my growth should continue upwards in quality, not downwards.

I honestly have no idea how other webcomic artists do/have done THREE pages a week. Maybe I just need more time, but as far as I can tell, two pages a week is probably about all I would be able to put out consistently right now.

But there lies the other problem: for the past number of weeks, I haven't uploaded a single page (which is very much in contrast with my capabilities). That problem doesn't really lie with time, but with mindset. Sometimes it's quite hard for me to continue working on the next page when my mindset seeps into a passive, reluctant zone. I know that every page I create is going to be important for the story as a whole, and every page is going to be read and re-read by hopefully hundreds of people, and I can't give them any less than 100% of my effort. That's some pressure right there.

So is pressure the thing that's holding me back? I'm not sure. It's probably part of it. Another thing that's wearing on me, though, is the sheer size of this project. Each page takes so long to make, but each one is really only a drop in the ocean of the story, and it will take so many of them to tell the story I want to tell. It's hard working on chapter 1 right now when I want to be so much further along.

But I know, I know, it's counter-productive to that wish to not put the pages out consistently. I guess I'm just the sort of person that struggles with long-term projects. In fact, of all the long-term projects I've done, Exvulnerum has probably gone the farthest of any of them. It's my biggest success to date. It may not be much, but it's my hard work, and I have to be at least a little bit proud of it so far.

So what am I getting at? I'm not really sure... I just wanted to type out all of my concerns and feelings... Because if you take anything away from this post, know one thing for sure: I DO care about Exvulnerum greatly, and I know I've said this many times, but it's true. I don't see myself quitting it, not now or anytime soon. The story itself is very important to me. I think it's just that the way I've chosen to tell it--in a comic medium--is very hard, and I'm very inexperienced, so please have patience with me. :) I'm doing my best. And if I don't put out a page for whatever reason, it's not because I don't WANT to, it's because I want to take all the time I need in order to make that page a success, not to force it, because I want to make Exvulnerum a success.

It might be an impossible dream... I may never be able to get to the point where I can put out pages regularly and move the story along at a reasonable pace... But I have to try. I've been trying for over a year, and I'm not sick of trying yet.

So thank you all for your patience, and thanks for sticking me through the times that I have dry patches in the comic-output department. Hopefully I'll get a lot better at this... one day :)

Zules

Posted on July 26, 2011.

Eeek!

Eeek, well, I still haven't uploaded a new page. It's my fault. Instead of working on the page I was working on a birthday present for my mom, so you can't be all that mad at me :P I'm also going out of town this weekend, so I'm not sure when the next page will be up. We'll see.

Posted on July 1, 2011.

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About the Comic

A sheltered rich girl dreams to see the world and finds her ticket in a mysterious, brooding drifter with a terrible secret. This large-scale, multi-arc story will include magic, adventure, romance, drama, danger, comedy, and... yo-yos?

While a great deal of this comic is light-hearted and fun, it does deal with some serious themes and is not for children. If this concerns you, please read the disclaimer.


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