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Reply mitchellbravo, May 31st, 2016, 9:32 pm

We all know that in the time it's been since Joseph mowed the lawn, not only does the grass need cutting again, the house has probably been cordoned off and condemned due to being an eyesore and housing undesirable wildlife.

I know. This is like the dullest update to return with. But it is what it is. XP

Playing around with some coloring stuff on this page with varying degrees of success. It is surprising how difficult it is to wield a marker, pen, or even a sketching pencil when you haven't done it in months. (Seriously, this was the last thing I drew and colored. It was still in my scanner now, six months later. o_o ) You'd be surprised all the little tricks you don't know you know until you forget how to do them...

***NEXT UPDATE 6/8!!! See below for details***

It's been tough going the past year and a half in terms of producing this comic, mostly because I've undergone a lot of personal stuff that really changed my perspective in a lot of ways and also affected the way I relate to my cast and their stories. For a long time I don't think I realized this was happening and just knew that "something was off" and that writing/drawing the comic didn't feel as rewarding to me as it used to.

Very recently though I've started to get back into the swing of things, including thinking about character developments and perspectives that make this comic feel relevant to me again. It's been successful but also very slow. I still don't have my characters running in the background of my mind all the time like I used to, but I still think of Joseph every time I see a really inaccessible building or Eddie when I see a piano (and it's been that way the past two years, even despite me not touching the actual comic for weeks at a time).

I think a lot of the stuff I realized is stuff that will ultimately make these stories more interesting as I'm able to weave it in with the extant canon. Hopefully you will find it this way too.

Looking forward-
This scene is all scanned in, and I started sketching the next scene and parts of it are challenging, parts are just good fun, so we'll see how long that takes.

***I think depending on the pacing of the scenes, I would like to return to something like once-a-week updates rather than the batch-updates, more for consistency's sake than anything else, like maybe that would also make it easier for me to just keep moving art-wise. I tried the batch method for most of the past chapter, and while it had its benefits, I think ultimately it contributed to my burnout.

Summer-wide- My June is bizarrely and disturbingly busy, the calendar looks like a Pollock painting. July will mostly revolve around some condensed summer courses I am taking which will eat up a bunch of time but also will hopefully provide me with some structure. August, aside from the first week and maybe the last, is mostly wide open.

I can go into fall and stuff but I don't really like to think too far into the future, especially since none of my prophecies come to fruition anyway. No matter what, if I'm busy, I won't have time to draw my comic, and if I'm too unstructured, I simply won't get AROUND to drawing my comic.


Reply General.Hankins, June 1st, 2016, 2:55 am

Good to have you back in any case! Joseph's a good boy, I bet he kept the grass mowed. ;)

Reply mitchellbravo, June 1st, 2016, 9:49 pm

@General.Hankins: Thanks, General!! Glad to have you still along for the journey :) Lol, good point. Now that he's done it once, they can't stop him from becoming... The Lawn Pedant.

Reply Oly-RRR, June 1st, 2016, 11:00 pm

OOOOOH I WALK ABOUT FOR WEEKS THINKING 'LOUD ERA IS COMING BACK ON JUNE THE 1ST' and on June the 1st I totally forget to even go on SJ and sit around being slow at drawing!! THIS IS ALMOST LIKE MISSING CHRISTMAS, well, except the present is waiting under the tree untouched! 8)

CECILIA'S HOUSE IS SO POSH, IT GOT EVEN POSHER SINCE THE LAST TIME WE'VE SEEN IT!! And I love the colouring, so warm and feeling like the way air feels (I don't know how to describe it, like you can feel the air filling the room and not just a picture with walls coloured) and the poses and ahhh this is good. Ur so good. X)

And as for story realizations - I probably said it before but I think it happens for a lot of people, especially during their 20s. We find new ways of seeing things, and sometimes they subconsciously change stories, and sometimes we have to stop and look around before giving the change a push. And it's okay! :D


Reply Billy Shears (Guest), June 2nd, 2016, 4:28 pm

It's nice to see you've started up again! I really look forward to how your new perspectives will influence your character development.

Also I love the colours on this page; it's lovely work for for getting back into it.

I hope you you don't find yourself too frazzled these coming months w/ your schedule AND updating the comic, but it's good to see you around again regardless. :)

Reply Dranxis, June 2nd, 2016, 9:18 pm

I hadn't checked in with this comic in a long time, but just happened to see the new page the day you posted it! Weird coincidence. (Still waited to comment till the next day, sorry...)

I can kinda relate to what you went through during your pause, just a little. I've been drawing my comic for long enough that I'm a different person now than I was when I started. I need to really sit down and think about what I want to say with my story. Problem is I don't daydream about my characters like I used to--so while I feel motivated to draw everyday, I don't ever feel like brainstorming upcoming chapters. It's weird.

Anyway I'm very curious to see if your new thoughts and perspectives give the story a different feel from here on out. I think you should update at the pace that works best for you. I'll still be checking every once in a while! (I agree with the others, lovely dusky colors here. I'd love to explore a home like this)

Reply The_Hankerchief, June 3rd, 2016, 2:19 am

Mowing lawn: Lifetime achievement unlocked

Reply mitchellbravo, June 3rd, 2016, 6:49 pm


You know, it happened to me too honestly- it was May 30th and I was like "I should probably edit those pages soon- *glances calendar*- B'GAWLLY!!!!" (not going to lie, that was the tripwire that made me think "maybe going back to weekly updates is something I should consider after all...")

WAIT UNTIL YOU SEE PART OF THE CEILING I WAS SO PROUD OF MYSELF FOR MAKING IT. Ahhh thanks!!! I was hoping it would kind of convey that wood/musty smell that older homes and buildings always seem to have when it's humid and particularly toward the end of summer :D :D :D :D

Yeah exactly, I agree!! And I consider myself lucky since I'm not someone who realized "i don't want to do this at all anymore" which I think does genuinely happen to a lot of people. I mean you and I both know that most of it comes from having spent all this time with the kids and just having a different set of priorities now (or, really, having priorities at all, let's be honest), some of which was just natural course-of-growing-up-stuff and some of which was probably a little more kismet....

@Billy Shears: Thank you so much!!! Your comment you left while I was on my hiatus was really encouraging and was one of the factors that helped me to return to drawing and working on the comic. I'm looking forward to that, too! It'll take me a while to see how to fit it all together but I've done it before.

Thank you!! I really appreciate that. The standards I hold for myself tend to wag between "everything is good enough, just put it up, it's rough and unpolished and that's the appeal!" and "no, this is WAY too rough, this is incredibly sloppy, how can I bear to let strangers see this?" :P I mean I don't want to hold myself to no standard at all, but I think for productivity's sake it's best for me if I err closer to the first train of thought than the second.

I hope so too! I can reasonably predict that things will fall apart again sometime in the fall, but just gotta stay focused on doing my best. And it's great to have you back!!

@Dranxis: What a perfectly timely coincidence!! :P It's crazy how long we've both been doing this- we both started our comics around the same time, right? (2008-ish? or was yours 2006?) I imagine it must be tougher for you since you had things more solidly planned out than I ever did- do you find yourself making small tweaks often or having to do any overhauls? And that's exactly the trouble I have- my brain spends a lot of time now thinking of "real life issues" and scenarios whereas I used to spend possibly hours a day daydreaming about my cast (if you add up all those fleeting minutes over the course of the day).

I'm curious about it too, and please let me know if you see it showing through. It's already impacted a little bit of the current chapter in a way that I think might be too subtle to be caught immediately, although it'll be probably pretty apparent when we get further into Aggie's storyline. A lot of this chapter was scripted last summer and so the depression and struggle I felt then filtered into some of the stories, and some of it's to the point that it actually drags me down to reread it (or imagine drawing it out), so I may wind up rewriting some portion of it in the coming months.

@The_Hankerchief: Joseph just earned a <a href="http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-ZOQmV_eS_JI/VGE72P-3bRI/AAAAAAAAJP0/vUWRx1plp4s/s1600 /DSCN1035.JPG">life tile</a> with that one.

Reply Dranxis, June 5th, 2016, 11:46 am

Mine started in 2008! Yeah I had an ending planned out for What Nonsense but now I'm starting to question myself on it. I haven't actually changed the story outline yet though, just been poking at it in my mind.

I have a feeling that any changes in Loud Era's tone will be more obvious to you than to readers at first, since you'll be more aware of "how it could have been" otherwise. I still want to reread this comic from the beginning at some point. (I have way too many "I need to reread this comic" entries on my comic to-do list lol)

Maybe then it'll be easier to pick up on any gradual changes in the comic's tone. It sounds like Aggie's story will be darker than the rest of the comic, but there's already been some foreshadowing of that with her nightmare at the beginning of "Ties."

Reply Bluezilla, September 6th, 2016, 9:52 pm

omg, it's so good to see more comics! i'm so glad you're still working even though it's sometimes difficult and takes a long time. ( i feel this way about my fanfiction, heh.)

tone and character shifts is weird. it's hard for me to imagine you having to change things so much simply because to me the characters feel so real and three-dimensional it's hard to imagine needing a stable 'relationship' with them to want to continue their stories.... which i think sounds strange, because obviously that is one of the most important things about any writing. Changing as a person is going to affect your writing regardless, i suppose. I'm very curious to see if the shift is noticeable.

On the topic of this page, the first panel is really lush and beautifully shaded! admit it, you still got it!

Reply mitchellbravo, September 10th, 2016, 7:13 pm

@Bluezilla: That's a really huge compliment so thank you so much for that. So much of this comic was thought out when I was in college and I've had such a different experience since I graduated and just getting to see different parts of life that I think part of me ached to start including that stuff in my writing. Hopefully a shift toward that type of focus will feel natural if the characters already feel genuine to you and other readers. I'm starting to feel a lot better about it lately, especially now that I've been making myself do some comic work every day. (I give myself a green star on my calendar every day I do at least 15 minutes of comic-related work... sometimes I have to skip a day but on the whole it's been surprisingly easy to keep up with :) )

And thanks!!! It was fun to go crazy with coloring the house :D

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