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January 3, 2010

     This year's resolution: I want to grow the Forsaken! I'm aiming to have the whole site rebuilt by February. Once that's done, I'm going to part ways with Comicgenesis and find a new hosting provider. Lastly, I'm going to start advertising a little to see if I can get readership up a bit.

     Christmas was good, albeit a bit lonely so far away from home. I thought it would get easier with time, but instead it seems to only become more difficult as the years go by. There's so many good things for me in Winnipeg, including opportunities you don't find in rural communities, but that doesn't seem to do much to stave off the homesickness.

     Hope you all had a great Holiday season. If you have any ideas or suggestions on the site redesign, please sound off in the c-box!

Merry Christmas!

December 19, 2009

     This is what happens when you live 1000 miles away from your family: you get to draw on Christmas! Well, in keeping consistant with the last page that went up, I'm updating early! I didn't think anybody would mind much. It doesn't allow me to work ahead, but for crying out loud, I've got a story to tell.

     Hope everyone had a Happy Holiday season. I may be taking a couple weeks away from the Frosaken after this. I need to work on the writing a bit and I'd really love to update the website to look less like a highschool computer class project. Not that there's anything wrong with highschool computer class projects...

A New Toy

December 19, 2009

     You may have noticed this is the second update in four or five days. There's a reason for that. I got a 12" Cintiq! I'm one happy camper!

     I've got alot to learn with it at this point, and I'm no where near as fast on it as I am on my old Intuos, but I figure that will change as I get more comfortable with it. The reason I was able to push out another page already is I find the Cintiq to be a lot less taxing on my brain. I can sit for several hours scetching with it where I'd have to stand up, stretch, take a break, with the Intous. The last two panels of 38 were done on the cintiq. You probably won't notice any huge differences quality/art-wise. not yet anyway...

     It's a great product so far, though I do have a few gripes. Keep an eye on the Forsaken Facebook page for my impressions of this uber-expensive toy.


December 14, 2009

     After a fairly good run of weekly updates, I've started to slow down a bit. To the few faithful readers I have, thanks for being patient. It's tough to juggle this and a job. Then you throw a personal life into the mix and it just gets worse!

     What kind of personal life, you ask? Sadly, not much of one. I recently had a 'jam' session with some co-workers and had a good time at it. I played bass... for the first time in my life, really. Downside: I'm not very good. Upside: It's easy to improve when you start at the bottom! In addition to that, I also was commissioned by another co-worker to draw up a skeleton drummer for her 14 year old boy. This ended up being somewhat time-consuming and for not much money, but hey, I had fun at it so what are you going to do? If you're interested, you can see that piece in my DeviantArt gallery.

     That's all I have for now. Looking forward to Avatar this weekend. I've also discovered a new coffee-shop/hangout that sholud be condusive to my creative process. The recent blast of arctic weather will ensure I have plenty of indoor time to draw. Speaking of which, if you look real hard, you can probably pick out a few new techniques i'm using in my pages. The first panel and closeup of Vlad are most evident... There's a slight bloom effect and I'm reducing black lines to give it a more cartoony look. Opinions? Sound off in the forum, on Facebook, or in the little C-Box dealie over yonder -->

Oi Facebook!

October 28, 2009

     Two news updates in 1 week! What's this world coming to? I just wanted to pop this out real quick to say the Forsaken is on Facebook now, as you can see directly to the left. That is, as long as I did this correctly... The plan is to update facebook when I put up a new page, and to also post sneak-peaks at pages/panels from time to time. If you don't do the RSS thing and have a facebook account, it may be an easy alternative to keep up with all things Forsaken.

     The Facebook frame looks gad-awful due to the way I had to squeeze it into the CSS I have over there. I may take the next week or two to rebuild the site because it's well overdue and to tell you the truth I abhor the navbar and the old graphics. I hope nobody minds I replaced the fanart blurb. It wasn't doing much apart from collecting dust, anyway.

     Last but not least, the update wouldn't be complete without me mentioning that I scrached my head.

Happy Halloween!

October 27, 2009

     At this point I'm scratching my head wondering what happened to October. I guess on the bright side I have some pages to show for it. Speaking of which... 34 is late! I'd apologize but it seems like that's all this little newsbox is anymore, me saying I'm sorry for something. So I'm not. I worked my ass off on this one. And if anyone wants to know where I got my stock/source image for that last panel, well, I suppose it's kinda funny...

     Just so you know, I am trying to keep a semi-regular development journal on the Forsaken Message board. Most of all, it's me appologizing for stuff. Seriously, though, if you've been keeping up there, you'd know my latest change has been drawing from source material (like that fabulous shot of Kerry). I find when I use stock images my art feels better, and hopefully looks better, too.

     That's all I've got for now. I Think I'll take the rest of the day off as I've been drawing constantly every day between working hours. I really hope all my effort is apparent. Oh yeah! Guess what? The Forsaken has reached the 60,000 page hit mark! Even if I'm only getting 10 viewers a day... Thanks for reading, I really do appreciate it! As a story-teller, it's hard to stay motivated when nobody's listening.


October 19, 2009

     Funny how when I first started this up again I swore I was going to just half-ass the artwork for the sake of cranking pages out. Well... I don't know that you can tell just by looking at page 33, but I logged a whole lot of hours into it. Enough that I'm kinda scratching my head now and wondering why it doesn't look better. There aren't really even any backgrounds...

     I received a comment yesterday about the title of my comic. The basic criticism given was that it's not original. For anyone who's read it up to this point, I can see where you're coming from. It doesn't make sense. It probably won't for another chapter or two. Even when it does make sense, I suppose it's little more than a play on words. So, sorry if "the forsaken" sounds dumb as a title. There's a reason for it.

     Thanks for your patience. This update is a week late. I'll try not to make it a habbit.

Slow Goin'

October 5, 2009

     Yesterday I took some time to read through what I have so far (sadly, it only took five minutes or so). In doing so I realize now the writing has really slowed down in the last five pages. Sorry about that. It's kinda necessary for the plot, of which there has been relatively little up to this point. In the next couple pages, you can expect things to pick up a bit.

     Another change is how I've shied away from the heady narration I used to use. Looking back at it now, it just reads a little it takes itself way too seriously. I think I'd like to rely more on the art to convey whats going on and less on narration.

     Lastly, I don't like thought bubbles. I'd like to do away with them and rely on the characters' expressions to convey what they're thinking. Every time I see a thought bubble, I think of a very tense looking soap-opera character staring into the camera while his thoughts are played back with that sleepy, dream-sequence echo we all know and love.

     That's all I got for now! Hope ya'll have a great week.

From the Road

September 14, 2009

     This week's update comes to you from Regina, Saskatchewan (to my great disappointment there are no Sasquatches here). The Mrs. is running her second marathon today, and we're both too excited to sleep. This update is being typed at about 5:55 AM local time. O_o

     From Regina we plan to visit Drumheller, Alberta, which happens to be North America's premier hotspot for Dinosaur fossil discoveries. From there we're planning to change course to Glacier National Park, Montana to see what that's all about.

     I'm doing my best to draw while I'm on the road, but there's a good chance next week's page will be late. I'm apologizing for that now; it's not the precedent I want to set after just getting back on top of things, here, but it's the first real vacation I've had since 2007! Well, time to get this runner into position. Stay classy, San Diego!

Happy Labo(u)r Day

September 7, 2009

     I still scratch my head sometimes at the little quirky differences between 'Canadian English' and 'US English.' Colour vs Color. Theatre vs theater. Center and centre. Defense and defence. Don't even get me started on 'zee' and 'zed.'

     All this to say happy Labo(u)r Day to you. I had fun with this update. It's nice being able to draw Vlad again, I think he's my personal favorite among the cast. A Vampirate! "I vant to suck your scurvy blood!"

     Hope life's treating you all kindly. Please come back next week to see what's in store!

Two years later...

August 30, 2009

     I got a wild hair to update the Forsaken today. I can't quite figure out how ot force Comicgenesis' weird upload system to trigger the upload but it should automatically get posted for tomorrow. Not that I expect any of my previous readership to still frequent this place...

     I won't make any promises, but you'll notice the art style of the new page isn't quite as clean (okay, so it's downright filthy) compared to (some of) the older pages. This kinda sucks, I admit, but I was able to produce it in like 2 hours instead of the 15-20 I used to take.

     Guess I just want to say I hope some of you are still around. Thanks for stopping in, and I'll see about continuing on with the story for ya'll.

To be Continued...?

August 27, 2007

     I've been having an awful time with drawing lately. I'm now a Canadian permanent resident so I can work for the first time since 2005. Hence, I've been hitting the pavement, so to speak, applying for every position that sounds remotely close to what I've done in the past. Additionally, I'm rewriting my book--about 140 pages into it in fact. And The Forsaken has really taken the back burner I'm afraid.

     On top of all that, we're moving into a new (bigger) apartment on Friday (we're actually going to have room for a dining room table). So it's been crazy. I want to get back to this, I swear, but I'm not sure it's going to happen any time soon. I'm also enrolling in a CCNP course that starts in September, so if I'm working by then, the little free time I have will be a thing of the past. So... I hate to use that wretched H word... but I've gone hiatus on y'all.

Summer Wrap-up

August 8, 2007

     Wow, what happened to July? I take a few weeks off and next thing you know we're staring down the barrel of 2008! Seriously, though, I have to apologize for the lack of updates lately. Don't take it as me resting on my haunches...I'm about 20,000 words into rewriting my novel. You see, I'm the sort of guy that is a lot better at starting projects than finishing them... :(

     I really do want to wrap this chapter up, so I promise to try. You'll notice by the latest update that I've cut a few corners (no color!) and that's to save time. Anywho, thanks for sticking around with me and happy reading.

The Rest of the Story

July 28, 2007

     Greetings folks. The wife and I survived Banff National Park. Saw a grizzly family, a gob of black bears, deer, and bighorn. Then we had a week long visit from the in-laws. It really was a great month all in all and a very productive one, too. We'll be moving into a new apartment next month. 2 bedroom, 2 bathroom and it has Air Conditioning! A definite step up from our current situation. It will provide me with a lot more space to get artsy or write and since it's not on Winnipeg's busiest road, it will be a lot quieter. We are stoked!

     So, here's where I apologize for not having an update this monday. Sorry! One other thing that happened this month was Canada Immigration got back to me and I should be receiving my immigration visa soon. That means it's back to work/school with me. For the Forsaken, that means some serious changes are happening. I want to continue updating the comic as a hobby, but the 25 hour weeks I once was able to put into it are going to be a thing of the past, I'm afraid.

     If you're interested, here's a detailed post on the forums where I go into some detail as to what's happening, what's changing, and why. As always, thanks for reading. I'll try to have an update this week sometime.

On Vacation

July 6, 2007

     We're leaving tomorrow for our anniversary vacation, but the Forsaken should be returning on the 30th of this month. Next week's page will be pushed out on the 9th (so long as this damned server doesn't explode between now and then) and I've put a few filler pictures in the auto-update system that I hope you enjoy. If for some reason the server's down on Monday, please check the forum (it's on an alternate server) for a page mirror thread, as I'll have my good friend Adam post it up for me.

     As always, thanks for reading, and I hope you're all having a great summer.

Summertime Rolls

June 29, 2007

     Summer plans are beginning to catch up with me, so the month of July is going to be a spotty one for The Forsaken. My wife and I will be celebrating our first anniversary on July 8 by driving across Canada to Banff National Park. I'm extremely excited to see the mountains again, but not terribly excited about the drive across the prairies.

     I have an update scheduled for July 2, even though it is a holiday up here, and I'll do my best to get another page in before our expedition, but there's no way I'll be pushing out updates on the 16th nor 23rd. If you haven't checked out the links section lately, I've added a few comics to my favorites and some Forsaken avatar goodies as well. Cheerio!

Ten Monkeys

June 25, 2007

     Gothy McGee artist Jack Carter has reivewed the Forsaken on his webcomic review blog. I scored ten out of twelve chimpanzees! (MUST...RESIST TEMPTATION...TO USE HORRIBLE...APE JOKES) Looks like he only had nice things to say. Thanks, Jack! Your work is more fun than a barrel of monkeys (doh!).

     I know we're all tired of the CG webserver constantly going bananas (sigh), but I have some encouraging news. We're getting a new one! I think the magic date was supposed to be the 23rd, so hopefully it will be up and running by the time this update goes long as the admins don't monkey around too much...(groan)

Taking Garlic from Strangers

June 15, 2007

     Page 23 is three days early; that's because Comicgenesis is actually working right now and there's no guarantee that it will be on Monday, so there you go. Hope you all like the page. I really enjoyed drawing the chateau--it was a first for me. I've never been big on landscapes or buildings.

     Just a few things to address this week. First, the banner up at the top is not mine. It's there because Comicgenesis requires it. In certain regions, I guess there are some inappropriate adverts being shown. Second, a little birdie told me CG is getting a new webserver. I have no idea when, but hopefully the frequent downtime will soon be a thing of the past.

     Oh, and one more thing. Some of the guys on the boards have started writing some fan fiction regarding a few of the "extra" characters you see in certain pages. If you have a chance, stop on by and check it out. Thanks for reading, and always hack responsibly.

Clato Verata...Necktie?

June 12, 2007

     This week's newsblurb comes a tad late, but that's what happens when you're abducted by a spacecraft full of undead ex-gameshow hosts and then made to watch reruns of Laverne and Shirly until your eyeballs implode. No, really.

     It seems the server outages that have been affecting The Forsaken will not ease up any time soon, according to the Comicgenesis higher-ups. I'd apologize, but I've already done that like five thousand times now. Please understand that nobody's more frustrated by it all than I am (except maybe redwolf and kisai...they get all the complaints from the CG community). If it continues for much longer I will have to go pay for hosting somewhere, though that's a bit of a financial challenge for a guy that can't work. I guess all I'm trying to say is expect it to get worse before it gets better.

     In the meantime, I will also be posting new comics to my Deviantart site. So, if Monday rolls around and you get the fancy-schmancy PAGE CANNOT BE DISPLAYED, go check out my DA gallery and I'll have the latest goods hosted there.

     This last week, I've made a few updates to the cast section (YAY Dorothy!) and I've done some extensive renovations over at the Forsaken Wiki. I don't have a direct link to the Wiki on the site anywhere, due primarily to gross oversight, so I'll see what I can come up with to rectify that. Thanks for reading, and be excellent to one another.

A Venture into the RIV

June 4, 2007

     That fourth panel, however time-consuming, was a blast to draw. You see a smattering of dennies (Ultranet denizens) all running around, some dressed up in virtual costumes, others with colored hair or pointed ears. Everyone is in good shape; the men are all cut and the women have bodies that only exist in beer commercials. My vision of the Ultranet is a lot like today's Internet, that way. On today's standard community message board, every woman is 36-24-36 and every man has to use a pen and paper to calculate his bench-press. God bless the anonymity of the Internet.

     You see that cow over in the fanart feature section? It links to my very first peice of fanart! A gigantic THANK YOU goes out to Simon Dremel of Cojoined Cows for this awesome guest comic. I'll cherish it for all my days! Danke sehr, mein Herr!

     Congratulations goes out to my longtime friend and forum regular, Arcnaver, who became a father (again) on Sunday. You do great work, Adam; she's just as beautiful as your first one.

     As always, thanks for reading.

  Site redesign goes live!

May 30, 2007

   (Edited for clarity. Sorry. It was so badly written I actually got a headache trying to read it.)

     Well... this is it. A page design I'm fairly happy with. Not bad for a guy that tought himself HTML/CSS, eh? Hope you all like it; the feedback I've received so far has been mostly positive.

     You may be wondering what prompted the site redesign. Or maybe you aren't. well I'm still going to tell you! The Forsaken now has forum space over yonder and I needed a nav button to usher you kindly folks in that direction. All in all the site isn't that much different, but I hope it's a tad easier to look at.

    Just in case you don't notice the sultry succubus babe directly to the left, I'm reserving that for anyone who sends me fanart. Aside from filling said space with a thumbnail preview, I'll provide a link to both the artist's site and the full sized work in my fanart gallery. Just giving my readers a chance to network.

     I'll be starting page 21 tomorrow and hopefully I'll have it up on Monday. I spent a gob of time reworking the page, but it was necessary. As always, thanks for stopping by.

  Back to work

May 28, 2007

     Iíve finished the Lucrezia Borgia project, so that means I can once again focus on the Forsaken. Despite drawing and coloring some 15 costumes in the last week *and surviving an unsettling Viva Pinata binge* I was able to finish page 20. You all know what that magic number 20 means, right? At long last, I can petition for forum space.

     However, this creates one little problem for me. I have no real estate anywhere in my logo/banner for a forum hyperlink. SoÖI guess what happens now is I get to put on the webmaster hat and pretend I know what Iím doing once again. Maybe this time Iíll be able to get the firefox problems patched up, too, since the majority of you are using it.

     Lastly, Iíve committed myself to a new project. Iím going to re-write my novel, which is actually the progenitor to the ForsakenÖand is set about thirty years later. I submitted the manuscript to several publishers but Iíve not heard anything yet so I figured Iíd tweak on it a bit. I should still have plenty of time to do my weekly Forsaken update.

  A Lonesome Flat


     However late, hereís Calibís lonesome flat, page 19. I was able to piece it together here and there between my other duties this week. Now Iíve got one last project to finish before I can really focus on the Forsaken again, but hopefully by next week Iíll have that done, too, and my posting schedule will normalize again.

     In other news, Iíve joined hoping to do some more social networking but thus far it just seems like a mini-myspace where people befriend you for no real purpose. But who knows, maybe Iíll get its usefulness figured out one of these days.

     One more page will bring us to that magic number twenty. Huzzah! Then itís forum cityÖand site redesign city, too, but I wonít get into that. Iíve recently realized things just donít look right in not only Firefox, but IE6 as well. Sorry for that, Iím an amateur at site design.

  Spiderman 3

May 6, 2007

     So I performed my comic-fan duty of seeing Spiderman 3 on opening weekend. As it turned out, Spidey wasn't the only super-hero to show up. There was also the Obnoxious Bouncing Lady seated next to me, Bronchitus Boy directly in front of my wife, and the dubious Twizzler-wrapper-Wrinkler on our left. Despite the unnerving audience, I enjoyed the movie a great deal. It didn't quite beat out the first Spidey as my favorite superhero movie of all time, but it was about 1000 times better than the last few I saw (Superman, Xmen 3). Aside from a little too much cheese here and there and a super-busy plot, it was a great flick.

     I somehow got page 18 done today. two more and I should be able to get a forum up and running. Also, my readership seems to be growing like crazy. Well, either that or I'm just visiting my own comic like 60 times a day. I really wanted to say thanks to all of you by putting together a succubae pinup/wallpaper series, so here's the first of three.Thanks for reading.

  Happy Mayday

May 1, 2007

     How's this for an eratic update? You see, this is what happens when you get really inspired and focus; you finish a page in two days. Jinkies. I really didn't do much besides draw, mind you, but here you go: Chapter 2, Page 1.

     I have this little problem. I'm a lot like a pushover parent at Christmas that lets the children open all the gifts early. Last week my comic sat in que for like 4 days and it nearly killed me, waiting to share it. There's no way I was going to make everyone hold out for a whole week when this page is already done. I just don't like the whole "que" thing. But this brings us to an interesting problem...

     If you've been keeping up with my little news blurbs, you've no doubt heard me bemoaning all the crap on my plate, currently. You're probably wondering to yourself: how can he push out a page in 2 days if he's so busy. Well, the answer is simple: procrastination. PROCRASTINATORS UNITE! (Tomorrow!).

     Hope you enjoy the comic. Happy reading. --James

  That's all, folks (for chapter 1)

April 30, 2007

     And Mattaus goes down! Chapter one was a blast to draw with all the babelicious succubae and fast virtual action going on in the styxers' personal lives. Chapter 2 was equally fun for me to write because the plot begins to take off and a few inter-character relationships become evident. Additionally, you'll get a better peek at the real world than what you saw in Cleo's Apartment.

     As I've mentioned in the little side cbox whosiewhatzit, the month of May is going to be rather crazy for me with all my other obligations so I may be late with (or even miss) a comic or two. I'm really sorry about this, but it cannot be helped. As unfortunate as it is, the fun stuff is the first to suffer when life gets complicated.

     I was able to do a few other drawings this week too. One was a piece of fanart for Just Another Escape. Kirb said he'd be posting that this week sometime. Also, I finished a concept of Cleo that should be live right now in the characters' section. I'm going to try to do at least one of these a week, so long as it doesn't interfere with the comic itself.

     As always, thanks for stopping in. --James

  Minor Update

April 27, 2007

     Just popping in to add a date on the last news post and let out a cheer because I already have next week's storyboard done (and that's good for me!). It just so happens that page 16 is the last page of chapter 1! However, there is a little bad news to share and that is for the next month I'm going to be working my tail off with multiple projects that all sorta just caught up with me at the same time.

     I am currently working on costume/set design for a local musical, but in addition to that I'm also going to be doing volunteer work for a friend at a convention in mid May. Still more! I agreed to donate artwork for the Manitoba Comic Convention so I really have a lot of drawing to do. I just wanted to put up this little warning just in case May's update schedule gets a little rocky. Please don't give up on The Forsaken! Chapter 2 is going to be much more deep and involving and you'll actually get to know some of the characters a bit better.

Reflex: I promise not to become an ass if I ever getfamous. :)
Everyone else: Thanks for reading!

  Big News!!

April 25, 2007

     Good news on top of other good news! Woohoo! It just so happens that I have table space at an upcomming comic convention!! OH YEAH, BABY! Manitoba Comic Con! I get to meet Darth Vader and Apollo! Time to get my geek on!

     Second on the good news roster: I picked up a little somethin' somethin' today and after spending the day with it I have to say I am in love with this thing. Yeah, I had a 4x5 graphire3 prior to this, but this new pen is 10 times more comfy and the tablet is just more accurate and easier to use. The added macro buttons aren't quite as nice as I thought they'd be, but I'm still super glad to have an intuos over my old tablet.

     Yes, this week's comic is about twelve hours late. Sorry! I just finished it like twenty minutes ago. Why was it so late, you ask? Because aside from the other five bajillion projects I'm working on I actually spent an entire day writing Chapter 2! Shock and Awe! The Forsaken actually follows a script?! Yes indeed, it does. What do you have to look forward to? (Peter Falk Voice) Are you kidding? It's got fencing, fighting, torture, escapes, true love, miricles...

     Lastly, I've registered the Forsaken with a few popular comic search engines, so I hope it will expand my reader base. Check the buttons at the bottom of the page if you're all down with the voting stuff. If not, don't sweat it.