*in a opera singing voice* New Things!

Things continue to grow and change around here. The first of the rewards from our long-lost Indiegogo campaign have started to go out, and there are a few minor changes to the website. We wanted to make sure that people knew when it was time to come back, so the side bar is there to inform of just that information. Though there still should be some mid-week madness; a possible update or little story or who-knows-what. Those of you who have bought into the RSS magic will know of these things within an hour of their happening.

Other things have remained exactly the same. A nice little link to the most recent page can be found here, as always. I even gave you a comma that time. It’s like hitting the side of a barn. You can’t miss it.

There is a little bit that you might miss, if you aren’t looking for it. A few new pieces have appeared in the Media section of the site. The idea of fan art is very humbling to me. I like the idea of another artist letting my work inspire theirs. Honestly, I usually just don’t even know what to say. Two of the three new pieces were actually done by my sons, Gabriel and Collin. (I’ll let you figure out which of the pieces are theirs.) I’m not going to go into our situation too much, but the short is that they are not living with me, so any contact and any connection that we have is very precious. Art like this is the kind of gift that any parent will understand. I won’t belabor the point.

I guess I’ll just leave you with a few thoughts concerning Marvel: Agents of Shield, that premiered last night. If you haven’t seen it and are planning to, don’t worry, I’m not going to put in any spoilers.

I’ll start by just summing it up to say that I liked the show and am planning on watching it on a weekly basis. There is some nice groundwork for character development and plot, and I thought that the show did a pretty good job of finding the balance between being a super hero show and a… regular guy?… show. They have a fine line to walk as the series progresses and I wish them luck.

That being said; I think some of the performances are going to need some refining before the show gets really good. The Joss Whedon style of acting and line delivery (throwaways and cheekiness that really defined Firefly, for example) was obviously a new kind of struggle for some of the actors new to the style, and they better start learning from the vets around them soon or they might continue to look a little hammy by comparison. I wish them luck, though, and might end up blogging about this more if it’s compelling.

Anyway, I’m out.

The Ties That Bind

Hello, fellow Anthasians!

I thought I’d pop in and say hello, and mention again that a new page of the comic is up on the site. I think it looks pretty damn cool.

We’re finally heading into the beginnings of our great tale. A tale that will be rife with danger, full of laughter, and built on camaraderie. The bonds that you’ll see forming in the comic to come is intrinsically and proportionally tied to the bonds shared by all of the players as well.

For those who are joining us since the fundraising campaign or didn’t see the video, which you could take a moment to watch by clicking on this bit of text here, this entire series is based around a role-playing game that I play with a group of some of my closest friends.

Years and years ago, in a mythical land called Lincoln, Nebraska, Joe, our friend Ben and I created the world of Anthasa. A world with a rich history that had seen both times of peace and prosperity along with years of war and bloodshed. We spent months talking about how this world worked, the races who inhabited it, the building of great cities and the falling of empires. We brought life to the gods who ruled this planet, and in a way, were those gods themselves. (And yes, we even named them after us.) The oldest brother was Jorlu, the god of light and benevolence. Logatz, the second brother, was the god of chaos, always unruly and always unpredictable. And then there was Benti, the god of darkness, whose subtle manipulation was among one of his greatest traits and made him a fearsome adversary.

After the world, Anthasa, was finished being developed, we began our first foray into the our adventures there. This first adventure we played took place during the Third Age of Anthasa. We were all in University at the time, and I have to say, looking back at my life all those years ago, those weekly, Sunday night gaming sessions were the highlight of my time there. It became our tradition. A way to start the week among friends that we dreaded to miss if something in the real world happened to come up and couldn’t be avoided. Joe ran the game, and we played out the lives of our motley crew. Olden Tumble, an centuries old, human chaos sorcerer who lived his life by the flip of a coin. Habrek Howlingbeard, a dwarven shaman who adventured with Olden in their twenties, who grew old and communicated with the nature around him with the help of his two spirit bears. Loki, a young Serendari assassin who was tasked to steal a powerful old book and then changed his allegiance to help fight for the world’s greatest good. Semelie, a young Shifter woman in tune with the turning of the world who, with her penchant for magic, worked to find Anthasa’s balance. Osiris, Semelie’s brother, a protective and fiercely loyal fighter who dreamed of living in the skies. And Sven, (yes, there was anther Sven) an old, drunken barbarian with delusions of grandeur and the blade of an axe to meet anyone who questioned his strength. Every Sunday, we spent hours in a world we created, forging friendships within and without our game. At the end of our world-spanning campaign, we had stopped the corrupted sorcerer, Falrendis, fought in a mighty war started by Serendar who created the fearsome Warborne in an effort to wipe magic from the planet, and killed the Goddess Anthasa herself to stop her from tearing existence asunder. Those times are very close to my heart. I even cried at the last game session before moving to Los Angeles, Cried like a little baby. It was hard to give up such an important part of my life like that, especially the friendships I had forged. Luckily, as it turned out, most of them ended up packing up and moving to Los Angeles shortly thereafter. I had my friends, the game, and our own little world back. Even still, almost six years later, we get together every Sunday night to be part of something great. Something we’ve all created. Something we all love.

With every new page that gets posted, with every blog post, with every line and letter and splash of color, I’m thankful that we can share this world with you. This world that we’ve loved and been living in for so long. As we work on the comic, we’re also going to be working to allow other players, groups of fast friends who enjoy sitting around together, maybe even every Sunday from eight to midnight, to build their own adventures in our world. The more the merrier, right? Updates on that will be coming later, and sooner if there’s a large enough interest from you guys for us to develop the world, the races, and the history into a system for you to enjoy. So get those dice out and get ready to roll. Ha. See what I did there?

And if today’s post got you curious about Anthasa’s past, be sure to leave your two cents in the comment section below. I’ll answer any and all questions about our world and their people that you like, granted that I’m not giving out any spoilers. None of us want that.

Keep your eyes peeled, my fellow Anthasians. There’s more on the horizon.

-L

Comics in the News

In two pages we manage to cover what previously took us five, But really establishing a relationship always take a bit of time. The newest wintery page can be found here for your enjoyment.

There has been a lot of media coverage lately about comic content and a lot of the… sort of nature of the beast. I’ll try and find a few of the links to the bigger stories.

Hell, couldn’t find them in any sort of timely manner. I need to start grabbing these things as they come and writing more in the moment. To sum up what I saw floating around: Todd McFarlane thinks comics aren’t for girls, Kick Ass is violent and depicts rape, and DC wants you to draw Harley Quinn killing herself naked and in a bath tub. Do some quick google searches and I’m sure you can find these stories.

Okay, I’m not going to go into the right or wrongs of any of these topics. Others before me have already covered that territory, and are much better writers than I am at stating their opinions. I’d rather take a  moment to discuss what I believe is the larger issue. The bigger picture, as it were.

Let’s face it, folks; comics are pretty much a mainstream media these days. If you think that they still aren’t, well, you must agree that their content certainly is, and that comics themselves are getting a lot more attention that they have previously… at least during my lifetime. So what we have here is a medium that, unlike television, film and, in the past, radio, has not had the policing of it’s content at a  very high level. With a higher level of exposure comes a higher level of scrutiny, though, and comics is starting to find itself under the microscope.

I’d say it’s fairing pretty well, compared to other such transitions I have seen. Anyone remember what it was like with rap and explicit lyrics in the 80’s? or how about video games? (I’m not sure video games is even over…) Mainstream culture has a habit of noticing a subculture, and then, even as it absorbs it, screams in outrage about the things it does not like about that subculture.

Now, I will have a nice big rant about what I think about subculture being absorbed into the mainstream, but I will save it for next week. All I’m saying this week is: what do you know; it’s happening to us as well.

 

The Vicious Circle of Life

All of the preamble id over, which is nice. I can safely declare that we are now lodged firmly in the amble, whatever the hell that is… and like a greyhound out of the gate, or Alice, I can certainly say I am in hot pursuit of that rabbit.

The beginnings of the issue can be found here, with the slow start that one would expect from a story that is going to take a minute to tell. In looking at it now, I fell like it has been robbed a bit of it’s mystery. With the decision of going ahead and presenting Ground’s backstory first, I’m thinking most everyone is going to know what’s up. If you imagine this was the first thing you saw of the story at all, you can more easily imagine yourself asking the question: “Who is that tall, well built man defacing our national forests?”

I know that’s the exact question I’d be asking.

Life for me is that constant battle between laziness and the desire to not be stuck in my current employment. I’d love to be a professional artist, but I don’t want to do all of the work that takes. Then I go to my day job for a shift, and I sure am raring to go with the drawing again when I get home. It’s a perpetual cycle that I can’t seem to break. I wonder if that’s just me or if it’s something a lot of folks from my generation are feeling. Thirty-somethings out there; any thoughts? I’m assuming I’m not alone, but how pervasive is the issue and what can be done about fighting it is a topic I’m interested in. I’m just glad that I have this going. I’m feeling more sane than ever.

I work a full eight hour shift today, but tomorrow I have a day off. Expect to see more distribution of our digital rewards then.

I’m out.

Maps

I’ve always had a total fascination with maps. I can still distinctly remember the atlas that my parents owned, which they used to drive half way across the country to settle, from when I was young. I would pour over it for hours, looking at pages and imagining the real places that they represented. I think they still own it, but the pages are dog-eared from the hands of a little boy.

Then there were the fantasy novels. They always had a map right in the front cover. That’s what inspired today’s addition. This whole project wouldn’t be right if Anthasa didn’t have a map. I wonder if there is anyone out there who is into this stuff who can’t practically draw Middle Earth from memory. There is just something about those artifacts from other worlds that makes them that much more real in my mind, and a much more exciting place to visit in my mind.

I may have gone a little bit overboard with my map. The density of information is thick, and I may have to find a way to make the thing downloadable so it can be inspected in all of its overdone majesty. I was drawing individual streets, people. And naming them. Well, not really, but I did get pretty lost in there for a while.

I’ve decided to do a bit of what I have come to call the “Indiana Jones Thing” where there will be a nice red line that follows our heroes around, and I’ll be adding names of places as they are visited. I thought it would be a way to slowly introduce the world as we go and keep tabs of where the adventures take us. Let me know if you think it’s lame, but for now the red dot has an accompanying message:

“Once upon a time…”

Of Things to Come

Hello, Anthasians!

Hope you’re all doing well this Labor Day. Now, before I get onto the bulk of the things I’m going to be covering on the blog today, let me just say how excited I am to see the cover for the first issue up on the website. I had quite the thrill when I saw it, in full color, with our names blazing a trail at the bottom of the cover. It was a moment of awe. And knowing that the map is coming in a couple of days adds even more to that excitement. I know I’ve kind of covered that before, but seriously. It’s awesome.

Now on to the things that are coming to the site and Anthasa at large. As all of you know, especially you lovely folk who donated to our indiegogo fundraiser, we’ve got some promises that we need to start making good on.

The dedicated Thank You page should be going up soon, hopefully no later than this coming Wednesday. There, the world will be able to see the numerous names of some extremely kind individuals. We’ll also begin delivering on the digital rewards to those individuals who donated enough to receive them. Of course, the rewards that require us to print posters will take a little bit more time, especially when it comes to printing the first issue, as that won’t be ready until those pages are finished. But worry not. We’ll do our very best to contact you about all of that soon.

Also, we’re looking to add a Merch page up on the website. We thought it’d be cool to provide some shirts and mugs and the like with the Anthasa logo on it, along with some of the different characters. As of now, I’m looking into different websites that would provide us with that service, and brainstorming some ideas on what sort of merch we’d like to be able to offer you guys.

And that’s where you guys come in. What kind of merch would catch your eye? Shirts, coffee mugs, hoodies, shower curtains? Also, what kind of designs or characters would you like to see on some of the merch? Let us know what sounds cool in the comments, and we’ll see what we can whip up for you.

That’s it for now, guys. Thanks for dropping by. And remember to come back Wednesday for our regular, weekly update.

Up, up, and away.

xo