And Hell counterattacks – with a truck-trashing avalanche of marble and masonry!

As people in command positions have to make really tough judgement calls.


This page was quite the challenge from an effects standpoint. Max had chosen some very strong dynamic angles, which looked terrific, but finding effects that would fit took some work. But given the page, I knew I had to step up; so I ran out and shot a few new ones specifically for panels 1, 2, and 4. Naturally, I throw in more than actually gets used; I rely on Max to make the decision on what he can turn into an overall cohesive whole.

In fact, this page was interesting enough from a creative standpoint that Max did a video of his end of the process. It has a couple of minor spoilers if you are fast on the pause button, but they’re just quick glimpses of script or roughs and shouldn’t be a problem.

If people turn out to be interested in this sort of thing, more creative process videos might be considered. Certainly each page does go back and forth a couple of times between us; from my script, to his roughs, to my effects (if the page calls for any) and dialogue, to his final painting and melding the whole thing into a cohesive whole. Let us know if you’d like to see more of this!

Oh, and by the way, Max has taken one reader’s suggestion and put up all the Bonus Art and past Vote Incentives on Gumroad as donation gifts.

<———– You’ll see the link just off to the left there.

We discovered that the large bonus artwork, even when web-optimized, really hammered our bandwidth when it was downloaded many times. The site did not slow down because we boosted our bandwidth allotment to compensate, but this did involve giving our hosting company extra green. Not that we’re complaining, mind you! We love all the new readership and comments, and I’m particularly impressed with the overall intelligence of the commentators. God, so much different than YouTube!

And while Max is a highly respected professional storyboard artist, this is the first time he’s experienced what I’d guess we’d call — fans. It seems he’s finding it quite the heady experience. And it’s good for you in the readership too, because he’s starting to get really intense about things. It can only lead to even better pages!

So the current plan is that he’ll continue to do new Vote Incentives and extra bonus art, sometimes adapted from panels that turn out to be popular (in the manner of the original Steampunk Marissa that started all this.) Most of these will be first offered  as Vote Incentives at a sweet but reasonably web-optimized size. However, once they get replaced by new material, larger and slicker high-rez versions will be rendered forth from Max’s computer and made available on the donation page. Sometimes as both RGB (which looks best on a monitor, as in wallpaper) and CMYK (which is print-optimized, preventing the colors from getting muddy when you print it out on the office color laser printer.)

(Because that’s what office printers are for.)

So you won’t be just offering a donation, you’ll be getting special product not otherwise available! There is also a plain “Donation” option if that’s what you’d prefer.

Couple of things I should mention. First, every dime donated goes to Max. Yep, straight to the artist. He may use it to buy coffee in the morning while he works, or wine in the evening while he works. (Oh, who are we kidding — it’ll probably be wine either way.) Whatever you choose as your donation gift will likely influence him to do more of that sort of thing. Thus, if people seem to be going for the pretty girls, he’ll do more pretty girls. Voting with your wallet, basically.

Second — you can donate any amount (for the Internet definition of “any” which means, basically, anything over a buck due to processing fees.) So if you want to encourage the artist to ever-greater lengths of accomplishment, a donation or two would really give him a thrill.

But ultimately, we’re just glad you’ve joined us! We appreciate every reader, every vote on TWC, and of course all your comments, tweets, likes, and sharing! All the story elements are starting to converge now — stay tuned!

— Bob