This seems to be becoming a trend now where i am not here nearly as much as i used to be.
This concerns me in that it could be perceived that I have abandoned you guys and i think deserves a bit more explanation:
Firstly, since Ramadan where I basically fasted from the inter-webs and its allures as much as possible I have not been the same at all. That was really the point of no return it seems. I already stated some of the observations I noted in that time, and you can feel free to delve back in journal posts to learn more. Summed up, I found that BTV was bringing out the worst in me and changing my character for the worse.
Now since then a number of other things have happened which make it more difficult for me to be online anywhere as near as I used to be:
The main project that I am on with Namco/UDON, that being Wonder Momo does take up a handsome amount of time, but not all that much. The amount of work I am doing for that is substantially less than say for Ibuki Legends. However, Momo is the most popular strip on their site right now and has become a staple of sorts. This was what the flight out to Japan was all about: the release of this strip in Japanese for the Japanese market. Pretty high honour I must say and a weeaboos dream for sure.
This is all to say that this project has started to gain momentum, and they have intentions to take me to different cons due to the fact I speak different languages. For all those of my classmates who slept in French class: owned, it was worth it. Speaking other languages, even poorly, is a massive asset.
As I side note, I drew and worked with a Namco Bandai "STAFF" badge/card in the actual Namco building in Shinagawa Tokyo, and i have pics cause it did happen! Dax is still working there as we speak. I couldn't stick around for Singapore, since I had to teach, frig.
This project was a huge surprise for me, i really didn't think it would last this long, but they are full force behind it and people seem to like it a lot, even in Japan! I have Japanese fans, so does Dax, what is going on here.
As for other work with UDON, I don't have a need for it, or time for that matter. Again, the main reason I do commissions is about 10% I want to, and 90% put food on the table. Nobody likes being told what to do, but the bills don't pay themselves.
I mostly find people just want me to draw pretty young girls, and I just have to face it, that is my job at this point. However, I am involving myself with some surprising clients in my free time which will yield some interesting results. You'll just have to wait for that.
Also, since finances are more stable and i can afford to say no to more work and to commissions, I have turned my attention to 5C. All of my free time has been going to that and massive overhaul of all the mistakes and problems with the story and characters I've found over the last few years. I am super critical of other people's work, though I don't even say it, and as a result make extra effort not to make their mistakes my own. The more time i have taken , the more I have learned, and this forced patience due to circumstance has been beneficial.
I realized that the biggest mistake that i did was to show my progress on 5C because other people from the joy and well wishing of their fandom take over the characters and make them their own. Now i do know that this does happen anyway, but i have a story in mind that needs to be stated first which is not the case here. I am taking such a friggen long time to get my ass in gear that people are getting impatient with me, and what to see this happen already. So to eliminate that problem , I have dropped many characters from the story and names to clear the palette.
This is another reason i stopped BTV: I want it to be fresh and I need seclusion to make this work properly. You should know that even my own wife doesn't know details of the story even though she asks. I have gone the complete opposite and only a couple of people even know the outline of the first arc.
Showing you guys maps and explaining the history is not spoilers, but with the lessened work load, I have managed to budget enough time to get things done. So just be patient, and i will get it going. I have also changed my work schedule to include one weekend day so i can have seclusion here at the office which will be solely for 5C.
Another thing is that instead of me sounding off on things like I normally do on BTV or formerly on my journal, I will sift through them and feed them into my story. The other prob i had with BTV is that people might suggest things, and then if I do use them, i am sort of bound by it. For that reason i have also really become secretive on it, so that it can completely come form my mind for better or worse. This is one of the reasons i also don't watch TV or movies.
So as you can see, a large part of my life is supposed to be in the dark from your eyes, in that i cannot show what i work on, nor do I want to at this stage. i want you to have a finished product. 5C I want to be separate from any publisher including UDON. I hold back so much because i work for these companies what i want to say, and know I will face heat for it.
It's not even some major quest for you all to listen to me and make money. (In fact if we can just cover print cost and shipping, one day we can make a book of it with all the making of art, but for now it will be online for free). I just want to do something for my soul to counteract all the stuff I work on, live with, and see that I don't like, and praise the great things that I do see in society without the whole comic hero/villain BS which is an insult to your intelligence.
Bollocks to the boogeyman/ us vs them mentality, sometimes your worst enemy is you.
On top of this, i am not open for any real commissions beyond this point as all the conventions i will be attending increasingly seem to be footed by Namco. I do have a convention in Dubai coming up and i think i will be at Wondercon in Anaheim as well as that big Paris con in the summer and maybe SDCC. I will most likely be in Calgary again.
The thing is that I can simply do commissions from my office at anytime, there is no need to be at a con anymore. Plus the US border "crossing guards" are starting to give me a hassle saying I am not allowed to bring art with me over the border even if I did sell it before hand in Canada. i think we have come to the close of another tradition of mine which is con commissions and prints, especially since the UDON booth is almost completely book sales now and the artist are more of a novelty.
Not hating, that's just the way it is. I still sell pages and stuff, but I really want to fadeout the auxiliary cheesecakey commissions (which is almost all of them) in future. You have plenty other artists online here who are way WAY more affordable than me and will draw just about anything you like and more so *wink wink*, probably better than me too. i am not worried.
I'm telling you, between teaching, family, and work, plus my own projects, I've had a lot to think about. I'm not getting younger, (though i did look older with a beard and longer hair in my 20's lol) and have to juggle a lot. Back when i didn't have kids and more time, i was on here debating people and spending a lot of time, to what effect i don't know. Now even just posting anything is a chore.
This brings us back full circle to the main point which is that though I have abandoned many of the things i used to do online and otherwise, I have not abandoned you my fans and friends. I am cooking something up for you and you will say "It was worth the wait".
Its not overhype, because i am working on it and it is occuring. The difference this time, is that I will have 20 pages complete first before i release it as a twice a week webcomic hopefully before summer. It might be BW overall, with a few colour pin ups smattered inbetween to keep it interesting, but whatever it is I intend to keep it going, which is why so much caution to start.
All of your comments have been useful to me, and all of you matter. Wherever my future takes me beyond here, know that I am as real with you guys as I am with anyone, and that I by no means put myself on a pedestal, in fact quite the opposite and people who know will attest to that.
I've never given you some faked up public face, this is who I am, and that is the biggest compliment / appreciation I can give you. If i go silent for a while, worry not, for I have not forgotten you.
Take care guys
I really do thank you guys and I hope I have been of some use to you.
Asalaamu Alaikum = Peace be upon you!