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12th Jan 2011, 6:00 PM
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A wolf in sheep's clothing.
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Author Notes:
Magravan edit delete
Magravan
Last minute completed, quick upload.. Better note when I get home ;) Errr. Make that tomorrow morning. I've got nothing worth saying today :(

About the comic... I love how it turned out, even though I was very unsure when June showed me the lineart. Sylene had to be put in her place, I think.. But the Phantom maybe needs some anger management classes. I don't particularly care for having had to make him angry, since he was supposed to be fairly level headed, so maybe this is the event that shows him that he needs to chill out.

Well, not much to say... I had Battletech with some friends on the night she was planning to work on the comic, and then I was working until after the upload time on the update day... So we did this... And rather than update the comic with the normal lettering and bubbles, I unboxed our new TV this morning... If June had of felt more comfortable with it, I probably would have just left it to her, but she wasn't sure about the PS3, and since I wouldn't be home when they got home tonight, I wanted the kids to be able to play their games on it.

That being said, I hope Little Big Planet 2 is 1080p compatible :D Oh, that's another topic worth mentioning. My son loves Little Big Planet (R.Z.), and he plays it with his cousin and friends and such. So, I decided that since I'm interested in trying to build a level this time around, rather than making him buy it with his Christmas money, I would buy it with the family funds for everyone (although he shared LBP 1, even though he bought it with his own money). So while I was surfing the sites trying to see if anyone had a deal on, I noticed the Collector's Edition which has LBP Bookends and a plush Sackboy. He already has a Sackboy that his Grandma knit or croqueted him, but this is a real one. Normally, I avoid the Collector's Edition stuff like the plague, because typically I'm disappointed at the quality of the stuff and feel ripped off. But this time, I decided that since I worked some stat holidays, I would spend the extra $10 or $20 for it, and hopefully make him really happy.

So we're just waiting til the 18th until we can go pick up our preorder and enjoy playing in a new world together. I already played the Demo with him, and we were laughing our butts off a fair bit while messing around with the grappling hooks ("You messed up my jump, Dad!" .. "No I didn't, you're grappling me." "No, YOU'RE grappling ME!" ..... "Oh, I'm that guy?!")

Anyway, sorry for the lateness, have a great weekend!
Skrael (I'm the artist) edit delete
Skrael (I'm the artist)
As well as drawing this, I also assembled, lettered, bubbled and titled this one myself. This is because I was a lazy ass yesterday, and James worked all day today so I'm really sorry if it doesn't look how James does it :/

Sorry everyone!
User comments:
Tsarmina Silvertrap edit delete reply
Tsarmina Silvertrap
Yesss...another TOGM comic...eheheheheh...

Err..I mean, um, yay?
Drivinallnight (Guest) edit delete reply
At least we now know how John was watching Sylene :)
Linden edit delete reply
Linden
Well, that answers why Sylene was on the computer. Shame about the hidden spy camera, however. I do like the panels in this page too, they're more dynamic.
bbedlam edit delete reply
bbedlam
How dare he make Sylene cry! I hope she kicks his ass on Monday. She doesn't need to take his crap. She's Sylene dammit!
hagelander (Guest) edit delete reply
did he just use a feaking ashtray as a missle?
and why didn't he find that camera earlier?
Jrade edit delete reply
Jrade
This is awesome.
Rov'age St Laurent (Guest) edit delete reply
Geez man, you don't have to be so angry about the whole thing, Sylene may be dumb, but at least she's the cute type of dumb...
Magravan edit delete reply
Magravan
@Tsarmina Silvertrap - We're okay with insane love for the comic ;)

@Drivinallnight - Indeed!

@Linden - When she first showed them to me in black and white, I was like "Uhhhh... what the hell is that? What's going on here?! *boggle*" But it looks a lot better and more understandable with the colouring :D

@bbedlam - See, I think that Sylene needed this. Probably more than she's needed anything else in the strip, and this is actually a major turning point for her character development.

@hagelander - He did! Not intentionally, really.. But yeah... RAGETRAY!!!

We'll get into why he hasn't found it when we come back to these guys, but we're going to go to another scene.

@Jrade - Thank you ;)

@Rov'age St Laurent - The fact that you guys are defending her despite the fact that the Phantom is probably right (even if he's not necessarily doing it in the right way), suggests that Sylene is a good character :)
model S (Guest) edit delete reply
oh noes, he broked the camera!! camera fixy drones GO!!
Magravan edit delete reply
Magravan
He's saving the fixy drones for the ones in the showers ;)
Degas (Guest) edit delete reply
Meh. I just finished reading from strip 1 and typed a lengthy comment...only to get some error message about 1000 character limit unless you are logged in. When I hit the "Back" button, it was all gone :( I'll have to do it after I get registered and sub'd, I guess. >more 30<
Skrael (I'm the artist)
I am so relieved that everyone "got" that there was a secret camera there. *phew*

@Degas I am really not sure that I could go down on a dead chick, imagine the smell!
EDIT: OOPS! This comment was supposed o go here: http://togm.thecomicseries.com/comics/pl/42483
Magravan edit delete reply
Magravan
@Degas - That always sucks :/ I hate losing messages like that! A lot of times I lose it because by the time I've finished typing out my gigantor reply, my security token has failed... :)
Degas edit delete reply
Degas
OK, all registered now :)

As I said above, I just got finished after 2 days of reading...all the way from the first strip.

First of all, I'm tremendously relieved that Skrael made it through surgery and came out the other end with no complications. I looked that procedure up on wikipedia and the complications mentioned were worrisome.

In the comments, someone asked the question: "How did your comic get so popular, and how can I do the same with mine?", or words to that effect. I thought I would offer my humble opinion ;)

The story line is unique, and the treatment is entertaining. "What kind of culture would evolve from a world populated by zombies?". And..."How can we write and draw it with humour?". I grew up reading books (still do), and I still believe that the ability to tell a good story is crucial. Mag's dialogue and writing do it quite well. Skrael's artwork complements it in an impressive example of synergy.

The art began well and has only gotten better. What impressed me immediately is that you decided to colorize the comic from the beginning. That's rare, in anything other than a Poser comic. And, speaking of Poser, good job avoiding the temptation to make the strip with it. Poser couldn't deliver the same result. Facial expressions are too limited, for one thing. The best comics are hand-drawn.

One mistake I see other artists make is that they don't pay enough attention to bandwidth. You've done well with your choice of host, and you've avoided the temptation of cluttering up your pages with excessive banner ads, etc. By avoiding unnecessary detail in the artwork, June has usually kept the individual .png files relatively small. A sure-fire way to lose readers is to make them look at a loading bar when they want to be enjoying the content.

The most important contributing factor to your success can be summed up in 2 words: work ethic. For emphasis: WORK ETHIC!!! I've trudged through hundreds of web comics. Every successful effort I've seen has one thing in common: they update often and seldom miss their updates. The first time I see something like "Sorry for the late update, I just got my copy of <insert PC/Console game title here>, and it kicks ass!1!1!!", I know that it won't be around for long.

Another big factor that contributes to the success of TOGM is the interaction you have with your readers. While reading your archive, I spent as much time reading your artist's comments as I did actually reading the strip...longer, actually. That not only makes the reader more involved with the characters, it gets them involved with the authors. By letting the readers get to know you (and each other), you've formed a community.

The last thing I'll mention is this: You love the work, both of you, and it shows.

Sorry for the wall of text, here's the short version:

I <3 what you're doing here :D


P.S.: What the heck does "tl;dr" (sp?) mean?
Degas edit delete reply
Degas
@Skrael: Sorry, just got an erotic image of Beth wearing a fine gold chain around her waist...with a pine tree air freshener hanging off it.

@Mags: This time, I used my l33t compuder skilz and did it in Notepad first :p
PixieSingsBass edit delete reply
PixieSingsBass
I'm with Bbedlam, actually. I'm not saying he's not right but, did he have to make her cry?

I know, she needed this, right? But seriously, does she really have it out for Beth? I thought she actually liked Beth, isn't that why she hangs out there so much?
Magravan edit delete reply
Magravan
@Degas - Wow, thank you for that text wall. It's pretty well thought out, and I found myself nodding at a lot of points.

I'll just make a few general comments about it :D

Poser... June does exceptionally good stuff in Poser. She's actually sold pictures to a greeting card company (Small scale, ended up folding, unfortunately) with her Photoshopped Poser stuff. I could see her being able to do a decent Poser comic ;D

And Bandwidth... Well, thankfully Comicfury provides a great host with lots of bandwidth. We tried grabbing our own host at one point, and were very disappointed with it. We are working on a new layout, so it might be a bit more bandwidth intensive... If you want to see it so far, it's at togmlayout.webcomic.ws and it's sort of a Frankenstein that we're not likely to see finished for some time.. Mainly because I'm terrible at the website design facet. I could probably code it fine, but I can't make it look pretty. Wake the Sleepers has a great layout that I'm very envious of :)

The comment about "Sorry for the late update" is one that really resonates with me. If I have been enjoying a webcomic and then I start seeing author's notes that say that, I get nervous. I said to June from the outset that it is a slippery slope, and you start out missing updates for important things, then you start missing out on them for frivilous things, then you just stop updating... So we're very concerned about having to miss updates for any reason, and have been very grateful to the community for providing us with something to update when we had things like moving or June's surgery :)

And finally, I love the community that has come up here. I'm very grateful to the readers who take the time to comment or respond, and I actually feel guilty when I have to just jot down a quick note because we're literally uploading at the last minute...

When we're feeling down about the comic, one of the things that picks us back up is the readers here.

Also, tl;dr stands for "Too long; Didn't read" or something like that... If you put tl;dr messages into your post, it's basically "If you don't want to read all that, here's a smaller tidbit" :)

My understanding is that a lot of people would respond to text-wall posts with it, so people started putting in those notes...

@PixieSingsBass - Did your son enjoy his shirt? :D And if you look back over the duration of the comic, she's actually been somewhat antagonistic towards Beth when they are in the same room together ;) The Phantom didn't have to make her cry, but he's somewhat of a zealot at times :)
ranger_brianna_new edit delete reply
ranger_brianna_new
I hate being busy. :P

Anyway, this gives me the instant impression of a more gray-on-grey morality. Whether that was intentional or not, who knows. Maybe the "Grey" in the title is a hint of this? :P
(dontlaughatmeihaveawierdthoughtprocess!)

Anyway, fully agree with pretty much everything Degas said. I could write my own ramble about what makes the comic awesome, but, eh, I'm lazy. :P
Magravan edit delete reply
Magravan
No, the Grey in the title is a play on words with The Other X Meat and Grey Matter :) As for Grey-on-grey morality ... Hmmm... Between the Phantom and Robert, I would say definitely. I think that some of the characters aren't as grey in morality as others, but then, the whole system is kind of skewed because even one of the most innocent (R.Z.) considers it perfectly fine to eat the brains of a dead guy... So ... yeah :)
ranger_brianna_new edit delete reply
ranger_brianna_new
...Let's call that Blue and Orange? :P
Sharky (Guest) edit delete reply
Hehe... I cant stop imagening Phantoms voice as Brains. You know? The smart rat from 'Pinky and the Brain!...