Chapter 8, A Voice in the Dark - November 14, 2018
Commentary for November 14, 2018:
I'm back... and I'm beautiful!
Okay, so last time I completed a chapter, it had been 511 days since the previous update. The gap between chapters 7 and 8 has been 445 days. Yeah, it was a pretty long wait again, and I apologise for that, but it was shorter than the previous wait at least. That being said, one year and almost three months is an awfully long time to have to wait for only 21 pages, but I've had a lot to deal with over the past year -- recovering from major surgery, losing my job, family drama, occasional bouts of depression, and computer troubles. Of course, I could have got this done a lot sooner if I hadn't spent so much of this year on the remaster of Eon's World 1.0, a job I allowed to got really out of hand, especially in July when it became necessary to make a massive retcon to the series. (Don't worry, long time readers! Nothing major in 2.0 has been changed and the big events of 1.0 are still intact; in fact, the changes have actually opened up opportunities to tell new stories, and I'm very proud of a Blaze the Cat story I managed to fit in early in the series now.)
Iím hoping to get a lot more content done in the next year, and Iím even considering returning to a twice-weekly schedule once again. Iíve managed to really pick up the pace on working on each page, so I think that may be doable, provided I give myself breaks between chapters. Iíd definitely like to return to that kind of schedule.
Anyway, what about this page youíve just read? Thatís right! Iím doing commentaries again!
Well, to begin with, Iíve decided to adopt a much simpler art style for backgrounds. Backgrounds have always been a bit of sticking point for me in previous chapters. Some look amazing, and others just look awful. One thing Iíve carried over from the last few pages of Chapter 7 is the removal of fancy textures. Sure, sometimes they looked good, but a lot of the time, they didnít and they often looked really out of place. Moreover, better results can be achieved, Iíd found, through shading. Also, Iíve decided to stop using pre-rendered planets and special complex Photoshop style effects for space scenes. As you can see on this page, the red dwarf star that Discovery is dropping out of warp next to is a very simple image, as are the stars and nebulae behind it. Honestly, itís kind of inspired by the simple background styles in cartoons like Adventure Time and Steven Universe. The old style worked fine for a sprite comic, but I think a lot of that pre-rendered and special effects heavy stuff sticks out like a sore thumb in 2.0. Chapter 8 has been a learning experience and an experiment in trying out a different art style (for backgrounds and effects, anyway), and Iím very pleased with the results. As ever, I aim to make constant improvements, of course.
Now to lore stuff. Long time readers will no doubt remember the explorer ship Lumina and her voyage in 1.0. She was the ship that established first contact with the Cornerian Federation, the Galactic Elvish Imperium, and the Twilight Force, and had a series of very thinly veiled Star Trek (with a dash of Doctor Who) style adventures late in the series. Some of those readers may also remember Luminaís sister ship, Discovery, which made a couple of appearances later on. Just my luck, though! As Iím getting ready to write the script for Chapter 8 (which Iíd been planning for several years already), Star Trek: Discovery becomes a thing, with a hero ship called the USS Discovery. I seriously considered renaming the ship for my comic Pathfinder instead, but some friends convinced me not to. Itís not as if Star Trek has a monopoly on the word ďdiscoveryĒ after all, and many explorer ships in fiction and in reality have been called Discovery. So I stuck with the original name.
I did not stick with the design, though. Originally, the Lumina class ships looked a lot more Starfleet, with big warp engine nacelles on struts sticking out of the back of the ship, and a copper-coloured radar-dish at the front. I mean, originally the whole Lumina story arc was heavily inspired by Star Trek: Enterprise, so of course the ship looked very Star Trek. But I decided that was a bit on-the-nose for 2.0, which is why I revised the design quite a lot (and I do plan to revise it in the remaster of 1.0, if I ever get that far). A lot of people have commented that the new design looks a bit like the USS Defiant, and I can see that, yes, especially in the engine nacelles and navigational deflector, but I was actually drawing more on inspiration from Autobot ships in various version of Transformers, believe it or not -- particularly the Ark, in how it is depicted in Beast Wars, with a bit of Autobot shuttle thrown in. There is also a big helping of inspiration from Elite Dangerous in this ship. (Players of that game may be interested to note that the Discovery is roughly the same size as a Faulcon de Lacy Anaconda.) More of that later, though.
I never really got to explore Discoveryís crew all that much in 1.0, since the focus in the space stories back then was on Lumina. But Captain Jennifer Brushtail was an established character in 1.0 and sheís back! Thereís going to be a lot of that in the next few chapters at least -- characters from 1.0 finally making a return, that is. I revised Brushtailís appearance slightly for 2.0, mostly by giving her a new haircut -- based on Amelia Wil Tesla Seyruunís, actually. Iíd been watching a lot of Slayers when I did this page.
Anyway, the story of Eonís World continues! I do hope you enjoy this new chapter.
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