In other words — I have 5 chapters completely edited and updated, out of the 25 that exist. Anatomy fixed, lighting and textures neatened, shading enriched. (It won’t be until chapter 23 that pages were fully-shaded when originally published.)

I’ve also been moving dialogue bubbles around, sometimes to make the reading flow better, mostly for the sake of margins. The alpha proof copy of Volume 1 made it clear that, even if text bubbles are within Lulu’s official safety lines, they can still be so close to the binding that they’re hard to read.

For the record, it’ll only be available on Lulu. The price is much lower than if I tried to distribute it through other book sites, and the print quality is visibly higher than the alternate proof copy I got from Amazon.

Working through chapter 5 (Miranda and Poe’s first confrontation with Bianca) really drove home how much I was samefacing the black characters at that point.

It wasn’t a conscious plan, it was a combination effect of “mostly drawing anime” and “not enough experience drawing black people.” As the characters’ designs evolved over the years, they’ve gotten more differentiated. I’d forgotten how they used to all have the same nose, same proportions, same jawline.

They also were shaded with the same grey — like the white characters still are — even though they’re supposed to have a range of skin tones. (Part of that was just…laziness. It’s easier if your palettes are interchangeable, you can pull from the same references for everyone.)

In the updated versions, Cybele’s skin is darker-grey and Miranda’s is lighter-grey. And I’m doing what I can to make the faces work.

Chapter 3 was drawn while listening to the entire audiobook of Orson Scott Card’s The Lost Gate. It was alarmingly standard cut-rate YA. Had to add a few more movies at the end to get all the pages done.

Chapter 4, the audiobook of Christopher Moore’s Secondhand Souls, the second of two books about ad-hoc soul reapers. The main character spends a good chunk of the book with his soul possessing a reanimated fourteen-inch-tall squirrel-bone puppet in a hand-sewn wizard robe. It’s very non-standard, and very good.

Interlude 1 was done mostly while listening to episodes of the Webcomics Weekly podcast.

Chapter 5, I remembered that I have on-demand TV to watch. Possibly just in time, because this chapter took work. It got me through all this season’s currently-released episodes of Scandal, Family Guy, and Law & Over: SVU.

Currently in the mail: beta proof copy of Volume 1, with the new art!

Cross your fingers that it looks good, because that’ll be all I need to put it on sale.