Chasing the Sunset News
Chasing the Sunset News Archive
Starting today, we'll be running a children's story on our site, as a warm-up to resuming Chasing the Sunset.
The Dragon Tea Party is a story I wrote for our son Rune's 5th birthday (which was a bit over a week ago).
Some background: here in Belgium it is traditional for kids to give out something to their classmates on their birthday (that is: the kid having the birthday does the giving). Usually candy is given out, but the school and many parents don't like that much, so instead I wrote a children's story and Alien illustrated it, and then we had it printed for Rune to hand out to his classmates.
Before putting him to bed that day, we asked him what had been the best part of the birthday. His answer: giving the gifts to his classmates. :)
You'll be able to read an english translation of this story (the original was in dutch) over the next six weeks. After it is done, we will put up links to pdf versions in English, Dutch and Norwegian.
Keep in mind that this was written for four-to-five year olds, so it's a bit of a younger target audience than our normal comic. Still, I hope you'll enjoy it. I'm sure some of our readers are parents themselves.
I'd put up a picture of the books as they came from the printer, but don't want to give spoilers, so instead here's a picture of Rune's birthday party instead:
Some of this news post is a bit mushy, scroll down for a TL;DR; if you don't want to read the context to our very long hiatus.
It's been a very long time since we've made any updates, and I know some of you have been worried about us. I'm very sorry. I tumbled into a rather deep depression for a prolonged time and am only now getting out of it. That depression killed off my creativity making it impossible to work on comic. Over time it became painful to even think about comic let alone visit the site, because it was yet more proof of my continuing failure.
I have kept my depression pretty secret, even from friends and family (if you are one of those and finding out only now, I'm sorry. I never had the strength to admit problems or seek help), which is one reason I didn't even post any news updates.
I'm slowly getting out of things. For Rune's fifth birthday I finally created something again: I wrote a story for him, which Alien illustrated and I coloured. It was something I had been planning to do for years, and in fact started writing for his fourth birthday, but due to the depression couldn't finish then. However this year I got it done, and I will try to use this accomplishment to restart my other creative projects, including comic.
Over the next 6 weeks we will be publishing a translated version of that story here, at a rate of two pages/week (monday and friday).
We'll be using those 6 weeks to create a buffer for a Chasing the Sunset short story we started during out hiatus about Leaf teaching Myhrad to fly properly.
After that ... we hope to resume the main Chasing the Sunset storyline.
Oh and a bit of housekeeping: commenting now requires recaptcha and we've cleaned out a lot of spam from our archives. It's possible we deleted some existing comments and that some spam remains. It was a bit of a mess.
--- TL;DR; ---
- 6 Weeks of an illustrated story we made for Rune's fifth birthday, Starting monday and running mon/fri
- After that, short story CtS comic
- After that, CtS main storyline resumes
Rune suddenly got quite sick yesterday, with 39.6°C fevers (103.3°F) even after anti-fever medication and a lot of pain to one of his ears. We suspect the poor little boy has an ear infection but doctor will be able to tell for sure tomorrow. Either way, it means comic is delayed a bit, sorry.
Tomorrow (saturday), Alien, Rune and I will be at the Elf Fantasy Fair in Arcen.
Monday ... we should have a new comic up (I say should, because Rune was a bit ill today).
Update: Will be monday afternoon, with taking Rune to school, it's tricky to do updates in the morning.
This morning, this happened for the first time:
Now that he's going to school, we should have time to resume comic again.
This is a bit of a personal message, so if you just want to know why there's been so many delays of late without reading any of that: it's because of personal reasons. CtS will keep going, it's just going a bit more slowly.
I've avoided making post like this because, well, I can't see why people would care about me (you're all here for the comic after all). Some people in the past have said they would like to know how we're doing so here goes ...
I'm not doing too well.
Physically I'm okay (I think), but I'm depressed. This is not easy for me to admit ... normally I use lighter words like 'a bit down', but, well ... I've been going to bed at 8 in the evening just because I couldn't be bothered to do anything else. I've withdrawn from most forums, chatgroups and whatever I was in. I've been sitting around not doing anything, barely even thinking. It's not fun.
I'm not looking for sympathy (but thanks for those who feel it), as I said: I just wanted to let you know. I'll get over it, I have before in the past. It'll just take time. Until I'm over it, however, CtS will suffer delays. The scripts have been written, but I still have to do the shading and some of the colouring and ... it takes happiness to work on Chasing the Sunset. A bit like how it takes a happy thought to fly in peter pan.
So bear with us... we're working on it... the strips will come (and so will other things that we have promised).
That's it. I'm sorry.
P.S.: If you're one of my few "real-life" friends, and you find out how I've been this way ... I'm sorry, it's not easy for me to admit to weakness.
P.P.S.: Alien prolly needs a hug, too
P.P.P.S.: Yes, Rune is still cute. He's a bit sick right now but that just means he gets to fall asleep in my arms on the sofa.
We've been missing friday's updates of late (and this week is no different) due to a combination of things:
- Rune has stopped taking afternoon naps, leaving Alien much less time to draw
- My day job is very busy currently.
- We've had to repair that ceiling.
So yeah ... busy busy. I haven't even had time to send out emails for the prizes from the anniversary contests yet and those have been well over a month! We've been *that* busy.
However, we've still been updating once a week and we're hoping to return to twice a week next week.
Oh, and we got Alien a Cintiq, so she's going to have to get used to that too.
I'm afraid friday's comic will be a bit delayed because well ...
That is our living room.
On the bright side, when we went to fetch rune from his room so we could take him to grandma while we fixed things, we found he'd escaped his bed and curled up to sleep ...
in the drawer of his closet.
Wow, it's been a busy week. Apart from the anniversary, I've had a very busy week at work which is why I haven't been saying much. However, now it's time to look at the contests and who won!
4 People managed to score 100% on the quiz, of which two left their mail and email. Congratulations to Bryan and Rhys for scoring the full 100%!
Another 11 got 98%, of which two's only "mistake" was saying that they liked Myhrad's purple spider pattern. We'll be counting these as the full 100% as well :) of course there will be a little prize for everybody who got over 90%, so if you got more than that and you put in your email address, then we'll be contacting you with your prize later this week.
The secret code was:
"Don't give up your dreams."
8 people managed to find that, of these Sasharowan and Terrec were closest on the additional question. If you're not one of those 8, here's how it worked:
On the 5 strips, there were codes hidden in the margin like this :
This translated to:
Comic number 430, panel 3, 6th word said by Myhrad.
Once again, we'll be contacting the winners this week with their prizes later this week.
In the end we only got two submissions for our fanart contest, however, they were both very awesome. Technically, our friend Muninn from Spindrift won, but I think both are winners and both will get prizes!
In the end we didn't reach our visitor target of 1 for every day we've been up, but we got pretty close and (barely) broke our previous record for visitors, so yay for that :)
Thank you all for celebrating our anniversary with us, I will continue to try to make this year of Chasing the Sunset the best yet.
Oh, and here's Rune helping Alien draw monday's strip:
Today marks the 10th anniversary of the first strip of Chasing the Sunset going online. Wow. Alien and I have been doing this for nearly a third of our lives now!
In those 10 years a lot has changed, of course. Back then webcomics were pretty new and we were making it up as we went along. Nowadays we are still making it up as we go along, but we no longer have an excuse.
I want to thank everybody who is reading our little comic and especially those readers who have stuck with us through sometimes long periods of sporadic updates. We haven't always been punctual, but here we are ten years after we started and we're still updating (and more regularly now than in the not so distant past).
Thank you, all of you who come to our little website to read our silly little story of elves, dragons and pixies.
Thank you, all of you who through the years have commented. Your words always drive us to keep going!
Thank you, all of you who have spread the word to your friends and family and who have let others discover us.
Thank you, even if you never say anything or do anything except show up in our traffic logs.
It's because of all of you that we have reached this milestone. Thank you.
Today marks the 12th strip of this year. Wow. No, wait, that's not what we're celebrating, is it? Oh right, ten years, that's it.
It's strange to think about how large this has grown, when i consider its humble beginnings. I was doodling a little dragon in MSpaint, and didn't want to just colour it green, so i asked some friends online to name a colour. One person said blue, another orange, so i took both. This was the result:
As people wondered what i needed the colours for, i ended up showing them the stripy dragon. Many of them actually liked the beast, and Mithandir opined we should make a comic with it in, and as we started plotting out something more thorough than "something with a blue and orange dragon in", we found out we could make this story happen. And so we set to work.
Since that time, CtS has grown immensely, and us with it. We are better at creating this webcomic than when we started, and hopefully that does make it more worthwhile to follow. Knowing people do follow it and enjoy it makes it all the more worthwhile to create, and seeing visitor numbers and reading comments always makes us feel all squishy and happy inside.
10 years, 728 strips.
If I'd just coloured that dragon green, i'd probably not have shown it to anybody, and CtS would never have existed.
I'm glad it didn't end up green.
Before I begin: today's comic will be up tomorrow. Alien was having pains in her wrist so I told her to take it easy for a bit.
Now for the important bit:
On Monday February 18 2013 (in two weeks time) Chasing the Sunset celebrates its 10th anniversary!
We're celebrating this with a number of contests, and the first to be announced is the fan-art contest. Show off your skills by drawing something Chasing the Sunset related and win one of our many prizes!
- A drawing or painting to be submitted before Sunday February 17th to mith AT fantasycomic DOT com
- Must clearly relate to Chasing the Sunset, e.g. using one of our primary or secondary characters or a distinguishable structure (say the amazon's hatching ground)
- PG-13: no nudity or excessive violence, we have kids reading here.
- You must have fun while making it!
All submissions will be put up for a public vote on the 18th, so even if you're not submitting, make sure you come and vote!
The following prizes will be given out:
- Hell's pixies ministrip PDF (once we finish it)
- Signed copy of Chasing the Sunset Issue 1
- Chasing the Sunset magnets and buttons
- Chance to work with Alien and me to create a new secondary character to appear in the next chapter.
- Highest ranking european winner will additionally have a chance to win a CtS-themed 10" android tablet with all CtS strips pre-loaded!
In 4 weeks time, on Monday February 18th Chasing the Sunset will be celebrating its 10th birthday! Whee us!
And celebrate we will! In the weeks leading up to that day we'll run a number of contests (like a fanart contest) with prizes and everything!
We're still working on the prizes include signed books, buttons/magnets, myhrad cookie cutters, bonus stories and even (for our european readers) an android tablet ready to read the comic on!
Additionally we'll be trying to make that day the busiest day in CtS history with a goal of 3654 unique visitors. That's one for every day chasing the sunset has been running. If we reach that target, we'll release some bonus material for all of our readers here.
Alien and I have had a semi-assembled 3D printer sitting around since september, but we have always been too afraid to finish it. Yesterday some friends helped us finally get it done, and today I managed to print this:
Now there's a lot of work yet calibrating it and getting figures, but this is the first step towards getting Chasing the Sunset miinatures.
Update: Second print
It's not often I actually like something I've done, so I figured I'd highlight the first frame of today's comic a bit :)
First of all, a happy new year to all of you! May 2013 be filled with joy and laughter.
Second of all, I'd like to talk a bit about our plans for Chasing the Sunset in the new year. This is after all the time of year to make plans and resolutions. So what's coming in 2013?
In 2012 we managed only 42 strips (not counting fillers). While that may seem very little, it's still a lot more than the 15 we did in 2011. For 2013 the target is 100 strips. This means roughly twice a week starting when we get back from Norway. This is an unrealistic target. The last time we managed that many strips in a year was back in 2004 when the art was a lot less elaborate. The last three years combined we made fewer strips. Still, the target is 100. To make this possible we're changing how we work a bit ...
The next chapter will be the first to be fully scripted before Alien starts drawing on it. Before I at most made a couple scripts ahead of time, but now that's changing. Writing the whole chapter ahead of time will allow me to create better and more consistent stories. Additionally it will mean that comic doesn't get delayed due to writer's block, which was one of the main causes of delays in 2012. So yes, we're aiming to improve both quality as quantity.
February 17 of this year will mark the tenth anniversary of the first Chasing the Sunset strip being uploaded (say hi if you remember our orriginal dragons.falldowngoboom.org address!!) and we plan to celebrate it! We'll have contests and prices and special art and lots of other shiny things (one of the contests will be a fan-art contest so if you want a head start, we're not stopping you :)).
In 2012 we released teh first CtS book spanning the first 80 ish strips and bonus material. In 2013 we aim to release 5 more. 4 of these will be the same size and format as the first book while the fifth will be a softcover book combining the other five (that made no sense at all did it? :P). This will mean remastering quite a lot of existing strips, so even if you don't plan on buying any of them, look forward to some art upgrades on older strips.
New site design
I've been working slowly on a new CMS aimed at comics to replace Willow (which is the cms I wrote years ago and which runs cts now). I'm not sure when it'll be done, but when it is, expect a lot of new site features as well as a version of the site optimized for tablets.
I'll be finishing the seven minute war board game some time in the first quarter of this year. When it is done and properly playtested, I will release the PDF's and instructions so that anybody who wants to can print their own copy and play.
The Fantasy Comic Portal
In 2012 I founded <a href=”http://www.fantasycomicportal.com”>the fantasy comic portal, a community site for fantasy and science fiction comic creators. It has since grown to a big community with over a hundred creators. In 2013 I plan to take this further so look for things to happen there too.
Lots of other stuff vaguely planned... I'm working on a little children's story that I'm hoping Alien will illustrate for me. We will probably visit the Elf Fantasy Fair again this year and we're going to Wacken Open Air metal festival (okay, that's not CtS related :P). We might try a couple conventions again this year, possibly one in Breda, the Netherlands that looks kinda fun.
In short, 2013 should be a shiny year! What do you think about our plans?
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