Howdy, folks! It's finally time...
...for the GRAND UNVEILING!!
This is the long-rumored post where I finally get into my project plans for next year.
The, uh... the plans are in this paper bag. I wanted to have something cooler, but I spent all the budget on the confetti. Which, was also made of paper bags.
Before we look at projects, though, I have someone I'd like to introduce! It's a bit last-minute, but this presentation is technically a double feature. S--so, I literally have to.
I cannot stress enough that I have no choice. Please understand.
DC: It's me, bitches!!!
Valerie: Th--that's right! This post is guest starring the inimitable talents of Droo--
DC: The artist formerly known as Drool Cutie!!
Valerie: W--wait, what's your name now?
DC: Drools Cutely!!!!
Valerie: YOU JUST CHANGED FOUR LETTERS???
DC: Now, don't be fooled. Though we may look different, we are, in fact, the same person.
Valerie: That being said, we are definitely not the same person and you should never claim so in polite company.
DC: It's like a pen name, except she really committed to the bit.
Valerie: DC is essentially a fell homunculus I created to manage my 18+ content.
DC: If you think about it, I'm kind of like a VTuber!
Valerie: You can definitely think about that.
Historically, I've tried to keep DC's projects at an arm's length from my own, hence the alternate persona gimmick. But if I'm expanding the scope of the Patreon to include all my work, then it only makes sense to bring DC along too.
That said, I'm not planning to start posting sexually explicit content willy-nilly.
DC: Me? I love posting willy nillies... but this just ain't that sort of account! At the same time, though, making a separate Patreon just for my content could split the audience in an awkward way.
Valerie: This little toad's art comes from the same heart as mine. It feels wrong to ask people to pay twice. So although it might seem like a strange arrangement, I'd like it if you could think of Drools here as, uh, kind of a "roommate?"
I'm not quite sure how I'm going to handle DC-related rewards on here. I'd like to incorporate them in a way that isn't intrusive if it's not what you're looking for. Drop me a line in the comments if you have any thoughts or suggestions!
Also, I am going to go ahead and set the Patreon to 18+, even if it's just a formality. Call it prudence! If you're under 18, I appreciate the generosity, but you should go spend that money on teen stuff, like, uh... moss?
Anyway, DC will be lounging just out of frame for a bit, because it's time to talk about my project!!
...So you were here all along.
I'm more than a little late, huh?
Haha, I know you weren't waiting for me.
My story's all a mess --
starting, stopping, starting over... and jumping straight to the end.
I might not be the person you wanted to see, anymore.
But that hasn't stopped me before.
It's time for you to get some rest, sis.
Let me take over from here.
I'll even let you decide what happens next.
Do you want to keep going?
Do you want to destroy everything?
Or do you want to start fresh?
Hey, don't look at me like that!
I know it's not what you would do.
That's the point, right?
Let me do what you won't.
And whatever happens...
you can blame it on me.
UNSAVE THE WORLD is a sequel to Goodbye to Halos.
UNSAVE THE WORLD is a story about a story that didn't end right.
UNSAVE THE WORLD is a story about your friends, your memories, and the unbearable brightness of a world full of your own love.
It stars a girl named Selin, who lives a calm little life in the run-down queer district of Market Square. She shares her days part-timing at a fry shop with her friends Leo, Louis, and Fran, and her amicable ex-girlfriend, Hekat. Together, they pass their lives in a world that doesn't need saving.
It also stars a pair of strangers by the names of Clarissa and Enae, who keep claiming to remember a bunch of shit that definitely did not happen.
UNSAVE THE WORLD is my pitch for a soft reboot of Goodbye to Halos. Pretty much anything I could say here about the plot would be a massive spoiler, but the idea is that UNSAVE THE WORLD would serve as a way to both:
- Wrap up the unfinished story of Goodbye to Halos, and
- Be perfectly accessible to new readers, while still rewarding those who've been here from the start.
The comic would run for 100~200 pages -- by design, it would be much shorter than the remainder of Goodbye to Halos proper, but it would still, hopefully, tell a satisfying story.
I love Goodbye to Halos. I love the characters and setting. I poured an Olympic swimming pool's worth of blood into them -- how can I not?
To leave the story unfinished is unthinkable to me even now. But is the path I laid out six years ago really the only way to give this story closure?
To keep going, to destroy everything, or to start fresh -- those are the options laid before me. But do I really have to choose? What if I did all three?
By UNSAVE THE WORLD's nature, it's kind of a high-risk, high-reward operation. When I think about it, I'm alternately thrilled and terrified. I've had a lot of failures and false starts this past year or two; the thought of leaving Goodbye to Halos unfinished twice could shatter me like glass.
So I still need to stew on this one for a bit. I have to find a proper footing and build up some confidence in a sustainable, healthy workflow. It might be a few months before you see the first pages of UNSAVE THE WORLD.
But you'll see plenty of other stuff in that time! Let's check out what DC's been working on...
What if the body you were given wasn't the one you were stuck with? What if your body, like your dreams, was just an extension of your heart's desire?
In the mysterious city of Charmside, where magic swirls invisibly in the air like pollen, miracles and monsters are an everyday mundanity. But that magic exacts a price on those who choose to live here: Stay too long within the walls of the city, and its power will turn you into a monster, too.
The threat of The Curse has long kept outsiders at bay, yet the city of monsters grows daily. For some, it seems, the prospect of casting aside your old shape might not be so horrifying at all. To enter this city you must pass through the gates of your own ego -- but those who make it to the other side are sure to be greeted with a loving, squishy embrace.
CURSE/KISS/CUTE is a horny-porny anthology webcomic about a city full of monster girls, monster boys and monsterbies. It's a kind of freeform, anything-goes story, mostly improvised, with a focus on feel-good cuddly vibes, sickly-sweet makeouts, and moderately unbridled fuck energy.
The comic takes popular "monster person" tropes and shines a lens on the desires behind them, with an eye on the everyday experience of living with a strange body. What's it like to be a werewolf at the supermarket? How would a twenty-foot snake tail feel underneath you? What if your (CENSORED) were so huge that you had to (CENSORED) (CENSORED) (CENSORED) your thigh-high whenever you (CENSORED) (CENSORED)?
Also, it goes without saying, but everybody here is queer and trans. (What does it even mean to be cis in a place like Charmside?!)
This one's been percolating for, like, a solid six years or so. I've been constantly threatening to make this comic. Well: Time to frickin' do it!!!
CKC actually started pre-development over a year ago. The simplified, low-color inked artstyle you've been seeing around was originally developed for this project. The idea was that it would help me blow off some steam to have a side project that was easy to draw, and full of as much absolute horny nonsense as I wanted.
And that's still pretty much how I'm thinking about this one! Seems like a slam dunk if you ask me!!
This comic has no defined endpoint and only a smattering of preconceived story structure. In other words, I can pretty much do whatever I want with it for however long I want to do it. So the stakes are basically nonexistent! In fact, I've already drawn the prologue!!
I've been feeling for a while now that I need an "easy win" to restore some of my lost confidence. Of course, just because it's easy doesn't mean it'll be low-effort. I'm dumping plenty of love and care into this silly little project, and I'm going to try to avoid committing to a rigid update schedule for a while to leave room for experimentation.
That takes care of the big stuff! But before we go into smaller projects, let's lay some old ones to rest.
The two of us have started more projects than we've finished over the past few years, so it's worth taking a moment to finally lay to rest the ones that didn't make it.
Fate: Bit off way more than I could chew! Though I'm a ravenous consumer of visual novels myself, the format might not be suited to my needs as an artist. I'm no good with monolithic projects, and visual novels are difficult to serialize. Still, I want to return to the Animal Girlfriends in some form.
Started: Q1 2020
Fate: Died due to burnout. Tried to pencil the whole thing in a couple weeks. But Aster's story continues in CURSE/KISS/CUTE!
Started: Q4 2020
Fate: Died due to burnout. Was juggling way, way too many things at the time in a mad scramble to pay the bills. But those looking forward to this one should keep an eye on CURSE/KISS/CUTE...!
Finally, what about my future plans that don't quite rise to the level of "projects"? These things tend to be pretty spur-of-the-moment, so I'll go over them in categories rather than listing out all the ideas floating around my head.
I mentioned these a couple posts ago, but I'm having a ton of fun with them, so I'm fully planning to keep doing these for the foreseeable future. Sprouts are just my term for little daily illustrations, drawn quickly, with whatever subject matter happens to be on my mind at the moment. I haven't been keeping up with them much this month, but that's mainly because I've been focusing 100% of my energy on planning and writing!
I've turned into a huge music nerd lately, and I'm always noodling on something in the background, though I haven't actually posted most of what I've been doing. Music isn't quite "my brand," so to speak, so it's tricky to know how to incorporate it into the extruded content slurry of social media.
One idea I had that I still think could be cute is "musical illustrations." In other words, combining a song with a drawing, so that you can look at the drawing with your eyes while you look at the song with your ears. Now there's a novel concept!!
I'm really enjoying writing and drawing these goofy Patreon updates. It's hard to explain, but it's helped to put my heart at ease during this transitional period I'm in.
If I were to evaluate my skills objectively, I think I'm more of a storyteller than a straightforward communicator. I don't think I'm bad at communicating, but it's been eye opening to me how much easier it comes when I use silly cartoons to turn what I have to say into a visual narrative.
So I'm definitely going to keep doing this style of cartoon blog post! Maybe once a month or so? Whenever I have a bunch of stuff to communicate -- be that plans, project updates, or whatever else.
I think that all covers just about everything. Thanks a bunch for reading!
Your responses on the last few posts have been super encouraging, and I can't stress enough how much I appreciate hearing from you in the comments!
As for what comes next? Well... correct me if I'm wrong, but I believe this is the part where I make the new stuff!! For much of this year, this moment seemed impossibly far away. But here I am, and here we are.
So, barring acts of God, I'll see you soon... with stuff!! Until then: Thanks. And as always: Thanks!!