Saturday, July 28, 2018

Undead Friend

Undead Friend Chapter 01 

I've mentioned in the past that I had a webcomic, which is no longer with us. I was always kind of a crappy comic artist and the plot of my comic makes me practically cringe in shame in hindsight. Especially with the rise of the isekai genre in anime/manga/light novels, the plot of "character who shares the name of the author gets thrust into fantasy world and discovers craaazy magic powers" feels especially eye-rolling in hindsight. I don't regret doing it, but I also don't regret that it's no longer online. 

But while was always a bit of a webcomic casual, my wife was dedicated to her comic work. She ran two comics with a better update schedule than I ever did and then she actually put in the effort to learn how to draw properly. As I've brought up before she has spent the last few years in a very bad place, suffering constant pain and just unable to do much of anything, let alone keeping up with her comic work. 

About a year ago we finally hit on medication that could take care of her pain, at first reducing it significantly and then removing it entirely. It's hard to express just how amazing it has been to do that and how dark things got while we were struggling through the last few years. Unfortunately the medication had a few side effects and one of them is a bit of emotional numbness, so while NJ was no longer suffering, she found it difficult to engage with most activities and could not find any of her former passion for art. Fortunately, we were able to adjust her dosage and add a new med to help counteract that. About two months ago things finally "clicked" in her head and she started drawing. And never stopped. 

It's insane. She gets up in the morning, sits down at her art station and draws. And draws. And draws. She'll spend 12 hours a day drawing, easily. And that's only because I eventually have to force her to go to bed so I can get up in the morning. On weekend evenings she'll easily stay up past 5 am without any sign of slowing. 

Which brings us to Undead Friend. Undead Friend was one of NJ's original webcomics and now that she is in a place both physically and emotionally that allows her to create again, she is making up for lost time by rebooting Undead Friend. She started drawing about two months ago, completed the first chapter within three days and has only accelerated since then. She's already drawn and completed eight chapters, each longer than the first. In fact, the only reason she's started to slow down a bit is to spend time to work on redesigning her website, setting up her patreon and even going back to redraw some pages that she found unsatisfying. 

With plenty of buffer we decided to release the comic on her birthday, July 25th. She's uploaded the first chapter in its entirety and is going to be releasing 3 new pages every week. It's a little soon to provide much of a plot summary without spoilers, but at it's core Undead Friend is a story about a pointy-haired dude who meets and befriends a chipper ghost girl and the two proceed to get themselves way over their head after they're pulled into a mysterious deathgame (these things happen). Interested? Of course you are. So you can find the comic right here: 

You may notice my name in the credits there, but I assure you this is really NJ's show. I'm providing some dialogue tweaks, scene ideas and a bit of storyboarding...but my main job is to annoy her with incredibly specific and pointless questions and then resolutely insist that we must come up with answers to them. Can zombies eat a sandwich? Can ghosts ride in cars? What happens if a vampire gets blown up by a grenade? 

 She hates it, but I know it's important work I do. Oh, and the answers: No. No, but they can fly fast enough to keep up. And they'll be very annoyed and may have to be patched up by a ghost.