If there isn’t a comic about Evil Dead called the Necronomicomic, there should be. It’s a horribly missed opportunity otherwise. There should also be a convention for the Necronomicomic, called, of course, the Necronomicomicon.
Peggy usually has a sense of humor about her leg, cause the alternative is to be bummed out about it all the time. Her personal favorite is making a joke that would have been inappropriate coming out of someone else’s mouth, just to get that moment of tense silence while everyone figures out if it’s ok to laugh. There are limits though. Her reaction to Heatwave might have been a little cold – she might have been more sympathetic if Heatwave could no longer drive stick.
I designed all of Peggy’s tattoos myself (there’s not much to them really, mostly lots of stars, stripes and eagles) but her back tattoo is pretty ok, if still a work in progress. If you want a better look at it, check it out on the DA page.
After loosening up a little, Sydney suffers a bit of a backslide, but she’ll adjust. There’s little chance she’ll ever be prancing around like Dabbler though.
Sydney grew up on superhero comics of course, and also stuff like Red Sonja, She-Ra, Xena, etc, so the idea of the strong woman is not surprising to her. If there’s a body type she’s legitimately biased against, it’s the heroin chic beanpole supermodel look. It’s not the obvious unhealthy standard so much, or the fact that she feels it’s totally unattainable look for her – it’s just as unlikely she’ll ever look like Xena either. She just prefers the look of a woman that can one hand a bastard sword or punch out a horse. Not that she has anything against horses in particular. It’s just just her standard unit of toughness is 1 horse ka-power. I’ll be here all week folks, tip your waitress.
I know that last word balloon is a little gratuitous, and I prefer covering things in a more natural looking manner, but from Sydney’s point of view, they’re just… right there. For those of you having to quickly scroll the comic off the page then read it while furtively glancing over your shoulder, there’s only one more page actually in the showers. Of course then there’s the locker room, but things will be gradually returning to fully SFW status shortly.
We can hope with all the showers going that the tile on that partition has warmed up a little.
Probably the dirtiest joke in the comic so far. You’d think it might come from Dabbler, but where as she is a fan of all things sexual, including its use as a weapon, Harem is more like the party girl. I was going to compare her to Paris Hilton, but that’s a bad match. Harem isn’t a flighty, sheltered nincompoop, but she does care a little too much that her shoes and handbag match when she’s out partying, of course only at the right clubs. Speaking of which, I haven’t really decided what happens if one of her gets drunk. I think it would have a rather attenuated effect on her mental faculties cause she’d still have 4 un-drunk brains, and her coordination and reflexes would only be impaired on the one imbibing. Even that would be mitigated because she can keep an eye on herself from another perspective if she needs to. Basically if she wants to get sloshed she needs to order 5 times as many shots and spread them around. If one of her drank enough to get all of her acting drunk her liver would pickle.
Being a comic primarily focusing on the female characters, it’s no surprise the odd page fails a reverse Bechdel Test. (The Ledhceb Test?) When the guys show up, chances are they’re talking about the women.
On the previous page I may have made Varia a bit too buff. She’s supposed to be marginally fitter than some of the other girls just cause of her hobbies, stuff like rock climbing and soccer, but on that first panel especially I think I was slipping into some old habits. I should try and scale back slightly from that. Not on Anvil obviously, but the girls are supposed to be fit, not off-season-Ms.-Olympia.
The vote incentive is finally finished. It came out pretty good considering I don’t really paint like that much. I was trying some new techniques I’ve been studying lately, of course all painting really comes down to basic competence with anatomy, light and shadow, color theory, and composition. I’m comfortable saying have general anatomy down pretty good, it’s when I zoom in really close and start thinking about how light falls on the skin around the eye sockets or against the nose that I need to go scurrying for reference. That and I could stand to be more bold with rim lights and multi color fill lights, depth of shadows, stuff like that, but I learned a bit doing this one and the next one should be even better. Since it’s so close to the end of the month I may leave that one up for the first part of August. It just depends on how quickly I can get the next one put together. At some point the vote incentive will probably be me putting together the cover of the book.
They’re only doing it because you react to it Sydney. It does look like she may be loosening up there towards the end.
I had established in the comic that succubi can detect arousal like how sharks can sense electrical fields, but Dabbler’s “Porno Sense” as Sydney dubbed it, can curiously also detect “rompy” situations. Even if no one directly involved is aroused, it’s a fair bet that if there is some sort of soap suds overload incident in the laundry room, or a clothing eating bacteria is on the lose, Dabbler will be the first to know.
I took the time to draw water splashing off Sydney’s orbs, but then the word balloons or water streams mostly covered it up. :(
Dabbler’s partner is one of the lead inventors for Arc-SPARQ. Her name’s Digit, we’ll see more of her later. With some of her gadgets she could potentially hang with the field personnel in Arc-SWAT, except, she’s not allowed to do field work after one or two significant incidents involving some of her bonkers and impractical gadgets. She’s still useful to have around, especially with others to take a second or third swing at her tech and iron out the… quirks.
Thank you for the continued votes. The race for 1st is getting pretty tight. I will definitely try and have a finished version of the picture by the time the next comic goes up. These shower scenes are surprisingly time consuming to draw. Coloring people without clothes definitely saves some work cause there are fewer colors and selections to have to worry about, but then there’s all the specular highlights on the skin, shower streams, steam, soap suds. I think this page actually has the most layers I’ve ever used.
Lots to talk about on this page. I’ll start off by pointing out that I did not forget Sydney’s glasses, she took them off to run.
It’s fair to say Amorphous and Achilles were given more laps to run than Sydney. I’m not sure how many were assigned, but do I remember before I started getting into shape, running even halfway around one of those tracks (which are 400m or just under 1/4 mile) without stopping to catch my breath would be pretty much impossible. Also I’d get shin splints and cramps in my side. (I was very out of shape) Nowadays I could probably do 2, maybe 3 laps even though I don’t do a lot of aerobic exercise in the gym. Sydney’s only slightly better off that I was given her hyperactivity and the fact that she probably weighs half what I did, but in any case, Peggy’s not trying to kill her, just exhaust some sense into her.
When I originally envisioned Grrl Power, the plan was to have a lot of scenes in the showers because I thought that would be fun to draw. Just like the lounge area with the red couch is a recurring set, I’d have all sorts of conversations that don’t necessarily have anything to do with showering take place in the showers. I also planned putting in a lot more dirty humor in general. What I didn’t plan on was since Sydney is the main character, the tone of the comic was largely set by her early on, and while she’s not a prude, she is body conscious (at least around a bunch of superheroines) and easily flustered when people she perceives as being adults or generally more with it than her start being raunchy, especially if it’s even remotely directed at her.
Anyway, I finally get to draw a shower scene and who knows how often it’ll happen in the future, but the next few pages will be mildly NSFW. Nothing more than what’s been in the comic so far, a little cleavage, sideboob etc. It will just be more glisteny than usual.
Oh and that last panel? The background took so long to draw – I know it looks simple, but laying in all that tile in perspective was a huge pain in the ass – anyway it took so long I went and got a subscription at cgcookie.com and I’m now trying to learn Blender cause dayum, if I could build some sets in 3D (and render them so they don’t look like cheap 3D hopefully) it would save me a ton of time in the long run.
I found a fun webcomic for you guys. I actually made the time to read through the whole things, so take that as my recommendation. My only complaint as is with all things I like is that there isn’t enough of it. It’s semi-auto bio, maybe more of an “inspired by real life events” affair. Anyway the site is Jennifer Draws Comics. She actually has three comics there, (three discrete comics, not three strips of the same comic) and I’ve only had a chance to check out “Sprinkles” which is the auto-bio one. It’s consistently pretty funny and cutely drawn so give it a read, and optionally check out her other comics if’n you’re inclined. Personally I identified with that first Sprinkles comic; I am chocked full of trivial information, not so great with the practical stuff.
Ok, now, before anyone wants to give Sydney a lecture on the minute difference between the term “texture” and “mouth feel” just be aware, she does not care and will hit you. Apologies to any foodies out there but to anyone who isn’t that into food, it’s kind of an obnoxious term. Obviously Sydney feels more strongly about it than most.
This page took far longer to write that you might guess, but it was because for a long time, there was a section of dialog with Sydney asking what meal this was, and Peggy explaining that Supers eat more than regular people, and also suggesting that since the amount of extra food they eat doesn’t come anywhere near explaining where they get the energy to fuel their powers, she thinks they just eat a lot cause they don’t have to worry about getting fat. I liked the exchange, but it didn’t really move the page along to where I wanted it, so eventually I cut it.
#makecomics: I don’t know why I like drawing them eating. For one thing, I find drawing people sitting is weirdly difficult, for some reason it makes me mess up the length of the torso, especially if there’s a table bisecting the view, but the worst part is all the junk on the table. Think about what’s on a table at an average restaurant. Usually multiple plates per person, silverware (forks are especially difficult to draw in perspective with the curvy neck and the flared bit before the prongs) cups or glasses, salt and pepper, sometimes other condiments. If drawing a cup or a plate doesn’t sound like a big deal, well, it really isn’t, until you have to do it in perspective, then the difficulty goes up a notch. Then there’s all the stuff on the plates. A fully stocked dinner table is actually one of the most fiddly sorts of things to draw short of something very precise and technical like a car with the hood up showing the engine and all the hoses and stuff. Drawing something like a warp engine might be challenging, but you can just make up what it looks like and no one can say you’re wrong. At least until the second time you have to draw it and then it has to match the first drawing, but everyone knows what a dinner table should look like.
By the way if you’re not following me on twitter you’re missing out on gems like this:
I wanted to see the length of my hand in relation to my forearm so I measured my hand – with my other hand. Apparently my hand is hand sized
— Dave Barrack (@grrlpowercomic) July 16, 2015
So the hosting move. I apologize that so many people had trouble getting to the site, for those of you who care here’s a quick explanation. To move a site you have to update the DNS servers, which give human friendly names to internet sites, so people can type “grrlpowercomic.com” instead of 22.214.171.124 or whatever the actual IP address is. Normally before you switch a site, you have it up and running using that raw IP address which you can use to get to a site regarless of what the DNS servers are doing, only the IP we got from the new host wasn’t working for some reason. Instead we tried switching the DNS server, then attempted to quickly upload a mirror of the site to it, a process that normally doesn’t take very long. Something we didn’t count on was the size of the files involved. Grrl Power has gotten over 130K comments because you guys are awesome, but that makes for a larger than average database, and the upload kept crapping out. So we switched the DNS back to the old hosting until we could get someone in tech support at the new hosting to help us out. The problem that occurred for some people was one of Godaddy’s DNS servers didn’t catch the switch back, and was pointing at the unformatted site with only a maintenance message on it. Eventually that got sorted out so hopefully no on is having any issues now.
We made a second attempt while on the horn with a level 2 tech support person, and that went so smoothly that I didn’t get a chance to use the moving graphic I drew, which is a shame cause it’s one of the cuter picture I’ve ever done of Sydney so I’ll just post it here. Hopefully I won’t actually have any cause to use it for a while, things seem to be running pretty smoothly here at the moment.
We’ve all done this, right? Got caught doing something weird cause you were daydreaming? I mean post-childhood. Obviously you do this when you’re a kid, that’s what kids do. Some of us take longer to grow out of it, and even have… relapses. Clearly it’s a daily event for Sydney. I do this all the time when I draw. I tend to make faces when I’m trying to get an expression right, even when I’m not looking into a mirror. I guess it helps me visualize. I admit it’s been a while since I sat around totally in a daze making sound effects. About the worst I do is randomly start laughing cause I’m thinking of some joke for the comic.
I was going to do a mini comic about Sydney eating alfredo made using ghost pepper jack cheese but I ran out of time, so… just imagine that. That would probably make Sydney cough a lot more. Chewing and swallowing spicy food is one thing, but if you choke on it and get it up into your nose or down slightly in your trachea, then all bets are off as far as your tolerance goes.
I updated the vote incentive, just with a first pass of color. I was hoping to have more done on it but the last page I finished had so many layers. :/
I tried to get the site switched over to the new hosting last night, but ran into some problems getting it ported over since the number of posts and all the comments made for a larger import than what the new system could handle by default, but I have top men on it and there should be one more brief downtime Wednesday afternoon and everything should be copacetic. There should be less down time on that attempt.
note: grrlpowercomic.com is officially moved over to the new hosting. Next will be a minor downtime for updating the backend software. but will do it when there’s no updates and slow traffic.
It’s funny for all the research I’ve done in to guns and military stuff in general, I had to make quite a few assumptions about makup here. I asked around a little about it, but Maxima’s skin is a unique situation. It’s smooth like glass, so makeup can actually be applied quite nicely, but it doesn’t stick the same way. It tends to fall off in uneven clumps. Anything more oily that does stick like lipstick or grease paint smears that much easier. It’s also flexible like skin, so if she covers herself in grease paint then applies powder makeup over that, it will still wrinkle and crack in short order. When Max was younger and got her powers initially (a story I’ll tell eventually) she spent a lot of time trying to figure out how to pass unnoticed in public. (She’s supposed to look 15-16 in panels 4 and 5 which is pretty tough to draw. A baby, that’s easy, but drawing the difference between a 16 year old and a 34 year old is trickier, especially with odd angles or expressions.) The closest she got was latex house paint with various makeup applied over that, but it wouldn’t pass close inspection. It made her look like a mannequin with the skin of a 70 year old. By the time the paint dried acceptably it wrinkled unnaturally and even began sliding off her slightly. The complication she didn’t understand until later was her personal, nearly cellularly tight forcefield which makes it so nothing sticks to her for long. Even if she keeps her actual force field to a minimum, that force field is the scaffolding all her powers are channeled through, so using her strength or flight or anything will hasten the degradation of any disguise she’s using.
The little outtro gag at the bottom of the page, some sort of latex appliance, is legitimately her only non-magic option for trying to pass as normal, but you’ve all seen those behind the scenes docs about how Worf or Quark needed to show up for work 4 hours before everyone else to get their faces put on. By the time someone can get a prosthetic face on Maxima, it’s already in danger of starting to slough off, so her window for moving around in plain sight is pretty slim.
We’ve already seen that Arc-DARK has spells which can entirely disguise someone, but they can’t hand those out willy-nilly. I’ll get into the why’s of that eventually as well. I haven’t decided if Dabbler can disguise others. Her glamour is self only, and she’s not much of an illusionist. If it has to happen when I get to that moment in a storyline, it will be severely limited, like it only lasts a few minutes or she has to actively maintain it and stay within line of site of whoever she’s disguising.
The site will almost definitely switch hosting this weekend, so there might be some interruption late Saturday and into Sunday depending on how quickly the DNS servers catch up. Hopefully it will go smoothly beyond that.
Trying something out with the panel layout here. Trying fit a lot of dialog in (also known as “my usual amount of dialog”) with fewer panels. Usually I prefer having more back and forth panels so you can see people’s expressions as they talk, but this obviously takes less time to draw and it helps to mix it up the layouts as well.
Maxima’s rejection of Candace’s offer was initially a bit more curt, but as I was drawing the page I was thinking about what her actual position would be on the subject. She’s not a fan of skanky stuff and it doesn’t help her opinion of you if you are, but she’s not against artistic nudes. Her qualm is people viewing her that way first and foremost. She understands there will be or already are a lot of really bad nude photoshops of her (or other nude models with some lazily applied filters) online, and even a few really good ones, but she’d rather not provide a primary source if she can avoid it.
In case Candace’s Everest reference isn’t clear, especially for the English as a second or third language readers, “(blank) is my Everest” is an idiom meaning that (blank) represents a singular and personal challenge for someone. So “Running a Triathalon is my Everest.” or “Eating the 3 pound burger at Crazy Ray’s is my Everest.” Candace is implying that getting to shoot Maxima in the buff would be something of a highlight in a photographer’s career.
Joe Manganiello for those of you who don’t know is the lumberjack looking werewolfy love interest for the main character in True Blood, and more recently he shows up in Magic Mike XXL. He’s basically the male equivalent of a slutty nurse, sexy librarian and enemy spy lady in the PVC catsuit all rolled into one. I mean, I assume. I’m not a straight lady or a gay guy, but he seems pretty ok looking to me. I could have gone with any of a number of hot actor guys, but he just seems like the sort ladies might have on their freebie list of guys they can nail and not get in trouble with their boyfriend. As soon as he showed up in True Blood my first thought was “no doubt about it, this is definitely written either by an earnest woman or a cynical guy.” I know the novels were written by a woman though I have no idea how closely the show followed them.
This page colored by Keith.
I wrote this page after a few people expressed… concerned with Maxima’s demonstration a few pages back. I think it’s kind of unnecessary now after the fact, not that it’s a bad page. I think it’s a fun bit of insight into Ren and Peggy, and a little call back to the bank. In any case this is the last we’ll see of the gun range for a while. I should note, Ren’s paper target is a bit small, that’s cause their range isn’t quite full length, so they compensate with smaller targets. They have a proper range outdoors somewhere not so near by for the actual certification tests.
I can’t help but image in a relatively low discipline outfit like Arc-SWAT, walking around with the “punishment gun” wouldn’t be all that much of a punishment… well, Sydney might not enjoy it. But like Peggy implies, that’s probably on top of whatever else they decide to pile on the careless and/or gung ho.
There is a new vote incentive, it’s just pencils at the moment but I’m hoping to get it colored by the time the next page goes up. (Maybe the one after, we’ll see how quickly the current pages I’m working on get done.)
There’s a chance I’ll be switching hosting this weekend. Godaddy has been pretty solid overall, but with the traffic I get now their prices are pretty crazy, so Saturday or Sunday the page might act a little wonky, or I might lock the comments so nothing gets lost while all the databases get ported. It shouldn’t be too traumatic, just FYI.
This page colored by Keith.
Ooh, just noticed Sydney’s glasses are missing in the last panel, I’ll get that fixed at some point.
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