Art Post – 2 Year Anniversary

Not caught up on the comic yet? You can go visit the comic’s archive through this link here.

2-year-anniversary

Here’s to 2 years of Night Fox! And now, a little bit of introspection:

When I first started this comic, I began with some very lofty aspirations for how it would go, and how popular it would end up getting. Looking where I’m at right now currently… I have to say, back then, I was very naive and I needed to have my expectations tempered.

I had drawn comics before in my spare time all throughout high school, though I think I had been drawing comics all the way back as early as elementary school. Anyways, they were never anything all too special, and my drawing capabilities were extremely lacking back then compared to now, but when I showed them to my friends, they were usually pretty impressed and I got a fair amount of laughs out of the jokes I had made. I got content with the mild praise I got for my comics in high school, and just sort of didn’t really do anything else with them once I graduated. I went onto community college immediately after the summer I graduated, where I hit a few speed bumps. All of the friends I had gotten over the years of attending public school just sort of, went away. I only stayed in contact with 1 or 2 of them for maybe a semester before I sort of gave up contacting them. My fellow classmates in college were more or less all strangers to me at that point. It was because of that, that I sort of lost my drive to do any more comics for a while, because after all, I didn’t have any friends to show them off to, so why bother?

From there, I took a 9 month break from community college after a semester and a half to go attend a “special” trade school of sorts. When I first started taking classes in college, I didn’t really have much of a focus for what I wanted to end up doing (I mostly wanted to just keep doing art related stuff, but I knew I was probably never going to get money doing that), so my mom said I should learn at least some kind of practical skill to make it easier to get a job, which is why I went to the trade school until I could sort those things out. It was the first time I had lived away from home, and it is there that I tried my hand at learning computer repair. The only problem was, living at that school was the worst experience of my life. I hated my roommates and most of the other students. The only people I got along with were the other people in the computer repair program, but they weren’t enough to make me feel like I wasn’t rotting away at that place. So I tried to finish up my program there as fast as I could. What resulted was that I learned enough to pass the program, but not enough to actually do computer repair properly. I did managed to get certified, but I had so little confidence in my abilities, that I never ended up doing anything with that certification. It was 9 months pretty much wasted at a school that felt more like a prison at times, and to make matters worse: I still didn’t know what I wanted to do once I went back to attending community college again.

Thankfully, some of my initial hang ups with community college went away once I got back. For starters, I didn’t have to walk 30 minutes to get to my classes any more, because I was able to get my driver’s license and a car. My older brother had also ended up moving back in after he got fed up with living in Florida, so it wasn’t just me and my mom anymore back at home. More importantly, with my brother moved back in, I finally had someone else to bounce comic ideas off of again. I eventually settled into the course I had first picked when attending college, as I saw it was pretty much the best option for me, that course being Graphic Design. I had gotten a lot more comfortable talking to my other classmates, so I didn’t feel the need to keep to myself in my classes any more. And as a result, I wasn’t as nervous showing people stuff I had been drawing. I wasn’t as good as I am now (and right now, I’m not too afraid to admit I’m still pretty average), but my drawings were good enough to them to earn me some praise. A lot of people said that I should start posting stuff online. I knew that was logically the next step, but I still didn’t feel ready for that at that point.

I dragged my feet for a couple of months on the idea of getting a presence online, but I never really acted on it until eventually I was required to start a blog for one of my classes. If you had been following the comic from the beginning, you’d know that that class blog would eventually transform into this one. It might not have been as idle of a start as I had wanted, but in the end, I had finally gotten myself to post some of my artwork online. I started off bright eyed and beaming about the possibility of my comic being able to reach so many people, but, as I stated earlier, I set my expectations way too high.

The comic did not really take off all that fast, and I didn’t actually have any idea how to do a web comic in the slightest. I didn’t have an optimal setup for how to arrange the panels, or how to set up the speech bubbles, and I never saved the files in a web-friendly resolution, so the comics ended up being massive. I used to, and still do, make a lot of typos that I only end up catching after I finish uploading things. And I still cannot nail a consistent look for the comic, having changed the general layout and how much detail  I put into the comics at least 4 times (ie, whether or not I do backgrounds, whether or not I do shading, or even whether or not I just do everything in pencil). In those first 2 years, there were so many times that I just wanted to give up on the whole thing, because it just felt so pointless as nobody was even reading the thing, with there being stretches of entire months where it seemed like even the people who were following the blog had stopped bothering. And to be perfectly honest, there are still times where I want to just give up on the whole thing now. But at least now, if I decided to give up, it would only be so that I could start over again now that I have some idea of how to actually make a web comic.

I’ve gotten to the point that I don’t think I’ll end up truly giving up on doing a comic online. I’ll only end up stopping so that I can do it better my next go. And sure, while things have been slow, and nobody leaves any comments to tell me what they like or don’t like about the comic, at least I’m still getting likes, and still getting new people following the blog, which tells me at least people are reading. As slow as the pace that I’m going is, I’m still getting followers each month, and even if it’s only one person a month, it still enough for me. I also still get really excited and happy whenever I get just a single like. The knowledge that someone still wants to read my comic is what truly makes me happy about doing this. And while I’m not sure how reliable WordPress’s stats are, I can still tell I’m growing, and not just stagnating into obscurity. After my first year, I only had 52 likes, and maybe some 10 followers. Now, as of typing this, I’ve gotten 169 likes and 39 followers. It’s not a huge increase over the first year, but it definitely is an improvement, and it’s all thanks to you guys.It can take a long time to build yourself up, but so long as things keep going at this rate, sooner or later, I think Night Fox can get there. You just have to remember, pretty much everything started off with a humble beginning…

Anyways, I feel like I said most of what I wanted to say, so until then, I’ll see you next post.

 

 

Art Post – Happy Halloween

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happy-halloween

Here’s the quote on quote Halloween picture I said I was going to do… I realized as I was doing this, that if you have a bunch of characters who are members of the undead who make up your web comic’s cast… You don’t really have to try too hard to stick them into a Halloween themed drawing. Sure, I could’ve made it a little more on point by adding a jack-o-lantern to the background or something… But I’m lazy with backgrounds and kinda of hate doing them, so I used something I got off of Google as a basis and modified it to better match the picture. Still, even though I edited the background to make it a whole heck of a lot less detailed and fairly hard to recognize in comparison to the original picture, credit where credit is due. (They’re a heck of a lot more talented than me, that’s for sure, so they deserve the recognition)

Anyways, I chose to not use and Alex and Kitsiyuna for this one and decided I should let my antagonist get a chance to be shown off for once. I figured that a witch/necromancer and her skeletal minion would be appropriate enough for the holiday, so I went and drew Shira with a witch’s hat and Styx without his face being covered up for the picture.

And yes, in case you couldn’t tell from the comics, Styx is supposed to be a skeleton. I was going to show that off at the end of Comic 67, but I sort of rewrote how the aftermath of that fight went down so I didn’t really have a chance to show that off. Styx was originally going to actually reveal himself to everyone as the guy responsible for creating the Poltergeist and tell Alex that his boss was interested in recruiting him, but I padded the ending to the fight up to that point so that it would end after I did exactly 100 pages. So, in order to move the story along, I just decided to cut that bit and save the reveal of his face for another time… which I suppose is right now… Anyways, that change to the story has made me decide to change how Shira is going to approach attempting to recruit Alex. She’s going to be sly and cunning about it instead of using a more direct approach I was originally going to have her use. Because of this change, her actions are going to be more subtle in how they affect Alex and Kitsiyuna. Which in turn, I feel is going to allow me to have her show up a bit more frequently in the comic with her scheming than I originally was planning. I actually wrote her into the next story arc because of that. So there you have it: Some useless trivia that none of you guys probably cared to know!

At any rate, I hope you guys enjoy the drawing and enjoy the holiday. (Though, I’m sure most of the people who would be reading the comic would be just a little bit past the age where it’s okay for them to be trick-or-treating, so not as much to enjoy at that point…) With all of that, I’ll see you next comic.

Art Post – Night Fox Character Bio #8

Not caught up on the comic yet? You can go visit the comic’s archive through this link here.

Shira Coloring

Name: Shira, the Wight Queen

In order to get a better understanding of Shira, you first have to get a grasp on the race of Spirit she belongs to. Shira is classified as a kind of Spirit called a Wightling, which are characterized as pale skinned Humanoid Spirits with dark markings all over their bodies that glow when they’re using magic. These markings help Wightlings gather Spirit Energy more efficiently than most other races, and as such, many Wightlings go around wearing clothing that keep most of these markings still exposed, so as to not hamper their superior ability to channel Spirit Energy.

Throughout the Spirit World, there are many different races of Spirits who are each good at different kinds of magic. As far as Wightlings are concerned, they are considered THE BEST when it comes to Spell Casting, with there not being a single school of Magic they’re incapable of using. But that’s just taking into account magic that they aren’t naturally gifted at. You see, Wightlings are masters of Necromancy and Soul Manipulation. There isn’t a single Spell in the entire craft of Necromancy that a Wightling cannot learn and master, and their inherent understanding of how Souls function are what enable them to be such potent Spell Casters in the first place. And Shira, as the Wight Queen, is considered to be the most powerful Necromancer among all of the Wightlings in the Spirit World. While there are still a few Spirits in un-populated areas of the Spirit World who may not have heard of her or her title, there is not a single Wightling out there who hasn’t heard of her skills.

She’s so powerful, that she can even give the Reaper’s a run for their money. While she’s always careful to avoid doing anything overtly illegal to the point where she would bring down the wrath of the entirety of the Reaper forces on her, she still has had run-ins with them, and she has always come out on top. It suspected that just a single one of her Undead servants is powerful enough to go toe-to-toe with all but the most elite Reaper Officers. And if she runs into a Reaper her servants can’t handle? She goes and deals with them herself.

Not much is known about Shira, as the only people known to know her personally are her Undead servants. That being said, the Reapers have been able to piece together a vague picture of her based off of reports they have on her activities and behavior. It is estimated that she at least has some degree of respect for the Reaper’s and their laws, as she doesn’t actively go out of her way to go and antagonize them, and she only kills members of their ranks when they actively get in her way. That is one thing that she will not tolerate though, and that is people getting in her way, as when something decides to stand between her, and something she wants, or even just slightly fancies, she has been shown to hold absolutely no mercy when dealing with what obstacle is facing her.

It is in situations like these where she will not tolerate failure, and has been known to destroy her own servants when they mess up, so as to bring her other ones more in line. It is this kind of behavior that has caused her to develop a sort of god complex at times, leading her to believe that she may be a sort of reincarnation of one of the fabled “Deity Spirits” that legends say mysteriously disappeared thousands of years ago. Of course, whether or not her belief in that is actually true, top Magic Researchers within the Spirit World have deemed something like reincarnation to be, “almost certainty physically impossible considering what is known about how the Soul works”. Still, delusions aside, Shira is still a Spirit whose good graces you should try to stay in by any means possible, lest she decide she doesn’t want to put up with your antics and destroy you.

Of course, Shira’s personally history is an even bigger mystery to most people. The only thing that can be said for sure is that Shira was probably a Human first before she died and became a Spirit, owed to the fact that she is a Spirit with very Human characteristics, a feature that usually only occurs in Naturally-Born Spirits when one of their parents was Human at some point. Based off of reports the Reapers have gathered, her Spirit form is estimated to only be around 320 years old, which is very young for a Spirit of her power. It is suspected that her cause of death when she was Human may have been that she had been burned to death as a witch, as the estimated time frame for her death matches up with the Witch Trails. One interesting thing of note, is that there have been reports of a Wight Queen from before this time period that have been verified to have no connection to Shira. This has lead to the possibility that Shira might have inherited the title of the Wight Queen from another Spirit. Though, whether she killed the previous Wight Queen, or the title was merely passed down, is unknown.

So, what about Shira’s actually role within the story? Well, she wants to form a Pact with Alex so that she can use him as her Spiriter (what the Human is called in Pact between a Human and Spirit). She suspects that with Alex in her control, she will be able to make him into the strongest Spiriter the world has ever known, and that the two of them together would be an unstoppable powerhouse. For what purpose she either wants, or needs that kind of power, cannot be said for certain. The only thing that can said, is that she will stop at nothing to claim Alex as hers, even if that means she has to destroy Kitsiyuna in the process of claiming him. It is for that reason, that Shira should be considered a top level threat to both Alex and Kitsiyuna when the duo crosses inevitably crosses paths with her.

 

Art Post – Here’s Some Kitsune Butt For No Reason

Not caught up on the comic yet? You can go visit the comic’s archive through this link here.

Kitsiyuna Coloring 01.jpg

Here’s a random drawing of Kitsiyuna I did recently just for the hell of it. This one is a little bit unique in that I did it entirely on my computer. No pencil involved at all.

Also, you can get a pretty good shot of her ass in this picture as well. So there’s also that…

Not so much focus on her chest though, unfortunately. Oh well, a Boobs-and-Butt Pose this one is not.

Anyways, my monitor is still pretty wonky, but I’ve managed to find a temporary fix that at least lets me still use the damn thing without pulling my hair out, so that’s also a plus. (Though it still turns itself off at inconvenient times, so obviously I still need to get a new one)  Also, there’s just one page left for me to draw before I’ve gotten them all finished… At least paper wise. Still need to get them all scanned in and edited though, which might take a bit. I’m going to try to get them all done before I upload any of them, so that that way, I can just rapid fire update them, which is a nice change of pace in comparison to the slow burn of updates that I’ve been doing the entire time. That’s probably going to be in about two weeks at the latest  and the middle of next week if nothing else goes wrong.

Just knowing my luck though, SOMETHING is probably going to go wrong…

At any rate, this was more or less just for a news update, and I’ve gotten out everything I wanted to say, so I guess I’ll just see you next post.

 

Art Post – Who Wants Popcorn?

So, I’ve ended up changing up how I’ve been spending my free time lately. Instead of just playing video games in my spare time, I’ve decided to do some extra drawing instead. Unfortunately, none of that extra drawing has been going towards drawing comics for future updates so I can build up a buffer. Hey, what can I say? I’m just bad at time management. Anyways, I finally got around to doing a drawing of characters that I don’t actually have to introduce to you people. So, enough rambling now, here’s what I’ve got:

Eating Popcorn

As you can probably see, I’ve been manning up a little bit lately and have actually gone back and cleaned up the line work of the drawing once I scanned it in, then I actually attempted to do some basic shading. I’ve been doing that for a lot of the drawings I’ve been doing recently, and I feel that they’ve all been coming out pretty decently. Now, with that being said, don’t expect me to be doing stuff like this with the comic anytime soon. Drawing the comics take me long enough as it is (I usually have to take a break for the day halfway through a strip just so that I don’t get bored of drawing it). I don’t need to start doubling that time to finish one. The comic is nowhere popular enough to warrant that kind of effort on a weekly basis after all.

Anyways, on to the actual drawing itself. As I said, I’ve been doing a lot of these drawings recently, and most of them had been of characters from my ideas for other comics not called Night Fox. If I posted one of those drawings, I would’ve felt obligated to go on a long diatribe about that particular character’s backstory, in addition to their role in their story overall. And I’m bad at typing up stuff like that, which is why I post character bios so infrequently. I felt like the recent work I’ve been doing was a visible improvement over what I’ve been doing recently, and I really wanted to post SOMETHING to the blog… So, I decided to just do a picture for Alex and Kitsiyuna. As most of the stuff I’ve been doing recently is just characters doing standing poses, I wanted to change things up a little bit, and have the two of them sitting together doing something. Eventually, I decided to just have them watching TV while eating popcorn, because why not. Basically, there was no particular occasion for this picture. It was just something I felt like doing. Though, if I wanted to, I could say this is to celebrate the fact that I’ve gotten over 100 likes on this blog at this point, even if that technically happened a couple of weeks ago already…

That all being said, thanks for you all helping me get over 100 likes (plus the 20 follows as of this post)! That’s the kind of stuff that keeps me motivated to do this after all! Speaking of which, this week’s comic should be going up on time on Thursday, so that’s something else you guys can check back in for. So until then, I’ll see you guys next post!

Art Post – Night Fox Character Bio #7

Owen Semi-Color.jpg

It really has been a while since I’ve done one of these, hasn’t it? Considering that he’s finally going to be showing up in the comic officially (next week’s update to be specific, as shoehorned an appearance it’s going to be), I figured it was time to give Owen his own official bio.

Name: Owen Hanson

Age: 29

Owen is the owner and proprietor of the shop Offworld Oddities, a sort of novelty shop that sells various goods, some mundane, some as far from mundane as you can get. While he normally just sells what can be generously be described as “conversation starters” to most normal people, those with a discerning eye might also notice that his shop is well stocked in magical equipment and oddities. His shop’s biggest customers are Alex and Kitsiyuna, who regularly order supplies from him. Given that a lot of his business partners are Spirits, the stuff that Night Fox does is relatively normal and mundane to him. Selling gear to Spirit Hunters is just another way for him to get money after all. As a result, he comes off as very eccentric to most of his “normal” customers, adding a veil of mystery to him. That, coupled with his nonplussed attitude towards everything lends him a sort of mystique that draws all sorts of customers to his shop, making what would be a rather unremarkable knick-knack shop in the middle of downtown Lunaridge into a much more successful business than it probably had any right to be. Using the many Spirits who supply him with his “occultic” goods as connections, Owen manages to pick up on lots of rumors and information. This allows him to act as a secondary informant to Alex and Kitsiyuna, giving the duo information on potential jobs that Angel and the Reapers might not know about.

Owen, obviously, is not without his quirks. He always wears sunglasses, even when at night or indoors, because, as he describes it “Is a family tradition”. He may or may not regularly wear a jacket that is secretly lined with bullet-proof Kevlar just because he likes to be “prepared” in case someone might one day shoot him. And he can almost always be seen carrying around a thermos that is filled with hot coffee, as he literally cannot function, in his own words, without it. He is also the youngest in his family, with 2 older brothers who are allegedly both very famous and successful. He has been on record as stating that he had the option to become as famous as both of them, but opted instead to open up an oddities shop instead, because it felt “more his speed”. Of course, he’s never told anyone who his brothers actually were as he would rather become successful on his own right instead of riding off of his brothers’ popularity in addition to dealing with all of the baggage that comes with having famous family members. Whether or not he’s fibbing about all that is something that Alex and Kitsiyuna have never quite been able to piece together. If you really wanted to be cute about, you could say that Owen really is an “oddity” himself.

We’re going to be getting to a point in the comic where some characters I held off on revealing earlier as they were sort of “spoilery” are going to be making in comic appearances soon. So, I guess you can probably expect a couple more bios in the future. Don’t worry though. They’re still going to be as vague in regards to plot specifics as possible though. Anyways, I’ll see you next post.

 

Art Post – Here’s to 1 Year of Night Fox!

1 Year Anniversary

Who can believe that it’s already been a whole year since I started this comic? Well, I can, because it certainly has felt like a year with how slow the comic has been going recently. Hopefully the format change I’m planning will help to pick up the pace and make the comic feel like it’s going at a faster pace. At any rate, here’s were one would normally get all introspective with their work, and think about all that has come to pass in the past year this comic has just been coasting along… I would be doing that, were it not for the fact that I kind of already did that with the New Years post I did 2 months ago, and my thoughts still haven’t really changed since then: though I wish this comic was getting more attention, I’m still glad I finally decided to work to start uploading it to a place where anybody can see it.

Anyways, enjoy this picture of Alex and Kitsiyuna celebrating their 1 year online (I feel I need to add a big woo in celebration somewhere in this post, so I’ll just add it here: WOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!!!!), and in the meantime, I’ll see you next comic… With a different layout this time, no less!