24th Jun 2017, 8:00 PM
The Effulgent Torus
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Shared this message below at the time of posting:
With chapter 1 of VHV done with, let me talk to you about it.
This comic is a behemoth of an undertaking, let me tell you. I first invented VHV around three years ago back in 2014. THREE YEARS! And you aren't even seeing everything of it (unless you dig around in my Deviant Art gallery)!
My entire online artistic career was filled with aimless experimentation and attempted projects that died quickly, whether they were webcomics, fan fiction, or philosophical writing, or even whatever suited my fancy.
I was always just hoping and wishing strongly that something would just once stick. I had tried everything I was even remotely interested in- every tone of story, every subject matter, every format I could manage, and while I would not take away any of it for any reason, it was a lot of learning and very little stuck.
So one night in the summer of 2014, I resorted to prayer. Nothing was working. Nothing was sticking. I couldn't keep at anything and I wasn't strong enough. Only God could give me the strength I had to get this far, and believe me, I begged him with tears in my eyes and shaky breath. Nobody else in the house was awake to hear me, nor would they because my desperate plea was silent.
(Sorry about the purple prose. I'm not saying I didn't feel this way, just that I am a very dramatic person)
God answered my prayer that night. As I laid down in bed and drifted off, I saw four strange little marsupial-type creatures trekking an ancient temple. Looking for treasure, I supposed, but they couldn't find what they were looking for because a giant purple lizard started chasing them. It ended once I went to sleep, but that next day, I went and drew the first ever page of VHV.
It wasn't exactly well formatted or beautiful, but the passion and drive was there, and once I posted it, I knew this project was going to be the one I truly tried to stick to for as long as possible, because the first idea, though only just a touch of inspiration and a nudge in the right direction, did not come from me.
Here it is if you want to see it: https://www.deviantart.com/daaberlicious/art/VHV-Chapter-0-Prelude-OLD-519323507
You can already see the basics developing slowly, and some of the designs are definitely there, although perhaps the detail in the image itself is way too complex, or I did not have the skill to work with it at the time. Whatever it is, it's a start.
Fun fact: Early on in the comic's creation, My twin brother told me that motivation would still be a problem for me, so I made a sort of one-sided bet- If I ever quit VHV for any reason other than A. I die while it's running, or B. I decide the story is finished and does not need anything more, I will give him $200.
That's not a lot to own, but it's a large enough amount that I'd be quite uncomfortable with losing. In some ways, this little bet I made helps me pick myself off the ground after a month of not doing anything with VHV.
I sort of knew that VHV was a serious thing for me at the time, but I didn't truly become aware of it in my gut until early 2015. I had been drawing VHV over on Deviant Art for a while and was quite proud of it until I asked someone very near and dear what she thought of the story as a whole (Thank you, Aunt Lyn!)
She told me it was a little bit of a mess. Things went too fast and she couldn't keep track of what was going on or who was who. This was obviously a problem.
Now while I could have just made up for my past mistakes by writing smarter as time went on, I instead was struck with a special sort of insanity: I needed to re-write all of VHV and do it better.
Now, I was dramatic, but dramatic me would have just quit and let my brother have that $200 while he started something new without much thought for what he was doing, but INSANE me said I had to fix it, that this story was my thing, my big thing in fact, and it deserves to do better.
I scrapped everything and thought long and hard. My interpretations of my own characters had changed- they had grown more developed, more real, so I wrote those ideas in. My setting had gotten more detailed and more precise, so I filled that in with the prelude you see on VHV's website now.
The story now moved slower, characters took a little bit of time to talk to each other, and exposition was even a touch more subtle (save for the first few pages, nobody talks about anything in the setting that is not relevant to them).
But the depth of this seriousness would not come to me until I realized a little less than a year ago that I had to throw away a character I really, REALLY liked.
Andrew Chance had electric powers, was the father of Ardo and Emmi, the spouse of Mia, and an extremely good fighter- the best of the team, in fact.
But Andrew Chance does not exist in the main cast of VHV. Andrew Chance isn't even named Andrew Chance. I don't know what his name is, but he can't have family on Beta-4 because he doesn't live there.
He was great. Admirable in his gentle ways and his strong sense of justice. A good father and a good spouse. But he was too strong. He was in fact, the most important character in the story, and that would not do- It's about a team of adventurers, not one guy and his entorage.
So I had to do something that was even harder to make work- I had to cut out existing pages and replace them with better writing that did not include him, and I had to alter dialogue to not even mention him, and I had to do that gracefully.
It seriously pained me, but I had to make it work, and I'd like to believe I did.
And now we're here. Three years of hard work (and when I was not working, three years of hard thought), Three years of both things just flowing out of my pen and struggling to use any method I possibly could to avoid distraction, and let's not forget how much of that time was spent fighting to pace any scene that had characters talking or, heaven forbid, explaining things.
But now we're here, and to what few who pay attention to my things, be it family, friends, online people whose faces I may never see, or that one fellow on Fur Affinity or Deviant Art who always favorites any picture I put out, or even the occasional person who I respect and admire for what good artistic things they do decides to leave a favorite, or a like, or even follows me...
Thank you for joining me in this private little corner of the internet, where some dude with a graphics tablet decides to draw furries for fun, still hoping that something sparks and dreaming of a day that he could start doing this for a living.
Thank you for your support, be it in your quiet presence in a little number in my followers, or a simple like or a favorite, or even when you decide to call something I made cute.
I would like to become big- The next huge webcomic that everyone is theorizing about, talking about, producing cute or uncomfortable romantic pairings over, but I know that at the very least, if I keep working and keep having the passion, I can make this private little corner of the internet work for me.
And even if nothing big comes of it, I'll still do it-
God gave me the nudge. Why would I not continue?
(...Besides, I would lose out on $200. That's a lot of money.)
Neat "about" story (even if hard to read on a big monitor :P)
I think you successfully chopped the character because it doesn't look like he's missing. Although going with my observation on a different page, perhaps a significant male character helped balance out all the significant female ones. That's the only sense in which it looks like something is "missing" or possibly "off."
Sam and Leo, hopefully, will fill this role as significant male characters.
I'm glad in the end it seems like a graceful fix.