Monthly Archives: Januar 2017

Webcomics: Chapter Two – Things that go bump in the night

I think it’s time to talk a bit about comics again, it’s been a while. As I said before is Hiveworks a treasure trove for great comics and I’d like to introduce you to these two relatively new titles.
I’m not entirely sure why I chose the spooky theme for this though. Maybe it’s because I recently finished reading The Sandman; maybe it’s because I’m already contemplating a Halloween-vacation to Ireland again; maybe it’s because I’ve drafted a sequel to Winter Moon and am thinking about expanding it further; maybe it’s because both comics are seemingly at a tipping point for the narration into something quite interesting; maybe it’s just because I want to write about them.
Take your pick and enjoy the read. 😉

Black Grass

© kino


This comic literally starts with something that goes bump in the night, so it was kind of also the inspiration for the title.
Black Grass tells the story of Reverent Abel Ruby (front) who besides being a preacher is also a medium (according to the description is he also clairvoyant, but that hasn’t appeared yet) and therefore able to interact with ghosts. One ghost in particular – Blue Valentine (back) gets him into a rather sticky situation involving hellish bureaucracy…
What drew me to this comic was pretty much the whole idea of a preacher-medium and I’m certain that DarkFairy’s Coelestin is entirely to blame for this – and I made sure to tell her about it when I discovered the comic (back in May last year apparently o.O) – even if he so far only had to deal with celestial poultry. 😀
Anyway, with close to a 100 pages it’s easy to catch up with this one – and hard to write about it without giving too much away, especially as the narration is quite fluid and fast. The characters are great and lovely and definitely not what you’d expect at first glance, especially Rejean seems to have a few more tricks up their sleeves that I’m quite looking forward to see…
I also really like the art style, the play with colours (especially when including the neon ones) and the way the different characters (humans, ghosts, demons) are designed. It balances well between light hearted humour and serious topics (death, duh) and I’m really curious where the story will lead.

Headless Bliss

© Chloé C


Headless Bliss by Chloé C in turn has a more adult air about it. It deals with nightmares, demons, cannibalism, but most of all: stories; or rather: What happens to the stories a writer abandons?
The Comic tells the story of Sinaj an incomplete story, created by a human, that tries to find meaning in her existence. On her way she encounters demon princess Annùn and the two of them become quite unusual friends. When Annùn’s mother Diov throws a human, that carries around the head of its twin (see picture), into the celebratory battle for her daughter things start going from bad to worse…

With a combination of an intriguing and intentionally „ugly“ (read not clean cut, but wobbly, weird and horrific) drawing style (befitting the genre) and interesting story telling, world building and characters this comic makes for a great read, even if some scenes are quite gruesome and disturbing (especially the tale of the Twins). It’s definitely not for for the faint hearted…
The story telling aspect itself is well interwoven in between the struggles of and between the characters and underlined with fascinating usage of movement without using panels and different kinds of narrative styles. One of the background stories is even told as another characters‘ weird dreams and as someone who also has veeery strange dreams that is something I can definitely relate to.
Interesting thing to know: It’s becoming more and more clear that this story has a larger connection to Chloé’s other work Go Get a Roomie, not just its creator. 😉

Afterword

I hoped you enjoyed this little look into two great webcomics. 🙂
Have you read them?
Do you know others with similar themes?
Let me know in the comments below!
I know at least a couple of other comics with a similar theme, but on the one hand do I prefer focusing on two at a time with these things and on the the other hand do I think that they would work well enough on their own too.
So stay tuned for future updates.
PoiSonPaiNter

© For the pictures lie with their respective creators. I merely used them as example of their work and hope that’s okay.

Winter Moon

Well, let’s start this year with a new story that I came up with during the last weeks of December.
Some of the stuff described in it did actually happen, others not so much. I’ll let you know what is what afterwards. 😉
I quite like the idea and the story, even if I’m pretty sure I messed up some of the tenses, but read for yourself:

Winter Moon

Since the early morning he had sat at his computer at work. He had wanted to go home more than an hour ago, but his current task just kept throwing him in circles and needed to be finished before he finally had his day off. Everything inside of him was itching and wanting to leave. It was getting difficult to concentrate, but he had to.
In the corner of his eye he caught a glimmer of light and he put it aside as just another car driving down the busy road beside his workplace. But unlike a car’s, this light didn’t cease. Curious what it was, he looked up from his screen and out of the window. Staring back at him was the brightly glowing full moon. ‚Nearly full‘, he corrected in his mind and studied it for a moment, especially the craters that reminded him of a face – the man in the moon, as he was colloquially called.
‚Always a man‘, he snickered to himself.
A thing like that should be referred to as a woman. They were the fascinating, alluring and mysterious one of the genders. Men rarely had such grace. He moved his head from one side to the other and the moon seemed to follow him, the glass adding several paler reflections on either side of the glowing orb whichever way he turned. It was stunning and beautiful and he just wanted to go outside and watch it until it would sink again. But he couldn’t.
Fiercely he shook his head. First he had to finish his task then he could indulge the moon in all its glory.
„Just one more day“, he had told himself and returned to work the next morning.
Last night when he had sat on his balcony, a steaming tea in hand, looking up at the bright and glowing moon his mind had drifted to his task and he had seen the solution to his problem clearly before him, now all he needed to do was implement it. He would do that today and then be off into his much needed day off. Even with little sleep he had been here early and with all the extra hours he had put in to finish this, no one would complain if he left a little earlier.
But his plans were thwarted again, this time by his boss. Without much notice beforehand he had scheduled an important meeting right when he was about to leave but couldn’t as his opinion was needed. The meeting dragged on and on and he became more restless by the minute. He wanted to leave, he needed to. Impatiently tapping his foot he could see the world outside the window grow dark. The moon was rising, he knew.
Finally his boss dismissed them and he all but ran into their office, grabbing his things and throwing them in his sling bag.
„You’re in quite a hurry“, one of his colleagues stated mockingly.
„I’m late for my day off“, he only answered with a forced smile. ‘Far too late‘, he added in his mind.
With a short goodbye he finally left.
„I should have taken my bike“, he grumbled impatiently. Pacing like a caged animal he waited for the bus that would take him to his home, so he could start his vacation.
The cars kept rushing past him on the three-lane street and finally he could see the glowing lights of his bus approaching in the distance.
When he enters the bus he is met by the typical stench of Christmas time. The Christmas Market was at its height and the people were streaming to it, even in the middle of the week. He could smell the spiced wine and the rum, the roasted almonds and sweats and most of all the sweat from wearing too many layers on a not that could evening. Making his way through the slightly drunk and well fed people to the back of the bus he puts on his music to tune out the world. Fittingly the shuffle he has put on gives him Full Moon by Sonata Arctica and he decides to let it play in a loop. Through the mirroring windows he sees it, looming high in the sky.
Soon‘, he thinks leaning his head against the cold window, watching the moon whenever it was visible.
The bus drives up the hill his home was built on. When he arrives at his stop he steps out and takes a deep breath of the fresher air. The music is still humming in his ears but he mostly ignores it. The tall buildings block his view of the moon, but he knows it is there. He makes his way to his small flat, choosing to take the back entrance for a change. A pale light streams through the gap between the buildings and illuminates the grass and the monkey bars on the meadow.
He grins.
The moon was already greeting him.
Hurrying into his flat he puts away his work bag and changes into comfortable pants and a wide shirt after washing the dirt from the day off of his body. He then packs a small bag with a bottle of water, a towel and some disinfectant. While he is preparing the microwave heats some leftovers and the soft ping interrupts his packing. Carefully he takes out the food, goulash, his favourite, and makes himself comfortable at his dinner table. Slowly eating his meal he goes through his packing list once again and decides that he has everything he needs.
After he is done, he puts the plate and the cutlery into the dishwasher and grabs his bag. Putting on some light shoes he takes his spare set of keys, only containing the ones getting him into his flat, and leaves.
The winter air is cold, but that doesn’t bother him as he sets out for the outskirts of his district. He sometimes curses himself for living in the city, but his job didn’t allow for something farther out; the commute would be too long. But he still considered himself lucky that he got to live close to the large fields and far stretched forests that lay just outside of the town.
It doesn’t take him long to reach the sports field belonging to the nearby schools and swiftly jumps over the waist high fence. In a dark corner behind the trainers‘ office he stashes away his bag after putting his clothes in there as well. His body shivers and shakes and a low growl escapes his throat as his body shifts. Once more he shakes himself before he runs off towards the fence, leaping over it in one swift move. Running through the silent night he feels the wind in his fur. He doesn’t fear to be seen; he knows how to stay invisible; he knew the way.
Only a little further and he would be on the fields where he could finally howl at the moon.
Call out to the pale and glowing beauty of this winter moon.

Behind the Scenes

So, what do you think? Good? Bad? Interesting? Worthy to be continued?
Anyway, quick overview of what really happened:

  • I was at my computer at work when I saw the moon through the window. It was pretty cool to look at with all those reflections – I really hope I described that well enough – and right beside our office building is a quite busy road.
  • As the renovation now moved to the main entrance I had to use the back entrance and saw the moon light the way I described it.
  • I have a balcony and a microwave, though I probably didn’t use either on that day ( I live far too low to see the moon properly, but it sometimes does find its way between the slits of my shutters). 😀
  • I live on a hill and take the bus to get there – I also have a bike, but it’s collecting dust in my basement – starting from a stop beside the three-lane „Ring“ (circle) surrounding the town centre.
  • I watched the moon appear and disappear between the buildings while listening to Sonata Arctica’s Full Moon in a loop on the bus ride – and used the song as thought-focus while writing and editing.
  • The story was thought up and written during the time of our Christmas Market (the bus stop is directly beside it).
  • There is a school sports field not too far away from where I live and the outskirts with the fields and forest aren’t that far away either – you occasionally can see deer or foxes crossing the street or standing beside it.
  • I like goulash, but it’s not my favourite food and I have a dinner table that I rarely use and a small flat. 😀

And that’s it, everything else is entirely made up, I guess. 😉
I really like watching the full moon and pretty much every time I see one while I’m driving I think about werwolves and how inconvenient it would be to turn into one while sitting in a car – or at work in the stories case. Good thing I’m not one of them. 😀
Anyway, hoped you liked the story.
Happy Birthday to me
PoiSonPaiNter

New Year, new whatever?

It’s 2017.

Happy new Year!

Or at least I hope it will be happy and have lots of good stuff in store for everyone…
I mean after all that stuff happening in 2016, we are in for a treat, right?
Let’s do a headcount:
It was the first complete year with just Dad and me. Lots of ups and downs on that front, but that’s family for you. Still miss her a lot. Don’t think that’ll ever change.
It was the year the house I live in was renovated and my flat decided to take a bath. I still haven’t completely settled in again…
And of course it was the year that took away many incredible people and gave us some quite frightening things to look forward to. Though the people-part is arguable. With a celebrity-focused media like we have today it’s not really surprising that they talk about so many celebrities that have died this year, it’s what they do, but I’m fairly certain that before all this there would still be a time where the famous people you loved growing up or in your adulthood would still die at some point, because that’s life. It just wasn’t as broadly discussed as it is nowadays. Everyone knows the major players in popular culture, so of course we all have our own stories when they face their untimely demise. And with cancer and heart attacks being common disease spread across nations, why would they stop before people like them? Just saying…

But it wasn’t really that bad a year…

at least not for me.
I might only have been on one Concert (Van Canto as far as I can remember) and one Festival (Rockharz), but I’ve been to a couple of other just as interesting things.
I spent nearly two fascinating weeks in London with Janzy. A long overdue visit that couldn’t have been better. I’m pretty sure I’ll tell you about it one day.
I had a pretty fun (and exhausting) weekend of Convention-hopping with Schmusi and AnnaTao when we went from the German Comic Con Berlin to the TimeLash in Kassel (Review 2015) on the same weekend. I got to see James Marsters live in concert and panel and talk to two Doctors and Ace, so that was worth it. And we rounded the whole thing up with a visit to the incredible Wind Mill Museum in Gifhorn.
Two of my stories were good enough to be published on other sites (you’ve read about it during my Advent Calendar). A few others where published here and at DFPP Entertainment. A third story also won a minor writing competition again.
It was a great year for movies, Deadpool, Ghostbusters, Captain America: Civil War and Doctor Strange, to name a few, and I got to catch up with some other movies and series I haven’t had the chance of watching before. I also read more than my usual average of books and even dived into a few comics I haven’t read before.
I wrote a couple of often read posts including my review about Mara and the Firebringer and The Gamers that were (recently) shared by their creators, though the most read ones are still my old ones somehow…(apparently WordPress didn’t do statistics like they did the years before so I can’t link you to an overview here, sorry…)
I also helped fund different projects on Kickstarter, including Nichtlustig-cartoons, Attacking the Darkness post-production and JourneyQuest Season 3. For the latter two I also helped create the German subtitles, which was an interesting experience altogether. Oh, and I also got to coin the Orcish words for „whimper(ing)“ – bawulai(/-lon) and „war drum“ – sabatam (based on „Bawling Baby“ and Sabaton – the band – respectively). 😉 And helped a few artists on Patreon…
Anyway…

What will 2017 bring?

Honestly? I don’t know.
I want to to finally finish a few stories that have been lying around all year while I either finished other stuff or was not in the mood to write at all. There are also a few stories that have a basic outline that I want to complete for a different project to be published with three stories I already prepared for it last year (including The Quest for Ore and A new Day 😉 ) and of course many other story ideas that are still floating around in my head.
Last year (that still sounds weird…) I made good on my self-imposed schedule for a while but then dropped it again after a couple of weeks, so I guess I’ll give it another try at some point…
But right now I’ll enjoy my last vacation days and next week I might be celebrating my birthday (unfortunately not in Dublin at a Sabaton concert 🙁 ) with a couple of friends, we’ll see.

All the best for the New Year!

PoiSonPaiNter