WoB Talk

February 21, 2014

It Never Rains: Font

Filed under: Uncategorized — Kari Maaren @ 11:21 pm

In It Never Rains news: I have created a font based on my own handwriting so that I no longer have to fight a losing battle against my own perfectionism (which, oddly enough, never leads to perfection) when doing the lettering for my comics. Seriously, my lettering technique was ridiculous. I was ashamed to tell people about it. When I started West of Bathurst, I just lettered the damn comics. Then I started “improving” the lettering in Photoshop. Then the “improvement” evolved from the occasional tweak to a full-scale resculpting of every. Single. Letter. It took hours. Frankly, it took longer than drawing the comic did. I knew this was very silly of me, especially as the lettering ended up crooked half the time anyway, but I couldn’t stop.

I think it may just be time for me to move to computerised lettering. To ease the transition, I have made my own font (with an online font creator discovered by Errol Elumir; thanks, Errol). In the paragraph below (which is actually an image, so it should appear unaltered), you can see what it looks like and read more about my strange, strange approach to lettering.

(And yes, I have also posted this message on stupid Facebook.  There are too many places to post stuff now.  It hurts my brain.)



February 18, 2014

It Never Rains: Header and Trailer

Filed under: Uncategorized — Kari Maaren @ 11:36 pm

Hello, all.  As I am apparently incapable of going a single day without working on comics, I spent the day after WoB ended creating a header for It Never Rains.  Here it is:


In addition, long-time WoB reader Nur Hussein has made the new comic a little trailer.  It’s available here:

I’m not ready to reveal much about the comic yet, but I’ll tell you that some of those legs belong to characters.  The panhandler is a character as well.

February 16, 2014

This Is the End of the Strip As We Know It

Filed under: Uncategorized — Kari Maaren @ 8:30 pm

Dear Readers:

Well…that’s it.  That’s the final West of Bathurst comic ever.  I made it all the way through drawing and colouring it without losing it, but that seems to have ended now.  I am very, very, very, very sad at the moment.

It’s been great drawing these comics for you guys since 2006.  Back then, I really was planning for the comic to last for about seven years, but seven years seemed like a long time.  It’s a little less long from the other end.

I didn’t anticipate a lot of things about the comic.  I didn’t know Rahim would be important; I didn’t realise Evil Marie would be a character at all.  I did, however, always know that the core of the strip would be Marie and her bizarre friendship with Casey.  I also knew the comic wouldn’t be possible without its setting.  The characters have grown away from Davies College in the last few years, but Davies has still always provided that tinge of otherworldliness the fairy-tale elements of the Casey plot need…or so I claim.  The fact that Davies is based on the genuinely real Massey College does not make it (or, in fact, Massey itself) any less otherworldly.

It’s going to be really hard to give this comic up.  I know I’ve got a new one in the works, but I haven’t really got to know its characters or situations yet, and I’m at the “But it will never be the same!” stage of mourning.  I hope you’ll give yourselves a chance to get accustomed to It Never Rains.  I’m going to have to do that too.

If you want to continue to receive news about West of Bathurst and It Never Rains, please subscribe to the WoB Talk blog (click on “Comments” above to get to it), send an e-mail to westofbathurst(at)gmail(dot)com and ask to be added to the mailing list, or “like” the comic’s Facebook page.  Once I have forced myself to figure out the whole print collection / Kickstarter thing, there will be messages about that too.  (And yes, if the book does eventually spring to life, it will include a segment on the folklore underlying WoB.  People have been asking about that.)

You guys have all been great; I’ve enjoyed getting to know many of you over the years.  You’ve been very encouraging, even when you’ve wanted pretty badly to kill me.

Thank you, and farewell for now.  I too need to cross the long-standing metaphor.

Yours ridiculously tearfully,

February 11, 2014

February 3 – 9, 2014

Filed under: Uncategorized — Kari Maaren @ 10:31 pm

Thus we come to the last seven WoB strips ever.  I shall be spending this week quite, quite upset.  Endings make me sad, and this has been an ending seven and a half years in the making.  I may be a little attached to the characters by this point.

My plan is to finish by next Sunday or Monday, though my other obligations may make it necessary for me to fiddle with the schedule a bit.  The strip won’t end before Sunday; I’ll be aiming to post the final Sunday strip on a Sunday, whether or not that actually works out.  This means that there may be at least one day this week (besides today, I mean) on which two comics are posted instead of one (likely with many hours between postings).  Keep an eye out for the possible double-comic day(s).

After the comic ends, I’m planning to take a two-week break before starting the new strip.  Information about it will be posted on the WoB Talk blog and on Facebook.  I’m not ready to reveal much about it yet, but I can say the following:

1)  It will be called It Never Rains.

2)  The protagonist will be Rose, Barbara Mickel’s eldest niece.

3)  Barbara will not be a major character in the comic, but she will appear from time to time.  She’s Barbara; she goes where she likes.

4)  The story will take place in a universe continuous with the WoB universe, but it is just possible that when strange things happen in this story, they will be rather less maddeningly ambiguous than they are in WoB.

5)  At the moment, I’m planning for this to be a MWF comic, with no larger-format weekend strip except on special occasions.  While I like the big strips, they take an inordinate amount of time to create.  However, I’m also currently planning for INR to be a colour comic.  I go back and forth on this one, as I do actually quite enjoy working with black and white, but I think it may be time to make the move to colour.

I don’t want to reveal anything about the plot yet because…well, you know me.  If I gave things away too soon, you would have no reason to want to throttle me.

Oh, and one more thing:

I am planning a WoB print collection.  I know I’ve said this before, but I’m quite determined to get this done.  It will be enormous and, unfortunately, rather expensive, and there will probably be a Kickstarter at some point, and I’m going to manage this or die in the attempt.  I’m currently waiting to hear back from a graphic designer who will help me figure out the best way to go about the project.

Thanks for your support, everyone.

February 6, 2014

January 27 – February 2, 2014

Filed under: Uncategorized — Kari Maaren @ 9:17 pm

I’m behind again, and I forgot to put up the new comments section, and it keeps snowing, and my apartment is always either too hot or too cold.  Also, WoB will be finished in under two weeks, and I’m sad, and there’s marking everywhere.  Happy February, everyone.

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