The Chronicler Returns.

The Chronicler - thumb.jpg

A familiar face walks in and sits down next to the fire. This face is older, with a few more lines and a bit more greying at the temples and in the beard, but it is him. How can this be? He disappeared almost two years ago! Some say he died, some say he burned out and walked away, and some say that he has been imprisoned in a troll’s den these past months. Whatever the case, he has appeared again, ready to continue his story and tell new ones.

He looks over at you and says, “Now then, where did I leave off.”

Your eyes are not deceiving you! This is a brand new post in the The Chronicler’s Notes! I have been gone for some time and have a lot of catching up to do but I am indeed back and ready to get back to it.

First off, let me say thank you to all of you who waited patiently and supported me while I was away. I never stopped thinking and writing about Chronicle, but life got in the way of producing a weekly comic strip. Let me answer a couple of questions.

So, what specifically happened?

Well, lots of life changes. The first was that I got a new job (again) that required a lot of focus as I got into the groove there. My children started school and suddenly we had homework, Cub Scouts, and piano lessons at night! Finally, there was my health. I was finding it harder and harder to stay awake at night to even be able to work on Chronicle. I would literally fall asleep with my stylus in my hand and wake up two hours later with no progress to speak of.

So, what changed?

The good news is that most of this has righted itself. My new job is great and I have lots of co-workers who support my comic. My kids are getting older and becoming more self-sufficient. They’ve also figured out that I’m a comic artist and want me to draw more. My health - well, I’m losing weight and have been diagnosed with sleep apnea. I’m getting it under control, but there’s still a ways to go.

I started writing for Meeple Mountain, a tabletop gaming news site and that stirred the creativity a bit. Go give them some love, they helped me get back on track and are great people.

Also, I just got back from GaryCon XI where I was able to talk to so many wonderful people about my work and they were genuinely interested and wanted to check it out. With that kind of energy boost, now is the time to get back into it.

So, what can you expect from Chronicle?

  • First, weekly strips as often as possible. I can’t guarantee there won’t be a gap, but there won’t be another hiatus if I can help it.

  • Second, I really want to put out more of the RPG material that I’ve written for Chronicle. I have converted most of it to Dungeons & Dragons 5th Edition and want to share that with people.

  • Third, new stories! I have a few ideas for Chronicle stories outside of The Chronicle of Thieves. Which leads us to the big one…

  • Chronicle turns 20 years old this year! This all started out as a self-published comic book back in 1999 and has been building ever since! To celebrate, there will be some 20th anniversary material showcasing Chronicle’s roots. More to come on that down the road.

Starting today, there will be a new strip each week and it will begin with the “lost last strip of Chapter 3.”
I actually drew this last strip before I headed off to interview for my new job and I never got around to publishing. That was quite the cliffhanger to leave you guys with!

Come back again next week for an all-new Chronicle strip with some surprise guests!

See you then…


Chronicle Returns in Two Weeks!

The first chapter of Chronicle is finished!

With the Haven Thieves' Guild thoroughly dismantled, what will Autumn do now? What happened to Elias and the Adventurers? Who made it out of the Brotherhood's raid alive and are Thalin and Elysia doomed to prison... or worse? Find out soon!

Chronicle will return in two weeks with a new corner of our world as we are introduced to a couple of new characters in an interlude tale called "A Tough Crowd in Toryavik."

In the meantime, I will be posting up preview sketches and artwork on tumblr. If you follow me on social media (and why aren't you?!) you'll get those updates as well.

Finally, I want to thank everyone who has supported Chronicle. We're averaging about 150 page views a day. That's a tiny number on the internet but to me it's huge. That means people are reading it. Every retweet, every share, every reblog, and every +1 really means something. It's a lot of work to get a weekly strip out when you have a full-time job and a family. So whenever I see someone share my work woth their friends it tells me that it's worth it. So, thank you all very much!

The Chronicler's Notes - "Where's the Content?!" - August 18, 2014

Greetings Chroniclers!

I know it's been a bit since we did one of these, but I wanted to let you know what's going on with the site.  Things have been pretty light lately because of some real world changes. As most of you know, Chronicle is a side venture for me. I do have a day job and recently I've been interviewing for a new job. So, my spare time focus has been brushing up on the skills necessary for that new position. Well, it paid off and I got the new position! I start a week from today and am really looking forward to it.

What does this mean for Chronicle? Well, until I get a schedule down, things may continue to be light around here. I'm committed to a weekly strip and will continue to do so. It's priority number one. But, that means if I get behind on the strip then things like the Character Codex may not get a weekly update while I'm finishing the strip. That being said, there WILL be a Character Codex this week and maybe a Fun Art Friday even! *gasp*

The upside to this is that I can cover Chronicle expenses better and maybe get some merch going if there's an interest! 

Hopefully, this is just a temporary change and once things have settled down with the new job, Chronicle will be up and sailing better than before. I love doing this and I love seeing your responses to it! 

As always, check back in, follow us on social media, and spread the word!

Have a great week!

The Chronicler's Notes - Five months in and many more to go! - June 30, 2014

Greetings Chroniclers!

Preview of Chronicle 24

Preview of Chronicle 24

Welcome to another week here at Chronicle as we close out our fifth month! I want to thank everyone who has continued to support Chronicle and help it grow.  As always, I want to let you guys know how things are doing. We leveled off from the huge month of May and seem to be cruising right at 5,000 page views. That is fantastic in my opinion. For such a young comic I am very happy with that number.  We passed our 10,000th unique visitor this month and are averaging about 2.5 page views per visit, which means that people are curious enough to click around before leaving.

So, heading towards the half year mark, what does all of that mean? It means that Chronicle has found its footing and is going to keep going. We will most likely hit the end of Chapter One by the six month mark.  I had written out this first chapter and thought I would see where the comic went. If it got some attention, we would go further. If not, hey we gave it a good shot. But, there is definitely some attention. So we will wrap up Chapter One soon and keep moving forward!

One of the things that I have had trouble with was a good descriptor for Chronicle. I usually say it's a fantasy rpg based webcomic. But boy is that a mouthful. Instead, I have found a term that fits it very well: Swordpunk. What is swordpunk? Well, better that you ask G. Derek Adams, author of Spell/Sword and James D. Cormier the writer who tipped me to the term through the r/fantasy Subreddit. Basically it's fantasy that is aware it's fantasy and has fun being fantasy.

When I read these two blog posts, I had a moment of clarity. I understand my goal for Chronicle a bit more. I still want to build a world and I still want to breathe life into it, but I don't want to get so mired down in the mechanics and details that I forget to write a fun story. I want to take those fantasy tropes that have sat so long they have grown moss and roll them over exposing something fresh rather than toss them away. I think I've already done that some and will continue to push that envelope.

Finally, I've had a lot of people ask me if their kids can read Chronicle. Absolutely! I grew up with fantasy that could be read by everyone and I want to continue that tradition. There is a time and a place for "grimdark fantasy" like Game of Thrones and I love it. But I also love it when my young cousins or my friends' kids say they're enjoying the comic.

So, what is Chronicle? All-Ages Swordpunk, has a nice ring to it.

The Chronicler's Notes - Biggest Week Ever! (and then karma comes along.)

Greetings Chroniclers!

Wow! We broke all the records last week! Over 700 page views on Thursday! Over 6000 page views for the month and we still have a week to go!

Thanks to everyone who stopped by and if you have come back for more thank you especially!

Of course, when Chronicle's biggest week ever happens, something has to happen to even that out.  There has to be balance in the Force.  So, my computer died.  I've drawn Chronicle so far on an old HP tx2000 tablet PC.  It never had a lot of power but it did have a Wacom Touchscreen and it worked great with Manga Studio. It was clunky and heavy, but so am I!

On Friday, the second power adapter in 3 months blew.  I rushed a third power adapter (thanks Amazon Prime!) and plugged it only to discover that the Wacom screen was dead.  I had been having a lot of trouble with it coming on after a power-off.  So, I was keeping it in sleep mode when not using it.  With the power adapter shot, the battery died and that was that.  I spent an hour trying to get that screen to come back on. Nothing.  The data was fine, no art lost (cloud backup, kids!). But I had no way to draw the comic and get it to you guys.

First ( really ) quick sketch of Autumn on the Surface Pro.

First (really) quick sketch of Autumn on the Surface Pro.

So, I got a new tablet.  A Surface Pro 2 (I know the 3's are coming, but I couldn't wait).  It's fantastic.  I'm sure many of you have heard Mike Krahulik over at Penny Arcade rave about these things so I won't go into great detail about it.  But, let me assure you, as a small time cartoonist who is not getting free hardware, Mike's on the level.  It does everything he says it does.  I couldn't afford the 8gb RAM models, but I have yet to notice any problems with the 4gb. This thing is much more responsive than the old HP, so I have to retrain my hand a bit.  So bear with me if the art shifts around in quality for a bit.

The thing is this came at a tight time in my family's budget. It had to go on a credit card (with no interest for a year, but still).  It was worth it to continue doing something I love and to bring something that clearly people seem to be enjoying (almost 200 direct visits last week!)

But, I have to put my hat out there again and ask that if you truly enjoy what I'm doing, then please consider clicking on the Tip Jar button or at least one of the Google Ads at the bottom of the page.  Even better, let me learn this great new tool by drawing for you!  Go buy a character sketch from the Artist's Shop.  It's cheap and I would rather do that than launching a crowdfunding campaign (which I had planned to do in the second year).

Tip Jar

Also, SHARE, SHARE, SHARE!  Follow me on Tumblr, Twitter, and Facebook. Re-share those posts and let's recruit even more Chroniclers!

Again, thank you all so much for coming here and seeing what I do. It fills me with encouragement to see so many people from all over the world looking at my art.  I wouldn't still be here if it weren't for that.

Thank you.