Jun 19, 2012 12:00 AM CDT
I had decided to bring Elf Life out of hiatus, and at first began drawing new comics as another continuation, with stories to be framed in flashback. Deja Woo was going to be followed up by an early tale in the life of Baughbberick Lindel.
But it’s been a long time, now. It makes more sense to reset the comics as a whole new series, and assume that readers are reading about Baughbberick Lindel for the first time. This way, I can also avoid the inevitable apology about the weakness of the early archive—the old series was written and drawn by an amateur, freshly kicked out of a warehouse job. Now I have a bit more skill, and have learned a lot from my mistakes.
And so—the first page of Elf Life Zero, which comes chronologically ahead of the rest. New readers do not need to be familiar with the prior comics and stories.
Readers also should not have to read the notes attached to the comics (the archive sets notes ‘off’ by default, while the home page shows them). Notes are an extra feature for those who want it, or a just-in-case explanation you can access if you’re feeling lost. That might apply to some visitors who saw the recent anniversary comic, and are surprised to see us switching gears already.
For even older returning readers: Elf Life Zero explores the childhood and early career of the future “legendary elf hero”, Baughbberick Lindel. Here, he will meet, for the first time, the strange sprite; the powerful fairy Glynhial; the eccentric high elf, Aemus; Akarnis, his goblin mentor; and even Meera, his lost love. The story will be presented in a cinematic form; the old series attempted to be comparable to a novel, and as a result tended to get bogged down in subplots and flashbacks.
In this first “issue” of Elf Life Zero, we will learn some things about the sprites that were only hinted at in the old series, and also discover why Baughbberick is sometimes scatter-brained. It won’t be long before we will accompany a more grown-up Baughbberick on his first journey to the big kingdom of Glynhiallen, where he will meet with mystery, treachery, murder, and tragedy.
Previous attempts to kick-start the old series were purposefully throw-away comedy, pursuing unimportant, silly situations, or were attempts to fill in “holes” and finish unfinished portions—these comics failed to generate any interest or support by a significant number of readers, and so were unhappily abandoned. I hope that Elf Life Zero, by virtue of its relative coherence and thematic/narrative heft, succeeds where prior comics failed.
The flow of comics will ultimately be aided by my recent switch to digital production. I now have a small Wacom tablet, but no longer have Windows or Photoshop, and so I’m learning a lot of new apps/procedures as best I can. Two issues this solves: first, in the past, I could never afford to keep up with the cost of paper and supplies needed to make the comics; second, the digital process helps me better correct for my crossed eyes, which I find has allowed me to badly skew art through the years. This is done by constantly (or as frequently as I can) flipping the art. What looks OK to me viewed left to right often becomes revealed as a disaster viewed right to left. Only then do I notice one eye about a foot higher than the other, that kind of thing. I have done tests on myself, and found it’s almost impossible for me to discern whether things are straight up and down, unless I view them in the contrary position. This is a serious weakness in my art, but one that can be overcome with care and diligence.
Although the expense of paper has been disposed of, I would appreciate it if new and returning readers would consider hitting the donation button in support of the renewed Elf Life series, anyway. One of the many reasons I had hoped to generate more revenue from the old comics was to take care of things like my deteriorating eyesight—I had surgery on my eyes when I was a little kid, and never managed any kind of follow-up. My eyes have since regressed. Now, therapy is considered more appropriate for my problem than surgery, but I can’t afford to do much about it either way. My eyes did resist the problem more when I was able to wear contacts, so that would probably be a first step. My back badly need an adjustable chair. Sitting, especially on our old, hard chairs, has been very difficult since my back injury, more than fifteen years ago. Instead, we only raised enough to keep behind on bills, and kept running into more financial disasters. Now, our bills are lower, but our responsibilities higher, if that makes any sense.
So please help out, if you can!
NARRATOR: Once upon a time there was a world in our shadow, a realm of fairy folk on a nearby astral plane. Its name—Alfheim, the world of elfs, goblins, sprites, and fairies.
A gang of elf brats chase a swarm of sprites.
Characters: The sprites and the elf brats: Trop, Moribund, Sfirdine, Puntchky, Graydluck, and Baughbberick. See the Elf Life Zero character guide.