How often do you update?
Every Monday. My RSS feed provider died a while back, and I'll get a new one back up... sometime? Seriously, email me a suggestion if you have one. But there's also a Facebook page
and my twitter account
through which I announce the new pages as well.
How can I contact you?
My email account is: earthsongsaga( at )gmail( dot )com. Just a warning though, I'm kind of sporadic when it comes to answering email - I might reply tomorrow, it might be a month or so. But please do email! (After you've finished reading the FAQ, that is) I love hearing from my readers. It kind of amazes me that really real people read my comic!
Where'd all your fanart go?
I have a rather large backlog of fanart sitting in my email account, which is awful and mean of me. I had started putting up the fanart I've received over the years up on a deviant art account, which can be found here
. However, I only got about a third of the way through before other matters got in the way, as they so often do. This was several years ago. I'm still
not on top of it. So until I find the time to properly put up the art I've already received, I won't and shouldn't be accepting any more.
Thank you very much to all those of you who have sent me fanart! I'm so sorry that it hasn't been shown the love and respect that it deserves!
Could I add you as a friend on Facebook?
I'm flattered that you'd like add me, but I have say no
. I post a lot of personal stuff on Facebook that I don't necessarily want to share with the world at large - I know a lot of other comic artists use their personal profiles as another fan page of sorts, but that's not what Facebook is about for me. However! I've always got the Earthsong FB page
if you'd like to
follow along with me somewhere other than the comic.
I wanna see your old vote incentives! Where'd they go?
I put up old vote incentives worth keeping around in my deviantArt account
. Check'm out! Aside from that, if you miss an incentive, it's gone for good! Sorry!
What's up with Nanashi, a Japanese human, wearing Indian-inspired clothing?
This is due to Nanashi's pre-Earthsong backstory, which I intended to have come up in the comic proper, but had to cut due to time constraints. In case you're curious though, here's a summary of it:
Nanashi's father was a trader, working for an important lord, and travelled primarily between Japan and India. One time, a deal went badly, forcing him to abandon the goods and return empty handed. The lord, not being a particularly reasonable individual, punished him by killing his wife in front of him and their young daughter. He fled with Nanashi to India, barely escaping. Nanashi grew up there and her father taught her how to fight as best he could. He hated knowing that his wife's murderer went unpunished, but was more worried about keeping Nanashi safe, and so they stayed away. When Nanashi became an adult, she told him that she was returning to Japan to get justice for her mother, and her father, though hesitant at first, was glad she wanted the same thing as he did.
They journeyed back to Japan and made their plans. They snuck into the lord's house at night and confronted him. Nanashi struck him down, but when she turned to rejoice with her father, she saw that one of the lord's guards had killed him. The anguish she felt then was what triggered her soulstone formation and sent her to Earthsong.
So there you have it! That's why Nanashi is wearing more typical Japanese clothing in the Genesis flashback - she had travelled back to Japan and was blending in. And that's also why she wears Indian-inspired clothing for most of the rest of the comic - that's what she grew up around and was used to wearing. Her red outfit is a modified salwar, btw.
I've always wondered, just how nasal IS your voice?
I've done a few podcasts where you can learn the answer to that question AND hear about my comic making process, various facts about the characters, plot, etc. Check them out if you're so inclined!
Do you take commissions?
I'm not currently accepting any, but if
hell should ever freeze over I ever get any spare time, I might consider reopening them.
How do you make your comic?
~ I use Photoshop CS3 and a Wacom Intuos3 6x8" tablet to make the comic pages ~ Tutorial coming... one day.
~ I use Dreamweaver CS3 to create the html/css/php pages of my site. I'm an utter amateur at making websites, so I really can't offer you any advice on this subject.
~ Earthsong is hosted by a personal friend of mine - if you're looking for hosting, I'd suggest ComicGenesis, DrunkDuck, Webcomics Nation, SmackJeeves or any of the other many many comic hosting sites out there. I have no further advice than this. Honest.
Do you do link exchanges?
Sorry, but I don't. This isn't because I don't want to - it's because I ALWAYS forget to put them up. Always. And if I don't put it up, you think I'm some kind of jerk when I'm really just forgetful or busy. So I'm going to save you and me some grief and say "no exchanges".
Do you have an actual copyright for your comic?
I sure do! Copyright infringers beware! I have the legal means with which to bust your insidious art theiving ways!!!
Note: If you are looking to get a copyright for your own comic, I would recommend that you go to your local government website or library to get the appropriate forms. That's all I did!
Do you have any tips on drawing and/or writing?
Um, not really. I'm not a professionally trained artist or writer. I've just learned from trial and error over the years. But since that isn't a particularly useful
answer, here are some sites I'd recommend:
Can't you spell properly?
Canadians spell things ye olde British waye, and since I happen to be Canadian, this means that I don't spell quite a few words the same way that my largely American audience does. For example:
- The "u" in colour, favour, honour, etc. is supposed to be there.
- Words such as "realise" and pretty much anything ending in "-ize" in your spelling get a "-ise" up here.
Those are the only differences I can remember right now, but they're the big ones.
Now... that doesn't mean that I'm impervious to the occasional typo, so if you spot one feel free to drop me an email. Politely though please - I don't like being hounded by the grammar police.
You keep mentioning an "original version" of the comic - what's that all about and where can I see it?
got about 20 pages into the Revelation
chapter before it was completely redrawn for publication. Even though publication was no longer an issue, I decided to stick with redoing the whole comic because, well, it needed
But you'll have to take my word for it because it is no longer available online. Having both versions available was only serving to confuse people about how the Earthsong'verse worked since I changed quite a lot about soulstones, etc. The characters were also given a much needed overhaul as well.
Note to owners of Volume I: The link to the "Museum" is no longer available for the reasons stated above. Please do accept my apologies for removing one of your bonus features, but I hope that you'll understand why.
How long has Earthsong been online?
Earthsong's first page was put up on June 8, 2004. And with the exception of a birthing a couple of babies, it has run continuously since then!
I'm thinking of starting up a webcomic myself and I was wondering if you have any advice?
Here's all the things I wish I had known before I started Earthsong:
Have a complete script done before you start.
- I sincerely wish that I had done this before I started. It would have saved me from all sort of problems with plot and character development. You'll find yourself scrambling if you don't have your story planned out in DETAIL ahead of time. The worst feeling in the webcomic world is when you get a great idea for a scene that you've already completed and would have worked so much better - plan ahead and avoid this feeling.
Set yourself an update schedule that you can actually keep
-The fastest way to lose readers is to not keep your update schedule. Be it once or five times a week, make sure that you can keep up with it. And, if for some reason, you have to skip an update make sure that you put up a notice explaining - people will appreciate that you took the time to tell them what's up.
Make sure you have a substantial buffer of completed pages before you put your comic online
- This will help you with the previous suggestion. It will allow you to take a break if you really need one or if something unexpected comes up - which it invariably will. Let me tell you... I wish I
had a buffer.
When designing your characters, remember that you will be drawing them ad infinitum.
- It's fun to add all sorts of details and knicknacks to a costume, but don't forget that you're going to be drawing those details over and over and over on each page. You might get sick of it by the second page! So practice drawing your characters a LOT before you settle on a design - you might find that while it's a neat costume, it's a pain to draw at certain angles or you always forget to include this and that.
Keep a Blog.
- Sure, there will be all sorts of people who spend about 5 seconds on your site just to see the new page, but to many others, getting to hear your insights about the comic will make them feel personally involved. It also makes you more accessible to the reader rather than being some omnious entity that churns out comic pages. There are plenty of people who are just as interested in who's writing/drawing the comic as they are in the comic itself.
Join TWC and whatever other comic listings you can find!
- TopWeb Comics
is a popularity based comic listing - that is to say that your ranking on these lists are determined by how many people follow the links on the home page and vote for your comic. I guarantee you that people will not
vote for you, no matter how much they like your comic, if you don't
put incentives up to vote for. Incentives can be anything you like, though bonus artwork will draw the largest numbers.
Give these listings a try: The Belfry Webcomics Index
and The Webcomic List
You should also have the first chapter of your comic up and running before you join any of these listings. People aren't going to be keen to come back if they've only seen the first two pages, so as hard as it might be to resist, hold off on going live with your comic until you've got a substancial amount available for viewing.
Consider setting up a tagboard or a forum.
- These are great ways for people to communicate with you without sitting down to write an email. I used http://shoutmix.com
when I had a tagboard and I was always pleased with the service. Forums are a great way to build a community around your comic and I would highly recommend one if you have the time to put into it and the hosting space to support it. Again though, hold off on starting a forum until you've got a decent amount of your comic up and it's been around for a while. Otherwise it'll be a very empty
Have your newest page on your main site or have a VERY obvious link to it.
- New visitors to your page will just as soon close down the browser as they will hunt for a small link that says something obscurely about a comic being linked here. Keep your website user friendly.
Set up an RSS feed
Most avid webcomic readers use an RSS feed to keep track of the mammoth amount of comics they read. Consider setting yourself up a simple feed to keep them up to date. For the non-webwritin' savvy, this
is the site where I learned how to make mine.
Be prepared to deal with Trolls.
- There is no way that everyone will like your comic. And some of those who don't will be rude and beligerant about it. Ignore these morons, because that's all that they are: morons. Take the constructive criticism - it will only help you, but for those who are seeking to demean you, don't give them the satisfaction of a response and certainly do not take anything they say to heart. You do NOT need to force yourself to read their nastiness in order to prove that you are capable of handling criticism - I have seen too many other webcomic artists destroy their creative self-esteem by doing this. Don't make this mistake. As soon as there is swearing, personal attacks, or demeaning language used, close the browser and forget that you ever read a thing. A bully with their own website is still just a bully.