Strip #851 was the first time I've ever drawn Kira with puppy dog eyes. She isn't in a "pleading for forgiveness" mode very often, obviously. More often, she's wanting someone else to plead for forgiveness.
I referenced photos of sad puppies in an attempt to get this right, but I don't think I did. I think she looks more like she's about to pass out. Anyway, after all these strips, that was the first time I'd ever attempted that sort of expression for her, which I thought was interesting. After 851 strips, you'd think that I would already have given her every possible facial expression. But no.
I guess we all compartmentalize to some extent, but for Kira to say she never does anything to hurt anyone ... wow. Let's see, she's blasted a wide variety of people and monsters, she's intent on ending Toby's career, she rained down thunderbolts on her old schoolmates, and don't even get me started on her relationship with Ulf. Her talent for compartmentalizing is even better than her talent for magic.
Her conscience sure has plenty of material to work with.
Sorry I missed the Dec. 10 update. I got a new PC and I'm having trouble getting the file-transfer process to work. So I couldn't upload that update. I hope and expect to have it resolved in time for the Dec. 17 update.
Unfortunately, what's going to happen is that the webcomic is going to end. I'm really sorry about this, but it's getting harder and harder to find the time to produce the strip, and there are some other writing projects which I want to pursue. It's been a long, enjoyable run, but it's going to come to an end pretty soon now.
Thanks for the webcomic, I only began reading it somewhat recently. It is a nice and simple webcomic, with great humor and being very enjoyable and easy to read. And I think the art is nicer than you may give it credit for; while likely much less work compared to some other comics which may take 20 hours or more to draw a single page, it is very easy to see what is happening, the action, the characters and their feelings, emotions and facial expressions and the like, and there are a considerable number of webcomics where it sometimes can be difficult to figure what is going on or where you do not get as much information from the panels (including when the webcomic in question has more "detailed" or realistic art). Besides, I really like the drawing style itself, it works really well (I used to read comics like Asterix and the like at the library when I was younger, and enjoyed that greatly). Also, 12 years of continuous updates is very rare for a webcomic - most webcomics end long before that. The comic also seems to end on a nice note, with Toby and Kira having married.
I hope you will let the comic stay up, though there is of course server and other maintenance costs - I do not know if you have considered simple ads regarding that, though I hear that ad revenue has decreased over time.
On a side-note: Would you be OK with maybe offering a download of the archive, maybe for I guess 5$ or so? I have seen some webcomics disappear over time, servers crashing and data getting lost, and similar, and it would be nice to have a download of the comic. I fully respect it if you do not wish to do so. I would like to pay for the download, however, mostly to give something back.
Very glad to hear that you've enjoyed the webcomic. I've enjoyed doing it, too, and I really regret that I've got to call a halt to it, but my days are getting filled up to the point where I just can't do it any more.
Thanks for your kind words about the artwork. I'm mainly a writer, not an artist, and I really struggle with the art, trying to make it look at least halfway decent. It's definitely improved over time, I'm glad to say. I cringe when I look back at the first 100 strips or so. I can tell you, though, that it takes me a long, long time to draw anything NEW (for example, putting one of the main characters into a new pose), because I have to keep reworking it and reworking it over and over until it looks right. So I reuse old art whenever possible. A real artist wouldn't do that, but hey, I'm not a real artist.
I intend to keep the archive up for at least a year, probably longer. I'd be happy to provide a download of the strips, but I'm not sure how to do that. Maybe you can give me some pointers? And no need to pay me, I've got a good job that pays well.
Thanks again for the kind words, and it's great to hear from you!
Regarding uploading the archive, I think the biggest challenge is to package the comics somehow.
First off, if you have the images collected in one folder together, that would make later steps easier, I believe - selecting the images one by one when you work with them later would probably be a real bother with so many images. If not, it would probably take some time to extract them all by hand unless you have a good idea on how to do it - I think I can figure out something automatic that would be easy simply given the website as is, and then send the collected images to you (I am a programmer myself).
Letting each image be its own separate image and then create a zip-file from them is straight-forward if you have all the images stored in one place. That said, it would probably be a good idea to add one or more watermark to the images and maybe a copyright notice on the images themselves. Searching online, there seems to be a large number of applications for adding watermarks automatically, though I do not have experience with such myself. On Linux, ImageMagick also has some features for that, see http://www.imagemagick.org/Usage/annotating/#watermarking for more information, for which you can take all the images and place text and watermarks on them, for instance bottom center.
Even for the PDF option, it may still make sense to add a watermark to the images first. I have heard about different kinds of watermarks: Some are simply text, while others are a specific image; the ImageMagick link from before describes someone adding the same small dagger image to each image as a sort of alternative watermark.
I can also give it a whirl with a few of the images if you would be OK with it, and see how it turns out. If it goes well, and you think it looks decently, I can then download and package all the comic images from the website once the comic is over and then send the final result to you. But you might also want to do some or all of the steps yourself if you would prefer that - among others, playing around with these things can be fun - assuming of course you make back-ups of all the parts that you are going to work with before you start and don't change or delete anything. For instance, something simple like having the folder containing the images, and then making a copy of that folder, and then only working on the (copied) images in the new copied folder, such that if something goes wrong or the images turn out badly, you can just make a new copy of the old folder and work on that instead.