The final pilgrimage? January 3, 2012 Posted by Mookie
Gregory and Rachel are either doing that thing where you hold hands with your friend and jump up and down excitedly while squealing, or they're engaged in a friendly test-of-strength. Knowing Rachel, it's probably some combination of both.

I do not expect anyone to remember the last time the Desert of Eldariat was mentioned. In fact, it's only ever been mentioned once, by Hansi Reinholdt, at the beginning of the March Across Maltak. But now that Jayden is off on a dire-sounding pilgrimage to that very place, so it looks like we'll find out more about it.

For all its obscurity, the Desert of Eldariat was an important thing for Hansi to mention. Dominic and Luna had just come off their cruise, where they had apparently seen all the major countries in the world. But for all the "world building" that story had to offer, I still wanted to make sure that there were still places yet to be explored. Eldariat was a way to say, "you've seen a lot, but you haven't seen everything."

That's all from me for now.
Rock on.
It's a new year and Rilian's still grumpy. January 2, 2012 Posted by Mookie
And we're back! Welcome to the new year! I hope you all celebrated appropriately and have come back to the comic in (mostly) one piece.

Last week's "signs from Bort" during my vacation were a spur-of-the-moment thing. I just thought it would be a funny little surprise for anyone who bothered to check the site, perhaps out of habit, while I was on my announced week-long break. I especially enjoyed the responses to this particular sign that were sent to me.

I want this to be a memorable year. In about five months, near the end of May, the comic will be reaching its official tenth anniversary. In the words of Ron Burgundy, that's "kind of a big deal."

That's all from me for now.
Rock on.
Signs, signs, everywhere there's signs...! December 26, 2011 Posted by Mookie
Just a reminder that the comic officially resumes next week on Monday, January 2, 2012.

Bort was kind enough to leave us a sign.

I wonder if he left any more signs for us this week?

Only one way to find out.
To Be Continued... December 23, 2011 Posted by Mookie
I think this is a nice, festive, uplifting image to finish off the year as we head into the holidays. Nothing quite like the return of a bloodthirsty murderer who's been dragged through multiple dimensions and happens to be aligned with one of the most powerful and influential wizards in the known world. Nothing to stress out about.

For those who may have forgotten, the last time we saw the Infernomancer (although I don't think that name qualifies for him anymore) he had twisted Gregory's white magic into his black gauntlet before he was blown to pieces and carried off, piece by piece, by Royal Battlecasters. And both the king and the Beast did refer to "the herald's recovery," though now I think "harbinger" sounds more wicked.

And that's it for 2011! I'm taking next week off, as I do every year, and the comic will resume updating on Monday, January 2, 2012. Have a great holiday, everyone, and thank you for another memorable year!

That's all from me for 2011.
Rock on, and see you next year!
SPLORTCH. December 22, 2011 Posted by Mookie
The first time we saw the king and his hapless lackey he was asking for an update, too. Now we see the king again... only this is the last time we're going to see that other guy. At least in one piece. There's a lot of him on the wall there.

Funny bit of (useless) trivia about the king. I drew him to resemble my best friend, Dave, who at one time sported a very dashing chin-strap beard. Dave no longer has any facial hair, but I recently chopped all my hair off (which I do every few years when I get bored). Prior to that I tried to grow a beard in November, but my ill-fated "Novembeard" had to be modified because my wife didn't like my moustache going up her nose when I kissed her. So I shaved only the moustache, effectively giving myself a chin-strap beard. I didn't realize it at the time, but I now resemble my own comic's most dangerous villain more than Dave does.

I guess I really am my own worst enemy.

That's all from me for now.
Rock on.
I think that's everyone. December 21, 2011 Posted by Mookie
Dominic and Luna's "announcement spell" seems to have made the rounds with everyone who they thought would care that they're married. The exceptions being Hansi Reinholdt and Barnet Travoria, who are preoccupied being the First Knight of Maltak and serving a jail sentence, respectively. Rilian seems to be doing a fairly good job keeping his "Brian" identity a secret from Dominic and Luna.

In further SOPA-related news, further discussions about the bill have been postponed until early next year. Granted, that's only 2-3 weeks away, but at least we can relax (a little) during the holidays. Still, this is not a "victory" by any means and if you love your internet the way it is you should keep an eye on this awful piece of legislation. Should online piracy be fought? Absolutely. But not with this ugly, rotten piece of... ahem.

And now, music in protest of SOPA. It may not be metal, but they're pretty catchy tunes:
"Firewall (Don't Let Our Government Ruin the Internets)" by Leah Kauffman
"SOPA Cabana" by Dan Bull

That's all from me for now.
Rock on.
O the weather outside is Feenix... December 20, 2011 Posted by Mookie
Dominic and Luna's "announcement spell" continues to make the rounds today. I confess that the panels with Milov and Nimmel turned out looking a little more Christmas-y than I originally intended. I guess snowfall and a shining star-like object are reminiscent of the holidays no matter the context. That'll teach me.

Expect to see more of Nimmel Feenix next year.

In SOPA and PROTECT IP news:
Stanford Law Review says SOPA and PROTECT IP are unconstitutional and will likely break the internet if passed into law.

SOPA is supposedly going back into hearings with the House of Representatives tomorrow, so be sure to keep an eye on this if you love your internet the way it is... because this may affect all of us.

Finally, there may be a delay in the updating of tomorrow's comic... because THE OLD REPUBLIC launches today and I may be pretending to be a Jedi Knight all day instead of being a responsible webcomicker and working on Wednesday's comic.

Is "responsible webcomicker" an oxymoron?
That's all from me for now.
Rock on.
The opposite of "Progress" is "Congress." December 19, 2011 Posted by Mookie
I wanted to spend this week talking about the comic and all the characters who are going to make an appearance over the next few days, like Jacob in the final panel there, as Dominic and Luna's "announcement spell" made the rounds. I had planned on talking about what was going to lie in store for the comic for 2012...

...but instead I feel the need to talk about the STOP ONLINE PIRACY ACT (SOPA) and PROTECT IP. I hate talking politics nowadays but I think this is pretty serious. From everything I have heard and read these are dangerous pieces of legislation going up for a vote in the US Congress. Legislation that, if passed, could allow for internet blacklisting and censorship on a massive scale.

Here are some links to help you get better informed:

WTF is SOPA? (aka the American government trying to ruin the internet)
A twenty-minute, passionate but factual rant/summary on what SOPA and PROTECT IP are and how they're going to ruin the internet as we know it. Not only for us in the US, but for everybody.

How SOPA Could Ruin My Life
A article describing how the easily-abused legislation could put someone out of business.

Dear Congress, It's No Longer Okay To Not Know How the Internet Works
Funny title, but an unsettling summary of how clueless about the internet the people in charge of this bill are.

SOPA & Everyday Americans
A great post explaining how SOPA might impact the casual internet user.

This is not me being "right" or "left" in my government opinions. These crappy bills have been put forth by both Democrats and Republicans, so I'm equally mad at everyone in that den of contempt and ineptitude most people call "Congress" (and the Senate, but I've been mad at Congress for months).

If you've made it this far into this news post and you're as worried and outraged as I am, help STOP AMERICAN CENSORSHIP and let your voice be heard about this.

That's all from me for now.
Rock on.
It's about time. December 16, 2011 Posted by Mookie
No big drama. No jokes. No nail-biting cliffhanger. Not even any links to previous comics down here in the news box! Just the moment that everyone who attends a wedding, no matter how impromptu, looks forward to: That moment where two people who love one another seal their union with a kiss.

Would it have been more appropriate to have this comic be the very last update of 2011? Possibly. Dominic and Luna's engagement has been a long one and Gregory's "it's about time" remark reminded us all of that. This could have very easily been the last update of 2011 and it would have been an effective end to the year... but there's still one more week of updates to go, which means there's still a little more to come. Will it be joyous or ominous? Only one way to find out.

That's all from me for now.
Rock on and have a nice weekend!
Kiss the BRIIIIIIIDE!! December 15, 2011 Posted by Mookie
I enjoy these comics that close out the year. The opportunity to do memorable things arises, like getting Dominic and Luna engaged and, as we see in today's update, finally getting them married... albeit in a very impromptu (and metal) manner.

And as Van Canto has proven, you don't always need guitars to be metal.

As far as Luanian philosophy and the prophet Luana goes, we'll go into more detail about them next year. For now, I think it was enough for poor Jayden to finally speak again.

That's all from me for now.
Rock on.
*SNIFF* December 14, 2011 Posted by Mookie
Today's comic was originally going to have Luna gushing over Dominic in the same manner that he did for her in yesterday's update. I was going to have it mirror a similar moment of gushing to Melna from It's My First Day, but ultimately I didn't think it worked for today's comic.

I think this is funnier. A cry of this magnitude, when your tears are so thick that they obscure your vision and your sobs are so heartfelt that you can't form a coherent sentence, is good for you every now and again. And hopefully it's because of something really happy, like realizing the depth of your love for another person.

And while she doesn't cry as often (or as comically as she's doing today), Luna has had a lot to cry about:
Realizing her mother doesn't love her.
A bout with low self-esteem.
Thinking she's worthless and weak.
Losing her sister.
Realizing how brutally she was almost killed by Urban Eddie.
Betrayed by someone she considered a friend.
A good cry with an old friend.
Discovering an unpleasant truth.

She's come a long way.

That's all from me for now.
Rock... *sniff* ...on!
Awww. December 13, 2011 Posted by Mookie
If you thought yesterday's comic was sickeningly sweet, I'm sure you'll find today's even worse (or better, if you like this sort of thing). And just to warn you, it only gets worse tomorrow (or better).

Dominic has certainly gone through quite a change himself over the years. He used to be a grouch who felt bad for optimists and generally hated the world. But I'm a firm believer that regular snuggles (and more) with someone you care about will cheer anyone up.

That's all from me for now.
Rock on.
Affection and Animal Man. December 12, 2011 Posted by Mookie
You can pretty much expect gooey romance like this from now until my annual holiday break at the end of next week. So if toothache-inducing sweetness isn't your cup of tea, I'd recommend just coming back next year. I was planning on having more displays of romance and affection throughout the year, but more Beastly matters took the spotlight.

And for those of you who like linky reminders to past events in the comic...
Dominic almost died in the Storm of Souls.
Luna was actually dead for a few moments during The March Across Maltak.

Finally, I didn't get a chance to hit the comic book shop until this weekend and picked up last week's offerings of comic books. Of everything I picked up, I must emphasize how much I love the new ANIMAL MAN series. I rant and rave about it every month and I can only barely contain myself from doing so again. Like Atomic Robo, I highly recommend this series. It's an excellent read.

That's all from me for now.
Rock on.
Good thing he looked. December 9, 2011 Posted by Mookie
I was originally going to show a little of what Dominic saw when he used his second sight to view his future wedding, but in the end I decided that your imagination is much more gruesome than anything I could portray. So I leave Dominic and Luna's blood-soaked wedding horror to you.

There are only two weeks of comics left before I go on my annual holiday break. The last comic of 2011 will be on Friday, December 23 and will return on Monday, January 2, 2012. I'll be spending that week with my family and friends, and gearing up for what I hope will be a memorable year for Dominic and company. There may or may not be crummy filler up during that time.

That's all from me for now.
Rock on and have a nice weekend!
Strength, scrapped stories and scarves. December 8, 2011 Posted by Mookie
If this comic was written a few years ago, Luna would have spent a few panels in sorrow, regret and tears as she dwelt upon her dysfunctional and dangerous family. Now it's just a bitter stare into the distance, a snide remark, and moving on to happier subjects... or at least trying to, what with The Beast on her mind. Luna's gotten much stronger over the course of the comic's history.

Luna's father has only been mentioned once, and a long time ago in the comic's history. He was going to be the center of a story called An Unlikely Visitor, but I ultimately scrapped that story. A bit of Dominic Deegan Trivia for you there.

Dominic Deegan scarves sold out in under ten minutes yesterday! If you didn't receive a refund and an apologetic email from me shortly after you ordered, then your order went through and your scarf should be in the mail by the end of this week.

That's all from me for now.
Rock on.

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