I’m still on the first page! Vote for me at Top Web Comics :D. And I’ll bug you guys even more next week when the counts reset at the beginning of the month. If you ever wonder why I push this, it’s brought more people to this comic in one fell swoop than anything else so far, so if you vote, it actually helps me a lot! Like with any form of advertising, we’ll eventually hit a wall of diminishing returns, but for now, it still draws in quite a crowd.

So, Malaya has decided to assuage her fears with what is probably going to be an incredibly fast jog through the neighborhood. The fun thing about werewolves is that even though Mal can’t drive (because she doesn’t want to freak out and get all werewolfy while driving and potentially explode or something), she can run! A lot! Very fast! So her house being easily five miles from the epicenter of the town/city of Crescent Lake is totally fine. Plus, it’s dark outside so she doesn’t have to worry about being seen and/or mauling someone to death. (Malaya could use counseling.) Anyway, what I’m saying is that I’ve thought a lot about the layout of this town and how long it would take a werewolf to travel on foot and what seems reasonable…because she’s going to do a lot of running around in this chapter.

If you’ve ever wondered what I draw straight out of my brain versus what I use reference for…I referenced almost everything on this page. To be clear, that doesn’t mean tracing. It means that I don’t know what the hell sneakers look like from memory. My search history looks totally whack at this point. “Person putting on shirt.” “Braid bun.” “Putting in bobby pins.” “Looking under the bed.” “Women’s running shoes.” I HIGHLY recommend using references for your drawings. Yeah, it can also be a bit of a crutch, but at the end of the day, your goal as an artist is to sell an image as being believable in its own world, even if you’re drawing Mickey Mouse. I think using references is the one thing that has helped push me ahead as an artist, frankly. Holding myself to a higher standard of detail and accuracy has helped my drawings tremendously. Occasionally in making this comic, I’ve had to overcome some pretty big hurdles in terms of what I thought I knew how to draw versus the reality of what I was drawing. There was a whole period where drawing heads and faces was just infuriating until I broke through it and everything made sense! I kind of threw caution to the wind when it came to stylistic changes, because I knew that was inevitable, and a large part of drawing this comic was working through my drawing issues and becoming a more solid artist. Trying to get into animation for years really fucked up my drawings! I kept trying to work looser and looser, until I lost sight of the structures underneath. Studying animation helped me draw more fluidly and with stronger poses than I would have otherwise, but I had to work through the point where those influences combined with the way I actually wanted to draw things. I think I’ve finally reached that point! It only took a year and a million hours of work! Yaaaaaay.

In life news, my termites are on their way to a firey death! WOOO! I guess the stuff they use now basically infects the colony slowly over time, so they infect other termites and then die themselves. Kind of creepy, actually. So it goes. I keep finding termite wings all over my kitchen so I’m not feeling super sympathetic towards them at this point. I’m cool with the fact that my house is basically made out of spiders, but I draw the line at tiny beasts that want to feed on my 150 year old floor joists.

Also, I got to try one of the best Filipino restaurants in Chicago on Sunday! Isla Pilipina off of Western on the north side. It’s in a very small, slightly gross looking strip mall, but damn the food was good. It’s a good thing that I’m only mostly vegetarian, because almost everything has meat in it lol. (I stick to veggie options because I don’t particularly like meat, but sometimes it’s hard to avoid.) So, that was fun. I’ve been eating out slightly too often lately, so I finally broke down and bought groceries yesterday. Mmm, food. I had to start breaking out the weird leftovers I had in the freezer, and when you’re not sure what you’re eating until you’ve thawed it out, it’s time to go shopping. Or start labeling things, idk.

Anyway, time to eat breakfast and enjoy the hell out of spring. The cherry trees in my neighborhood are finally blooming and it makes for a very peaceful dog walking experience. I fucking love the Midwest and everyone can fight me because it’s great here. (And the corn is really fresh because it comes from down the street.)