Regrouping

That special kind of stealth where you crash around and yell a lot

Page 121: Regrouping

Back on the ground and back on track! If they can all stop bickering, that is… (Somebody should muzzle Erroneous. That would help.)

Aaaaand now I go hole up and spend several days animating complicated bits of faux-3D photorealistic machinery that I thought wouldn’t need to be animated but now the client insists that everything should move… *sobs*. So I may be cranky and discombobulated for a bit. But hopefully I can still keep up with two pages a week… (I hope. Damn, just when I was getting back on track.)

Free Lunch?

Let's take a trip to Tanstaafl!

Page 120: Free Lunch?

Somehow we keep coming back to the subject of lunch, and somehow the lunch is forever elusive. I should just rename this comic “Wayward Lunch”.

(Maybe I shouldn’t write this stuff when I’m hungry…)

Weird Noises

Singlebeeste: Not Making Friends

Page 119: Weird Noises

Um, yeah. I should think you guys would notice the weird noises by now. Might I suggest you take the hint and maybe clear out of the area while you still have all your limbs…?

(*derp* okay, guess I muffed Thursday’s update… Sorry, I was traveling, that always throws me for a loop. But the holiday/family/travel stress is all done now. Back to normal work and ever-growing-to-do-list stress. I can handle this, right?) (Right. Sure. Yup.)

Hanky Panky

Can we survive the innuendo?

Page 118: Hanky Panky

From bad to worse: stuck in a tree with an omnivorously lecherous fairy… Mez is not having a good day. Thankfully the fairy’s boss is on the job. (Carnage has a very low tolerance of Erroneosities… And a gun. Two guns.)

Erro: Hiiiiii~ Let me into your personal space…

Mezereon: Closed body-language! Closed body-language!

Mission Accomplished

Convenient hair...

Page 117: Mission Accomplished

Erroneous is a significant factor in Mezereon’s antipathy to the Wrecking Crew… The antipathy is obviously not mutual. Mr. Fairy Fingers is glad to be friends with anyone remotely good looking. (Yes, for those who have had the good fortune of not meeting Erro elsewhere, he’s a partial fairy – in every sense of the word.) (And not the friendly little sparkly kind, either.)

And we’ll try and go back to our usual schedule of two pages a week next week… Hopefully things will be settled to comparatively normal by then.

Holiday Special: Christmas Queen

Ho ho ho! And jingle jingle!

Christmas Queen

We take a brief interlude from our usual shenanigans for a holiday announcement from her Majesty:

Her Majesty hereby decrees feasting and festivity for all, with unbridled frolicking and unlimited pie, countless cookies, and cakes in abundance! Let cocoa be quaffed and capers be cut! May adventures be concluded and commenced, and may everyone stay up way past bedtime!

(Regular page should be up later tonight. If family doesn’t get too much in the way. Otherwise, tomorrow.)

A Territorial Beestie

Aw, whatsamatta, don't you want to play?

Page 116: A Territorial Beestie

Aw, don’t you want to be friends with the big scary version of yourself? No? I guess the world isn’t ready for a doublebeeste…

In other news I’ve delivered one game beta to my client, am scrambling to finish another while trying to sort out holiday plans, and now I’ve caught a cold and don’t feel like doing anything but chugging tea and sleeping. YAY. Um, does anyone mind if we sort of stay with one page a week until after Christmas? What with the holiday chaos and deadlines (still, ugh,) and this stupid cold, I’m not sure I can handle two pages a week through all this…

And Then There Were Two!

Evidently not a gregarious species

Page 115: And Then There Were Two

Remember, there’s only one Singlebeeste. Until now. Existential crisis ahoy!

Gratuitous Striptease

Dude needs a shave and a haircut...

Page 114: Gratuitous Striptease

Okay, I finally got a moment to get the next page up! (Taking a break from fixing bugs and tweaking animations on this endless crazy job…) First time I’ve missed a week, agh… I’ll try not to let that happen again, sorry! Work deadlines have been getting way more overwhelming than usual.

Anyhow! Yes. I think we can guess what Erro’s plan is now… Will it work? We shall see! And for those of you who haven’t met him already in previous comics, yes, Erroneous is not only shifty but shapeshifty. In other words, he’s totally BAD NEWS. (For those of you who have met him, well, yeah, business as usual, ain’t it…)

Elusive Varmint

Everything's better with squirrels!

Page 113: Elusive Varmint

Carnage is not a happy camper. Not even squirrels can help. But Erroneous has a plan! Maybe…

(Yes, absurdly off-schedule again, sorry, there was Thanksgiving, and then there was a pile of work-related tasks to slog through… Uuuugh, ALMOST done with this crazy project. Of course these jobs always get craziest near the end, so bear with us here.)

(Weird random techno is getting me through this week. Wheee.)

Oh, I forgot to mention! I’ve added paging to the archives, so it should be a bit easier to navigate through past pages now. I haven’t styled them yet, so currently the paging links are really small links way down at the bottom left of the archive pages. (I’ll pretty them up when I get time.)

Weight Lifting

Aw, it's just playing!

Page 112: Weight Lifting

The collection grows! With a hefty addition! (Okay, now I think it’s just having fun…) (That is one strong Singlebeeste.) Cudgel is not known for his smarts. His main job is carrying the baggage. And hitting things.

Collecting Nuts

Squirrels don't have horns, you silly vampire...

Page 111: Collecting Nuts

Four nuts in a tree! Now they can play a round of bridge! I think the Singlebeeste is collecting nuts now… Only it knows why. Possibly to amuse it through the long Winter months?

Simple Solution

That poor terrified tree!

Page 109: A Simple Solution

Simple solutions from a simple mind! (Iris is not the brightest of the bunch.) I fear for that poor tree… It’s no match for an addle=pated axe-wielding vampire!

I have a feeling Mez is enjoying this on some level. Payback. Snark for snark.

Join the Party

Just dropping in!

Page 109: Join the Party

In which a third joins the arboreal card party… Deal him in, he’ll be hanging around a while!

I’ll admit it, I totally forgot about Thursday’s update, hence why it’s up today instead. Whoops. Sorry about that. I’ve been juggling too many deadlines this week, I’m not sure where my head is at anymore… (Should be done with this crazy job next month, though. Maybe things will settle down a bit then. I hope so, because I’m REALLY behind on buffer pages now and need to catch up.)

Pesky Interloper

Yip! Get off my lawn!

Page 108: Pesky Interloper

They forgot to reckon with the reason WHY their beleaguered colleagues are up a tree in the first place… Irritated territorial furry woodland creatures! LARGE irritated territorial furry woodland creatures.

And yes, Erroneous gets around. And yes, Iris is that short. Or Erro is that tall. Or both. And none of the crew is terribly helpful when the boss is in trouble, apparently.

Professionals

These people are not exactly chummy...

Page 107: Professionals

Mez and the Wrecking Crew do not get along, can you tell… And is that ominous foreshadowing? Or simply more looming absurdity? (Absurdity is a good bet around here.)

Also it’s my Birthday. A fancy-schmancy dinner is already on the agenda, as is a certain amount of goofing off. And there had better be cake somewhere on the horizon.

Chumps and Trumps

They have a reputation...

Page 106: Chumps and Trumps

Mez may not be cheating, but that squirrel is sure as heck up to something… Keep an eye on that squirrel! (Apparently a deck of cards is essential equipment when traveling about the Randomain… You never know when you’ll be stuck up a tree with nothing to do.)

(Page delayed on account of migraines. Again. Argh.) (This is getting seriously annoying…)

Instructions

Don't mind all that racket in the background...

Page One Hundred and Five: Instructions

Yes, Carnage has a lot of weapons. He likes to be prepared. And when you’ve got employees like he’s got, heavy-duty weaponry is a useful management tool. At present he’s toting two guns, a sword, a spiky mace, a knife, and as much ammo as he can carry.

Business Call

Multitasking with a vengeance!

Page One Hundred & Four: Business Call

That’s what we call multitasking! And yes, the “business” the Wrecking Crew is currently engaged in is another Saralactra job (and directly related to the methods by which she gets the means to pay all these people.)

Easy Bargain

Living up to their name...

Page One Hundred and Three: Easy Bargain

The Wrecking Crew at work! They have far too much fun at their job. The thug with the gun is Carnage, boss of the Wrecking Crew. Cadaver is floating in the foreground, officially dead but still on the job whether anyone wants him to be or not. Erroneous and Iris are having fun with decapitation in the background, and in the way back is Cudgel looking for something to whack. (I make no guarantees about the accuracy of that gun. It’s sort of a hybrid revolver, based on a mish-mosh of various old revolvers. Probably a custom one-off, mass-production is rare in this world.)

(Sorry this is so late! Yes, I’m still in grisly deadline mode, stuff is due Monday, waaaaagggh…)

Meanwhile, Mayhem!

This, friends, is what we call a melee...

Page One Hundred and Two: Meanwhile, Mayhem!

Introducing… The Wrecking Crew. (Two of them, anyway. The other three are on the next page.) Just doing their job, which is mayhem-for-hire. On the left with the axe, we have Iris the addlepated vampire. And on the right, Erroneous, who is… well, let’s just say he lives up to his name. THINGS ARE GONNA GET MESSY. XD

As some of you are probably all too aware, Iris and Erroneous have already featured in extensive non-canon adventures in various tournaments. You can find them all on the “Miscellany” page. For those of you who’ve already met these guys, well, now you can see them in their native habitat! For better or worse. XD

Also, sorry for the delay on this page, I’ve had massive work deadlines for the past few days. Truth be told I have massive deadlines through December, so updates may get even more out-of-synch than usual for a while. You can keep track on my Tumblr if you want, I post teasers there whenever a new page goes up.

Who Do You Call?

Professionals at work!

Page One Hundred and One: Who Do You Call?

Who do you call when the hired help is up a tree, out to lunch, and in the dark? THE WRECKING CREW. Or… no. No, don’t call them. Really, don’t. Bad idea. NOTHING GOOD WILL COME OF THIS.

(People who have been following me on DA might have an inkling of what – or who – is coming next. Or can figure it out, I’m sure.) (THIS IS GONNA BE FUN.) Fair warning: the next few pages have considerably more gore than anything so far… (which is to say, there is some.) (Okay, a lot.)

And I swear I would have gotten this page up at least several hours earlier if I hadn’t been wrestling with my dratted tablet. Grrrr. Pro tip in case anyone has the same problem I was having: if your Wacom tablet doesn’t seem to know when you’ve lifted your pen off the tablet and keeps “sticking” or lagging or dragging trails after you pick up your pen… Well, it might just be a sticky pen nib. What you do is take the nib out, maybe clean it, maybe also bang your nibless pen on something to dislodge any grit that might have gotten inside, then put the nib back in and give it a good push to make sure it’s all the way in. The tip should give a little when you press it on your finger. If it doesn’t, try taking it out and putting it in until it does.

Ineptitude

Now what did that poor squirrel do to deserve getting yelled at...

Page One Hundred: Ineptitude

Nope. Boss isn’t happy at all. You’re one step away from being demoted and replaced by a squirrel, guys. Also, 100 pages! WHOO! Thousands more to go! WHOO! (And I’m still hoping to get a splash page up after the next page, before we cut to the next scene. Didn’t get aaaanything done this weekend because family was visiting.)

(Haha, so much for sneaking a page up in the morning when no one was looking… I got a barrage of client emails and the morning went downhill from there. Whoops.)

Up a Stump

Just hangin' out with the squirrels...

Page Ninety Nine: Up a Stump

Or rather, up a tree… With a squirrel friend! Perhaps the squirrel can be trained to fetch?

And it looks like page 100 is imminent! How’d we get there so fast? Hmm, I was hoping to have a splash page up to mark the hundredth page, but between work deadlines and relatives descending on my apartment I’m not sure I’m gonna make it quite in time. Might have to put something up around page 101 instead (that’s a better break point anyway.) (And oh man, the stuff we start getting into after page 100… Ooooooh maaaaaaannn. This is gonna be FUN.) XD

Plan B

How about Plan C...?

Page Ninety Eight: Plan B

Things are looking… up? Maybe? Or have we fallen out of the frying pan, into the tree? Either way, the squirrels are annoyed.

Nooo!

No, not the hat!

Page Ninety Seven: Nooo!

Noooooo, Peziza’s lost Mezereon! And herself! And her hat…! Er, this mission could have gone better, perhaps…?

And yes, I’m afraid I’ll have to leave you with that until Monday… (Will try to get Monday’s page up ON Monday this time. Otherwise we’re all stuck with cliffhangers.)

Hold On!

Pilot Error

Page Ninety Six: Hold On!

NO HOLD ON! D: Yeah, if anyone was wondering how he’s still hanging on, well… he’s not.

URGH. Way later than usual, sorry about that… This WAS supposed to be Monday’s page, but combined deadlines and migraines threw me for a loop. Uh. I guess there will be two pages today, then, one in the morning and one in the evening? (Ugh, I’ll get back on track again I swear, but I make no promises until the current job is over. There’s ALWAYS some crazy job with crazy deadlines around this time every year .)

Evasive Action

Co-pilot Abuse

Page Ninety Five: Evasive Action!

Um… Just hang in there, Mez… For dear life… ^^;

DERP. I… totally forgot about Thursday. Sorry!! Got distracted by too many other projects, and then got further distracted by going to a talk by Greg Manchess at the Society of Illustrators. (Which was admittedly loads of fun.) By the way, if you’re anywhere near New York, totally check out the Greg Manchess exhibit at the Society of Illustrators, God DAMN can that guy paint. Makes me wanna go paint my little socks off. (Why oh why do I have so many other non-painting projects I need to finish right now, grrrrrrrr…)

A Small Oversight

Doomed!

Page Ninety Four: A Small Oversight

Whoops, time for Plan B? You could throw food at it, that would be a sufficient distraction…

The Getaway

RAWR!

Page Ninety Three: The Getaway

Well, this mission could be going better…

To the Batborg!

To the batmobile!

Page Ninety Two: To the Batborg!

A slight hitch in the plans… I think Peziza’s official slogan may become “Run now! Think later!”

Yeah, sorta delayed… I’m still recovering from IlluXCon. I totally failed to plan for this year, but I made it there on the very last day and ran around in a mad dash trying to see everything. I bought way too many books and prints and chatted with a bunch of Really Cool Artists, including Donato Giancola, Michael Whelan, Julie Bell, Roger Dean, Mark Zug – who needs to make an art book dammit, Tom Kidd, Kinuko Craft, lots of other amazing people too numerous to mention, including some ConceptArt.org homies who I’d never met in person, so that was fun… I was running around on no food and an incipient migraine, though, so I was probably pretty dazed and incoherent. I’m not even sure what I said to Roger Dean, I was fangirl-spazzing and talking too quietly as usual and he was hard-of-hearing, so it was a strange conversation. But still, OMG Roger Dean!

Awesome show overall. I wish I’d had a chance to catch some of the talks and demos and other events, though. I really want to try for the full five days next year. (I also wish I’d brought a portfolio along – some people asked what I do, and it’s easier to show something than describe it, if you know what I mean.)

The bus ride back was grisly and left me with a full-blown migraine that lingered on through Monday… But it was all worth it! (Note to self: eat before the show. Or pack a lunch.)

A False Step

Can't a beestie sulk in peace...

Page Ninety One: A False Step

In which it pays to look where you’re going. Yes, that’s the same Singlebeeste that devoured her Majesty’s lunch (it has to be, there’s only one.) It has returned! Or rather, it never left. It’s likely been lurking in the undergrowth nursing a burnt tail all this time. (Poor abused tail. First fire, and now clumsy booted intruders.)

Sneaky Business

Sure, these guys are professionals...

Page Ninety: Sneaky Business

In which our antagonists demonstrate elite ninja skills! (Hey, these guys are occult engineers, not assassins, what do you expect.)

(Page ninety already? Uh, I better go draw more pages…)

Regrouping…

Guys... Hey, guys... Might want to get a move on...

Page Eighty Nine: Regrouping…

Hey guys, now would be a great time to take another trip…

Oh, and I think this is the end of the really awkward older pages. From page 90 on we’re finally into the pages drawn in 2011 and later. So I can stop cringing quite so much when I look at them, heh. (Not that I don’t see dozens of little nitpicky things I want to change in newer pages, of course I do. But on the older ones I look at them and have to fight the urge to redo the whole thing.) (Typical comic artist woes, I know.)

Change of Plan

Voomph!

Page Eighty Eight: Change of Plan

Special delivery, right on time! Will our antagonists finally get a break? Will anyone in this comic ever get a break? We shall see!

Okay, I have no excuse for being late this time. Except Labor Day weekend, I guess. I’m afraid I spent it painting and slacking and watching people cavort in feathers and sequins (Labor Day is basically time-shifted Caribbean Mardi Gras in my neighborhood. March is too cold for prancing around nearly naked, so they have it in Summer instead.)

Special Delivery

Behold the chipmunk of doom!

Page Eighty-Seven: Special Delivery

Well now, isn’t this convenient… For some people. Other people may soon be inconvenienced. The chipmunks will be entertained either way.

(And man, I think I drank too much blackberry cider today… Feeling kinda tipsy. But we still have no fridge, so the cider is sitting out and it keeps exploding, and what can you do with an exploding cider jug but drink the cider?)

Bug Collection

Bugs, the fuel of the future!

Page Eighty Six: Bug Collection

World’s most inefficient fuel supply, right here! At least it’s sustainable, I guess.

Sorry about the delay, there, I had a bit of a domestic crisis on Monday and Tuesday. Namely, the refrigerator inexplicably dying all of a sudden. In the middle of a heatwave in August. Yep. So there was much panicking and scrambling around and trying to salvage the food and trying to figure out if this was something dumb that I could fix and then running around trying to locate the superintendent when I found that it was beyond my scope… And of course the super took one look at it and said “need a new refrigerator.” So now I’m keeping food in makeshift coolers and boxes and waiting lord knows how long for a new fridge. Whee.

Turtle Phobia

Good lord take a chill pill already...

Page Eighty Five: Turtle Phobia

Guess this will be a short sightseeing trip… Vitalia doesn’t seem keen on giant tortoises. Don’t see why not, they seem interested in her. (She does seem to be getting the hang of that gizmo, though. Sort of. Eventually. Give her time.)

Dynamic Scenery

Frank Brandywine, not-so-helpful tour guide

Page Eighty Four: Dynamic Scenery

The risks of sightseeing in the Randomain: there’s a chance the sights will see you, too. (And no, Frank has no clue what “Gamera” is… That would be after his time.)

Vitalia Catches On

Something looms...

Page Eighty Three: Vitalia Catches On

Okay, yeah, the girl is a bit slow… To be fair, though, she’s been getting bounced around between worlds – that can be rather disorienting.

And is that a portentous looming shadow creeping up…? Could be!

Bug Rustling

Not the most efficient refueling process...

Page Eighty Two: Bug Rustling

Oh, there’s been a whole series of flying experiments, and Mezereon regrets being involved in all of them… Someday I should retroactively design the Hootmobile. Or find some excuse to introduce a Hootmobile Mark II.

Fun fact! Once upon a time in another story in another universe an earlier version of Peziza did in fact have a mouse-powered vehicle… Back then it was a souped-up flying motorcycle; but then Harry Potter came out and it had a flying motorcycle too, so I kind of ditched the flying motorcycle idea after that, because people would inevitably associate it with Harry Potter.

Downsize!

No need for a hangar, a shoebox will work fine!

Page Eighty One: Downsize!

Why yes, the Bugbat is a convertible! Roomy enough for all your nefarious group outings, but converts to a convenient and portable shoulder-perching size! Can be fueled quite cheaply with any assortment of local bugs! Friendly and articulate, if limited in vocabulary! The ideal companion and ride!

What, not sold yet…?

Bugs

Bad hair day?

Page Eighty: Bugs

Of course it runs on bugs! What else would a batmobile run on? A perfectly plausible energy source! However it seems to have a few… bugs in the system. *slapped* Can you tell this isn’t the first Peziza contraption that Mezereon has survived…

(And look, Monday’s page is up on Monday for once! Just barely. I would say I’m done with deadline mode except right smack in the middle of posting this I got a frantic client call with a bug report… aaaaahahaha, guess we’re not out of the woods yet. Dammit.)

Mayday!

Ouch! Bellyflop!

Page Seventy Nine: Mayday!

In which the inevitable happens… My entire cast should really invest in crash helmets.

(Pff, so much for getting back on schedule… The client on the gigantic never-ending project came back with a big long list of changes, so that totally tanked my week from Wednesday on. Oh well. NEXT week, maybe.)

Down and Out

How about sideways?

Page Seventy Eight: Down and Out

URF. Delivered beta versions of a batch of games yesterday, now I’m slowly emerging from the deadline haze of the past month… So have a badly delayed page! In which we see what happens when you develop an experimental flying vehicle with inadequate beta testing.

Hey, maybe we can get back on the Monday and Thursday schedule again! I’ll try for it, anyway. As of tomorrow.

Rock ‘n’ Roll!

Team of Doom!

Page Seventy Seven: Rock ‘n’ Roll!

Forth, minions, and fetch her! Surely nothing can stop this formidable (?) force! Not when the promise of triple pay is offered! Nothing but, you know, minor accidents, absent-mindedness, petty distractions, that sort of thing… And a perpetually moving target.

Calling All Agents!

Could we have any more magic mirrors...

Page Seventy Six: Calling All Agents!

The wild goose chase is guaranteed to get wilder, now that kidnapping is on the agenda! And the Red Witches get a shiny new target to chase after, they’ll like that.

(Wargh, I would have had this up in the wee hours of the morning but then a major client crisis struck.) (And now I have more deadlines as a result… AGH. IT NEVER ENDS.)

A Device

Boss Lady is Happy

Page Seventy Five: A Device

Okay. NOW things are going to get messy. (Side note, I think this is one of my favorite bits of dialogue so far.)

(Okay, probably could have gotten this page up last night, but the Tiger Lillies were doing their Ancient Mariner extravaganza in my park, which I had to see, because, come on: dark and kinda psychedelic and has giant smoke-breathing sea monsters…? Yep, right up my alley! So that pretty much blew my evening…)

Real News

Haaaaiiiirrrrrrr......

Page Seventy Four: Real News

Featuring Mezereon’s hair. Behold! The plot thickens! Into what, we’re not sure, but hopefully something tasty and complicated, with a side of cheese… And a lot of hair. Augh. THAT HAIR. Inking Hell, I swear. And it’s only gonna get worse from here.

(And yes I know the schedule for this week is all bolloxed up. Have patience, the end of crazy deadline mode is almost in sight…)

I’ll Be Damned

Binoculars!

Page Seventy Three: I’ll Be Damned

Off again! And this time, there are unreliable witnesses…… This can’t be good.

(And yeah, sorry for the extra super late update, I’ve had frantic deadlines all week. But I’m almost done with this job that’s been eating up all my time, so hopefully we’ll get this comic back on a more reliable schedule soon…)