01-05-2014 - "NEW TRICKS" FOR A NEW YEAR
Happy New Year! Tomorrow begins a year-long stint of consistent Monday updates. My objective for 2014 is to devote as much time as possible to completing Phase Two. It's taken two years to reach the halfway point. I'm hoping to do much better this go-around. Chapters 8 and 9 will fully release this year, along with at least the beginning of Chapter 10.
This chapter is guest written by Jeff Walter. I asked him to pitch a story for Phase Two when I realized that I wouldn't have enough time to write a script to make a January deadline for Chapter 8. His assistance freed me up to finish the art chores on Chapter 7 by Halloween.
When he pitched his idea for a Keris-centric story, my first reaction was befuddled surprise, but he quickly won me over, and upon reading the full script, I became quite excited to draw the pages he had written. This chapter is a little different, in a good way, as I hope you will discover as the pages unfold.
So, thank you to my friend Jeff, and thank you, readers, for your patience as we bring another months-long hiatus to a close. Please enjoy Chapter 8 of UTC!
10-31-2013 - A NEW CHAPTER
Happy Halloween, ghouls and ghoulettes! I hope you enjoyed Chapter 7. The first page was drawn in mid-October 2012. The last page was colored yesterday. Behind the scenes, 2013 has been a crazy year. Getting this comic ready for Halloween was tough but a lot of fun. Now it's time to look at the future, and here are the plans for next year, both on the web and in real life:
UTC will update on every Monday in 2014 at a rate of one page per week. (I may double up pages if it is an important story moment.)
Chapter 8 begins on January 6. It is tentatively titled "New Tricks" and features the long-anticipated/dreaded return of reformed poodle monster Keris Attic. The story is being penned by Jeff Walter, a good friend and UTC's first guest writer!
Chapter 9 will follow in early summer, and in the fall Chapter 10 will conclude Phase Two.
Printed books will release much closer to their on-line debut date via IndyPlanet. (The book for Chapter 7 will be coming in the next couple of weeks. It will include three pages of "behind-the-scenes" features.) I may be able to have a trade paperback collection of Chapters 5-10 ready as early as next Christmas.
I will make appearances at the following conventions in 2014, selling UTC as well as other works:
MoCCA Fest (New York, NY) - April
Albany Comic Con (Albany, NY) - June (tentative)
ConnectiCon (Hartford, CT) - July
AnthroCon (Pittsburgh, PA) - August
New York Comic Con (New York, NY) - October (tentative)
UTC has been the craziest journey I have ever taken as an artist and independent creator. I am grateful to all of you for sticking with this series during its highs and lows, and I value all of the feedback you have offered. I hope you continue to enjoy UTC throughout the coming year and beyond. Until next time, keep changing for the better, and I will keep doing the same!
10-28-2013 - YOU'RE NEVER GOING TO BELIEVE THIS
Actually you probably are. Chapter 7 is being delayed until Thursday, October 31. I didn't make as much progress as I expected this weekend, and will need an extra day to get the complete chapter finished.
I was targeting Wednesday the 30th because it would give those of you who are busy on Halloween a chance to read the story before the holiday had passed. I'm sorry I can't deliver it before Halloween hits.
However, as much as I'm sorry to report the continuation of this unfortunate tradition of delayed schedules, I will say that I am very happy with the chapter as it is turning out. This is the first story since perhaps Chapter 3 that I've been this proud of a script and the first since starting Phase Two that I've felt likewise about the art. I'm well into coloring the pages right now, but rushing through the final pages without giving them more attention would rob the chapter of its deserved quality and rob you of a more enjoyable reading experience.
I hope when you check out the chapter on Halloween, or whenever you plan to read it, that you enjoy it very much. That is my one and only hope for you, one of the most patient webcomic fanbases in the world.
And with that, have a happy and safe Halloween, everyone!
10-23-2013 - THOSE!
Here's the cover to next week's brand new chapter! Come back next Wednesday for a tale of transformative terror.
10-11-2013 - IT'S A TALKATIVE, TALKATIVE, TALKATIVE, TALKATIVE PODCAST
The Chapter 6 Creator Commentary mp3 is now available! You can download it by right-clicking the graphic above, or find it in the audio section. This is the longest commentary yet. I edited it down to one hour from an original recorded runtime of nearly an hour and twenty minutes. You are sure to get a lot of informative stuff in this one. I recorded it in March, when the material was more fresh in my memory, and during the commentary you'll hear all about what worked in the chapter, as well as all of the things that I tried to make work but failed to.
I think I just ended a scentence with a preposition. But that's okay, because I'm not perfect!
10-04-2013 - PREPEROR FOR TERROR
The time has almost arrived. Chapter 7: "Terror of the Jackal" will debut on Wednesday, October 30, 2013!
For the first time, a complete chapter of UTC is going to be available to read all at once, and there will be a few ways you can read it.
First, a free downloadable PDF of the comic will be made available for you to read at your convenience.
Second, the UTC website's archive will treat the individual pages the same way it always has. An automatic update on October 30 will place a link on the main page directing you to the beginning of the story in the archive.
Third, for readers who prefer a real, tangible comic book, the chapter will be available for purchase through the print-on-demand service IndyPlanet. In the past, it has taken me several months to get each chapter up on IndyPlanet. This time, I'm going to work on getting the book ready to go to press the minute all of the pages are finished. The book may be available as early as November 5. It will contain two pages of exclusive content showing sketches and a "making of" breakdown for a sample page from the issue.
Until now, I haven't put a lot of energy into marketing UTC and communicating about its availability. Starting with the new chapter, I'm going to be emphasizing the availability of the printed books for readers. A new section of this website will open called "Store," which isn't technically going to be a store, but it will provide you with an easy way to find and order all of the UTC books through IndyPlanet.
The audio commentary for Chapter 6--recorded in March--has finally been edited. It's an hour-long autopsy of "It's a Big, Big, Big, Big World", wherein I explain everything I did wrong. What fun! That will be available here next Wednesday as part of the lead-in to the release of Chapter 7.
More announcements about the future of UTC are coming in the next few weeks. Keep watching this space!
07-24-2013 - GOOD SHOW, JOE
First, the big news: UTC is officially returning in October--one full year after the end of chapter 6--with a new 22-page story!
Now about today's guest comic: A few weeks ago, out of pretty much nowhere, the incomparable Joe England drew up this amazing UTC strip. I just can't say enough good things about it. If you aren't familiar with his work, you should be. Joe is the creator of Zebra Girl, a webcomic similar to UTC in that its lead female protagonist has been transformed into a hooved freak against her will, and dissimilar to UTC in that it's been running much longer and its hiatuses aren't as excruciatingly long. It's one of my inspirations, as well as being one of the first webcomics I ever read. I've enjoyed seeing Joe's artistic direction grow in new and exciting ways during Zebra Girl's run, and it's absolutely no surprise that he draws my characters better than I can. So read the hell out of it. You have plenty of time. UTC won't be back for another three months.
And in the meanwhile, please try to ignore the fact that I called Joe "incomparable" in the same paragraph in which I drew comparrissons to him.
01-25-2013 - UTC IN 2013
It's been several months since the postponement of Chapter 7. I apologize for the lack of updates, even informational ones saying the wait will be longer. The bottom line is that I am dedicated to continuing Phase Two this year. Chapter 7 is in the early stages of production.
I've learned from last year's mistakes, the most important of which is that holding myself to an unrealisticly fast-paced schedule makes no one happy and damages the quality of the comic itself. Many of you have reached out to me to say that a longer wait for a better comic is worth it, and I fully intend to make good on that notion.
With that in mind, I've decided to change the way in which UTC is presented. Chapter 7 will not be released publicly until all 22 of its pages are finished. There will be no last-minute schedule upsets and no waiting between pages. Over the years, as UTC has evolved from a strip-based webcomic to a full-fledged printed periodical, the way in which I craft the story has changed. It makes much more sense from a production standpoint and a reading standpoint to give you the full story in one go.
I can already tell you that working on UTC has become so much more fun in the past few weeks. Even when I'm not writing or sketching, I'm thinking about the characters and the stories that are coming up. I'm remembering why I wanted to tell this story in the first place, and I'm rediscovering why so many of you love the comic.
As always, I can't thank you enough for the patience you've afforded my efforts to bring UTC to you. I am so excited to reward that patience with the coming chapters.
Once a possible release date for Chapter 7 is determined, I will let you know. Until then, keep on changing for the better!
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