A Stray to Botaram updates on Tuesday and Thursday. The comic is being upgraded; size and resolution may change.

449: Closer Yet Further
(Eni stands in introspection, talking with Kuu whose spirit resides in his body.)
Eni: Kuu… I… You are my staunch ally and friend, Kuu, but we are in a dire situation…
Kuu: …and so it is not a good time to discuss why you find me burdensome.
Eni: I… wish you would not put it that way.
Kuu: Eni, for my part I wish that I was not forced to say these things, and that I had my own legs to carry me. Who wants to be a redundancy, a distraction?
Comrades who do not agree may cover their discord with soothing words or stirring deeds, but this no longer works for us. We are forced to be so close that it drives us further apart.
You are right, there will be better times to discuss this, but it must at some time be done for the good of us both!
Eni: You also are right, Kuu. We will find the time. We must come to accord to reach Botaram together.
I am sorry. I know in my mind that you do not mean to cause friction and delay, however the voice of my heart may speak to be overheard by you.
I just feel that one more distraction would break me –
Uemai: (shouts suddenly) EHDEN ZHUN!!
Eni: Oh, what is this now?!
Kuu: What now!?

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I’ve been in a loop lately which goes like this:

1) Fail to get an entry done in time.

2) Having failed with the last entry, I stay up until 3 AM supposedly trying to get the next entry done, but actually I just spend the time goofing off and thinking around it until I’m too tired to do anything.

3) Be exhausted / busy with other tasks all next day, which causes me to…

4) Fail to get the next entry done in time.

It’s possible that I’m trying to push the story in a direction that it doesn’t want to go, and my subconscious is rebelling. I’m going to try to straighten all this out this weekend and get it jumpstarted by Monday. Until!

UPDATE: I think I have it figured out now. Watch this space…

UPDATE UPDATE: Next entry in progress. It should be up in an hour.

Accidental Faces

I’m back at work on Botaram but still missing deadlines, so here’s some more filler art in the meantime.

The faces that appear in Chimmer are usually created deliberately by me, and it’s an easy process, as the human eye is already predisposed to try to see faces in random assortments of objects. I have a small palette of Chimmer objects, and I usually shift these about until something looks facelike, then tweak it to make it more obvious.

It happens sometimes as I sort through my general shape palette that I find faces already made, which arose without any conscious intent on my part as I shuffled pieces around for other purposes. I have collected a few of these below.

The one by itself on the second row consists of two shapes, one being the most unusable shape in my original palette. I don’t think this face arose by accident, but my sleep-deprived brain thinks it’s worth including anyway. So here.

Recess – Question

Here’s a question I missed from Hamachisn’t:

“Why does Chax think the station was protecting Aun alone from the foe? Was not Chax in equal danger?”

Aun seems to have been the target of the attack by the “Nocturnal Migration,” as he attacked them when they scared him out of sleep. Chax did eat of the flesh that Aun cut off, but this probably went unperceived by the N.M.

Additionally, Aun feels that he’s being called by something to investigate deeper. This ‘call’ took the form of a rumbling noise from the ground. Aun and Chax don’t know yet what the source is, but the chances are fair that it’s some part of the station.

Chax does not perceive this call directly – it’s not his fight, though he has volunteered to aid Aun.

Taking all these things together led Chax to assume that the station is more concerned about Aun’s fate than Chax’s.

Recess – Sowth Winds Bwow!

I am on dialup right now, thanks to tropical storm (née hurricane) Irene. I should have a proper update ready tomorrow.
UPDATE: Jonas didn’t ask any questions in his comment, but I extracted two that were implicit in what he said.

Will Botaram ever be collected in book form? Probably so. I have kept the layout in a book-friendly format from almost the beginning. At some point I plan to revise the story (more on this in a later update) and I will likely set it up for on-demand publishing at that time.

Will it ever be famous? My guess is that it won’t. Botaram isn’t something I do for notoriety, and i don’t expect to ever make any real income from it. I’m telling a story that matters to me, and I am pleased that it matters to some other people as well. If nothing else ever comes of it, I will be content.

That said, it would help me to know how many of my readers would like to see Botaram in book form, and (while we’re on the subject) how many might be interested in related items. For instance, I have had a pair of Botaram t-shirts in mind for a while, and I considered having a custom set made for me, but if others would be interested, I can alter my plans. If anyone would like to comment on this, please do so below, or use the contact info on my profile page.

As always, thank you very much for reading!

Recess – Planning Sketch

Botaram is usually composed start to finish in Illustrator. However, when no computer is handy, I take notes with what’s available. This sketch was drawn on a placemat at the Morristown Diner in early September of 2006. It constitutes very rough layout notes and dialogue for entry 5, “On Deeds”. I apologize for my atrocious handwriting.

This is the entry where I decided on Aun’s name. He appears as “Aut” here, which could mean anything, and I suppose that’s why I changed it. While composing the entry in Illustrator, I decided that something else needed to happen in the background, so I quickly made a flying critter to land on the tree. This is how the khirrik was born, and at the time I had no idea how important it would later become to the story.

In the last panel, Chax reminds me a bit of New Jersey.


I apologize for interrupting the story at this point, which will leave both Chax and the reader in suspense, but I need to take a short break from Botaram to refresh my mind and work on a few story matters.

I will continue to post small updates of Botaram-related content on schedule; these may take the form of notes, drafts, text updates, rough scribbles like the one above, or answers to reader questions. If you wish to ask a question, please leave a comment below, or send an email via the address on my profile page (also below). I expect to resume regular updates on September 8th.

Thank you very much for reading this story!