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From the Forums
Posted by News Fetcher on September 20 '13 at 10:00 AM
By Gabe from Penny Arcade:
Tycho and I have a tendency to make our projects a bit ambiguous. We like to leave room for your imagination. Somehow forum user PedroAsani cut right through all our bullshit and nailed the world in just a few lines. It’s too perfect not to post here:

“From what I understand, based on the comics on the site and the Cryptozoics, the three factions have loose affiliations based on their mandates.

Lookouts: protect the village from the things in the forest.

Daughters: protect the forest from everything. Sometimes that means the people in the village.

Thornwatch: protect the vulnerable from the village and the forest.

So sometimes their goals align, sometimes they are opposed.”

I am shocked at how on the money this is. I don’t think we could have ever put it so succinctly.

-Gabe out

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The Tithe
Posted by News Fetcher on September 20 '13 at 09:45 AM
By Gabe from Penny Arcade:
The Tithe continues! We are on page seven today and I can tell you that in total this is a ten page project, meaning it will wrap up a week from today.

I’m feeling super good today and it’s all because of you guys.

The tweets and the emails you’re sending about the Tithe are much appreciated.

Today I even snuck into the forums to see what people had to say about the latest page. I know that “reading the comments” is never a good idea for an artist but I was curious. What I saw made me so fucking happy. The discussion taking place in there made me feel incredible. Seeing people talking about what they think this means, what the motivation is behind the different characters, I could not stop smiling. I even (gasp) posted my thoughts on the Thornwatch and what each of them is about. So many of you are invested in this world and in Hanna’s story specifically. I could not be more inspired to finish up these last few pages now.

< article continued at Penny Arcade >

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The Tithe, Part Seven
Posted by News Fetcher on September 19 '13 at 11:15 PM
From Penny Arcade:


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The Tithe, Part Seven
Posted by News Fetcher on September 19 '13 at 11:15 PM
By Tycho from Penny Arcade:
So that’s the other one. I don’t know how much people like the “after action report” aspect in the post, but I get excited about something like this I want to talk about it. When I see a new page of it, I have to pace around the office and breathe for a little while. I have to. So let’s talk.

There’s also a lot of information that isn’t or can’t be communicated in a project like this, which is why novels are a good fit. I have thus far managed to keep from having a character that is simply a talking book that dispenses incredible wisdom, but I make no promises as to the final draft. The Tithe is about girls who are called, but it is mostly about Hanna. It doesn’t always go like this - a calling can happen when you’re much younger, though not much older. And if you can’t or won’t leave on your own, they come get you. How that goes depends on who comes. That’s how you end up with this kind of stuff:
daughter, daughter

killed her father

look at what her

blood as bought her

Is that even true? Maybe it is. Maybe it looked like that. Honestly, maybe her father had it coming. Maybe there was no father, was never any father, and there’s a vested social interest in “protecting” girls from agency. But there it is again, the idea of culture as a kind of curated misinformation. And this setting basically gives us three lenses to look at it.

An “optimal” Lookout has certain characteristics. Badges, a short blade, you know what’s up. At their truest expression, they are regimented. Given the nature of their task, they have to be. It’s not like that for someone like Hanna, and that’s all I’ll say until the second book.
< article continued at Penny Arcade >

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Video Games
Posted by News Fetcher on September 18 '13 at 09:15 AM
By Gabe from Penny Arcade:
My wife and I have been playing Diablo 3 on the Xbox for the last few nights. We played a bit of the PC version together but both of us agree this is much better. Controlling your character with an analog stick rather than with pointing and clicking just feels better to me. It could be that I was a console gamer long before I ever had a PC but the couch just feels like the right place for Diablo 3. Kara and I are both playing new characters so while we’re covering some of the stuff we already played on the PC we’re at least experiencing it in a new way. If you never played it on the PC I highly recommend you give the console version a shot.

We don’t do PA presents projects for games unless we like them. In this case once we got our hands on the console version of Diablo3 we knew it was something special. So we did a series of comics that you can read over on the official site. This was a really cool project because it was the first time we got to work with Strip Search winner Katie Rice. Jerry and I wrote the scripts and Katie drew them. She’s super talented and the end result looks great I think. If you’re missing the video game comics here on PA you should hit the Blizzard site to read some jokes about Diablo.

< article continued at Penny Arcade >

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The Tithe, Part Six
Posted by News Fetcher on September 17 '13 at 11:15 PM
From Penny Arcade:


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Pins!
Posted by News Fetcher on September 16 '13 at 03:15 PM
By Gabe from Penny Arcade:
The Lookouts pin set that we had for sale at PAX Prime is now available in our store.



Also if you’re interested in picking up the Twisp and Catsby pin set I have a deal for you.



Enter this code:

TNM00n

and get 10% of your T&C pin set. That code is only good for another couple days, so use it quick.

-Gabe out

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Tithe Fan Art
Posted by News Fetcher on September 16 '13 at 11:15 AM
By Gabe from Penny Arcade:
The ammount of fan art I’m seeing for the Tithe is pretty amazing. We’ve never done anything before that has generated this sort of response. I’m getting songs and drawings and stories sent to me every day. I’m hearing from readers who are reading the Tithe with their own real daughters and loving it. I’ve actually walked by offices here at PA and heard girls that work here talking about what flower would grow in their hair if they were a daughter. I am so happy.

Anyway I wanted to share one of the fan art pieces I saw. This is by the very talented Mu (warning her site can be NSFW) and I absolutely love it. She has titled it

“try as you might, they always grow back”



LOVE IT!

-Gabe out

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The Tithe, Part Five
Posted by News Fetcher on September 16 '13 at 10:45 AM
By Tycho from Penny Arcade:
I’m gonna leave his up there; no reason to move it, so far as I can see. We’re both doing the same thing now.

As he suggests, there are stern proscriptions about a Lookout calling the Thornwatch. The three part poem he mentioned lays it out pretty clean. There are linkages between the last page there and the current project, in the form of that archetypal warrior, one of the classes you play in Thornwatch. They’re all playable, really. You’ve got DPS to the left, and hard support to the right. You’re missing a Mage and a Brierlock, but that’s down to the knot she chose. Any of the other three might have demanded a bit more mystical torque.
Even though there is clearly a strong cultural no-no machine telling you not to summon them on what is functionally penalty of death, the same voice also tells you precisely how to do it, and why you would. That’s more or less my experience of culture; warring narratives and fucking nonsense from a circus of spiritual and secular priesthoods that all claim to have it figured out. But Hanna isn’t a Lookout - she’s outside that machinery altogether. She doesn’t know why you might not summon a raft of brutal teleporting oathbreakers, which are arguably worse than the other kinds.
I like the last panel, because, you know, just look at it. But the fact that she can’t have her gloves on for the ritual is probably my favorite part. It really is the weirdest feeling to be a fan of something, but also be the creator of that thing, in a position to make more of it. And we can make it out of nothing but time.

(CW)TB out.

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The Tithe part 5
Posted by News Fetcher on September 16 '13 at 08:45 AM
By Gabe from Penny Arcade:
Page 5 has Hanna scared and alone in the forest doing the only thing she can think of, Calling the Thornwatch. We’ve spoken of them before on the site and even did a little three part comic based on them. The comic was from the point of view of the Lookouts though and they see the Thornwatch as oath breakers and criminals. Boys are warned to never call the Thornwatch no matter how dire their situation is.

In reality the Thornwatch is probably not nearly as bad as the boys think. They are men and women who have left their duties true but they have found new purpose helping those in need. I like to think of them as the A-Team of the Eyrewood. They are summoned by tying a wreath of thorns around a birch tree. The knot you tie (and the blood you shed) finishes the spell that summons the Thornwatch and also informs them of your particular problem.

All of this was cooked up for the card game I created awhile back. It’s a tabletop RPG that has each character represented by a deck of cards. You play as members of the Thornwatch and in fact all three of the characters in today’s comic are playable in the game. From left to right you have the Blade, the Warrior, and the Greenheart. As far as the game goes I’ve decided to re-dedicate myself to getting this thing out so that you can play it. We’re currently exploring a few different options but ideally I’d like to see it available next year.

< article continued at Penny Arcade >

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The Tithe, Part Five
Posted by News Fetcher on September 15 '13 at 11:15 PM
From Penny Arcade:


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The Tithe, Part Four
Posted by News Fetcher on September 13 '13 at 10:30 AM
By Tycho from Penny Arcade:
So, there are some strange things about our division of labor that can result in interesting outcomes.

You can see in the strip that we go into the idea of “becoming” a bit. As much as I like to make up words, we already have a lot of them, and one of them might even be perfect. Like, if it has two definitions for example, and both of them are right. Language is the best, best toy. I’m glad that some people like numbers, so my airplane doesn’t fall down, but that ain’t me.
The breakdown for us typically runs along a what/why/how… trifurcation, I guess it would be. He handles the first, I handle the second, and we can collaborate on the third if needs be. That’s how (as he suggested) the words “Adventure/Song” result in something like this. I was here the whole time, and I’m still surprised.
Specifically, though, he drew flowers in a Daughter’s hair originally because I don’t know why. I don’t know why he does any of the Goddamn things he does. If I had to guess, I’d say that intrusion of color was irresistible to him. But the notion of them as actual plants? That didn’t occur to me until later, and once it had there was simply no other way to think of them. Like a Winterfresh mouth, it is much, much cooler. And it has the added benefit of you being able to choose your flower, something that matters to you. And it’s scary for people to just look and be able to see your secret self. For me, at least, it’s a big part of what I like about Daughters of the Eyrewood.
I love the entire next week of pages, I think you’ll like them too, but the page I specifically want you to see is the one for next Friday. That one gets way, way down into it.
< article continued at Penny Arcade >

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The Tithe
Posted by News Fetcher on September 13 '13 at 09:15 AM
By Gabe from Penny Arcade:
Page 4 of the Tithe is one of my favorites. You’re not always able to get exactly what’s in your head out on the page. On this page though I feel like I hit all the emotions I was after. Here’s a look at my sketchbook for this page.



I mentioned it before but there will be a Hanna pin coming out towards the end of September. This will be a limited run and it will be for sale in the PA store. I don’t want to give away any spoilers but here’s a little crop of the finished artwork, just to give you an idea.



Speaking of pins, if you have not checked out the Pin Pals Facebook page you probably should. They are building a really great community of Pin-thusiasts over there. I’ve also done a few Q&A’s for them regarding Pinny Arcade so they have lots of info over on their page.



And if you love Pinny Arcade or want to get started we still have some of the Twisp and Catsby pin sets in the store. This one is an online exclusive so you won’t be able to buy it at any of the shows.

-Gabe out

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The Tithe, Part Four
Posted by News Fetcher on September 12 '13 at 11:15 PM
From Penny Arcade:


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The Tithe
Posted by News Fetcher on September 11 '13 at 09:00 AM
By Gabe from Penny Arcade:
Page 3 is up today and I have another high res panel for you.



click for big

What you see here is a Mother of the Eyrewood. Here’s a little peek in my sketchbook as I was working on her design.




< article continued at Penny Arcade >

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The Tithe, Part Three
Posted by News Fetcher on September 11 '13 at 03:15 AM
From Penny Arcade:


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Another Verse
Posted by News Fetcher on September 10 '13 at 03:00 PM
By Tycho from Penny Arcade:
Jesus. So, we’ve got tons and tons of people sending in their versions of Hanna’s song from the strip. Like, tons. I could not be more pleased. A capella versions, also guitar, mandolin, autoharp (my mom had an autoharp!), banjo, and I swear to GOD I have a hammer dulcimer version in here. Everybody has their own melody. That means I can hack in another section, and they will have twice as much song with virtually no work on their side. Plus, singing for another person is incredibly scary, and I want to honor that. If she had kept singing, it would sound like this:

Dance, though your mother and father be weeping,

Pull on your hood, you’ve no need of a comb;

Walk while the worst of the forest is sleeping,

And you’ll never have to go home.


(CW)TB

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Our Diablo III Project With Katie Rice!
Posted by News Fetcher on September 09 '13 at 02:00 PM
By Tycho from Penny Arcade:
There are five strips total, but the first one just went up. I would describe this project as deeply, just… fundamentally batshit, and it was a ton of fun to have her take over the art duties.

(CW)TB

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The Tithe, Part Two
Posted by News Fetcher on September 09 '13 at 10:15 AM
By Tycho from Penny Arcade:
I like this poem.

I like poems generally, all kinds. What is included in today’s comic barely fits my own definition, but it’s probably the correct term. People occasionally compliment me on my writing: they will say something like, “I like your writing,” which is constructed in such a way that I cannot wriggle from it. I accept the compliment because my momma raised me right; refusal of a gift is the first sin. But this is respiration for me. This is the sound of me breathing out; I can’t not do it. Though I suppose I could stop, and die.
I know what shape a piece of language has to conform to, and once I have the mold, words just fall into it. The decision I made for the poem, the only cognitive part of its construction, was that it had to invert itself. A lot of poems and songs do that; Fast Car is a good example. I’m writing a song for Kris Straub that does something similar, in that the chorus repeated throughout the song means something different after the last verse. I’m not telling you this to make you think that I am clever or interesting - I’m trying to explain why it is difficult to absorb compliments for what feel like autonomic responses. Most of the words I’m using are just English words, right off the shelf, with the occasional aftermarket mod. I’m not sure I’ve ever done anything that could not be accomplished as well or better with refrigerator magnets.
It might have to be a very large refrigerator, obviously. And you might need a couple packs of the magnets. You get it, though.
< article continued at Penny Arcade >

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The Tithe
Posted by News Fetcher on September 09 '13 at 09:30 AM
By Gabe from Penny Arcade:
I posted ie a while back but if you’re looking for a nice high res version of the first panel in today’s strip here it is:



You can click on that to get the super big version which should work for all your desktop wallpaper needs.

When we did Sand I was pretty much drawing the pages just a day or so before they needed to go up on the site. This didn’t give me much time to work out ideas ahead of time. With the Tithe I started working on it weeks ago and I drawing out ideas in my sketchbook even before that. I’m actually working on page 5 of the Tithe now just to give you an idea of how far ahead I am. I’m really enjoying the time I have now to plan things out and I think the comic is better for it. I thought I’d give you a little peek into my sketchbook for the Tithe.

I have a few pages of sketches for the main character. I tried lots of different stuff but here’s the first sketch of Hanna (oh yeah BTW she has a name)



I work out each page in my sketchbook really rough. Here’s what my layouts for the first two pages look like. You might be able to see some of what became the final panel structure in there.



< article continued at Penny Arcade >

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