nature's bandits

So, time for a long story:

I was a Rogue/Assassin hired to destabilize a region so a foreign power could move in. Naturally, I had many exploits, but one in particular stands out. During my first week I did a lot of scouting of the area we were starting in. Among my finds were some bear droppings and a cabin in the woods that was being used by some bandits. 

Naturally, I returned to the little village (where I kept up a persona of ‘village idiot’) that was the party’s base and got to work. Specifically, I purchased some…aromatic fish, and went scouting again. After determining the relative location of the bear, I created a trail of fish offerings that lead right to the bandit camp. That night, I laid in wait and watched in utter delight as the bandits were brutally slaughtered by the bear in its quest for more treats. Those few who retained their wits retreated into the two story cabin, which the bear proceeded to lay siege to. At this point, I sneak onto the second floor through the window and kill one of the survivors, and the bear breaks down the door. Quite pleased with the success of my experiment, I do a quick survey of the room and do some light looting before fleeing for my own safety. 

A day or two later I return, to discover the bear had taken up full residency, and had moved the bodies outside. With as much respect as I could muster, I left another offering of fish at the door to the cabin, backed away slowly, and gathered up the bandit’s belongings. 

Over the following months the bear and I start to get into a very cozy relationship, where I bring it treats and health services, and it mauls bandits, scouts, and various other intruders in the area and allows me to loot the bodies, to the tune of over 50 people. I even get introduced to her cubs and start outright playing with the bear, tummy rubs and all. I start spending much of my time off visiting the bears and enjoying their company. 

Eventually, I’m brought to trial for various things* which included money laundering and smuggling. In a favorable twist of fate I was given several days to prepare my defenses. For the money laundering and smuggling charges, I call upon none other than the bear to serve as a witness in regards to where I got 'all that armor and weaponry’. The judges and jury were, as you might expect, both dumbfounded and exasperated, but accepted the testimony, clearing me of those particular charges. In short, I both willingly and successfully subjected myself to “Trial By Bear”. 

*(My remaining charges, ranging from theft and destruction of property to mass murder, were put on the shoulders of my supervisor, who had told me to accomplish my various missions 'by any means necessary’ and had continued to give me work and pay despite my atrocities, and otherwise failed to reign me in, so I got off with a warning). 

anonymous asked:

Hi! First of all I love your art and I love you <3 Secondly, I want to start a comic of my own but I’m not sure how to do it. I have the briefest of the brief ideas for it but I have no idea how to develop it, plan it, stretch out the story, develop the characters and the such. Could I have some hints please?

Hello and Thank You!!!! I’m not sure if you’re talking about a fan comic or an original, or long or short but I’ll give you some tips. GRANTED I am not a professional and you may find a different way that is easier for you.

1.) Think of a basic storyline or prompt. Like, “Man is dying and is going to a mountain to see it before he dies and meets his DESTINY???” it can be stupid. It can be silly or vague so long as you have something to start with.

2.) Think of the protagonist, as well as a bit of the timeframe or universe. Are they human? Alien? Medieval? Elf? For our example here lets say its a medieval man from a heavily forested area. He is a lumberjack who hates potatoes and his old man told him stories of the mountain in the west that holds a magic temple; only the pure of heart may enter. He is dying, and wants to see this mythical place before he passes. Draw a few examples. You’ll want some basic refs to look back on.

3.)Think of the antagonist. It can be nature, machine, man, elderich horrors, etc….(typical story tropes are something like man vs. machine or man vs. nature). For our case lets say its mainly man and nature. Bandits, bad weather, illness, etc…DRAW SOME OF THOSE REFS. These beginning ones don’t have to be in depth. just basic stuff.

4.)Hash out what you want to happen in the BEGINNING, MIDDLE and END. These are kind of the most important parts. Its definitely important to think of the end ahead of time instead of thinking about it when you’re halfway through; thats a quick way to never end it at all. Our lumberjack begins his journey selling all he owns and getting a horse to set out to the mountains with nothing but a bit of gold, an old axe and a sick ride.  In the middle he encounters various trials that test his “pure of heart”-ness. Probably three, they can be as long as you want so long as they are generally even alongside each other. (3 or 7 are magic numbers WINK). In the end he reaches the temple and is welcomed inside due to his good deeds and it was allllll along a metaphor for the journey to the afterlife.

5.)get some good references. You have a time period set, a scene in mind, and some tools. Gathering from our example, we’re going to want; various forest scenes of pines, plains, dirt roads, medieval towns, mountains, temples, animals, people, cultures, etc. We need refs for our horse, axe, and gold. Remember those quick refs of characters you made in steps one and two? Now is the time to finalize those. They’ll have developed with the level of detail in your story. Add background nonsense no one else will notice but will enliven the story like how our axeman always ties his beard when mad or how he prefers apple cider over beer anyday. Give those fuckers some names. Bandit Bill challenges Axeman Abel for his horse and loses his head (literallly???)

–if you can go to like, museums or lectures or fairs about these things and take notes. USE YOUR RESOURCES!! ASK QUESTIONS!!! (For ilulatte I visited a couple of coffeeshops and roughed out some cafe drawings haha)

7.) Separate events into chapters. Generally theres a prologue, chapters 1-whatever, the end, and an epilogue. Our axeman has a prologue of starting out on the road, chapters 1-3 depicting pure-heart-trials, climax/end of reaching the temple, and an epilogue of someone else starting their journey to the temple based on his influence on the world because this shit is cyclical, baby. 

6.) make a fuckton of thumbnail drafts. You know these characters now; you built em out of your own head. You know how they move and talk, so slap down their journey in tiny pages. add minor details to the sides. (Here’s a shitty example of mine from ilulatte!!!!!)

7.) finish allllll of them. or at least the first few chapters. Its good for you I promise. You’ll notice the pacing much better this way! You can add a bunch of extra details in the margins like extra panels and bg notes. Don’t be afraid to experiment with the direction of your story, but try to keep the overall plot the same! (sticky notes are great for this!)

8.) start roughing out the actual pages. You’ll change things from the thumbnails (like I always do haha); thats okay!!! They’re more of a helpful guide than solid stone rules.  It’s like making the scaffolding to make the base for the rest of the building.

9.) do the lineart, bgs, text, etc. There’s tons of helpful art programs for this like CLIP studio paint or medibang if you’re doing it digitally. Remember those refs you collected for our horse, axe, and bgs? Now is the time to use em. BE VIGILANT. Keep copies of the originals. Go back frequently to look for mistakes or missing details. Keep a check list. Freckles? check. Scar on nose? check. shading???? UHHHHHH—-SHIT.

10.)you should probably number the pages. keep em in a nice sized resolution if you want to print but lower it if you’re posting to the internet to dissuade reposters. keep em all in one organized folder if possible. Slap your signature on em for extra safety.

11.) ????? Sell it on gumroad idk.


-start with short stories. Build your own stamina.

-have relatable characters with flaws. Tumblr seems to hate “problematic” characters but thats literally the point of character building and narratives. THEY’RE RELATABLE IF THEY’RE FLAWED. If a story doesn’t have characters that conflict with each other its a boring one. Axeman Abel wants to help everyone; Bandit Bill wants to help himself only. LET THEM HATE EACH OTHER.

-its also good to have characters that are friends but still conflict with each other. The Dragon Age series is phenomenal with this (their characters are good in general, take notes!!)

-theres a lot of shitty people out there. USE THEM. (seriously though examine other peoples interactions and you’ll make better characters. )

-bad things happen to good people. Bad things also happen to bad people. Bad things just sort of happen. Don’t shy away from unfortunate events; your story will fall flat without conflict both planned and random.

-Obviously you don’t have to share the same world views as your characters. (dont let the antis fool you.) Axeman Abel can hate broccoli but you can still enjoy it. Bandit Bill can be a racist piece of shit but that doesn’t mean you are.

-have characters of various personality, body type, race, height, etc….it really livens up the story.

-generally you don’t want the bg to overwhelm the characters, so most people do a sort of painterly bg against the solid outlines of the characters but thats all really up to you and how in-depth you want it to be.

-you should also make a regular schedule, if you can. Say, something like “twenty finished pages a month” or “four pages a week” depending on the level of detail. Simplistic style and palettes of course take less time to make than full color/heavily detailed pages, so plan accordingly to prevent burnout. If you post weekly, having a few pages done ahead of time will be good in case you need an emergency break.

-be open to critique but don’t be a doormat, either. ESPECIALLY if you’re doing it for free. People will try to take advantage of you; don’t let them. Block them and move on.

-above all; BE DEDICATED. Comics take a great deal of time by yourself, but doing them helps you develop important skills in the end like time management and general technical know-how like digital programs and writing. It’s not just art, though that’s a major part of it.

-probably should’ve said this earlier but make what you enjoy??? People can generally tell if you dont enjoy your own work. There’s less effort there. 


The signs roles in an Apocalypse
  • Aries: Originally freaked out but quickly falls into the role of a self decided Shadow Leader, refusing to budge on simple things because "It could be a matter of life and death!"
  • Taurus: Scared the entire time, but outlives everyone by accident. Other signs turn to Taurus as a genuine leader, because with every choice made there is plenty of thought and understanding put into it. "Since we're all probably going to die today anyway we may as well enjoy ourselves while still being practical. The future is important, but the present even more-so!"
  • Gemini: Sort of a jack of all trades, but specializes in offence. Gemini saw the apocalypse coming a mile away but didn't do anything about it because they just didn't care enough. Gemini is happy to follow orders, whichever they may be. "Everything's fine for now."
  • Cancer: Cancer is a little put down by the whole thing but feels content provided there is still some good food and good company. Cancer takes on the role of a farmer and helps cook and clean whenever they are indoors. "Hahaha!"
  • Leo: Leo used to be psyched up for the apocalypse but expected it to be completely different from how it turned out to actually be. Leo spends a lot of time indoors pretending to know more than they really do, and out of routine managed to place themselves into the role of an unofficial cook and storyteller.Many of Leo's stories end up spun with so much grandeur that other signs begin to believe that it's "bark" is worse than its "bite", but out of fear of hurting Leo's feelings they all pretend to believe Leo. "You really shouldn't go outside too far because you could be eaten alive by the wild bandits."
  • Virgo: Virgo is strangely apathetic to the whole event, and becomes a recruiter for whichever group they landed themselves into. Virgo seems to always be around everyone and people have begun to think they are involved in everything, despite Virgo not really doing or saying much of anything. "Hey, what's going on?"
  • Libra: Libra is semi traumatized because of the apocalypse, but tends to come up with solutions to most problems. Libra actually comes up with too many solutions, and overwhelms everyone with options. Libra has become a bit of a therapist that way, which is tragic really because no one can help Libra move on from their own problems. "Give me a moment to think about this, and I'll be right with you."
  • Scorpio: Scorpio is hyped up and has all the wrong ideas about how to handle everything. Scorpio is eager to start of riots, and has become a natural bandit. Each time Aries tries to come up with a redundant and violent plan, Scorpio's first to jump on the bandwagon and recruits Gemini and Virgo without a problem. Unfortunately, although Scorpio is eager to fight, Scorpio never bothered to properly learn how or why.
  • "Let's go steal a car and some biscuits from whoever we run into next!"
  • Sagittarius: Frightened but also very disconnected from the whole thing, Sagittarius spends most of their time daydreaming about future plans with Capricorn and Cancer, although never for one moment actually tries to figure out how to properly implement anything. Sagittarius helps do a lot of cleaning, but has taken on the role of a dreamer or an idealist. "This land would be so pretty if we could have some animals."
  • Capricorn: Though deeply phased by everything, Capricorn doesn't dwell much on the past. They listen to a lot of Sagittarius' ideas for the future and actually figure out how to use them to rebuild society as an inventor.
  • "Society will rebuilt naturally anyway, so we may as well help it along. We can build a farm, to start."
  • Aquarius: Deeply emotionally affected by everything and spends a lot of time alone dwelling on the past, though in groups is happy focus on the present. Most of the time Aquarius spends is on helping bring Capricorns plans into action, as an extra pair of hands. Aquarius becomes a builder. "Keeping myself busy is the best way to block out reality."
  • Pisces: Extremely horrified by everything, Pisces becomes very good with defence. Pisces is quick to fight off whoever comes near before asking any questions, but fights with passion more often than actual skill. Pisces is one of the first to die, unfortunately. "I'm having trouble sleeping, so I keep an eye out instead."

Just a few things… 

Bandit Snow never threatened innocent lives that I could see. She was running for her life but I didn’t ever see her threaten lives in the process. By creating this in Bandit Regina it kind of perverts the idea of Bandit Snow but it also pinpoints something else that we saw in the AU. No matter what was written underlying characteristics didn’t change. Both Regina and Rumple were supposed to be “heroes” and yet Rumple was still power hungry and Regina’s first instinct was still to kill. This was never in Bandit Snow’s nature. 

This is regal believer. Regina being dangerous while Henry excuses the behavior. Tries to talk her down. Yes, I get this is an AU. I get that this is not Regina and Henry. But how many times have we seen this in the real timeline? Where Regina goes too far and Henry has to excuse the behavior? He’s struggling against the blade here. She’s hurting him and it doesn’t phase him. He’s not concerned. I know that the regal believers will say that’s because he knows she would never hurt him, and that may be what the writers intended. But for me it means something else. He’s used to this. He’s used to having to bring her back from the edge. He knows what to so say. What hot buttons to appeal to to get her to back off because he’s had to do it before. It’s disconcerting. 

I don’t believe that Emma would ever hurt Henry, in any timeline. In large part because I don’t believe that Emma would ever truly hurt a child. Yes I know she took Violets heart and made her reject Henry but she did try to make things right. But we’ve never seen, and I don’t believe we ever would see, Emma physically assaulting a child. Particularly with a blade to the throat. How is that not concerning?