Sprite Comics
by Hobo of Justice on 31st Mar 2019, 7:47 PM
For April Fools this year I remade the first episode of Power of the Universe as a sprite comic, teasing that it was a reboot of the series. While that definitely won’t be happening, it’s an interesting look at what the comic might have looked like if things had gone differently.

I used to mess around with game sprites. Y’know, the pixelated graphic assets that make up 2D games. People would use ‘em in comics. Some were great at it. Others weren’t. Guess which one I was. It was mostly just fiddling around with making or editing them, but I also tried my hand at sprite comics a few times. None of them got off the ground.

As far as I remember, the first sprite comic I attempted was a kind of internet crossover thing. It was gonna be some sort of war between internet service providers, and really, it was an excuse to use whatever sprites I wanted. The biggest problem with this one (outside of being dumb) was that it was almost entirely planning and next to no execution. I made it two pages before abandoning ship. I’m content to let those pages rot on a hard drive unseen.
A little later came a Zelda sprite comic based on A Link to the Past called Quest for the Triforce. It was definitely the best of the bunch, though that’s not saying much. I even came close to trying to upload it. The fault here was that it had zero preparation. No plan, no goal. Pretty much the opposite of that last one. This one made it three pages, but they were longer pages - similar to early PotU in length.

And then there was a Pokemon comic that I was just gonna call Pokémon Mini. I think the idea was that Pokémon were all extra small in that world for some reason? It used Mystery Dungeon sprites for Pokémon and some custom sprites for trainers if I remember right. Can’t find it anywhere, and that’s probably for the best. This one failed on both fronts and I think it only made it one or two (small) pages, but I was getting close to what I wanted to do.

The point of all this is that around the time Power of the Universe came along, I wasn’t even drawing yet. The likelihood that it would be made as a sprite comic was pretty high. Maybe if it had gone that route it would’ve had the same fate as those others. Instead, I took the plunge and got a super cheap pad tablet. Power of the Universe as a sprite comic died before it even began, and in its place came the first ugly manifestation of it as a drawn comic. Boooy was that a learning experience. Another blog post? Maybe. But for now I'll sign off with this nostalgic look at an alternate Power of the Universe.


February is Finished - Gen 8 reveal and Part 34 released
by Hobo of Justice on 28th Feb 2019, 1:15 PM
So Sword and Shield were shown yesterday, and with em, the new starters.

I've got a small list of things I'm hoping for with gen 8:
Better plot 
Less legendaries  (not a big deal, but having so many of them makes 'em feel less... legendary)
Less linearity and rail-roading (blocking every path that's not the right one isn't fun)
More challenge  (bringing back difficulty settings would be a good compromise)
More post-game

I'm not expecting any of that to happen. Would be nice if it did, though.
Stupid hopes aside, I'm looking forward to Sword and Shield and seeing how well they make the jump to console.
(yeah, Let's Go already did it, but it wasn't really treading new ground)

Part 34 just went up. It's one of those episodes that turned out longer than planned. Always seems to happen with the "important" ones.

That argument at the end was one of the moments that was supposed to have more of an impact. It was originally intended to be more explosive. But as it got closer it felt more and more like it didn't need to be. Or maybe that it shouldn't be. I don't know. Setting things up still feels like one of my weaker points. Maybe I dropped the ball with this one. Better build-up to this moment might have meant the explosive confrontation could have worked. Or maybe I'm just overthinking things.

At the end of the day whether or not I pulled off some plot point in a Nuzlocke comic doesn't matter as much as the fact that I gave it an honest attempt. I can be better tomorrow, but only if I try today.


2019 - Looking Forward
by Hobo of Justice on 31st Jan 2019, 10:42 AM

Okay. First thing’s first. Progress report on the next episode:
Part 34 is doing well, and will prooobably be done by the end of February. And if not, definitely by the end of March. It’ll be clocking in at 82 panels, a bit on the large side.

So. 2019.
My goal for Power of the Universe this year is really simple - to have fun. Not that I haven’t been having fun these past few years (I definitely have) but I got a little carried away with trying not to mess things up in 2017/2018. The episodes turned out better for it, but my drive to do the comic was being suffocated. And so my focus will be shifting for now.

I’m gonna loosen my grip, let things flow a little more like they did in the early days. Less fixating on what could go wrong. No worrying about how many strips I’ll be able to put out. Maybe the comic will improve, or maybe it’ll pull off a magnificent nosedive into idiocy (or maybe it already did long ago). Who knows. Whatever happens will happen. If by the end of 2019 I’m still having fun with whatever episode I’ve made it to, I’ll consider the year a success.

Hope you all have fun, too. Let’s make this year a good one.


2018 - Looking Back
by Hobo of Justice on 31st Dec 2018, 4:52 AM

Articuno2018 has come and gone, and it was a weird year for Power of the universe. What all happened? Well, some pretty important stuff. Chapter 2 finally came to a close in February after going on for a few years. Then Chapter 3 got outlined and the site went through a visual overhaul on its five year anniversary. And at the tail end of the year, Chapter 3 got it's start in November/December. Those are some big landmarks - the comic's biggest, even.

And yet, 2018 has been the least productive year as far as output numbers goes. Two episodes at the beginning of the year and two episodes at the end of the year. Sure, Shattered Dreams was huge, but Broken was tiny. They sort of balance each other out. Once upon a time I'd hoped to get Part 34 up before year's end, too, but that didn't work out. Because despite these awesome landmarks, things have been a little rough behind the scenes.

Finishing Chapter 2 had been my goal for so long that I felt kind of lost when it was over. The previous blog about the 5 Year Anniversary goes into this more, but the gist is that for a majority of the year I've been dealing with a fading flame. I've had to take a step back and reevaluate my relationship with this comic, and I'm still not fully recovered from that. On the plus side, I've had more time to practice drawing with standalone pictures, a couple of which have been put up on my stupid Twitter.

So overall, while 2018 held a low point for Power of the Universe, it also brought some of the highest. Finally finishing Chapter 2 was super satisfying - Shattered Dreams in particular. Hitting five years was cool. The site redesign came out a lot better than expected. This place feels more like a home now, and that's good because I hope to be here for a while. There's a lot of comic to make and I've got a slump to get out of.

I'll check back in with a looking forward type post at the end of January.
See ya!


5 Year Anniversary - Going Through Changes
by Hobo of Justice on 31st Oct 2018, 2:42 AM

October 31st, 2013 – the day Power of the Universe was born. I started down this road with a general idea of how long it would take. Couple years? No problem. I got this. But what I didn’t consider was that I’d be making the journey on foot, and now five years have gone by. Woops. I just wanted to make a silly Nuzlocke comic.

I’m not the best artist or writer. To me it feels like I’m still just barely learning either, so to get decent results takes time. Page isn’t working out? Work on the script. Redraw those ugly sketches. Even just sit on it until something better comes to mind. What it all comes down to is investing more time. The worst offenders (parts 18 and 31) took upwards of five and six months before they felt ready. Yeesh. So many of my strips started off as abominations that’d make you puke. Now they just almost make you puke. Heck, I’ve even rewritten this post like 5 times now. I’d love to be able to just make something satisfying without reworking it like crazy, but that’s just not where I am right now. And if I'm being realistic here, that won't be changing anytime soon.

See, on the day the comic started a fire was ignited in me. It’s what drives me to keep going. It’s great. But I'm an idiot when it comes to fire keeping. All that time spent dwelling on one strip? The weeks trying to get it not to suck? The binge inking/coloring at the end to get it finished? Yeah, that was tiring. And it was equally as tiring the next time. And the next. The fire inside always burned weaker when those long-winded sessions finally ended. I’d tapped into it too sloppily and for too long. Poor thing needed to breathe. So how did I fix that? You guessed it – more time. This cycle is why it took almost five years to finish just two chapters. Slow and lengthy, but it worked. The fire would always come roaring back eventually, and the cycle would continue.

But when Chapter 2 ended, the fire didn’t come roaring back. I gave it time like usual, but it just kept dimming. Uh oh. I’d taken too long to get here. All those extra hours were coming back to bite me. The very thing that allowed me to create passable content was now eating away at my desire to. This bummed me out. A lot.

For better or worse, the hiatus between chapters gave me a chance to ruminate over this stuff. Is all the time I put into this worth it? Should I quit? Why am I even making this comic? It’s something I hadn’t really thought about since the beginning. The desire to create just pushed me forward, and ultimately, I think that’s what the point is. The world can be a cold place, and even though it’s just for a silly, derivative webcomic, having a flame of passion keeps me warm.
So yes, it’s worth it. No, I shouldn’t quit. I’m making the comic because for the time being that’s where my passion lies. I want to keep improving my art, my writing, and my fire keeping skills. There's so much more to learn.

I’ve been going through changes and I think that’s gonna show in the comic moving forward. Some people might not like the direction Chapter 3 takes, and that’s fine. It definitely feels riskier in terms of whether or not I’ll be able to pull off what’s planned, and that’s as exciting as it is daunting. What stokes the fire now is different than it was five years ago, it just took me a while to figure out. I don’t know if it’ll ever burn as brightly as it did before, and honestly, I worry about it fading away before I’ve had the chance to finish. I've slowly been coming to terms with these possibilities. Not gonna stop fighting against them, though.

I lost my way for a while there, but I'm back on that road again. My destination may be nowhere in sight, but I know what it looks like. It’s exhausting just thinking about how much longer it’ll take at this pace. There’ll be times I’ll need to take a rest and tend to the fire. Things will be slow, possibly more than ever while I find my footing again. People will lose interest. And who can blame them? The cars zipping by have a much shinier product and arrive at a fraction of the time. That's cool - I'm grateful just to have caught anyone's interest. I'm grateful for the stuff I learned along the way. I'm grateful for the opportunity to walk this road at all.

Five years is a long time for a flame to burn. I understand better now how precious a thing it is and how lucky I am that it's still with me. Now, turning the corner into year six, I can feel that flame rekindling. I'm glad I started this weird journey, and I'm gonna keep pouring everything I can into Power of the Universe. I'll try to share the warmth, guys.
Let’s get back to walking.


New Site Layout!
by Hobo of Justice on 31st Oct 2018, 2:24 AM

Out with the old, in with the new. Power of the Universe’s site has been rebuilt. I’ve wanted to do this for a while, but hey, I don’t know how to design a website! Somehow through the power of trial and error, I eventually did. Probably should have learned properly, but oh well. The comic’s been using a default layout provided by my wonderful host – Comic Fury – up until now. I wanted it to have more personality, though. More in theme with the comic. Spice this place up!

So, there’s two new pages on the site now. First is an “About” page. It’s an overview of what the comic is, my upload speed (or lack of), and some contact information. It’s mostly for people new to the comic I guess. The second new page is a Characters page. That one’s got pictures and short descriptions of the main human characters in Power of the Universe. Specifically just the humans right now to avoid spoilers of what’s caught. Miiight add Pokémon pages if I can find a way to not make it feel spoilery.

Outside of the new stuff, things look different. The navigation buttons at the top of the page are rearranged. The home button is gone, but you can click the banner image at the top to return to the comic’s home at any time. Comments and Author Notes are more stylized and self-contained. Each section of the site has a different color scheme or look. Tried to make it all mobile friendly, too.  I like the way things came together. Feels more like home now.

I’ve been trying to find a way to get important updates out and noticeable without having to dig into blogs, or take up an entire upload. And to do that, I’m gonna have a yellow update box pop up above the front page’s comic whenever there’s something important I need to say. It’ll only go up when there’s a notification, and come down when that notification is no longer needed. In this way, whatever information I need seen will be pretty much the first thing on the front page and can co-exist with the latest comic page.

Anyway, I’ve checked this layout on a few devices and resolutions to make sure it looks okay on them. But if anyone finds something broken, or that just looks wrong, I’d appreciate a heads up. Figure I must have screwed up someplace. Feel free to shoot me an email at, a private message on Comic Fury, or in the comments somewhere. General feedback would be cool, too, if you have it. Thanks guys!


Post Chapter 2 Hiatus Update Collection
by Hobo of Justice on 21st Oct 2018, 11:01 PM

Originally posted on April 1st, 2018:

So, the outline of Chapter 3 is done, and right now I’m working on getting a basic script of each planned strip done. None have been drawn yet. Still got my sights set for an October start, but it’s too early to tell if that’ll work out.

I'm considering posting an update on its progress at the end of each month to help fill the upload void. It would be easy to know when to check in if it's at the end of every month. They may wind up just being text posts, but that's better than nothing, I figure.
Would people want that?

edit: Okay, I'm gonna do the monthly check-in thing. At the end of each month (or beginning of the next) I'll put up some sort of progress update until Chapter 3 is ready to start.


Originally posted on April 20th, 2018:

April Update:
Hey, Hobo here to tell you what’s been up this month.

So, April was writing-focused. I went and wrote out as much as I could of Chapter 3 with the goal of not getting hung-up on any of the parts that gave me trouble (there were a lot). Some of it came out well, and some came out as garbage. Most of the garbage is later on, so I’ll have time to air the stink out of it. Hopefully. That isn’t to say that everything is written out how it’ll ultimately be – it’s not. This was first draft writing, and my first drafts are almost always changed a lot.

Speaking of change, the comic is going through some. The second chapter felt a little different from the first, and this next one will feel different than either before it. At least that’s the plan. More risks are being taken as I try out new things, and that’s both exciting and a little scary.

So, yeah. The writing groundwork has been laid, things are gonna feel different, and I’ve started the paneling process. Long way to go from here, but still on course for an October start. I’ll be back at the end of May with another progress update. See ya!


Originally posted on May 31st, 2018:

May Update:
So, May turned out to be less productive than I’d have wanted. Things are moving along, just… slowly. Part 33 is doing pretty well and should be finished next month, then I'll hop over to 34. Don’t have a lot to say this time, so I’ll just leave it at that. I’ll be back at the end of June with another update. Bye-bye!

edit: I should clarify that while Part 33 will probably be done next month, I'm gonna hold off uploading any of Chapter 3 until until it feels ready to start. October at the earliest.


Originally posted on June 30th, 2018:

June Update:
So, I've been working on giving the site a facelift. Wanted to for a long time, and it feels like that time has come. It's gonna have more personality, and less blinding white. The new layout will probably show up around when Chapter 3 starts.

Speaking of Chapter 3, progress is still slow, but happening. Hope to bring a more substantial update at the end of July. Have a good month!


Originally posted on July 31st, 2018:

July update:
Still can’t tell whether I’ll hit the October start or not for Chapter 3. November or December are looking more and more likely. What I can tell is that there won’t be much to start with and there won’t be a buffer. It’ll begin with a chapter opener like Ch2 did, then a cover, and then Part 33. Then it’s back to upload-as-they’re-finished mode. I tried to get more done but failed. Oh well.

These updates aren't very informative, are they? At least they function as an "I'm not dead" sort of thing. Gonna keep ‘em going until the comic’s anniversary, at least. And on that day (October 31st), the new site design should go live. Other than that, I don’t really know yet. I’ll pop back in next month to scrape loose whatever tiny bit of an “update” I can. As for the month of July, I remain alive and working on Power of the Universe.
Bye-bye 'till next time.


Originally posted on August 31st, 2018:

August Update:
Remember when I said Part 33 would probably be done two months ago? Psh. Nope. Got it done this month. But things are moving along. Once I get the cover and prologue done, I can get Chapter 3 started.

Pretty sure October’s out. I’m shooting for a late November start now. And to keep the disappointment down, I wanna restate that it’ll be a barebones launch.

Here’s what we’re lookin at most likely:
September 30th will be the last of these “update” post things.
October 31st will be the anniversary picture, the site revamp, and some words on the comic as a whole.
Late November will (hopefully) be the start of Chapter 3, with Part 33 going up in early December.

That update felt a little more substantial.
See ya next month! Or in the comments.


Originally posted on September 30th, 2018:

September Update:

First off, I know a lot of these updates didn’t say much. And unfortunately, they’re gonna go kablooie next month to avoid the comic having unnecessary padding. But thanks to anyone who commented and/or stuck around. Reminds me that I’m not just throwing these things out into an empty void.

It’s been an interesting year for Power of the Universe, though most of it was behind the scenes. There’ve been ups and downs, but I’m glad to say these updates end on an up. I’m a little further than I expected at the beginning of the month. The chapter opener, cover, and Part 33 are done. Finally. And that was the minimum I wanted to start uploading with, so woohoo!
I wanna follow that up by saying those are probably the only things that will go up this year. I’ve got a creative pacing problem that I’ll go into more with the anniversary update.

So here’s the schedule for the coming months:

October 31st: Anniversary! Revamped site goes online, celebration picture, and some dumb words on Power of the Universe by yours truly.
November 23rd: Part 32.5 – the Chapter 3 Opener
November 30th: Chapter 3 Cover
December 7th: Part 33

Starting in November will help lessen the gap between parts 33 and 34, which is good because there’s gonna be some snags in making 34. Also gives me time to make sure the site revamp isn’t broken before the new stuff comes.

I’m thinking of changing the day I upload to the last day of the month - take some of the guesswork out of it. I don’t see myself finishing more than one in a given month anytime soon. And on months that I don’t have anything to go up (it will happen a lot), I’ll post something like these update thingies in a blog section. An easier to remember update day, no comic padding, and a way to remind people I haven’t died. Does that sound like a better way to do things, or have I lost my marbles?

Speaking of losing my marbles, I recently started using my Twitter that I haven’t touched for years. Not gonna be super active, but it’s a way to throw unrelated art junk I do out there. Maybe some tweets about the comic. I dunno. It’s @HoboOfJustice if anyone’s interested.

Hey… wait a sec…
Did I finally make a substantial update?



by Hobo of Justice on 31st Jan 2018, 11:16 PM

Thursday, February 1st, 2018:

Fate? Coincidence? Probably neither.The day of prophecy is nearly upon us. On February 22nd, the stars will align and a cosmic force will blast through the galaxy, ending all life. Only ashes will remain.
That, or Chapter 2 is finally ending.

So yeah, if all goes well, Chapter 2 should end with part 32 on 2/22/2018. It's been a long time coming, and it feels good to finally be here.

That's all for now!


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