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5 Year Anniversary - Going Through Changes
by Hobo of Justice

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

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 PowerOfTheUniverse@live.com, 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

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?
Whoa.

 

2/22/2018
by Hobo of Justice

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!

Part 31
by Hobo of Justice

Thursday, December 28th:

Part 31 didn’t get done in time for year’s end, but it's close. I’m gonna go ahead and set a release date for it: January 18th. That should give enough time to finish it even if unforeseen circumstances pop up. Once Part 31 is done, I’ll jump right into making Part 32, the final Chapter 2 strip. Can’t make any accurate estimations on that one, though.

Short version: Part 31 should be going up on January 18th.