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The creator of this here comic

DiNK approaches! Medicine; Run Mini is almost done!

DiNK approaches! Medicine; Run Mini is almost done! published on
Valley of the Silk Sky - Medicine Run - minicomic cover

DiNK is barreling towards us at an alarming clip. I’ll be at table 372 on the third floor for all your comic purchasing needs. (Or some of your needs; presumably you’ll buy comics from other people as well.)

I will have copies of the brand new Valley of the Silk Sky minicomic: the remastered edition of “Medicine; Run” (which originally appeared in the Beyond Anthology), now in color and with several dialogue changes to make the thing more canon. For those of you unable to attend DiNK, I’ll also make the mini available for sale in my Gumroad store once it’s ready.

I am also going to be on three (3!) panels:

  • Saturday, April 13 – 12:30 PM – PLZ RT <3: What Social Media Means for Cartoonists
  • Saturday, April 13 – 3:45 PM – Worldbuilding Across All Mediums of Narrative Story Telling
  • Sunday, April 14 – 4:30 PM – Navigating & Redressing Toxic Masculinity

I will ALSO ALSO have a limited number of copies of Monster Journey, the all trans masc anthology with a brang new Valley of the Silk Sky story (“Extraction”) what has never been seen before by human eyes.

Anyhow, yes. I’ll repeat a bunch of this next week as a reminder, but PREPARE YOURSELVES FOR DINK.

Annual Comics: Years 3-4

Annual Comics: Years 3-4 published on
Valley of the Silk Sky - Chadsen in The Swamp

Technically the four year anniversary of the Valley of the Silk Sky webcomic was January 14, but WHATEVER. Have a new annual comic to cover the last two years, since I didn’t get around to doing one for 2018. You can also see it on Patreon and Tumblr.

I used to collect SFF illustration books, like the Dungeons & Dragons collections, or work by specific illustrators like Roger Dean.

Often these were illustrations for specific things like book and record covers, adventure modules, core rule book stuff, etc. But in the illustration collections the image was removed from context, so the appeal to me was, can this one standalone piece tell a little story all on its own?

My faves were always the ones that showed the moment immediately before the shit (or the kind of gross swamp water) hits the fan. So that’s what I set out to do here.

— Dylan

New concept art: Cashel Waystation

New concept art: Cashel Waystation published on
Cashel Waystation concept art

Just posted a new piece of concept art, the original sketches working out the design of the Cashel Waystation.

I’ve also added this piece to the Valley of the Silk Sky tumblr.

While I’m no longer maintaining the VotSS tumblr as a full standalone website, I will keep posting stuff there periodically.

Especially given my mystery issues with this site going down for no apparent reason. Hopefully I’ll be able to get that resolved once and for all before too long, but until I’m confident I’ve got things working correctly, I’ll continue to use the VotSS tumblr as a sort of backup site.

AIN’T TECHNOLOGY GRAND.

Valley of the Silk Sky - waystation concept art

Concept Art: Cashel Waystation

Concept Art: Cashel Waystation published on

ediumHere’s the original concept art for the Cashel Waystation, as well as the inks for our first peek at the interior on page 21.

As you can see, this ended up being very close to the final design. Sometimes it takes several rounds to work out the look I’m going for, but with the Cashel Waystation, things fell into place pretty quickly. It helps when I have a very clear idea of how I’ll need to move the characters through the space, so I know where to block them and where to give them passage.

Technical difficulties are fun!

Technical difficulties are fun! published on

Looks like every time there’s a WordPress update of some sort (whether core code or plugin), this site goes offline until I manually perform the update. I have no idea why this is happening. It doesn’t happen with my other WordPress site (studiondr.com), and they are completely identical on the back end – same theme, same version, and VotSS actually has fewer plugins, but the ones it does have are the same.

So I am mystified. WP forums are an inscrutable mess, and only seem to cover downtime issues AFTER installing a new update. I have found exactly one PHP setting that was slightly different twixt the two, so I’ve changed it and hopefully that will maybe fix it?? I dunno!

Anyway, all the website troubleshooting is causing some delays with new art, but there WILL BE NEW ART I swear. I’m in the midst of coloring a brand new piece even now.

— Dylan

EDIT 1/11/2019: Wellll, unfortunately the PHP change didn’t fix the problem, as the site was down again when I got up this morning. Reinstalled WordPress core code AGAIN, and we’re back. Made some plugin changes. We’ll see what happens.

EDIT 1/14/2019: Uuuggghh, I thought I’d fixed it – the site actually stayed up without issue for a whole couple of days! – but it was down again when I got up this morning. Made some more plugin changes. Fingers crossed.

New character portrait added, and VotSS makes a “best of” list

New character portrait added, and VotSS makes a “best of” list published on
Valley of the Silk Sky - Chadsen portrait

I haven’t totally decided how I’m going to proceed with these sorts of updates, that aren’t part of a comic story. As in, do I try to do something every Thursday regardless of the nature of the content, or do I just throw something on here whenever it strikes my fancy, and stick to a Thursday schedule for comics?

I guess I’ll see what ends up making the most sense as time goes on, but for now, have a portrait of Chadsen.

In other news, Valley of the Silk Sky was named as one of Panel Patter’s top comics of 2018! You can check out the whole list here.

I also made a public Patreon post regarding my comic-making plans for 2019, including what to expect for Valley of the Silk Sky. Here’s the VotSS-specific news:

Specifically, I’m going back and coloring some anthology work that had previously only been available in black & white. This includes my story for the Beyond Anthology, as well as a couple of single-page pieces. I’ll be serializing the newly colored pages here on the Valley of the Silk Sky website, and then collecting them into a standalone minicomic.

I’ll also be working on The Long Run – Part 3, of course. The next chapter is probably the most difficult to structure in the whole book for Reasons, so part of the impetus for the recoloring project is to give me something to publish while I’m wrestling with getting that chapter just right. And then, like, actually drawing it and stuff.

At this very moment I’m working on a bit of a self-indulgent illustration of Chadsen having an adventure, because it’s been way too long since I was able to just sit and work on a single, complex piece for awhile and add lots of fun little details. That’s going to be my Annual Comic for Years 3-4, since I didn’t get around to doing one for 2018. So look for that to burst onto your screens in January.

So! That’s what’s up. In the meanwhile, I’ll continue posting portraits and concept art on here.

— Dylan

Valley of the Silk Sky - Chadsen portrait

Portraits: Chadsen

Portraits: Chadsen published on

ediumThis particular portrait started out as a concept sketch for what a typical runner’s outfit might look like, using Chadsen as a model, even though xer character design hadn’t been totally finalized at that point. I went back later to ink and color the sketch, and made some corrections to Chadsen’s appearance to match xer final character design.

I think this thing is basically done?

I think this thing is basically done? published on

The comic pages and appendices are all uploaded. The fancy graphics are in place. It looks like … an actual website round these parts.

There are a handful of things yet to do, and some tweaks to be twoke, but they’re relatively minor and shouldn’t impact functionality.

Some sections are a little thin as yet. I only uploaded a couple of pieces of concept art and a couple of character portraits, even though I have quite a lot of both as yet unpublished. I figured I’d save ’em for general updates rather than trying to get every single scrap of bonus material posted on here before launching this beast.

But so yeah! I think we’re good to go.

Cheers,

Dylan

Valley of the Silk Sky - year 2

Annual Comics: Year 2

Annual Comics: Year 2 published on

ediumA single page comic I did to celebrate the second year of publishing the webcomic. You could think of this as a “deleted scene” from Chapter 4 of The Long Run if you like. It was, in fact, a panel I ended up cutting, though the dialogue is a new addition.

This is colored with marker and watercolor pencil, with a digitally-painted background.

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