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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.

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

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

Nothing to see here … yet

Nothing to see here … yet published on

My webcomic Valley of the Silk Sky has, for the last few years, existed as a Tumblr blog, and will continue to do so for the foreseeable future.

While the webcomic template for Tumblr is pretty good, it does have a number of limitations that have made me want to set up a proper website for awhile. Tumblr’s new initiative to ban all adult content is what has finally pushed me to get started on said proper website.

Now, Valley of the Silk Sky is not an adult comic. It’s intended for ages 13+. However, these kinds of content restrictions always just mysteriously seem to impact queer and trans material to a disproportionate degree. The Tumblr edition of VotSS might be fine for now, but tomorrow? Who the heck knows.

So. Obviously there’s nothing here right now. Building a website from the ground up takes a long time, which is part of why I haven’t gotten around to it before today.

But eventually this will become the official home of Valley of the Silk Sky, and will hopefully be significantly easier to navigate than the Tumblr edition.

Until then, keepĀ http://valleyofthesilksky.tumblr.com/ in your bookmarks, or hit up the streamlined version atĀ http://www.studiondr.com/comics/valley-of-the-silk-sky/ (which is just the comic, no appendix posts or other frivolity).

— Dylan

12/12/2018 UPDATE

I’ve finished adding all the comix pages for The Long Run (which you can now read in one go without interruption, hooray!).

I’m now in the process of recreating all the appendix posts. That’s gonna take a couple few days, let me tell you.

I am NOT going to be updating every single image that has the .tumblr.com web address imbedded. Nope. Not gonna happen. Not the least because I did not actually save layered files for every single image I made for the VotSS tumblr site. So! This is me getting over that particular urge to make everything perfectly consistent.

— Dylan

12/17/2018 UPDATE

Hokay, all the available appendix posts are done. DONE, I SAY. That took a bit longer than I had expected, as I ended up having to do a fair amount of editing of the content. Mostly for clarity, but sometimes to add extra information, or to create new graphics in a couple of cases. I’m not porting those edits over to the Tumblr site, so if you’re really bored and want to amuse yourself you can compare and contrast twixt here and there.

Now that I have all this lovely content, the next step is to smarten the place up a bit. Add some graphics, make the front page not look like an embarrassing disaster, that kind of thing.

Official launch looms ever closer!

— Dylan

12/18/2018 UPDATE

A vastly improved front page emerges. I daresay the original title of this post is no longer applicable!

I still have to put together the character bio sections, and then figure out where concept art and other incidentals are going to live. Buuuuuut … this is starting to look like an actual website at last?

— Dylan

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