Root Redwing 7

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Root Redwing and the Thieves of Kettle Bay

Those eyes! Even grumpy Root can’t resist.

Technical note: the texture on the octopus’s skin and the bubbles were created by using the brush setting (in the brushes panel) for “spattering”. If you’re learning Photoshop (as I still am and probably will always be), play with the brush settings on a blank canvas—it’s really fun and you’ll discover stuff like this!

Root Redwing 6

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Root Redwing and the Thieves of Kettle Bay

Who is this young merkid? And why is she hanging around with this ne’er-do-well of an octopus? Aha! They’re a team! I wonder what Chirikik would think of this?

Chapter Two — Daybreak

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Page 78 — Whelk is on her own now, and possibly a bit relieved!

And that concludes Chapter Two—an eventful day and night on both sides of the waves! Our story will resume in late February with Chapter Three, but I will not leave you bereft of undersea adventures in the meantime—I’m going to be posting, every Monday as usual, a story about Aunt Root that was originally published last spring in the Kraken Komiks anthology, and from which I published a few teasers in the blog section. The six-month publishing exclusive is now over, and I can reveal to you the full story!

The story takes place at an earlier time in Root’s career, when she was a young trader plying the waters of the islands on the edge of the Sun’s-Rest Sea. It is related to our current story down the line a bit, but it would be a spoiler to tell you just how at this point.

For myself, I’ll be using the time to make some changes to the website; there are some background pages I’d like to add, some tweaks to the organization to do, and a few teeny bloopers I’ve noticed in the art that I’d like to fix. I’ll probably post on the blog a bit, too, and let you know how things are going. In the meantime, I hope you enjoy “Root Redwing and the Thieves of Kettle Bay”!

Wishing you all a wonderful holiday season—stay warm (or cool, if you’re in the southern hemisphere!), hug your loved ones, be they two-legged or four, and remember to be kind to yourself!

Schedule Change!

Hi Mer-folks! I thought I’d share a bit of what I’ve been up to lately — it’s been a busy time in my little world.

First: I’ve decided to move my posting day back to Monday. There are a couple of reasons for that; one is that the common wisdom of posting webcomics (I’ve been reading books on it!) is that Monday is the best day to do it in terms of readership (apparently people look at webcomics at work — really? I want that job! OK, I guess I take breaks to look at webcomics too, heh); so in aid of Monday procrastinators everywhere, I’ll bow to the pressure. The other reason is that my own schedule has had some changes, and this will now work better for my own work flow.

Root Redwing and the Thieves of Kettle Bay

Root encounters a young mermaid and her pet octopus! Like dogs, octopuses should be well trained.

Remember this? I posted last spring that I was making a comic about Root Redwing as a younger woman, which was published in the Kraken Komiks anthology “Cephalopods”. Kraken had a six-month exclusive on it, which has now expired, and I will be posting the entire story as a Mermaid Music special in between chapters of the main story (chapter two is drawing to a close) sometime in November! This will give me a chance over the holidays to catch up on my backlog (is that some kind of a verbal paradox?) as well as give me a chance to do some organizational changes to this website.

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Winding up the show at the Shatterbox  Coffee Bar (I’m all hopped up on good coffee here)— those are the mer-cats on the wall behind me! It was a delight having my art in the cafe setting rather than a gallery for a change; it feels more homey, somehow.

I’ve finished the children’s book I was illustrating, as well as illustrations for an adult-level educational book — what an intense summer and fall! And I can’t show off any of it yet (picture me dancing around in frustration, clutching my portfolio of top secret documents), but should be able to in a month or so, when the publisher’s catalogue comes out. The children’s book will be coming out in April, and I am very proud of the work I did for it, so I’m very excited about its release. It’s quite different from my comics work, much of it involving very detailed paintings and drawings of lots of sea critters, which had to be scientifically accurate. But there was also some narrative illustration, which gave me a chance for some storytelling and even some humour.

I’m taking part in Inktober again this year, which is a drawing challenge started by Jake Parker, which has spread like wildfire all over the art world. As with the Opus drawing challenge I did in February, I’m planning to make a little book out of it. I’m using a Moleskine Japanese Album again, which has accordion folded pages, just enough for a month’s drawing-a-day. It’s such a good warmup, I think I will keep going with it after this month — I think my next book should be mer-folk (and mer-cats, of course)!

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A drawing from my Inktober 2016 project. The little sketchbook is based on my nostalgia for old Mark Trail Sunday comics, and I think I’ll call it “True Animal Facts and Lies”. The drawings are 3.5 x 5.5 inches, about the size of a typical comic panel, and based on a prompt word for each day. Ink and coloured pencil.

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A tidepool Inktober cartoon. I did a similar (but more scientific and detailed and without captions) drawing for the upcoming children’s book. It was fun to do a bit of anthropomorphizing! 3.5 x 5.5 inches, ink and coloured pencil

See you on Monday with the next page of Mermaid Music!

Chapter Two — Over the Waves

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Page 71 — No wonder Bones-Jo is so crabby! Can it be a plot?

I’m celebrating! Last week I finally finished the children’s book project I’ve been working on since late Spring; the projected release date is this coming April, so stay tuned. Although I really enjoyed the work (which involved lots of sea creatures, boats, and big waves!), I’m so happy to be able to concentrate on comics again, and especially Mermaid Music. These pages have been in my head since forever and it’s a sheer pleasure to be getting them out onto paper!

Meanwhile, under Canadian Seas

It’s a holiday weekend! Thanksgiving, to be precise, in Canada. So today, Mermaid Music is taking a holiday from the plot to visit a harvest season feast with Whelk’s and Gull’s relatives. The dolphin clan will probably come with some fish, if they don’t eat it all first, and I’m sure the mer-kids’ grumpy auntie will show up with some sea urchins, too.

This comic page is sized to use as a desktop image, so feel free to grab it and celebrate with the merfolk!

Here's another version.

You are welcome to share this image as well as use it for your desktop; please leave it intact with signature and website!

Myself, I’m making honey-pumpkin pies and hubby will be making the maple whipped cream!