Scaling down updates for a while for personal reasons.
Those who follow me on patreon I've already informed about this, but I figured I'll make a news post because I'm going to be (hopefully temporarily) return to the 3-page a week format.
Since late autumn I've realised I've been dealing with pretty intense burn-out issues due to work (I'm a teacher professionally), this is part of a longer ongoing issue but I've not really recognised it for what it was until around Autumn.
Some of the stuff I've been dealing with is pretty intense emotional instability, near-constant exhaustion & severe sleep issues.
I've been working the last few weeks on adjusting my patterns regarding work, sleep etc to return to actually functioning properly, but the process is incredibly slow and any time I'm optimistic about actually making progress I feel any source of unexpected stress at work sets me right back to where I began. The moments I'm not working, the days where I'm not working, there is a pretty big chance I'm so tired I can barely drag myself out of bed.
Despite this total lack of energy & the stress issues I've been having I've tried my best to keep producing my comic at the rate I have been, because it's always been one of the biggest sources of joy in my life. I enjoy seeing people discuss it, I enjoy seeing people have fun with my characters and ideas & I enjoy actually putting ideas I've had in my head for years actually appear on the page as part of a story.
I've never considered my comic a source of stress & it's not at all the reason for my burn-out problems, I want to make that clear. I do the chapter drops & stick to a daily update rate because it's the speed at which I enjoy releasing content, not because I feel obliged somehow.
That being said, I've been on such low fumes for such a long time now, that even reminding myself to tick that manual update box 4 times a week for the "extra" days can feel like a chore. I feel that, until I start to feel actual progress in my general mood & energy levels I want to throw the comic back to the classic pace.
I do not comprehend.
Hey Ciel! Been a long time!
Q& A Part 9
Been a while! You know the rules, add questions for the next Q&A underneath this post.
1. "Is the reason Burk was immune to magic bullets because he wasnâ€™t using spirit? Or is it because (as he said somehwere earlier) heâ€™s immune to all telegraphed attacks?"
2. "Would you mind telling us which shows inspired you to create Heroland? One Punch Man, Tiger and Bunny, and others come to mind."
I would actually say my biggest inspiration was probably Hunter x Hunter? I never saw T&B and I think I had already largely settled on the base notion behind Heroland before I knew OPM had something similar. But HxH is definitely the key inspiration.
3. Does either Justopea or The Veda Project have a way to follow the mages in their "Mage Army" should they ever desert? In Justopea, does the same protocol apply for deserting (normal) soldiers and magic soldiers?
If they do, they have hidden it well so far.
Desserters get shot on sight.
4. How many people does The Empire have following Guy?
I haven't seen any? have you?
5. What's Tobi's class&level?
Just reread chapter 3 for her level, the classes can be swapped so aren't set in stone.
6. Will the story ever have a singular major antagonist?
Perhaps the antagonist is not a person but the friends we make on our journey ... or something.
7. Will any of the storylines ever end up combining/fusing together?
What if they already have but you just don't know it yet?
8. What did the Ghouls mean when they told Tobi that the Smile Games open 'new paths'?
That it'd open new passages!
9. Why does Eloy drink so much?
To stay hydrated.
10. Can Noah wish to give Ciel a separate physical body to make her stop bothering him?
Will he try it?
Will it work?
yes, he clearly doesn't want to, who knows?
11. What terms do Veda, Garth and Null use to describe Cherry's power?
12. How likely are respawned ghouls to pursue the last people who killed them?
Usually extremely likely because they were trying to kill that person to begin with.
13. Does Kimberly lose body mass when he creates slime? Can he stop producing slime or is this involuntary? Is this why he always wants to eat?
14. If Ciel uses Noah's brain together with Noah, that means she reduces "CPU time" available to Noah. Does her existence make him dumber?
No ,just more annoyed.
15. "Ciel" is a masculine noun ("le ciel"). Does that affect Ciel's gender?
Ciel is female presenting but I think the concept of gender is relatively meaningless to her.
16. Leutenant Marble gives orders to commander Halmer, whose rank is higher. How does Justopean chain of command work?
Technically Halmer ranks above Marble in isolation, but because Marble is specifically sent in to aid the Veda project per direct instructions of military command, she's in charge of the comic-relevant events. Halmer is the type of official to respect that.
17. When did Malhart start gathering orphans? If he was doing it for 30 years, are there middle-aged magic users that would come to his aid?
I hope this one is clear now!
18. What will happen to Noah if he is in someone's mind when that someone dies or is killed? Will Noah disappear without a trace? Will he reappear next to the corpse?
Is there a safe way to find out?
It's rather unclear! Let's hope for Noah he never discovers this the hard way. ;)
19. Can Mr. Kimberly turn part of his body into slime?
If so, will his body part retain their senses when in slime form?
Theoretically, can he infiltrate other people body through their digestive system with the slime?
Nopes, he's just a regular human. Magic that fundamentally changes a human's body is extremely rare.
20. How good is magic at healing? Aude seems to have a pandemonium power to quickly heal herself, but what about healing others?
Proper healing magic is extremely rare, though spirit can be used to do minor things like closing open wounds.
21. Can any of free magic users heal?
I'd not let any of them heal me if they offered.
22. Can free magic users cure Noah from clumsiness?
They're magic users, not miracle workers. lol
23. Does Noah suffer from prosopagnosia? Can free magic cure that?
It sure seems like he does, and probably not directly, no.
24. What are the limits of what free magic can do?
A mix of their imagination, spirit reserves and understanding of whatever they're trying to alter or manipulate.
25. Tobi's eyes glow blue, when she accesses menus. Noah's eyes glow green, when he observes spirit. Did I miss Burk getting red eyes?
Nope. Burk's eyes aren't that special.
26. Can Noah use spirit powers when he is inside somebody's mind?
Can he dig with spirit next time he gets inside some dumb animal?
In case the next pages don't answer that: can he get into the mind of the big 3-headed cat?
yes. yes. most likely not.
27. Have anybody ranked the 3 main characters by their popularity among readers?
Nope, I guess I could post a poll but idk how I'd get most of the fans to actually participate so it's hard to say for sure.
28. What happened to the first two Q&As? I don't see a way of getting to them. No "older items" link on the news list.
Complain to penguin lol, he never added a button to see old news posts.
29. Is there any relation between Burk and Sunny?
I - ... how do you figure there might be?
30. Does Nail work for Garrimon?
Well he seems to work for Veda in the comic!
31. Is Garrimon the source of black crystals?
Wait a little bit longer.
32. Why do members of Pompadour gang walk in such an odd way?
33. Why can't Goldman win against Silverman?
Silverman's just too damn good I guess!
34. What happens if I put something other than 3 in the "what comes next" box for leaving a comment?
Penguin once told me there's another correct answer but I forgot which.
35. Does Eloy have any singular drink of choice, or is he more of an anything and everything kind of drinker?
There's definitely one thing he's almost always drinking yeah. He's quite specific in that way.
36. Does Nail wear glasses and mask to hide having no eyes and no mouth?
Yeah sure, y'know what? Let's go with that. His skin condition is having no eyes and mouth.
37. What is Nail? Some kind of robot? Something like Three?
Oh that explains the above question!
38. Did Garrimon create him?
Garrimon sure is popular around these parts.
39. Will Malhart live?
Gotta wait for that answer!
40. Can Noah track Veda to say if she's alive or dead?
In theory, yes, in practice ... nah. The level of spirit mastery to sense something that specific is exceptionally rare, even above Malhart's level.
And there we go! Feel free to add more questions!
Curious: Old aptGG Readers
I was sorta going over comments from my old pre-reboot comic, reliving the nostalgic sadness of it dying and people in the comment box rueing its demise.
I'm just morbidly curious, how many of you guys are actually here from the old days/old comic?
Did you expect HoH to come back the way it did after the mega-hiatus over my summer holiday?
Q & A PART 8
Here with Q&A part 8! More of your questions answered, let's do this!
Remember, add questions for Q&A part 9 as a reply for next time.
1: What are those brown spots? Blood? Rust? Dirt? If blood, whose?
2: Is his suit a part of his body or a separate piece of clothing?
It is clothing but it’s the default outfit that came with he set.
3: A lot of weapons had hit Three and his suit. Is the suit blade- and bulletproof? Or can it heal its wounds?
Three is quite the repairman, too bad he sucks at removing stains.
If somebody hits Three with a fist, how does it feel: like hitting a man, like hitting a wooden beam, or something else?
4: Stir up some organ meat, barbwire, chunks of steel and neatly wrap it in a bag, punch that to find out.
If somebody touches Three's hands and face, how does it feel? Like a regular human? Leather? Plastic? Metal? Something else?
5: Like blindly feeling up some electric wire tucked in the corner in an old house.
Assuming someone died in there.
6: Why are you so unwilling to talk about Three's hair? Is it that revolting?
I wouldn’t be able to do it justice.
7: So heres the Qs: Was "example text" put there on purpose? Why do you need it there? and was it LEFT there on purpose? If you could remove placing it on the strip from existence as if it never happened... would you?
It was an accident, I could remove it but I am rather lazy and prefer working on new pages rather than fixing old ones lmao.
8: Who were Phil and 2 other bandits?
Where did they get their boars?
Will we ever know?
Looks like you’re about to find out. ;D
9: Did Klaassen recognize Tobi, or did he pursue her only because of Three?
10: Who was there on page 833? Ozo? Oza? 0z9?
Looks like Ozo to me!
11. What can you tell about Niles and his companion:
When will we see them again?
What is Niles made of? Rock? Bone? Metal? Ice?
Do their transformations impair intellect? Make them more violent? Does the 3rd magic user overly exaggerate those changes?
Does the 3rd magic user become a dumb blonde after the transformation?
Do they have control over when they change back? Do they require assistance to revert?
Why does Niles have one horn?
Why do ghouls have 1 horn each?
Is Niles a kind of ghoul?
Do Niles and 3rd work for the faceless criminal seen on page 471?
- can’t say – It seems implied – Who Is the 3rd magic user? – Oh the blonde guy? Who knows. – Can’t say – Perhaps they’re incomplete and other creatures with two horns exist..? dun dun dun… - Can’t say. – Can’t say.
12. Why does Iron Judge wear a bird on his shoulder? Is it of any use? Does it symbolize something?
The bird represents justice.
13. Is nightshade hero named after night and shadows? Or after a poisonous plant?
The poisonous plant obviously :3
14. Why doesn't the comments form appear immediately when the new page is posted? Why does it take time to appear?
Sometimes I forget to create it until the page is already up, oops~
15. How do you pronounce "Ciel"? Is that a Fench word, or did you have something more sinister in mind?
- French word.
16. What is a "spirit friend"? Does Cherry have one? Is Ciel one?
Not an official term, just one used by Jay-Jay. Cherry’s power and Ciel could both theoretically apply.
17. Is Niles "The Scarlet Man"?
The scarlet man’s portrait whilst simple is quite accurate, you’d know if his identity was revealed.
18. How do ghouls respawn? Are there some respawn points? Do they reappear where they were destroyed? How random is it?
Depends on the player’s level. Newbies tend to respawn in the new player zone, but more experienced players sometimes do respawn closer to their objective, particularly if their class helps in this.
19. Do they appear fully alert and ready instantly, or does the process take some time?
Can’t answer that.
20. Do ghouls hold grudges against the ones who destroyed them? How good are they at telling people apart?
Grudge isn’t quite the word I’d use. They can tell people apart when it is relevant. The same way we can with animals.
21. Can Noah enter Ciel's mind?
He needs to physically touch someone to do so… so erm, first let’s work on that before we get to the advanced stuff.
considering the current pages (1707+)
its oddly prophetic (even if thats not the correct word)
and geez the buffer must be enormous (april news vs november pages)
Yeah it’s like 300+ pages lmao.
Q&A PART 7
Q1: Where you ever surprised on how fast (or how slow) the community figured out things about the comic?
A: I'm mostly surprised when people wildly guess without any rhyme or reason and somehow get things right that I haven't even hinted at.
Q2: Any anecdote of your expectations non being matched by what actually happened when the readers got to a particular piece of content?
A: Any time I make a typo and people think it is a plot point.
Q3: Now Noah can use "spirit eyes" to see and talk to Ciel but originally he needed mirrors/reflections to do so.
If you can tell us without spoiling anything else, why was this the case? Why mirrors?
A: In a sense Noah was self reflecting when talking to Ciel.
Q4: How did members of Eddstadt board get their positions? Are they magic users? If yes, how strong are they compared to heroes? Or are they just businessmen with no magic?
A: Yes to all.
Q5: What happened to de Vilette's arm?
A: She lost it.
Q6: Do elves fear and hate Veda?
A: I assume the one that got his face melted does.
Q7: Will there be a cat in HOH
A: Oh you don't even know.
Q8: And pigs! Will there be more pigs?
A: Have you guys been reading my buffer or something?
Q9: How did Logan lose his arm, cause he seems to have some sort of gauntlet replacing it.
A: He lost it by putting a gauntlet on it, but every evening he finds it again when he takes the gauntlet off.
Q10: Will Burk ever obtain a mighty steed?
A: Mighty is a subjective term, so I can't really answer for you.
Q11: Where is the Hero Plan's fifth step? If it doesnt exist, does that mean Burk can't count?
A: Either Burk can't count or there is a 5th step. Alternatively Burk's entire plan is misdirection.
Q12: When the elf mentioned monster, was that in a literal sense, as in, the Empire just has some random monster in some underground lab? Or is this used in a metaphorical sense?
A: I want to say both.
Q13: Will Noah's previous Non-Magicy mates ever show up again? S
A: If they will I doubt they'd be important, especially Cho.
Q14: Will anyone from Resthill show up again?
A: always Grandpa and Melany.
Q15: Are there any spells or technologies to regrow lost limbs? If yes, who can afford them?
A: I mean Ariara had a mechanical arm.
Q16: What is Three's hair made of? Is it like real hair? Plastic fibers? Metal/inorganic fibers? Just something solid in the shape of a wig?
A: Probably all of the above, but, like, fleshier. I just suggest not trying to chew on it like normal hair.
Q17: What is the red thing in Three's hair? Differently coloured hair? Some liquid? Slime? Is it immobile, or does it flow and drip?
A: Look I don't know how to tell you this but ... the less we talk about 3's hair the better.
Q18: I am curious- how many had thought the title was Hero On Hero? I was one.
A: Kinky. But how would I know!
Q19: How large are the populations of the states mentioned so far: Heroland total, Global Order total, Mage king subjects, Justopea, Livarall, Lorg? (Did I miss anything?) Either numbers or share of the world population.
A: Very big, Enormous, Somewhat decent, Pretty big, Somewhat biggish, Larger than it should be. (I don't know if you missed anything..)
Q20: The comic hints that magic users were scarce some time ago, but suddenly a bunch of kids are getting magic from... somewhere?
What is the cause of that "magical explosion"?
A: I want to say magic.
Q21: What is the purpose of EXAMPLE TEXT on page 1508?
A: It functions as example text.
Q22: How old are the main and important secondary characters? Burk, Noah, Tobi; Pablo, Veda, Pirate of the Strorm, Iron Judge, Guy, Eloy, Kimberly, Three, both Blue players. If the mental and physical age differ, tell both. For Tobi: how old does she think she is, and what age would a doctor name, when tasked to estimate her age?
Burk: Unlike popular belief, not in fact a teenager.
Noah: In fact, a teenager.
Tobi: Only looks like a teenager.
Pablo: Much younger than you'd think.
Veda: Don't ask.
Ariara: Don't know
Iron Judge: Moderately grandpa aged.
Guy: Stylishly old.
Eloy: Too young for his drinking habits.
Kimberly: Only old in a relative sense.
Three: Youngest one here.
Both Blue players: One is older than the other.
I forgot to mention which ages refer to their physical or mental age, but I'm sure you guys can figure that out.
Tobi again: Look the doctor would have a lot of questions about the elf ears, claw paws and other inhuman anatomical features we won't discuss here.
As always, I hope this cleared up all your questions! Feel free to ask me more for the next Q&A!
Happy New Year
Yo! I have arrived in 2020.
Come join me! Happy New Year.
Page will be a bit later today.
It appears that for some reason my page updater stopped working, so I won't be able to post a new page until Penguin has some time to look at why it doesn't work. >.>
Q&A: part 6
Here's a question of my own: What's your thought process in order to come up with a new character, in terms of their personality and quirks? Do you draw them first or later?
Honestly a mix of both! Some story arcs require certain characters, e.g. major antagonists or allies with certain traits; if I have no design that fits the role I add someone in later.
Other designs I just make as templates to use as I see fit, e.g. many of the heroes for Burk's story.
Others I design with a general idea of their personality with details filled in later, e.g. Fox from Tobi's story had her design and personality both cemented before I fleshed out details of the Smile story arc.
I've got a question : are the three main characters meant to meet one day ?
The storylines will somehow interact, but I refrain from discussing details on the how and when.
Question 3: APTGG mentioned that elves suffer from plant diseases. Is this still the case in HOH?
Question "4": Is the man with hidden face on page 722 the mage-king?
Read through APTGG. Why did you change Noah's hair colour?
In APTGG, Veda seemed to have powers similar to elvish. What was she? Some kind of renegade super-elf? Should we call her a dryad?
There were some other small pieces of background information in APTGG. Which are still valid?
- Does Global Order has 7 quarreling leaders?
- Are some of them uninterested in hunting Three?
- Was mage-king was born 148 years ago?
- Does Pablo have "anti awkward air escape"?
- Were Noah's parents married?
- Is Veda still a renegade super-elf?
- I don't think so!
- Wanted it to look more mundane.
- I wouldn't call her that myself.
- Around that number, yes!
- Motivation to hunt three definitely varies.
- Not sure!
- Was she ever? o:
Is the map that appeared in APTGG still valid? It was on page 80: http://www.neorice.com/aptgg_80 If yes, where are Justopea, Lorg and Lost Continent?
- The proportions are slightly off, but largely valid. Only two of those locations are portrayed.
Does Heroland ban firearms?
- With certain exceptions, yes.
When did the aristocrat leave Justopea?
- Question implies he lived there to begin with.
Did the emperor decide to start Project Veda because he discovered the aristocrat's magic powers?
- Who knows!
Is here a mayor villain in this story? Or that just depends of the POV?
- Depends on POV.
So when exactly did you decide "I'm going to make comics"?
Is making comics your main source of income? (don't answer if too personal)
What inspired the 3 main character's names? (Burk/Tobi/Noah)
If you had to "join forces" with another comic and mix characters & storyline... what comic would you choose?
- I guess years ago when reading various webcomics.
- nope, I'm a teacher.
- I honestly don't quite remember, I think I just picked names I liked.
- My friend Evevon. :3
Is Ciel truly a part of Noah?
(I.E Was she made by Noah's willing mind???)
Also, you doing fine buddy?
- O: Noah obviously didn't consciously design her as she is.
- yes I am!
Which Protagonist could reach the other's locations the fastest, if they choose to for some reason?
Would the character know the exact location they needed to reach? Because Tobi has zero clue where she is right now.
Does Toby need food? Or that just acts as a healing item?
How much time does is need to make one normal page?
Can Toby see deep underground?
- Good question, might answer it some day!
- usually "30 minutes", but sometimes art assets take hours to prepare, but they get repeat use, e.g. backgrounds.
- Her sight is somewhat limited due to distance, so there's depths that go too far for her.
What are "golems"? Is Three some kind of golem?
- Can't really answer without spoilers.
When Pablo and Guy discuss Pirate of the Storm, they mention her almost reaching top 10. But Eugene says she's number 3. Is Tobi's storyline that much later with Ariara gaining more notoriety?
- Where did Eugene say this?
What's your opinion of 8-Bit Theatre?
Three carries something long and red around the Lorg Harbor. What is it?
- useful stuff he never got to use!
Why does Smile refer to 2 people as "Blue"?
- Cause they're both the blue player!
What's the canon height of the main characters?
- I charted it out somewhere, I should find that again.
Burk's around 6', Noah's not particularly tall and Tobi is shockingly short, like, kid-sized.
Are all the story happening at the same time
Is Burkâ€™s sister a Burk, or is Burk unique in his Burkiness?
- I mean ... it kinda speaks for itself!
Most cities in Justopea we've seen so far are surrounded by walls. Why? Is the island that dangerous? Is the rest of Justopea like that?
Byrde has no wall. Why? Safe area? Too small to warrant spending money?
- Second guess is correct, smaller villages don't get the comfort of large protective walls, a place like Byrde just isn't worth the expense.
And yes, the Empire s quick to deem things dangerous.
Can Alex magic up a robot of her dreams? Does she want to? What will Veda say?
What do other people see when Noah enters someone's mind? Does he just suddenly disappear?
- yep, noah goes poof.
Are you ever going to do another Q&A? (Irony)
- ok fine.
What's creepy about Sandra and Woo?
- Just the weird mix of sexual jokes and themes & tiny kiddies.
As always, feel free to post more questions in the comments for the next Q&A!
Q&A Part 5:
1. Do you have plan for the comic to end? I.e. (Dreamland Chronicles)
Pr will the story never end? I.e. (Sandra and woo)
> I have an end in mind for the current story, yes.
Also Sandra and Woo is creepy.
2. What made you decide to become a pixel artist?
> SNES games!
Specifically, finding out that people on the internet actually made art similar to SNES games and it is a thing you could just ... do.
3. What inspired HoH?
Too many things lol, ranging from real life politics, to anime and manga, to cartoons to video games to movies. I like remixing inspiration.
4. The game announcer speaks through the smiley contestant in a way he described as "trippy". Why? Does he take control over his mouth (or any equivalent)? Can the announcer control the rest of the contestant's body? Or is the contestant just a remote-controlled puppet?
> Good questions, but can I answer them without spoilers?
5. The announcer seemed to understand Three. Did he?
6. Thanks for your answer. Now I'm imagining Burk in goldplated armor equipped with a weapon made from black crystal.
Is he now the most dangerous being in the world?
> He'd be pretty effective at fighting magic users ... gold armor would probably be heavy though.
But dangerous? There's definitely many characters quantifiably more capable of destruction.
7. Another thought about the reach of the antimagic. While I clearly exaggerated last time I'm wondering if there is some way to generate such an antimagic field in the first place. I jokingly said 10 km rsdius for the black crystals which could of course not be the case since it would mean that basically the whole city of Lorg is a completely magicfree zone which it is not.
So, is it possible to generate an antimagic field? What must be done to have one? Do they exist in the Empire or do they work on inventing one?
> In theory it should be possible, but it clearly isn't easy or fields like that would be all over the place.
8. Do undead exist?
> Define undead.
9. Exists a worldmap? Can we see it?
> Yes, but no. >:3
10. When a dying elf mentioned empire harboring a monster, who did he mean? Veda? Nail? Someone else we've seen?
> I'm not saying it's not Veda.
11. What's the deal with the superstrong man, who bled all over Noah? Is he like Burk? Is he Burk's brother? If the 3 storylines are out of synch, is he who Burk used to be?
> No, no, definitely no.
12. Will Noah ask Cherry about her pandemonium power?
> The answer to any "Will Noah" question usually comes in the form of "if someone or something forces him to."
13. If you've got separate indexes for the 3 characters, can you make the 4th one for intermissions than aren't in either?
> Well the intermissions we've had so far are set to "all characters" :3
14. How did royal guards determime which children to invite to meet Veda? How did they find Noah had magic before he did?
> Good question.
15. Who hired the hitmen to attack Alex? Was it the guards/veda ploy to make her reveal herself?
> That would make sense but be a super dickish thing to do, surely the great and glorious Empire wouldn't resort to such underhanded methods.
16. How did you pick the name "Veda"? Any relation to Hindu Vedas or the translation of "veda"?
17. How long ago did magic start to manifest?
> Exact moment of origins is unclear but it becoming the largest worldwide factor of influence spans the last 100 years or so, give or take.
18. How fast does time in Rauel go compared to the real world?
> Let's hope for Tobi's sake it's 1:1.
19. We've seem Emporio Garrimon in concealing clothes on page 720, where he is named. Have we seen him anywhere else?
Is he King Baku?
> My personal theory is that Garrimon was close friends with Baku but started self-concealing because anyone close to Baku would feel ashamed that they'd never match his incredible sense of Fashion.
20. Why is a continent lost?
> Cause people are thinking of the wrong definition of the word lost lol.
21. s there a world map with all mentioned locations? (Heroland, Logan Alexander's castle, Deepwood, Clover Coast, Livarall, Justopea, Gloria, Heaven, Lorg...)
> ... Heaven? Are you trying to find an easy way to the good place? I'm on to you!
22.Does the Lance train need rails, or can it go without them? If it needs rails, did the lost continent expedition involve frequent stops to repair the road?
It doesn't *need* rails but it sure as hell prefers them, and the parts of the road that need repaired aren't exactly reachable anymore so. -shrug-
23. Does Marble dye her hair or is this her natural colour?
> She dyes.
Like always, add future questions in the comments and I'll answer them once I feel there's enough!