Interesting find while cleaning out a box of papers: The original draft of the prologue and first chapter of Namesake. This is from late 2009. It’s handwritten because I wrote it during a couple of shifts at Bank of America, where all computer activity was logged so I didn’t want them to see what I was doing between phone calls, but now I do a good bit of the initial draft of Namesake material by hand.

I posted up the typed version of the prologue last year, but I’d forgotten about the first draft of chapter 1. The prologue was one of those rare instances where it was nailed on the first try, but Isa and I went through four or five radically different revisions of chapter 1 before we settled on the plot there, and then there was another revision (adding in Jack) while writing it.
 Here's the first page below, and you can view all the pages on my Tumblr.


Namesake prologue
Hey folks! So, our store had been in limbo for awhile as we were trying to make the transition to the Hiveworks' store. That store is still in development, so for the forseeable future, our old store is alive and well! You can reach it here, and we have copies of Namesake vol. 1 in stock. I'm going to be updating with our new prints over the next few days as well. I'm sorry it's taken us so long to get back to you on that!
(Yaaay, puns!)

To all you artists out there : an anthology of Oz short stories is looking for some artists. Me and Megan are doing a story for it (a story about Jinjur, my all-time favorite Oz character), and you guys should too! Take it from me - it's pretty darn fun to draw Oz stories. Here's the link, check it out : http://newhaven.craigslist.org/med/3755616674.html
So, I saw the coolest thing on Tumblr last week -- Namesake fanfic. We've seen a lot of really awesome Namesake fanwork in the past year or so, ranging from beautiful pictures to exquisite clay figurines. We showcased some of them on the site during the Christmas holiday, and I got a surprise picture from one of our readers in the mail -- all the way from France!

Since our readership is growing, I wanted to go ahead and lay out our feelings on fanfic, fanart, and the like: Go on! Do it! Have fun. Isa and I met through the Slayers fandom, and we both still produce fanworks. Isa still makes great fanart, and you don't want to know the amount of Doctor/River Song fanfic I've written in nearly two years (let's just say more than 50). We do have a fanworks policy on site, which lays out the specific Creative Commons conditions. To quote from it, while Namesake is sketched out in its entirety, we wouldn’t be surprised if someone comes pretty close to where we’re headed, hence why I make it a policy not to read Namesake fanfic, even though I will reblog it when I see it. We don’t want you to feel like your work has been ripped off without credit.

So, have fun with fanart and fanfic! I think the best complement I've ever received is knowing that we've inspired someone else to create their own art.
So, in an effort to try to be better about our social media presence, I've made it a goal to beef up our Facebook page. I'm going to be posting some things over there that tend to get lost on the site here, such as the Calliope reference photos and more. Like social media? Here's a rundown of where you can find Namesake, Isa, or myself.

In Isa's post, she mentioned the neglected wallpapers. The old wallpapers are on my other computer, so as soon as I get them off there, I will make them available onsite for everyone. I can't wait to see the new ones!
So, the wallpaper download page has been neglected for a while. How about I draw some! Feel free to suggest some wallpaper ideas in the comments to this blog post. Which characters would you like? In costumes? Dynamic action? Being adorable? Drinking tea?

Also, I wanted to show you guys the covers I designed for the Namesake hardcovers. You can see book 1 HERE and book 2 HERE.

Book 2 took a couple of trials before I got ti right. Here's the rejected second version. Figured you Emma/Warrick fans might like that :

This comic by Lit Brick has awakened in me once again very strong opinions I have about the world of Oz. figured I could share them... perhaps start a fun discussion.

Ozma, from the “Oz” series, is what could be considered one of the classic “trans” characters. She spends a good deal of her childhood as a boy, transformed by a witch, and is turned back into a girl so she can rule Oz in her “true body”. But Ozma always kept certain elements from her previous form, including what seemed to be strong affection for her lady companions.

I strongly feel that Ozma, along with most of Oz, breaks the rules of heteronormativity. Because it’s a kid’s book, sexuality is never really explored, but gender roles are broken up. And some relationships can be seen as rather romantic bromances/companions. I think it’s natural to see most of Oz as "bisexual" or "asexual" in the sense that they don’t feel the need to stay in the normal heterosexual relationship unless they want to. Being an immortal means that you don’t have to spend your life doing what society tells you you have to do. You don't need to rush through life. You and your kids live forever! Eternity is too long to be unhappy. You spend it with whomever you want to, regardless of their physical characteristics. Everybody has preferences, but a lot of them seem to be based on personality and interests.

A true utopia has no gender or sexual roles. You stay with whomever makes you happy, kiss whomever you want, and kick Nome king ass.

That is truly the type of Oz that is found in Namesake. Which is why there's people in there like Renge and Anlise, and the Tin Man and Aimee. They want to be with each other  even if it would be seen as "strange" in certain parts of a world like ours. When love happens in Oz, it's an intriguing concept. Jinjur is a fun example too... Really to kick collective butts to get her husband back... She's a firecracker, that one.

Younger folks (like Selva and Warrick) would have a different attitude then the older folks, like the Scarecrow. While they are young, they might want things that the older immortals don’t want anymore (like having children). So the younger Ozites have a different motivation when they choose their companions then the older Ozites. Basically, it’s kindoff the difference between what a teenager wants, and a 40 year old wants from a relationship. So you might find more young Ozites in more classical gender roles then the older Ozites.

But I guess generally - my point is folks in Oz prioritize happiness.

(Edited for clarity).
As I'm doing the re-lettering/edit on book 2, I am trying to see if we can fix the issue with some pages of chapter 8 that folks keep having. I'm trying to do it without having to rebuild those pages entirely, which means we'd lose all the comments on the affected pages.

For those of you who have had an issue with some of the chapter 8 pages in the past, could you please check the following link to see if you're still having problems with the image on that page?

Thank you for the help! If this worked, then we know replacing the image will fix it. If not, then we'll rebuild those pages.
Hey folks! Quick note about Namesake vol. 1. We are taking it out of the store until the end of the Kickstarter to ensure there are enough copies for our Kickstarter backers. We'll be relisting it in both places -- Hivemill and Storenvy -- once the Kickstarter is finished and we do a final inventory count on them. The orders placed in the last couple of weeks will be shipped within the next two days. Thanks!
Hey folks! As we're doing our art/editing passes for book 2, we're re-uploading some of the pages to match the book versions. Right now, we're working on chapter 6, and I still need to finish uploading chapters 4 and 5 from book 1. This doesn't contain any plot changes, just cleaning up art and giving the prose a good edit, as well as upsizing pages to our current style. If there's any questions or concerns, feel free to leave a comment!
Hey folks! So, it looks like a hurricane named Sandy is coming to pay a visit to Pennsylvania starting Monday night. I'm going to do my best to get as many of the books purchased on Thursday out the door on Monday, but if they're not, I won't be able to get back to the post office until Thursday/Friday. I apologize for the wait if this happens.

As for the status of Namesake, we're having a special Halloween comic on Tuesday, and updates are pre-scheduled on the site through November 10. If I lose power, the updates will continue as normal. Store orders will be fulfilled when I get it back.

For those who are in the storm's path, please be safe!
All of the slightly damaged Namesakes have been sold! I'll be packing them up and sending them out early next week.

These are not signed, but I can toss my name in there if you want. You'll have to track down Isa with a portal gun. But, speaking of appearances, those in the midstate Pennsylvania area can come check out the little Namesake table at Roc Con PA on Sunday! Be on the look out for River Song and Batman -- the husband and I decided to do cosplay.
Hey folks, we had some server issues in the past couple of days that resulted in part of our archive being lost. I'll be replacing the pages, but it'll be when I get home from work in an hour. Sorry about that!
Check out the semi-new digs! I changed our back end from ComicPress to Comic Easel on Saturday, completely freaking out our wonderful ad guys (Sorry, Antares. You really put up with so much from us) and adding a number of site fixes and tweaks. This makes it easier for us to update comics. Also check out the archives and the cast page! Pretty snazzy! I'm also starting the process of updating the prologue through chapter 5 with the book pages as opposed to the pages already up. Cleaner art, cleaner dialogue, very cool. I'm slowly updating the posts with the characters and adding pictures to the cast page. Thank you so much for the awesome back end, Frumph!

The one casualty to the new system was our old blog entries, which didn't survive. I did want to preserve one article from that: An insight into the cast as of October 2010. So, I'm reprinting it below. Enjoy the updated read!

A bit about our cast: Originally published October 2010

With today's comic, we revealed a bit more about where our characters are and some of the locations involved in the story. Over the next couple of weeks, I'll write up a bit more about them, including the results of a research trip in the United Kingdom.

The story opens in Toronto, a place where Isa lived for one summer and I spent a week in 2008. The roots of the Namesake story always had it taking place in Toronto. Emma, Elaine and Ben are all from there. Emma and Elaine is French-Canadian. Ben is English-Canadian, even though his full name - Benoit - is French. His parents were influenced by the culture. Ben, on the other hand, gets stabby if you use his full name.

Jack is American and comes from a poor neighborhood in the heart of Harrisburg, Pennsylvania. Jack's upbringing influences him a lot, and I wanted him to grow up in a place that was struggling. He didn't feel Southern or from the West Coast. Having him come from New York City seemed like a cliche, so I decided on Harrisburg - which is just about 10 miles from my apartment. We'll be visiting Jack's past later in the story.

Alice grew up in Liverpool. Calliope, which will be described in chapter 3, is also based there. Calliope's location came first. My husband is from Liverpool, and when I visited this city for the first time and was told some of the history, I realized that it would be a perfect spot for something that happens later. The city is more than 800 years old, and has always been one of England's major harbors.

Alice being from Liverpool was almost an accident. We wanted her from the UK, but not London or Oxford, which we both though a bit cliché. We had a Liverpool expert right at our finger tips who works for hugs and potato chips. Alice and Calliope being from Liverpool sprang due to the plot, but her love of football is an homage to my husband.

Wendy is our London representative. For the record, Vanessa is French and Karen is Swedish.
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Con Schedule
Toronto Comic Arts Festival
May 12-13, 2018
Toronto, Canada

Montreal Comicon
July 6-8, 2018
Montreal, Canada

Flame Con
August 18-19, 2018
New York City

Dragon Con
August 30-September 3, 2018
Atlanta, Georgia