Demon of the Underground

Thursday, October 2, 2014

DOTU - A (Not So Brief) History of Pogo

I mentioned on Demon of the Underground's website that I've been developing Pogo as a character since 2006, and I was recently asked why I didn't launch DOTU until 2011 if it had been in development for so many years before that.  It occurred to me that even though I've been around and sharing my art online since the 90s, most of my readers only know me from DOTU, many of them from after my hiatus in 2013.

So I decided to share a little bit of background information, even though this is supremely embarrassing for me because I can't stand looking at my old artwork.

This is one of the earliest drawings I have of Pogo.  My style was a little different back then (it was 8 years ago!), and I was still getting a feel for this whole "art" thing.  In this picture, he's about 5 years older than he is in DOTU, but he was still pretty much the same guy: an inappropriate, lecherous, ferret-wielding thief with (also inappropriate) telekinetic powers.  He's unathletic and pretty much useless in a fight, but there are hints of something darker and possibly demonic in his background.  At this age, he usually wears a spiky hairstyle, but I chose to share this picture because it's one of those un-gelled moments where he looks a little more like he does in DOTU.

In 2006, I was planning my senior thesis in college, which would be finished in 2007.  For my thesis, I did ~20 pages of a comic called Unholy, in which Pogo was the lead character.

Here are a couple of shots from the 2007 comic.  And look, there's Annie in the second shot!  And yes, Pogo is pointing to what you think he's pointing to.  Sorry for the awkward crop, but his upper body contains a spoiler, haha.

After 2007, I set Unholy aside.  A few college instructors told me to submit a proposal to some publishers.  I think I submitted one or two, but it was a no go, and at that time, I really wasn't committed to doing comics.  I was more concerned with getting a full time job in art.  I got one, and it dominated my life for the next four years.

But on the bright side, after a couple years at my job, I got good enough at it that it no longer sucked ALL the life out of me, and sometimes when I came home, I had enough energy left to do a bit of drawing.

I wasn't happy with the art style of Unholy from 2007, so I decided to give it another go in 2009.

I did about 13 pages, and I shared them to my original deviantART account (bob-artist), which I later deactivated for the sake of a fresh start.  (Some of these pages are still floating around my Livejournal, but I keep that account friends-only.)  I didn't have any set schedule, and I still wasn't really committed.

Unholy takes place in the year 2160.  This page showed a flashback to 2155, which happens to be the year that DOTU takes place.  (In fact, Pogo thinks about this visit to the confessional on page 3 of DOTU.)

While struggling with Unholy, I did a lot of brainstorming about Pogo's past.  In Unholy, Pogo is quite a... distinct guy, and he's been shaped by the years he spent associating with people in the underground.  I decided to focus more on creating that underground world that influenced him so much.  That's when I started outlining Demon of the Underground.

In November 2009, I participated in Nanomango for the first time.  I worked on Ludwig the Rock, another comic that I'm still developing.  When the June 2010 round came, I decided to try it again.  This time, I worked on Demon of the Underground.  I did some character and world development and completed the first 30 pages in sketch form.

In June 2011, I did the next 30 sketch pages along with various character illustrations.  In July 2011, I officially launched the webcomic.  Below, you can see two quickie art cards, one of my first promo illustrations, and a snippet from the finished comic.  (Yes, Pogo's hairstyle is different in the promo image, and yes, there's a reason for it, but it's a spoiler.)

The webcomic ran weekly (with a couple of twice weekly moments) throughout the remainder of 2011 and 2012.  In 2013, I got very sick and couldn't work on DOTU or anything else.  In April 2014, I got better and resumed work on DOTU.  It's been updating weekly since then.  Unholy is now the sequel to Demon of the Underground, and I will still complete it, but it definitely won't be an exact replica of what I did in 2007 or 2009.

(originally posted on Tumblr on 8/21)

Been a while, hasn't it?

So I kind of forgot that this blog existed, but I didn't really forget because it was in the back of my mind, but I could never find the time to update it.

The last time I updated was before my horribly long hiatus due to horribly long illness.  Anyone who happens upon this blog and doesn't already know that DOTU is back and updating regularly again, you can read my comments from my first day back here on chapter 2, page 18.  That was back on April 28, so about 5 months ago.

Anyway, these days I probably post most frequently on Tumblr, but I'm going to try to make sure I post any important news here on the official blog.  For a rundown of the latest news:

Demon of the Underground is now available on a few new mirror sites.  Here's a list of the sites, and the schedules for each site. (official) - New pages every Monday.  The newest.  Every Monday.  I also post the latest news announcements in the comments section of each new page.

Smackjeeves - Literally cut-and-paste from the official site.  New pages every Monday, usually immediately after posting to the official site.  I will guiltily admit that there have been one or two times when I forgot to update for a few hours or until the next day, but it was literally like only 2 times.

Tapastic - Chapter 1, part 1 is up in its entirety, and new pages will go up in batches of 2 every Monday.  Once it's within 10-15 pages of the official site, I will drop down to a once weekly schedule (or maybe two pages every other week).  It's more difficult to post news, links, and voting incentive announcements to Tapastic, and I get no ad revenue from it, which is why it will stay 10-15 pages behind the official site.

Inkblazers - Right now, I'm planning to have this site update at the same schedule as Tapastic, but I'll only continue to use this mirror if it draws a significant amount of readers.  Inkblazers does now allow you to schedule pages to post automatically, and it also doesn't appear to be as good as Tapastic at exposing newly listed comics to new readers, so this one is a "wait and see" deal.

DeviantArt - I don't post pages here as frequently anymore because not many people read DOTU here, and because I have to do the navigation links by hand, it's a bit of a hassle.  So I usually update in batches of 4-5 pages, and it always stays at least one page behind the official site.