Apology to my female readers (reader?) for Sasha’s gravity-defying chest in the last panel. In my defense, she’s jumping down from a high place.

So, I really am proud of the shading method I’ve switched to. It’s WAY faster than the original method; Usually I’d need to devote about an hour to shading a page like this, but with this new method, I am pretty sure it took about 20-25 minutes. I didn’t time it, but I’m almost positive that it’s way faster.

It also looks WAY better.

The past week has been a big mess of being busy at work. Frank wasn’t in the studio again, so I wasn’t able to go in this week.

Lately I’ve splurged a bit on myself. I have a lot of money saved up from working the holidays (and saving my birthday money) so I decided to spend a bit on myself. I feel I earned it, what with keeping up with the comic so well, and being so responsible with everything else in my life lately. I Pre-ordered Fable: Anniversary on Amazon, Pre-ordered Dark Souls II: Collector’s Edition, and bought a year of Xbox Live.

I’ve been really excited since the announcement of Fable: Anniversary. Fable: The Lost Chapters is my favorite console game of all time, and I’ve played a lot of games over the years. I’ve never felt as at home as I did in Oakvale. It actually deeply upset me in Fable 2 when they tell you that Reaver sold the town to demons for eternal youth. I actually never forgave the character in later iterations of Fable for doing that. My point is, if you have an Xbox 360 and weren’t able to play Fable: The Lost Chapters on the original Xbox—play it. Buy it, and play it. Play it twice. Seriously, even if you played 2 and 3 and didn’t like them, play Anniversary. It is better than both games combined.

As for Dark Souls II, I’d have to say Dark Souls has quickly climbed the ranks in its short lifespan. I actually got Dark Souls second hand—a friend of mine bought it for the 360 by mistake, and gave me his copy when he got a PS3 version. The game is spectacular. If you haven’t played the game, you are given about 9 minutes of back story at the beginning, and then you’re completely on your own as far as finding out what to do. Because I was going into the game blind (I started on launch day), and there wasn’t any hand-holding, the game was truly that of exploration for me. Especially when it comes to the lore of the game, most of which is completely told through descriptions on found items (Here are some examples of some Dark Souls lore). That further immersed me in the game, as I was finding artifacts of an old kingdom, discarded throughout the land, all of which had their own stories for how they fell there.

Mix the discovery, with the fact that the game is difficult as hell and completely unforgiving, and it became a true experience if I’ve ever had one gaming.

Dark Souls ended up being the third game on the Xbox 360 that I obtained 100% Achievements in, which is one of the most daunting video game accomplishments I’ve ever achieved. I only know one other person who has reached that goal. For my friends, we would sit around and tell stories about our experiences playing the game, like knights recounting war stories. We all knew the paths, but the experiences were all unique and interesting. For my friends, beating Dark Souls is a rite of passage almost. The game holds a strong place in my heart now, hence my desire to get the Collector’s Edition of the sequel. I am really excited to get my hands on it when it comes out.

Alright, enough gaming talk. I’ll let you go.

Enjoy your weekend! See you Tuesday!