Hi everyone ! Hope you had a great summer, like I did ! (Weddings, Berlin, swimming in lakes in Switzerland...) But now it's time to go back to work, so celebrate Labor Day with a new addition to the American Freaks comic !
I finished drawing (H)Ex - part 1 in August of 2012, which means it took six years and a couple days for me to complete the story (which is a bit ludicrous since I literally drew this whole chapter in 3 days) ! Better late than never I guess. I renamed the two-part story "The Girlfriend", since it no longer has anything to do with witches, unlike previously planned.
Though I didn't draw any A-F comic in six years, I never abandoned the project ; I made a bunch of artworks and developed the story, which allowed me to improve the comic. I made a bunch of significant changes (like the name of the city). For example, Noah, who first appears physically in Part II, used to have a completely different name in Part I :
Anecdotally, Noah is actually an older character than all the other ones. I created him as a part of the cast of Deep, a supernatural action comic (you can read some of it here). I decided to re-use his design when I gave up on that first project, and he seemed like the perfect addition to the freaks roaming in Portwood.
As for Ned's ex, she was supposed to JUST be a nameless girl that would only appear in this episode as a means to introduce Noah (she was so inconsequential that I googled the term "Basic Bitch" to design her clothing and hairdo). I ended up really liking her design, so I decided to keep her in the cast, as she's kind of an asshole, which makes her a perfect addition.
But the biggest change is the character of Perry. Though he has the same personality, I completely remodeled him, going from this
to this :
Some of it has to do with evolution in my art style (which has become a little less manga over the years), a lot of it has to do with actually making him look mixed-race like he's supposed to be, instead of the indeterminate ambiguity of his previous looks :
Anyway, I hope you like the chapter ! I'm going to force myself to go back to comic-ing immediately, as I tend to take overlong breaks everytime I finish a comic. The script for Bruise's third episode is ready, I have a new short story project that i've been wanting to make for two years, and I already have plenty of other American Freaks stories planned, so, if all goes well, there won't be another six-years gap before Perry, Ned, Gunner and the Portwood gang are back!