11 years of drowtales… Very few webcomic last that long. I remember 2001 when i begun college and drowtales at the same time. It was a very different internet; there were no social network, no smart phone, no youtube, or for that matter, internet streaming at all. Did i say terrible web designs? oh yes that there were plenty, just check Drowtales on the internet way back machine and you’ll know what i mean. Pink and black for the win! And the art… there is a reason why it’s gone from the site. I need to protect those precious eyeballs of yours from the horror that was neon colored misshapen muppets with smiley riddled narration box! For mankind sake, it is all sealed in pandora box. As 2001 came to an end, so did my College and so did come the realization that i had to find a way to live with school debts, as does so many young adults out there. I had to find a job, something that took a while to do. When i finally did find one, i faced a hard decision, one i still remember vividly. I could continue with Drowtales, take a risk, or i could go with the job, which was to work as a programmer in someone’s basement. I do not regret my decision, sure i’ve had hard times , long hours, endless works but it’s worth it in the end. From just me in my mother’s basement to a 30 people team spread across the world, these 11 years sure saw a lot of thing happens. The high days of oekakis , with dozens pictures every day on Drowtales alone. The hosting community on my first dedicated server. Artists applying to draw daydream and side stories. Starting a company. Meeting Kite for the first time. Working with partner whose full time work is to help drowtales continues. Book printing and distribution. Doing Moonless age remakes…those damn remakes. Experimenting with interactivity through Mel knighthood, relic hunter, path to power, even demonic courtship which i bet most people don’t even know exist. Making games, audiobooks, animations, music and podcast! From advertising through guest pages , top site and banner exchange to the modern google adwords and projectwonderful. Going as guests to conventions and speaking in front of crowds that had no idea who we are…
It’s a long career, yet it is a path that feel so short in my memory for i do not see the end of the path. We’ve had our up and down. Right now i believe we are in one of those down, and it’s all about climbing back the slope by trying new things.

Speaking of new thing!
Since February i’ve been working on 3 stories while producing Moonless age. 11 years is a lot of time on one project, enough to cause mild insanity(!?). I need to do something new to keep writing and drawing fresh. To improve in both. Once all 3 stories prototype are complete, they will go online for you to judge and vote on which you think has the most potential. The most popular story will then be serialized. The first is Mistfolk(Previously known as Hermunbé since 2010).A short low fantasy story from two “human” point of view, set in the lands of halmes and hermionnes. A bloody affair of clashing visions on what it means to be free in a land of mists, where the mystical is at the corner of the eye of the mortals that live there. Hazy shoudred visions hidden by mist, but visions that gaze back upon the watcher. I’ve done all the pages up to flat colors with text but the coloring by Starlitdragon is not complete yet.
The second is We are ferals, a light spirited comedic project about the cat-like specy of Drowtales that I’ve begun work on in the summer of 2009. I had plenty of concept art , a chapter written, 2 pages… and then nothing. Work pressure and lack of belief in the project made me push it aside. Now, it is back to life with a new artistic direction. You can view the story prototype below, colored by Mellamo. The third is Mythes (yes with a E, i told you about the insanity), a high fantasy story that i would not dare to draw myself beyond making the drafts of the pages. Instead Donny of daydream fame take the lead in this one. Individual stand alone stories set in a norse mythology setting. Each tale about a different topic that eventually cross paths. Einherjars, Aesirs, valkyries, Helians, this kind of stuff. Moonless age sometime refer to norse mythology concepts but to the Lath and Ssus of the underworld, it’s all legends and tales of far away lands. Legends have roots, a source, and this serie of Mythes is all about them. Donny will need one more month to complete the prototype with the quality it’s deserve.
This said, check out the prototype of We are Ferals! : (Edit: Readers with small monitor, you can use the direct links underneath to view the pages)






Direct links for small monitor: page 1, page 2, page 3, page 4, page 5, page 6
All 3 stories are drawn horizontally, a concept that i’ve been wanting to explore for a long time. You can view the concepts of the ferals in the news’s “we are ferals” category. My deviantart gallery has a dedicated section. Kite’s gallery also have concepts, but scattered.

On the topic of Moonless age.
Since January i’ve published my concerns about the state of the studio quite openly. There is a way to cut down the cost and the workload while providing a daily, 7 pages a week update rate which would speed up the story flow. This solution is to allow other artists to take over some story arcs. We’ve done it for chapter 19, though the reception was negative due to it’s lack of colors. This part is easily rectified. Yes those artists are learning the craft, but then so do i, every artists is on his/her own path to improvement. I believe that if our readers give the new artists the chance to try, they will be rewarded in the end. Zeerose already proven that she can steadily provide updates while maintaining a cheerful interaction with the community. Leopardwerecat is a yearly contributor to our contests where she twice became runner up, she is an active member of the community and her coloring skill is greatly improving. Instead of having them do side story, they could help push the main story forward. They’d help to bring back much faster Kiel, Chiri, Vaelia and other important characters that our readers love. With months ahead, they’d each produce entire an chapter of their own, which in turn, allow me to write more stories and ensure i’m not burnt out with all the project necessary to bring back the studio back to it’s feet.
In the end, it is your choice to say wheter you wish to give this a try or if you’d lose interest in a Moonless age done by multiple teams.

Zeerose:
Leopardwerecat:

The poll was clear that there is an interest in a new archive specialized in serving half of the Drowtales readership. A daydream archive by women for women. Mellamo and Zeerose guide this project which is completely out of my hands. For now the extra archive will serve to publish the pages they produce on a weekly basis. After a few months of trial, if this is successful we will make a new archive slot for it or redesign the extra archive accordingly. This will increase the amount of updates Daydream receive as the extra archive was only a monthly update. When you read this, the first page of ladydream should already be online for both members and non members. Though only members may vote on what story is to be produced. The writer will be vigilant so that the male majority do not skew the stories back to a male-centric kind of fanservice. Member or not, you can view the story selection! If the concept is not popular, we’ll put back the usual wallpapers or bring back the “Ask Kiel a question” concept.

Spring 2012 art contest participant (Click for larger view):

The winner is :


Runner up are : Liv Wallace, Stephen Elsen, Isness
I’ve selected my 4 favourite and from them Kite broke the tie by selecting Solandy’s whose art came out as something special.

Wiki
The wiki got completely remastered by Soilborn and Embair. Check it out for it is very different from it’s previous state. timeline, story lines, all clans, characters, redesign structure. And the wiki team invite you to contribute through the world setting forum.


The first path to power noble family concept with a the new interface by Starlitdragon. I do not have a date for this to be completed as the template just got done. The community gave 200$ so far to see the downgrade become reality , though we need more, i wish to confirm a coder before taking any more commissions to fund the project. I’d like to see Valts put the new design if he has the time, if not a contractor will be pulled in. Anything that is broken will be taken out. Everything that can easily be fixed will remain, except the clan’s inventory which by request of the GM will be removed. Perhaps after it is done, we’ll e be back to a PTP1 level of interactivity, but then, perhaps it is for the best. Readers will be allowed to register for free as Colonists to participate in the game. Only clan members can lobby the queen and have a character design however.
The second family artwork is right below. Yes the central characters get covered, sorry, we’ll work around this for future families and we’ll make sure the family artwork are fully visible on PTP for those who wish to browse through them.

That’s it! Onward to the 12th year!

 

44 Responses to 11th Anniversary Special

  1. Ali says:

    Congrats to the competition winners, you guys did great! Lovely artworks =D
    AND YAY FOR LADYDREAM. 8D

  2. Junglefowl26 says:

    So much good stuff…how is it even possible to create so much awesome!?

    So happy to see Mistfolk will be continuing…though it looks like Stone Company will no longer be a part of it. A shame, I so love Stone Company….though I want to see Hermoine and Hermunbé so bad as well…
    What will happen to the old Mistfolk anyway?

    Mythes and Ferals! seem really good as well. Too bad only one will get a comic (errr…not that I am not grateful that even one will get a comic. Everything considered, it is pretty amazing that will happen.)
    Mythes in particular sounds like it has a lot of potential….I’ve always wondered about helians…and I am very curious what Einherjars, and valkyries are in the DT world as well….
    Assuming I am reading this correctly. The new comics still take place in the same universe, yes?

    Zeerose and Leopardwerecat chapters sound awesome..and that is an amazing picture of Kiel. I hope we see her chain sickle in action!

    Thanks again for all the hard work!

  3. Jonarus_Drakus (Eh'rin D'rak) says:

    Personally, I’d prefer to see one of these new “spin-off” comics come to reality than have the main comic go back to 7 days… (are people REALLY that worked up about you guys -and girls- taking a day off…?). I voted in line with that in that new page poll thingy…

    To be fair, I’d be happy with pretty much anything you can/are willing to turn out for us readers! :P

    ALSO: The New PtP layout looks AWESOME!

    JD

  4. Pitdragon says:

    Happy Anniversary! *Takes a shot*

  5. Catriana says:

    Hello! Wow, so many updates and news! I’m not entirely sure what sort of coder you’re looking for, but my best friend is very good, affordable, and I do believe available for hire.

    http://blustyle.net/

  6. Cavalary says:

    I think we’re being very spoiled as it is, with this rate of 6 updates per week, but far more important is the outstanding quality. Then again, I’m the very patient type, so would find no problem even with getting down to a far more common rate of 3 updates per week if that could preserve (or, if even somehow possible, even increase) the quality (and perhaps also allow the team to have some sort of lives outside the studio, because the amount of work you seem to be putting into this should be illegal!), but would certainly mind a drop in quality or even simply in consistency, no matter how much additional content that’d bring. Quantity’s important, true, but quality far more so.

  7. James Rye says:

    Oh my gosh, those artsworks are amazing!
    Same for the family pics of PtP! And that layout is to die for~
    And 7 updates again if we take a change of art?
    Awesome!!! You really spoil us, Kern. <3

  8. Devour the Cabbage says:

    I’d be more than happy to see other artists do chapters, seeing how you folks developed as artists from the start of this was brilliant alongside the story itself, so getting to see other artists in the same position (for lack of a better word) should be grand.
    Surprised your trying to up the output on the comics though, even moonless age alone matches the speed of those little 4 slide ‘comics’ in terms of how fast they come out, I honestly don’t see the need in filling the one day a week unless you really want to.
    On the other hand I agree with the folk before me and happy anniversary.
    Whiskey for all and all that!

  9. Zeerose says:

    Alright! Drowtales is official old enough to cross the street on its own! That’s rare for most webcomics that don’t even leave infancy. ^__^

  10. Tiam says:

    *Blink,blink,blink* Huh! Whoa! Well, firstly, congrats for reaching awesome age of eleven! I have to say that DT continues to amaze me in every way, it takes something special -perhaps mild insanity is indeed the right term- to make a dream so unusual and so ambitious to come true and yes many sacrifices. I can’t even imagine the headaches involved particularly when DT was still new. But I’m so very glad we have DT.
    About the quality versus quantity in artwork, I think that in the long run having more artists will be better for eveyone. I hope so anyway. Truthfully when I look at that long list of projects and getting 6 or even 7 (!) new pages per week plus all the things I don’t even know about, well, it does look more than mild insanity. You are spoiling us! There’s no escaping that fact. So perhaps you do need a larger team. So that you can spoil us more!
    Also Huzzah for Wiki updates! And massive applause for grown up Kiel! She looks so beautiful! I miss you Kiel!!

  11. Kirik says:

    Happy 11th anniversary DT!

    I know that personally I would not like to see main story done in Zeerose side story style, it’s a bit too lacking, no offense of course, I’m not an artist in any way just a reader with an opinion.
    Leopardwerecat at least judging from that Kiel picture is something I like much more in art style.
    I prefer to see side stories done by other artists to see them improving there step by step and then make them do some main story short extra chapter, than pushing them right away on the deep water.
    I really liked that Sillice B/W story chapter with it’s rather unique feel to usual colored pages, but it was much better in art style and quality for me than current side story.

    I’m suppose in that camp where I prefer less or the same number of updates we got currently, but with maintaining current quality than going over in quanity regarding main comic, side stories should be place for aspiring artist to polish their skills.
    DT gone really into high standard of quality pages of the main comic, it would be a bit of letdown to see it degrading.

    LadyDream will be interesting experiment, still I don’t know how it will be possible to measure its popularity when it just took slot of extra archive than getting it’s own with seperate subscriptionto see if allthese people who voted on paying more for extra female story oriented archive would really do that(I still hope that at some point in future wallpaper/exa story will be back).

    And from all these new projects I won’t hide that the Feral story is something which I like the most just from the look and descriptions of other ones, I’m not particulary interested in norse mythology or human point of view so I know I rather won’t follow them due to lack of interest.

    As for the contest, I have to agree that Kiel winning piece is something else, but the best for me is ArielMelodia entry.

  12. Laurie (llemaire) says:

    First off: Congratulations on the milestone! 11th Anniversary!

    Well done with the Ferals comic. I would certainly follow it if it continued. It’s got a very quirky appeal to it, and the ferals are just damn cute.

    With regards to Moonless Age: I would rather see the main story continue with the primary team. The other artists are both talented and I do enjoy their work, but as someone that has every intention of collecting the comics in print as you release the books, I prefer a more unified look to the comics I collect.

    Ladydream: I am going to have to renew my DD subscription when I get home from work tonight!
    I am also of a mind that if it helps ease the workload, I would prefer to see you reduce the amounts of pages per week than see the art of the main story change.

  13. Master Oki Akai says:

    Happy Anniversary boss!

    I can still remember those days, but i could not believe over a decade had passed O.o
    Tis a hard life you have chosen but you are successful nonetheless! Never stop being proud of that.
    And you have sure as hell earned a break from your regular work! XD

    My luv to Mary and the rest of the DTs staff.

  14. David says:

    Ooh, I like Leopardwerecat’s art. The Ferals story looks good too!

  15. Kearnaun says:

    Happy anniversary! And … *steals away all the ferals* …

  16. Oddberry126 says:

    First of all, I’d like to say ‘Happy 11th birthday Drowtales!!!’ It’s already been so long and as someone who has been lurking on this site for a great deal of those eleven years I gotta admit that I’m impressed by all the dedication Kern and his team put into this comic and this website in general. It obviously requires a lot of willpower and work to do so and I can only admire them for their strenght and faith in their skills and vision. Keep up the good work, guys! I support you all 200%!

    Secondly I would like to point out the dilemma between either a part of the main arcs of the story drawn by other artists or slower updates while the ‘main’ team works on the arcs themselves. I am a strong supporter of the latter option. The thing that made me love Drowtales is in the first place its beautiful art style. I’ll be sincere and say that I’d hate to see the consistency in art style drop because of other artists drawing the stories (no offense to them, though) instead of the the main team. I am a very very patient person, I wouldn’t mind if the updates would decrease to even 2 or 3 pages a week. In fact, I think this would also give Kern and the rest of his team some more time to ‘breathe’ and go out. A person can only work so much before having a burn-out and I really admire Kern and his team for keeping up the pace so high until now. I certainly would not be able to do this. I don’t mind if some scenes don’t get drawn fully because of this. I can imagine fighting scenes just as well, they are of little importance to me. Also, there are side stories for a reason. Other artists can train themselves and their skills while doing these stories. I don’t mean to say to just shove other artists aside, as I am sure they have far better skills than I would ever dream to have, I just wouldn’t like to see the art style change with every chapter of the main story that comes along.

    So please, please, don’t let the artwork change! Thank you!

  17. Smokehammer says:

    Yeah Happy 11th!

  18. 11 years… I can’t believe I started reading this comic when I was waaaaay back in collège, at 14 years old x_x I’m pretty this is the first webcomic I got truly hooked into as well.

    MAY IT CONTINUE ONWARDS AS TOWARDS A SUCCESSFUL 12TH YEAR~

  19. Starlitdragon says:

    Congratulations on another year. Every April 17th reminds me I’ve been reading the comic since I was 14 years old. I’m happy for you guys.

    DROWTALES FIGHTING

  20. Nacht says:

    I remember the chapter drawn by alternate artist, it was good!
    To be honest I am very happy with the comic as it is, although I will always welcome any improvements as long as it it feasible for you guys physically and financially. If paying other artist is worthwhile to give you guys a break I am more than happy!

    And yay for Ladydream!!

  21. Bloghdaw says:

    As much as I like having Drowtales update so often, I’d much rather the art style stay the same and have fewer updates. I really don’t mind the time it takes to have the story progress, even if I really do want to see some of the characters again, and a daily/weekly/whateverly change in the style would bother me. I appreciate people trying to learn their craft, and in their own comic I’d probably be interested. But after so long with what we have now, I’d feel like something was lost.

    • Bloghdaw says:

      *Slight edit, artists like Leopardwerecat and a few others I’ve seen are relatively close to the current style, and I wouldn’t mind them doing pages sometimes.

  22. Honu says:

    Congrats on your 11th year of Drowtales, Kern. You have designed the Drowtale universe having a solid foundation of history and that is what makes it wonderful. Personally, I love how interactive Drowtales is compare to what other webcomics take on. There is always something interesting being discussed here. Heck, your brave enough to ask for opinions or advice from us. One day I wish for Drowtales to reach to the next level and become animated from a Entertainment corporation seeing how grand the fandom has grown.

  23. La'karma says:

    Congrats on 11 years of awesome (yes, even counting the legendary pink and black layout and crappy drawing that you are saving my eyes from)~
    I’m a new reader and I am so happy that I found this webcomic. Thank you, Kern and the Drowtales Team, for creating such an amazing world and cast for me and others to fall in love with. I know that I will continue to read so long as you are willing to keep going, no matter who might be drawing the story. I am even thinking of joining Daydream (in a few months time) and know that I will waiting for free player option on PTP. Onwards to the 12th anniversary and beyond!

  24. Hamilkar says:

    Happy 11th Anniversary Drowtales!

  25. Pariel says:

    This celebration is going for so long it’s beginning to become repetitive. Good job and happy birthday.

  26. Oddberry126 says:

    @Pariel: There’s nothing wrong with repetitiveness…Not if it involves a birthday! ;)

  27. Alric says:

    Happy 11th birthday Drowtales! May there be many more!

  28. BlackFulcrum says:

    Congratulations Drowtales, and especially to you Kern, you succeeded where so many other failed, and you created an amazing and interesting universe (or should I say multiverse if take the daydream stuff into account) that continues to grow each day, you’ve recruited some of the best people around for your team, and are still going ahead full steam.
    You have kept me, and everyone else here, entertained for all that time, and I’ll hope you’ll keep doing that for many more years to come.

    We are Ferals! made me laugh, it’s a fun less serious comic, and I can’t wait to see how the other two are.

    As for Moonless age, I am in the camp of those who think you should keep doing the main story chapters, I don’t really care if it takes longer, heck go back to 5 days a week if you need to, 6 is a huge treat for us, and of the few webcomics that lasted as long as Drowtales none have that kind of update rate.
    To me, you not drawing Moonless Age for a few chapters, that’s like Kishimoto not drawing Naruto, or Kubo not drawing Bleach, it wouldn’t feel right, I think that’s the best way to put it, it’s a feeling thing, you’re the artist who started all this, we want to see you finish it, us dedicated fans are greedy like that.
    Sure we have to wait before we can see all our favorite characters, but waiting and anticipating is half the fun, so I don’t really mind.

  29. Rilla Treespirit says:

    Happy 11th birthday Drowtales! Soon it’ll be a teenager!

    I love We are Ferals already as the very first page made me laugh! The other two idea’s sound great too.

  30. Stonecoldsober says:

    For archive access to the side stories, have you considered having read-only level(s) of access, without voting capability? I’ve considered subscribing on many occasions, but I just want to read *everything*, and not actually vote.

    • Kern says:

      There won’t be a cheaper access to daydream. If anything the price will have to go up soon.

      • Stonecoldsober says:

        I enjoy reading – I’m not the interactive sort, so the voting aspect has no interest for me. What I’d like is a “gimme everything in read-only” level, without picking and choosing.

        Never said anything about ‘cheaper’ in the original comment. :)

        • Kern says:

          hm then couldn’t you just not vote? Or is it you mean that you wish for the stories to be non interactive to anyone?

          • Stonecoldsober says:

            Actually, I meant exactly what I wrote. :)

            Obviously the interactivity is popular, or the voting option wouldn’t still be there – I’m not saying that should go away, only suggesting an additional non-voting level that encompasses everything.

          • Kern says:

            Look like there is a limit on the amount of stacked replies wordpress allow. Stonecoldsober, i thought you were asking for the read-only access we had in 2005 and prior which was 2.5$. If it’s not about this, nor is it about asking a non-interactive daydream version nor it is about the choice of simply not voting. Then i don’t understand, sorry. Email me at kern@drowtales.com with more details as to your request.

  31. donny says:

    Congratulations Drowtales, Congratulations Kern.
    Onward to the 12th year!

  32. Stonecoldsober says:

    I’m not sure I’d be any clearer in email, if I’m not clear enough here. Never mind…