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2024-06-18

Page 563 + Chill Music Time

Page 563 is up!

Just a quick recommendation this week:

Deep Work Music for Creators

It features another genre that I wish I'd discovered sooner: Future Garage!

As the description says: "Mysterious, atmospheric and deep — this playlist evokes the feeling of getting lost in a desolate city covered in fog."

It's sort of stealthily motivating — unobtrusive enough that you almost forget it's playing, yet somehow energizing enough to keep you in the zone.

(Also, if "Eternal Fear of Sunrise" isn't the perfect track title for an all-night work session, I don't know what is.)

The channel seems to be super prolific, so if you enjoy this particular mix, there's a lot more where that came from. :)


Featured Friend:

Adhemlenei: Fantasy Artwork
Adhemlenei

The blog and art gallery of one of True Magic's long-time readers, Zela (a.k.a. Illinia). There's a ton of art and writing to browse, as well as two ongoing fantasy webcomics. Go see!




2024-06-11

Page 562 + The Wonders of ADHDubstep

Page 562 is up!

For any friends who may struggle with staying focused, here's something I've personally found helpful: brainwave entrainment music!

Apparently most people's Happy Productivity Mode is in the high-alpha/low-beta range (10-20 Hz): alert, but relaxed. And if you listen to steady tones in that range, your brain naturally tends to start generating brainwaves at a matching frequency. Pretty neat.

(I, for one, deeply appreciate having a way to trick/brute-force my brain into a state of calm focus.) :3

It also helps when someone layers the tones with music that's actually fun to listen to — and one guy who does that amazingly well is Jason Lewis.

He's made so many brilliantly crafted music mixes in just about every genre you can think of.

Some of my favorites are:
Hard Rock
Dubstep
More Dubstep
Additional Dubstep
Dark Trap

He also makes more relaxing mixes including ambient space music, Tibetan singing bowls, chill electronica and so on. Definitely worth exploring his whole channel. It's a treasure trove!

(And while you're there, maybe ask him how he feels about making a dungeon synth mix...) :D



2024-06-04

Page 561 + Let Me Tell You About Dungeon Synth

Page 561 is up!

And I recently discovered a music genre that I never knew I always needed: Dungeon Synth!

I've always loved the sound of old-school Ultima and Forgotten Realms PC games. Now it turns out there are modern-day artists making new music with those same delightful '90s RPG vibes. ♥

Here are a few of my favorite albums so far:

Cimerion - Contresort
(Wonderfully moody and mysterious.)

Pauldron - Under a Reptilian Moon
(Cover art like a classic D&D module, and music that tells a story all by itself.)

Quest Master - Twelve Castles / Twelve Temples
(The track titles alone are a goldmine of inspiration for dungeon masters.)

Quest Master - Sword & Circuitry
(Just gorgeous. If you only try one album, make it this one!)

Maybe some of those will make nice additions to your reading/writing/gaming playlists. :)



2024-05-24

Page 560 + Something that May Help

Page 560 is up!

In other news, a friend recently recommended a YouTube channel that sounded kind of interesting... and then that channel went and posted exactly what I needed to hear right now.

This video gave me a huge morale boost, so I want to share it with you too:

How Do You Clean While FIGHTING DEPRESSION?
(Spoiler: It isn't just about cleaning.)

The uploader offers several actionable tips in a way that's humorous, insightful, encouraging and heartwarming (especially the bit at the end). The time-lapse footage is pretty satisfying to watch, too, but the real value is in the narration.

If you've been struggling with anxiety, depression, or any variation of "can't make myself do the thing"... I think this could help.

On the other hand, if you're doing just fine (and I hope you are!), please watch it anyway so you can share it with someone who needs it.

When someone is failing to perform in some visible external way, it's likely because they're fighting (and losing) an internal battle. But there are ways to fight back more effectively — and there's even hope for winning, one day at a time.

Like the guy says in the video, internal friction manifests in different ways for different people. Personally, I've been the "socially isolate and throw myself into work" type — so to counteract that, I'm gonna try a little experiment!

Usually when I start to write any kind of post, it immediately balloons into multiple paragraphs (as you can see), and my internal editor jumps all over it: "That's way too long-winded. No one cares about that stuff. That makes me sound like a doofus."

And then the options are either (1) spend hours trying to cram the essential ideas into a few perfect sentences, or (2) delete it all and get back to work. (That's why so many recent posts have just said "Page XYZ is up!" and nothing else.)

So, as one way of applying the video's advice for myself, I'm gonna try to post something here with each page for a while — whether it's some music I'm enjoying, or a tutorial that helped me, or whatever — without over-editing it into oblivion. I figure that'll be a nice opportunity to share more fun stuff with everyone, while also not letting the anxiousness win for a change. :)

Anyway, please do check out the video (and hopefully pass it along if you find it helpful)!

Cheers! ♥



2024-05-07

Page 559

Page 559 is up!



2024-04-02

Page 554 + Pinup Time

Page 554 is up!

Also, yesterday was April Fanservice Day! In keeping with tradition, I sketched a silly pinup based on fun reader suggestions. You can check out the results in a free public post here:

April Fanservice Day 2024



2023-09-16

Page 537 + Happy 20th Anniversary!

Page 537 is up!

Some of you may know that the current version of True Magic is actually a reboot that started in 2008. Before that, there was a five-year "practice run" that began in 2003.

Just for fun, I went back to that old 2003 comic, and made some before-and-after images for several characters — including the main party, some obscure bit parts, and the all-important gigantoad. :3

If you want to compare the ancient proto-versions of the cast with how they are today, I've assembled an image slideshow on Patreon in a free public post:

2003-2023 Character Evolution

Anyway, whether you found the comic 20 years ago or 20 minutes ago, thank you for reading! There's a LOT of story ahead, and I hope you'll continue to enjoy the adventure. ♥



2023-04-08

Page 530 + Upcoming Format Transition

Page 530 is up! Thank you again for your patience!

(Updates may continue to be unpredictable while I work to get back up to speed.)

This past year of organizing has turned out to be the best thing I could have done for the TM comic (among other things). I've improved the upcoming story in ways that were only possible with a LOT of uninterrupted writing time.

There's more work to do (with both comic development and Life Stuff™), but I'm very happy about the progress.

I've also gotten a clearer idea of how much story remains to be told, which brings me to a small announcement:

This September will mark the 20th(!) anniversary of True Magic.

And while I've gotten a fair bit better at writing and drawing in that time, I must admit that I haven't gotten the slightest bit faster.

We're now pretty far into the first of five planned story volumes. If we continued at the current rate, the comic would be finished sometime around the year 2100.

I think it would be nice to complete it sooner than that.

So I'm going to implement an idea that I've been considering since 2018: a sort of hybrid comic/novel format that lets me tell part of the story with prose, while drawing only the comic panels that contribute visually to the story.

(This could easily save several hours per page, just by trimming out the "talking heads" panels that aren't very interesting to look at anyway.)

Prose is also more concise, which means that each page can cover more ground in terms of story progress. Combined with the quicker page production, that should add up to significantly more TM content per century. ;)

You'll see the new format starting on the next page!

I'm a little nervous about making this change, and it may take some getting used to... but I hope you'll give it a chance! In addition to making comic production more sustainable, ideally it will let me share more of the adventure with you sooner.

Anyway, I hope you'll all continue to enjoy True Magic. I'll keep giving it my best! ♥




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