Accompanying Cog Blog Post below!
Well folks, it’s done. In the immortal words of Sir Edmund Hillary when asked by George Lowe if he and Tenzing Norgay had succeeded in becoming the first people to reach the summit of Mt. Everest, I’ve “knocked the bastard off”. Agents of the Endtimes is complete.
Well, not quite… I still have a few things to finish up in regards to putting the second AotE TPB together, but I view that as me packing up and descending the mountain. More on the book in a moment.
Although my core as an entity remains the same, I’m a ratherdifferent person than the guy who first came up with the ideas that would become Agents of the Endtimes, way back in 2002 (for those of you who aren’t aware, I wrote/drew AotE Part 1 in 2002, but it wasn’t until 2007 that I did Part 2, then 2008 when I did Part 3, and Parts 4 to 10 were done between 2009 and now).
I’ve had many experiences and have learned a whole lot since then. And through the process of making AotE I have learned a fair bit about what it takes to put a comic series together and publish it in web and book form.
I’ve learned that creating a comic series and seeing it through to its conclusion is a metric shit-ton of hard work. And I’ve learned that making comics is a hell of a lot of fun, and is my favourite and most personally fulfilling pastime.
So, what now for mister Maxwell “Dances with Anger-Penguins” Vex?
Well, I’m currently in the middle of getting the second AotE print book ready to go. This will be all wrapped-up and ready to fire off to the printers in early June. I’m not entirely sure when the book will be available to purchase (that depends on the printer’s schedule and how long it will take them to print and mail me a test copy), but you can bet your boots that you’ll be the first to know about that if you sign up for the “Vortex Mailing List”, a sign-up form for which is conveniently located at the top of the right-side column on this very site. Those who sign up to this email newsletter can expect an email from me every four to six weeks, with info on my creative doings and some fun stuff like Chelsea & Millie production sketches, plus various things I haven’t figured out yet. Sound good? Of course it does…
And there’s also my Twitter and Facebook that will feature info on the AotE book etcetera, as such info comes to hand.
And say! I’ll be back on a certain podcast next month.
Around July I aim to have the rest of this website back up and running; the galleries, guest comics, those sort of things. Rejigging this site has been great practise for me in preparation for constructing the Chelsea & Millie website.
Yessss, Chelsea and Millie…
With AotE all but completed, Chelsea & Millie is now my main creative focus. Bad Boy Thomas D. “the D stands for Dangerous Dude” Szewc and I have been working hard all this year on this project and we have our sights set on making it the very best comic we can possibly make for you guys.
I’m not far off from finishing the artwork for the first proper Chelsea and Millie comic, a twenty-three-page explosion of antics-in-an-attic and sci-fi-spewkiness that Tom has done a brilliant job at writing and happens to be some of the most accomplished comicking I have done thus far, if I do say myself. We have a bunch of scripts written for the proceeding C&M adventures, one of which is the best thing I reckon I’ve ever written.
Chelsea & Millie will make their proper online debut sometime next year, with their own website and everything. Tom and I are having a barrel of fun making this comic series and we hope you’ll join us and derive fun from reading it when the time comes.
The site’s release date is another bit of info those who subscribe to my mailing list will receive as soon as a date is decided upon. Eh? Ehhh?
I’d offer to bribe you with candy if you sign up to the mailing list, but a man my age giving out free candy is just kind of… dodgy-sounding.
Moving right along! In closing, I’d like to take this opportunity to thank you, the readers, who took the time to check out my wee webcomic. I really, really appreciate it. One of my cartoonist heroes Murray Ball once wrote that “the heart of a cartoon is the idea, an artist can create a painting, hang it on the wall and be satisfied with what he has achieved even if no-one else sees it. In cartooning you must get a human reaction to the idea. The task of the cartoonist is to translate his [or her] idea into a drawing that will have impact”.
Although at times it was very difficult, even painful, to produce, I’ve really enjoyed making Agents of the Endtimes. Indeed, it was something I had to do. I needed to get this somewhat odd story of these somewhat odd little pixies who fight monsters out of my head and into the “real world” in a tangible, sequential-arty form, and above all I needed to share it with people. Otherwise it may as well just stayed in my head, bouncing around in there and bumping into other ideas and rubbing them raw with its purgatorial suffering. So again, thank you for taking this journey with me (from whatever point in which you became aware of this comic), and for purchasing my merchandise in order to keep my corporeal form from completely wasting away. Thanks for your kind support and in the case of some of you, your pissed-off rants at me. Thanks to all the wonderful cartoonists who have contributed guest comics for the site and pin-ups for the books.
And thanks to all the outstanding people whom I’ve met on account of doing this thing.
Creating and producing Agents of the Endtimes has certainly been one of the biggest adventures in my life.
I’m glad you came along for the ride.
Maxwell J. Vex
Thursday May 16th 2013
Here’s a little something for you:
Here’s Chelsea and Millie’s mother’s old band Miss Machine. Photo was taken out the back of the recording studio in which they recorded their debut E.P. “Miss Machine” back in the nineties. You can tell it’s the nineties on account of the ankh.
The band put out a number of albums during the course of their career (a couple of which are mentioned in passing below), and got pretty damned well-known in the process.
Tom and I are working away at developing these characters at the moment. Here’s some stuff about Miss Machine and the Miss Machine E.P. taken from the big fat “Miss Machine discography” file that I wrote out some time ago, and have been incrementally tinkering with since.
Miss Machine personnel:
Clover Lunamarie Gish: Lead vocals, guitar, and programming. Clover also writes all of the band’s lyrics, plus designs and produces the band’s album artwork, and comes up with the majority of the visual concepts of the band.
Meena Venin: Keyboards, programming, sequencing, backing vocals. Meena also serves as the band’s recording engineer and producer, later sharing co-production/co-engineering duties with Clover on “Drizzlegirls” and “Invidia”.
b(0)g: Bass, “the stoic, rock-solid lynchpin of reason that stopped the rest of us from disappearing up our own asses”.
Amit Venin: Drums, programming. Meena’s brother. Also serves as the band’s “resident gear wizard” during their early years, using his background as an electrician to maintain the band’s somewhat cheap and shoddy musical equipment up until they were financially stable enough to hire others to do so from “Lovers” [their third release, second album] onwards.
Miss Machine (E.P.):
The band’s debut release. Self funded, and recorded by Meena during the wee hours over a two-week period, in the recording studio that Meena is an intern in at the time.
Clover later went on to say in an interview that she “was hardly able to sleep at all during the recording of the E.P.
We were up all night, every night, and I had to put tinfoil over the windows of my bedroom to stop the sun coming in and destroying the few snippets of sleep I could manage to snatch. Little did I realise at the time that the ‘up all night every night’ was a trend that would continue for me throughout the course of this band’s life.”
Written and recorded when Clover and Meena were in their late teens and Amit and b(0)g were in their early twenties, living in poverty, working dead-end minimum-wage jobs and saving every spare cent they had to go towards the band. Not much of a thematic flow to these songs, but they contain a vague biomechanoid bent.
“The E.P. sounds like the result of someone attacking a hornet’s nest with a lawnmower” is how Clover later described it.
Clock of the Long Now
Hiding Inside the Tiniest Lies
More Miss Machine stuff to come.