May 23-25, 2014
Aug 29- Sep 1, 2014
I want to thank you all for your support in my decision to end Demon Aid. As I mentioned in my ending letter this was a tough decision and not one I made lightly. Some of you have written and asked for more details on what I felt was going wrong since the series had potential and was seeming to get better/starting to come together. Right there is one of the problems. Having potential and starting to come together after sixty pages is bad writing for a comic. A story should catch a reader right away, draw them in, not make them wait for the possibility of it getting better.
In truth, I didn't really know where it was going when I launched. I was still trying to figure out the point of the comic as I went along. It originally was going to be a long form comic, then I wanted to do a four panel monster of the week style comic, but the setup of the characters took way too long, so I decided midstream to go back to long form... and chopped out a lot of demon mediation adventures. There was an epic romance angle that was stripped out and then an attempt to reinsert. Readers were not connecting with the characters and there were a lot of elements that made them feel somewhat generic. I tried to make it too epic to start. What I should have done was tell a focused first chapter and then branched out into the epicness of the rest of the series. Instead, I tried to introduce too many elements and plot points at once and that made for somewhat messy storytelling. Toward the end of the chapter I feel things WERE coming together more, but it couldn't help the beginning of the series.
The lack of direction was really hurting the growth of the comic. Readership remained very low in the nine months I was consistently updating and new visitors to the site on average were only staying for a few pages before leaving. People just weren't staying to read. In hindsight, I think I should have tried to recharge my creative battery after ending Red String. Let the story stew in my head a little longer. The only thing I can do now is let the series rest, hope I can someday revisit it with a clearer picture of what I want to do and do it.
In the meantime, I have had requests for a peek at what was in store for the ending. I am happy to oblige and happy to know there are those of you out there interested in it. Admittedly, I think your imaginations would come up with something much better. Please keep in mind that these are all rough notes I've pulled together. There are a lot of areas where the story is vague and some ideas are still incomplete. Still, it will give you an idea of what I had planned.
CHAPTER 2 - TRUTH AND DEATH
There is a grand ball going on in the mountain mansion to celebrate letting go of the past. Esta is watching silently from the sidelines in a beautiful dress. Her father approaches her and they talk as they dance. He tells her for the first time since her mother he feels at peace. The truth has lifted a weight off his heart. For the first time in years he has felt like celebrating. The dance over, her father goes back to Lady Snow and Esta stands in the middle of the floor. Esta realizes she needs the truth as well. She needs to know what Luft is hiding. She can't believe she did not see the Liderc for all those years. What good has all her dedication to studying demons gotten her if she was fooled so easily. She has seen that the servant had so taken care of her father that she saw what she wanted to see. But she also realizes she has been fooled by Luft. She is scared. She gets the feeling that he is much more dangerous than she imagined. She wrote him off as a silly old world demon and took him at his word about serving her mother. And then she let him KISS her. She realizes she is endangering her family and has to find answers to who Luft really is and what he is REALLY doing.
Then she smiles as she notices her cousin Helina is uncomfortable in her dress as she watches her Celina dance gracefully. Esta stands next to her cousin who looks just horrified. Esta whispers to her to go get dressed. Helina is shocked. Esta says we only live once and since she's already made her appearance no one will notice now. "And if they do see you, we'll deal with it together. We only live once, Helina. Be who you are." Helina runs off. (cousin introduces herself as Apollo - name meaning truth and light) Helina returns adjusting her suit as she does. Esta tells her she looks very handsome. Helina smiles and Esta wraps her arm around her cousin's arm. Esta possibly dances with Helina and other girls are oohing and ahhing. After, the girls ask who the young man is and Esta smiles as her cousin blushes. "This is my cousin... er, Apollo, here visiting." The girls all want to dance and Helina is so happy. Esta winks as Helina is dragged off by the girls/ladies.
Then there is someone very handsome walking through the crowd toward her. It is Luft in disguise. He looks like a human in a fine suit. He smiles a bit devilishly and introduces himself as Lord Heffernan (Heffernan is a surname meaning "demon"). They dance and Esta is caught up in this for a moment. They dance and he talks about how fun this party is and how she is as lovely as star light. She is getting swooped up in this atmosphere, charmed by his demon aura. He kisses her and she realizes by this kiss who he is. She gets angry at herself for once again letting him seduce her. She is about to say his name, but he whispers in her ear "Don't break the spell just yet." She holds her tongue, blushing. She asks why he's suddenly so charming. He smiles and says he's always been charming, she just never saw it before. Breathlessly she tells him he's never charmed her. He laughs a bit with a half smile and closed eyes.
Silence for a beat as she studies him. Then, "What are you really doing here?" He tries to avoid the question charmingly. But when she gives him an unrelenting stare, he looks off with a sigh. "There are things that I cannot tell you." "I need to know what is you're hiding. You killed that old Liderc. He didn't need to die." He looks frustrated (not in a funny way). "I'm trying to PROTECT you, Esta. Please don't ask this of me. Yes, I have put on an act and played the fool. I am hiding something. The most I can tell you is that you are safer in NOT knowing this." She is upset. "Bullshit. I don't need you to save me. I don't want you to protect me. If I have learned anything about this life it's that the TRUTH will save you." She stalks off. He whispers solemnly. "But this truth will kill you." He chases after her. He catches up to her her in a dark hall. "My lady, please... listen to me." "No, I'm done with you. I'm going to get answers. If not from you, then from the ones my mother left behind." She pulls open the door to her mother's dressing room. She travels down the stairs with Luft trying to stop her.
Esta reaches the mountain cave where the amulet and mirror reside. Lord Heffernan tries to stop her. She touches the amulet and transforms into a shimmering white dress of starlight. Lord Heffernan also transforms to Luft's true form (horns, wings, elaborate white feathered costume), the Sleeping Dragon has awakened. His eyes are now different (possessed in some way). He is obliged to take her through the looking glass to the entrance to the Demon Realm. As he guides her through, Lady Snow has chased her down and calls out to stop her. It is too late and Lady Snow beats on the glass uselessly. Luft is holding Esta to his chest as he flies them to the Air Demon's floating island. It is here she meets her mother who she thought was long since dead.
We learn the story of Lady Ishtar. Ishtar's family was commissioned by the demons protect the mirror gateway. This secret was passed down from a few generations and thus to Ishtar. She married and kept the secret from even her husband. They have a child and some years later her husband is called to war. She is devastated. She calls on the demons she and her family has served for many years for help but it falls on deaf ears. She tries to break open the demon world find audience with someone to save her husband. Luft tries to stop her, but she has an amulet that puts him under her control. (which is why he must obey Esta once she touches it and why he tried to pass it off as junk so she would not touch it because he himself cannot touch it) Ishtar demands the demons save her husband or she will break open the gate to the demon realm and destroy the protection of their home. The main demon stops her and tells her to go home. They will have her husband returned to her. Enter the Liderc in disguise. Ishtar is so blinded by her love she does not see the trick. She is sucked of her life force. There is some small part of her that is still alive and after Esta is pulled away from her mother's body the main demon comes to her. Ishtar whispers that the demons should be cursed to live a life in the human realm forever. This magic is starting to creep out of her body and break the world around them as her last wish, but the demon stops her desperately. "Stop! No more magic Witch. We swear it! Your husband will return home safe. But in exchange, you must hand over the remainder of your life to us." She agrees.
Esta is shocked and grabs her mother. Luft is trying to stop her. Telling her not to free her. Esta is enraged, telling him he is a liar and an evil creature and to leave her alone. She leads her mother out of the Demon Realm while her mother has an evil smile on her face, Esta unaware of this.
Esta exits the mirror to find Lady Snow in tears. Snow is shocked to see Ishtar. Ishtar asks who Snow is and when she introduces herself as Lord Janus' wife, Ishtar kills her. Dying, Esta has run to her body. Snow tells Esta she did her best to raise her, that she only ever wanted Esta to accept her. Esta cries that she was too obsessed with her own ideas. She always felt being dressed up and pampered would not allow her to focus on important things. But family is important, but she felt her stepmother did not approve of her. They hold hands for a moment and then Snow dies. Esta looks up in tears at her mother. Esta asks if Ishtar is a demon. Ishtar laughs and says she is much more than that. Her body houses the most powerful demon magic imaginable. Her body is a vessel for this power. She is the power all demons seek, something old and full of wonder.
Ishtar takes her husband's side (possession/magic hypnosis). Luft is bound once again to Lady Ishtar and becomes her slave. He is unable to do anything to help Esta at first. Esta teams up with her stepsister and cousin. They must fight her and take in this power herself to protect it from all the demons, fae, and other beings coming down on them. Luft comes to her rescue (romantic) as the full-large dragon form. Esta is shocked. He is happy to have finally impressed her. He tells her that Ishtar was hiding a secret power that the Air Demons have protected for a long time. It would restore the demons to their place far above humans, to that of gods. Esta asks WHY all of this is and Luft tells her that the Air Demons have a predisposition as dragons to hoard and protect treasure. He says that when the demon council decided the power was too much and that it was causing so much havoc, they agreed to hide it away. But the power itself had to be contained. They used her mother as that vessel, but it has corrupted her mother. That god power has been coursing through her veins for years and since her mother was already mostly dead the thoughts of her husband and her love have been twisted. All demons and fae are drawn to this power. And so many want to be gods again. They would tear the world apart to possess it.
Celina is killed in battle. Helina/Apollo and Janus survive thanks to Esta. It is the truth and love that makes her powerful. She ends up sacrificing herself to save her family and the human world.
Let me start by saying that I've had a long time to think about this decision. I've struggled with it, flip-flopped back and forth, and felt the pangs of loss over it. In the end I feel that it is the right choice to make. It's time to put the series to rest. I know I said I would continue it as a side project while I worked on my new comic, but the truth of the matter is that as badly as I want it to happen Demon Aid just isn't working out the way I had hoped. Something has gone askew and there comes a time when you just have to admit that something is wrong, it can't be fixed, and you have to move on.
As I look back I can see the mistakes glaring at me. I fell into every single pitfall I warn against in my articles to new webcomic creators. Every single one. Only now I can see all the places things went wrong, how I would have done it differently, and how if I trashed it and started over it would be WAY better. I've been working on Demon Aid for literally years (I believe my first concept sketch was back in 2007), trying to develop something cool and exciting, but it never came together properly.
A most sincere apology to those who are genuinely enjoying the series. You all are awesome and your support is so very appreciated. You have no idea how much it means to me. I hate to be one of those creators who prematurely ends a series. Seriously, I hate that and it kills me to do it. And I hate disappointing YOU since you support my work.
And an apology to those who are fans of my work who are not enjoying Demon Aid. I hope you will check out Love Not Found as it is much more in line with my normal work. Sometimes, a creator has to learn from things NOT working out. You learn from your failures. I hope that my next comic is something amazing that touches your hearts.
My new series, Love Not Found, will be published by the awesome people at Hiveworks! Up until now I've been a member with them so they promote my work and have handled banner ads on my sites. Now there will be much more as they help spread the word and help make the series all it can be! Check it out June 1st, 2014.
Hi folks! Had a great time at Zenkaikon. The kids hung in there. Lucinda loved the Frozen cosplayers. We got stuck in Cleveland last night on our way back (not a bad place to be stuck, by the way). Our first flight was over an hour late so we missed our connecting flight home. The airline gave us a hotel voucher which had another string of weird events that followed that, but we were travelling all day today. Because of all this we are just completely exhausted. The Demon Aid update will be delayed until Thursday so I can get some sleep, rest my sore muscles and brain, and then get some comic work done!