Runaway to the Stars: Pages 27-28

FULL SIZE IMAGE

Welcome to the only habitable zone on this entire planet! It's a kilometer wide with an opaque ceiling. I hope you aren't claustrophobic.

I was undecided on how two page spreads were going to work with 3-times-a-week upload schedule, because they certainly aren't as fast to draw as a single page, and I don't want to eat up my backlog too quickly. It's already breakneck compared to the actual rate of completion. I think at the end of a chapter, I might add the extra pages up and post little illustrations or reader QnAs for that amount of comic update days before starting the next chapter. Does that sound like an agreeable solution to ya'll?

Transcript SHIKAVIIL PORT
Original population: 1,536 avians
Current population: 50 humans, 24 avians, 1 centaur
An overview of the city habitat reveals it is a circle about one kilometer in diameter, divided radially into 8 wedges, and a circular road separates those wedges into interior and exterior portions.
One half is primarily industrial, with a construction yard, wet storage, animal agriculture units, dry storage, on the exterior; and climate control, water treatment, and electrical distribution on the interior. The other half is primarily residential. The exterior has human and avian housing blocks and park spaces behind the large apartment buildings with corresponding Terran and Avian flora. Between the two housing blocks is the medical offices, and on the end further from the plant entrance is the post office and rec center. The inner section of the residential side has half and half avian and human agricultural units, with rows of covered plant beds and massive multistory aquaponic greenhouses.
Talita pushes her cart of phones down the residential side of the circle road, while the ant line of bug ferrets and forklifts goes down the industrial half to the far airlock exit, which has rail access to the ground-to-orbit boats. She passes by a human worker in the agricultural section who is using a sprayer on some of the plants.

Talita: How’re the green beans, Rasheed?
Rasheed: The spider mites are winning.
Talita: Bummer.
She continues her long walk, glumly resting her head on the cart's cargo.

Runaway to the Stars: Pages 27-28

FULL SIZE IMAGE

Welcome to the only habitable zone on this entire planet! It's a kilometer wide with an opaque ceiling. I hope you aren't claustrophobic.

I was undecided on how two page spreads were going to work with 3-times-a-week upload schedule, because they certainly aren't as fast to draw as a single page, and I don't want to eat up my backlog too quickly. It's already breakneck compared to the actual rate of completion. I think at the end of a chapter, I might add the extra pages up and post little illustrations or reader QnAs for that amount of comic update days before starting the next chapter. Does that sound like an agreeable solution to ya'll?

Transcript SHIKAVIIL PORT
Original population: 1,536 avians
Current population: 50 humans, 24 avians, 1 centaur
An overview of the city habitat reveals it is a circle about one kilometer in diameter, divided radially into 8 wedges, and a circular road separates those wedges into interior and exterior portions.
One half is primarily industrial, with a construction yard, wet storage, animal agriculture units, dry storage, on the exterior; and climate control, water treatment, and electrical distribution on the interior. The other half is primarily residential. The exterior has human and avian housing blocks and park spaces behind the large apartment buildings with corresponding Terran and Avian flora. Between the two housing blocks is the medical offices, and on the end further from the plant entrance is the post office and rec center. The inner section of the residential side has half and half avian and human agricultural units, with rows of covered plant beds and massive multistory aquaponic greenhouses.
Talita pushes her cart of phones down the residential side of the circle road, while the ant line of bug ferrets and forklifts goes down the industrial half to the far airlock exit, which has rail access to the ground-to-orbit boats. She passes by a human worker in the agricultural section who is using a sprayer on some of the plants.

Talita: How’re the green beans, Rasheed?
Rasheed: The spider mites are winning.
Talita: Bummer.
She continues her long walk, glumly resting her head on the cart's cargo.

54 thoughts on “Runaway to the Stars: Pages 27-28

  1. Spider mites are, indeed, the devil.

  2. Uploading 3 times a week is insane, especially with this level of detail! Please pace yourself! ❤️

  3. I love talita pushing her cart like I push mine at walmart

    1. I think the artist is just posting from their backlog, not drawing thrice a week.

  4. I’m amazed by how much intricate detail has gone into building this dome facility — actually, into every aspect of this place; every page has amazing details. From reading other people’s comments, it’s clear you’ve been doing the world-building for years before actually starting this comic. It shows! Please don’t burn yourself out by trying to do too much too quickly.

  5. I’m always team “take as much time as you need”. Having read several webcomics simultaneously for like a decade, I’m aware of how important it is to manage your well-being when working online.

  6. The amount of detail you put in your pages is admirable so it’s completely understandable if you want to pad out some time between chapters.

  7. Doodles and QnAs sounds great! The webcomic Skin Deep has always done that as well, and I ADORE those periods.

  8. No need ro rush, we have time. But what a nice map! Hmmm, there used to be a lot of avians living there huh?

  9. Athelind Llewellyn Long

    Pacing yourself is ALWAYS a good idea, and treating a two-page spread like this as two installments is entirely reasonable.
    If you really need a break, don’t feel obligated to post NEW content, either. I’m sure there are a lot of readers on this new site who haven’t seen some of the design concepts and Q&As and such that you’ve posted on Tumblr and elsewhere, and even for those of us who have, revisting them again in the context of the narrative wouldn’t be unwelcome.

  10. Having made a webcomic for 15 years, definitely take breaks. Do what you can to give yourself slack whenever possible. Just tell your readers what you’re doing ahead of time, and you’ll be fine.

    If you don’t, you’ll run the risk of burning yourself out.

    If you can take a break by doing sketches and Q&As, that’s cool. But don’t be afraid to take a week off between chapters.

    This comic is SO good it’s absolutely worth waiting on a slightly slower schedule for it, as far as we’re concerned.

  11. Animal agriculture? Even if I leave aside morality, what kind of space colony has time for inefficiency and self-indulgence like that? Come on, we’ve all seen the infographics of “the same acre of land can support 2 cows or 200 people”, or whatever.

    1. Infographics like that squash the world flat. An acre of rocky, windswept grassland that can support two cows cannot support nitrogen hungry, climate sensitive vegetables. In the tundra, you can raise caribou on lichen, but if you tried to grow potatoes you’d starve. Likewise, plants aren’t ecologically separate from animals… they eat shit and corpses, which come from animals, whether you’re farming them on purpose or not. Animals are an efficient way to cycle biomatter inedible to humans, like tough vegetation and food waste, back into fertilizer and human food. Humans (an animal) contribute to this cycle too, though the manure generally needs to be sterilized first, lol.

      In this case, vertebrate agriculture would be rather lavish, yeah. But it’s mostly bugs. And they’re not feeding just humans. Avians have higher animal-based dietary requirements than we do, though most of their foods are growing in their saltwater aquiponics system. Talita’s an obligate carnivore, so she doesn’t have many choices in dietary matters. Aside from insect protein the humans do have a small flock of chabbits, but hey, little inefficiencies like fresh eggs and the occasional fryer improve quality of life. That’s why there’s also park land and a rec center in this cramped dome.

  12. Spraying for spider mites, Rasheed? Biocontrols with other mites would be the thing (of course, Rasheed may just be snarking here.)
    Our protagonist looks like she’s doing a bit of processing.
    Update rates? Oh yes, 3/week is demanding, even without colouring. I don’t know how folk like Tom Siddell do it. Take time out as needed.

  13. Nice to finally see the dome fully, Domes R Great

  14. talita’s trunk draping over the side of the container is sooooo.
    illustrations/qnas are very very agreeable!

  15. I know in another sketch of the overview of this place, a section of agri was marked as “invert agri”… whats the invert part mean?

    1. I would guess “invertebrate”, aka insects. They’re a very efficient way of producing animal proteins, with lower requirements for space/food/water and lower risk of species-jumping pathogens. Not sure if humans in this setting go for that, or if it’s just avians and centaurs.

      1. Humans in the real world go for that, ever heard of shrimp?

  16. You are absolutely spoiling us with three updates a week. I don’t mind if you update less or take breaks. After all, you’re sharing this with us for free!

    Every time this comic updates it’s a joy. I love this so much! I love seeing more of the world and the characters! It’s so cool and you are such a creative artist/writer/worldbuilder!

  17. Oh yeah even taking a break between chapters to pad out the time would be fine as well! Three updates a week is a lot. Having more Q&A’s and side content is great! Pad out the time you need though!

    Also a population of 74 here is sparse enough to feel real rural small town. 1500 is busy and dense, definitely a step down in density from ship board life but that must have felt pretty busy. All those empty apartments must make it feel a bit lonely.

    1. Oh yeah, this place has real ghost town vibes. There’s thousands of empty apartments.

      1. What was the initially planned population? 1000s of empty apartments seems a lot for only 1500 original inhabitants.

        1. Ironically, despite being a smaller sophont avians tend to take up more living space, because they prefer to live alone and can become depressed or irritable if they feel unable to seclude themselves. (The same applies to some humans but it’s less optional for avians). When I say thousands of apartments what I mean is there was approximately one apartment per bird, plus room for guests and temp workers.

  18. Three posts a week is a breakneck pace for a webcomic. Not that I’m complaining 😀

    If Talita is the only centaur, were the centaur road marks seen earlier added just for her or is it a general law to add them?

    1. I’ve no idea where you saw centaur roadmarks. There’s human and avian symbols for pedestrians and trikes/bicycles on the previous page. Nothing in this place was built for Talita except for the little nook she’s carved into it for herself.

      1. After seeing centaur markings on that ship near the beginning, I at first thought the avian signs around the place were centaur signs. The squigglies look similar at first glance.

  19. you should definitely include the bonus pages and QnA ! theyre very enjoyable and enhance the story and characters. especially for people who are only reading the comic here and might want to avoid story spoilers.

  20. Well, at least two of the trees are happy to be there 🙂

    1. I noticed that detail too, it’s absolutely adorable!

    2. I noticed that too, it’s adorable!

  21. What a cool way to lay out information, distance, time, and interactions!

  22. Judging by the population report, it’s clear this place has seen better days. Still, I can understand why Talita would be so reluctant to leave, seeing as how Mel was her legal guardian for much of her childhood.

    1. Oh man I missed that detail– Mel actually was her legal guardian? How awkward for poor Talita working for them now.

    2. I got the impression that Mel just hired Talita directly after college- no legal guardianship involved, just her first employer.

    3. I think you might be mixing up Mel and Douglas, her foster caretaker back on Nexus Jovia

      1. It’s bit complicated. Douglas was her primary carer at a group youth foster center, but never her legal guardian. Mel became her legal guardian shortly before Talita turned 18 and went to college, but it was more of a sponsor/foster situation than adoption. Talita’s never been officially adopted.

  23. oh no, the spider mites are winning, bummer indeed

  24. “Does that sound like an agreeable solution to ya’ll?”
    Sounds like a good solution. Do what you need to keep in your own pace and good health.

    The ‘population; count doesn’t list bug-ferrets, so are they just a temporary workforce to move the AI then?

    1. They’re here to grab Calcery and leave. They live on the ship in orbit.

  25. The_Dragonologist's_Apprentice

    What about the bug ferret population? Are they just visiting to transport Calcery?

    1. They don’t live here, they’re Calcery’s new coworkers. Calcery’s leaving on a ship with a bug ferret crew.

  26. Is there some construction (or deconstruction) going on clockwise from the entrance, or it’s just a parking place?

    1. Also, it’s surprising to see human and avian housings to be so similar. One would expect more balconies. =D

      1. The roof access for the apartments is where most avians would take off, if they want to. But flying is work, so the most dedicated take-off zone is that spindly structure on the rec center. Avians looking to fly laps take an elevator to the top platform and hop off like it’s a diving board. Because even if they’re looking for exercise, taking off from the ground is sssoooo much woooork

        1. And yet I imagine there’s probably that obnoxious person that’s really about that extra push and lords it over everyone. At least there probably was that person at the height of Shikaviil’s population.

    2. Parking, messy maintenance or fabrication projects, misc piles of stuff that doesn’t fit neatly in dry storage, or needs to be accessed frequently. Having an empty space can be handy.

  27. I’d love extra little doodles or mini comics/QNA in between chapters. more lore is always fantastic and I love seeing the stuff you do behind the scenes in terms of the various human+alien cultures and how the characters interact. I love how this world doesn’t feel like a vacuum(ironic considering its in space)

    plus then you can add it to fill out the world section too!

  28. Sounds like a good solution to me! I’m always eager to see your extra illustrations and QnAs.
    And I’m always excited to see layouts of sci-fi environments! This place is so cool (I say, as someone who doesn’t have to live there). Interesting to see how wet storage, water treatment, and animal agriculture are all as far as possible from the housing areas. Also, even adjusting for relative sizes of avians and humans (and centaurs), it sounds like this place is well over 90% vacant. Yikes.

  29. I LOVE when comics do little extras/Q&A between chapters to give themselves breathing room and fill in some world building that might not otherwise have been covered!

  30. I think that is a perfectly agreeable solution, I like seeing the QnA’s. And that way you will be able to have a little bit of an update buffer!

    Also I just like seeing all the tiny dots and wondering what everyone is doing. This is such a cool page!

  31. I’m curious what kind of animals are kept in the agriculture units? Is it just regular earth animals? (Also, the extra drawings and qna’s around wonderful ^^)

    1. This will be answered in detail later, because I’m an agriculture nerd :^D

      1. Ooo!

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