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Bonus: a hint on how to win Great Escalations

Observation: In each round there is an escalation of punishment for the losers of each round, each more severe than the preceding round. The first round's punishment for losers starts off with a scar, then the next round is death and the round after is annihilation.

theory: the theme of severity will work best for this tournament.

hypothesis: Severity only has value as a teaching/remedial tool.

method: "Once the opponent's character has committed transgressions against challenger's character, they will then receive the punishment."

theme: the theme is established by the nature of the relationship of the character's law with what form the scar of the first match takes. Everything must proceed from there logically.


   If I didn't win SDT no one would have taken what I had to say seriously because of the existence of value. My promise to you is that this method will give you a greater chance at winning any of the tournaments if you calibrate it correctly to the inherent themes in them. If people seriously tried my method then it would conclusively lead to terrifically exotic forms, methods, techniques and strategies for story-telling due to how it is expressed through the individual and their own unique take on it.
   Another one of my hopes is that this post is taken seriously so that it can contribute to Void Community culture as a axis of continuing conversation and study into how to better actuate the art we desire to create through a sub-academic rigor.
   I get it if you're in Void "for fun", but to be truthful, this is fun for me. All to often i hear that double syllable phrase as a dismissal to the call for self-mastery and ownership of your own art. If you're into fun and just want to do your own thing and haven't really gotten anything out of this post, that's great, you don't have to. Again to reiterate, winning is more fun than losing, and beginning the process of making stories that hit the audience on all levels; intellectually, psychologically and emotionally and give them the entertainment they seek, and sharing and contributing viable pathways on how to do that, contributing back to the community that helped foster my skills is the greatest fun I know.

Round 3: vs. Pepper Box vs. Lucy

   Previously, I had plans for both Lucy and Pepper Box separately, and I gambled on fighting Lucy after Pepper Box, but i gave my plans enough room to do it the other way around too if I ended up fighting Lucy first. Ultimately though, through unforeseen consequence I had to fight another 3 way both against Lucy and Pepper Box, and neither of my plans worked in this arrangement. However, there were a couple of things I knew:
   I didn't give Lucy much screen time because once she was reunited with her aging son, that was when her character's story was finished. I only reminded the audience of what she did in the past through her driving her Wacky Races vehicle around and that was enough text to remind the audience that her story was already told in full. LeFred did a beautiful job of giving her an entire history, so he did all the heavy-lifting for me of having to develop her character conclusion. That only left Pepper Box and finishing her story, the story of a survivor at the end of time.
   For the themes I naturally saw the image of Maiden, Mother, and Crone, the Triple Goddess in Pepper Box, Lucy and Antares. For Lucy I accentuated her motherhood in order to play with this concept. I wanted to pay homage to the archetypal Feminine by casting everything in soft glows or a heavy, looming darkness, as though all of time has stopped. Also I recognized that if I were to drop bombs on the identity of Antares it would be now- so now she's also a goddess- an idea that was introduced with Knife-Eater wanting to be a goddess. I also mysteriously brought back Void Park even though it was torched to the ground in round 1. I created a world where nothing made sense anymore but was still consistent thematically as established in previous rounds and this is now the payoff. Through working with themes, I am now given license to essentially do whatever I want because the audience at this point have given enough suspension of disbelief required to keep the story going, where we ended up in this surreal world no one would care for if I introduced it in the first round (since there was no precedence for it).

   I had to rewrite this story in the middle of creating it to avoid creating an even more nihilistic telling of the story, which wasn't my intention and when i saw it, really hated it. It involved Pepper Box shooting Antares in the back of the head, then going "fuck it" and shooting Lucy and then preparing to shoot the Universe- only to reveal the fractal dimension of her aiming at herself and that what she did was foolish- and then a double reveal that Antares had put her into an enchantment where she saw the "consequences of her mortal foolishiness". It was fucking dumb so I rewrote it to what it is now.
   This moment of idiocy was ironically brought on about by the analytical technique I mentioned earlier where you would find the driving principle of a character. In Pepper Box I recognized a mortal longing to survive as long as possible- this is probably because what I saw in Pepper Box was myself and others in my generation- completely stressed out, overworked and with apparent little promise to grow more in the future. I saw in Pepper Box a living motif of the limits of growth, which to me seemed like a natural conclusion to the theme of growth I was playing with in the last two rounds. The natural conclusion of constant growth is the eventual exhaustion of all energy in the universe resulting in heat death. And what is a survivalist to do with that? My first impulse was incorrect on so many levels- considering this is a statement on myself and my generation I then wanted to express all of the pathos of having the status of millennial against ambivalent, god-like beings and how small it was in the scope of the totality of existence. Theres some misgivings with how I handled this in terms of ethos, but honestly, how are you going to convey a logical argumentation against the unstoppable end of everything? Such an endeavor is utterly pointless. The only thing left is to let out all the emotions you held inside out because that's the only thing left. In the end not even survivors are left. That is the moral of Pepper Box.
   Even more so, in Pepper Box, I wanted to recognize my own mortality and to feel the limitations of time and establish a proper relationship with it. I will grow old one day, even too old to make comics, draw art or write and it will fucking suck. And then I will die. So I better start living.

I will also say that this is one of the psychological keys to knowing you have a winning story, is if you actually feel it personally. While creating this round I felt actual existential terror- that was how I knew my story was going to work. There's no guessing when your emotions are real. To further expound on this point and this is very important- no matter how good you are at storytelling or if you try to use this method you cannot win if you don't have an emotional connection with the character you're using. Period.

Round 2: vs. Bubbha vs. Prince Charming

   A lot of what I'm gonna talk about here is what I coulda, shoulda, woulda done in hindsight as well as a healthy dose of self-flagellation- so I apologize in advance if you're annoyed by that.

   In all honesty, I was not very inspired by this match-up, and much of this round felt like work to me. Furthermore, I was sick with the flu and only had a single day off to create my round. This round felt more like an endurance test and I wasn't very keen on testing the value method- and the temptation to just fall back on old ways was there (I never talked about being sick or short on time because as a general rule, you never want your opponent to feel confident that they could achieve victory, otherwise that confidence will show up in their work, and the audience will always pick up on it, no matter how subliminal it is, and also it would have given myself an excuse to acquiesce to uncontrollable factors, which must be dealt with given how an SDT is run).
   That said, the challenge was fitting in Bubbha into a fantasy world. Bubbha wasn't a particularly deep character to me, but from the character design I could extrapolate a wormy personality hidden within a hard exterior called Bubbha armed with a big gun- which gave off the feeling that this character had an extreme inferiority complex. He was also jailed and caged at some point- which would contribute to a feeling of powerlessness. Fine- the guy has a big chip on his shoulder, we'll run with that. The idea of the inferiority complex on my part wasn't too fleshed out, since I had already moved onto more psychological themes in a feverish grasp of connecting all the characters together thematically.

   I looked into Charming and his entourage, and I somehow at some point made the connection using Karl Jung's ideas that people in your life represents aspects of your personality, that is how I was able to not depict Charming or develop him in a typical way because I let Crate and Shad speak on his behalf as aspects of himself. Crate speaks on behalf of the part of Charming that desires to grow and serve the realm, while Shad spoke on behalf of the side of Charming that is full of resentment towards the previous king and wallows. I then moved onto the Charming's relationship with his father and women (concerning his desire to connect with the opposite sex)- and brought a Freudian aspect concerning Charming's father. This Freudian idea is called the Phallus, and it was what allowed me to connect Charming, Antares and Bubbha together thematically. Let me explain.

   Not to get too deep into it, the phallus holds a lot of significance in ancient religion-
this is something I would like to say to those who wish to be better writers- I find it necessary- not recommended- necessary- to have a decent knowledge in either history, religion, folklore, psychology or all of the above- if the Hero's Journey as the main western writing method holds true in its usage today, then its imperative to know that it is based off of an analysis of ancient myth and stories- and that the western form of the Hero's Journey is incomplete without knowledge of such myths that its extrapolated from.
That said- without getting to deep into it, I used the concept of the phallus alongside all of the ideas connected to it to design a psychodrama of phallus vs. yoni- Bubbha giving voice to Charming's phallus (he is introduced riding in a suggestively shaped space-ship) and father complex, and Antares giving voice to Charming's anima, or more specifically the anima as femme fatale (she represents a combination of both the desired mate of Charming, the witches who cursed him as well as the Freudian desire to die in orgasm as described in the concept of petit le mort), I set Charming's characterization into his future as going through a cycle of failure trying to break the curse (curse of the phallus that is) before ultimately giving up and becoming the passive character I depicted him to be. I further accentuated his passivity as being unable to do anything to object to Antares, who had total control over how his curse would be broken.
   So Charming's growth is a rather nasty one, one where he ends up with two curses in the end, the curse of his father's phallus, and the curse of the vengeful anima brought on by his guilt of trying to exorcise the first curse (which resulted in the death of multiple maidens). In the end, the anima curse won out because subtext-wise, the fright of encountering Bubbha was enough for him to completely divorce himself from the part of him that wants to grow to be a king (the king being another kind of symbolic phallus) and commit a symbolic abdication (subtext wise, and in hindsight admittedly if I was a better writer I would have recognized this and played it up).
   Charming sort of mirror's Antares's position in the previous round, since they both abandoned life as a hero in their own capacities. (Crate mirrors Knife-Eater in that they both wanted to serve the people as heroes)

   If you didn't catch any of that with which character represents what, its okay- just know that it worked because these representations (if they hold true, and they held true enough for the story to function) registered on a subconscious level in theory (Karl Jung's theories to be more precise). If theres one thing to take away from me trying to explain what I'm trying to do with Jung, Freud, psychology and myth is that the subconscious is far more important in story-telling than the rational mind, and that as story-tellers, your ultimate goal is to cause the rational mind to relax enough with reasonable, logical plot progression in order to begin speaking to the subconscious of the audience.
   The Value Method comes in at page 4 and 5 when Shad and Crate had a clash- which represents the division within Charming's psyche of wanting to grow and serve the realm and just blame others. I also kept the theme of growth in the concept of an Eternal Spring that was powered by Charming's power, which resulted in prosperity, surplus of food and general fecundity- however there is tension in this exuberant life represented by his phobia of small animals (which is suggests that he is the cause of his own malaise since its by his power he grows life). If I had more time, I would have shown that after Antares decapitated Charming's transformed head from his body, the whole kingdom would have been submerged into an eternal winter (again, in hindsight, I should have depicted the final round in snow to show a logical step from the consequence of killing Charming in this interpretation of his kingdom).
   The one caveat that I'm not too proud of was the way Antares defeats Bubbha with an asspull voodoo magic trick. It was cheap and I apologize for it. This is evidence that I'm still growing and learning as a writer and that if I was a better writer, I would have found a way to use the motifs of roots more effectively in crafting an effective death scene for Bubbha- but i was too entranced by the minutae of the psychodrama of Bubbha being an "impure phallus" that lacked the qualifications to symbolically integrate Charming's inherent regality by being burned up by him.

   As I mentioned before, I noticed a lot of hesitation with voting in this round. My main competition was ArtofJoe's entry and his novel use of animation this round- and that was pitted against my more traditional comicbook style layout. However, I believe this hesitation ended up working in my favor because it brought voters under the game of values I was playing- and that they, at some level, were evaluating the values of the investments they gave previously for each character in the previous round. This ended up going against ArtofJoe because i suspect that his novel use of animation would have worked if people voted quickly. My analysis is that ArtofJoe's strategy going up against my method (he knew I was using a method because I said as such in the comments of my round 1 and he would have come across the comment if he read my round 1 entry in preparation for our battle) was to play on the strength of the popular and familiar, with strong reference to a videogame that everyone knew and enjoyed. This is a losing strategy, specifically because of its fidelity to the reference came off as unoriginal and lazy storytelling (even if ArtofJoe put a lot of effort into it- we are now transitioning into the topic of presentation).
The only way to defeat strong writing is to cause the audience even more hesitation in voting. In this case voters would give both parties equal scores if they're unable to evaluate the difference in strength between the two entries, at worst, voters will not vote at all, being unable to decide. This strategy works because more keen readers will recognize the difference in strength and vote favorably for the stronger entry. You only need a couple of keen readers for this hesitation effect to work. How is this hesitation caused? The only way is to write an even stronger story than your opponent that makes your audience think. Not only think, but think which character they want to see entertain them in the next round- this is the key of the concept of investment, if the audience invests interest in your character based on the story performance in the previous round- they're more reluctant to ditch that investment in favor of a technical trick like using animation or referencing a popular videogame. In this instance, the only way for ArtofJoe to win in this instance is if he can promise that he had more elaborate and clever tricks up his sleeve besides animation or references, however he made no such promises in this round or the previous round, which suggests that the tricks were a one-time deal, so the audience had no reason to invest any interest into his characters.
•   I however, kept up my promise by repeating my previous method again this round (albeit a bit haphazardly) and the audience excused any stumbles that were apparent in my story, because I kept up my end of the bargain that I made in the previous round. Other promises I kept were consistent art and a consistent tone in storytelling. The audience saw that their investment was protected and voted in a way where I was guaranteed to win no matter how close the voting appeared.

   If ArtofJoe kept the animation style, hell, even kept the courtroom scenario, but prefaced Antares' motivation and why she decides to play the role of judge before the whole telling of the story (and not as a contrivance that occurs at the end near her death) ArtofJoe would have stood a better chance. This is my issue with Bubbha- with the potential of him being a contrivance that popped up in the middle of the story out of nowhere, hence I started off my round introducing Bubbha first to establish themes and motives first- so that he wouldn't hold the appearance of a contrivance or even at the very least I give off an appearance of putting effort into trying to integrate Bubbha in the story.

PS. to ArtofJoe, I meant this critique in all respect of your craft and the workload you took on is Herculean in scale. I was very impressed and I feel it's responsible for breaking down, at least from what I can see, the details of that battle for greater good.

Round 1: vs. Knife-Eater

   Right off the bat I recognized that Evelyn Knife-Eater and Antares are mirrors of each other's potential, and that Evelyn Knife-Eater as a character had a lot to say about Antares' character, her motivations and her "inner truth".
   It took my several tries to figure out the story I had now, but I was investigating the mythology of the Oni and their connection with Yama, the god of Death, looking into the possibility that Knife-Eater was Antares' Diov City counterpart, looking into the root of the name Evelyn (the root of Evelyn is Aveline, a medieval english name of the German root Avi, which means "desired, wished for"). The point here being that research is important for generating ideas- because each aspect of a character is a potential node by which one can extrapolate an entire network of themes that can interlock with your own character's themes harmoniously. This is important if the intersection of themes of your character and opponent's character isn't immediately obvious-

   I also looked into her principles, which to me, appeared to be a craving for attention and vanity. She seemed to me she has the psychology of a serial killer, but still desires to be socially accepted- which gave me the idea of her wanting to be a hero. It was here, by examining her character principles more closely that I was able to develop the value method- if I can find out what principles drives my opponent's character, i can maximize the the value of their death by making logical steps for them to reach potential- and thus ensure victory (as described by the value method)
   I decided that the entirety of this round would also be perfect situation to introduce critiques on the SDT as an event as well as criticize the "distance" of a disembodied audience and their consumption of violence in the real world- since the idea of social media was built into Knife-Eater's "DNA", I saw a clear path of transitioning her character growth from a perpetrator of low-brow violence that stimulates an algorithm low-vibrational user engagement into a real exalted hero of the people, a real goddess- which was her stated potential (whether it was her true potential or not is up to speculation- its depicted as feeling true to Knife-Eater in the moment that she said it and thats all thats necessary to make promised potential).

   This potential was then reversed on its head in Antare's case, and this was how i used this mirroring between their characters- with how Knife-Eater undressed Antares' confused motivations (since in my head, Evelyn started off confused, but meeting Antares triggered revelations into her value potential). Since in her bio she started off as a guardian and then in the battle she became an avenger to finally being humiliated when she learned the truth about herself from an enemy- this act of Knife-Eater exposing Antares is the act that establishes intimacy, due to Knife-Eater's psychological insights penetrating Antares' inner being that she herself didn't know about- that she's just a killer with murder in her heart. (Admittedly I completely forgot the 'murder is church' line and now I regret not using it in a more prominent way in the final battle as a thematic motif.)
   Knife-Eater expounds her value to the audience and Antares on page 8 by describing her liberation and new goals in life, however her decision and reason to do this came in page 6, when she bemoaned having to keep a following of "voyeurs", this comes from a sense of weariness that i introduced in her proper appearance in page 3. So from weariness in page 3, to bemoaning her present situation to another in page 6, to a realization of a dream in page 8, there is a logical development of character that precedes sequentially in a A-B-C manner.
   I don't remember at what point I decided that the fight scene will just be a couple of pages, but I wanted to gamble that the value theory was worth testing against the typical pissing contests of having to make an impressive fight sequence. If you go up against an artist who can craft a better fight scene than you with this method, as long as the quality of art is consistent, you will always win (and also if they aren't using the value method themselves).

Theory, Hypothesis, Methodology

   In the days leading up to the start of SDT 2020, I started with a theory.
A theory is a contemplative and rational type of abstract or generalizing thinking about a phenomenon, or the results of such thinking. The process of contemplative and rational thinking often is associated with such processes like observational study, research. Theories may either be scientific or other than scientific (or scientific to less extent). Depending on the context, the results might, for example, include generalized explanations of how nature works. The word has its roots in ancient Greek, but in modern use it has taken on several related meanings.

This theory is that SDT, the way its structured, dictates that themes related to Death will work the best with SDT. Death is the best choice because it is requirement for the end result of every story in an SDT round, thus by making death your main theme, you save a lot of energy on trying out concepts that may or may not work. At least by making your themes centered around death, there will be a logical correlation between the themes and the end result of each story ending in the death of the opponent's character.

   This seems obvious- but what is less obvious is how to discuss death in a creative endeavor and how it relates to us personally- even less obvious is how do we engage with topics death at an emotional level and stave off psychological exhaustion while in the creative state.
   The next obvious matter is that everybody's character is involved in death in SDT by default. So what do I mean by making Death the main theme of your SDT tour? For this we need a hypothesis:
A hypothesis (plural hypotheses) is a proposed explanation for a phenomenon. For a hypothesis to be a scientific hypothesis, the scientific method requires that one can test it. Scientists generally base scientific hypotheses on previous observations that cannot satisfactorily be explained with the available scientific theories. Even though the words "hypothesis" and "theory" are often used synonymously, a scientific hypothesis is not the same as a scientific theory. A working hypothesis is a provisionally accepted hypothesis proposed for further research,[1] in a process beginning with an educated guess or thought.[2]
This is where my hypothesis comes in:
"Death only matters when the life taken has value."
   This means that cheap kills do not work, one-sided kills don't work, nor do extended fight scenes (frankly, a waste of time for both creator and reader, and fight scenes age quickly if they lack any emotional content nor clever tricks), nor do gag kills work (unless they're actually funny and provide some kind of subtext on the value of life). When I say these things don't work I'm speaking upon a generality... that is spectacle is inferior to substance. This is fine if your intention isn't to win SDT and just have fun, in which case this guide isn't for you (also why i specifically named this thread: "How to win SDT", not "How to have fun in SDT". Another way of saying this is winning is more fun than losing)

   The hypothesis expands out of the floating term of death and provides a context with two more terms: "life" and "value", and they're used together. Life is the other side of death- not to get too philosophical, death cannot occur without life. However the word life can get problematic as its one of those loaded words that mean too many things. That is why I added another word "value" to my hypothesis to narrow it down- that is a "a life that has value is the only life worth taking in depictions of death in the context of the SDT", What does it mean for life to have value? What are the characteristics of life that give it value?
   There is a very simple conclusion, though probably not the answer to our inquiry, is that all life has value. But value suggests relativity- "yes, all life is valuable, but my mother's life is more valuable to me than a stranger's" Why is this. In this example it is because my mother's value to me has been revealed to me due to the nature of our relationship and the energy and life she gave to me to allow me to become what I am. A stranger does not have this relationship to me, thus he lacks any value to me- however if I were to get to know this stranger, have him reveal his life to me, the potential for that stranger's value would increase relative to my mother, and may even supercede it depending on the circumstance. This to me, describes the basis of intimacy- the potential of a relationship as revealed through value. To be very specific, what I am saying is that promised potential is what gives life value- and that is where my method comes in.

   The method is: "once the opponent's character reveals their value potential to the audience and to challenger's character, the opponent's character must then die." It is in this revelation of value that an extraordinary tension is created- "maybe" they will develop something transcendental or "maybe" they will become ambivalent towards each other, but this tension is actually the height of value where speculation in the potential future is the strongest- in stock market terms, this is where you want to "sell, sell, sell", which in SDT terms translates to "kill, kill, kill."
   For me, the method translated clearly to my story thematically as "growth" and i used the motif of Antares' hair and horns growing, as well as other motifs of roots, vegetation and eggs. Once the opposing character showed signs of character growth or revealed the motives of their growth, they are to be killed. Antares's character growth must always occur offscreen and inferred by the audience's imagination in between rounds. In theory, this ought to increase Antares's mystique and speculation by using reader's imagination as a tool for heavy-lifting- the more the readers' imagination is provoked the more they put investment in Antares and thus increase her value. It became plausible then to me that Antares might accrue so much reader value that voters would hesitate to vote her out of SDT due to the amount of investment they placed in her as long as I don't damage her characterization with poor writing or an incomplete entry (I never bother testing this sub-hypothesis since I actually wanted to win and prove my initial hypothesis, furthermore, I cannot underestimate audience virtue to honest voting practice. I would like to note that this hypothesis was developed during round 2 of Antares vs. Bubbha vs. Prince Charming, due to how slow the votes were coming in- and its my belief this is due to aforementioned hesitation, in which case, if you're using the value method, it seems like voter hesitation might work in your favor- probably because when voters hesitate they weigh how much investment they put into each character and their expectations of upcoming battles regarding them, if they will see fulfillment of their investment, that is being entertained, or more of the same).

   To further expound on theme, I must mention that the challenger's character sets the foundation of how to choose your themes and motifs. In her character description, I used terms like "magic", "fairies", "roots", "underworld", thus the total range of themes and motifs have already been decided in Antare's literary makeup. The task of the challenger is to analyze the opponent's character's themes and motifs to see where they contribute to the themes of your own character- whether they support your character's thesis, antithesis or synthesis. The concept of thesis, antithesis and synthesis is elucidated in the "Art of Dramatic Writing" by Lajos Egri.
   The method also suggests that the challenger must take control over the opponent's character growth, by depicting the opponent's character in a type of heroic or tragic transformation- by making their image "larger" in a certain context than what their opponent is capable of or initially imagined them to be. This is an easy but ultimately incomplete way of approaching the opponent's character. What the challenger must also do is find the principle that allows the opponent's character to grow in the first place and the principle that causes resistance to that growth (I will go through this process of identification in each round in my analysis.)

Required Reading

   "Write Your Novel from the Middle" James Scott Bell
This book establishes very basic, fundamental principles of how stakes functions in a story and also gives ideas of how to time them within the length of any given story.
   "The Anatomy of Story: 22 Steps to Becoming a Master Storyteller" John Truby
An elucidation on premise and dynamic principle, ie the double concept of the living DNA of a story.
   "Art of Dramatic Writing" by Lajos Egri.
expounds on the creative method of using thesis, antithesis and synthesis to craft a consistent theme and how it dynamically works in a story.


now that SDT 2020 is over and done with its time to reveal the methodology of how to actually win! (or really just how I think I won). The purpose of creating this thread is not for me talk down on any other method (because more efficient methods will make themselves apparent sooner or later) or to talk down or criticize participants of any of the SDT's in the past, but rather to elucidate a vision of Void's real potential to churn out story-telling masters- by maybe perhaps starting a tradition of tournament winners of speaking frankly of their process and allowing people to take it or leave it, test it, improve upon it, or criticize it.

What I hope this would do is remove the mystery of how to get from point A to point B creatively and quicken the development of interest and also remove the fog of guesswork from the process. Experimentation and doing your own research will always be important to understanding how the creative process works for you and we cannot deny the importance of following the gut-hunches of the elusive intuition, what I'm proposing is doing all of the above more efficiently and intelligently through the dispensation of information that tournament winners can give to their fellows in order to make void even more than it is. That is all.

I'm going to use a lot of words such as "value" and "investment". I want to impress upon you readers that entertainment, ie, reading comics, is an energetic trade-off. You spend your good time on this mortal plane to create something that people will read, and those people will spend their own time upon this mortal plane, reading that comic. The trade off here is that they spend x amount of time for y amount of entertainment value, they're expecting an equivalent exchange with your product with energy that they will never get back. They will never get that time back, there's no refund on time. That is why for me it is critically important for you to begin understanding that you as a creator have a responsibility and that the sense of responsibility is encoded in how i use value and investment in what I'm going to say in this. So here we go.

spit spat, time to chat / Re: Defaults
« on: May 16, 2017, 12:32 PM »
each artists put a lot of work into this site because i think each one of us knows that is a great tool for personal growth, not just artistically, but to grow as persons, as a community and to share ideas and network in a meaningful way. The concept of defaulting is built into the mechanics of this site, as a no-show is an automatic F.

Ideally the goal of battling isn't to not default, but to make a good story and improve your techniques and to get feedback. So when i read that people submit their comics to void out of fear of a default rather than to show improvement I feel like i have to add something.

So when we default, it feels extra bad because its like we've allowed that part of us we don't want to see expressed into the world to appear. So depression is obviously an natural reaction to defaulting because it hurts our self-image. We want to show the world that we do have the potential to grow and to become better. Some of us are more sensitive to this than others. And that is fine.
As Monday has stated, you do not owe void the site or the community anything nor do we demand anything from you.

That said, is simply a vehicle, a tool- and there are more that one way to use or abuse a tool. If you're a repeat defaulter, be open and honest about it and ask yourself and others how you can manage your time better, or work with a system of matchups that is beneficial to your current situation, or even if battling is the best way to engage within the community at the time. Its easy to get caught up when an interesting character is issuing a challenge and you decide to battle on impulse.

There are many avenues, many routes you can take on this site that isn't needlessly stressful and still be a contributing member of the community.
A large part of growth is being honest with yourself and others- and being able to see yourself is the first steps to self-improvement through the site- because then you can work out a method that works for you personally.

Talk to other repeat defaulters and as a group work out a method. start collaborating instead of battling. Set a generous deadline for yourself and really focus on planning and organizing your time. Start a sub-group. Work together to make shit happen. Open communication. Take power. Make culture.
Theres no limits.

Art Jams / Re: Tag Team Tournament 2017 HYPE JAM
« on: Mar 24, 2017, 05:47 PM »

News & Events / Re: 2017 TAG TEAM TOURNAMENT
« on: Feb 19, 2017, 11:56 AM »
You are all now ded. Goodnight.

Art Jams / Re: Species of Void
« on: Nov 19, 2016, 01:19 PM »
Space Desperado

Description: There are no known living adults of the Space Desperados. The multiverse traversing nymphs of the Space Desperados are what is left of the species. They are very similar to young human adolescents, barring physiological exception in the form of miniature horns growing from their skull and the composition of their skeletons being composed of a super-dense metallic crystal lattice. Other notes are an exceptional resilience to bodily harm, profound adaptability to hostile planetary conditions and a tendency to resurrect themselves spontaneously. Most knowledge on the Space Desperados come from battlefields across the multiverse. Their life cycles, mating rituals, and other physiological data is unknown even to the nymphs.

Origin: Unknown
Population Count: Less than a million.
Natural Habitats: the known Multiverse.

-The only members left of the Space Desperado species are the genetically weaponized nymph-forms following the Generational Purge carried out by the nymphs. The Generational Purge was a genocide that eliminated the entirety of the previous generation including all history of this species, even the original name of their race has been eliminated, earning them the moniker "Space Desperado" for their lawlessness and abilities to cross through into different dimensions.
Culture: All that is left of their heritage is a myth that the Space Desperados were chosen to become stewards to maintain peace and order throughout the multiverse, but they rebelled against this appointment. The Space Desperados possess their own set of beliefs and laws (or the absence thereof), however they are quick to adopt superficial customs, language and customs of other species. Nothing much remains of original Space Desperado art, language or technology.
Politics: Radical Individualism, Social Darwinism
-The Nymphs believe in Radical Individualism, a doctrine carried over from the Generational Purge. They accept no rulers above them, and each individual Nymph has taken to giving themselves royal titles or titles relating to the highest of political offices. This self-appointed kingship is the only defining cultural bridge between individuals of the Space Desperado race- to be a king means to become the central influence in shaping one's own destiny, including acknowledging equality among other Space Desperados or others who are defined by a regal nature.
-The Nymphs ambiguously define Social Darwinism as the "Law of Nature", the only Law that they acknowledge. Only those strong enough to claim kingship or disown it has the right to be recognized as such.

Psychology: The baseline mental state of Space Desperados would be considered as pathological if isn't for the fact that this is how they are as a culture. They can be described as being afflicted by "delusions of grandeur" and "mania". Disturbing levels of violence and traumatic events don't seem to have a permanent psychological impact on Space Desperados, making them perfect warriors who can sustain extended time on a battlefield without suffering from battle fatigue. Furthermore, their hardy physiology makes them perfect infantry to deploy on many types of terrain within the multiverse. Concepts such as honor and loyalty are disregarded for the sake of the "Law of Nature" and though Space Desperados relish the challenge of  battle, they are often the first to flee if they calculate a lost cause.
-Desperados understand the concept of empathy, patience and kindness, however, their perception and political identity colors their emotional responses, refusing to give much to what they would term "morally inferior" (in the context of Law of Nature) beings any leeway, doing so would be a waste of time and emotional energy. Desperados aren't social among themselves, they go out of their way to leave one another alone.

Special Abilities: Space Desperados possess the ability to traverse the multiverse by sensing and exploiting dimensional cracks, areas in a given space where the veil between universe is weak enough to cross over with enough effort. If a dimensional crack is too weak, a Space Desperado can fall through on accident. Typically these cracks are found in sacred or cursed sites.

Im going to have to tap out of this one. I wish I could do it, but webcomics take a priority.

eh. why not. get mortido in on this.

VOID Characters and Comics / Re: Challenges Thread
« on: Oct 01, 2016, 01:48 AM »
Ya'll Cowards don't even smoke Crack.
Muh dead boy, Mortido 1 week Annihiliation Match 10 page Max.

My choices here are based on impact in my formative years for creating my style in my adolescence and early college days.

startling, dark, and bizarre. One of my favorite painters. His art informed me of the aesthetics of brutality with his occultly violent subject matter.

This man's paint strokes are literally crackling with life force. If you ever get a chance to see one of his paintings in person, you will notice that his paintings are shimmering with hypnotic tension. Gogh paintings taught me that the artist touch carries enormous gravity. He is probably the sole reason why i ink everything traditionally and paint the way i paint with acrylics.

I started crosshatching because i wanted to emulate this dude.

I like Steadman for much the same reason i like Goya. His drawings are obscene, humorous and misanthropic. Furthermore they're bristling with energy. Looking at his art is like downing Redbulls.

I was a huge fan of his in high school. I did a lot of mastercopies of his art, trying to learn dynamic perspective and overlap- my layouts and action scenes are rooted in my obsession with this man's art.

I got into Araki in my college years. He is my prototype for how i use crosshatching now with the ink nib. I took a page on dramatic closeups.

READ. AKIRA. He's a master of architecture and perspective. READ AKIRA. READ AKIRA. READ AKIRA.

I got into Harren recently. Definitely has that artist touch effect. I love how free he is with inks.

The master. No more needs to be said.

people should be able to do whatever they like within reason, but don't forget the point of void is making comics. Even though characters are a huge part of void, they aren't technically necessary for developing your art in the medium. If anything I would promote shipping activity to happen in a sincere comic format, even if it were to be restricted in just the forums.

im in again. Round 2 mofuggas

News & Events / Re: Ragnarock 2016 (Annihilation Royale)
« on: Mar 28, 2016, 12:18 PM »
*weeps godly tears*

iwanttojoin (butt can't)

News & Events / Re: Ragnarock 2016 (Annihilation Royale)
« on: Mar 20, 2016, 04:48 PM »
I know what you're thinking Harry, and I'm going to say yes.  But this isn't a res tournament so even if you win, you'll just stay dead.
i know reviving the dead is just false advertisement, but it would be interesting to see some dead characters in this.

News & Events / Re: Ragnarock 2016 (Annihilation Royale)
« on: Mar 20, 2016, 09:59 AM »
annihiliation eh? does that mean dead characters can join up?

just a suggestion but maybe we can do two 2-week rounds per month; one round for new material and comments and critiques, and the 2nd round for implementation for critiques from last round.

Art Jams / Re: SQUAD JAM
« on: Feb 05, 2016, 08:51 PM »
howabout we also practice some compositional theories?

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