#9: Xenophobic

The thing I'm really enjoying about the Essentials comics is how they let me experiment in new ways with layout. Here I went with long single panels that were thinner than the boxy frames of the last few comics. This emulated the actual Xenophobe game better, and it gives this arc a distinctive feel. It's cool how different it feels from the previous Essentials while still clearly still being part of the series.

With this arc I did try to encapsulate what made Xenophobic so interesting. I maintained the Darkmoon -> Katrina -> Angel loop, just like in the original series so things aligned nicely in the moment. It did make the strip longer than I expected since I had to maintain the flow of all three characters, but it also meant that this really does feel like a proper adaptation of that arc. Naturally I colored the frames Red, Purple, and Angel to match the lead characters, just for that extra bit of verisimilitude.

One big change I made here was due to the art shift between CVRPG 2499 and CVRPG Six. We're using backgrounds that I purposefully made to look like the Siren Mark II from CVRPG Six (and, in fact, used them for the latter half of 2499 as well), although I do believe the heroes make a comment about upgrading the ship in the original Xenophobic arc. It works better here, though, in part because it saves me having to make many more backgrounds for this project (which is already taking up every moment of my free time to complete in CVRPG's hard and fast deadlines).

I also did change around the order of many events, especially near the end of the arc where there was just a lot of goofing off during the battles. I think the flow works well here, with the changes I made keeping things tight and interesting.

Overall, very happy with this one. It took longer than I expected but made for a very solid looking comic.


When evil spreads across the land, and darkness rises and the monsters roam. When the creatures of the night make beautiful music, and the things that go bump in the night go bump with greater enthusiasm. When the world is in peril and is in need of a hero...

These guys are, sadly, the best the world can hope for. These are the adventures of the heroes of CVRPG. They mean well, they try hard, and occasionally they do the impossible...

They actually do something heroic.