Read Sorcery 101 writer notes Chapter 3

Here is another batch of writer notes on Sorcery 101. If you want to read ahead on these got ahead on these head over to my patreon.

Chapter 3

Title page

This is the first chapter where we see Danny’s day job and his piano tie.

Page 49

Both Danny and the dream girls’ outfits are James Bond references. King is a good dog.

Pages 50-51

Connor and Jeff make their first appearances. The other kid’s name is Bobby. He is usually in the background of Jeff and Connor at school scenes. Around the time I was redoing this, I was drawing the chapter where Connor comes out so I pushed his overcompensating in this chapter. Originally, Connor had some exposition about Danny’s royalty background but it’s not really important yet and it’s more realistic if, instead of saying crazy rumors, Connor just overcompensates.

We set up that Jeff is tutored by Danny so he can get bit later. I made sure to show Dave listening to Jeff talking so we know where he heard it.

Pages 52-53

Connor gets away with a lot of sass.

Danny telling Dave about love spells is to contrast chapter one. He gets to be the responsible one in this chapter, at least for a little while. Note Danny putting his bag on Dave’s desk–Lets me do some background action while something more mundane happens in the foreground.

Grammar is hard. I feel Jeff’s pain.

Pages 54 – 58

First scene in the magic shop. Also, Mel is in the background. It’s mostly gag gifts or based off tourist trinket I saw from sale while visiting Salem, MA. The useful stuff is hidden or special ordered, like Pat’s book. This is the first Dwyn book. Also, we get that Pat is short for Patrice. That is also my mom’s name.

Danny and Mel flirting got cut down.

Pat’s home is as shitty on the outside as it is inside.

Pages 59 – 60

Pat lives in a shit hole. He doesn’t care. Pat’s priorities are all about the book.

Pages 61-63

This is why Ramon knows about magic. Meg knows her stuff but she probably should have given them all the details before leaving. The love spell probably also affected the girl in the picture.

Pages 64-65

Connor wouldn’t have been affected if he wasn’t already gay. Danny knows enough about sorcery at this point to put that together. He just sat on that knowledge for quite awhile.

Pages 66-67

Look at Danny being all adult.

Pages 68-70

Right up until Ramon shows up. Meg already had the popcorn. She’s used to Ramon overreacting.

Pages 71-72

And Pat is here to put a stop to all this. Chibi him with a cape is pretty cute.

Page 73

I don’t know how Pat got to the house. I made sure it was clear from the coloring that Pat was completely in shadow.

I originally made it in September 2005 and then redrew it in 2009

Read Sorcery 101 writer notes Chapter 2

Hi folks! If you aren’t supporting the Patreon, then you are reading this after everything has wrapped up, so thanks for sticking around my site after the comic is over. I feel like the past few years I’ve been trying to make sure people know there is more on the site than Sorcery 101. I don’t know how successful I am.

Chapter 2

Title page

Hey look, it’s Seth. He’s a bad bad man. Seth basically exists because, in vampire stuff, there’s always a bad boy vampire who’s cool with all the murder but then the audience likes them so they end up becoming a good guy and stop all the murder. Seth is playing off that: making the audience think that he’s okay and a “good guy” but Seth is never a good person. Him playing off that was always to trick you into not realizing he’s the antagonist.

Page 20

Brad sure looooooves Star Wars. I like Star Wars and know bits and pieces of trivia because I’ve fallen into a few Wookipedia-holes, but I don’t love it as much as Brad. I think Star Wars Episode 2 was the first movie I watched and thought “Wow, that movie was not worth what I paid for the ticket.” Brad probably thinks it’s okay, not as good as the original trilogy, but okay.

Werewolves eat a lot. Originally, Rebecca broke Danny’s finger to show she was strong, too. I cut that, though, because her knocking Danny down last chapter was enough and all it did was add a clunky healing spell exposition.

Pages 21-22

Danny’s car is the one really expensive thing he owns so that’s why only he can drive it. Plus, it’s got the steering wheel on the wrong side so someone not used to that may have trouble. Once again, some dialogue is changed to make Danny less of a perv.

Page 23

So we get to Ally’s bar. It has no sign because it’s a secret bar. Also, Danny is once again checking ladies out.

Pages 24 – 25

Exposition while Danny talks to vampire ladies. They would totally eat him, or try. Seth wouldn’t let some other vampire eat Danny. Also, we get Chelsey introduced. I never actually intentionally make a character attractive. I let both readers and the characters say who’s hot.

Pages 26-27

This scene had more dialogue and an exchange between Ally and Chelsey that was all cut. Ally was too mean and dismissive of Chelsey. They both came off badly. Chelsey talking herself up is nicer. Also, I got to put that nice background detail of her giving the demons the wrong drinks.

Pages 28-30

There are no other demons that look like this lady in the comic anymore. I hadn’t really nailed down what the demons looked like at this point. If I designed her now, she wouldn’t have scales.

Pages 31-32

It’s probably not clear but Brad’s phone is vibrating, not ringing. He knows to turn off his phone in the movies. Pat never gets a new phone. If this happened later to Danny, Pat probably would have helped. But for now, it has to be clear that Seth is Danny’s last resort.

Pages 33-35

Seth’s intro. He’s hitting on teenagers. He is always hitting on teenagers when he’s getting a meal. It didn’t occur to me until later on in the story but I went with it. In the original, it was just a goth girl because, well, goth kids would be into Seth’s look. They were in an alleyway, but in the redo, I put him inside so we could have fun red lighting for him. You know, cause he’s evil.

Seth and Danny’s mental connection is more or less the main plot of Sorcery 101 so I wanted to introduce Seth with that.

I always like having normal folks reacting to Seth.

Pages 36-39

It is safe to assume that a front desk person was murdered for that key. Much like all Seth and Danny scenes, Seth is calm while Danny reacts. Danny’s pain is always funny to Seth. It’s kind of funny to me, too. He’s fun to torture. He deserves it a lot of the time. Danny’s boner is killed with transphobia. If I did a second round of redos, I would probably change that line. Danny is correct. Seth would think breaking his wrist is funny.

Pages 40-41

Seth left out the part where he murdered her. Every demon bar probably knows Seth. He drinks A LOT. Also, to Seth stabbing and violence is usually the answer.

Pages 42-44

This scene is mostly unchanged. I spread the conversation over more pages to give it more room to breath.

Exposition time: Being a vampire doesn’t make you evil. This isn’t Buffy. So all of Seth’s terrible behavior is pure him.

It is intentionally supposed to be unclear if this is meant for laughs. But this is your first hint that Seth is the antagonist. There was a comment on one of the end chapters asking if Seth has always been this evil. The answer is yes. These are the pages I linked them to. Also, Seth can see inside Danny’s mind so while Danny hasn’t said Seth’s gay out loud in the comic yet, he’s thought it. Seth is bi but wouldn’t say he is. He doesn’t think about that stuff.

Seth flat out tells Danny he can do all this horrible shit to him. Danny never brings it up again or tells anyone. That is first sign Seth is fucking with Danny’s head. It’s very, very subtle but I was planning those seeds from the beginning.

Pages 45-46

EXPOSITION. Also Seth knows how to pick pocket people.

Page 47

Violence is always the answer when Seth’s around.

Page 48

Seth does keep the skull. If you look hard for it, you can find it in his piles of junk. Danny is okay with people getting murdered in front of him when Seth’s around. OR IS HE…..?

That’s it for chapter two. It was originally made July 2005 and was redone in 2008.

Read Sorcery 101 writer notes Chapter 1

Hi folks! So, since Sorcery 101 is over and the site is getting revamped, I’m gonna post writer notes on each chapter so the site isn’t abandoned. If you want to read ahead you can by backing my patreon.

But anyway, let’s get started.

Chapter 1

Title page

This is the only chapter that doesn’t really have a title. Why? Because I didn’t know I was going to do chapters when I first started.

The whole book is landscape. I made that decision because I thought that was just the shape webcomics were.

I didn’t read many webcomics before starting Sorcery 101. I mostly decided to put it online because I tried to make a comic that came out as self published floppies, but super quickly realized how expensive that was. Basically, I printed the first issue of that series as a floppies and failed to sell some at Anime Boston 2005 in April. Realizing that wouldn’t work, I asked a webcomic artist how to put stuff online. Then, in May, it launched. That one month of looking around at other webcomics, I noticed most were landscape, so that’s what I did.

I have since regretted that. I have a much easier time laying out portrait formatted comic pages.

While drawing the first eight pages I outlined the whole comic.

Page 1

Those of you who read the comic before 2008 or backed the omnibus kickstarter know that page one isn’t really page one. Basically, I cut the first two original comics. The original page one is Danny looking at a pornmag instead of readying his sorcery book. Pat takes it away and says the centerfold has a “nice rack”. That got removed for three reasons. For one, that’s a lazy/overused joke. Second, it doesn’t really move the story forward. Third, it is super out of character for Pat.

Pat was the only character I didn’t have a strong feel for at the beginning of the story. Basically, before I started making comics, I wrote an entire prose book about Brad where he becomes a werewolf, and meets Ally, Seth, Suzanne, and Lope. It ends with Danny getting blood bonded to Seth. I found prose kind of a chore to write but I finished it and it’s mostly still on my computer. I say mostly because I decided to rewrite it as a comic and as I turned it into a comic, I deleted the prose version. The first chapter was the floppy comic I tried to sell. I have issue two colored but never printed, and issue three is inked. So I drew seventy two comic pages of it. The result is that when I jumped into Sorcery 101, most of the cast was well established in my head. Pat, not being a part of that earlier story, wasn’t. So most of the redo changes in this chapter were cutting jokes that Pat makes. Pat doesn’t make jokes. He is a black hole that sucks out all fun.

The second original comic is cut because it is all clunky exposition about how magic works. I realized it was unnecessary and overly wordy. It’s two paragraphs that can be summed up as ‘it works cause the sorcerer believes it works.’ Then the whole thing ends with a kind of gross joke. Danny being a sex obsessed perv really gets toned down in the redos. In high school, I basically watched too much anime. Sexual harassment as comedy is a comedy trope that is pretty prominent in anime. After growing up and learning how adults actually behave, it made me reconsider/realize how much that stuff could drive away someone who might actually like the rest of the story. I mean, he’s still a horn dog in the new version because that would change the story too much. It’s just not turned up to eleven. Just goes to show that when you consume too much of one thing and only that, creatively it effects you both negatively and positively.

So what is now page one was originally page three. It’s a better start. It establishes that Danny is a screw up and Pat is well aware. In both versions, Pat goes to get the fire extinguisher before Danny even starts the spell. Danny’s spell is in Latin. I took Latin in high school. I used to know off the top of my head what the spell says. Now I kind of know what it says. Pat no longer smiles.

Page 2

This is mostly the same as it’s a good intro to Rebecca who is mostly in the comic to be a pain. I never know if she is well written, to this day. She’s 5. I don’t spend much time with 5 years olds. So sometimes, with her, it was easier to go with ‘what would a dog do’ rather than ‘what a kid would do’. Hence the jumping.

Page 3

Originally it was too dialog heavy, so while visually it’s pretty much the same, a lot of the dialog was cut or moved to page four. This starts the tread of whenever Rebecca is caught doing something wrong, she responses with “um….” She doesn’t have a lot of character throughout the comic. I introduce Danny’s dog here. I never really did anything with the dog. I probably should have.

Page 4

This is a little bit of dialog from the original version of the page before. The rest of the page this lines up with is cut because, once again, I’m toning down Danny being a perv. Also, there is a gap in the conversation you don’t see in the original. I just rewrote it so it flows better while reading all at once.

Page 5

I never super got into it, but since Ally is an air mage, smoking or other air pollution bothers her more. It never gets flat out said because Ally isn’t even aware that she is extra sensitive. But this exchange is mostly the same since it’s a good example of Danny and Ally’s relationship being built on sass. Danny sure is a dick, huh?

Page 6

I added Brad asking them to stop to show that he is not on the sass train. He is the nice one.

Page 7

Danny drives a Porsche. I have a model to help me draw it at different angles. That joke is mostly the same but since I knew how to draw better, I cut the line of dialog that tells you the car is driving away quickly.

Page 8

Hey, a video store! Remember those? They existed. Also, I know for a fact that Sorcery 101 was completely outlined by this page. I had always planned for Brad to die at the end. Also in the original version, this page was just half a page.

Pages 9-10

This exchange between Danny and Meg is the biggest change in the redos of chapter one.

Page 11

Danny was much more down to fight in the original. I was closer to Ramon’s age in the scene and when I redid it, I wanted to make it clear Danny is an adult and more reasonable than a melodramatic teenager. So Danny just laughs at him and is a general asshole because it keeps the conflict going. Danny deserves the lecture he gets at the end.

Page 12

I mostly used this page to show off how shit Pat’s apartment is. This is one of the few pages with thought balloons. I don’t like the way they look.

Page 13

Ramon is so dramatic. This page was originally three panels. Making it a whole page makes it more over the top which is Ramon’s MO.

Pages 14-16

People who leave mean comments about Sorcery 101 usually comment on this page. Spells are long and take time to say. It always bothered me in anime when someone is doing an attack or something that has a lot of build up, the villain never attacks them. Also, if you aren’t saying a spell or poem frequently, you will probably forget it. That is the kinda stuff I think about and is all through Sorcery 101. So if someone is super annoyed by the scene, they should probably not read Sorcery 101.

The spell Danny starts is NOT in Latin. This spell he learned from Lope, not Pat. He doesn’t finish this spell until the third to last chapter. That was the plan. Lope casts it once in As We Were and once in Sorcery 101. It’s takes longer to cast but is stronger.

“He’s a kid and therefore stupid. So ignore him.” This advice is also good for dealing with internet trolls. Like I said ,Danny deserves this lecture. He’s been an ass. While Ramon is also an ass, Danny, as someone in his thirties, should know better than to engage.

Pages 17-18

Brad, as the nice one, didn’t engage in a dumb fight with/make fun of a teenager and went to get the movie. He’s back in time for Pat to be a jerk. In both versions, Pat says demons because I always thought werewolves verses vampires was dumb. I wanted to make it clear this wasn’t his problem. Pat’s much more inclusive in his hate.

Page 19

Danny, while an ass, can be nice to his buds. Also, this firms up that him and Pat are not friends.

And there is a deleted comic that is another bad sex joke and introduces Danny’s dog. In the redos, King shows up earlier, so this page gets thrown out for not doing anything.

So that’s the first chapter. I wrote is when I was 18 in 2005 and then redrew is in 2008.

Sorcery 101 1407 is up!

Sorcery 101 page 1407 is up.

And that’s all! Thank you for reading. Sorcery 101 is done after working on it for 11 years.

Misfits of Avalon starts updating again January 23rd. I’m gonna take a few months off of posting comics to update and fix up the site. If there are any sites you like the look of feel free to share them in the comments. I’ll post some sketches and make some blog posts during the break. If you want to keep up to date with what I’m doing please sign up for my mailing list.

Also I’m restructuring the site and my patreon so please read and respond to this post.


Sorcery 101 1406 is up!

Sorcery 101 page 1406 is up.

Also I’m restructoring the site and my patreon so please read and respond to this post.


New York Comic Con

Hi folks! I’ll be at New York Comic Con this weekend. I’ll be in Artist Alley most of the weekend. Find me at table P-11. I also have two signings at Darkhorse’s booth and I’ll be on this very nice panel.

Title: Breaking In: How They Did It! How Can You Do It?

Description: Join former Marvel and DC Penciler/Writer Tom Lyle, now a Professor at SCAD in Savannah, Georgia, and SCAD Alumni Corin Howell (Bat Mite; Transformers: Windblade), Kel McDonald (Misfits of Avalon), Eryk Donovan (Constantine), Phillip Sevy (Tomb Raider), Drew Zucker (The HOUSE) as they discuss breaking into the comics world: what it takes and how many different paths there are.

Date: 10/8/2016

Time: 1:45:00 PM – 2:45:00 PM

Location:  1A05

Speakers: Tom Lyle   Kel McDonald   Corin Howell   Eryk Donovan   Phillip Sevy   Drew Zucker