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Page 172 - August 1, 2012

I think Hannu is starting to grow a bit tired, he's not quite as composed and in control of his emotions as he was a couple of chapter back. Maybe he wasn't the coolest cucumber in the bag back then either, but I can't remember him actually trying to maim anyone.

Hey, it's a new month! And that means that the ranking on Topwebcomics have once again been reset, and it all starts once again. I was really happy to see that aRTD stayed in the top 100 the whole month, which is the first time ever I believe. And not even hanging at the end, last time I checked we were ranked at 58! That was seriously heartwarming to see, and I'm really thankful to all you guys. I wish I were one of those cool kids who are like "whatevs, like I even care", but judging by how happy that made me, I definitely do care quite a bunch. ^_^'

On that note, let's try kicking this month off with a really fun voting incentive, to see if we can climb closer to the top for a few days before the more established comics catch up: it is a small painting I did to explore a possible color scheme for this chapter, way before I drew a single page of it. Therefore it is almost half a year old, and here comes the fun part: I drew it completely with my left hand! It's the first thing I've ever attempted to paint with my estranged leftie, and that's why it looks like more like a speed painting, even though I spent maybe four hours on it, which definitely isn't a speed-paintingly time.

Now to the obvious question: why on earth would I bother trying to draw anything with my left hand? It just wastes an insane amount of time and the result looks like dog-barf compared to right hand-stuff produced in the same amount of time. The answer to that question is quite simple: to let me rest my drawing hand as much as possible, without completely shutting down on productivity. Everyone knows the curse or hand pains that come from drawing all day long, and about a year ago I decided to start outsourceing as maany tasks as I could to my left hand, to let poor righty get at least a little bit of rest. Typing, non-drawing related cursor moving, basically anything that didn't require much precision. Aw, man, was it difficult for the first month or two, even trying to double click in an desktop icon became the most trying task ever, and I became very aware of the fact that human hands have a ton of tiny muscles in the palms. Holding the wacom pen for just half an hour when browsing the internet gave me some fierce left-hand cramps in places I didn't even know could cramp up. Oh, and I dropped a full milk carton on the floor when I tried to take it out of the fridge with leftie. It was a time of pain!

But that was the beginning, the motor skills and strengt of that hand has improved incredibly since then, and you wouldn't believe the thing I can do with it now. The incentive-painting was the first time I dared to try actually drawing something, which was about half a year after starting the left-hand exercises, and now it is yet another half a year later. I've been coloring and drawing the backgrounds of the comic pages completely with my left hand for months now (including this page), and a couple of months ago I even tried drawing a whole page from scratch left hand-style. And it worked! The only part I did with my right hand was to ink any facial expressions, since that's the most delicate part and I didn't want to risk it. In the end the page doesn't look at all different from the others, none of you will be able to guess which one it is once we get to it. The only difference is that finishing the page took maybe 50% longer, but that means that even if I were to lose my right hand in a freak accident, I could still continue drawing comics, only a bit slower. Hurray!

I'll tell once the left-hand page comes up, but it will still e a couple of months of daily updates until that one. :3