So that’s it for this chapter of Sand. If you want to read all ten parts you can find the very first page of Sand right here. Sorry it took us two years to get around to finishing it. Hopefully it was worth the wait.
I rounded up some of the questions I’ve gotten about the series and I’ll do my best to answer them here.
When is the space stuff happening in relation to the western stuff?
The “space stuff” is happening hundreds of years before the “western stuff”. I don’t have a firm number for you but it’s been many generations and the people have obviously forgotten (by accident or on purpose DUN DUN DUN?) about their true origins and the existence of their colony ship.
What’s with all the bible quotes?
Esther, the ship’s A.I. has obviously been damaged as a result of the crash and her time separated from her “children”. In her confused mind she has found parallels to her plight in the stories of the bible. In fact she has begun to relate so much to the figure of Mary that when we finally see her in page 10 she has chosen to take the form of Our Lady of Sorrows.
Why is Phorr immortal?
Not sure I want to answer that one just yet. I think we should save that for the next story.
How different is this from the Sand you made back in 1996?
Well artistically it’s very different. In terms of the story it’s essentially the same. The crashed colony ship, the damaged A.I. trying desperately to get her children to return. The “messiah” character of Phorr out trying to convince people that this isn’t where they belong. It was all there 18 years ago but visually it was much more sci fi. It wasn’t until we started to re-imagine it that I cooked up the western vibe.
Do you like making this sort of comic more than the normal PA strips?
I really do enjoy making long form comics, it’s actually what I originally wanted to do as a kid. I love Penny Arcade but I feel like these projects really give me a chance to push myself. The only thing I dislike about them is how rushed I feel when making them. Whenever we take over the site for a series like this I always feel a little guilty. Going forward we are going to make a few new long form comics that will actually run alongside the normal strip rather than replacing it. We have a new Lookouts comic and a new Automata project that will both come out before the end of the year and both of them will have their own space outside the normal strip.
The art looks different from the normal strip, what are you doing?
A big part of the difference comes from my switch from drawing in Photoshop to drawing in Manga Studio. I’m really loving the painting tools and trying to teach myself how to use them. Sand has been a lot of fun to draw as I’ve used it as an opportunity to try and learn a bunch of new techniques.
Will you make more Sand?
I think so yes. This is really just the introduction to this world and these characters. We have many other stories we’d like to tell in this setting. Like I said we have Lookouts and Automata coming up next but once those are finished I’d love to come back to Sand.
Will you be doing another of the three comic idea pitch things?
We’ve done them twice now. The first time we delivered Lookouts, Automata and Jim Darkmagic. The second time we came up with Sand, the New Kid and Queen of Bells. Sand beat out the New Kid in the voting last time and now that we have finally delivered the rest of the story I’d love to cook up another pitch week. I would not expect it this year though.
Were you inspired at all by Trigun?
You know when we cooked this up back in 1996 neither of us were even aware of the Trigun series. Even today I’ve heard of it but honestly never watched it. I’m not a huge anime fan in general. I’ve seen Appleseed, Akira and a few other movies but I’ve never watched a series like Trigun. Maybe I will now!
You and Tycho have said that you both have very different opinions on christianity. How did you work together on something with such heavy religious themes?
Tycho and I do have different opinions on God but one thing we both agree on is how awesome Christian stories are symbolism are. Some of our very first comic books were about angels and demons. Both of us were raised in religious households (although very different sects) and so I think we both enjoy drawing on those themes for inspiration.
Can I have a high res version of the last panel of today’s strip without the text?