Monday, January 31, 2011

Pea's makeover

I wanted to create a little game about this... then I got distracted by my parents and actually posted the answer to my question on Deviant Art.

Let's see how many of you will try to play the game anyway without going to peek over there.
At the end of chapter 10 we'll meet two girls, Yester and Nairi who'll do 3 things: make coffee, say grace before meals and give Pea a make over.
What's their Nationality?

The coffee part is not a clue but an influence... oh, this is a tic tac post by the way XDDD

His special day

And this is the other side of the drawing.
I am not quite sure it came out alright.

Ochre and red oranges were very trendy colors back then. He is supposed to wear petticoat breeches but I cannot stand them so I tied them at the knee following Englishmen's fashion.

I also gave him a tie that came into fashion in the year 1660. (So Wes is fashion forward XDD).

Sunday, January 30, 2011

cover work in progress

Probable cover for chapter 11... that I already started drawing and that will open on a beautiful cassata - and that's why I did not talk about cassata yet in the curiosities, I will make a sweet sweet post about it :D

Finally Pea gets to be on a cover! Hurray!

Fan Art Present!

Hurray for Birthday presents!
We got one from tiffc and so I want to share it with you!
Please go visit her Deviant Art account and leave a comment to her drawing! :D

Foxy by *tiffc on deviantART

Saturday, January 29, 2011

Chapter 10B Curiosities

Here Josh is not put on the look-out, or on crow's nest, he is on watch on the ship. When landing... sailors and pirates would take turns to go to shore. Some of them were left on board to keep an eye on the sails, the rudder and the ship itself to keep it safe.

One never knew... somebody could try to attack, commandeer and steal the ship or the treasure away. So apparently Josh is on the first turn of watch.

But you'll see that he'll get to go to shore on the second turn while usually he should have gone on the third turn, the night one, for a particular reason that I will explain in the next update.

The clog came from the upper deck. Cat takes the clogs off only when he climbs hand-over-fist... He then jumped down like he did that one time he gave the hairband to Feetsie.

Kes is in a very good mood. Even so her behavior gets more and more confusing. Why? Because she is a human being. When it comes to Cassandra things cannot go the usual, obvious way, it's because of her upbringing mainly.

I'll write a long P.S. at the end of this post to clear some things out a little better.

Do you know what focaccia is?
It's a type of flat bread - I could not draw it flat here otherwise it would have looked like a brick.
So I shaped him more elongated and round almost like a panino...
in some places, in the South, focaccia can be oval shaped.

Why does she have two? Is she really upset?
I'll tell you at the end of the post.

I need to clarify one thing about wedding proposal now.
Wedding proposals did not exist. Particularly a man would not go and ask to the girl he wants, he'd go and deal with the closest male relative whether she likes it or not.
Cassandra has been given an option that is unheard of: a man offered himself as a husband to her directly.
That's why she goes "what?" "what?" "what?" and when she thinks: "why did he propose" she does not use that word on the contemporary meaning of wedding proposal. She means to say "why did he propose himself as a husband?"... again she is doubting herself, hence the shallaling answers "of course, he likes us".

The first time this FFFF happened... they were fighting over marriage.
Only the first time he was telling her that nobody would ever want to marry such a spinster... now he is the one proposing.

Both times Kane passes by and does the "put a sock in it" thingy.

If this were to be an adventurous comic... this event here, this image, would mark the end of a saga. I end here a first arc for Wes and Kes which marks the conquest of familiarity. If their first FFFF fight marks my first plot point where everything is lost and the pursue begins, this second FFF marks plot point two where everything is found (but the pursue doesn't completely end). Wes has gone from black to white in less than 3 months, now he has to start a new arc which will help him develop his personality further.

We are approaching our first rite of passage and this chapter marks a second, big behavioral milestone.

It wasn't water... what was it then? What Pea was about to dump in the sea... is the content of the bucket the girls use as toilet! So... poor Josh!

Tonno is bald so he is moping.
Jacopo and Jules don't want to get a haircut from Pifo because they think about Rose and the poor doctor.
Still I do believe that if he were a real person today... Pifo could be Lady Gaga's hairdresser! XDD

The doctor's new hairdo... uncovers his neck. So okay... it wasn't even and one strand of hair was still very very long and he needed a proper look... but... Did she get distracted thinking too much... did she do it on purpose... or were her hands hijacked by the shallaling thingies?
Fact is now the neck is right there... at eye level... lots of drooling to come.

Castalia does not understand what Kane is talking about and believes he is waiting for her boobies to grow up.
The fact she does not understand the topic of his sentence.... proves the man right and that's why he thinks that his wait shall be pretty long.

Even though she has Lio for a sister (whose influence is maybe more obvious on Callista)... Castalia was raised by 3 nuns and spent most of her life focusing on making swords.
She is basically clueless and would need one of those explanatory fable about flowers and bees, I'm afraid!

There are two questions to be answered here: will you marry me and are you saying you'll never marry me.
Now Kes just said she will never say "yes". But if she answers "yes" to the second questions... she is denying what she just said: "I will never say yes". Anything else she says, even if she were to use another word or another sentence, would still be either negative or affirmative hence she has no way out.
She accepts a wedding proposal by saying "no". That will become very typical of Kes.

P.s. about Kes.

The Doctor is becoming very good at understanding what is going on with his girl. He might not get everything right but he knows what he feels and she definitely sends him good vibes. Besides... Cat and Foxy have figured that out too: Cassandra says one thing and does its opposite. Pea had told us so too.
The reason why he did not snap right away at Josh, in this chapter, is that Kes' reaction is simply nonexistent.
If she were to slap him or cling to his neck then he would be worried... but she completely snubbed the man for food. She knows her priorities: food over boys... most of the times.

Let's analyze this: Kes slapped the doctor for a pat pat on her butt. At that point she was little by little learning to trust him - he was taking good care of her and they were talking - and that pat pat on her butt almost broke her hear. So disappointed she was... would she run away in tears if she didn't care?

When they kissed she clung to his neck and fell asleep in his arms meaning to say that he managed to gain her trust again and things were getting sweet.

When he pushed her away, after the haircut, she threw stuff at him and broke his head and she was heartbroken again. Again he had to gain her trust... but their relationship and proximity level had already shifted. If you think about it he undressed her and all she gave him was a pinky-up-evil-eye... the Kes way.

Eventually she let him fall asleep in her arms. When she didn't want to be kissed she put a hand on his mouth but still pushed with her whole body against his.
Their level of intimacy is rising and building up. How do you get so close to someone you don't care for? You can't. Especially if you are not a "physical" person.

Do you ever see her hug Cat or Foxy even though they are good friends?
Do you ever see her hug Pea even though they are so close?

When it comes to Kes... she may as well say "yes", "no", "I'm a evil strawberry from outer space" and would make no difference... all you have to look at it's her gestures and behavior.

She had 2 focaccia bread with her: clearly one for her and one for the man who never has breakfast. She definitely would have found a contorted way to give him his.
If she wanted to just run away and distract him she would put both focaccia in his mouth. Or she would just run away keeping both of them.

That's how she is. She is complicated and that's what makes her funny and fun for me to draw. But Cat and Foxy are right... she is a sweet girl. She'll be adorable in a contorted way for a while... until she understands that she does deserve a shot at happiness just as much as Pea whom she deems superior. Right now she is fairly scared, approaching independent thinking, approaching a rite of passage... and all by herself!

Friday, January 28, 2011

Il Pirata Baldassarre - Capitolo 10 B

Buona lettura! Ci vediamo domani per le curiosità!

The Pirate Balthasar - Chapter 10 B

I hope you enjoy the following pages... as usual if you click on the title of the post it will take you to Smack Jeeves... and you'll be happy to see that now you can bookmark the pages by clicking on the "save my place" blue button that appears when you hover with the mouse over the pages.

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Her special day in colors

Both facebook and Deviant Art compressed the file horribly and bent it. I have to say that it does not look any better on blogger.
So let me tell you... although it looks flat and spotty you really have to click and enlarge the image to see it work... I have no idea why it bends so much in the icon.

Anyway... tomorrow night it's update night! Are you ready? :D

Wednesday, January 26, 2011


I posted the clean lineart for the Special Day illustrations... and Rachele already got to them with her colored pencils.

Here are the linearts, just like I posted them on Deviant Art. I said I would use turquoise and ochre for her and brown and red oranges for the doctor since he is dressed in the English fashion.

And here is Rachele's finished work! Great job! :D

on a special day... the other side!

I did not have the heart to draw him in pettycoat breeches.
So, dear doctor, British style for you... even if you are not so fashionable... we still love you!.

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

On a special day...

Until I can manage to improve my skills as digital painter I'll have to postpone a bit the illustrations with the children pirates. At least the one with Kane since the sea is driving me nuts.

Currently I don't have much time to do illustrations so I'd better keep coloring something simple until more time is available again and I can go insane on the painting without having to stress about the fact that I don't have time to paint.

So I am going back to my comfort zone for a while, if you don't mind, with costume design and interiors. She will be framed by a door and a window in the back.
I hope I can manage to get the colors the way I want them... the top will be light blue the skirt will be ochre.

Monday, January 24, 2011

Sunday, January 23, 2011

About love... tic tac too!

Italo Calvino once said: "A classic is a book that has never finished saying what it has to say.”

I have to admit that seeing people re-read Balthasar makes me truly happy. The comic will make more sense in the beginning once you reach the end. I am not going for classic, though, dear God no! You'd need to be a genius to do that... I am just trying to have some fun.

But today I thought I'd tell you about one of the things that inspired the relationships between the characters. I like Calvino and I love his books... all of them.
The Baron in the Trees (forgive me but the title sounds horrible in English T_T because in Italian it's called the Rampant Baron - which refers both to rampant and the fact that he lives on trees) talks about love... a lot!

Some of the things that happen between Cosimo (apparently Calvino loves Cosimo de' Medici too XDD) and Viola are truly amazing.
So writes the author:

"So began their love, the boy happy and amazed, she happy and not surprised at all (nothing happens by chance to girls). It was the love so long awaited by Cosimo and which had now inexplicably arrived, and so lovely that he could not imagine how he had even thought it lovely before. And the thing newest to him was that it was so simple, and the boy at that moment thought it must be like that always."


"They knew each other. He knew her and himself, because truth be told he never knew himself. And she knew him and herself, because even though she always knew herself, never could she recognize herself in such a way."

At one point the say the opposite of what they think and they risk big time... their love become cruel.

"- Why do you make me suffer?
- Because I love you.
Now he became mad: - No, you don't love me! The ones who love want happiness, not pain.
- The ones who love only want love, even at the cost of pain.
- You make me suffer on purpose, then.
- Yes, to see if you love me."

Makes sense? Keep this in mind it will answer to a lot of questions especially for the next release! :D

Saturday, January 22, 2011

Where are we?

Previously on TPB!

1) We just turned one!
2) We are on chapter 10 (and I have up until page 35 ready, the chapter will have 45 pages)
3) The Artbook is in the making.
4) The Real Beauty game is still ongoing.
5) The 25 expression challenge is still open.
6) Remember to vote for Fickle (us) on TWC XD
7) Remember to talk about us and spread the love with your friends...
8) I am working on a new set of illustrations... if I can find time T_T sigh.
9) I am trying to figure out a cover for chapter 11
10) The idiot in the picture is me pulling a Kes!

Have a great day!

(message updated)
P.s. I usually keep useful link to the sides of the blog. Left for Contest, games, visitors, fans and friends. The right column is for chapter, curiosities and blogs.

Friday, January 21, 2011

FAQ page

Hello mates,
I've decided to add a FAQ page to the blog to answer to the questions I receive more often.

Be patient with me, I might be able to answer to all your comments and questions again in 40 days... then again maybe not!
Who knows?

But since I don't have a lot of time... I think you'd prefer it too if I spent the time drawing. If the FAQ did not answer some of your questions let me know and I will update it :D

Gotta rush to render now!

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Kes e Wes - Speciale

Avrete notato che lo speciale Wes e Kes non si trovava alla fine del capitolo 9. Non era nemmeno all'inizio del capitolo 10!
Questo perche', proprio come per la Canzone di Callista, l'ho impaginato separatamente... ma non avevo trovato ancora due minuti per metterlo sul blog decentemente.
Eccomi qui, quindi, con la versione flash di Issuu (per quelli che amano scaricare i capitoli in pdf da issuu prima che metta online il volume sul blog).
Buona lettura!

Wes and Kes - Special (flash)

I did not put the Special up in the flash version.
It is not at the end of chapter 9 and was not at the beginning of chapter 10.
That's because, just like the "Callista's song" I paginated it separately.

So I finally found two minutes to upload it and post it (for those of you who also like to download the chapters from Issuu before I release the volume in pdf.).


Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Chapter 10A Curiosities

Cassandra does not know what a whale is?

She doesn't...

See even though she lives on an island it does not mean she gets to go to the beach - or do stuff like that. You need to sail the open sea in order to be able to see certain types of creatures.
Where she lives the most common type of whale available would be the Sperm Whale.

If you gaze toward the sea from the coast all you see is something like this... and it can be mistaken for something else.
The only time I saw a Sperm Whale I was pretty high on a cliff (as tall as a mountain actually) and I figured out it was a whale only because I saw the foam and water squirting.
I told my dad: that's a funny looking rock.
He said: that's a whale.
I was 21. I was in Sicily.

Black cliffs and shores? Weird looking rocks and smelly water?
You are on a vulcanic island.
It could be Stromboli or Vulcano.
The beach are not made of sand but of beautiful black pebbles.

What the girls are collecting is something like this:

Many Sicilian islands are famous for their black shores.
What you see as the hot springs is something I came up with making a journey to the past.

This is the Alcantara gorge. The water, here, is actually freezing cold! But... at one point it might have been hot (I am talking about the beginning of times LOL). I mixed hot springs with this kind of lava based rock formation. Pretty, eh?

The doctor wants a tub... because he is circumcised.
It's not a matter of being ashamed or shy.
The foreskin removed, the glans becomes very sensitive and you want to take care of hygiene also a little better.
The water being hot, crowded with filthy pirates... the doctor, all in all, is worried mainly about his family jewels and manhood. They might be at risk XD. So maybe he does not take his bath very hot and he takes it in clear water too.

Pifo is cleaning his teeth using a stick.
You rub it up and down and get the job done. You can use any kind of root or soft stick... like a branch from a sambuco (elder) tree!

So Pifo... good job, you are taking care of your precious smile the right way!

What is the lady doing? She carries a basket on her head...
That is how, traditionally, you would carry stuff around.

I am not quite sure as to why she would go and use hot water for her laundry, especially if it smells bad, but maybe she does not care about the smell as long as the stuff is clean.
(or maybe she needed and excuse to peek at naked pirates!)

Sulfur water smells like rotten eggs.

You guys should try some hot spring in volcanic areas... the spring is very hot and smells incredibly strong but you come out of the pool with a skin as soft as a baby's!

Usually the water is not very clear, it's kind of white and it taste a bit salty too. But it's very good for respiratory problems (hence Cassandra finds relief for her nose) and all kind of skin problems. Not to mention rheumatism!

Botticelli, right? Of course Castalia is not Venus, she is just a regular girl.
You might notice she is kind of short too.
This is not a standard, canonic beauty of the times. On the contrary...

She is too skinny, she is muscular and is not pale and looks like a boy.

If you want to look into beauty standards... you'll have to look into Rubens.
Now this lady here she is considered to be ooooh so beautiful!
She is roooound and chuuuubby and luuuumpy and soooooft... with big butt... small boobies but big chest and she is so fair and with red lips... aaaah!

Not Castalia! But Castalia is special, right?

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Happy Birthday to us!

It's our birthday...
We are getting old... but we are still feeling young inside!
Let me sing a song to myself....

Stick around for the curiosities *_*

Something serious, for once!

Hello there,
for once I am going to talk about something serious before we go back to our usual silly selves.

One of our friends has brought up a very interesting issue w/link:

This community is trying to raise awareness and funds to help the Australian Red Cross with the QLD flood.

Maybe there are more Australians among our readers who could help but even if you are not Australian you can help, we are an international crew, after all!

There's a lot of us pirates out there... and we must always help each other we are a band of brothers and sisters.

BTW: whenever you have issues you want to talk about that are close to your heart, do not hesitate to contact me: pirates will come to the rescue... or will try to do their best.

Monday, January 17, 2011

The Pirate Balthasar - Chapter 10 A

As usual you can click on the title of the post, follow the link and go read on Smack Jeeves or read the flash version here... enjoy the beginning of a new chapter!

Il Pirata Baldassarre - Capitolo 10 A

Eccoci qua con l'inizio del nuovo capitolo!
Buona lettura!

Sunday, January 16, 2011

Work in progress... 10B!

Alright... I know I have disappeared and am not answering to any of your messages.

Truth is... my parents are coming to visit and for the next 50 days it will be super hard to draw after I come back from work.

My drawing hours will be cut by a lot! So I am trying to get very much ahead of myself to avoid the risk of not updating at all, or a delayed update.

Unfortunately Illustrations, Freebies and the One Year Celebration suffers from it but I will make it up to you as soon as they go back home in March.

We finally get to see makeover day LOL. There will be two special moments! :D

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Power up!!! è_é

Today I was trying to re-calculate the pages and upgrade the calendar, since a lot of stuff got shifted around.
It was necessary to introduce and solve some situations before we got to town... so by shifting some things, here and there, all the summaries are now a full chapter behind. Truth is some of the stuff that was supposed to happen after, it already happened and so some other summaries will eventually disappear and turn into something else.

The other thing I found out, by calculating the number of pages I had left for the chapter, was that chapter 10B will be 16 pages, not 12, and chapter 10 C will be 16 pages instead of 15. So we'll have, again, a full chapter of 45 pages (while originally chapter 10 was only a 39 pages chapter).

What was chapter 10 is now chapter 11! This might probably make The Pirate Balthasar 21 chapters long, instead of 20... the Epilogue will be the first chapter of volume 6 - which means Pifo will get a cover too - and the volume with all the extras and the next generation might happen for real.

Unless I decide that something more should happen and then Balthasar itself gets longer. We'll see. So far there's a lot of new stuff that I am writing in... sometimes simply because I miss the aunties and want to see them again. XDDD
The main storyline will not change at all... I simply ask myself questions and try to answer them to have a better flowing character arc.

Maybe presents....

Alright... I am waiting to see if there's any particular request for the Birthday next week (it will be January 18th/19th)...

I was thinking about making one person happy, since she requested these for the birthday....
Pictures of our characters as children.

So far I came up with ideas for Kane and Cat. The age might vary according to the characters... we'll see!
I hope to survive this infernal week LOL.

I need to get ahead of my game, my parents are coming to visit next week and I don't want my posting to get all messed up!

Deda can make it! è_é/

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Almost one year old!

The Pirate Balthasar will celebrate its first Birthday next week.
Any special request? What would you like to see on that day? *_*

(I wonder if we'll get any birthday presents! *ç*)

Wes and Kes Special - page 6

This marks the end of our Special.
I hope you enjoyed it.

I'll see you soon with the release :D



Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Tic tac in pencil.

Long time no post a pencil tic tac... this is not for the coming up issue, but for the one after...

Let's see who can guess what's going on? :D

Wes and Kes Special - page 5



Monday, January 10, 2011

Volume 3 Cover WIP

Here's my work in progress for the cover of Volume 3.

Yes... Callista is perfect for the role *_* and of course Cat will be in the back cover but we'll have to wait the end of volume 3 to see the back cover :D

I usually don't use/like black... that's why there's actually purple and crimsom and lots of pink in the black muahahahahahah!