Sunday, April 29, 2012

Greetings from Thailand

So nice to be able to finally draw Kane's face freely.

Okay, I'm in Thailand this week end, I might have some sketch crawling to do and the usual crappy drawings to show you.

This is the final vacation with my parents before they return to Italy.

I will have to work ever so hard starting next week hahahaah.

Saturday, April 28, 2012

What's in store...

The Pirate's wife will have this look and layout.

Now, of course, this is still a work in progress and I definitely need to touch up some of my colors... but  I think the pages will be released twice a week, if all goes well.

Friday, April 27, 2012

Curiosities and little tricks...

 Let's not take Quoque too literally, we know he cannot talk properly.

What he meant here is clearly the fact that Pifo does not go around saying to the entire World that Quoque is a Balthasar.

Our little buddy here does understand that there must be a reason as to why Kane changed his brother's name and keeps quiet.

He does not go around shouting "Amil Amil!". ;) That's all the Pulcinella secret he is talking about.

Now we know that the doctor's name used to be Itzak.

Kes knows and want to name their baby after the daddy. Ain't that cuuuuute! Aw! <3

And now la Pièce de résistance!

Ahahahaha! Sorry, I played a little trick on you.

But I hope you guys had fun with it... go check chapter 15, around page 12, to revisit the scene!

It's super funny when you re-read it the second time and actually you'll see that Castalia's reaction had a completely different meaning.

Thursday, April 26, 2012

Il Pirata Baldassarre - Capitolo 20 C

Altre cinque pagine, spero vi piaccia la sorpresina nell'ultima (in caso vogliate ricontrollare... capitolo 15 attorno a pagina 12)

The Pirate Balthasar - Chapter 20 C

The update is here. I hope you like the surprise in the final page (in case you want to go and check again... chapter 15, around page 12)

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

The next layout

Koorihimesama has volunteered her design for the layout of the next series. This one would be used for Adventures of The Pirate Balthasar. If you go on her Deviantart account you can see her designs (she has more than one ready). You can also visit her blog where she is testing the files. Any feedback, comment, would be much appreciated and of great help. For now I can only thank her for lending me a hand since I am very very bad at these kinds of stuff.

Tuesday, April 24, 2012


I went to Bali for the week-end, since it's not to far from here.

I have to say that the place inspired a few new ideas, there are a lot of different colors and pattern and the smell of incense and flower is very strong when you walk around.

Maybe because it was a week-end, and they put flower offerings outside on a saturday, but it felt nice and made me dizzy again.... this made me feel correct about having Circes using smokes (incenses) and smells to hypnotize people.

Batik also had wonderful pattern and when it comes to pattern and decorations I think the balinese culture is pretty dedicated.

I was surprised by the amount of detail-work put in the doors and temple and some of the facial expressions of the balinese dancers were incredibly fierce and particularly interesting!

I want to use this experience for my next story and try and translate the pattern, the details, the facial expression and the smell in The Adventures of The Pirate Balthasar.

I am not usually the type to share vacation pictures - except with friends - but I thought you might enjoy seeing what I am talking about. So allow me to post a couple of photos.

Another noticeable thing was the fact that the sound of the gamelan and their music in general is very hypnotic and relaxing... I don't know how to say this but.... how many of you go to beauty salons and spas and have to endure that annoying new age whatever spa music?

I cannot stand it, personally I take a breath when suddenly classical music shows up... the rest of the time not only I don't relax, I am forced to ask the lady to turn it off, if possible otherwise she keeps telling me: relax, why do you cringe your teeth like that?

I can't help it, spa music makes my brain burn, I feel the scorching pain inside my cranium and I try to think to something else but I can't.

Now balinese music goes on non-stop as you walk on the street, because the little children are practicing in the temples and there are more temples than houses over in Bali, especially in Ubud, where I went.

The whole day for hours... it was wonderful. Why can't they use balinese music in spa?

Oh, by the way the first page is the result of my sketch crawl, I still have 2 more big drawing but I cannot find them now, LOL.

Monday, April 23, 2012

Shakespears sonnets and masks.

I'm back from Bali, sorry I did not have internet everywhere and I kept posting pictures of the sketches I was doing mostly on The Pirate Balthasar tumblr (that's because blogger does not have an application for ipad) but it was hard to update everything else. But back to our curiosities... :D

The sonnet Kane is reading is Shakespeare 116, which speaks of marriage of true minds.
Although there are many possible interpretations to this sonnet the reason why Castalia gives this to Kane is quite clear: because love is a lighthouse and a sailor might understand the metaphor.

The storm came in and almost swept her away, and of all the reactions she might have had - because she almost died - she is giving Kane the bravest: the world is dangerous and scary but it does not matter because you are in it. That's the interpretation she gives to the poem.

Did you remember when she scolded Kane about not understanding things unless they are written in a book? There! She found a book he can understand. This puts his mind at peace.

Just imagine what Kane must have gone through while Castalia was sick, in bed. He kept telling her that he was not going anywhere without her, that's a scary thought, if you stop to think about it.
He probably thinks, now, that Castalia is the lighthouse too and therefore understand that what they have really is a marriage of true minds.

The fact that she found the book all by herself, going through God knows how many in his collection, it's something that shows dedication, patience and the will to continue with the life she has, no matter what the cost.

So the mask has to come off... why now?

Because of what she just told him: comes what may... I'll take it all.
She already almost died and no matter how much he tried to protect her, it still did not work. So he can only trust her to take the truth in her hands and decides to share with her a heavy burden.

Now we know that Kane's mask is meant to protect others.
Think about it, if you don't know about it, you cannot talk about it. Of corse the protection is meant mainly for Josh. But in a way it's also meant to take attentions away from the ones around him, by making himself and easy target.

Imagine if you knew, what reaction would you have when you see Josh, you would think: is this him or his brother?
Or if they stand next to each others, people would look at them all weird.

Also there are less chances the information might leak while somebody is drunk.

So why not just cut their hair differently? I would not be enough. Assassins don't go for details, when it comes to take lives, they take it then... ops, I made a mistake, and go after the right one.

The mask is not only something to differentiate the brothers, it's something to grab attention.
Have you ever read the explanation Frank Miller gave to batman logo's being so bright and smacked in the middle of his chest? It's because it attracts attention to that area and villains would shoot him there (where he has a bulletproof vest) instead of shooting his leg, shoulder, arm. It's psychological.

So Kane thought that the mask would create the mystery, attract attention on him, it's all part of the fame and curiosities that would point at him as a target and not at his brother or his men.
An assassin is told: the pirate Balthasar, you can't miss him, he wears a mask.

The danger is focused on Kane himself, everybody else is safe.

So sorry for those who thought there would be a scar or something else, truly Kane would not be the type to cover a scar, cocky as he is, he would wear it with pride.

Usually a mask is there to hide someone's identity, like for Zorro.

This case is the opposite: the mask is there to truly identify him as The Pirate Balthasar, the one and only.

As for the tan line... you already forgot, mumble mumble, Castalia once said that the reason why Kane likes to go on the crow's nest to read is because he can take the mask off and sun bate! XDD (he is still a bit vain, after all).
The skin reaches a level of saturation after which it cannot get any darker.
Now if I were to draw all the tiny tan lines these guys should have around their eyes, because being in the sun they squint, or around their necks (because they all have red necks), there would be no way for me to come out alive from making this comic.

As I once said, I took the decision to simplify many things: the rigging, the saltiness and the wind in the air, the level of noise, the sailing language. It's not like I started super detailed and then simplified it, I tried to stay coherent since chapter one.

All of this to help the story flow faster and  I leave it to the imagination to fill in a lot of the gaps.

Besides, if you think about it, Disney's Pocahontas did not even have fingernails but everybody just assumed they were there.

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Today is the day.

So to day is the day.

Tha mask comes off.

I know it won't be much of a surprise (besides Kanes has stated long ago what he looks like) I think what all the excitement is all about is to finally see what we all guessed all along. Hahahahah. there will be quite a few: I knew it! Hahahahaha.

Besides... seeing that Kane TM grin in his full face... aaaah... gotta be worth the wait!

Ah, so I am leaving for Bali now but the update will be up and running tomorrow.

One more day... and vacation.

It's interesting, school was on break for 6 weeks and but I wasn't able to plan any vacation.
Now that lectures have started I can finally take a week-end off.

I will be going Schetck Crawling in Bali this weekend. I will program to blog to post anyways, since update falls while I'm away.... there shall be update.

I had again a dream with a red tree in it... I wonder why I keep on having images of red trees in my dreams. So that's what came out this time around. This is very small.

I call it: into the woods (like the musical I like so much).

I hope I can paint a bigger version of it soon.

One more day and Kane's mask will come off.

Right now I have to run, my students will be taking Visual Development test this morning and I have to show The Princess Bride for the Contemporary Film Making class! hahahahaha

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

What comes next...

We're two days away from discovering Kane's face and basically a month away from The Pirate Balthasar's natural ending. There will be a 15 pages epilogue afterwards and after that...

...the bloopers...

Yeah, I had to cut a lot of scenes out of the story so expect to see some of them at the end of the show!

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

3 days to go!

This is still a work in progress. I have to wait for it to dry in order to pass another layer of paint and that's because it is not on coaster but on my sketchbook.

One thing I wanted to do for the magical/fairy tale like story with the witch Circes was to have her powers be... well based on chemistry. I think she manages to hypnotize people through her smoke and a sign that they are under her spell are the circles around their eyes.

Anyway, 3 days to go and Kane's mask will come off. Are you excited?

Monday, April 16, 2012

Curiosities: pregnancies and contraceptives.

 So Kes is pregnant (hurray) and she figured out because well... she fainted.
I used something that happened to a friend of mine to depict this moment because, when it happened to her, it was quite funny. We were talking about something that makes you sick and she passed out and we got seriously scared.

But in the end she was pregnant, LOL. Now my friend was never the kind of girl who had a very precise period, it came, it went, it skipped... so she had no way to figure out that she was pregnant until she hit the floor.

Not all women go through the same kinds of problems when they get pregnant. Some of them feel nausea, others don't, some can eat like crazy, others lose their appetite in the first months of pregnancy.
Nevertheless blood pressure does go down a lot and a feeling of weakness and dizziness may occur. Some faint too.

Another friend of mine was never hungry and had no cravings, another one ate like crazy for a bit, then stopped, then ate again, and another friend of mine could not eat anything but chicken for a while since everything else smelt gross to her. My sister had a very serene pregnancy both times. She had nausea and vomited at first then relaxed the rest of the way but could not move much from the fifth month onward. The friend who could only eat chicken could bend down and do a lot of things instead, she was quite agile.

So... all women take it differently, just as every woman lives her period differently (some suffer, others don't).

In our case, Kes had not been eating and drinking... if you remember she has not been hungry for quite some times and then probably due to the poison alarm she did not have a single sip of water, that's what cause her blood pressure to go down and that's why she suddenly fainted.

Contraceptive. Of course if you go online both wikipedia and durex have an interesting page on the history of condoms.
Condoms existed since the dawn of times, they were made of animals intestines and the first rubber one had to wait for rubber to be invented in 1832.

At some point men just knew how to fabricate home made ones.
My feeling is that doctor would know too and it would use them (and he would probably teach his crew too or force them to use them to avoid illness on board).

But let's face it the usage of such contraceptive methods was mainly to avoid catching venereal diseases.

Once married you either calculate fertile days with your wife or you just be very careful and... pull out.

Anyways if contraceptive methods are not 100% safe these days (just read the small print on condoms, they don't guarantee for you 100%), imagine back in the days.

Whatever happened here the doctor's being careful was not enough. Maybe all it took was just this one time... and ain't it all it takes, just one time? Nowadays too - that's why, kids, be very very careful and get informed! (especially you, girls, don't just rely on your partner to take care of everything. Get informed yourselves!)

Well, in our case, even the most educated amongst them all... scored... see?
Morale of the story: second case of baby on boooooard!

Wanna bet on who is going to be giving birth first? Will it be Kes or Rose?

Sunday, April 15, 2012

Il Pirata Baldassarre - capitolo 20 A

Siamo agli sgoccioli, questa parte della storia sta per finire. Per questo motivo le uscite dell'ultimo capitolo saranno quasi settimanali, 6 o 7 pagine per volta. :D Buona lettura.

The Pirate Balthasar - Chapter 20 A

Since this is the final chapter I've decided to release more often, so each release would be around 6 or 7 pages which makes the release more or less weekly. Isn't it amazing? The final chapter already!

Balthasar's Log

Hello guys,
So I have started planning for a big Balthasar portal... at the moment it's called: Balthasar's Log.

I plan to host the comics here so when the new series start you can come and read them directly here.
This will be a portal to all the series and as you can see I am currently uploading the entire volumes of the Pirate Balthasar to be read online.

Any suggestions as to what you would like to see there?
This blog I will keep for all the general curiosities, as usual :D

And of course come back later for the update.

Saturday, April 14, 2012

Evil is around us...

...but shall challenge it nonetheless... just like we challenged mediafire. So far, I was emailed about the removal of the full volumes (and hopefully now that I switched to dropbox all the links are fixed), chapters, artbooks and calendars are still up. If they were to remove those too than I shall migrate them... so far I think I deserve to exploit them to the very last drop of their ridiculous selves. Still working around the concept of Circes... I hope I can have her come across the way I see her in my head... it's going to be a bit weird being a witch who uses smokes and such to hypnotize people.

Friday, April 13, 2012

Mediafire block

Sorry guys, mediafire mistook me for my own pirate.

They removed my files and put my account on a strike so basically you won't be able to download the complete volumes for the Pirate Balthasar because the file name contains the word VOLUME.

I shall never use that word, "volume", ever again, I shall use a code instead.
Prepare to download file: uai;sdvb789b6y


I am trying to explain them that the pirate is the protagonist of my story, not me, and that I have the right to distribute my comic for free.

I want to give them one final chance,
if they were to prove unreasonable I shall migrate onto another hosting site and place mediafire on a black florin list.

Thursday, April 12, 2012

We're fine!

As the countdown continues - in 8 days Kane will take off his mask - and I keep exploring styles for the upcoming series... a earthquake decided to strike Indonesia and the tsunami alert is sent all over the place, on this side of the World.

I am glad to announce that balthasar and I are fine but most of all that nothing really really bad or serious really happened this time around to our friends in Indonesia (where I am supposed to go, next week, btw).

I did not feel a thing, here in Singapore, and there shall be no tsunami.

The Pirate Balthasar will end in more or less 40 days.

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Download chapter 19 and countdown to mask falling!

The download for chapter 19 is ready in the download section of this blog.

And YES the mask is falling on page 12, are you ready?

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

The mysterious Marshal

A few useful information, today: The calendar on top of the blog is updated, so you can check out when the current storyline will end. Before we pass onto other series there are a few bloopers and missing/deleted scenes coming at the back of this story haahha. Some of you are already working on their stories. Which will make The Balthasar Project fun to produce. I have less than two months to come up with banners, layout for the websites, covers... ^^... help!!!!

Monday, April 09, 2012

Chapter 19 final curiosities

Pyramus and Thisbe is a very ancient tragedy, probably the source of Romeo and Juliet and many other stories were forbidden love leads to tragedy.

Shakespeare used it a second time in his "Midsummer Night Dream" but in general it's the story of a boy and a girl who are forbidden by parents to love each other and can only communicate through a crack on the wall.

There's a tragic misunderstanding and they both die in the end (kinda like in Romeo and Juliet  where he thinks she is dead and kills himself, she wakes up, finds him dead and kills herself too).
Ahahahaha! Sorry I was tempted to put these two together: I can see your pretty eye, milady....
Mooo? <3

This is the chapter where Pea makes a mistake after another.

She basically behaves like the ones she despises the most: she lies, probably steals food for Steeves too and in the end even resorts to "violence" (a knife).

It's a classic contrapasso for characters who are judgmental, to be judged in return for making the same mistakes they usually comment upon with spite.

In the end she is not even quick in reacting upon hearing the news that Castalia might be dying and realizes how selfish she has been only afterwards and cries out of guilt and many other reasons.

I guess she had to learn the hard way, huh?

Saturday, April 07, 2012

Happy Easter

A very Happy Easter to you all!

We're close to the update and so I have to anticipate the card! :D

Friday, April 06, 2012

Castalia, the gem of the mediterranean sea

In the Adventure of the Pirate Balthasar, Castalia will find herself like a Princess in an ivory tower.

What took her there and what kind of spell keeps her prisoner?

Thursday, April 05, 2012

Balthasar Adventures

I've already posted this on facebook.

Little by little I try to introduce you to new characters for the coming up series.
So in the Adventure story, close to Circes the witch, there will be a mysterious man she calls The Marshall.

He will cover a special role in Castalia's life.

Wednesday, April 04, 2012


I am trying to find a new style for the next series... it would be nice to change a bit, it would refreshing, don't you think?

So for The Pirate Wife I wanted to go with some nice and bright colors with tone on tone outlines a bit more in the Disney style.

Also the page layout will be extremely vertical.

I am also trying to figure out the styles for the other series, I would like for one of them to be watercolorish and the other one black and white ink.

I'll keep you posted on my explorations if you are interested.

Tuesday, April 03, 2012


Legend has it, in the Mediterranean sea, of a creature not human and nor fish.
Not a mermaid but a fishperson.

Cola was his name as a boy, he loved to swim and never left the sea. His mother was a witch and desperately cursed him: Cola, cola, so much you like to swim, a fish you shall become. Colapesce never left the water again.

Legend has it that, swimming under Sicily, he realized that the island was standing on 3 columns. One of them was hole, one was broken and one was cracking.

He worried for the island and replaced the broken column. Legend has it Colapesce still holds Sicily on his shoulders... a legend though... but even so... why can't Colapesce be a girl? (coming soon to: Adventures of the Pirate Balthasar).

Monday, April 02, 2012

April's fool meow!

I wasn't at home yesterday so it figures... the whole internet went furry! (I found so many furry things before I left and when I came back LOL).

Castalia was a bit alarmed, meow, but our pirates will go back to normal soon.

Working on the final chapter is so saddening, sob, but I am already experimenting to see what style to use for the new series.

Sunday, April 01, 2012

Kane goes maskless

In more or less 20 days, Kane will drop his mask.

 Do you remember our first game/contest?

Will he really look.... like this? XDDDD