Reflections, Part Four
Five years ago, I thought of a joke that made me laugh. I turned the joke into a single comic featuring my character Vidyala and the character of my friend Rades (aka Mike). I sent it to him to see if he thought it was funny, and whether he might like to do more comics with me. After a lot of brainstorming (especially to come up with the name), From Draenor With Love was born. I’m really proud of what we’ve created and how we stuck with it for all this time. Half a decade! We published fairly reliably (with a few breaks and bumps along the way) a comic almost every week during that time frame. I’m not sure exactly how many we wound up with in the end, because partway through we changed directions a bit.
Up until about three years ago we’d been making a gag comic, poking fun at ourselves and other WoW foibles. But then we decided we wanted to tell a story. I’m not sure if either of us knew where it was going to take us, or how much work it would be. We learned so much about planning ahead, things specific to comics like word bubbles, action fonts, panel flow, and layout. I know my art improved a lot just over the course of FDWL’s “story” run. I look back at the early pages and cringe, but it’s all part of the journey.
If I can be a bit personal for a moment, FDWL coincided almost exactly with a pretty challenging time in my life as I struggled with infertility. Some weeks the combination of hormone treatments and disappointments made things hard, and some of the breaks FDWL took were due to that. Although I didn’t write about it here, in my mind the two experiences are inextricably intertwined. FDWL and the story of Rades, Vid, Wrathion and Four developed alongside my personal challenges and it will always be deeply meaningful to me because of that. Some weeks, knowing that I had a commitment to doing my part for this comic was a tremendous anchor. I know that I’m a better artist and even a stronger and better person than I was before we began. I’m definitely more patient!
This is also due in no small part to my friend Mike. You can imagine I wasn’t always an easy coworker, but despite sometimes disagreeing, we’re still friends and we created this together. Just as FDWL is a story about friendship, it never would’ve existed without our friendship in the first place and I’m truly grateful for all of the hard work Mike has put into it over the years and for putting up with me when I was at my worst. He challenged me to be better with each page. Everyone should be so lucky as to have a friend and colleague like that.
As I write this, having just put the finishing touches on the final page of the comic, I’m in a pretty different place than three years ago. My second IVF transfer was successful this year and after all this time, I’m 18 weeks pregnant. It feels like the right time to finish this project as I embark on the next adventure. The story of Rades and Vid concludes here. We couldn’t have done it without people reading and cheering us on. Even if you read quietly this entire time, we appreciate your interest and support. After we created our Patreon friends and readers also contributed money and that was a tremendous help and thank you especially to everyone who did that. I’m so glad we had the chance to share our story with you and we hope you enjoyed reading.