epic fantasy

Sorry for the Break …

… which grew a bit longer than expected, but well, that’s how life works.

Had to get several things back on track concerning my life (in fact, I’ve had partial success only, but hey, better than nothing) before I could come back and resume publishing TSoD.

Anyway,the hiatus shall come to an end now – next chapter The White Wolf is Waiting will start this week, Thursday, and will be published page-wise on Mondays and Thursdays as before.

Thanks for your patience. 🙂

Chapter 6 is online

Comic Action in Essen is over, too. This means: three exhibitions within one year, one organized by me, one attended on my publisher’s invitation to sign my book, one with our own booth, Jenny’s and mine.
Wow. From complete newbie to … well. Almost newbie. 🙂

Comic Action has been another cool experience.
The nice guy from Comicguide.de even caught us on photo:
Jenny Dolfen & Helmut Schulz at Comic Action, Essen

(Katharina joined us at Saturday, but managed to evade the fate of public visibility.
Next time, then. 😛

Anyway, it’s a good opportunity to present the next chapter of “This Side of Darkness”:


Still there :)

First of all, thanks to anyone of you who actually supported the project over the last weeks. I decided to publish chapter 5, but as I am rather busy with other tasks at the moment, it will have to wait a few more days yet (among other challenges, our relocation is looming near … yes, we’re leaving the Black Forest area, for a variety of reasons … sad, it’s one of the most beautiful spots in Germany).

Currently, I’m also doing the promotional video for my good friend Jenny and the soon-to-start crowd sourcing campaign for her illustrated novel Darkness Over Cannae, an incredibly captivating, very emphatically written (and illustrated!) view on that one bloodstained day, which – almost – decided the Second Punic War in favour of Carthage.

Have a look:
Darkness over Cannae

I’ll write a dedicated announcement as soon, as the campaign launches.

This project also gave me a reason to finally dive into Blender’s video sequencer functionality (I can just say: great!), which implies, that the barrier to create the “This Side of Darkness” movie final cut has fallen.

It’s the next topic on my ToDo list now (except getting more book 2 work done, stemming the relocation) …

For my German-speaking readers, here’s a little content gap filler: these were the posters I showed at the Seelbach exhibition. There’s a bit of backstory, a Tanai legend on Amaro, and the Why-All-The-Nudity explanatory text in German.

Viel Spass beim Lesen. 🙂


The events of “This Side of Darkness” (and it’s upcoming sequel, too) take place on a earth-like world named Amaro, which is the larger of the Miamone twins, a double planet similar to the Pluto-Charon pair in our solar system.

I have to admit that this is not an idea I had right from the beginning, but one that evolved while I was working on TSoD and started to ask myself, what the story of that large moon would be, which kept slipping into the TSoD’s panels.

So I discovered, that this is no moon (but no, it’s NOT a space station either 😉 ), but yet another planet, very close to the one Cin’Thele just explores – one, that is tightly coupled to Amaro by gravitational forces, and rotates together with Amaro around a common center of gravity, two objects that behave like one, shaped like a huge, asymmetric dumbbell.
Seen from each other, Amaro and Amian appear at fixed, observer-position-dependent locations in the firmament, just like satellites in a geostationary orbit.

While Cin’Thele travels west, she can see Amian deep over the Eastern horizon, on a clear sky.

Amaro and Amian have three larger moons, which also orbit around their common center of gravity, and several hundred smaller satellites forming a ring around them.

The Anukhai, who live in the grassy highlands of Olveare, see those small moons ascend from the horizon like a chain of pearls, touch the shape of Amian and disappear behind the twin, and finally reappear in the firmament, on their journey from one horizon to the other.

One of their legends is inspired by this nightly view: it tells of the moon wanderers, who descend from the stars to escort the bravest among their hunters, to the world beyond …

Admittedly, there are a number of consistency flaws in TSoD concerning this astronomical aspect. In particular, as far as I understand (I’m neither Physician nor Astronomer), such a twin planet should have a much slower day-night-cycle than what we’re accompanied to, because at a given energy level, the large “dumbbell” would rotate much slower than a single planet of the Miamone system mass would (see Wikipedia: Rotational Energy).
Meaning, that the sun-rise scene in the first chapter would occur dreadfully slow, Cin’Thele would probably have to dive several hours to see the sun rise by that distance. On the other hand, no one says she did not. 😉

It’s Over: Thanks for a Great Weekend!

Need I say more?
The “This Side of Darkness” release party an exhibition in Seelbach is over, and it has been so much better than I had anticipated it.
I’m short of words, seriously, and am in a state of positive mental hangover at the moment.

Of course that’s also because it has been a first-timer for me: I’ve never-ever had a solo exhibition, never-ever organized such a thing myself, never-ever had the opportunity to introduce a comic book of mine, never-ever got thundering applause for a “movie” opening night even TWICE … never-ever been cured from the traumatic experience left by the last party-like event I organized at age 17 to complete disaster … 😀

Not to talk about the strange and wonderful experience of finally meeting people you’re befriended with for almost a decade without ever actually seeing or even speaking to each other, and observing how the “virtual” friendship just seamlessly turns into a “real world” one: Jenny & Katharina (pity, that you could not come, Toby – next time 🙂 ).


This maybe has been that weekend’s greatest experience. So great in fact, that we (meaning the “artist fraction”: Jenny, Rina, Basti and me) completely agreed on the necessity of a followup event as soon as possible. Theme to be found later on. 🙂

I’m also very proud of having been able to feature works of them at the occasion
… and I’m even more proud to have the originals here now. Will post them here later.
It is a honour beyond words … thank you so much. 🙂

Btw, I’m still missing my digicam, so I have not yet been able to take a foto of Rina’s so-damn-cool miniature painting of Sneaks (Schleicher), but you can have a glance on it at her Deviant Art site: click.

The weekend also played a bit of a creativity booster role.
Jenny pulled of an unbelievable scribble and watercolor run – view the sketch dump at her project site Darkness Over Cannae … which immediately caused more creativity eruptions: another spin-off of this weekend, with more than (literally!) running-gag potential: just have a look yourself!

Yeah, it will take a while until I’ll be grounded again … 🙂

Before I finish for now, I would like to issue a special “thank you” to the address of Susanne Gerold, whom I met at Friday, together with her husband Gerd (a first-timer, too: cool, that you two found the time to come!).
She published an article on “This Side of Darkness”, which made me blush: “does she actually write all this on MY comic”?

It’s German only. But I could not seriously hope for a better review.
You can find it here.

don’t forget: new chapter release is due tonight. 🙂

A few Remarks on Cloth (or their absence)

As I guess this is probably one of the first thoughts most of you’ll have while reading the comic – why is she naked completely right away – I decided to provide a couple of thoughts on cloth and nudity in T&D.

First of all: it’s not meant to be sexistic!
Later on, you’ll find., that male clothing conventions are … relaxed, as well. 😉

Tanai clothing habits

Tanai clothing habits

But why?
I wrote a bit about it in the FAQ section. I’ll do it a bit more extensively now.

It’s a pair of questions actually, instead of a single one:

  • Why is Cin’Thele naked right from the beginning?
  • Why do Salharin wear no cloth at all., or very frivoulous ones?

Answering question two also partially answers question one, so let’s start here:
Salharin are a different kind of people, when compared to men. There are visible differences, like their pointed ears (a classic), but the mental differences are of much more importance.
Salharin don’t have the same type of social and group instincts as men: in short, they don’t tend to form large colonies involving tight social structures, hierarchy, authority and obedience. Their individual behaviour is much less influenced by the desire to comply to social “rules”, than it is with human individuals.
They are loners by nature. Shame as an emotion caused by failure of compliance to expectations of one’s social environment, is alien to them. Instead, as they usually meet for the purpose of sharing pleasure in various flavours only, cloth, except from mere practical purposes like protection, solely fulfills a decorative role within their culture.

Nogh Clothing #2

Nogh fashion

Salharin, as I envision them, are an approximation of “perfect” individuals. They live forever, if not killed, in their world they never catch any disease, they don’t age, they feel few physical restraints, and are hardly troubled by discomforts like these in our world as well.

A “perfect” personality however would probably not perceive itself as split into two discrete entities – “mind” and “body”, one “superior” to the other, but feel as one, whole entity without intrinsic contradiction, existing in harmony with itself.
Such a being would certainly not see any reason to hide it’s physical appearance from view.

Nogh Clothing #1

Male Nogh fashion

So, finally coming back to question one … as far as it’s not answered already:
Cin’Thele just lost everything she had, including her memories, but also every single piece of matter she might have had with her, before she somehow got into that forest. As she is Salharin, she, probably unlike a female human, just doesn’t care much about the absence of cloth.
There just are lots of other questions to worry about at the moment.