Well, that was lucky.
Less than a week after I completed Infection Queen, my PC died on me. Given that I'm about to be laid off and can't afford to fix/replace it (yeah, I live right on the line), it was fortunate that I managed to get that last page done. But man, I've been plagued by a lot of hardware failures while writing this thing!
Anyways, I promised a few final notes on IQ, so here they are. Obviously, there will be SPOILERS ahead, so if you haven't read the comic, START HERE
(or go to the last page
I mentioned before how I was originally inspired by the movie Feast, which, as IMDB very succinctly summarizes it, "Patrons locked inside of a bar are forced to fight monsters.
Before the creators of Feast sue me for everything I'm most assuredly not worth (they're welcome to my busted PC), I think you'll agree that Infection Queen spun quite a long way off that basic concept. You could probably call it "Robots VS Body Snatchers" instead. I wanted to create a horror-fantasy-science fiction hybrid with a dash of comedy that would eventually become deadly serious. I'm not sure if I successfully managed to juggle all that, but I definitely wanted to try. I think hybridizing genres is one way of keeping them fresh, and I love to see it done.
Writing IQ was a bit frustrating, though. My artistic abilities are painfully limited, and I just couldn't get it to look how I hoped. Would you believe Shiu-Lom actually looked quite horrific in my head? On the page she looks like a melting candle. And that's just one example: I partially cut two major action sequences because I knew I couldn't draw them.
Looking back, I wish I'd gone the novel route. I could have fleshed out a lot of the characters, given the story greater scope, and dodged the whole "sketchy art" bullet completely. But I love comics, so I chose to struggle with it instead.
I had a lot of IQ scripted, though I did cut some stuff, including one character arc. The ending was the only element of the story I didn't have planned out from the get-go. It could have gone one of a couple of ways.
In one version, Captain FinSilver deals Anatasha a killing blow (instead of wounding her to drive Shiu-Lom out). Ulana survives. In the epilogue, Ulana vows vengeance on Captain FinSilver for killing her best friend, but the scene is left open-ended.
Ultimately, I decided that Anatasha had suffered enough crap already, and while I absolutely wanted FinSilver to be hard as nails by the end, there was already the upcoming scene where she torches Shiu-Lom to demonstrate that, and I preferred that she wasn't seen as completely remorseless.
There was also an ending I considered where Shiu-Lom and FinSilver came to an understanding. Shiu-Lom goes into voluntary exile in exchange for being allowed to live. This was in the earlier days when I thought maybe there'd be a sequel. When I decided that there wouldn't be, this ending got jettisoned.
So there you have it. If you hated the official ending, you can pretend one of these alt-endings happened instead!
Anyway, I hope you enjoyed reading my little opus. I'd like to thank everyone who voted for it and kept it a "presence" on vote sites like Top Web Comics. You guys were the reason I continued to pick up readers and I appreciate that. If anyone has any questions/comments about the comic, I'd be happy to answer them.
As for what's next, it's not a comic. I have the third draft of a dark (very dark) horror-fantasy novel in the works, and I'm quite proud of it. I'm not sure yet if I'll try to get it published or self-publish it on Kindle. Anyone who's interested in reading it when it comes out can tweet me
or drop me a line
. I'll give out my Goodreads account to anyone who's interested.
Thanks for reading!