Qof needles the opposition

Qof is a crazy monkey with a needle axe. Nothing can go wrong there.

Perhaps a camel can’t go through the eye of a needle, but can a “qof” monkey like Qop?

In Milhamah, Qop is the representative of the letter qof (ק), which is basically the letter Q in our alphabet. He’s a crazy ape who vibrates dizzily to loud music all day while pretending to be Adam’s big-shot producer in the Garden of Eden. His real job is to extract special shoresh roots from the earth with the eye of his giant needle, which can convert into an ax if necessary. His attributes are based on the shoresh root קוף and its larger family.

Comic and game updates

First of all, I apologize for not updating in awhile. I promise that I haven’t been lazy — just creatively pulled in a few different directions!

  • The RPG is gradually taking shape. New skills are up, as well as encumbrance rules. More rules will be posted soon, with a goal of having a workable rough draft by the year’s end. I’d like to publish a rulebook on paper by the late spring or summer 2021.
  • Behind the scenes, I’ve been doing tons of research on Hebrew shoresh roots and have used my programming skills to dig up stuff that most people couldn’t feasibly access by themselves. That info will guide how I devise the shoresh system in the RPG, the video games and the comics too. I’ll make a long blog post on it when my research is done.
  • I bought some manda brush pens, as I plan to do some quick B&W ink sketches of main characters and enemies for Inktober. Additionally, I’ve been planning ideas for Inktober sketches. They will help me visualize some ideas for the issue or two ahead. While I can’t promise I’ll get 31 done, I’ll show you whatever I can finish!
  • Thanks to some tutorials, I’ve been digging deep into the Godot game engine to learn how to program bigger projects. I’ve been independently working on an arcade game that features Shem vs. the Guf soldiers. My goal is to run a YouTube gamedev log in two weeks that shows my initial progress. Hopefully a public testing in six weeks!
  • Lastly, the comic is continuing bit by bit. I’ve started to sketch out the next character to appear — the serpent fish Nun!

I can’t wait to reveal more. Expect at least one more update this month!

Shem loses his temper vs. Qeriah

Shem mad, bro?

In Update #21, “Mother, May I? Part 2”, we learn that while Shem ‘Etzem’s holy form may easily defeat the Bavel Macrostructure’s minions, it’s no match for Em Qeriah’s lack of seriousness. Will Shem’s hair-trigger temper prevent him from becoming the Evaluator of Names?

Check out the comic here!

While this update mostly continues the arguments and power struggles between the Holy Tongue Society’s rising generation and the old, it also shows how Shem can revert from his powerful, holy שום form back to his still-powerful, but baser עצם form.

Adam comes up for a good reason at the end of this update. Get ready to learn more in the next update!

(By the way, this webcomic will discontinue the numerical “Episode” system where some episodes last for multiple updates. While the next update would technically be Episode 16, this website’s formatting plus ones like Webtoon and Tapas make the old system archaic. We’ll just stick to numbering according to updates.)

Other news

Although it’s not fully implemented, we updated the WordPress theme to Toocheke Premium, which will allow us to use more Patreon and WooCommerce integration. If you’ve noticed that the site was slower recently, it’s because we were trying to integrate those features, and there were some technical glitches with slow image loading.

I’ll ask around to find out how to have the site run reasonably quickly with those features so we can still have our own online store and bonus webpages for Patreon subscribers. By the way, please sign up for my Patreon! Even a dollar a month adds up…

Also, keep checking our wiki for updates. I’ve been adding beta sections to the Milhamah RPG storytelling game, plus there are all sorts of details about the comic there.

Anyway, thanks for reading, and I hope to bring more updates soon!

An Oreg spins webs. We spin a web update!

The Oreg's destiny is woven in quarantine.

If you think the world’s quarantine is dragging on, tell it to the oreg!

The oreg is a weaver bird who lives in the Holy Tongue Society’s Oger Reservoir. Many oregs perch themselves on an old lazaretto ship in the middle of the reservoir lake. They spin together webs around the ship in order to trap prisoners that the Society has quarantined — slanderous social lepers who are dangerous to the outside world!

To protect themselves from contagion, oregs wear plague doctor masks that the Society distributes. The birds are able to spin webs due to special feet that look and act like spiders. That said, the feet are neither sentient nor truly spiders.

Oregs are helpful to the Society, both as jailers and for their webs, which are good for netting and catching debris. However, people are wise to keep an arm’s distance. The birds can be very territorial over their webs.

Continue reading “An Oreg spins webs. We spin a web update!”

War, pestilence… and a famine of content

The year 2020 has been quite an apocalypse. So why not use some of that inspiration and stay-at-home time to work on “Milhamah: Fighting Words” projects and content?

I’ll begin with an apology for no recent content. In March, I moved up my wedding day and got married, less than 48 hours before a government-ordered lockdown began.  

But after a six-month hiatus from creating “Milhamah” characters, I’m feeling rested and ready to start new progress. Though upcoming comic cons may be canceled, this is a time to sow my talents for a harvest to come.

Here is what I plan to do:

  1. I’m finalizing the script for “Milhamah” Issue 3: The arc will begin after the Deli battle and introduce new characters like Em Qeriah, as well as the enemy Guf soldiers. Shem and Tiqwah will also explore a bit of life in the capital city of ‘Ir Reshumim, and meet a new, mysterious figure.
  2. I’m working on Shem and Tiqwah animations for some “Milhamah” arcade minigames. The games will include a twin-stick arcade game as well as a SkiFree game with a twist. Here is a sample running animation:
    A Tiqwah running animation
  3. I’m drafting a tabletop RPG/game in the “Milhamah” universe. This game will use special 12-sided dice that are based on Hebrew alphabet ciphers: Red is Atbash, blue is Albam, and green is Akhbi. By rolling dice, flipping them over or switching colors, players may maximize their roll results to form letter combos and improvise solutions to obstacles in the game.

Customized 12-sided Hebrew dice are used in an upcoming "Milhamah" RPG.

More about the dice

So how did I come up with the dice? Throughout the ages, biblical commentators and mystics have used all sorts of alphabet ciphers to interpret (and often misinterpret) Hebrew literature. For instance, some scholars believe that the Atbash cipher is used in the biblical book of Jeremiah, where Sheshakh is a hidden codeword for Bavel.

The cool part is that the three chosen ciphers are cyclical, so that by using all three of them, you return to the same Hebrew letter. For instance, א -> Atbash -> ת -> Albam -> כ -> Akhbi -> א.

For now I’ll be making my own dice with blank Chessex dice and custom labels on a desktop cutting machine — at least until I find a freedom-friendly supplier to mass manufacture them at a reasonable price. The goal will be to sell the RPG book and the dice in 2021. 

Expect more “Milhamah” comic art to come soon!

Issue #2 to debut at Michigan Comic Con!

After a successful launch of the “Milhamah: Fighting Words” series at the Motor City Comic Con, “Milhamah” Issue #2 will debut Aug. 16-18 at the Michigan Comic Con at Cobo Center in Detroit.

Aksanyah Studios will be at Table F24.

Issue #2 is coming out at the Michigan Comic Con!
This action-packed issue continues the fight against the Bavel Macrostructure and its henchman Deli. If all goes well, the comic series’s evolution will get congoers excited and build a bigger local following. If you’re from the Michigan area or a nearby state, I hope to see you there!

What’s next

In the meantime, expect a short lull in the usual webcomic generation. “Milhamah” Issue #3 will be more carefully planned than the serial comics I’ve made so far. I’m currently designing and illustrating several new characters that will appear over the next several months, including Em Qeriah and Beli Ya’al. New locations and settings are also on the agenda.
Over the next month or two, I also plan to turn Shem, Tiqwah, Etgar and more into animated sprites. The goal is to make some simple video games that people can play online and eventually in apps. Hopefully something will be ready by the start of 2020.
Expect some changes to the website too. I plan to turn the glossary into a wiki, add a discussion forum, update the comics section and overall give the site more polish.