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.

Shem’s garlic drives Deli away in Ep. 14

Armed with priestly robes, garlic grass and the dalet, a newly transformed Shem ‘Etzem sees growth in Episode 14: “The Grass is Greener.”

Etgar sees Shem's transformation.  Shem blinds Deli again.Etgar chases after Deli.Etgar leaves the group while Tiqwah is summoned elsewhere.

Shem’s new priestly form is related to the word HaShem, a Hebrew title for God. His holy transformation is more commonly recognized among the Holy Tongue Society’s members, though the reasons why haven’t been revealed yet.

Unlike Shem’s exoskeleton form, which uses the עצם root, his holy form uses the שום root. The latter root has garlic superpowers and evaluation powers that increase accuracy.

Shem quickly shatters Deli (once again) by filling him with garlic grass. Deli flees into his Bavel gate portal, and Etgar follows just before the portal closes. While the party has split up once more, Tiqwah now plans to visit the mysterious Em Qeriah. Soon we’ll find out who she is!

As the writer, it feels good to finally close this yearlong “Milhamah” arc. This also finishes print Issue #2, which will be printed shortly.

I’m now feeling more confident in my writing abilities and plan to plot out Issue #3 more carefully. New characters, memorable locations and worldbuilding will be top priorities and show how the Bavel Macrostructure oppresses the populace.

Also, I will overhaul the website in the next couple of months.  I plan to add a forum where people can discuss “Milhamah” as well as languages, comics, games and other entertainment. The goal is to build a fun fan community outside the usual social media sites, though new Instagram, Facebook or Twitter followers are still welcome!