Shem gloats while dodging a punch. Deli floats to an attack position. Shem gets blasted by Deli

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!

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!

Shem sees transformation in Ep. 13 (Part 3)

Thanks to a dynamic duo of duress and a Dalet, Shem ‘Etzem undergoes an underwater transformation in Episode 13 (Part 3). Green shoots of hope erupt from the grotto, absorbing the water below. Is the Holy Tongue Society finally equipped to harvest a victory?
Shem's transformation sequence Plants soak up the water. Shem's new transformation is revealed! This episode is an important one. It marks the first time Shem is seen in the holy form he is supposed to have. Up until now, Shem’s appearance has been based on the “‘Etzem” part of his name, which largely deals with bones and tangible objects. His new form is based on the “Shem” portion, which mean “name.” Associated words include, nothing “there” and nothing. The title HaShem is associated with God, which is why Shem is wearing an outfit inspired by the ancient Israelites’ high priest. Name tags are fastened to his belt, and location markers are atop his crown. In “Milhamah,” Shem ‘Etzem’s holy form lumped in with the Shin-Waw-Mem (שום) root. This root is tied to words such as garlic, evaluation, estimate and warts. The Sin version of Shin also includes words involving placement. Shem’s balance scales, magnifying glass, epaulets, and garlic fringes convey some of those traits. So to summarize, Shem’s faith brought the Dalet to him, and through his transformation he is able to grow garlic plants from the earth. The plants drained the grotto’s water, and now the villainous Deli faces a more powerful hero. I’m looking forward to explaining more, but this arc will soon wrap up Issue #2. More worldbuilding and lore will appear over the next few months in Issue #3. Don’t miss it!

Evil gets the upper hand in Ep. 13 (Part 1)

After a hiatus to complete print Issue #1, “Milhamah: Fighting Words” is back in action as good and evil strive for the upper hand in Episode 13 (Part 1): “A Name for Himself.” Shem gloats while dodging a punch.Deli floats to an attack position.Shem gets blasted by Deli Despite a bout of overconfidence, Shem ‘Etzem continues to struggle in battle. This time Deli actually finishes his water extraction special attack. But does it mean a watery grave for the Holy Tongue Society’s leader? We’ll see, though he’ll need to change tactics if he wants to swim and not sink… Prepare for a steady string of story updates throughout June. I’m strongly motivated to wrap up this fight arc by then so I can move on to worldbuilding and other characters in the “Milhamah” universe!

Issue #1 in more stores

Cover of "Milhamah" Issue #1 As a side note, “Milhamah: Fighting Words” is now available for sale at two additional metro Detroit stores: Comix Corner: 32032 Utica Rd, Fraser, MI 48026 Warp 9 Comics: 21 W 14 Mile Rd, Clawson, MI 48017 Soon I’ll set up a page that will have all the store locations where you can buy “Milhamah” comics. And don’t forget the Storenvy page!