Inktober Day 2: The Fire Pliers Pilferer

The Fire Pliers Pilferer carries his dangerous tool.

For the second day of Inktober, I made another generic bad guy: The Fire Pliers Pilferer!

This pilferer belongs to a group of former farmers who were born with sticky fingers instead of a green thumb. His pliers burst into flames to ward off anyone who wants to take back what he acquires.

The pilferer’s shoresh root is לקח, which carries connotations of taking, acquiring and catching fire. If you mix the letters, you get definitions for agriculture among other things.

I’m not sure when this character might appear in “Milhamah.” I can’t really see him or his fellow members being directly tied to Bavel. The macrostructure obsesses too much with its own absurd conception of order.

But maybe the pilferers could appear in a farmland world around ‘Ever, where Ḥeleq might have a safe house. Part of the fun of making new characters is expanding the possibilities for your creative world!

October greets us with a guf

A third-rate Bavel guf is armed with a numbing needle.
Get used to seeing these bad guys in “Milhamah” Issue No. 3!

A third-rate Bavel guf is armed with a numbing needle.

This is a guf (plural: gufim). These soulless husks make up the Bavel Macrostructure’s shock troops and cannon fodder.
Giant corks replace what used to be their heads. They have the power to partially dematerialize. And they often fight with syringes that numb or weaken their opponents into blacking out.
In Hebrew, “guf” means body, but is also used for the grammar terms “first person,” “second person” and “third person.” Likewise, Bavel’s gufim come in three ranks; this one is from the third.
The guf’s shoresh (גוף) is associated with corpses, stopping things, plugs, vests, high boots, and gate valves. Mixing the letters also produces definitions of weakness, numbness, fainting and fading to black.

Inktober begins

Last weekend I started designing the first page of “Milhamah” Issue #3 after a couple of weeks of finessing the script. But in the meantime, I’ve also been thinking up characters, items and other new content to populate the “Milhamah” universe. I’ll be drawing them everyday during Inktober, so here is my first:

Inktober #1: Compassionate Vulture

Meet the Compassionate Vulture, a “caring” carrion eater who consumes the weak and dying just a bit early. But does she do it out of mercy, or hunger?

This will eventually be a generic baddie in the “Milhamah: Fighting Words” series. Its shoresh root is רחם — which encompasses compassion, wombs and vultures.

It’s a simple sketch, but I hope to do more of them in the days and weeks to come. So much of “Milhamah” is in my head, so the faster I can get the ideas down on paper, the more I can share with the rest of you!

Meet Em Qeriah, the enthusiastic interjection!

This is Em Qeriah

First there were Shem the noun, Tiqwah and article and Etgar and adjective. Now meet Qeren-Or “Em” Qeriah, the interjection!

Em Qeriah is the Holy Tongue Society's interjection.

Qeren-Or is the fourth revealed member of the Holy Tongue Society. In the linguistic world of “Milhamah,” she represents two things. One is the interjection part of speech, which makes up exclamations. Due to her nickname, “Em” (or mother), she also represents the em qeriah, Hebrew for the mater lectionis.

Qeren-Or may be an old, but she’s energetic enough to lug around heavy scrolls, a teleprompter staff and a squash purse. The particular scroll on her back is the Miqra, her most prized scroll is the Sefer Milhamah, a Dead Sea scroll that reveals the enemy’s secret military operations and how to beat them.

Em Qeriah spends most of her time in an underground library in Arqah, below Heleq’s Binyan headquarters. While she might clown around with cutting jokes, she’s forgotten more than you’ll ever know. Don’t underestimate her!

More Qeriah design notes

In terms of Hebrew etymology, Qeriah’s name comes from “millat qeriah,” which means interjection. Many of her clothing patterns have subtle exclamation point patterns.
Her shoresh root is (קרא), which generally refers to reading or calling out. In “Milhamah” she is a comical character, who is boisterous and always bragging about her reading, while only sometimes understanding. Her teleprompter cane and squash motifs are also inspired by this root.
Look forward to Qeren-Or’s debut in “Milhamah” Issue No. 3 and in webcomic updates to come!

Issue #2 to debut at Michigan Comic Con!

Issue #2 is coming out at the 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

Shem attacks Deli with garlic.

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)

Preview pic for Ep. 13 Pt. 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!

Shem reaches for a miracle in Ep. 13 (Part 2)

Etgar rows to save the day.
The action turns grim in “Milhamah” Episode 13 (Part 2), and it’s up to Etgar (and maybe a miracle) to save the day!

Etgar throws the Dalet toward Shem.Shem struggles with doubt as he is drowning.A fish (made up of fish) delivers a miracle.

After Deli’s geyser blast hit Shem in the last scene, Etgar tosses Shem a life preserver — the Dalet foundational glyph. The glyph can alter reality through the Sapir-Whorf hypothesis, and a legend says its origins date back to God’s creation of the world.

But will it save a doubting protagonist like Shem? Only with the help of a mysterious fish (which is composed of other fish). Where did this helper come from, and why did it deliver the Dalet to a drowning Shem? The answer is unclear, but for now let’s call it a miracle.

At the end, Shem musters up enough faith and hope to make a prayer — a form of reality-altering speech that differs from the Sapir-Whorf hypothesis, or Deli’s twisted magic.  But time will tell whether divine intervention will come through…

Updates

Look forward to the next “Milhamah” scene, which should be released in a week or two! Also, I’m working on an Indiegogo campaign that I hope to have ready in July.

In addition, the Michigan Comic Con in Detroit is not too far away, so I hope to wrap up an Issue #2 by the end of July. So the upcoming month should be a busy one!

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

Shem dodges a punch.

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!

Metro Detroit stores are now selling ‘Milhamah’

Cover of "Milhamah" Issue #1

If you didn’t get a print copy of “Milhamah: Fighting Words” Issue #1 — sure to be a collector’s item! — at the Motor City Comic Con, you can now buy it at several stores.

If you live in the metro Detroit area, the following stores now carry copies:

Look forward to additional stores carrying “Milhamah” soon. In the meantime, people outside the metro Detroit area can buy “Milhamah” at my Storenvy store.

New updates to the “Milhamah” story are coming next week. Keep following for more updates!

 

Motor City Comic Con was a success!

Cover of "Milhamah" Issue #1

May 17-19 was the 2019 Motor City Comic Con, and Aksanyah Studios was there to sell print comics of Issue #1 of “Milhamah: Fighting Words”!

Issue #1 follows the adventures of Shem ‘Etzem (the noun), Tiqwah Tawit (the article) and Etgar Toar (the adjective) — three linguistic warriors of the Holy Tongue Society. The new print edition contains remastered pages and additional exposition not found in the webcomic.

While at the comic con, I sold 33 copies of the comic, or about one-third of my first print run. Some stickers and prints sold too.

From here, I look forward to making the comic available in metro Detroit comic book shops. The goal is to get back to work on finishing the current story arc and proceeding to the next one while producing enough content for an Issue #2. An Indiegogo or Kickstarter campaign could fund a large-scale print of #1 and #2, plus the UPC codes that will let the comics be sold by national retailers.

I apologize for the lull in new “Milhamah” content, but much more will be on the way in June!