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I think this is the first real look we have gotten of Arioch since he first appeared on the last page of chapter 1: The Lonesome Ghost. Originally, he was not even this story when I wrote it. And it was a whole other comic book that Curly found, but in an effort to build up both the world, story, and lore a bit I tried to tighten the writing. Who is Arioch for Curly? Why is he after him? What’s up with the hand coming out of the pages of this magnificent comic? Not all questions will have answers in this chapter, but some will be answered. All I hope is that you all enjoy the ride, so you better faster your seatbelts because it is going to be a bumpy one! 

 

 

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Looks like ol’ Arioch finally caught up to poor Curly. Arioch is an actual angel in the old testament, mentioned in the Book of Genesis as the King of Ellasar, who participated in the battle of the Vale of Siddim together with three other kings against the five kings of Canaan. He also appears in John Milton’s epic Paradise Lost as one of the angels who rebelled against heaven together with Lucifer. There he was known as the fierce lion of heaven before being defeated. Later grimoires, theological manuscripts, and demonology writings, he is known as a lord of hell and an archdemon of revenge. 

That concludes today’s theological lesson, now for something completely else! Here is a closer look at the Pascal the Rascal comic book, where I tried to capture the fun-loving energy of comics from days past. Gosh, I love that old-timey rubber hose style! 

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When I lived in Spain for a year as a teenager, I was tremendously lonely. I was being homeschooled by my mother who could not even teach a narcoleptic sloth how to take an unexpected nap. Then one day when I was out roaming the streets, I found a thoroughly trashed X-Men comic book. It was dirty, torn, and had all kinds of stains, but I still picked it up because I had not read X-men since we left Sweden. Of course, it was in Spanish, so I did not understand a word but just looking at those panels gave me comfort. I wished that I could just be sucked into the pages and go on adventures with Wolverine, Beast, Phoenix, and the others. Of course, my mother threw it away when she found it a few days later since it looked and smelled like trash! 

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I love coffee, I even use the hashtag #needcoffee on everything and anything that I actually tag with a hash. Curly? Not so much, he prefers his green tea if he against all odds indulge in a non-alcoholic beverage. Khazal and her family instead come from a long tradition of coffee lovers and as Muslims they do not partake in drinking alcohol of any kind. Gotta keep it halal. Me? I keep to my coffee and Whiskey, thank you very much!

If this website stops updating, it is because I have died of a heart attack playing Alien: Isolation, since first-person horror games are so much worse than third-person titles. Games like Until Dawn, Resident Evil 2 Remake, and even some Silent Hill titles are okay, they get my heart pumping and stains my undies brown and green, but I still manage. But the Resident Evil 7 demo scared the bejeebers out of me! Wish me luck or send your condolences to my wife and kids. 

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Omar is a fun character to draw, with his tall and lanky design. It is especially fun to draw him next to Curly since they are so different in height, the body builds, and appearance but still have some vague resemblance to each other (the dark eyes, big noses, etc.) In my first version of the manuscript, none of Kaz’s family shows up. Curly just dropped her off and unceremonial drove away, something that did not feel right when I went over the script. I think this is better, I like the Malik family and they have some fun, challenging aesthetics to incorporate.

Summer is here in full force, and both I and the dog are close to overheating in my home office. Needless to say, I have spent a lot of time sketching new pages under the cool of the air conditioner rather than having my bacon cooked in front of the computer. Also, I stumbled upon a “remaster” of Stubbs the Zombie on PSN, not that it actually does remaster anything else than some of the old wonky controls, but damn that game still looks fun a decade and a half after initial release. It is old school in every way, but it kinda makes me wish that they had taken the remake route of Destroy All Humans rather than just re-releasing the title with old graphics, semi-empty levels, and the crooked feel of first half gameplay versus the late half gameplay. It still looks fun though, might grab it anyway. Because who can resist a zombie salesman?  

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I debated for a while if this page was necessary or not, but in the end, I kept it, both since it is kind of sweet with Aisha’s little hero crush on Curly, the wedding photo of Khazal and Avid, plus Marcel’s cruel but fun joke. The same kind of jokes that I and my friends used to pull on each other, talking smack and being dirty-mouthed teenagers. The wedding photo was tough to draw since I wanted it to look happy and nice, away from the darker story of the pair. 

In other news, I was really excited when the new Guardians of the Galaxy game was announced, even if some of the character design choices seem to be an acquired taste. I recently replayed the Telltales GotG series before heading into Biomutant, so getting another humorous game in a cool science fiction setting is right up my alley! I really hope the reviews are favorable and it does not end up like last year’s Avengers game, a title that I want to play due to Ms. Marvel but the negative buzz about the tedious grinding has kept me at bay. If it comes on sale, I will be sure to get it just because of Kamala Khan, but only time will tell when that is going to happen. 

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Background music: Sympathy for the devil by The Rolling Stones. Play it and read the page over and over until the song is over. 

In other news, I can recommend the weird gem of a tv-series of Marvel’s M.O.D.O.K with Patton Oswalt as the titular bighead. It actually made me genuinely care and appreciate a second-rate villain that I never really liked before. But due to this funny series by the studio behind Robot Chicken, I have read through several M.O.D.O.K and got a new appreciation for the supergenius with an ego bigger than a planet.   

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For this page, I tried to research Arabic food for reference. It is a bit of a mishmash of popular dishes from all around the middle east, but I figured that in this day and age we eat a lot of different foods from all over the world. One of the most popular Swedish dishes is, believe it or not, tacos! It might not be in the traditional Spanish, Mexican, or South American way, but we love it! So I took some creative liberties with the dinner served by the Malik’s. 

I anyone is wondering, the smorgasbord of delicacies are made up of Küfta-Bozbash, Hummus dip with some carrots, cucumber and chips, Shawarma and Fattoush. Mostly I chose these because they were easy to distinguish from each other while drawing. If they go together or not is another question. 

Been looking at a lot of Before you buy. reviews and gameplay videos of Biomutant recently and even if it has gotten mixed reception, I think will try and get my grubby hands on it. What appeals to me the most are the beautiful landscapes, the cool anthropomorphic animals, and the silliness of it all. It looks cool aesthetically, if not top-notch gameplaywise and I am a bit weak for Rocket Raccoon-like characters. In my eyes, it seems like Kung Fu Panda, set in a Fallout-esque post-apocalyptic world with the gameplay of Horizon Zero Dawn.   

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I once had a Muslim neighbor that wore a hijab but still letting her bangs show. I never really thought much about it, I had seen so many different styles of how people wore hijabs, some tightened them as much as they could, others wore them loose. But then one day I met her by the elevator and she was using the mirror to tuck in her hair. She chuckled and explained to me that her parents wanted her to wear it properly and so she tucked her hair in every time she met them. When I designed and later redesigned Kaz, I thought about my old neighbor and added the detail. In my mind, it was a quite charming, personal trait.