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ACT II now running at www.paradigmshiftmanga.com
Who invited the suit?
Okay, finally got the shading finished!  Thanks for your patience, everyone.

Also, my good buddy Dan has posted a huge Anime Detour con report about our adventures up north last weekend. I'll have a few things to add tomorrow, too.

The weekend's already half over, so chances are next week's page won't be up by Tuesday.  Wednesday is much more likely.  

Stay tuned! --dirk
35 comments:
Hannah Bridgeman (meandsparrow) says: I cant tell you how long it's been since I found a webcomic that holds my intrest as well as this one. The art work is amazing and just draws you from pannel to pannel with action and...well..pizzaz! I find myself looking forward to Tuesdays just so I can see what happens next.
Dirk Tiede (dirktiede) says: Thanks so much!  I'll try to hold up my end of the bargain and keep those Tuesday updates coming!
Liz Stork (rianablackrose) says: "I'm hysterical, and I'm wet!"
Dirk Tiede (dirktiede) says: Hey, you'd be too in her place.  =/
Chris O (sisck79) says:

In reply to Liz

 "I'm in pain, I'm wet, and I'm still Hysterical, *gibberish*

Ed Paradis (zudarkness) says: Congrates on the Engagment
Alex Jones (darkphoenixv1) says: woo! congratulations!!!!!!!
Cody Johnson (xanderin) says: So I figured it out.  She doesn't really [takes out possible spoiler], but instead gets trashed at the bar, and ends up going streaking.  She eventually passes out and wakes up with a lecher about to do his thang, and then, in an exaggerated anime-girl fashion, dismembers him, still too drunk to remember it.
Dirk Tiede (dirktiede) says: Oh, you're just seeing right through me.
Although, you forgot the part about the drugs, because, y'know what good cop doesn't keep a stash around for "special occasions?"
=P
Zedd Overkill (zeddoverkill) says:

<is about to open his mouth when two orderlies appear>
"There he is! Get 'um!"
"Ack! Great job on the comic Dirk! Congrats on your engagement, gotta go BYE!"
"Get the tranqulizer gun!"
"Ha! Im wearing KEVLAR today, boys!"
"Armor piercing darts!"
"D'oh!"

In all honesty, congrats and keep up the good work, man. ^_^

Warren Cawood (lykan2010) says:

Great another woman who has ravenous wolf tendecies and PMS

Warren Cawood (lykan2010) says: OK so normaly I am a real ass when it comes to any kind of delay or even when I think the updates aren't fast enough, BUT I will digress that this is not the case. I am pulled in by the story (even if it is a bit witchblade - cop+weird power) I can't wait for the continuation for the current chapter as well as all of those which I hope will follow it.  Great work with the dialogue and artistry, keep up the amazing work
Dirk Tiede (dirktiede) says: Warren, I can assure you that Kate's problem is not PMS.
Glad you're liking it so far.  I'll be sure to keep the updates coming regularly.  If I could promise and deliver more than one a week consistantly, I would.
more soon.
Robert Frazer (robertfrazer) says:

Hmm. Mr. Tiede, while your art's as excellent as ever in this scene, I can't honestly say that I'm so taken by the direction Kate's character has gone in this scene.

Considering that she seems to have rematerialised in two different locations in the park at the conclusion to Part Two and this latest flashback, this is manner in which I'm rebuilding her noctunal escapade:

 

Following her nightmare and agonisingly distended transformation back in her apartmen, wulfenkate went on a random prowl to stretch her legs and look forbiddingly mysterious behind steam-grates, eventually morphing back in open ground (as we see in this scene's fainting page). Staggering out of the sheeting rain and into the cover of the underpass, she encounters the homeless man.

The drifter thinks: "Yum! Naked distressed girl!"

Kate thinks: "Yum! A pre-heated meal tonight!"

At which point she regresses back into her feral state and devours the would-be rapist, eventually sauntering off to return to humanity again in the shadow of the building (as seen at the end of Part Two).

 

I'm sorry to be blunt, but this doesn't really work, and the net effect of this revision to events is to cheapen Kate's character.

 

The theme that's been developed over the course of most of the comic is that there's something unnatural - maybe even abominable - that's not just a primal mutation contained but a fearful force LURKING within her. This notion of some alien prescence churning, knotting and beating throughout her body evokes a potently emotive and disturbing atmosphere, tinged with panic and edged with dread as it's evident that Kate is only vaguely aware of the full implications of what she's slipping into, which stirs up a tumult of fears, doubts and confusions within her own mind.  This general atmosphere of horror, and the specific situation where Kate is given over wholly to another being and no longer has self-control, should have been emphasised with a genuine atrocity - the fatality in this scene should have been an innocent bystander who was haplessly struck down, not a villain who got his come-uppance.

As it stands now, though, you've turned what should have been a shocking murder into a case of self-defence, which anyone thrown into a similar situation would be no less than expected to do - it just so happens in this instance Kate defended herself a bit more thoroughly than most others would. This removes the uniqueness of the situation, and consequently robs the concept of the werewolf of much of its dramatic impact. It's degraded into being just another gimmicky superpower.

 

I'm sorry that my first comment is a criticism, Mr. Tiede, but that is how the situation comes across. I've long been an admirer of Paradigm Shift, and I certainly intend to continue reading, but in all honesty I think that this scene has been badly fumbled.

Bryan Climer (revarien) says: Wow, I didn't take this as being 'gimmicky' in the slightest...  not to mention that I don't think it's JUST Kate concocting this horrific scenes of mass violence.
Dirk Tiede (dirktiede) says: I'm sorry to hear that it's not working for you.  I will admit that I've been struggling with this scene for awhile, and my update schedule hasn't allowed me to take as much time to really think through the presentation as I would have liked.  I appreciate your criticism, and considering the themes you bring up, it is entirely understandable.  
However, I've noted before that this isn't ultimately just a werewolf story, and I intend to take some different directions with it.  This doesn't mean I'm going to soft-pedal the implications of this scene, regardless of how the circumstances appear.  I don't intend leave things in a moral black-and-white, either.  Yes, the man we see on page 12 clearly doesn't have the purest intentions, but villain is an awfully strong word. Perhaps I have fumbled in my storytelling of the events, and for that I am sorry.  However, I certainly do not intend to leave this with an easy answer in the end. 
Thanks again for expressing your honest criticism.  I appreciate it.  I hope that your continued reading of the story will ultimately be rewarded.
regards,
dirk
Robert Frazer (robertfrazer) says:

There's no need to be too apologetic, Mr. Tiede - it's realy only the two flashback pages that I have an (admittedly significant) issue with, and outside of those the scene has been tripping along decently - I like how Kate's expressions have been changing throughout it, for instance. And there's certainly plenty of intrigue left to keep me more than interested.

On the topic of Terrible Secrets That Mere Mortals Were Not Meant To Know, the wife is standing over my shoulder and she wants to know what brand hairspray Kate uses. She'd kill for anything that lets your quiff magically spring back into place with nary a split end even after being dragged through the mud and bushes - and, indeed, shot through doors! ;)

Dirk Tiede (dirktiede) says: Ah, Kate's crazy hair.  Why that's MangaMegaHold 40!
Okay, not really.
It's more a nod to the manga style than anything else.  Her bangs started out as a few little wispies that didn't quite make it into the ponytail (<a href="http://www.webcomicsnation.com/dirktiede/sketchbook-dt/series.php?view=archive&chapter=2941" target="new">as shown here</a>), and they mutated rapidly over the course of the first 10 pages or so.  Nowadays, I just think of them as that hair that's intentionally left out to hang, but not usually with hair product -- Kate's really just not that kind of girl. 
However, I shudder to see what the cosplayers might do.
In any other case, we'll just see where we're at come the end of Part Three, thematically-speaking.
Nick Francis (mister_ataxia) says: Brilliant comic, man. Keep up the good work!
Nick Benavides (teh_rhino) says: I have two things to say. First of all good job, I like the story line, and second, dont make Kate psico cop. The werewolf powers thing is ok, but only if you intend to put a twist on it.
Dirk Tiede (dirktiede) says: Oh, I don't think you have anything to worry about.
:evilgrin:
Carling McGuire (dbzfreak897) says: Oooo! Who is the mysterious stranger from the FBI? I'm on the tip of my toes with anticipation! I love your comic. I've been reading it for some time now, I just never got an account until now. Haha! I've been curious as to what will happen since the minute I found it while reading Dr. McNinja, which is also an awesome comic. So far, my questions just keep piling on. What exactly is going on here? Who is the mysterious, blonde-haired(at least I'm guessing that's the color) man that Kate and Mike had been chasing down and why did he suddenly show up at the police station practically begging to be arrested? I can't wait to see how the story unfolds. I'm on the edge of my seat here! Very nice work, Mr. Tiede!
Bea Triz (bea) says: Yo!  I'm new and no english-speaker so I'm sorry if I make mistakes. All I can say about this comic is that it's awesome. Specially the action scenes. More tha a comic it seems to me a storyboard for a film. Congratulations.
Lys Lar (snowpea) says: Mmm, those bangs are starting to really detract from her look. Too big, too stylized... but I like the rest of the strip absolutely.
Timothy Schoonhoven (lord_obsidious) says:

Woooooh!  Account finally up and running.  Ahem, anyway, i'm lnot sure what to say that would be different from everyones else's comment.  Well, then again, everyone has a slightly different thing to say.

Well, if you haven't guessed it, Dirk Tiede, I really enjoy reading your comic and i think the work you put into it is great, .  Normally, i'm not one for regular copflics, particularly comic-based ones, but after fidning the link from Dr.McNinja, i really got dragged into this.  I'm thinking it was most likely the art style that caught my attention, which i also love (Hope that doens't sound wrong XD).

I dubiously enjoy the plot and characters that you put together.  You give the reader enough interesting tidbits and foreshadowing to keep the story interesting, while still keeping the big mystery under the shadows (Did i ever mention the dreams are awsome).

Perhaps i'm over doing it with all the good comments, but i can't really find anything at the moment that i think is worth critisizing about. I'm not exactely a comic artist, though i am i writer and can recognize plot elements.

If anything bother's me in the future, i'll let you know.  I look forward to next Tuesday ^_^.

Dirk Tiede (dirktiede) says: Hey, thanks!  Glad it's seeming to come together on your end.  I'm always worrying about how much to reveal and how much to keep in the background.  Hope the payoff is all worth it for you in the end.
And, Lys:  Yeah, her bangs are just odd, but they keep changing.  They're sorta 'under control' at the moment, since she's supposed to be dressed up a little.  Honestly, I'd tone them down, but they're such a recognizable part of the character at this point, it's hard to change much.  Ah, well.  Glad you like the strip despite that.  
Ian Morrison (starstriker) says: You don't necessarily have to tone them down necessarily. The reason they stick out is because the rest of her hair is broken up by the texture you've inked in, but her bangs are solid, shiney things. Her bangs can remain distinctive even when broken up a bit (last night I ended up redrawing Kate and Mike in my own style)
Dirk Tiede (dirktiede) says: Okay, so I just saw a cop on my way home from an ART NIGHT thing, and I swear she HAD KATE'S HAIR.  Given, this is reality, but her hair was pulled back into a ponytail, and her bangs were long and framed the sides of her face. It's really not an uncommon look, but I was pretty much floored.  I did a double take while I pulled past the stoplight.
Ian Morrison (starstriker) says:

Are these the signs of insanity or inspiration I see? Neither? BOTH?

Seriously, it wasn't just a woman with Kate's hair, but a COP with Kate's hair? Thats crazy!

Dirk Tiede (dirktiede) says: Seriously.  I'll try to find a picture of someone with the same cut.  I've seen it around on women before.  It's not that uncommon or crazy a hairstyle.
(BTW, I'm re-implementing the blog tonight, and hopefully the forum will follow shortly!)
Stuart Forster (knightflyer) says:

I'm really enjoying this. I think it's quiet brave not following the dogma of purely innocent victims, makes me think nobody is off the menu.

My problem with Kates hair is that it seems to have continuity problems in the rain even though it survives her transformation.

 

Sean Hall (silentsong) says: Actually, the way Kate seems to be handling this seems right on the money.  She has something very primal coming out in her.  To a civilized person, that is damned scary.  It's very easy to think it's evil.  Was the guy going to attack her?  Very likely.  Would the man still alive if she had been fully in control? Definitely, but she wasn't.  She was being guided by instinct.  And as much as nobody likes to admit it, human fight or flight responses are a hell of alot more deadly than a wolf or tiger's.  Eating the kill would be the animal instincts.  Killing a possible threat's entirely human.
Natalie Bell (vega) says:

Hmm...

@ Robert-

The look on the victim's face is somewhat ambiguous. That could be slavering, predatory lust in his expression, but the shadows obcure most of his features, showing only the high contrast whites of his eyes and teeth. Emphasizing these two features gives an immediate impression of fearsomeness, and hiding most of the face feeds into our fear of the unknown, giving us an almost archaetypical image of a predator- floating eyes and teeth in the dark. Something out of nightmares.

Consider, though, that the bad lighting was not in fact intentional on the victim's part- he was not lurking under that bridge, waiting for unsuspecting nude females to happen by. He was sleeping, in the driest spot he could find, on a rainy night. And the very shadows that give him that fearful visage hide the nuances of his expression- that toothy grin may in fact be a mouth dropped open with shock, a fearful grimace, even a worried inquery. 

Consider also the situation of the man under the brigde. He is at the bottom of the heap, and he knows it. While the first thought that hit his forebrain upon registering the presence of a naked lady under his bridge may have been, "Whoa, naked lady!" anyone but the most drug-addled junkie would have immediately taken in the context of the situation: Naked lady- alone- in a downpouring rain- in the middle of the night- distressed, disoriented, shivering, most likely sobbing in terror. The immediate conclusion one could leap to, is that someone did this to her, and further, that that someone might still be around. Sociopath or saint, the first response to a signal of distress is one of self-preservation.

Stand. Assess surroundings. Determine the nature of the threat.

Ask her what happened. 

But, in the end, the true intention of the man under the bridge was of no consequence. Whether that reaching hand was meant  to steady Kate, or to pinion her to the wall, doesn't matter; because all that Kate saw was a grasping talon, and eyes and teeth floating in the darkness.

He moved too fast.

A frightened wolf defended herself.

With extreme prejudice.

Even predators are afraid of the dark. 

Natalie Bell (vega) says: (by the way- who wants to bet they'll find fingers in that vomit?)
Fionn Silverwolf (chunkboi) says: "Well the forensics came back...he wasn't mauled."
"Not mauled?"
"See it turns out the guy had a heart condition that he gets treated at the free clinic, and I think he OD'ed on the nitro tablets..."
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Original Paradigm Shift art and story Copyright 2001-2005 Dirk I. Tiede
Paradigm Shift, its characters and their distinctive likenesses TM and Copyright Dirk I. Tiede
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Dirk I. Tiede was born in California, grew up in the Midwest, and cut his teeth as a graphic artist in Chicago, and has been drawing comics for as long as he can remember. ... full profile