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Strip # 0


Strip # 288

About the Artist...

     UA:Comic is written and drawn by Michael J. Ahlers. After thirty years of working on this universe with little to show for it other than one short story, hundreds of doodles, and thousands of pages of notes, Michael finally got off his ass and started telling the stories that had inhabited his head and occupied his time for so long.

     Michael has been employed as a database developer, a computer programmer, a data entry clerk, a janitor, a computer programmer (again), a systems analysis, a public librarian, a database analyst, and dozens of contract positions in a variety of fields. Despite this, he's still found the time to spend thousands of hours drawing images that have been described as "doodles", "a waste of time", and even "stupid little pictures". Despite decades of soul-crushing criticism from the very people who should have been expected to encourage him (or, at the very least, offer constructive criticism), he's still here and doing what he loves to do.


About the Art...

The majority of the art is drawn in Paintbrush. I know, I know. Crude tool, evil empire, blah, blah, blah. Whatever. I happen to like pixel-editing. And for pixel-editing, it's not a bad tool at all. When something goes beyond Paintbrush's capabilities, I have Photoshop, LView, and a variety of other specialized tools.

The art will not be to everyone's taste, and I'm OK with that. When I started my other comic, I decided that the pixelated art style I had chosen was an acceptable compromise to being able to set and meet an update schedule. Because without a decent update schedule (a) no one would read it, and (b) I'd never finish telling the story that I had set out to tell.

And over time the artwork has evolved and, at least in my opinion, improved immensely. Improved, in fact, to the point that I felt I could tell my United Allegiance stories and not feel I was shortchanging them. I took five and a half years of mistakes and learning and then pushed it a little further, and in directions that I may never be ready for in my other comic.

About the Story...

Back in the late 1970s and early 1980s I had dozens of disparate science fiction stories in my head with notes and doodles in the margins of all of my school notebooks. Then on 10 October 1980, in my Algrebra I class, I was doodling faces when one of them caught my imagination. The doodle is at the bottom of this and every 'Extras' page.)

I dubbed him Charlie and over the years since I have drawn him literally thousands of times. Though his original story fell by the wayside, he became the catalyst that drew many of my stories together into an increasingly coherant universe. (Most of the stories that didn't fit into the universe are gone.)

The story has evolved considerably from those early days, but certain things have always remained: Charlie, now T*Chorel L*Julkib, most important of all.

About the Update Schedule...

I started the comic on a Saturday and planned to stick to one update a week for quite some time. Then I got cocky and went to two updates (Wed/Sat) before I had a sufficient buffer for either UA or my first comic. Since I had committed to never missing an update of Paonia Pawns, it meant that when my over-confidence caught up with me, it was UA that suffered. I went back to one update a week and later moved it from Saturday to Wednesday since mid-week updates (when I can often draw uninterrupted on my lunch hour) were (relatively) easier. Despite the missed UA updates, I've managed to get more strips online than had I stuck to the more reasonable schedule.

When Paonia Pawns concluded (29 July 2013), the update schedule of UA increased to its current 4/week (Mon/Tue/Thu/Fri). I fell this moves the story along at a decent pace while allowing me time for other projects.

Chapter 0
Chapter 1
Chapter 2
About - just me and my comic
Blog - read ramblings by Mek
Cast - whos who in UA:Comic
Chublei - UA: Comic encyclopedia
Links - comics and such
Prose - The Path of Fate
Sketches - from 1980 to the present
TopWebComics - Vote for UA: Comic
Twitter - UA:Comic tweets
WebComicList - UA:Comic profile page

© Copyright 1980-2014 Michael J. Ahlers. All Rights Reserved.