Chapter 1, Page 15

WOW this page was a bear. And sorry, I felt slightly bad that you were wondering who LEVi was, but the whole time he’s been hanging out in the Hiveworks link on the sidebar, haha.

Today’s vote incentive: First drawings of Bex… her personality used to be more like the Commander, but she has obviously lightened up a lot since.

Despite this page taking forever I’m still going to attempt 3x updates this week, so you can look back here soonish for another (less ridiculous) page :[___]


  • Holy shit the look on Mike’s face hit me right in the gut. I am like this close to full out tears.

  • Ben

    I really like the use of Mike’s swiping fingers in the foreground as a cue to show that these are full-panel photographs, not panels looking “directly” into the past. I also like that the bluish screen glow only shows up on the sides of Mike’s fingers that are facing the screen (while the Mike-facing side of the fingers is only lit from the side by the open door). In conclusion Der-Shing Helmer is a boss at comix.

    I was curious about how the computer distinguishes meaningful input from Mike’s random face-touching, so I went back and noticed that the computer has only reacted to two-fingers-pointing gestures so far. It seems like a tiring interface to use for long periods, but maybe that’s why Mike’s arms are so swole :P

    Does LEVi perhaps stand for… LEVitating drone, version Roman numeral i?

    • shingworks

      Yeah, tbh I messed up a bit; the input is supposed to be tied to your watch arm, but I was inking flipped by accident and put the watch on the wrong hand T__T I’m only confessing because you were paying attention, haha. I will probably need to go back and redo some of the art later… The way Buoy works is your computer/ data is stored in a cloud, but accessed/ projected onto surfaces/ manipulated through the wrist component. The base is made up of surfaces you can project on, or, as we’ve seen, it can also shine a little holo thing out (but that eats the battery like crazy). The tech is considered somewhat old by their standards, kinda like how we consider walkie talkies? Not exactly advanced tech, but it has it’s place. It’s not really important to the plot tho, just a random background consideration.

      And LEVi stands for Levitating Imager; the “current” version is actually Mark V :b

      • Ben

        Yesss, delicious fictional UX/UI design worldbuilding, perfect.

        Oh, duh—looking closer, you spelled it out on the box in panel 6! And apparently “I talk too, try me!”

      • Ryan Schneider

        Let me guess: the late, mysterious missing Levi was a vainglorious engineer who named his own drone design after himself, and also designed a toy version to help the company make extra $$$.

        • Vert

          I’m still going with LEVi being an AI of some sort, maybe not human-level, but something you can get very attached to.

  • Glenn-o-matic

    I can appreciate what she said about getting it out of the trees now. Those pictures all sort of have him in them, like he was a part of all that but didn’t know it until now…

  • I was trying to figure out how you made Mike’s expression look so heavy and cold and I just realized he has no eyebrows. Or almost-brow-less.

    Also, I am having fun with these incentives you are putting out. It’s so easy! And I get a reward! Positive reinforcement!

  • The last line is kinda painful to look at.

    There, there, Michael :(

  • You know, even if this was a… whale of a page to draw (i’m in a sequential art degree program atm, and….. wow. The stuff that’d go on to make a page like this just makes me dizzy), it looks wonderful. It holds a lot of narrative weight, and it’s well worth the chance to soak up all those details. I’ve got half a mind to save the web page and print it out to see how it’d look.

    • shingworks

      I’ve been posting blown up versions of panels to my deviantArt, if you want to see more mistakes details there

  • DukeBG

    I find father with some futuristic neural implant as adorable, if not more, than the kids and the LEVi.

    • shingworks

      Hehe :p

    • Skellagirl

      Right? He’s super cute :,,,) Specially teaching the littlest how to swim

  • Props to Mike for asking if he can keep scrolling. +10 points for media ettiquette

  • Oly

    Poor Michael. I can imagine how it must feel for him… Well, one of the reasons, it’s a bit like when you’re outside in the dark and all the lit-up windows of houses seem better than any life you can imagine for yourself (which is obviously an illusion but still)?

    But gosh, that family is so adorable!! ALL OF THEM. I hope the father’s implant is actually a helpful medical invention and not- y’know- some sort of Nurse Ratched inspired device. Am I reading too much into it? I probably am, I’m a worried sort of reader.

    • shingworks

      Haha, it’s just a headband you can wear or take off, with a fold-down augmented reality screen deal so you don’t have to walk around with a bulky Google Glass-like object on the front of your face all day. I guess I’d rather have a headband than glasses if I got a choice… in any case it’s just some fake future tech and not some kind of torturous thing XD

      • Oly

        Ah, phew! XD I dunno why I instantly thought in the MIND CONTROL direction, I guess it’s Michael’s grim perspectives of a trip back making me expect the worst!

        I actually like glasses in daily life, it gives some protection in a way (one of my pets walked up to me, stared for a second and tried to bite me on the eye once so…) but when it comes to sports of any kind I’d definitely prefer a headband, like half of my school gym memories are FEAR FOR MY GLASSES.

        • shingworks

          lol, same. I’ve had glasses since… birth??? haha, IDK. I worry about them constantly. I went skydiving one time and all I could think was “DON’T LOSE YOUR GLASSES,” even when the main parachute failed. I almost don’t notice them anymore but when I talk to people who have great vision, or who got Lasik, I remember that I am sort of wearing handcuffs on my face.

          • DukeBG

            I know that feeling. I have this variation of fear of heights where I fear my glasses falling off from my face if I look down from a big height (and irrational feeling of not ever being able to retrieve them). [It’s not just glasses, but any objects I have, though, and there is a plain old fear of heights mixed in too].

          • Oly

            The story about skydiving and glasses sounds like something that people would find exaggerated if put in comics but no, this is totally how I think in emergencies too. XD And same, I don’t notice glasses much (to the point I occasionally try to wash my face with them on, pff, another thing people would find too much comic relief if put in a comic) and I never felt upset about having to wear them but some moments just remind me of them. And lol ‘handcuffs on my face’ is a good way to put it.

  • Elm

    The 3rd panel is by far the best aha. I recognise that parental expression from a mile away.

  • Gangerworld

    Hey, this is a very interesting comic. I love the artwork and the colours! The story is so intruiging too.

    Just fyi tho, as a Yoruba myself, I can say that typically we don’t introduce ourselves using our “full” names. Like the prefixes we drop unless it’s a very special occasion. So if my name was Omotayo, I’d be going by Tayo. Or if my name, as you can guess from my email, is Olufolarin, I’d go by Folarin. Just so you know! :D

    • shingworks

      Wow, thank you for the info! I had seen that dichotomy (Tayo vs Omotayo) but had no idea it was a formality thing… I will be fixing that when I do my final edits for sure :) I really appreciate the insight!

  • sanmim

    nigerians? Is she Yoruba? NIce!

  • In light of the most recent update, Mike seeing that photo at the swimming pool takes a whole new meaning.

    • Mallow

      i had the same thought and it makes me so, so sad.

      • Urist

        Yeah. This scene is brutal in hindsight.

  • …. now that I have seen the latest chapter… Is he reacting to the pool-picture?

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