also by the MotA team
  • Golden Dames Project
  • Red Nebula Studios
  • Lovefeast
Commission Keith W!

Two Years!

*Note* There will be a delay with the next page. I've been ill and not had time to sit and work. I hope you all will be patient, and I'll get it up as soon as possible.
Keith W.

I had intended to make our two year anniversary the subject of this posting but Keith spoiled and mentioned it ahead of time. Ah well. I'll bring it up anyway!

We're two years old! That's from first publishing date (on the web). MotA as a concept is much, much older. Still, we've put out quite a few pages, finished two storylines, and attracted a loyal and vocal fanbase. I'm quite pleased!

Now, I have some questions for you. I'd like to know what you think about our first two years. Which plot did you enjoy most? Which character do you most enjoy? What haven't we done enough of? What do you want to see more of? What do you want to see less of? Please, give us some feedback at this very important milestone. Keith and I don't exist in a creative vacuum. What you share with us helps influence the direction of the comic. So, please, share!

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Guest post by "Elliotd"
Congratulations on running Mota for 2 years. Youve done a fantastic job with both the art and story, and its been really inspiring to watch the comic grow and improve. Each chapter feels more fun and exciting from the last.
What I've enjoyed the most is learning new things about the characters and the unveiling and exploration of the world. My favorite character soo far, is Chrystal by a long shot. Shes very likeable, determined and is always ready to help out a friend. I would definitely like to learn more about her character as well as more the amazing world you guys have built.
Keep up the stellar work!

Submitted January 6, 2011 at 7:53AM


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Guest post by "Ayra"

Is it okay to take a few days to think about giving a more coherent answer? I admit I hadn't thought about all that, and I'm currently too low on time to give out all the feedback you want (and completely deserve).

Here's a few things that come to the top of my head though!

1) It might be because of my uncanny habit of confusing everything, but my understanding and remembering of the characters and their stories is much better than it is for the "main" storyline. I perfectly remember Theresa's storyline about her past, the tension and mixed feelings between Theresa and Chrys, Chrys's determination in saving her mother against all odds, or how she tried to force Theresa out of her shell and the resulting fallout of that. I remembered Mandrake's fun expressions and Dog Boy's competitiveness and the reasons why. I'm feeling attached to all of them, and care what happens to them. I'm especially intrigued by the Chris-Theresa relationship and I'm definitively hoping they'll make up and progress further eventually.

However, I don't actually recall the name of the bad evil robots from the first chapter. I'm not sure (or can't recall) if they've spread across multiple worlds across Arcana or if they were mainly focused on that one. I used to think that those invading robots were the 'main' storyline if you want and thought they were a huge threat to Arcana in general, but I'm not sure of anything right now. I'll have to re-read Chapter 1: That's not a pain at all considering it's interesting and entertaining, and I probably didn't help myself by having it read it all in two days.

But to be honest, it's not too often I've lost sight of the 'main story' or 'point' while reading anything. Chapter 2 was a major disconnect from Chapter 1: It's a wonderful and touching chapter, but beside having Chrys and Theresa in it, there's nearly nothing to link it with Chapter 1. Chapter 3 brings us back to the tavern with our familiar cast, however it's for something entirely different and unrelated to chapter 1 and 2. We have a very grumpy Theresa because of what happened in chapter 2, and we have Melody having her robotic arm because of what happened in chapter 1, but to me it feels disconnected of the world if you will.

Past chapter 1, and especially since chapter 3, I've been treating Mysteries of the Arcana as "Episodic" even though I have the feeling it's not meant to be that way. Blah, I can't really explain what I mean...

Did you ever watch the El Cazador de la Bruja anime? It's 26 episodes long, and beside episode 1, 13 (sorta), 25 and 26, the anime consists of mostly random adventures with Nadie and Ellis heading south to their destination (Alongside a few other important but not as important characters). Each episode has either funny or touching events, mostly (but not completely) unrelated to each other. What persists throughout each episode is the natural sense of growth between Nadie and Ellis relationship as the anime goes by. The world isn't really what is important, neither are the various factions and organizations: The characters are what is important, especially Nadie and Ellis. As a side note, it's my favorite anime ever.

I get the same feeling with Mysteries of the Arcana about where the importance lies... But unlike El Cazador, I have the feeling that I'm simply missing the big "plot" in Mysteries of the Arcana. I'm missing something in the world that actually do exist. I know part of it is in chapter 1, but chapter 2 and 3 are so different in content and it's never been refered to again (so far) which made me half-forget it, half-consider each chapter to be mostly separate entities (or episodes), beside the character growth and their own personal storylines.

I'll be re-reading Mysteries of the Arcana again before posting my next comment: I'll see if the "episode" reasoning seems correct, or if there's a "main plot" and that it's my memory that's horrible (Very likely since I'm not claiming to have a great memory in the first place and it's been roughly a year since chapter 1 has been completed), or that I read it when I was too tired and forgot due to that, or that there is a 'main world plot' and that it has been left aside unreferenced a bit too long considering that this is an ongoing webcomic .

Please don't consider what I'm saying as a negative at all: I read quite a few webcomics, and Mysteries of the Arcana is honestly in my top 5 favorite (I could give my top 5 list but I don't think it'd be proper to "advertise" here Smile). The writing is great, there's very funny scenes, there's extremely sad moments, the characters and their interactions together are awesome and I'm always looking foward to see what will happen to them every Monday and Thursday. It's just that I haven't felt connected to the whole and the Arcana itself much. It's definitively not a must at all (I enjoy Mysteries of the Arcana very, very much as is, and plus my favorite anime is built that way after all), but I get the nagging feeling that it's not the way you guys envision it (Though I might be wrong of course).

... and I just wrote way more than what I had time for and it's all disorganized due to not thinking things through first... I'm sorry about that! I'm going to re-read chapter 1 when I get the chance and give you better feedback afterward Smile

Tiny bonus comment: I really enjoy that Chrys parents are alive and kicking. That's far too rare in comics/anime/games/books Smile

Submitted January 6, 2011 at 3:59PM


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Guest post by "Ayra"

I just finished rereading Mysteries of the Arcana, and... Well, I have to say that I'm sorry! It's probably better to just forget the previous huge post since I did have a fair amount of stuff wrong (I'd delete it if I could but no can do). So yeah, no bio-hunters invasions across multiple arcanas or anything like that. I'm really not sure how I had reached that storyline idea... So episodic it is, which suits me just fine! Here's the answers to your questions:

For various reasons, the element I like most is the relationship between Chris and Theresa, and Theresa's battle between following what she desires and her beliefs. So chapter 2 in general was very touching, although I definitively appreciate that it's not that "dark" all the time! I prefer light-hearted and funny things most of the time, but that chapter was just masterfully done.

Favorite character is Chris. She's kind, friendly, funny, brave and determined, but misguided enough at times to make her still 'human'. I really like Mandrake too since she's pretty entertaining and very unique (Probably hard to "write" for too I imagine), but I can't give her the top spot since we've seen and know so little of her so far.

Regarding what I really like, well I enjoy all the banter between the characters, and their funny reactions to various events (Like Dogboy apologizing for underestimating how hard-headed she is while trying to knock her out). I don't think that you can add 'more' of those while trying to still maintain a somewhat "serious" atmosphere to the comic, but I definitively hope that those hilarious moment stays no matter what direction the comic will take in the future.

Regarding what I didn't like... There's nothing I can honestly say that I hated. Even Debby's story has been shown as tastefully as it possibly can considering how horrible those events were. If it had been shown more graphically or with more details, it might have repulsed me enough to stop reading the comic. As it was made though, all I can give is kudos. The only thing that made me flinch was Melody tied to the operation table with her arm stapled on the wall, with a part of it torn open. I'm pretty squeamish so I can't say that I liked that at all... However, I know that a lot of readers do, and those kind of gory situations are extremely rare in Mysteries of the Arcana, so I don't mind simply skipping quickly over the rare few panels like that. If it was very common it'd probably be a deal breaker for me, but as is (or even if it was a tiny bit more common), I have no complaints whatsoever Smile

One tiny thing I'd like to know is the various motivations of the characters. They live in the inn, but we don't really know why for the most part. We don't know their goals or dreams. It definitively doesn't have to be epic stuff (Not everyone has to be destined to be the savior of the universe), but as of right now we know pretty much nothing about them beside their behavior, with the exception of Theresa (Which we know a lot), and Chrys and her mother (which we know a tiny bit).

It might only be me being a tad bit impatient though, especially odds are that we'll be getting some information on Dogboy pretty soon, so I assume that it's only a matter of time Smile


Regarding today's page... Yeah, I admit that doesn't exactly look to be the most impressive bindings I've seen in my life. On top of that, if you look at the distances... If she moves as far as she can on one side, think she just might be able to reach one of the wooden stakes and try to remove the knot (or maybe even pull out the stake) using that hand. So far, they seem to fail both at tying people down and making durable homes, not looking good for them! Smile

Submitted January 7, 2011 at 2:10PM

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