IMPORTANT EDIT: the three pages of the pdf aren't showing up well on firefox. If you only read the first page of the epilogue and was left confused, please go back and click 'download' to force the pdf open. Sorry for the inconvenience.
First, I just want to share with you the reason why I'm ending B&V. I've already talked with a few people, but I feel that everyone has a right to know. The truth is that... I needed this on a personal level. I love Bram & Vlad and will love it forever, but they are and always were something that I did to hone my skills and to distract me from more serious work. However, at some point, they became the serious work. I started to try and make them into something they never were. As much as I like B&V, they are semi-fanfic. They are relative new-comers in my art. I mean, I started the strip in the end of 2007. The first draft of The Conservatory is from 2004, and most of my other projects come from even before that.
Most of those projects are still incomplete to this day.
For a while, it was OK. I was studying hard for my master's degree, and working hard as a teacher. Drawing B&V was the perfect break from all this, and a good excuse to make friends on the internet (and believe me, a good chunk of my best friends were brought to me by those little guys). Then, I finished my master's and became mentally idle as I try to be approved into a PhD program. There's when knowing that I have 15 year old projects unfinished (some of them very close to my heart) started to make me feel uncomfortable. I wanted them out.
Also, as deeply elaborated as the B&V-verse turned out to be after ten years, it's NOTHING compared with my own original problems. There's also the fact that my country's culture is heavily dominated by English and American imports. I didn't want to be known as yet another Brazilian author that only writes and draws white English-named characters modeled after foreign classics, specially because it's not even what my original production is about. But then I had to deal with the fact that my brain can only be creative about one thing at time. I CAN draw something pre-scripted while writing something else, but I can't work in two scripts at the same time. In other words, I can draw whenever, but if I'm working on a book, or on another work of mine, I simply can't produce Bram & Vlad scripts, and vice-versa. However, by trying to draw B&V every week, I put myself in a position that I never had the time to be creative with something else for too long.
That's why I had to force myself to end the comic run. It doesn't mean that I'll never come back to them, or draw something with them, or stop the booklets and everything related to them forever, it's more that I wanted to free myself from my self-imposed commitment of not letting B&V fall into long hiatuses. I wanted to make sure that you won't be wondering when the next strip will come, just to see me doing two or three of them in a whole year.
So, what now?
In the next months, you can expect scribbly comics (I'm presently drawing some about Pokémon Go, I've not posted them not to disturb the mood of B&V's ending), lots of concept art and experimenting with new styles and a lot of art representing the OCs from my incomplete books. I have two books halfway through the end, and this year I want to finish at least one of them. I also want so very much to finish the last and definitive edition of The Conservatory, to finally translate it into English. If I feel too nostalgic for B&V, I might also finish the booklets I already started, so maybe you'll see them around. No promises, though.
You definitely should expect a lot of The Conservatory art because of that translation going on. You probably already know a bit of this story thanks to that MLP mashup I did a few years ago, but that comic wasn't the most faithful depiction of the story or the characters. I had to simplify things a lot to mash it with MLP. (If anyone is interested on it, I'll probably never finish that comic. It was just me experimenting with a lot of things. I might release my notes for it, if there's any interest. I have all the chapters summaries written somewhere in my notebooks.)
For those not in the known, The Conservatory was a book I started in 2004 and finished in 2010. It went through three versions; the third (and final) one is on the fifth (and hopefully final) draft. It tells the story of Cristina, a very intelligent girl who hates everyone and everything (Vlad is a softer version of her, really) and is decided to discover the truth behind her father's death. While investigating her father's old music school (the titular Conservatory), she meets Diego, a cheerful vampire that ends up designated to protect her from mysterious kidnappers. Mystery, adventure, a bit of comedy here and there and even some romance ensue. I really like the story as it is, it just need a few amends. Many people commented in my creativity with Bram's Handbook, but the truth is that most of the biology of B&V vampires was either lifted or adapted from The Conservatory-verse.
Just don't expect anything big just yet. As I say, I have things to finish, art to experiment, a doctorate to get into... This will be a year in which I'll try to give more love to the things that I really really want people to know more, and a year in which I want to know all I'm capable of in the drawing department. I'll keep you updated in my journals, and I'm open to hear any suggestions, criticisms or even requests you might have.
Thank you all for sticking with me during B&V's run. You have no idea how much it meant to me. You are all incredible. I love you guys. Really.
(I have a bit of art I owe to a watcher. He seems to have left DA, but it might be temporary, so I'll post anyway as soon as I finish it.)
Playing: Pokémon Go
Drinking: Tea. It's always tea.