State of the Comic - Feb. 2018

Jessica’s been having health issues that’ve gotten worse over the past year. Nothing life threatening or anything, but she ended up having a bad reaction to some medication that was supposed to help her, so she’s been in total Bummerville these past few months.

That’s why things have been so quiet around here. She’s trying a different medication now, and we’re hopeful that she’ll soon be able to ninja flip her way back to Healthyland. Then she’ll resume kicking ass on the comic.

But for now, she’s going to focus on feeling better.

Now to end on some rad news: selected Satan Ninja 198X as one of the eight best webcomics of 2017! We’ve also booked a table at the Anime Midwest convention in Chicago, so if you’re in the area the weekend of July 6th, you should totally visit us.

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SN8X Hiatus Ends Oct. 13th! Also, New Radicast Up Now!

Radicast 198X Episode 10 Labyrinth and Legend thumbnail

First the big news: on October, Friday the 13th, the most spooky day possible, we will finally resume updating the Satan Ninja 198X webcomic on a weekly basis. Fuck yeah!

Of course, OF COURSE this hiatus lasted waaay longer than we anticipated. Sorry about that. It kills us to not be pumping more life-blood into our radical ‘80s child. The hiatus was drawn out due to a bunch of factors, not the least of which was us getting married over the summer.

Adam Dravian & Jessica Safron's wedding

So, again, I apologize for any inconvenience caused by our love.

In the meantime, we have a couple episodes of our ‘80s media review podcast, Radicast 198X, which we recorded several weeks ago, but never got around to editing and uploading … until now!

This week’s episode marks Radicast’s exciting journey into the double digits with episode 10 (technically, it’s our eleventh episode if you count the one we did on Supergirl, which is exclusive to Jessica’s Patreon).

This time we discuss two very iconic mid-'80s fantasy films that have a lot in common. They both bombed at the box office only to go on to become cult classics. They both star gorgeous "cold" brunettes. And they both are titled a single word that starts with the letter "L".

I'm speaking, of course, of the 1986 Jim Henson directed Labyrinth and the 1985 Ridley Scott directed Legend.

Other media we discuss in brief: The Dark Crystal [1982], Phenomena [1985], Seven Minutes in Heaven [1985]

Intro and outro songs by Michael Cook.


Updated Comic Pages & Radicast 198X Ep. 9 - Class of Nuke 'Em High, Crocodile Dundee

Radicast 198X

The comic hiatus continues for just a bit longer, but to help you endure the wait, we've resumed our weekly podcast: Radicast 198X.

We kick off our glorious podcast return with this episode where we discuss and review two very different films from 1986: the bizarre high school gross-out comedy Class of Nuke 'Em High (Troma's second best movie), and the chick flick disguised as an action-adventure comedy, Crocodile Dundee.

Other movies we discuss in brief: The Toxic Avenger [1984], Airplane! [1980], Robocop 2 [1990], Romancing the Stone [1984]

We dedicate this episode to Matty (Australian Dude).

In other Satan Ninja news, Jessica went through and made a whole bunch of minor updates and corrections to Satan Ninja pages. Mostly mega minor stuff that you wouldn't notice without directly comparing the updated pages with the old ones, but one of biggest changes is that the van the satan ninjas use in issue 1 is now '80s accurate. When Jessica first drew it, she must've accidentally used a more modern van as a reference, resulting in an anachronism. Whoops! Neither of us are knowledgeable about vehicles, so the mistake slipped past us until a reader recently pointed it out.

If you're really curious to see exactly how the old pages were updated, Jessica posted some before and after examples on her Patreon, which, by the way, is starting to creep close to reaching the first milestone, at which point Jessica will release the flash animated original trailer for Satan Ninja 198X, from way back in 2008 when it was called Shinobi Fist: Legend of the Badass Ninja. Thanks a lot to all you dudes and dudettes who help support this comic—you totally rule!


A Way Long Overdue Status Update

Holy shit, sorry for the extended period of silence. Jessica has been posting updates to her Patreon, but I totally should've been posting occasional updates here as well, because people have begun asking us if the comic is dead.

So for the record: Satan Ninja 198X is totally not dead.

We’ve been actively working on the comic as much as life allows. In fact, this hiatus (which has taken way longer than we anticipated—of course) is finally drawing to a close. Soon. Hard to say for sure when, but probably around the start of Summer. In the meantime, as evidence of the comic's status as "still alive," we've decided to post the Issue 4 cover (if you haven’t already, go on and click the thumbnail image above to give your eyeballs a much-deserved blast of radness).

So what have we been up to these past several months?

Well, for one thing, Jessica and I got engaged, and we’re getting married this August. We’ve been boning for over ten years, so I figured we might as well make our union all government official. I proposed to her through Fallout 2, a game that I worked on a Restoration Mod for (I served as the lead writer and a voice actor). Normally, after you beat Fallout 2 with the Restoration Project, you’re treated to a special encounter in which you can talk to the various people who worked on the mod (all represented by Star Wars characters for some reason). In Jessica’s version of the game, we changed my character’s dialogue so that’d I’d propose to her. Here’s a screenshot:

Fallout 2 Restoration Project Wedding Proposal

During this haitus, Jessica also went back and did a bunch of art touch-ups on older pages to prepare them for the next run of print issues (the pages on this site haven't been updated yet, but they will be sometime this week). And we’ve been preparing to film a couple more live-action Satan Ninja Promo videos, because why the fuck not? Some awesome props are currently being made for those—it’s going to be rad.

So aside from wedding planning (a huge fucking headache), promo video pre-production, and assorted life stuff, our hiatus has also been prolonged due to some issues with Jessica’s PC, which I’m now going rant about for the next few paragraphs, so feel free to skip ahead if you totally don’t give a shit.

[Computer problems rant begins.]

Just as we had purchased an external hard drive to finally backup all our important files (like, for instance,  all of the Satan Ninja art assets), our current hard drive began to die. We managed to backup the data using the built-in Windows 10 backup feature, but the dying hard drive transferred data at a ridiculously slow rate, causing the whole the process to take days.

Then, once the backup was finally done, I noticed that Windows had failed to back up several files, seemingly at random. Fuck. Eventually, I realized that since the Windows file history backup adds a date to the end of the file name, it simply didn’t bother to back up files that were too long to add a date to (strangely, I couldn’t find anyone else complaining about this glaring issue online, so maybe not many people actually use the Windows 10 backup feature, or we’re weirdos who have more abnormally long file names than most people).

Since our backed up data was missing random files here and there, I had to manually go through every folder on the dying drive and compare it to the backup drive, so I could verify what had and hadn’t been backed up, and then manually copy over files that Window’s auto backup had neglected. And since the hard drive was dying it’d often take about thirty seconds to do something simple like open a folder. The whole process was tedious as fuck and excruciating, but I finally finished, and I’m currently almost done transferring all the files back to a new hard drive.

[Computer problems rant ends.]

So anyway, the comic’s not dead. We’re not dead. And we’ll be unleashing more of our mega rad comic upon the world soon. At this point, we’re just trying to get a few pages ahead so that once we begin releasing weekly pages, we’ll have a bit of a buffer, making it easier for us to stay on a steady page a week schedule. In the meantime, Jessica will be posting previews of the Issue 4 pages to her Patreon. Also, we’ve finally recorded another episode of our podcast, Radicast 198X, so we’ll be posting that later this week.

Oh yeah, and happy Memorial Day to those of you in the US.

EDIT: Whoa, so I just noticed that during this entire hiatus, the "Last Updated" text on the top-left of the homepage has said that the comic was last updated on January of 2016 (it should've said 2017). Oh man, it's kind of painful to think of how many people visiting this page over the past several months might've seen that and assumed the comic was long-dead. Shit.

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Issue 3 Page 38 - The End of Issue 3!

Ket and Darwick

Plots are converging! Things are falling into place. And that’s where we end Issue 3.

Jessica tried really hard to make sure this page wouldn’t take as long as the last few (and it didn’t), but still took longer than we’d like. We’re determined to get back on a steady page a week schedule. But first, we’ll have to take a (hopefully) brief hiatus.

So here’s our game plan during this hiatus. First, Jessica’s going to take a week off of drawing for the first time in years, which will help her from burning out. Then there’s a bunch of minor things in Issue 3 that she’s going to go back and spruce up. Then she’s going to bust out a rad cover for Issue 4, and try to get as big of a head start as we can manage before coming off the hiatus.

In the meantime, we intend to resume our weekly podcast, and Jessica will continue to stream on Twitch and of course fulfill her Patreon rewards.

By the way, the title for Issue 4 is “Rad As Hell” and it’ll totally live up to its namesake.

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Merry Christmas 2016

Merry Christmas from Satan Ninja 198X

We hope you're all having a super rad holiday time! (And if you don't get what's being referenced in the holiday image Jessica whipped up, you totally need to watch this video.)

Looking back at 2016, it was a bit of a mixed bag for us. On the plus side, we had our first interviews about SN8X, our first YouTube review, we went out to Hollywood to be guests on one of our favorite podcasts, we started a podcast of our own, I finally released my horror novel, Jessica's Patreon has passed the half-way mark toward her first goal, and of course we released a bunch of badass pages of SN8X.

On the downside, we haven't released nearly enough badass pages of SN8X this year. Especially these last few months as Jessica has been struggling with juggling various projects at once. We also didn't do a single convention appearance this year, and blog posts have been relatively infrequent due to me focusing on writing.

But 2017 is looking to be the year of the Satan Ninja. We'll be starting the fourth issue of the comic, which is where is everything in the story really falls into place. Just as Issue 1 was largely setup for Issue 2, Issue 3 has been largely setup for the events of Issue 4. Oh, man, I'm so goddam pumped for Issue 4! 2017 should also see us release new promo videos, and we'll finally debut a pseudo-secret SN8X side-project spinoff.


Adam and Jessica Debate the '80s on Maddox's Podcast

Best Debate in the Universe Maddox Satan Ninja Jessica Safron

It's a mega-honor to announce that Jessica and I flew out to LA to hang out with Maddox (whom we've both been long-time fans of) and to be featured as guests on the 28th episode of his awesome podcast, The Best Debate in the Universe. Check it out! I might be just a little biased, but I seriously think it's my favorite episode.

Also, you can check out this Twitch Stream Jessica and I did with Maddox last night (streaming some retro-style games, of course).

These past few days in LA have been superfun and it's a total bummer we now have to return to cold-ass Michigan, but we're excited to end the year by wrapping up Issue 3.

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Radicast 198X - Episode 6 - Evil Dead 2

Radicast 198X 1980s movie review podcast

We have a mega-special double-length episode of our podcast this week. Not only does it feature our first guest, the awesome Gregg Samsa, but it also features us discussing a movie that's incredibly important to me: Evil Dead 2.

Of course, we also talk a lot about the original Evil Dead and Army of Darkness. We also discuss how horror movies in general evolved over the course of the '80s, and at the end of the episode, we tell the tale of how Gregg and the "vampire killer of Paris" are largely responsible for Jessica and I meeting. I also share a few anecdotes from my days as the singer of the horror-themed rock band The EverDead, including my very intimate encounter with a gay zombie.

Some other movies we talk about in brief: The Last House on the Left [1972], I Spit On Your Grave [1978], Slither [2006], Kung Fury [2015]

Intro and outro songs by Michael Cook.

Click here to check out Gregg's music.

Due to hitting our limit on SoundCloud, we won't be hosting the podcasts there and instead we've moved Radicast over to PodBean. You can now expect Radicast 198X to be a weekly show, possibly released every Wednesday, but we'lll see. Radicast is also now on Google Play and iTunes, so it should be a lot easier for people to subscribe and listen to.

But don't worry, the comic is still our focus. Jessica had to finish up another commission before the holidays, but she's done with that now and is back to working on the next comic page.


Happy Halloween! (2016 Edition)

Every month, Jessica and I make a black and white SN8X bonus strip for Jessica's Patreon (which, by the way, is over half-way toward reaching the first goal!). You could sort of think of these bonus comics as deleted scenes. They tend to show some amusing aside that adds some extra flavor to the SN8X-verse, but isn't essential to the story (like the two peeping ninjas arguing about whether or not Alex's bedroom belongs to a boy or a girl, or Patrick Hyser's battle with the sensei of the Snake Shi).

This month is our 8th such bonus comic, and it's a flashback to a Halloween when Eddie, at the age of 14, first got up the courage to ask Veronica on a date. Showing you the whole comic wouldn't be fair to Jessica's awesome Patrons, since its a reward for their support, but we hope you enjoy this sneak peak of Eddie and Joe in their Halloween costumes.

In other news, we've recently received an award! As part of our effort to get as many people as possible aware of our comic, we upload it to several webcomic hosting sites. One of those is The Duck (previously known as Drunk Duck), and they hand out annual awards that are determined by the votes of the readers. Someone nominated us for the category of Best Superhero comic, and we ended up winning. Here's the announcement, which was done in comic form.

It's interesting, because as I said in the past, I don't really think of SN8X as a superhero comic, but I can understand how it qualifies as one.

Anyway, hope all you dudes have a mega-radical Halloween!


Issue 3 Page 29 + Update on Updates

Click the image to check out the rad new page. And below is a news update that's a little long, but important.

Since launching this site over two years ago, our goal has been to release a new page of the comic every week, on Saturdays. At first, we had a bit of a buffer (pages already done in advance), but that buffer gradually disappeared over the course of the first year or so. Since then, we've been putting out the pages as Jessica finishes them. Sometimes we hit the Saturday deadline, but other times it comes out on Sunday, or even into the following week.

Our fans have been great about it. No one has ever complained. At least not to us. But in spite of that, it's severely stressful for us every single time a deadline is missed. In fact, I doubt anyone is as disappointed by a late page as we are. We hate the thought of letting people down. Of letting ourselves down. Of taking even longer to share our radical '80s-themed story with the world.

And then once a deadline is missed, we're faced with another problem. Say Jessica gets the page done on the following Tuesday. Do we post it then, or do we hold off until the following Saturday? If we post the page on Tuesday, that'll pretty much guarantee that the next page won't be finished on time for a Saturday release and we'll find ourselves stressing over yet another Saturday passing by without a new page. And there's also the simple matter that some pages take longer than others. Some might take four days for Jessica to complete, while in rare cases it might take two weeks.

We've found that when stress is added to the mix, it seems to slow her down. It also seems that the longer a page takes her to create, the slower she progresses on it (it's a rather strange and sucky phenomenon, but one that's familiar to many artists and creators). Jessica frequently pulls all-nighters in an attempt to get the pages done ASAP. She's canceled plans with friends and family. She sometimes works day and night, only taking breaks to eat and sleep. And the stress has started to take a toll on her health.

She's been resistant to talking about this stuff publically. She doesn't want to come off as a whiner, or a downer, or like she's seeking pity. But I think we owe it to our fans to explain why we've been struggling to release new pages on a steady schedule. I'd hate for anyone to think we just don't care, because that couldn't be further from the truth. This comic is a total labor of love, and I think that shows in our creation. However, I worry that continuing on as we have, stressing to meet that Saturday deadline, will build resentment and the comic will suffer for it.

So for the time being, we've decided to revise our update schedule to "New page posted weekly. Usually."

Jessica will continue to strive to get a page done every week, and we'll post them once they're ready, regardless of what day it is. And as soon as a new page goes live, we'll send out email notifications to those who've signed up for our mailing list.

We hope that having a less stressful update schedule (allowing Jessica to get more steady sleep and spend less time in Bummerville) will eventually result in her being more productive than she was before. And of course you dudes can help out by supporting Jessica's Patreon. The more she makes through that site, the fewer commissions she'll have to take, so more of her drawing time can be spent on SN8X. We've revised the Patreon rewards, so if you haven't checked it out it in a while, you should totally give it another look.

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