El Thorvaldo Moderator

Hack of Ages [Teaser Comic]
Hack of Ages [Teaser Comic] by @Thorvald (El Thorvaldo)

Teaser poster for my 52nd submission to DYOS XI: [link]
Special Musical Guest: FIAB

Also known (to me) as the Page that Broke dA, six years on it really is a CFC exclusive: at 37,498 pixels long it is my largest comic to date—so large, in fact, that it's too big to upload here, so click the link to see it in full. It was the last image I hosted on ImageShack before its effective suicide, as I was pulling every trick I could to break it into the minimum of pieces while retaining maximum quality.

From the introduction of Hacker Prime to taillesskangaru's final comic, the Xen arc spanned sixteen months and three separate contributors. I took a lot of flak for how late this was, and now I can't even remember what held it up so badly—while the scene is important to the larger narrative, compared to the pages before and after, it took the most space for the least words, and most of that ended up a mad GIS scramble to pad out the montage. But, sunk costs and et cetera, if the audience had to wait that long I knew I couldn't afford to waste their time. I also knew I couldn't not play into the hype, posting this teaser in the Consulate after I'd finished the sketched work.

I knew I wanted to make at least one important contribution to the Hacker plot; I can't remember exactly how this came about, except that by this page I knew I was making it a montage. As the story developed and Hacker Prime became a secret objective, saving Sydney became a symbolic bookmark, as what was probably Pul Wat Aa's most devastating attack ended up exposing his Achilles' heel. It's also an amusing inversion of the typical Heroic Antics: Deaconescu's operation is a team effort, devoid of flair, and goes largely unrecognized... and yet it saved CG in the nick of time.

This comic won me two bets:@GenMarshall wagered I wouldn't get it up before Black Mesa aired—I cleared it with mere hours to spare. IOT Chat also had a semi-live feed of its progress, as I'd made a self-bet that if I could meet that deadline I'd become a permanent member of what was then the Chatango channel.

Gmod scenes are a mix of my own work and shots provided by @GenMarshall. The sketches feature an unhealthy number of character cameos from my past projects, some of whom have been mentioned in passing and may or may not appear properly in future DYOS pages. Other sources include:

CivGeneral and Hanna Antilles © @GenMarshall;
e350tb © himself;
CFCMAN © Huayna Capac357 @ CivFanatics;
Pul Wat Aa © pretty much the entirety of DYOS;
all commercial content © its respective holders;
all other sketched characters except the stickman © me.

[Originally submitted to DeviantArt June 2018.]

Comments & Critiques (2)

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Posted: Friday, 03 February, 2023 @ 02:09 AM
Rating: 5

Man, just scrolling the page is causing my laptop to lag a bit! I can't say I'm surprised the whole thing broke dA, this thing is huge!

Posted: Friday, 03 February, 2023 @ 04:24 PM

@fragmented_imagination: Full file is 29.3MB saved as PNG, and JPEG only gets it down to ~18. If it's worth doing, it's worth overdoing. ||||||:^{3>

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