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Welcome to Song of the Motherland.

War, peace, daily life, culture, and the struggles that all people face. An anthology that explores humanity without the distraction of humans. Updates Friday @ 7am CST. Drama/alien history/sci-fi. Contains occasional violence and language.

Concept Art 2 - more armor

Did some more ideas. looking again at a lot of real life designs, these have elements influenced by a variety of asian and middle-eastern pieces from cultues like the Mughals. It’s difficult to come up with original designs that are practical, because most of the practical designs people came up with in the past were already made. Generally if you can think of a ‘unique’ design there is often a reason it wasn’t used historically. A major issue with a lot of fantasy armors is they are often impractical on or off the battlefield, sometimes both. Designing a bulky suit of armor to provide ultimate protection might work for its intended purpose but would be extremely heavy, hindering its user in combat. Not to mention something oft forgotten – you end up wearing a suit of armor out of battle much more than in battle. I doubt anyone would want to wear an extra 60-100lbs (or theoretically more in the case of many fantasy designs) any more than they had to especially when marching on foot, sitting down for dinner, etc. People in real life sure didn’t.

People tended to wear what they could get away with and what they could afford. Armor was expensive and difficult to manufacture, especially large plates of metal. European knights were often wealthy and could afford plate armor, the lower status footsoldiers and such as far as I know generally wore cheaper materials. Mail and lamellar was cheaper and easier to make than plate armor or more people would have used it. I’ve heard that some cannibalized common tools like scythes into helmets and such in emergencies which wouldn’t surprise me. Thick fabric is also much better at protection than many people think. If something was useless in real life it quickly died out, but even a crummy helmet is better than none at all.

Feudalistic societies don’t really exist in the current Motherland setting and the economics of resin production and crafting is different than that of metal (easier to create large sheets), but the general principle of cost and practicality is still very applicable. People are still people even in alien lizard land.[img]

posted by calmcnichols @ August 13th, 2019, 3:38 am   0 comments

Concept Art 1 - Armor

I had a topic on the forum covering concept art stuff but I feel it may be been mildly against the rules on self-advertising on the creative forum. I'll just post the same content here even if it may get less exposure.

(click to view larger)

some armor design concepts. on the whole metal is rarely used in Motherland due to a variety of factors, but the majority of regions have access to substitute materials. these alien 'resin' compounds are mass-produced from several species of wildlife and have no true real world analogue, though most have properties somewhere in the realm of rubber, chitin, ceramic, and polymer. among a myriad of other uses, they are used to make armor and weapons. it's a big goal of mine to have some crazy setting weirdness and still try to make designs that make sense. I'm heavily basing armor and weapon designs off of real life ones since they actually work instead of hypothetically work.

pretty much all of the armor shown here would be 'elite' models that would be very expensive to create and own. common soldiers and guards would make do with much less. chainmail doesn't really exist per se due to the tensile properties of resin, the city guards in ch 1 were using scaled or spined hauberks which is much cheaper than plate armor but still fairly effective. many of the (wealthier) renes shown were using plate armor which was inspired by the designs of real life armenian cataphracts, the manicas in particular. i just think they look cool.

posted by calmcnichols @ August 11th, 2019, 2:01 am   1 comments

new cover

I'm not entirely sure which one I like better between this one and the old one. the new one is also the one I'm using on issue 1 of the one I'm going to put on amazon soon and I am pretty happy with it. the old one I think was fine but it was basically just using a piece of art i had lying around and I'm not sure if it was the best.

let me know which one you guys like better if you have a preference. i'm fine switching back if people overwhelmingly like the old one. here they are for comparison:

posted by calmcnichols @ July 30th, 2019, 10:21 pm   1 comments


Added a link to the map on the menu above the comic. check it out if you think it sounds interesting. it will be updated occasionally to add more cities and such.

posted by calmcnichols @ June 9th, 2019, 7:43 pm   0 comments

The best defense

New lore up.

posted by calmcnichols @ June 8th, 2019, 10:54 pm   0 comments


I spend way too much time doing background stuff for the comic and probably enjoy it more than any other element. I've written some short stories/articles detailing the lore that I've already linked above the comic. But I've now decided to also post a page or two of the same content after the end of every chapter. Should help the casual reader and when I self-publish.

The end of chapter 1 received a few lore pages. check them out if you think it sounds neat to you. :) chapter 2 will get the same after it is completed but you can also just click the link above the comic to get the same content.


posted by calmcnichols @ June 6th, 2019, 5:35 pm   0 comments

New page up on Friday 3/19

Shooting for a weekly upload schedule. I'll start doing it on fridays and we'll see how it goes. I can always change the day if I need to.

Thanks for all who have read it so far! Hope you enjoyed it. Chapter 2 is up next!

posted by calmcnichols @ April 15th, 2019, 3:22 pm   0 comments

Welcome aboard!

Hey all. Welcome to Song of the Motherland.
I've been working on the concept of this comic in some form or another for years (since high school), and having recently graduated college now is as good a time as any to start. Chapter one was finished not long ago and I am actively working on the second chapter.

Just as important to me as the comic itself is the worldbuilding of the universe in which it's set. I love history, scifi, and creating characters like almost nothing else and and glad for the chance I get here to blend all the elements into something I really enjoy, and hope you do as well.

Take care.
Cal McNichols

posted by calmcnichols @ April 14th, 2019, 12:24 am   0 comments

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