Heart of Millyera - Page 16

Heart of Millyera – Page 16


Jess CateBy Jess Cate24 August 2016

Uh ohhhh…

No spoilers for you!

As a web designer by trade and web comic reader for half my life, the traditional web comic layout has always not been quite enough for me. On the one hand, I’m someone who HATES spoilers, and ideally new readers would be directed to the first page before seeing the latest but on the other I appreciate that the majority of traffic to a webcomic are return visitors, and forcing a reader through extra clicks to see the latest page is annoying.

So with some assistance from a workmate I’ve come up with a possible solution to this conundrum! On the weekend I made some updates to the website and now the homepage will hide the latest page from which you can reveal with the click of a button. If you’re caught up with the story you have the option of hiding the ‘Spoilerguard’. This option relies on cookies so if you jump onto another computer or clear your browser cookies you’ll it’ll come back.

Personally I haven’t seen anything like this on any of the web comics that I’ve read, so I’d really love to hear how it goes for you. Do you think it’s a good solution for catering to both new and returning reader? How is your experience with it? Please I must know! ????

Hawt Kickstarter action

I’ve already mentioned this on my twitter, but one of my favourite comics The Meek is currently running a Kickstarter for Volume 1. The Meek is an absolutely gorgeously illustrated and incredibly well written comic. As a epic fantasy novel nerd, this comic absolutely scratches all the itches I have that comics rarely get at. The depth of the world and character building is astonishing!

Der-Shing Helmer is one of my biggest inspirations and if you like Heart of Millyera then you should definitely check The Meek out and consider Kicking volume 1. It’s already funded so you’ve got nothing to lose!


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Heart of Millyera - Page 15

Heart of Millyera – Page 15


Jess CateBy Jess Cate27 July 2016

Hello from the past! Our page backlog is building up which is great because by the time you’re reading this I will have escaped the miserable wet and cold weather here in Adelaide and will be by a pool in some lovely 30’C weather, I’m so excited. Hopefully all the automatic posting will go smoothly, this will be the first time I’ve done it. I’ll be checking in. In theory there shouldn’t be any disruption to our scheduled broadcasts, go technology go!

If you have any comments please do leave them below or on your social media of choice. Like I said I’ll be checking in and Jess is still around. We love hearing from you.

– Jana


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Heart of Millyera - Page 14

Heart of Millyera – Page 14


Jess CateBy Jess Cate1 July 2016

When developing the mythology of Heart of Millyera, I drew inspiration from some of the more unusual stories and events in Australian History. There have been various discoveries of underwater “ghost towns” from around the world, however I based Millyera’s aquatic world was the true tale of Adaminaby.

Adaminaby was established during the Kiandra Gold rush in 1861. The Australian government of the time offered a monetary incentive to encourage settlement in the area, which was nestled in the complex landscape of the Great Dividing Range, and would have been hell to journey to by horse and carriage. Nonetheless, by the early 1900’s the newly settled town had a police station, a court house, a theatre and a church.

Almost ninety years later, the government announced the new Snowy Mountains Hydro-Electric Scheme; A plan to construct a hydroelectricity dam was part of one of the largest infrastructure development plans in Australia. The dam would require that the mining town of Adaminaby be flooded to make way for Lake Eucumbene.

The plan to flood the township required thorough forethought and planning. New Adaminaby was to be built 7km away. The town was painstakingly re-located, with some buildings being demolished re-built at the new location. In July 2007, Lake Eucumbene dropped to its lowest water levels on record, which resulted in the reemergence of the almost 150-year-old town.

Although the uncovering of Old Adaminaby revealed nothing more than the original foundations and remanence of the early buildings, the story captivated my imagination. The town which Ida, Gil and Celeste visit was flooded mysteriously, and only around forty years after the settlers had finished building their post office, school, police station and church.

Unlike the town of Adaminaby, the story is that there was no forewarning of the flooding. The resulting lake was named Lake Millyera.


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Heart of Millyera - Page 13

Heart of Millyera – Page 13


Jess CateBy Jess Cate25 May 2016

More concerns are voiced and theories explored…

A quick post tonight as I’ve been pretty busy with homework but I see light at the end of the tunnel! I have one more week of my course and my other freelance jobs is wrapping up and so all my free time outside of work will be mine to control again!

I still plan to do a lot more self directed study, but I’ll have a lot more time to dedicate towards Heart of Millyera now. I’m pretty keen to give Noah Bradley’s Art Camp a go since I can go at my own pace. First priority though will be to get up a page backlog and increase how often we’re posting pages.

– Jana


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Heart of Millyera - Page 12

Heart of Millyera – Page 12


Jess CateBy Jess Cate28 March 2016

A girl down there? Oh my indeed!

It’s been six months now since we launched Heart of Millyera online and boy has it been a learning experience. I have loved it but working on it around full time work to the quality I want has been hard. I’ve not had much of a social life and I’ve basically stopped watching movies, barely watching any TV or reading comics. I’ve also just started a 12 week digital painting class and I have plans to do more study if possible. So I’m excited to announce that after looking hard at my budgets I’ll be moving to 4 days a week to spend more time illustrating! I can not describe how excited I am about this.

Unfortunately though it will be a couple of months until that happens and a lot of commitments are demanding my attention now. So consequently there is going to be a extra break before the next page to give me the chance to take a breath and catch up with things. Page 13 will go up on the 25th of May.

I’ll try and post extra bits and sneak peeks to social medias, so if you haven’t already make sure you follow us on FacebookTwitter and Tumblr. I’m really sorry to break with the schedule but I’m very excited about the future and feel confident that we’ll be able to move to a more frequent update schedule later in the year when we build up a bit of a buffer.

Thanks so much for reading guys, it means a lot to Jess and I. 🙂

– Jana


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Heart of Millyera - Page 11

Heart of Millyera – Page 11


Jess CateBy Jess Cate24 February 2016

The deep is full of surprises!

I recently stumbled across another newish webcomic called The Substitutes. Wow is it gorgeous! The colours and the amazing world building and detail that has gone into the development of the comic so far is awesome. A bi-weekly Tuesday comic for ages 14+, The Substitutes is a fantasy webcomic about what happens when new roommates Freddie, Emilio, and Bianca acquire the magical weapons and responsibilities meant for someone else. The story so far is very polished and super cute and I’m pretty sure if you’re into Heart of Millyera, then you’ll love this too. 🙂


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Heart of Millyera - Page 10

Heart of Millyera – Page 10


Jess CateBy Jess Cate27 January 2016

I have always loved the ocean, and aquatic life. I find underwater creatures are the strangest, and most fascinating of all creatures in the animal kingdom. Maybe I saw Disney’s The Little Mermaid a few too many times as a child, but I would love nothing more than to live “under the sea.”

I love thinking about how the furthest depths of the ocean remain unexplored, and every now and then, scientists will delve deep enough into the blackness and find some truly remarkable creature, like the terrifying Anglerfish, and it is almost like seeing footage, or images of an alien.

To the Victorians, the bottom of the ocean, or the depths of a lake would have seemed as unfathomable as outer space. How would you begin to explore a place with so many unknowns, and which is, by design, unable to support human life? Luckily explorers do not take “no” for an answer.

Ida, Gil and Celeste are scientists, innovators, and true explorers. So the notion of diving down to the bottom of a deep lake is a challenge they would naturally undertake. What lies at the bottom of the lake is the remanence of a pioneering town, which was inexplicably flooded a log time ago. Ida hopes to find some interesting antique, or relic. Gil is looking forward to testing out a diving suit of his own invention. The two explorers set off, into the inhospitable darkness. What will they find?


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Heart of Millyera - Page 9

Heart of Millyera – Page 9


Jess CateBy Jess Cate27 December 2015

Underwater our intrepid students go…

Jess and I hope you’re all enjoying a good festive season! The lead up to Christmas has been crazy manic for me, hence the page going up MUCH later than I would have liked. I now have a bit of time off though so I the plan is to build up a nice art buffer to make sure that the pages update on a much more regular basis. It can be a bit of a challenge to get a good momentum going around full time work so I’m looking forward to opportunity to really sink my teeth into the art for a decent period of time.

We hope you have a wonderful New Years, see you all in 2016!

– Jana


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Heart of Millyera - Page 8

Heart of Millyera – Page 8


Jess CateBy Jess Cate14 November 2015

Samantha Ellis wrote an excellent book called How to Be a Heroine: Or, What I’ve Learned from Reading Too Much, and in it she talks about how her experience growing up reading books with female lead characters shaped, and reshaped her idea of self, and the ideal of femininity that she aspired to as a child. I picked up Ellis’ book from the library, drawn in by the title. I grew up reading the same books as she, such as Charlottes Web, and Anne of Green Gables. I have spent the last week really considering all the female characters I am seeing on television shows, and in comics I am reading, now and how they would have inspired, or failed to inspire me as a young person. I have concluded that it is more likely the latter in most circumstances.

The one thing that has been at the forefront of my mind when developing the characters in Heart of Millyera, was that I wanted my heroines to inspire, to be complex, and to be multifaceted. This weeks page introduces Celeste, a sweet, and sensitive botanist. Celeste is a very different personality to Ida, who is more driven, ambitious, and adventurous than her friend. I hope that, as the story of Millyera unfolds, that both these women will stand out as inspiring heroines in their own ways.


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Heart of Millyera - Page 7

Heart of Millyera – Page 7


Jess CateBy Jess Cate6 October 2015

And so it goes up with minutes to spare! Life really kicked me in the health and time shins immediately after we launched the comic with a variety of fun (Trip to New Zealand!) and not so fun (Back injury!) events that made it hard to make as much progress as I wanted.

This page really kicked me in the butt too, I’m pretty new to detailed backgrounds and landscapes and I threw the colours out and started them again half way through because they were so dull and lifeless. Although I think it could still be better I’m ultimately glad I did. 🙂

Tune in next month to find out more about this mysterious watery location!

– Jana


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