Once upon a time I was a kid and wrote a short story about a postapocalyptic world where icebergs bring strange ancient things to the shores where people live... It was six pages long and had only four characters. Now it's 1000(planned) pages monstrosity known as "Gifts of wandering ice".
Mute tribe in GWI is based on real life Neanderthals. Modern humans have up to 4% on Neanderthal DNA, which means our ancestors did mate with them, but none of this DNA is mitochondrial (the type that you can only receive from your mother), so it's either it was impossible for a Neanderthal woman to have a child with a Cro-mangon man or these hybrids were infertile.
Super empaths (people who mirror the others' feelings so strongly they feel the pain of others as their own, literally) are real and are as rare as psychopaths: less than 2% of the population.
Dinosaurs in this comic are actually "chickenosaurs": birds with artificially reactivated ancestral traits (like teeth or clawed upper limbs). This, theoretically, can be done in reality, so we may yet see some chickenosaus in our lifetime.
Hexagonal basalt columns in GWI are based on volcanic honeycomb-like formations you can see in the real world across the globe, the most famous of them being Giant's causeway and Svartifoss.
In the original story GWI is (loosely) based upon Rikter wasn't a kind a cheerful kid we know. He was more like Jan. And Nikt didn't exist at all.
In the original story GWI is (loosely) based upon Elie didn't have any special abilities and was just a local girl, illiterate and curious about the ice gifts.
GWI has the same atmosphere as the old Soviet scifi novels I read in my youth had. And it's black and white like oldschool scifi movies too.
GWI is a black and white comic, but I color the pages occasionally, mostly the ones my Patrons choose. If you support me by becoming my Patron of buying me a Ko-fi you can choose one too.
I make GWI sketches and contours in PainToolSai, add basic colors and gradients in FireAlpaca, do shading and add details in SAI again, and then add effects, text, and bubbles in Photoshop CS3. I usually make pages in packs (3-4 at once).
Makeshift cableways and ziplines similar to those in the comic (with hooks, wheels, ropes, and brakes) are used in many rural areas of the world, often by kids, to get to school. Surprisingly, it's quite safe.
GWI character that resembles real life me the most is Hope. She's short, has a messy haircut and a mole on the cheek. She also looks like a boy much younger than she actually is and gave birth to her child at the same age I did (24).
Spiral jetties at the lake where Rita and Tim set up their tent are actually simple fish (and crayfish) traps. They have a real life artistic prototype, though: Spiral jetty sculpture by Robert Smithson, in Utah.
Rikter's tattoo didn't always look like three big red stripes on the right cheek. It started as a tiny dot when he was a baby and was expanded years later. Paint, when put under the skin, is toxic, after all.You don't want to put a little child to unnecessary risk by applying too much of it too soon.
"Apothecary well" mentioned in GWI has a real life prototype: Moray terraces in Peru. This site was probably used with the same purpose: growing up very different plants in one small place.
In GWI, cave dwellers' native language is Russian, and hunters' is English, but most people in both tribes are bilingual (just like cosmonauts and astronauts on ISS).
No donation is too small. Where I live 1$ can buy me a tasty protein rich lunch or two bus tickets.
"Gifts of wandering ice" is a member of Spiderforest collective. It's a friendly community where comic creators help each other (that includes sharing readers, providing hosting, helping with web design, collaborating on various projects, and other stuff). If you have your own comic you can join too.
According to my counter's statistics, average time readers spend on a page while reading the comic for the first time is 20 seconds. So, yep, there are lots of pages and GWI seems huge, but don't worry, you can actually binge read it all in less than three hours.
Cats are very effective predators. Their hunting success rates vary from 25 to 60% between species (for domestic cat it's 32%). Wolves have 14%, and bears have 10%. Also, cats kill for fun, even when they're not hungry. And we love them anyway.
Comments are important. Very. Most comic artists are lonely people and get sad when they don't see any feedback from their readers.
There are two types of empathy: emotional and cognitive. The first type is natural (you are born with it or without it) and is based on the activity of mirror neurons. The second one can be learned by studying human behaviour and practicing imagining yourself in another person's place.
You cannot be autistic and a sociopath/psychopath at the same time. These conditions require totally different brain types (not enough synaptic pruning in autistic brain and too much in sociopath's).
The are no religions in the world of "Gifts of wandering ice", no spiritism either. What hunter shamans practice is so called "placebo magic".
Icebergs come in lots of colors. Not only white, but all shades of blue and green. Red and black ones are rare but not unknown either. The patterns and shapes also vary a lot. Striped icebergs - yes please. Shaped like castles - sure. Wavy - yep, those exist as well.
See a typo or a badly translated phrase? Tell me about it and I'll fix it as soon as I can.
Real life hexagonal basalt formations can be quite lofty, just like the mountains in GWI. Devil's tower (in Wyoming), for example, is 265m (867 feet) tall.
I have "Dreams" series on Patreon (open for patrons pledging 2$/month or more) where I draw stuff that cannot happen or can but won't be mentioned in the comic. Like Jan being a good brother and not a tattooed exile. Or Lara and Ren as little kids. Or Nolan with lots of cats around. Or little Hope helping her mother with cyberarm repairs, etc.
Ancient diseases returning because of melting permafrost is a real life thing already happening in our world. And since we're entering the global warming era, it's damn scary.
If you're interested in more webcomics about memory transfer I suggest checking out "Cato's apprenticeship". It's about a boy with a brain implant.
If you're interested in learning more about Ash and his life before he met Elie I have a story on Patreon (open for all patrons) titled "Tsunami kid".
Remember the ammonite shelf in Tim's room? Yep, some ancient ammonoides were that large. I bet they wouldn't mind eating a human if we lived at the same time.
Hunter shamans are not just firedancers and ceremony masters. Their main task is maitaining their tribe's physical and mental health. So a shaman is actually a healer and therapist rolled in one. And while their healing skills are inferior to, say, a cave dweller surgeon, their "placebo magic" based therapy provides better results than any cave dweller psychologist can promise.
Mute tribe uses sign language and wordless singing to communicate. They cannot pronounce articulate sounds, but understand the islanders' speech. The islanders can learn to understand their wordless singing but are unable to use it themselves because their vocal cords are different. Both human species can equally use sign language, though. And "magic rope" figures (like the ones Ren uses) are a part of it.
Hunters don't write books but they do draw a lot. Drawing a realistic landscape or a portrait is no problem even for their kids. Cave dwellers, who rely heavily on written language, rarely go beyond drawing simplistic stick figures.
"Gifts of wandering ice" has a page on TVtropes and you can edit it.
Samovar is a Russian device for making tea. I love them. My mother has one. It's not very old (older than me, though) and uses electricity instead of wood to boil water, but it's still cool!
Originally, I'm a writer. I decided to learn to draw at the age of 22, because I wanted my novels to have nice covers and was too broke to pay an artist.
Common Russian name for a tomcat is Vaska and for a female cat is Murka (mur = purr).
"Gifts of wandering ice" has a Discord channel. You can chat with me and the other readers there.
"I love nightmares. There I'm always the most dangerous monster". Jan
"Nightmares are fun and so much better than life". Jan
"The world is so real it hurts". Elie
How dreamcatchers "work": good dreams are getting caught in the web and slide down to the sleeper along the feathers, bad dreams just go through the hole in the center of the web.
Evacuation capsules similar to those used in the comic exist in real life. I heard that in Japan you can easily buy one in a supermarket.
Floating cities, like many other things in the comic, were made in Zbrush. It took about 30 min after work and saved me hours of drawing.
I'm a cat person. I have two cats at home. The boy's name is Trikster and the girl is Omegana (my nerdy husband named her after Omegon from Warhammer 40000, I have no idea why :D )
I work as a 3D artist in a local animation studio. The same studio that was making my favourite comics when I was a kid.