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Milk for The Ugly

Tue Jul 22, 2014, 8:07 PM

The Latest Thing of Beauty

Imagine that you are a young social worker, dedicated to finding out the hidden and forgotten old souls who haunt the cold, mean streets of the city. You seek to report on their living conditions, possibly recommending they be removed from their roach-infested “homes.”

So it is that you have come to find yourself sitting at the kitchen table of a cadaverous old shut-in you’ve been assigned to visit. The kitchen is spotlessly pristine while the adjoining darkened living room reeks of rotting garbage.

The sun is setting. You rise to leave. You step over a cardboard barrier separating kitchen from living room, seeking the front door. But it is too late. They have risen. The old woman’s many “children” are awake... and they are hungry.

Let us pause here... this preview of the new Madefire Motion Book experience, Milk for The Ugly, to tell you about the two longtime deviant artists who have created this remarkable achievement in storytelling.

In any case, no prose preview could begin to do justice to the Madefire experience of shifting illustrations in a fully soundtracked narrative. Milk for The Ugly truly has to be experienced to be really appreciated.

Anna & Kate

Rarely do artists of the deviantART community exemplify the skill, creativity, spirit and sheer arts career tenacity of Anna & Kate, the deviants we profile here, who have become, singularly and when working as a team, favorites and real role models within our community.

Anna Podedworna (akreon) & Kate Redesiuk (vesner) were born and raised in similar households in Poland by similarly “overachieving” parents who wanted only the best lives for their daughters, both girls being told, “You can choose whatever you want to be in the future, as long as it is a doctor, a lawyer or an architect.” Anna, being torn between natural science and the fine arts, chose a compromise in pursuing architecture. Kate was “persuaded” to choose architecture by her parents, who just happened to work in construction. Anna & Kate met over doodlings of mutant zombie bunnies at the university. Drawn together by their similarly off-kilter tastes in illustration, they eventually became roommates hooked on digital art, working on projects together.

During their time at the university they learned from one another and their roles started to slowly reverse. Ann grew to like the technical part of architecture, and Kate got more and more into art.

Anna works as a freelance artists while finishing her masters degree. As a freelancer she has worked on illustrations, comics and recently gotten into the world of fashion by working for Ewa Minge and creating a few designs series for her new brand Eva Minge Milano. Once she gets her master degree she wants to get back into architecture and continue pursuing her career as an architect.

Kate dropped out from the university just before becoming an engineer, after realizing she was living someone else’s dream. She decided to become a professional artist. At first she worked as a freelance illustrator for advertising companies but has now made her way into the game development industry and works full-time as a concept artist at CD Projekt RED.

Anna & Kate are known by their deviant followers to sometimes to embody and inhabit their peculiar alter egos, “Pugbun,” a bunny-eared pug dog and “Tailcat,” a cat with a second head on the end of her tail.

Battles over unwashed dishes and strewn crayons have led to war between the two characters. Pugbun of Pugbunistan usually upholds the Anna banner, with TailCat of Tailcatica being a spokescat for Kate’s positions.


But it is Off-White, the ongoing adventure tale of a wolf clan on a mythic journey that has become a phenomenon for Anna & Kate as their premier collaboration. This project began as an experiment, a 5-page one-shot, but generated such a warm reception from the community that more pages were created and soon the tale snowballed into it’s current six chapters. The success of the story has spun off its own group on deviantART and a product line of Off-White artwork and collectibles. What Anna & Kate have achieved here is truly an ongoing fulfillment of the deviantART community spirit put into action.

Not satisfied to rest on their laurels, Anna & Kate have now raised the bar of comic storytelling by utilizing the cutting edge comics sound and motion technology of Madefire, in which illustrated panels come alive at the tap of your device’s monitor screen.

This time out, as befits the subtle movements of light and shadow enabled by Madefire, Milk for The Ugly is more twisted to the playfully macabre tastes of creators, presenting what can be enjoyed as if it were a lost episode of The Twilight Zone. But upon deeper reflection, their little story would appear to be commenting upon modern times at several different levels. In this inside-out classic children’s cautionary tale, the terror in the “woods” has been transplanted to the environs of an urban apartment building. The old crone’s face has been drawn to hint she might be Death him/her/its self, regenerating discarded half-eaten edibles into human-eating little monsters—making for a horrifying “cycle” of environmentally rational endless re-use.

Or possibly the darling little girl’s rejection of the street hag at the tale’s beginning is simply meant to raise the question of who are the true “uglies” of society? It’s the sort of “instant classic” must-have story that will be returned to again and again by readers. Best of all, the creativity and stylistic artistry (especially in their characters’ facial expressions) achieved in Anna & Kate’s book makes Milk for The Ugly is one of the most beautiful Motion Books you’ll ever experience. It will no doubt be regarded as one of the seminal issues of the "new comics."

Interviews with Anna & Kate

1.As master storytellers and world builders with a wonderful and attentive fan base on deviantART; What excites you most about how Milk for The Ugly looks and feels in terms of storytelling for an audience?

Art style in comics is a great tool of conveying mood and atmosphere of the story. We were very excited to try out a different style that isn't really signature for any of us. It's creepy and grungy, but also cartoony and expressive. It's a nice contrasts that hopefully makes the story feel even darker and more eerie.

2.Can you share what you feel are the most important aspects of telling ongoing episodic stories? Specifically as it relates to cultivating a fan base?

Since internet communities became a thing there have been tons of works written about cultivating fanbases. It takes a lot of time and effort but the theory is rather simple and can be narrowed down to a few most important points.

To be successful be sure to update your story regularly, so fans have something to look forward to every one or two weeks. Stubbornness is the key here, especially with webcomics—it's hard to have a fan base with just one or two pages. The more and the better story you deliver, the more people are going to get hooked up.

Be respectful to your readers and interact with them as often as possible. Answer questions, have fun in the comments, share your thoughts, organize small contests or giveaways.

Try keeping a relatively consistent style of art and writing. It doesn't mean that all parts of the story have to have the same mood and/or art style but it's best to pick 1-3 genres and stick to them.

Or just be like us—scrap the theory, do none of the above, and hope for the best.

3.What are the essential elements of building a complex escalating story world? Order of importance of these elements?

Have a top-down approach. When imagining your world, set a few basic rules for it and start from there.

These rules can be anything from "all animals can speak with humans", through "rain raises instead of falling down" to "ghosts are real and everyone knows that."

Build your story around it and keep questioning everything.”

Make sure your story makes sense within your universe. Think what would happen if your rules were the same but the story different. Always come up with more than you want to tell. The world you build is as important as your story, and can greatly enhance it. The rules we set in our stories are usually bits taken from different mythologies from around the world. We don't like to hold to them too tightly though and usually try to twist and turn them in a way that makes the stories fresh and interesting.

4.How does your process work as far as art creation and the actual writing of the story and dialogue?

Story, art, dialogues. We love telling each other stories while drinking tea. We tell each other's ideas and come up with new ones on the fly. Having someone who listens to your stories is very important. There are always plot holes and mistakes that need to be patched up or reworked, so critique is always important. If you don't have a partner to work with in a team, tell stories to your friends, family or people on the internet. After the story is ready, we sit down and come up with art sequences that could illustrate it. Rough thumbnails showing what's most important to show in a given panel are enough to plan everything out.

At this point we still don't have any specific dialogues, but rather a few important words that need to be spoken or emotions that need to be conveyed.

Only after the art for the comic is done, we once again sit down and try to figure out what would each character say in a given situation.”

Would they have the time for a few sentences or would they be too shocked to say anything at all? Would they use complicated words or simple ones? In some cases dialogues aren't even needed and the story tells itself by images alone.

Milk For The Ugly Character Creation In SketchBook Pro

Kate Redesiuk shows us how to create a character for Milk for The Ugly using SketchBook Pro.

5.Do you see Motion Books online as the inevitable next level of our increasingly mobile society?

It depends. Motion Books are a relatively new medium that still needs to be fully explored. On one hand they add a new value to the traditional comics, but on the other they require much more work. They have the potential for interactive storytelling, but could also go completely opposite direction and get closer to animation. It's all up to creators, and the more motion comics we get, the greater the chance for them to grow into something unique and irreplaceable.

6.As visual artists telling a story, what is the most valuable storytelling innovation enabled by the Madefire process?

Subtle movement! A gentle nod of the head, a flinch of the body, a twitch of an eye. In traditional comics it's incredibly hard to illustrate something that ephemeral without big close-ups or repetition. The motion tool makes it very easy and intuitive.

7.Fans are most familiar with your work as a team on your wolf clan adventure epic, Off-White. But does the darkly humored Milk for The Ugly better reflect your comic sensibilities?

We're very happy that we had the chance to work on something so different to our ongoing comic, but we honestly feel quite free in all sorts of different styles and stories. Off-White is a collaboration that is quite different from both our individual works and personal comic tastes. Milk for the Ugly brought together our joined love for dark and twisted stories, but on the other hand required a more work in finding a middle ground in terms of our art styles. Who knows what the next Madefire Motion Book collaboration between us will result in!

8.Will Off-White continue for as long as fans ask for it, or until you decide your own logical end for it?

Off-White is planned from start all way to its definite end. Our fans will know for sure which page is the very last one in the series.

9.How are Pugbun & Tailcat getting along? Or is that stalemate situation best left uncommented on?

Anna Kate'sArtists You Better Be Watching

Pascal Campion


“Pascal's works may seem simple at first glance but that seeming simplicity is what makes me love his art so much. Thanks to his minimalistic approach the amazing array of emotions he puts into each painting shines trough even more brilliantly. Every of his paintings tells more story than many movies or books can only dream of.”


Yoann Lossel


“All of Yoann's works are heavy in atmosphere. His unique technique of mixing graphite and gold is simply an epitome of class.”


Stephanie Pui-Mun Law


“My favorite contemporary watercolorists hands down. Her paintings are rich in detail, colors and texture. I especially love when she approaches mythological themes in her artwork. She has this wonderful gift to make the stories she illustrates seem satisfactorily familiar and at the same time amazingly fresh.”




“I'm always impressed with how Levente Peterffy can archive realism with the simplest of brush strokes. In every one of his painting you can find a very creative texturing, strong composition and moody lighting.”


Noah Bradley


“Noah Bradley is not only an incredible artist but also an amazing teacher. The advice he shares on his blog helped me grow as an artist and allowed me to become a successful freelancer.”


Hannah Christenson


“Hannah Christenson is by far one of my favorite illustrators. Thanks to the finesse of lines and incredibly tasteful details, her art is always full of life and emotion”


Serge Birault


“My daily dose of beautiful women and tentacles. Serge's art never ceases to amaze me with how clean and fresh it looks without losing its realism. I'm in love with his unique stylization and lighthearted approach to all of his works.”


Michal Ivan


“Michal is a master of color and composition. He tames and controls chaos, creating incredibly detailed and yet perfectly clear compositions that flawlessly lead the viewer's eyes.”


A revolution in digital comics

When future anniversary celebrations mark the release of Madefire Motion Book Tool, much will be made of “under-the-radar” revolution this event precipitated in the creation, production and delivery cycle of content distribution.

With the Madefire Motion Book Tool on deviantART the artist controls the full creative, production and distribution chain, making it possible to self-publish digital comics for free or for pay, in motion or static, with or without effects, episodic or periodic. But it is really any “book” form that has become liberated—the Full Spectrum Narrative comes to life. And fans are empowered as well to directly engage in the the equivalent format with their favorite stories.

A new dawn is breaking in the online digital and mobile comics world—and Madefire is leading the creative caravan into the new day.

Questions For The Reader

  1. Have you had to make hard decisions between pleasing those who care about you in your family and following instead your own path to achievement no matter how difficult your chances might be?
  2. Who would you choose to have your alter ego or avatar befriend choosing between Anna & Kate’s Pugbun & Tailcat?
  3. Do you have an alter ego who can talk on your behalf. If you do, please place a picture in the comments?
  4. Motion Books open up a new medium between storyboards and animation. What would be the perfect fit for this medium?

Imagine that you are a young social worker, dedicated to finding out the hidden and forgotten old souls who haunt the cold, mean streets of the city... Follow this story and the stories of akreon & vesner for an extraordinary trip through artistry and tall tales.

Writers: techgnotic 
Designers: marioluevanos

For more articles like this, visit depthRADIUS.
Want to submit any ideas, suggestions, collections, or an existing work for consideration for the Today page? We'd love to look at it. Email us at
Add a Comment:
JOIS88 Featured By Owner Sep 5, 2014  Hobbyist Digital Artist
the videos posted are helpful for people that are just learning use digital tools, I lile the second video.
skye67fly Featured By Owner Aug 15, 2014  Student General Artist
Truly brilliant! I love it all
Pewdiepie-Fan390 Featured By Owner Aug 7, 2014
You guys must be good. TT^TT
chienne88 Featured By Owner Aug 2, 2014
1. i've always been drawing, but there was this short period when i was interested in biology, and my parents, especially my dad, started to get this strange idea that i wanna be some sort of biology researcher. so we talked and argued about it a lot but in the end i managed to convince them that i have no choice but to learn animation design in college. they support me ad this decision but sometimes i get the feeling that they still think that "drawing" in not a serious profession...

2. Tailcat sice i am a cat person. my cats would kick my butt should i choose othervise... :P


4. i think moving storyboards are probably better. it's more interesting.
Irina-Ari Featured By Owner Aug 2, 2014  Professional Digital Artist
To be sure, there's a ton of hard work and talent being exemplified by all of the artists discussed here (some who I love and already follow), but the ego-stroking is a bit much. It's always been off-putting to me when young artists get called "Masters" of anything-- with such high honors, what's the point for them to keep moving forward and improving? And statements like this one, "Rarely do artists of the deviantART community exemplify the skill, creativity, spirit and sheer arts career tenacity of [artists featured. removing names because my problem isnt with them at all]".... Way to throw a lot of people under the bus. Was the comparison necessary? Why not discuss the featured artists, without relying on comparisons based on subjective worth that paint the featured artists as holier-than-thou and everyone else as... not good enough for DA, or something?

I know I'm not the only one who was rubbed the wrong way by some of the phrasing.
mangacool524 Featured By Owner Aug 2, 2014  Student Artist
wow so cool
Shralana Featured By Owner Aug 1, 2014
So if this is the preview, when is the rest of it coming out?
GohanLuvVidel Featured By Owner Aug 1, 2014  Hobbyist General Artist
It's already out?
Shralana Featured By Owner Aug 2, 2014
Where can I see it if it's already out then?
GohanLuvVidel Featured By Owner Aug 2, 2014  Hobbyist General Artist
JakubHejdukIT Featured By Owner Aug 1, 2014  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Amazing, you are brilliant and wonderland creators. 

I have only wonder how you are do this ?

It is impossible to create something like that living on the earth. You must have some journey on the universe :) 
GladeFaun Featured By Owner Aug 1, 2014  Hobbyist General Artist
Hi. Such a brilliant article, always feel really inspired after reading stuff about the amazing things other people have been up to. Inspiration indeed.

To the questions:

1. Yes, when I had to make the difficult decision at college to drop the pre-professional music course my parents and school music teacher had fought to get me accepted onto. Both were incredibly supportive, but it was a difficult choice given the amount of work all concerned had put in to get me enrolled.

2. I'm a bit of a negotiator, so possibly I'd try to get them both to sit down and sort out whatever the latest strife was? Though kinda get the impression that might be easier said than done ;)

3. My other half always takes the mike, saying that the faeries I draw are actually me. So this little guy, possibly…
(sorry, not a premium boy, so you'll have to do with a link :(

4. Not sure. I think they fill a niche as akreon and vesner suggest, allowing you to include small gestural things in a comic that would otherwise be very difficult. Each storytelling art form, be it prose, comic, animation etc allows you to do different things, thereby shaping the story you can produce with it. I guess the key when you're thinking about a new project is pick the form that most suits, and with madefire there's now one extra one available.

Cheers again depthRADIUS peeps.

(*goes away to furiously expend creative energy :)
MS-SALUJA Featured By Owner Aug 1, 2014
killerfall Featured By Owner Jul 31, 2014
This looks awesome! I like the style and the whole MadeFire idea in general!
Masters of storytelling? lol Isn't that a bit much? But anyway, thanks for enlightening me about the gods of perfect art and writing, DeviantArt.
SupaMasta Featured By Owner Jul 30, 2014  Professional Filmographer
Met these two lovely ladies at Comic Con at the MadeFire panel. They are amazing and so nice! Wish them all the best of luck and continued success. 
Gfanotaku Featured By Owner Jul 30, 2014  Hobbyist General Artist
kyuubitao Featured By Owner Jul 30, 2014
Off-white! I was around the site when chapter 2 was still in the works and they still had a chat box. Anyone else remember those days?
ZeroHourNineAM Featured By Owner Jul 30, 2014  Hobbyist Photographer
I appreciate that you put a lot of work in it and I admire the drawings etc but I don't really get any of it. Maybe I'm just stupid and someone can explain it to me.
Moyashi-Kun06 Featured By Owner Jul 30, 2014  Student Traditional Artist
"Very Interesting and an inspiration story it is,

Genius! ^^

Too a question and all book fans and readers out there,

Have you read or heard of "Fallen" or the "Fallen Series" by "Lauren Kate"?

She is a amazing and imagitave author,

I would reccomend checking it out or have a look,

It's just a reccomendation, you don't have to if you want to.

Thank you to whoever is reading this. I appriciate it! ^^ *heart*

Sincerly, lovingly and forever a book lover,

kingswiszy Featured By Owner Jul 29, 2014  Student Digital Artist
SomthingNowhereMan Featured By Owner Jul 29, 2014  Hobbyist Filmographer
So chilling! Hahaha! Nice story! :)
Bromageddon Featured By Owner Jul 29, 2014  Hobbyist Artist
michalivan Featured By Owner Jul 29, 2014  Professional Digital Artist
Thanks a ton for the nice words about my work!!!! All the best and keep up the great work
Nico-Boo Featured By Owner Jul 29, 2014  Hobbyist General Artist
1. definitely yes, my parents always want to decide for me. this is really frustrating and gives me remorses on everything which I try to put aside when I think of what I WANT to do... Parents should support not decide for their sons/daughters.

2. I think Tailcat... =D

3. Well... no... D: One day I will have it!

4. I don't really know, I have just discovered this new media but I think it would fit short stories... maybe something similar to Milk for the Ugly in the way it is told... I mean, fantastic and not too long stories like the ones of the latest indie games... but maybe someone else can find out new ways to use this media =)
I'm pretty curious about it!
schoolfreak32 Featured By Owner Jul 29, 2014
MolecularMachine Featured By Owner Jul 28, 2014  Student General Artist
Milk for the Ugly is a fantastic story, but why not just make it an animation? String all the animated pieces together and turn it into a video and it would be just as good, if not better. The interaction is unnecessary and distracting. 
Pink-Darling Featured By Owner Jul 28, 2014  Hobbyist Artisan Crafter
HalHefnerART Featured By Owner Jul 28, 2014  Professional Digital Artist
I couldn't be more honored than to have my motion book included in this article. Thank you deviantART and Madefire for being so amazing!!!
resplendentCaballer Featured By Owner Jul 28, 2014  Hobbyist General Artist
Dude.  DUDE.  Knite would make a fantastic motion book!  I know it's already a flash comic but the subtle movement would elevate Knite's atmosphere to the next level of stunning!  Even Fisheye Placebo would look good, but I think I like Yuumei's current format of illustrating it.  The downward eye movement and the progression of events works well with the medium she's already got.

As for the other questions... my family has always been really supportive!  My grandparents want me to do whatever it is that makes me happy, and for a long time, to be successful was what was going to make me happy.  I ended up with a lot of self-hatred issues because I couldn't live up to my own ideals but I'm doing a lot better now!

I don't really have any sort of alter ego.  Feels kinda gimmicky to me!  It's a great idea for some people but doesn't feel like the right fit for me.
PostyLON Featured By Owner Jul 28, 2014  Hobbyist Artist
Amazing.. I really love motion pictures, and i can't stop loving even if i get older. I really will try doing digital artwork!

Looks like this Milk for the Ugly is very interesting. 
shadowstarfoxDS Featured By Owner Jul 27, 2014  Student General Artist
Very interesting!
Mlploveheart Featured By Owner Jul 27, 2014  Hobbyist Artisan Crafter
Cant wait for the next part
frigglicious Featured By Owner Jul 27, 2014  Professional Interface Designer
where's my milk
Mann-of-LaMancha Featured By Owner Jul 27, 2014  Hobbyist Digital Artist
whatever was just above "Check Out Other Great Madefire Motion Books" is blank. I saw all the written stuff above that, but the App you have loaded was a grey/orange/white blank box over some sort of menu for motion books.
HalHefnerART Featured By Owner Jul 28, 2014  Professional Digital Artist
It's working now. I can see my book there. :)
Mann-of-LaMancha Featured By Owner Jul 28, 2014  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Well, it don't work for me. I can't see nothing on your page… except what I said about the grey orange and white box.
HalHefnerART Featured By Owner Jul 29, 2014  Professional Digital Artist
What browser are you using? If you are using internet explorer or an old version of a web browser, that might be your issue.
Mann-of-LaMancha Featured By Owner Jul 29, 2014  Hobbyist Digital Artist
firefox version 30
HalHefnerART Featured By Owner Jul 30, 2014  Professional Digital Artist
hmmm... do you have all of your plugins updated? or some blockers on? That might be another reason. Bizarre. I'm using Firefox 30.0 right now and I see everything.
Mann-of-LaMancha Featured By Owner Jul 30, 2014  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Or, perhaps it is just I don't have the latest hottest graphics computer and this software is a resource hog. Iver said this a number of times that dA puts (or allows members to put) too much graphics related software running on one page (emoticons, etc) and when someone puts any high resource running software as a deviation, or especially when they put youtube movies embedded in an update (whatever), my computer becomes as slow as a slug.
HalHefnerART Featured By Owner Jul 30, 2014  Professional Digital Artist
yeah perhaps it could be an old computer but anything made within the last five years should be fine. It might be something as simple as clearing cache and getting rid of some files or programs that are hogging your memory. What your describing sounds like your memory is being hogged up by files, programs and other things. It could be a number of things though, even a virus. You are on a PC, correct?.  I would run a virus scan, look at how many programs you are running at startup and see what is going on there. Darn, man, I wish you could see it, it truly bums me out that you cannot see my book.  I wish there was something I could do to help you.
(1 Reply)
Shad1c Featured By Owner Jul 27, 2014  Student Traditional Artist
CrystalWolf953 Featured By Owner Jul 27, 2014  Student Digital Artist
1. I face that a lot since I want to be a video game artist or a cartoonist but I feel I'm not supported a lot in that decision. 'Starving Artists' comes up every so often.
2. I would have them befriend Tailcat. Pugbun kinda scares me
3. Currently they don't exist since I can't decide on their design
4. I feel digital medium works best because the motion book is designed for the digital art and it's easiest to separate the moving parts.
praddhik Featured By Owner Jul 27, 2014  Professional Digital Artist
so amazing!!!!
glace0ns Featured By Owner Jul 27, 2014
Wow, I squeaked a little when Off-White popped up. One of my favorite on going comics. I'll be checking out Milk for the Ugly when I can! Congrats girls!
cartoonistkev14 Featured By Owner Jul 27, 2014  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
Hey sweet and very slick. This is beyond awesome. =D
xxaihxx Featured By Owner Jul 27, 2014   Traditional Artist
Fantastic work..very imaginative..scary!OMG 
Colorgasmatic Featured By Owner Jul 27, 2014  Hobbyist Digital Artist
1. Yes, I have and I still do. I would still try my hardest to achieve the things I want to do in my life and go for what I'm passionate about. I may feel discouraged from time to time by other people's negative responses regarding the choices of my own path, but I still keep on going. Someone that I know had the same issue as mine, but succeeded in the end reaching for what he yearned for and is now living a happy successful life. If he can, then so can I and anybody else even you. You don't know what you're capable of if you haven't tried your very best.

2. Tailcat probably. I have a bad feeling seeing Pugbun with that look on that pic in this journal... :/

3. Alright, here's just a quickie I made(nothing impressive, but yes)...

4. Well, you know what they say: "One picture tells more than a thousand words". I would say it's a "perfect fit" to tell a story in a more livelier way. However, it's all up to the creator itself to decide what goes well with this kind of medium.
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