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01.03.021 published on 96 Comments on 01.03.021

“activation complete.”


Hey guys.  So…it’s been awhile.

Most of you probably know by now from the comment section of the last page or maybe through social media, but I’be had a pretty crazy few months for Nate.  Not bad crazy, good crazy, but crazy none-the-less.  The big news from Nate is that I’ve been offered and accepted a job working on the Google Doodle team.  AHHHH!!!


So in a few weeks I’ll be one of the people making all the cool little animated/illustrated homepage logos that change with the holidays/special events on the Google Homepage :D :D :D  This is crazy incredible, exciting, unbelievable and many many other emotion words.  The past couple months have been hectic with me leaving my job, packing up all my stuff, settling things in LA and heading north to San Francisco.  Life has turned upside down, and I’m actually typing this update on my way up to the Bay Area, so obviously things have not yet settled down yet.

So the big question right now is “what does this mean for leveL?” The answer is…it means something.  I start at Google in a couple weeks and I have no idea what my schedule is going to look like.  I don’t even have an apartment in SF yet, god help me XDD  Basically I’m in flux at the moment and taking things as they come.

But is this the end of leveL?  No.
Am I sure about that?  Yes.

As we all know I abolished leveL’s update schedule earlier this year in an attempt to better manage the comic and my life in general.  The schedule was too intense for me to keep up consistently, and it was kind of killing my enjoyment for what is, ultimately, my passion project.  That’s no good, so I thought just putting up pages as I was able would work well for everyone, but I didn’t know that I was about to get one of the biggest curveballs my life has seen.  My time was completely eaten up by the process of transitioning to Google (and at the time I wasn’t able to really talk about it) and the results were…well, radio silence.  Not good.

So how do we move forward?  Long and short…the update schedule is coming back!  *CONFETTI*  But it’s going to be in a different form than it was before, and it’s not coming to be implemented until I settled in SF and know EXACTLY what I can realistically commit to the project.  It’s not fair to you guys or to me to ask more than I can do, so I’m gonna make sure whatever schedule I land on is realistic and reliable.  I’ve wrestled really hard with wanting to put out complete, digestible chunks of comic like the segment above to provide a satisfying reading experience.  I like release 15 pages with a great cliffhanger rather than one page every-Wednesday-no-matter-what, even if that page ends mid-sentence and doesn’t make sense.   But I think I need to accept that if this comic is going to be made…if it’s going to push forward and it’s going to exist as a webcomic, I’m gonna have to get over that.

Better to have a webcomic with a blah premiere of new content than no webcomic at all, right?

SO!  For right now, leveL continues in the ‘as I am able to do it’ schedule until I have settled in San Francisco, at which time I will unveil a brand new Update Schedule that we can all rely on for the release of new content.  And full disclosure, content is gonna be sparse until I am settle cause I have to figure out this whole ‘you have a new life and new job’ thing….which I think is fair XD  But to anyone who would fear I would abandon or cancel this project:  That’s not happening.  Ever.  I’m 15 years into this story and it’s a huge part of who I am.  I couldn’t walk away from it if I wanted to.  It might be a bumpy road figuring out exactly the best form for it, but I appreciate everyone’s patience and support. The fact that anyone is still here asking for pages is incredible to me.  There’s a lot of road ahead…so yes it might be bumpy, but at least we are on the road together :D

And aside from all that real-life jazz….how about dat update, huh? D:  Poor Cael, that kid just can’t catch a break.

See you guys in San Francisco!!


Great news about the new job, i wish you luck with it and the settling in San Fransisco. nice to hear that leveL isn’t going to end because of this, and happy to hear that once you are set up properly, you will be trying to set up an update schedule. although I’m sure you know this but reliable is better than frequent.

congrats on the google job!

and great update! The art and the dialogue are fantastic, as always :D

(also, Cael’s pajamas are really nice and I want them)

Aw thanks!! I’m always nervous about my dialogue.

And YEAH I WANT HIS PJs TOO!! The design is actually a stupid joke on Cael’s cruddy situation. ‘when life gives you lemons, make them into PJs’

Ok it’s not funny, but it was when I was designing them XD

Congratulations on the job and thank you for the excellent update! As always, even though it’s a 2D comic, all your characters are so animated and your settings (even if it’s just this one room this time) feel very real and alive. This dynamic Cael and “Wrinn” have together is interesting. To think Cael would have such an attachment to someone who’s been plaguing him for so long, though, I suppose Wrinn has been the only real ‘human’ interaction he’s had in a long time. Once again, thanks for the update!

Gorgeous as always, and congrats again :D Your talent definitely deserves a front page Google level of visibility!

congratulations! and thank you! thank you! thank you! thank you! I am so happy to hear that you will continue to share LeveL with us, but even better that it sounds as if things are working out well with you professionally – so nice to hear your talents can be used to put food in your stomach and walls/roof around/over your head! cheers!

Don’t get an apartment in SF. The real estate there is gawdawful expensive. Find out where your offices are in relation to Cal-Treain or BART then look either down the peninsula or across the bay. The best places to live are, sadly, a bit of a schlep from the rails and anywhere within commute distance of SF is going to be pricey by almost anybody’s standards, but the art scene in and around Berkeley is worth investigating, as is a lot of what’s happening in the San Jose/Palo Alto corridor.

Good luck, you have acquired my dream job, and I think that you can handle it.

Hmm Google doodles, The International Esperanto day is coming up on July 27, there’s something you can play with for a start. ;)

Woah, man! Super-intense leveL update as well as a super-intense lifE update!! Wow. Congratulations, man! I wish you all the best with your new job! I’m always looking forward to new leveL, but I can be patient! Do what works best for you. <3

yeaaaaah it all seems to happen at once, hahaha. and thanks for the support!! We will get this leveL update situation worked out…

I’ve been waiting to release this update for awhile, so I’m glad people are enjoying it! (As much as you can for this topic, lol)

Good to hear from you Nat. Drawing for Google?! Crazy. I’m a little bit jealous- always wanted to do the Doodles.
P.S. I’ve been here since the beginning before the Great Revamp- don’t plan on going anywhere.

awww thank you Natalie!! I’m a little in awe I have the opportunity still…it’s gonna be a crazy adventure!

Man and I can’t believe you’ve been around so long, THAT’S AMAZING!! at this point leveL is becoming a lifestyle it’s been around so long XDDD

Congratulations!! Front page Google, that’s really exciting

Mixed feelings about these panacea bracers. On the one hand, aaah Cael, you melted your best and only friend during these long years of isolation! On the other, wraith!Wryn is terrifying.

I must say, I just remembered I was trying hard not to wait with baited breath for each update, to the point that I all but forgot about this wonderful story.
Re-entering the story you have created is truly wonderful. I was having an off day and so enjoyed the emotions brought on by your characters. The life you bring to them and the work you put into this… thank you. Truly.
Best of luck with google, excited to see your work with them!
Will be checking back in with updates, of course.
You, friend, are incredible. May life bring you so much joy on your journey!

I’m so happy for you. Congratulations and good luck moving forward, and thank you so much for keeping this project in your life through it all. Thank you so much, it means a lot to me in my life, just as I am sure it means a lot in yours.

You did promise not to stop creating Level. :( I know you’re busy. I know it’s free and I have no right to moan about it – but I MISS it. Four months is sooooo long to wait without any feedback. I keep checking… hoping… pouting……..

Nate! So good, man. Blew through this, and hoped to find more—of course! Because it’s great, and has a seriously intriguing setting/arc/cast. Keep it up!!

I am super thankful that Robinson shared your work with me Nate but now I am another fan anxiously awaiting how all this turns out.

Absolutely love LeveL so much so that I read it all in a day (partially… mostly… while at work). Your passion for your characters and colors really comes through your work here. I’m caught up in both the art and the story. I clicked next three times hoping it wasn’t over yet.

Please continue making excellent artwork, Nate.

Sigh… So sad. I just read this whole comic in a day.

do you want more? X)

Didja recognize the bracers in this episode? They look very much like two O’s. or 0’s. Zeros. They are like hand cuffs. The handcuffs of money, that kills dreams. The two O’s or 0’s in Google. Good bye Level, Google has shorn Level from the Tiern Alliance like page 01.02.52

And I wonder Nate, was your interview with Google much like 01.01.10? ?

When you went north, were you ready for the city?

Hope you find your way back, we really miss you here Nate!

So, I read Level back in like 2008-2010ish. The story seems to have changed. This used to be at, right? Or am I mixing up 2 different web comics? Either way, story seems awesome, love the art, and looking forward to updates.

Well 18 months on I feel it is pretty safe to delete the bookmark. This is obviously dead!
Too bad, was one of the better comics but all the good ones seems to get left for dead and the bad ones just keep pushing out the crap.
Keep hoping this one will rise from th dead but I hold out little hope for that.
Rest In Peace!

Ok I read this comic back in I don’t even know, maybe January this year?!? And this is now getting plain ridonculous. NATE!!!! We need you back NOW!! You have been gone for what, TWO YEARS?!? I know and we all know that your job at google is important, but seriously man, step up your game. You promised us something, and there has been nothing. Please come back. We’re begging you. We have given you two whole years. We all love your comic and all support you, now it’s time to support us readers with comics!!!
I’m sorry if this comment seemed disrespectful, it wasn’t intended to be. We all love you dude, just please, give us COMICS!!!
Thx!! :)

So…Nate. Are we ever getting new updates to this? Because dude, I’ve been with you since the ORIGINAL level went on indefinite hiatus and I could use some closure; even if it’s just a definite “Comic is dead, never being updated again”

Comic is not dead, updates forthcoming and currently in progress.

It’s been a long wait but I’m tearing into a large amount of content right now with the hopes of setting up a regular update schedule that won’t lapse and have a backlog of content ready and waiting :D

And gosh I can’t believe you have been around that long….to be honest there’s probably that much more comic ahead…I’m in for life with this one :)

I actually use one of these panals as a backround for my tablet. I really miss this webcomic

Hi Nate! I just got done with the comic, and I wanted to tell you that I love it. I love how you portray music visually and descriptively. It was a really nice surprise to see someone put Air in a story, which is a piece that I’ve been listening to a lot (ironically on strings) and now you’ve introduced me to Fugue, which I now love too. I love the characters, how they’re introduced and built, how they interact with other characters. I love the artwork and how it’s changed over time. I love the world you’ve created, and I just can’t wait for the next page to come up. Speaking of which, do you know how I could possibly get notified when the comic updates?
Hope Google’s treating you well!

Hey Matt, thanks so much!! I’m glad the musical description is resonating, I’m definitely only a novice and listening enthusiast so it’s great to hear if it’s inspiring at all :D An update schedule will be forthcoming with the relaunch January 1st, can’t wait!!

Shocked and (pleasantly) surprised to see Nate say that updates are going to resume! I read the *original* leveL over ten years ago when I was in high school. When I was in grad school a couple years back, I did a product design project based off the relaunched level. And then hiatus. Life gets in the way, but hoping it sticks this time. My two cents – hold yourself to an update schedule, even if it’s once a week or less. I’ve been reading webcomics for almost fifteen years and the “no update schedule but trust me readers, I have this biiig story I want to tell” is always a death knell. Always.

Cheers Nate! Hope Google is treating you well and looking forward to Level’s re-rebirth.

AH! The Lyth Lamp right?? I remember! That was sooo awesome, glad you are still around :D :D

Once a week backlogged updates are exactly what I’ve been working on (and waiting to have in place before I reared my head again) And unfortunately I DO have this biiiiig story I want to tell and am too stubborn to ever stop, even if I have to dodge some life hurdles along the way.

Hah yes, those level lamps! Now that grad school is over I can sleep again! I’m still kicking around the Bay Area building robots for work and weird light-based design products for fun. Flattered you remember. Like you, I’m here for the long haul. Captivated by the story of Level and very much looking forward to seeing where it goes!

If you’re curious what I’ve been up to since the Level lamps, you can click the link to my portfolio :)

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