So I've released Comic 3. Extremely late, with many flaws, and with a format totally different from what I originally had planned to do, but...hey, at least it got done. :)
Now originally, I had a lot more to say in this blog post, had it all thought out, yet mentally, I already posted it. (I had a lucid dream about posting the blog, so I thought I had done so, even though I actually didn't.) And once you hit submit, you feel as if the thoughts you had in mind no longer have to be stored in your brain. They're stored in your words, so you don't have to keep them in your head. So, uh, well, when I had the dream about posting the blog...I, uh, kinda let go of the knowledge I had planned to put in here. :P
It's okay, though, since that allows me to put new things here, instead. For instance, out of the disaster which was this week's update (it came late, it wasn't done well, it's left my life a mess, and so on), there is good news! I've now got a far more reliable way to keep track of my progress when making comics. With a far more strict schedule, I'll be able to better regulate things. Best yet, next week's comic will be super-short. As it was intended to be part of THIS week's comic, it's only four panels, I have the backgrounds drawn already, and I even have the character design of Sasha worked out, more or less. So I could finish as early as Wednesday. Which means I could begin working on Comic 4!
...Oh, wait. 5. With the whole "split in two" thing above. :P It's the fourth comic in spirit, even though it'll be labeled as the fifth.
Now if you don't mind, I'm kinda dead tired, so I need a nap. :P
I just released comic 2. It sucks, big time, but hey, that's one of the reasons why I sought help with my scripts. :P So that the badness I knew which would be comic2 could be avoided in the future. With luck, I'll be able to do things better, as I really, REALLY hate the last two panels and pretty much everything in them. Granted, yes. They are mainly taking from my original comic 1, in that I transitioned from one group to briefly show the other two, and it's something I needed to preserve. And the original comic1 was incredibly weak.
...But STILL, it's AWFUL. >_<
Ah, well. I don't think I've got any strange perspectives to deal with in Comic 3, so that should update smoothly. And by the time I have to do comic 4, I'll have hopefully improved enough on my execution for The Elementals and The Latens that I won't need all of the cheats I used, I won't be putting together what looks like a half-finished product, and I won't be making junk.
I couldn't exactly think of anywhere else to put this, so I might as well make a blog post about it.
Basically, I did some thinking about the interaction between science and magic. There's a science to magic (as my meticulous planning is quite handily proving :P), and a magic in science. The two are typically considered separate entities, but for some reason, I've always thought that they were interlinked. I always felt like they had a connection, and that ultimately, one could not exist without the other. And most of all, I felt that everyone had it within them to use both. Now my settings don't always reflect these elements, but overall you can definitely see these beliefs being present, and I think I finally understand why--
Because I made a parallel connection, between science and magic with another concept: left brain and right brain. The left brain is seen as the place for more logical people, the right brain for more creative people. Everyone uses both sides, and they support each other, but one side ultimately ends up being dominant. Yet they constantly cross over, with people taking elements from both sides--in my case, for instance, I consider myself to be extremely right-brained, with my overactive imagination and passions for things such as writing and drawing...yet my methods of drawing (and even writing) are actually quite methodical and, well, logical, like you'd expect from someone who is left-brained.
To give an example...my whole life, I've seen things in many ways. One of the ways is that I can turn a pencil into anything--it can be a spaceship, it can be a spear, it can be a pencil used by a character in a story, and so much more. (Right.) But simultaneously, I look at the pencil and I see its shape. A better example would be landscapes, where I can take a mental snapshot of it, and then I put in wireframes mentally--the trees go here, the telephone poles go there, I'm on the road driving here, and so on. And flesh those skeletons out, into shapes.
When it comes to art, this means that I see things quite analytically--I see circles, spheres, cylinders, squares, rectangles, triangles, lines, curves, and other such geometry. I see shapes, while also having a mental snapshot, a wireframe so to speak, of how it looks. Which when you think about it, is pretty left-brained in nature. It works that way for stories, too. I have the whole story planned out in my head, and it rushes too fast for me to capture it all...yet I need to capture it in order to write. So I add a process, I slow things down, take shots of the important areas and focus on fleshing those out, and then from there work on filling the gaps.
And it works this way when I do games as well. In Werewolf games, for instance, I was known for being extremely logical--but in truth, what I was really doing was processing the information which my brain was already going through rapidly, and taking snapshots, freezeframes, of only the things I saw as being most important, and those are the things I focused on, amplified, and concentrated my effort on. I had hundreds of crazy wild theories, most of which I knew were impossible or implausible, all which came at me fairly rapidly, because I think too fast and get too many ideas in my head. And using the logic I had, I could analyze the situation, compare it to notes of what I had in my mind, and form a conclusion from it.
My wording's not exactly the best, but you can get the idea--basically, while one side might seem dominant, both are used prominently.
And I can see this applying to Science (left) and Magic (right)--the two mix all the time, with one of them being ultimately dominant. Yet they both play a part. They both have unique functions, things which the other cannot do, or cannot as easily accomplish. There is much overlap, naturally, and therefore quite a bit of redundancy, but neither is as strong without the support of the other, with the two working together to form the setting.
I was beginning to wonder if I had it in me to accomplish the task I set out to do. And for a while, it looked like I had failed. But through countless sacrifices (you have no idea just how much I had to give up in order to make it work out), sheer determination and absolute stubbornness, I managed to pull on through. It's done. My first comic has been released! I'm absolutely thrilled with what I did, and I'm looking forward to pulling it off week after week after week. My only wish is that others will learn to enjoy my work as I have learned to enjoy it. I put my 150% into making the comic. The dialog flows so much better than originally, the pacing is better, my characters look (mostly) amazing, and the amount of emotion I conveyed really is pretty groundbreaking for me.
I still have a long ways to go. I am just getting started. This is just the beginning, and I have much to learn, and a great many years to grow. Yet it feels like such a grand beginning, filling me with energy I've not had for a long time. It might be a small start to you, it might not look too impressive at first, but I swear, I'm going to get better with time, and I really hope that--even if you don't enjoy things now--that you will by the time I'm through. :)
So I said that I'd only use this blog for important updates, right?
Well, I didn't really consider my birthday comic (speaking of which...happy birthday to me, happy birthday to me, happy birthday dear Brian, happy birthday to me) to be important enough to be worthy of this blog as an update, despite it technically being a comic. It felt like if I did so, it'd be anticlimatic.
Well, I just found a way to make it anything but. I've made up my mind as to when I'm going to be updating--every Monday at 6:00 PM, PST. Yet as I declared during the birthday comic, I'm nowhere near close to ready to relaunch my comic. So it'll be a while before I can release anything new, right?
Not with my idea. It might end up backfiring on me, but I developed a plan: what if I were to keep updating every Monday at 6? But not with new content. Heavens, no. I've got six comics which are obsolete. What if I began...updating those?
And that's where the idea comes in. It wouldn't show up on the "Recently Updated" tab for ComicFury, and it'd be invisible to anyone not physically checking out the changes...yet what if, one comic per week at a time, I began to update...and then didn't stop once I had gotten through everything which I've already done? This would accomplish a number of things at the same time, hence why I'm going to do everything I can to make sure I succeed. First off, it gives me a chance to gradually get used to my art style. Rather than suddenly beginning, I'd have a head-start. Beyond that, rather than a simultaneous upload of half a dozen comics (which would be tedious), this far more gradual method would be less stressful. Furthermore, with this method, I can continue releasing something every single week on schedule--setting a pace for me to keep. And that'd form a habit, and with the habit formed, I'd be more likely to succeed.
But it gets better! On my TVTropes page, I said that I wanted to release The Descended in two months. Now I'm not sure how many comics my new script will take, but it'll be at least two extra, meaning 8 updates--which is approximately two months, giving me perfect timing in that regard. Yet most of all, it puts me on a definite clock, a pressure to finish things. While I didn't finish NaNoManGo, I did a lot of work during that month (more than before or after), as just one example of how the pressure of a time limit gives me reason to continue on. Not wanting to stop updates dead (no more schedule slips! Successful webcomics don't have them), I'd make sure that nothing would make me miss one--meaning that I'd have to have all the details set out well in advance, something which I've been doing gradually, but not consistently.
So that's my grand plan. It might not work, but I'm going to try it. As foolish as this ambitious idea is, it stands a chance of working. So stay tuned!