I finished it!
Two weeks' worth of effort, and I've redesigned the first page a person viewing my webcomic will see when checking it out!
Look at it here!
There's no comparison between them. The new one is just simply better.
In hindsight, I made a few mistakes on the new cover. It should either be six pixels wider in all directions, or I should have trimmed the colored pixels that go past the border. Plus, the background didn't have to be pink. I made a mental note that I had a green tree and a blue arc, so there should be some red. There already was, in the wings. A better choice for the color would have been a very, very slight yellow.
But hey...still miles better than what it was, no?
Years ago, I made a new years resolution to never make another new years resolution. That worked quite well for me.
...But this year, I decided to break that resolution, and devote myself once more to The Descended.
Along with this resolution came a new conviction that I could actually make a good webcomic, and I immediately got to making changes.
-I have a new extra page, Races, which contains a list of races in Soano along with their general characteristics.
-The Characters page has received a slight tweak (again) to invite readers in some more. I've also got a plan in motion to add more art to it (and the About page, and the Extras page) in order to better draw people in.
-I am thinking of also starting a little side-project for the fun of it: since the current plan for The Descended is to have each page be sketched, scanned, and then digitalized, I'm considering doing voting incentives as an extra which will feature the original art. Mind you, I don't really expect people to actually vote, but having it update every week will give me better practice on my art and build good habits, since otherwise, I probably wouldn't make the sketches public at all, despite how much of a good idea it is to do so.
-Most of all, I'm currently in the stages of customizing my site layout some more! I want to have more than just a plain black background, so I'm soon going to start making a new one, once I know how. (I, uh, currently have no clue. :P)
-But wait, there's more! I'm working on a new format for my comics, that'll make each comic page be shorter and more reader-friendly. This is an extension of the above side-project, as I'd sketch things out, scan it, and digitalize it. Starting with my Arc 0 cover page; that page desperately needs something to liven it up, and make things more user-friendly.
-Speaking of user-friendly, my archive isn't. It has too much filler, so I'll soon be moving the filler elsewhere. (Once I figure out how to do so safely.)
-And if that wasn't enough, I've finally gone an done it: I replaced my three-year-old comic avatar with a new one which shows off my art a lot better, while still capturing much of what I want it to. Compare:
Before and After (respectively). Which would YOU be more enticed to read? I'm hoping it's the one with the better non-sprite artwork, since that's what I've got now, replacing the old avvy I had before. The avatar, to me, seems more appeasing, while still having much of the same charm. Do you like? I certainly hope so!
2013 will be a wondrous year.
I'm leaving for a week-long vacation tomorrow, on Sunday. So I won't be doing anything on ComicFury--however, I will be working on my comic.
See ya a week from now!
And wish me a good trip. (I need the wishes--I have a cold, have lacked an apetite all day, have been weak and not very energetic all day, and I'm hoping it's from being underneath three layers of blankets, but my neck and forehead are hot to the touch. And I'm traveling tomorrow, regardless of how sick I feel. :/)
Years ago, I made a resolution to never make any New Years Resolution again. I figured it was the only resolution I could ever realistically keep, and I liked the idea.
...I'm about to break that resolution. And make a new one:
Revitalize once more The Descended. 2013 will be an excellent year for me.
For starters...I plan on moving all the non-special-event filler in my archive elsewhere. (Key word, moving, not removing.) I know it's possible to preserve the Comic formatting of it, from the comic to the alt-text to the title and even to the comics. I don't know how, but I do know that it's possible, and so I'll be pursuing that in 2013; I imagine it won't be that hard to get the coding help I require.
In particular, I want to move Q&A 1, Filler: Magic, and Filler: Fanart as all three are commentless voteless comics which I can relocate elsewhere.
If I can (I know it's theoretically possible), though, I also want to move Kinas Chronicle and the Argus Profile comic I recently posted, And Artist Notes 2, And Filler. All of them will be more complicated, as they have comments and ratings and such, so I'm not sure how feasible it'll be to actually pull off...but I'll certainly at least be trying.
Second off, I plan to continue updating my comic. The Chronicle was excellent practice, and I improved a lot while working on it, but ultimately, it's a side-story which is basically filler compared to the main comic. I want to legitimately continue updating my comic. But it gets better!
I'm also in the process of experimenting with breaking up panels. My comic has consistently been having artificial 400x400 panels, typically two wide and 2-6 tall, averaging 4. I want to evolve the comic, so that rather than the artificial consistent panels, I get a more print-comic feel to things, with a better flow. This may change the script for comics somewhat, but I think it'll be a change for the better, as making the comics shorter will increase their readability.
And if that's not enough, my art's improving to the point where I might soon experiment with bringing depth to my comic. In comic-making terms, the images I've been posting as a final product would be "flats". I want to add in the stuff which gives them life, mainly shading. I've done small-scale experiments using a tutorial, and I think that I can take it to a larger scale. It'll take practice and refinement, but if I got good at it, my comic would go from looking mediocre to looking good.
(All without a tablet. I'll still be using my laptop's built-in mousepad, since that's all I've got. :P It'll be time-consuming, but I'll make do with what I've got, since I don't have any other choice.)
Do I have the time for all of this? To be honest, probably not, not for a while into 2013, at least. But I'll be working on it consistently and persistently. This IS something I want to devote myself to. I've made up my mind in that way--I can make a good webcomic. I can do great things. All I need is time, and practice. Lots and lots of practice, to refine my art--better perspectives, better techniques, better scripts...
I think I can do it. Will it be easy, no. Will it be something I can do instantly, no. But I know that this is something I CAN do, no matter how ambitious and stupidly greedy it sounds for me to try.
I'm a smart guy, with a lot of untapped potential. If I make this into my resolution, to make a good comic, to make The Descended a respectable comic, then...well...I think I can do it.
There's so much work to be done, but I know I have it in me. (For instance, I need to tweak the Character page a little bit.)
Also, I've got new fanart. Two pieces, even. At the time of this blog, I've put neither of 'em up, but I got an excellent piece of Argus fanart from NightfallValley, author of (among others) Love is Complicated, a remake of Geode Corner. I also got a sweet piece of fanart from Sabrini Fur, which will be released as a comic on the 24th.
So I just went to clean up the Characters page a little, and I like it already. It's not perfect, but it's better than it was before. It's also got more info on it than before. One of the main improvements, however, is that I've now made working links for the individual characters on the index, so that I can link to a specific character and be brought to that section.
Also, I've begun to re-do the portraits. Argus (which if you've read this blog, you already saw), Aria, and Davos are so far all I've got, but hopefully I'll get the whole cast done soon enough.
There's also something else I've been working on. It's not much of a surprise for anyone following my forum posts, but for those who are reading just the webcomic, it'll be good, so I won't talk about it much.
(Though, really, who reads the blog but not my forum posts? :P)
It's awesome, especially considering that (other than sprites and some decent-but-not-great text descriptions) I haven't actually drawn Nathan myself, yet. So much of him is captured in this image, so once more, you can pay thanks for me by checking out systemcat's webcomic, Light Bulbs.