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Shan

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Dec 31 16 4:15 PM

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The production thread is here:

http://badwebcomicswikiforum.yuku.com/topic/486/The-Bad-Webcomics-Wiki-The-Webcomic#.WGhHl4VOLIU

​This is the actual webcomic thread. I had to think about it but this seemed like the best place to put it out of all the possible options (after all, it's not immune from consideration for the Wiki here outside the condition that a minimum number of pages needs to be made first.)

http://www.badwebcomics.com/comic/systems-online/

​As promised, the first page for January 1st 2017 is up ... which is exactly the same page which has been in thread since April 1st 2016.

​But then, new pages are going up on the 2nd, 3rd, and 4th at 12:01am East Coast Australian time, so the first actual page is going up in a bit under 13 hours.

​Work's still in progress, so the place is still going to look like a construction site for a while but there was no way this was springing fully formed out of the gate.

​Next new page is probably going to be late February and taking all the current circumstances into account, probably 1/month until 2019. That's when I hope to turn it into at least a weekly thing by then.
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Shan

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#1 [url]

Jan 3 17 2:32 PM

OK, pages 1,2,3 and 4 are up.

Or more accurately, title pages, left side of page 4, right side of page 4, all of page 4 are up.

Next page will be the last Monday of February, and every new page will be the last Monday of the month for the foreseeable future. 2019 would be nice to go fortnightly or weekly even but let's see. As things currently stand, it'll be monthly indefinitely. Combination of how much money and time there is to spend on this at the moment, I suppose.

So, stay tuned for the continuing adventures of ... us, I guess.

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ohitsyou

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#2 [url]

Jan 3 17 3:05 PM

I dont know if this is the right thread, but I have a question that is webcomic related. 

What is the deal with the popularity of the Zoophobia thread?

I'm not saying its a good webcomic, or that I'm arguing about why it was reviewed, but why does it seems to have the most posts on this forum? Heck, its in hiatus right now, so why do people regurally make posts?

Personally, I thought Zoophobia was "meh" which is more baffling to me why its so popular.

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#3 [url]

Jan 3 17 3:09 PM

I believe it's because the artist is a particular kind of jerk. The kind that bullies those weaker/less popular than her. 90% of that thread is made of preteens and teens who once idolized her but then realized how much of an arse she was.

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Shan

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Jan 3 17 6:02 PM

ohitsyou wrote:
I dont know if this is the right thread, but I have a question that is webcomic related. 

What is the deal with the popularity of the Zoophobia thread?

I'm not saying its a good webcomic, or that I'm arguing about why it was reviewed, but why does it seems to have the most posts on this forum? Heck, its in hiatus right now, so why do people regurally make posts?

Personally, I thought Zoophobia was "meh" which is more baffling to me why its so popular.

This is actually the thread for the webcomic "The Badwebcomics Wiki: The Webcomic" thread but then again Zoophobia was actually the initial reason that started this whole thing in the beginning, so it's not completely out of place.

​In all seriousness, the best place to ask would be the actual Zoophobia thread itself. I seem to remember asking more or less the same question but I don't really remember the answer past the point of it not being everything I was looking for at the time. I guess I should go back and have a look.

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#6 [url]

Jan 4 17 9:07 AM

In other news, those pages look gorgeous. Tho there is a bit of a clash between the detail of the characters in first plane with the ones of the background.

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Shan

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Jan 5 17 5:17 AM

UglyHyena wrote:
In other news, those pages look gorgeous. Tho there is a bit of a clash between the detail of the characters in first plane with the ones of the background.

That's a deliberate stylistic choice by the artist. I originally noticed it with their own work and even guessed why they did things that way which wasn't bad for a non-artist like myself. The rationale is that for the majority of the audience (present company excluded), the amount of time spent to make everything the same level of detail doesn't translate into the degree of return for the effort made. As in, people don't really notice either way. It might even distract from what you really want people to concentrate on in the foreground sometimes.

​I think it also kind of makes sense when relating things to actual vision, we concentrate on what we're usually focussing on and outside that area, everything is less distinct. So it's a good replication of our visual processes in that respect. Well, that's my reasoning. That plus the illustrating might take a lot longer and cost me more.

​It's also all part of the trap I've set for myself. This isn't going to be an ironic exercise, I genuinely want this to be good. So, I have to find good artists (which can be a bit tricky given they're doing their own webcomics and commissions - plus they cost money). So that plus the amount of time I have to spend on this is why we're getting the staggeringly fast update schedule of 1/month.

​That all works out for me, I'm new to all this and I'm still learning the ropes. The art's probably actually the easy side of things, relatively speaking. The story-telling is the most likely thing to trip me up. How many times have we heard good art/bad story-telling? A few, I'll bet. I mean I am already setting up the building blocks for where this is all going but there's an extra layer of in-jokes for people who know us and admittedly, that's a very small group indeed.

​Anyway, the plan is, keep this going at 1/month until I get the hang of this a bit (after all, I had more than a year to do this much, that luxury's gone now) and then hopefully by 2019, go to at least fortnightly. That's all depending on getting someone who's both a very good artist and can do this regularly. At the moment, I've got someone who'll very generously take my money to help me get started but for the time being, there's definitely going to be periodic artist skipping until then, that's yet another reason for the 1/month update schedule.

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Beardfist

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#8 [url]

Jan 5 17 7:17 AM

I quite enjoy the idea of the art style changing at times anyways, as I feel it's a way to help keep things fresh, get people exposed to more different forms of art, and create a certain... anticipation? If you're never exactly sure who the artist will be for a page, each addition becomes a more interesting reveal. Up to a point, anyway, as obviously gimmicks taken too far is a cancer of the webcomics world. I think the airiness of that commitment could also help to keep production chugging along--rather than having to worry about a longer-term assignment, the artist only has to worry about making the one page. Indeed the difficulty lies more on you to write detailed and effective scripts, layouts, paneling, etc.

The background thing, yeah, you want it to be less detailed. While there are certain genres (usually just 'realism' or slice of life) that can benefit from the detail, in many cases people naturally skim over the most important parts of a comic scene, prioritizing words and 'big' background things. If you throw too much attention into the background, you run the risk of actually breaking the flow or immersion of a scene--people will feel nagged to look more into the background their first read-through, as opposed to reading through to get the main idea and then going back over it again (immediately or later) to more fully, uhhh. 'Get' it. While the people themselves aren't drawn to the same degree as the characters in the foreground, the statue, pyramid, and billboard are. A reader drifts between these important things, and, seeing the symbol of the crowd, understands that it's there without needing to see every detail--it's important to have the symbol there, obviously, to refrain from breaking immersion.

My only issue with the page that I think is substantial is the skybox. It's a little sparse of buildings (which may be intentional, but it feels like you're aiming for a certain 'cyberpunk,' what with the massive bladerunner reference), and the dimensional portal thingy stands out a little too starkly against the pure-black of the sky. The ticker and cc is an interesting way to, for now, avoid word bubbles, which helps with this being the whole establishing phase.

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Shan

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#9 [url]

Jan 5 17 7:39 AM

I'm going to try for more of a block thing with the artists to start with, so a few pages per person but I've definitely thought about doing stories later on which has page after page done by a different artist.

(This is something that tried that for better or worse - and better and worse - once upon a time: http://www.theduckwebcomics.com/Troop_37/4891147/)

Now there was some issue with the buildings of a technical nature but I'll have to ask about that again, I remember asking about that and having a discussion about it but I'll need to have it explained to me again. I don't get too specific about the art, I just gave generalities for the best part like "a crowd", "a reporter", "drone cameras" etc. I could imagine micromanaging the art as a non-artist could be very annoying plus no way is everyone going to get it exactly like it is in my head. Often that's for the best, too. They often come up with much better ideas than I do, understandably. The Con El Bad pyramid I designed down to the last detail, though but that (and the title page was done the best part of a year ago.)

This particular shot was deliberately designed to look like it had been snapped off a TV screen. So subtitles for the hearing impaired, news tickers, anything that could be on a screen was OK but of course, no speech bubbles for this one.

Story-wise, I'm already putting the pieces in place and despite the obviously ridiculous nature of the premise (webcomics - bad ones - are the biggest threat to global security), I'm planning to play this more or less straight. There'll be humour (or my attempts at it, anyway) but I'm at least going to try and not have it devolve into farce (given we can't always manage that even in the forums, this could be a tall order. I'm also aware I'm a prime offender here but my New Year's resolution in this department is to at least try to do better this year.)

Last Edited By: Shan Jan 5 17 7:41 AM. Edited 1 time.

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Beardfist

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Jan 5 17 9:40 AM

I think the block is a good idea, and I'd only really try the page-after-page thing if there was a story explanation for it. Not necessarily an in-world story explanation, but rather, in scenes of chaos or instability, having that shift be unspoken of and never acknowledged, the reader can at least sortof 'get' that it's in keeping with the tone. FLCL constantly throws in little skits and shifts in animation style, that I can think of off of the top of my head, that match its manic pace. Having blocks in a more ordered format, though, it... It sortof almost feels like an 'edition' or something, fitting a more meta-comics-expression. And it's a great way to show or express community involvement, even if the community isn't involved quite as much. And, just, generally, it fits the whole 'the enemies are otherworldly garbage comic things.'

I dunno how the artist renders or makes the stuff, so I got no idea there. I'm still at the point where I'm fucking around for hours a day on figure drawing, so I won't even be touching the books upon books I need for perspective and setting for a ways yet. If I had to guess, it might be a running problem with the amount of layers or something, which can fry a wimpy computer when you try to render. Alan Moore has written and mumbled quite a bit about working with comic artists, as has Neil Gaiman--might be worth looking through their advice with a grain or five of salt. While Moore was known for plotting everything in painstaking detail, which here might be somewhat counterproductive, the way he framed scenes and important elements in them--like the 'You have to be a little crazy to work here!' plaque sitting on a desk in The Killing Joke, perfectly placed to suggest that Batman himself might not be the most mentally sound person--is certainly worth looking into, particularly given that you want to play it somewhat straight.

Which, indeed, is I think the way you should roll with it. The subject material in and of itself is absurd, which is where the bulk of the humor is drawn from. If characters behave erratically and LOL SO RANDUM, then everything in the universe is cohesive, and the absurd gap is lost as a result. Obviously jokes and shit make sense between characters, because real people like to tell jokes and have senses of humors--but the comedy is principally gunna come out of (what sounds like) lovecraftian-style horror, except replace eldritch abominations with shitty webcomic characters. The instant you step into the Mel Brooks realm, of joking along with the joke, you lose that magical charm.

WELL I THINK ANYWAY

Last Edited By: Beardfist Jan 5 17 9:53 AM. Edited 1 time.

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Shan

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#11 [url]

Jan 5 17 8:09 PM

Well I think anyway what you think is perfectly fine thinking.

One of the approaches I was looking at is along the lines of one they use with 2000 AD. That has several stories running weekly in the magazine concurrently (Judge Dredd, Rogue Trooper, Sinister Dexter and so on.) Apart from the permanent fixture of Judge Dredd, everything else is rotated in and out, new ones start, occasionally old ones end and so on.

Now I wasn't quite planning that but instead different stories consecutively. Kind of like what this webcomic is doing:

http://vastexpanse.webcomic.ws/comics/1/

Except all the stories in this one are clearly in the same universe. Basically, everyone works in different parts of the same building is what I'm saying here. That also helps cover the changing artists each story as that's exactly what 2000 AD does as well. Anyway, once I've learned the ropes and a combination of money available and an artist or artists can work on this on a longer term basis, then maybe it can be increased from 1 page/month. Also, that's when all the different threads can be pulled together and the main event happens. Basically what's happening now is the TV Series and it all culminates in ...

THE MOTION PICTURE

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Beardfist

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#12 [url]

Jan 8 17 3:38 PM

Finally got around to looking through those webcomics a bit. I think it's likely stating the obvious as to their effects, but perhaps it's just encouraging enough as-is to have that reinforced. The Troop 37 thing's story and paneling and writing and everything was so awful, so offputting, but I genuinely found myself flipping through the pages to see what styles were coming up, what had been plucked, how different people would draw the same characters differently. To that end, a limited employment of that effect could be very, very interesting. A few bigger characters seen and shared between different subplots, drawn in different styles--well, I think that'd be something nifty that doesn't get at all too worn out, as it were.

I'm not too familiar with Dredd, though I don't think that the concurrent approach would function until you shifted it up towards the faster update schedule. At that point, it probably could--especially if you moved towards longer pages with that started, so readers feel more 'satisfied' with each snapshot. I think it's fairly plausible, though, if you pipeline the sequence. At that pace, each artist would only need to pump out, say, one page a month like as-is. But if you had four artists working on four different plots, you still wind up with four pages a month. I like the way that the style shifts between the comics in that vast expanse magazine thingy, but I guess my issue with it is that when those vignettes end, I find myself craving more of that particular art style and a little frustrated that it's gone already. I'm not sure that this would be an issue if I knew all of the stories were building into something greater, though, especially if each vignette concluded in a satisfying-enough way.

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Shan

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Jan 8 17 3:47 PM

At the moment, money and available commission slots are the rate limiting steps. I'm also having to juggle getting stuff made for Exiern and other things and also, since we made a point of being critical of bad art, this project has to use good artists. Not surprisingly, they tend to be both on the pricier end of the scale and booked pretty solid.

Working on it, though. Hoping to be able to up the pace by no later than 2019 (just in time for the year Blade Runner is actually set.) Anyway, this pace for now will help me get the hang of things as well as get the site cleaned up and looking decent, at the moment it's still definitely a work in progress with half finished construction everywhere.

I'll answer the rest of the points you bring up in a bit.

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Beardfist

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Jan 8 17 3:53 PM

Well, yeah, all of this theorizing is more along the lines at current of pipe-dreaming. Though I have to imagine, past a certain point, you may generate enough interest to get some artists willing to help out for less--perhaps even of their own accord! Perhaps it's optimistic, but the slow starting pace gives you plenty of time to get the hang of things, build up, and adjust as needed.

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Shan

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#15 [url]

Jan 8 17 4:10 PM

The thing is, the brand name of The Bad Webcomics Wiki is ... just a bit toxic in some quarters. That might be a bit of a crimp of business plans and future involvement. Having said that, all the different forum threads I've seen on it when the BWW comes up in many different places end up in more or less the same place which isn't just hoping the entire place burns down in a fire. I mean, sure yes there's some of that but also some much more favourable feedback and introspection.

Now Judge Dredd and 2000 AD as the concurrent approach works because there's a few pages of each story every week (has been since 1977.) So that's why that can work for them. Also, the other problem is that intercutting between more than one story seems to really make a mess of Wordpress archive listings. I'm sure there's a solution but people I know have problems with it which is why they prefer consecutive storytelling as well.

Anyway, this isn't just for me to be doing it, izzus wrote a section, Sindy's going to illustrate it as soon as she's able, hopefully that's ready and in time for sometime this year. So hopefully this can all pick up steam sooner rather than later.

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Beardfist

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#16 [url]

Jan 8 17 4:30 PM

While the brand itself is going to turn oodles of people away, I think the nature of the product mixed with (hopefully) its quality would lead some to give it a second look. And there's the possibility of finding like-minded people, who know a guy, who knows a guy, who winds up getting interested. I suppose the way I look at it is... who would think that enough smartasses would get together to create and archive reviews of this format in the first place? If that long a stretch can happen, certainly there's at least a few who can commit to making quality schlock that takes these reviews to another level entirely.

I'm unfamiliar with the software, though I imagine it's just a linear listing. One way to fix up the archives, which I imagine you've considered, would be to have different segments listed and update separately as their pages come in. Of course, this still creates a disorienting jumping-around effect. Might be unavoidable if one's got multiple artists/plots working at once, but I guess one would have to see.

Yeah, I guess 'you' was just an easier turn of phrase. And I've seen you plugging it more, I s'pose. I'd honestly offer my potential assistance if I felt my art was good enough, but I'm still thick in the learning phase and at the point of it where I'm still drilling myself to work a minimum of two hours a day after work. I won't lie, though; a project of this collaborative nature is just inherently interesting to me. Different art, writing, jokes, approaches, ideas all smashing together. Even if, yes, it's going to be slow going for a pinch.

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Shan

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#17 [url]

Jan 10 17 6:19 AM

I think generally with any new webcomic, it's an arduous climb out of the pack into any kind of recognition and income, never mind critical notice and breaking even, let alone any kind of profit. That could come one day but we're going to have to plug away at it for a bit and that's even before I get into the subject of our reputation and how that might impact on things.

But all that's for the future. Part of this is an extra layer of in-jokes for ourselves and part of it is just for the fun of it. At the moment, I'm just making sure I get next month's page up on time as the next immediate goal and then a more regular update schedule as soon as possible down the line. Can't have us falling down on the areas we go after other people for if we can in any way help it if nothing else.

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SmashLampjaw

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#18 [url]

Jan 10 17 9:53 AM

I still find the idea of a comic about us bizarre.
.

Shan wrote:
The thing is, the brand name of The Bad Webcomics Wiki is ... just a bit toxic in some quarters. That might be a bit of a crimp of business plans and future involvement.
Nobody likes real criticism. If our "brand" isn't toxic we've probably failed.

.


Issues composing posts in Yuku's editor?  See this guide to using BBCode.

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Shan

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#20 [url]

Jan 10 17 6:21 PM

Pink Rabbit wrote:
How many pages of this comic are done?

The ones on the site. Something mostly complete for February but just needs some tweaks before then which shouldn't take too long.

​Update schedule 1/month for this year and probably next year but the soonest I'm able to up the rate, I will.

​Currently, things are in the construction phase but I set myself a deadline to start which I kept.

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