Uncertainty

Opinions differ on which of my comics I should be devoting more attention to. People who like Dragon’s Fall were disappointed when I went on hiatus from that comic. People who like The Sun Elves are disappointed at my recent switch to a simple black and white strip format. But the truth is, neither of the comics have been attracting much attention or producing any profit. So the main concern is what works for me.

I’d like to attract attention and earn a profit. The new model for The Sun Elves is an experiment. My current audience may like the art in Book 1, but unfortunately for them, there are not enough of them to keep me drawing full pages in color twice a week. The things I’m introducing into the business model are a) a larger volume of updates, and b) humor. If I can be successful at these elements, maybe I can attract a larger, more profitable readership.

I might not be very good at these things yet, but that’s how skills work. In order to get good at something, you have to practice it. I’ve never been able to keep from coloring a comic after I’ve drawn it, so I’ve never been able to learn an appealing black-and-white style. And I have been practicing my humor to a certain extent, but this is the first time I’ve really devoted myself to working on it. And if the constant improvement of my artistic skills is any indication, I’m going to learn quickly once I’m working on it regularly.

Volume is not a problem at the moment. I’m producing strips at an impressive rate. The reason I’m only releasing 3 strips and 1 art piece a week is that I’m not sure if I can keep up the pace. I think I can, but there’s the issue of the move.

I’m probably going to be moving and getting a job and performing various other real-life tasks this winter. Once I’ve settled into a new routine, I’ll consider scheduling updates more often. But until I know how things are going to play out, I’ll stick to 4 updates a week and my tremendous buffer. I haven’t had a job in years and I don’t know how it’s going to affect my art schedule, especially at first.

Dragon’s Fall is more of a long-term investment. It’s a long complicated story and honestly, it’s not much to read right now. It’s going to be amazing when it’s all finished. But for now the art has to be the main draw. It’s the project that pushes me to try new things and really explore the comics page and what I can do with it artistically.

The slow and steady once-a-week update schedule for Dragon’s Fall is not likely to change any time soon. Both my co-author and I are passionate about this story and determined to continue it, but we’ve been working on it since, let’s see, 2002? And it’s a masterpiece that will continue to take time. We can barely keep up with the once-weekly schedule as it is.

I’ve had plenty of time to be creative so far this winter, and I’m ahead on both comics at the moment with time to spare. There’s not much writing I can do for Dragon’s Fall at the moment. and I’ve written Sun Elves so far ahead it’s ridiculous. I don’t want to increase my schedule with Sun Elves yet, for the preceding reasons, and also it’s getting to the point where I need a break from the story. So when I’ve been in a writing mood recently, I’ve been working on a novel.

There’s something about working on a novel that makes it seem more…within reach. I’ve never finished a novel, but I feel like I could. The problem with me and novels is it’s hard for me to come up with an idea for a story on my own. And the problem with working on someone else’s story is that they expect different things out of it than you do. I can usually deal with it, but I tend to flatten my co-writers in the process.

The novel I’m working on now is based on the first half of a book my sister wrote and then discarded. It already has a well-defined plot, a distinct feel and a lot of material. All it needs is to be fleshed out, and for the moment, I’ve got the inspiration to do so. My sister and I have only had one major fight about it, and we have prevailed. We’ve agreed on the main elements of the story, and, most importantly, she’s agreed to let me mess with it as much as I want if I feel that it’s necessary. That’s an attitude I can work with.

I am a destructive force of art and I refuse to apologize.

Anyway, that’s one of my active projects right now, and if I finish that, I’m going to try to sell it to some publishing companies, but if that doesn’t work, I’ll probably just put it on the Internet. I don’t know whether I’ll charge for it or not. Does that work? Because I’d love to make some income off one of my creative projects.

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1 Comment »

  1. Gongxian said

    Have you considered Kickstarter? I would buy a volume of the Elves of Linden Hold in color.

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