Monday, April 25, 2005

Chapter 3 Now Online!

Chapter 3 is now online, a couple of weeks ahead of schedule. I’ve already started some preliminary setup for the next chapter, called Master Shakkar. Since I’m going on vacation the second week of May, I’d like to get started with Chapter 4 as soon as possible since I’ll be losing a week to work on it.

I’ve decided to run a contest starting on May 1st. It’ll go for two months and will ask people to write reviews/recommendations of comics on the forums. I’m looking to see how much response I get. If I don’t get much, I may discontinue the forums altogether.

Wednesday, April 20, 2005

Space Opera

I’ve been getting some feedback stating that there isn’t enough action in the story. I was concerned about this as well until it dawned on me that Alexander the Prince really isn’t an action story at all; it’s more of a drama/space opera with palace intrigues, etc. Although I’ve had the same story in mind the whole time, I think it’s still evolved somewhat while I’ve been actually making it. In other words, although the plot is the same, the emphasis has moved away from my original idea of action/adventure, and shifted toward drama/intrigue instead.

Moving forward, I will try to be more succinct. To that end, I’ve changed the category that the comic is listed on from Action to Drama, although of course it’s also listed under Sci-Fi.

Anyway, I only have one page left for Chapter 3, so I believe I should be able to publish it by end of this weekend, barring any unforeseen circumstances.

Monday, April 18, 2005


It looks like chapter 3 will be done a lot quicker than I anticipated. After finishing pages 8 and 9 over the weekend, I’m pretty sure I can wrap things up in only one or two more pages. This would mean I could possibly have chapter 3 published by the end of this next weekend (4/23-24th).

To help advertise the site and increase activity on the Forums, I have been thinking about having a contest. It would involve giving away a free item (one or more books perhaps) based on who writes the best review/recommendation on the forums. Basically, after a month or so, I would pick the winner based on who I felt did the best job. However, I have some legal concerns about running such a contest. I’ve done some research and it’s important that I have clear-cut rules as to criteria of what is being judged, etc. Since I don’t have any money, I really can’t afford to be sued in case someone gets mad that they didn’t get picked. Of course, we’re only talking about a free book (or whatever) so losing wouldn’t be that big of a deal. Of course, even if I run a contest, there’s no guarantee that anyone will take part either. :-)

Friday, April 15, 2005

Ch 3 Script, and Site Maintenance

I’ve written the script for Richard’s conversation with Alexander. Since I knew there would be a lot of dialogue, it was important that I had a finalized script to help me guide the renders I’m doing. Due to either time constraints or laziness, I often do the renders without a script and add the dialogue as I go. However, this is really not the best way of doing things and definitely not in these circumstances.

Yesterday I fixed a couple of problems with the site: namely, the new graphic shifted to the left depending on the viewer’s monitor resolution. Over the lunch hour of my day job, I was able to fix the HTML so the graphic was in a regular table instead of a layer. Since I’m largely self-taught, I didn’t know how to fix the layer itself and basically just “hacked” together the solution. I also noticed that the Prologue panels did the same thing. I fixed that last night when I was home and had Dreamweaver to work with. I had to basically redo the entire Prologue, using a page from chapter 1 as a template.

Lastly, I added “Shop!” and “Talk!” graphics to the main page of the site, along with text talking about the Imperium Store and the Forums, respectively. I’m still hopeful I can get some traffic on both of those pages.

Wednesday, April 13, 2005

Reviews added to the Forum

I completed the renders for page 7 and I’ll do the post-work tonight. If I can keep the chapter under 12 pages or so, I should be able to complete it before the May 9th deadline I have set for myself. After page 8, I only have Richard’s conversation with Alexander, so I think 12 pages is a reasonable estimate on the chapter length.

I’ve added two reviews to the Forums: one for the Sin City movie, and the other for Ghost in the Shell 2. I would like to add additional reviews as I go along. Of course, it’s my hope that others will take part in the forums too, but that hasn’t happened yet.

I plan to redo the graphic on the main page of the site. I’ve noticed quite a few people come to the site, but then leave right away without even looking at the story. That could be for a lot of reasons, but if I can create a better first impression for visitors, they might stay longer.

Monday, April 11, 2005

Imperium Store and Forums

I’m done with page 5, and the renders for page 6 are complete too. I think I’m about half-way through the chapter now: currently Richard is talking to his sister Katherine. After that, he’ll be talking to Alexander and that’ll be it. My wife and I are going on vacation the second week of May, so I need to get done with the chapter before then if possible.

Over the weekend, I made two large additions to the site: an online store and forums. As for the store, it might be useful to help defer some of the costs of the comic. Since I only get 5% per purchase (as an affiliate), I’m not expecting much money from it, however. We’ll see.

Lastly, I had the idea last night to put a so-called Teaser page after chapter 2 that would say the story will be continued and say the estimated date the next chapter will be published. It will also allow me to suggest people use the Store to help support the comic, and also check out the forums. I’d really like the forum to be a place where people can talk about comics in general, not just my comic.

Wednesday, April 06, 2005

Glutton for Punishment

The post work (in Photoshop) for page 4 took me over 2 hours to complete (Monday and Tuesday night). First, I had to superimpose the renders of a TV reporter onto Richard’s computer screen. That, actually, was the easy part. The hard part was last night when I had to make the jagged word balloons over the reporter’s dialog. This sounds easy, but I managed to make it a lot harder. So, it ended up taking forever.

No comments yet about the forum, so it’s not looking too good. Of course, I might just do it anyway, but only because I’m a glutton for rejection. ;-)

Tuesday, April 05, 2005

Forums anyone?

I haven’t had a chance to update the blog lately, but basically I’ve completed the first three pages, and the renders for page 4. In my previous post, I talked about not being happy with the first renders. They involved a hallway, which I ended up redoing completely. Once that was complete, I was able to finish those pages (1-2) quickly. The majority of the chapter, however, takes place in the office of Richard Augustus. I bought the office set and I’m very satisfied with it.

When the website used to be focused on game design, I had a forum set up for building a “community” around the game. Well, the forum (like the game) didn’t really do very well and went hardly noticed most of the time. Now that the website is all about my writing, I have once again thought about putting the forum back up, redone of course. However, I’d rather not do that unless people would actually use it. My wife doesn’t seem to think anyone would, so I’d just like to get feedback from people whether it would be useful. So, leave me a comment. If I don’t get any, I’ll assume there’s no burning need to put the forums back up.