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Webcomic Plotting Committee

02 Nov 2009, 18:26

Okay, here's what's up - the very important thread we've all seen by now is for general ideas, this thread is for contributions, constructive suggestions and collaboration.

Here's the catch.

The new webcomic shouldn't be a one-person show. Most webcomic forums were webcomics first and the forum grew up around it (which is exactly what happened here, then the webcomic died), this time we're going to be doing this in reverse - the webcomic is growing from the forum, and the forum deserves - as a whole - to be involved. This means it needs to be a collaborative project from the ground up - no one writer or artist should have creative control over the project. This isn't going to be "Logos' webcomic" or "Kon's webcomic" or "Kailan's webcomic" or anything of the sort, this is going to be "TFS' webcomic", something we work together to create as an internet community.

The reason for this is threefold.

Reason the first. It prevents what happened with the old web comic from happening again. If someone loses interest, or gets attacked by real life, or is set up the bomb, the comic can go on. The part contributes to the whole, but isn't essential to the whole. Nobody should have to single handedly shoulder the responsibility of providing new content for this kind of creative project. This will ensure that we don't end up like so many webcomics that die for years, or altogether, or have erratic update schedules.

Reason the second. A lot of people complain about petty factionalism in TFS' forums, I am - for myself - particularly disturbed by it, especially since we're trying to build a strong and creative internet community. Making the webcomic something that everyone can contribute to will - or at least should - foster a sense of community. It doesn't set any one person as being "more important" to TFS than any other - no one gets all of the spotlight, and everyone gets to bask in the glory of contributing to what will - it is hoped - be an awesome webcomic and a contribution to the Exalted fan community as a whole. This will avoid the second major pitfall of many popular webcomics - the problem of one individual contributor trying to muscle the other contibutors out (see: Megatokyo). Just as no one contributor should have to shoulder the responsibility, so too should no one contributor receive all the praise.

Reason the Third. Let's face it, the rest of the Exalted community looks down their noses at us to a greater or lesser degree because we have a reputation. We're the brothel in the slums of the city that is the Exalted fandom, at least as far as they see it. What I see is a group of people that are extremely creative - a trait that's a lot less common in the role-playing community in general than a lot of hobbyists would like to believe. It's my personal opinion, though one I think is shared by many, that we can - as a group - produce something really awesome that one individual might not be able to produce on their own.

Now, we've already had some ideas on how to organize this, and I'm going to bullet point the one's I've already seen here.

* DPM suggested a dedicated staff. This has the issue of poitentially putting too much responsibility and control in the hands of a small clique within the larger forum, which could end up creating problems down the road. It also raises the issue of ego clashes between "staff members". On the plus side, though, it would probably be ideal for working with a webcomic that has continuing story arcs and forward moving plot.

* Several people have suggested a rotation, based on a list of artists and writers who want to contribute. This has the problem of finding and organizing enough people to actually fill out the rota. It also all but requires the webcomic to be episodic in nature - which can be a good or a bad thing depending on how we want to spin it. Its benefit is the ability to use the rota to mix and match art and writing styles, find interesting fusions and have a wider variety of tone and style. It's sort of a shotgun approach, a lot of it might be crap, but a lot of it will probably be pretty good, especially after the writers and artists get used to working with each other.

* ObsidianOverlord suggested that rather than do one webcomic with multiple writers and artists, we opt to become a "webcomic site", with multiple comic projects operating simultaneously. This has some technical issues, as we don't know how much server space we'd end up needing, and also brings up the spectre of petty factionalism in the fandoms of individual comics, but has a number of very good points as well - it creates redundancy, even if one comic fails we'll have more to replace it. It gives the community a chance to participate on their own terms - let artists and writers who are inspired by the same project find one another, give them equal space to their fellows and let them go wild with their own visions of Exalted.

Personally, I endorse the third option. Despite its flaws, it seems like the idea that will provide us with the greatest amount of unrestrained creativity, while giving us a broad range of "product" that will let us draw and retain new members. It doesn't hurt that it can dovetail nicely into our fanfic writing projects and fan rules projects to create an entire tableau of fanworks endeavors for us to work on and enjoy.

That said, I'd like to hear your opinions on the subject and see if we can reach some sort of consensus on what we're going to do to get this baby started.
 
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Re: Webcomic Plotting Committee

02 Nov 2009, 18:33

...Does this mean we're re-un-retiring the webcomic subforum?

I personally think we should do this in catch-all format, kind of letting people come up with stories and submit them as they come. Rotation sort of implies long-term, but I think if someone has a burning need to tell an epic full-length story, they can understand about having to share with others. Gives a variety, keeps everyone hooked. So, I guess put me down for option two?
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Re: Webcomic Plotting Committee

02 Nov 2009, 18:41

I think a Gag a Day comic could be done via either the first or second options, but, should we start doing story arcs and everything, we'd probably end up at the third option anyway.

That said, if we want to reduce factionalism, we could do option three but give people the option of switching which comics they're doing periodically. Though, I think we want to avoid becoming DC or Marvel.
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Re: Webcomic Plotting Committee

02 Nov 2009, 18:44

I think the third option is closest to what I'd want?

Well, at any rate, *signs up for filler art when real artists need vacations*
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Re: Webcomic Plotting Committee

02 Nov 2009, 18:46

BrilliantRain wrote:
I think a Gag a Day comic could be done via either the first or second options, but, should we start doing story arcs and everything, we'd probably end up at the third option anyway.

That said, if we want to reduce factionalism, we could do option three but give people the option of switching which comics they're doing periodically. Though, I think we want to avoid becoming DC or Marvel.


That's honestly not a terrible idea, as long as we can avoid ending up with Crisis on Infinite Creations, Final Crisis, No, Really Final Crises, the Death of Harmonious Jade and Hal Jordan: Solar
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Re: Webcomic Plotting Committee

02 Nov 2009, 18:50

Logos Invictus wrote:
That's honestly not a terrible idea, as long as we can avoid ending up with Crisis on Infinite Creations, Final Crisis, No, Really Final Crises, the Death of Harmonious Jade and Hal Jordan: Solar


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Re: Webcomic Plotting Committee

02 Nov 2009, 18:55

BrilliantRain wrote:
Droppin' KNOWLEDGE.
Can I make this my vote? I like what he said. For once the DC/Marvel system could work, and it insures that it remains mostly in the forum's hands.
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Re: Webcomic Plotting Committee

02 Nov 2009, 18:58

(1) I wanna drawwwwww *waves hand in air*

(2) I love the idea of doing comic-series-like-things wherein artists and writers switch up. I think we can probably avoid this (becoming DC or Marvel) for the most part by having editors who do their goddamn jobs, by allowing series that are planned to end to actually end, and by not doing the same series and characters for 70+ years. :v

Also,
That's honestly not a terrible idea, as long as we can avoid ending up with Crisis on Infinite Creations, Final Crisis, No, Really Final Crises, the Death of Harmonious Jade and Hal Jordan: Solar

is love.

(3) Talk to Kaysper about his art-based thingywhatsit and see if we can exchange ideas for the betterment of Greater TFSistan.
 
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Re: Webcomic Plotting Committee

02 Nov 2009, 21:06

After reviewing the three options presented and taking into context the desires of others (and myself) I think option 3 is in the Communitys best interest. I can draw (read: stick figures) but I can write better. Given my earlier attempts with I, Deathlord and some 1st age material I find that I have better 'short term' ideas than long term....basicly enough to fill in a daily comic at a time. In short I'd like come on as a writer (and have someone draw it).

Also, I think we all need to decide how many webcomics there are going to be and whose going to do what before we all settle an agreed plan of action.
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Re: Webcomic Plotting Committee

02 Nov 2009, 21:15

Deaths Pale Mistress wrote:
Also, I think we all need to decide how many webcomics there are going to be and whose going to do what before we all settle an agreed plan of action.


Personally, I think the best plan of action would be to have like, three open at a time, with the caveat of no more than one long series going of those three? Seems to me like the best way to let everyone have a turn and not make anyone too popular.
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Re: Webcomic Plotting Committee

02 Nov 2009, 21:27

I vote for option three. If you want to see something like that system, check out DrowTales. Multiple stories running at the same time by different people. It works well enough from my experience.

I think we should open up the roster and not contain it. If people want to submit comics, host them! If space becomes an issue, then you can pick and choose, but I think until it's a problem, we should encourage as much content as possible. The redundancy mentioned in the first post is what we need, I think. That's usually what kills most webcomics - something happens to the artist and that's the end of it.
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Re: Webcomic Plotting Committee

02 Nov 2009, 21:37

I would suggest letting people submit a series of drawings to the mods, then posting one page a day. That way you, the mods, could see how much you had to work with and keep artists from flaking out at the last minute. It also builds redundancy into the system, and you could keep it episodic in nature.

If you had enough art to run simultaneous series, then that would be great. If not, then you wouldn't be setting people up to expect a lot. You can also save on server space by removing archives after so long (or putting them on photobucket).
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Re: Webcomic Plotting Committee

02 Nov 2009, 22:51

I think all of these could potentially work. I actually run a website for my classmates where we incorporate something similar to the third option and it works pretty well. I imagine it would work better here, though, since the readership is broader.

I also like the idea of fusion presented in the second option. You could still achieve this in the third option by suggesting a theme or suggesting a premises where writers and artists can do simultaneous story lines occurring in the same setting. This could also be a good way to unify the comics and the readers where it might otherwise become random or chaotic. This also allows for fairly easy collaboration and crossover between people, their stories, and their characters. Obviously the comic will be about Exalted, but I was thinking more generally settings like, The south, or Nexus, First Age, etc.

On the topic of submission to mods and a staggered display date, an online photo gallery would aid in making that easy for both the artists and the mods. However, that would also require that the images be hosted on TFS and I know Kon said they're still looking into how much server space is going to be required, etc.

Overall, though, I think this is a really awesome idea! If I weren't scared shitless of drawing other people's characters I might even jump in!
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Re: Webcomic Plotting Committee

03 Nov 2009, 02:45

All of these sound as solid ideas, i'm pretty sure i could write something if there was interest and i have a friend that could contribute in the art department.

The idea of a comics platform sounds pretty nice, though i feel it might be a good idea to pick one comic that would be the flagpole for the site. Possibly the one with the clearest planning and the best art (decided by the forumites?). I suggest that this comic should deal less with a narrative and more with humor and meta and less with long stories told in tiny snippets. At best, a loose story can be used as background for a series of self-contained stories poking fun at our favored pasttime.

I'll post more later, as a big job just landed on my desk :P
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Re: Webcomic Plotting Committee

03 Nov 2009, 17:30

Niz practically wrote the book (on this board) with his series of snippets - we could take a look at his old work which I believe is still accessible for some ideas on what to do ourselves.
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Re: Webcomic Plotting Committee

03 Nov 2009, 22:58

My suggestion would be to start as gag-a-day to throw stuff against the wall and see what sticks and establish a running gag or two, then transition to an actual story.

That's my thought anyway, feel free to ignore me.
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Re: Webcomic Plotting Committee

04 Nov 2009, 11:41

3 sounds sensible to me.. plus, it doesn't preclude the option of having a comic that multiple people are working on as well, which is also quite interesting.
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Re: Webcomic Plotting Committee

08 Nov 2009, 20:24

Option three worked for 'Bob and George' for years.

also, what about doing comics of the already existing fiction around here? The Pivot Child done up all shiny and comic-y could be pretty great, methinks.
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Re: Webcomic Plotting Committee

08 Nov 2009, 23:31

tegeuscromis wrote:
Option three worked for 'Bob and George' for years.

also, what about doing comics of the already existing fiction around here? The Pivot Child done up all shiny and comic-y could be pretty great, methinks.


Then again, do we really want a spritecomic?

I speak as someone whose own terrible spritecomic has, blessedly, vanished from the internets.
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Re: Webcomic Plotting Committee

09 Nov 2009, 01:32

I don't think he was necessarily suggesting a sprite comic, just giving an example.
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Re: Webcomic Plotting Committee

09 Nov 2009, 02:05

BrilliantRain wrote:
I don't think he was necessarily suggesting a sprite comic, just giving an example.


Indeed, I'm not picky over the exact nature of any up-and-coming's, specially as I'm no artist, sprite or otherwise.
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Re: Webcomic Plotting Committee

09 Nov 2009, 07:47

tegeuscromis wrote:
also, what about doing comics of the already existing fiction around here? The Pivot Child done up all shiny and comic-y could be pretty great, methinks.


I have some serious reservations about this notion, mainly the following:

1) I'm pretty sure I read that Pips is already working on this project and I'd not steal someone's thunder by essentially trying to lay claim to their work. Fanfiction or not. :)

2) Logos already stated the other reason:

Logos Invictus wrote:
The new webcomic shouldn't be a one-person show. (...) This means it needs to be a collaborative project from the ground up - no one writer or artist should have creative control over the project. This isn't going to be "Logos' webcomic" or "Kon's webcomic" or "Kailan's webcomic" or anything of the sort, this is going to be "TFS' webcomic", something we work together to create as an internet community.


So.. yeah. If we're going to make a story for a comic, I'd prefer we just created something from scratch, kinda like the writing community here did for Vanished. (Which I actually would like to see in comic format but like I have any time these days, baww.)

Hmm. In a similar vein, though? Maybe we could do a vignette-style collection based on the community's short stories, new or pre-existing. Kind of like an Exalted comic anthology? I'm sure we have plenty of material for that... *eyes the 38 pages of entries in the main writing forum*
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Re: Webcomic Plotting Committee

09 Nov 2009, 11:59

ah! well of such a thing would only be done with the consent of the author of the work-to-be-comic'd.
Kailan wrote:
2) Logos already stated the other reason:

Logos Invictus wrote:
The new webcomic shouldn't be a one-person show. (...) This means it needs to be a collaborative project from the ground up - no one writer or artist should have creative control over the project. This isn't going to be "Logos' webcomic" or "Kon's webcomic" or "Kailan's webcomic" or anything of the sort, this is going to be "TFS' webcomic", something we work together to create as an internet community.


So.. yeah. If we're going to make a story for a comic, I'd prefer we just created something from scratch, kinda like the writing community here did for Vanished. (Which I actually would like to see in comic format but like I have any time these days, baww.)


a good point, but maybe for one of the sub-comics? (to borrow some BobandGeorge lingo) I think your Vignette idea works even better this way.
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Re: Webcomic Plotting Committee

09 Nov 2009, 13:01

Maybe, if Pips isn't averse. That's up to him, I think. :)

(Honestly I'd have the same objection if someone suggested using one of my stories. Flattered, but it's best if the main story at least has its own unique flavor donated by everyone.)
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Re: Webcomic Plotting Committee

09 Nov 2009, 13:16

For the record, anyone who wanted to do a comic based on anything I've written for Exalted is welcome to do so. If anything, I'd be flattered and be happy to help! While I'm working on doing so myself, yes, 'working on' is more about 'learning to draw' than 'actually drawing comic panels'. :)

There are a couple of challenges here for a group project. On one hand, it needs to be organized enough to make sense to people (and certainly doing a uniform work collectively would do that). On the other hand, it needs to not be individually time-consuming (since there's a reason most of us here aren't making comics right now). Unless everyone loves one particular story enough that everyone's willing to pool effort on it, established work may not be the best idea but rather something new as this thread has suggested.

An anthology might work if people have the gumption to follow through. It depends on the commitment the average Freedom Stoner is willing to put in. Are you folks up for a 10+ pages or do you just want to be able to contribute a page now and then?

How much work do you folks want to do?
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