Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Atroxity's Progress Meter

The progress meter for chapter 1.2--the next installment of our online graphic novel Atroxity--has been updated to 27%.  Fair enough, but what exactly does this mean?

Our online progress meter.
Way back when snow coated the ground, mammoths roamed the earth, and Team Atroxity was studiously working away on the beginning of chapter one, we made the decision to eschew publishing new material one page at a time in favor of waiting until we had 10-14 page scenes ready to share as a whole.  Weekly single page publishing schemes work well for almost everyone else out there, so why not head in the other direction, eh?

None of us felt that releasing Atroxity in page-sized drips made much sense.  Atroxity was written to be read as a book, and it's paced accordingly.  Reading Atroxity in single-page intervals would place too much emphasis on any one page and disrupt the flow of the story.

Of course, want to know what else disrupts the flow of the story?  A nine month wait between updates.

But, uh, we're working on that. Our page rate is slowly but surely increasing, and each scene has gone more smoothly than the previous one (believe it or not).  We've also starting sharing behind-the-scenes art on our Facebook page in an attempt to tide fans over during the wait.

Behind-the-scenes prologue shot shared
on our Facebook page.
At the center of this all, of course, is the new progress meter on the Atroxity website, which is an attempt to make progress toward the next Atroxity installment more transparent and reduce the feeling of Atroxity being this rash-like thing that rears its head every few months and then fades back away into nothing.  Writing isn't represented in the progress meter because the script has been more or less complete for awhile, but the entire visual process is: roughs, pencils, inks, digital layouts, and colors are all in there somewhere.

The progress meter may not communicate much more beyond a simple percentage amount, but it does kinda sorta allow readers to follow progress and see that Atroxity is very much an active and ongoing project, even if the activity is currently below the surface.  New material might not be available on a weekly basis, but an updated visual representing the ever-closing distance toward new material is.

And let's be honest: nothing quite constitutes gripping entertainment like seeing an online progress meter jump from 20% to 27%.

Well, it'll all pay off once that meter reaches 100%.  I promise.

And until then: more progress information is available on our Twitter feed, and sketches and behind-the-scenes goodies are appearing on our Facebook page.

See you kids there.

Friday, August 17, 2012

Atroxity: the Online Graphic Novel

"Bad things happen to bad people in dark locales."

Sound appealing?

Maybe not, but that's the sorta-joking shorthand description I've adopted for my current creative project.

Well, calling it my current creative project is rather misleading, seeing as how it is the creative project in my life right now, the creative project I've been working on for so long that I don't remember what life was like before it began to infect my brain.

The project is a graphic novel.  Hell, the project is a series of graphic novels, because I hate genre fiction's tendency to sprawl and I am a raging hypocrite.  Nothing quite earns an eye roll from me like the words "part one of an epic series," and yet the book we are working on is part one of an epic series.  Sorry, my fault!

The epic series is called Atroxity, and the first book is being unveiled as we speak, piece by labored piece.

And when I say labored, I mean it.  Each and every finished page is a veritable time-sucking black hole, from the writing--which is now more or less done--to the roughs to the pencils to the inks to the digital layouts to the colors.  If "bad things happening to bad people in dark locales" doesn't sound like the most compelling grounds upon which to invest minutes of time reading, imagine spending months upon years on it.

Fortunately, I'm not carrying the load alone.  A team has grown to handle the staggering task of bringing Atroxity to life.  I'm the writer and general project lead, Luke Master is handling pencils and inks, and Mike Barczak is on colors and tones.

I may have started Atroxity but it is no longer entirely mine, and I couldn't be happier about it.  Atroxity is now an equal partnership that is growing and mutating out of my sole control, which gives me that new dad grin as I watch my baby waddle out of my protective embrace and off toward the first day of school.  Atroxity will probably turn out to be a paste-eating troublemaker that pees down the playground slide, but that would be rather fitting for something easily summed up as "bad things happen to bad people in dark locales."

Okay, so it is admittedly more than the whole "bad people" thing, and in fact the story eventually includes a lot of humor and action sequences and scenes where people say important things and cry.  The tale starts dark and gets darker, true, but there will be a lot more places visited along the way than might be immediately obvious.

And so my actual, serious, trying-to-sum-up-Atroxity-so-that-you-might-consider-reading-it-spiel is as follows:

"Atroxity is character-driven urban fantasy noir graphic novel in which one man attempts to unravel the secrets of the dark and dizzying city in which he finds himself."

Does that sound better?  Find out for yourself: over twenty pages are currently live at the Atroxity website with more coming soon.

Check it out, follow us on facebook, climb on board for the ride.

Atroxity: The Online Graphic Novel