Please read: affects UH2's future!

Please read: affects UH2's future!

Postby Allan_ecker on Sat Apr 21, 2007 7:45 am

I've got to make a call. And as it relates to my art career it's pretty big. I can either do a sixty page graphic novella in the coming year (starting on my birthday at the end of May) or I can take that equivelant effort and sluice it into UH2, which by comparison to the straggling neglect it'd face if I did the novella would flower into something perhaps 2x more awesome than current standards, best case.

Here are the particulars of each option:

ONE: Firefly in Sixty Pages with Bunnies

I want to do this project desperately. I would be able to design a cast, tell a coherant story about them, and do it all without any sort of previous user knowledge to worry about. Everything would be new, so I'd always know exactly where things stood. Because it's 60 pages in 365 days, I'd have an average of an entire week to dote on a page, although the final artwork itself would be bunched up at the end, with the first few months going straight into scriptwriting and concept art. I'd be using photoreferences galore.

During this time, however, UH2 would languish in a sort of gasping asphyxiation, with me coming back and half-heartedly doing updates which would often suck and injure the plot. One possibility being considered for option One is to shut down UH2 for that year.


TWO: Umlaut House.

I want to do this project desperately. I have big, bright shiny ideas for the story of UH2, which demands to soar up into some epic territory and get some serious clout. There are explosions, mistaken identities, true love, superhuman mayhem and tons, I say TONS of good things happening. I've done Umlaut House before, but this year I plan, one way or another, to start throwing a number of new techniques at my artwork, and I'd love to see what UH2 could do with a bunch of photo-referenced backgrounds, long-form scripts and extra pages of concept art (much of which would have to wait until months or even years later to be released so as not to spoil things).

But of course I'd be starving for that new project. All those new projects. THIS year has been marked by a sequence of dizzying projects, such as my <a href="http://umlauthouse.comicgenesis.com/trickster.htm">24-hour comic</a>, <a href="http://umlauthouse.comicgenesis.com/walkabout.htm">nanomango</a>, and <a href="http://umlauthouse.comicgenesis.com/d/20070126.html">Un-hiatus</a>. I want more of that. I don't know if I *can* direct my focus well enough to do UH2 justice. It's going to be about two years before UH2 ends. Will my life still be allowing me to do the kind of heavy comic load I'm planning for this year by then?


Can't decide at the moment. Help?
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Postby The_Fox on Sat Apr 21, 2007 11:04 am

Well, I suppose it depends. The Firefly project will certaintly be a more "professional" looking idea, since you're looking at something that would be publishable more or less as a comic anthrology. Might even be submittable to Sofa Wolf. (Not sure how close you're doing it to Firefly, which is important though. Copyrights can hurt.)

You've already stated how much you'd like to do both, so I can't try and use that to break the mold. And though I would like to encourage you to stretch yourself artistically into new ground, you are asking what I might like to see as well as my general opinion.

And I, frankly, would prefer more UH2. I can't think of much else to comment on, either than I would support your decision either way. But you have made an equally good case for both, which just leaves the "professional looking" point above, and my own opinion on which interests me more.

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Postby Allan_ecker on Sat Apr 21, 2007 1:54 pm

On the Firefly similarities:

NOTE THAT I AM GOING TO BE HORRIFICALLY BLASE' ABOUT SPOILERS FOR THIS PROJECT AT ALL TIMES. THE ONLY WAY TO BE SAFE WILL BE TO NEVER LOOK AT JUST ABOUT ANYTHING I DO ON THE SUBJECT.


Captain Lamb is the most equatable element. Aside from a shade more comfort with herself as a sexual being, she's captain Mal re-packaged. Same charisma-out-the-wazoo, same cowboy-esque manner. Same hero complex Tho I could change her name, because dude.

Mix is not Jayne but he's close. The difference is that Mix is essentially what Jayne is, except in the sexual domain. Disturbing, forceful, and ham-fisted. But oddly loveable.

John isn't Book at all, although the superficial resemblance is pretty tight. He's Catholic in particular, unlike Book who was fairly non-denominational. In addition, John really IS a priest and there won't be any of this shilly-shallying about with "that ain't no Sheapord" stuff. In addition, the angle of him being a Skunk (his race was designed as prostitutes) adds a dimension we don't see in Firefly at all.

My female engineer does resemble Kaylee somewhat but she's way less of a girly-girl and is more in the vein of Gadget Hackwrench or possibly Stith from Titan AE with respect to her femininity. She does get pissed off, and it is in a much more masculine manner than Kaylee ever does. Also she does not anthropomorphosize machines at ALL.

I do not have a River, or a Doc. Captain Lamb will be playing Wash.

The setting itself won't be much Firefly except for the way Earth is handled: as a dark patch of sky nobody wants to talk about. There are TWO inhabited worlds, Mars and the Moon, and both are sparsely so. There are no hub worlds, and no plains settings.

There are no gorram Reavers.

Orbit/deorbit is way harder than in Firefly; the main ship will not land at all, although it will dock with space stations. There's no Alliance or an old civil war floating around. The big rip from Firefly will be the atmosphere of an old world with lots of sore spots in the history that people don't like talking about.

Especially Earth. That's like, the ultimate touchy subject. Because nobody lives there, and used to be everybody did. You figure it out.
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Postby The_Fox on Sat Apr 21, 2007 7:00 pm

Well, to state the obvious, that's not Firefly then. *grins* It is however, the same sub-genre of science fiction. One small ship out there trying to make it through the gal...er...system. And I'm interested about knowing what's up with Earth now. But hey, humanity tends to be more reliable in stories, so I'm curious as to why the "problem" hasn't been fixed. And even more so why people aren't talking about it. Never get anything done without that.

More to the subject of the decision, I think Karlotta on your LJ has be best suggestion. =>.>= Or maybe it's just my want to feed my UH2 addiction. =^^;=

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Postby Cyril_Dran on Sat Apr 21, 2007 7:07 pm

If you want my honest opinion.. It comes down to this, really. UH is what you love, your first forage into art, and despite what anyone might say.. it was a success. People like it, and you've drawn a readership to yourself, even if it's not as huge or rampant as say, Amber Panyko or Dan Shive's. If UH calls to you strongly, it'll hurt your art to ignore it.

That being said: If UH isn't actively calling to you, to the point of distracting you from other projects.. stretch your wings. It's how you get better.

I guess what I'm trying to say here is, if working on Firefly for a year straight would result in nothing but Volair appearing in your sketchbook from UH deprivation, go for UH. If not, go for Firefly. Or some combination thereof. Set aside 6 months for the book, 6 for the comic, then finish the book. Whatever you need to. No matter what happens, as long as you don't drop off the face of the 'net for several years (Melissa Jewell what?), I'll be here plugging for you. Because you're a good artist, and a good person, and I respect you for that.
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Postby GreatLimmick on Mon Apr 23, 2007 2:17 pm

The_Fox wrote:And I'm interested about knowing what's up with Earth now. But hey, humanity tends to be more reliable in stories, so I'm curious as to why the "problem" hasn't been fixed. And even more so why people aren't talking about it. Never get anything done without that.

The problem (people can't live on Earth) has been fixed. People can live on Mars and Luna, meaning that people don't need to live on Earth.
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Postby The_Fox on Mon Apr 23, 2007 3:37 pm

GreatLimmick wrote:
The_Fox wrote:And I'm interested about knowing what's up with Earth now. But hey, humanity tends to be more reliable in stories, so I'm curious as to why the "problem" hasn't been fixed. And even more so why people aren't talking about it. Never get anything done without that.

The problem (people can't live on Earth) has been fixed. People can live on Mars and Luna, meaning that people don't need to live on Earth.


That's one way to look at it. But, really it solves the problem of "Where are we going to live?" Not the one of "How do we return to Terra?"

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Postby Allan_ecker on Mon Apr 23, 2007 5:21 pm

Keeping with the spirit of "i don't give a damn about spoilers"...

Earth isn't dead, but it is definitely not a good place at this point. At the time of Firefly with Bunnies (better working title about the time I figure out how it ends), Anywhere between the tropic parallels is a scorched dessert, most of the temperate zones are choked with kudzoo and other simple plantlife, and the poles are bombarded by hard x-rays and so are barren, save for the simplest of lichens.

Humans do live there, but in tiny tribes, isolated from one another and existing at or below bronze-age technology. No one even talks of "space flight" without getting a rock to the head.

As for the Moon and Mars, they do not have the industrial might to even visit the Earth, let alone heal it. THERE ARE FEWER THAN 20 MILLION SENTIENT BEINGS IN THE SOLAR SYSTEM.

Mars is subsistence-farmed, mostly, inside a growing array of greenhouses, and powered by solar cells. The lunar folks are doing the same thing, although the hard vacuum outside and lower gravity have made burrowing into the regolith less hazardous and more cost-effective, so the majority of lunar civilization is below ground.

Humanity and its children have paid a heavy price for living beyond their means, and at the time of this story, they cannot even dream of repaying the debt they have run up on Mother Earth's credit cards.

Yet.
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Postby Buck on Tue Apr 24, 2007 1:58 am

UH is easily my favourite comic, so that's what I'd love to see. But the real question is what you would like to do, and that's something I cannot answer.
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Postby Allan_ecker on Tue Apr 24, 2007 6:23 am

Semi-xposted from LJ:

The probability of outright hiatus for UH2 in the coming year is now pretty low. It is possible still that I'll drop the frequency down to weekly, but also that is fairly unlikely. The decision isn't final, but the odds are pretty against work stoppages on UH2.

Also, welcome aboard!
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Postby The_Fox on Tue Apr 24, 2007 8:09 am

allan_ecker wrote:Keeping with the spirit of "i don't give a damn about spoilers"... (And then the rest is cut for brevity, but now you know the post I am replying to.)


Sounds awesome, actually. Humanity simply lacks the manpower currently to take on a project such as this. Still, kinda surprised, giving this being a slow process. Seems they shouldn't have been caught so unaware for something so slowly approaching. *coughs* On the other paw, I know people and organizations of people who can be caught off guard by a glacier hitting their house.

I still don't get why people wouldn't talk about it though. But that just gets me back to my usual thoughts on things like this. People being unable to talk about it means that the feeling is so negative for them, it's practically paralyzing. Be that negative feeling fear, anger or sadness. And yet, while I understand the need to take this slowly, one should think that open debate on what could even POSSIBLY be done (in the future) might be seen as a step forward.

I suppose that comes down to the person, and what is more important. Everyone being comfortable, or everyone working towards the situation at hand.

...then again, despite my cynicism, I'm a totally cloud headed idealist moonbat, so I'd probably have a hard time shutting up about a problem this bad, and what we could do (or plan to do) about it.

Addenum: On that last issue, thinking of a title...boy, it's tough ain't it? I've been having the same issues myself.

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Postby Allan_ecker on Tue Apr 24, 2007 4:38 pm

My answer is basically that nobody took Evacuate To Space as even an *option* until it was way, way too late to do anything. At some point though, a few blights happened at just the wrong time and the panic hit. From then on, although the ecological devestation had all but run its course long ago, the human population of earth dropped really, really abruptly.

Almost none of this was due to evacuation, if you get me.

If anyone in the crew remembers Earth it was as a young child, and the memories are not happy ones. Due to the massive nature of the dieoff, nearly everyone knows someone who was there. It is not for the sorry state of the planet that people do not plot their return. It is for what they remember.

The painful memory of Earth is actually a core theme to this story.
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Postby GreatLimmick on Tue Apr 24, 2007 6:26 pm

allan_ecker wrote:Anywhere between the tropic parallels is a scorched dessert

Tasty.

allan_ecker wrote:most of the temperate zones are choked with kudzoo

Nothing new there.
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Postby Buck on Wed Apr 25, 2007 12:01 am

allan_ecker wrote:Semi-xposted from LJ:

The probability of outright hiatus for UH2 in the coming year is now pretty low. It is possible still that I'll drop the frequency down to weekly, but also that is fairly unlikely. The decision isn't final, but the odds are pretty against work stoppages on UH2.

Also, welcome aboard!


Thanks for the update, and the welcome!
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Postby Alfador on Fri Apr 27, 2007 6:14 am

GreatLimmick wrote:
allan_ecker wrote:Anywhere between the tropic parallels is a scorched dessert

Tasty.


Ooh yeah! Scorched dessert? Baked Alaska? Oh wait, that's hardly tropical...
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Postby Allan_ecker on Fri Apr 27, 2007 6:25 am

Oh, Alaska's baked alright. Largely due to that gaping hole in the ozone layer.
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Postby GreatLimmick on Fri Apr 27, 2007 8:57 am

allan_ecker wrote:Oh, Alaska's baked alright. Largely due to that gaping hole in the ozone layer.

I thought that was a myth. And in the other hemisphere.
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Postby Nitwit on Fri Apr 27, 2007 1:55 pm

GreatLimmick wrote:I thought that was a myth. And in the other hemisphere.


While not as impressive as the one we have here in the south, there is the same sort of seasonal thinning effect in over the Artic. Wikipedia's Ozone Hole article gives a resonably good summary.
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Postby GreatLimmick on Fri Apr 27, 2007 5:28 pm

Nitwit wrote:
GreatLimmick wrote:I thought that was a myth. And in the other hemisphere.


While not as impressive as the one we have here in the south, there is the same sort of seasonal thinning effect in over the Artic. Wikipedia's Ozone Hole article gives a resonably good summary.


Hmm... Apparently I need to aim my facetiousness a little lower.
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Postby Allan_ecker on Fri Apr 27, 2007 5:42 pm

Well, the *details* of Earth's sorry state in the Firefly project are not especially important to the story; all that will even be directly revealed is that nobody anyone knows lives there, and that most "god fearing folk" tend to shy away from the topic out of respect for the dead. A number of characters, the Physicist especially, will speak of it rather bluntly and harshly.

Some known dialog:

Mix: I ain't settin FOOT on the moon. That rock's haunted.
Engineer: She ain't haunted. At least not so bad as... as where she turns 'round.
Keplar: You mean EARTH? Where Adam and Eve and auntie Lillith were from? The Moon's full of degenerate lowlifes, not ghosts. And Earth isn't full of anything but a bunch of stone-axe-wielding ex-sophonts and a whole shitload of kudzoo.


Adam, Eve, and "Auntie Lillith" aren't the biblical trio but the first three of the Rabbit race, to which both Keplar and the Engineer belong. All non-human sophonts are likely to have some form of quasi-religious feeling for them, especially Rabbits. Conflating their names with the current sorry state of the Earth is... uncouth, to put it gently.

I mean, honestly, he might as well have thrown in a reference to Saint Algernon.
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