Thursday marked the last comic of UnCONventional's first Chapter. An entire year of comics have now gone up, and I think that's at least mildly impressive. Okay, so it's only a two comic a week strip, but still -- it's a feat I've never been able to pull off before, so I'm going to be proud none the less.
I started this comic because I've been working cons for quite a while, and even though there are tons of comics (or at least a decent sized handful) that have been written about cons, none that I've found have been from the point of view of the staff. And since staffing a con is almost a year round activity, I figured it would provide plenty of material. I originally planned a much larger cast than what we've seen in the strip, some characters that were meant to show up more only appeared once or twice, while other characters never made it into the strip at all (heck, Maggie - the con VGR head - was only in one strip). I always meant to focus on the core four characters of Phil, Max, Lynn and Tara - but Lynn and Tara got a bit shortchanged. I plan on rectifying this in year two, don't worry.
Chapter One was planned out about half of the time - I came up with a story arc about Max and Tara, including how I would set up Chapter Two, from the beginning. Their storyline was set in stone before I drew a single comic. Everything else though was just sort of... done by the seat of my pants. For the record, the overall arc for Chapter Two is already figured out, as is the set up for Chapter Three... but that doesn't mean I know where things are going completely.
I'm still trying to decide how I want to handle Lynn's storylines for example.
I'm trying to put together a book of the first year right now, but because I stupidly didn't save the strips at high resolution, I have to reconstruct them from the original scans. Fortunately I do have those scans, so it's not like I have to hunt down the original artwork or anything.
That would suck.
It's weird to go through the early strips, if only because the art has evolved over the past year. Heads got smaller, necks got shorter, Max's hair fluctuates in length dramatically... hell, characters began to even have consistent proportions. And while it's true, the audience for the comic is still pretty small, a high percentage of it's readership comes from people I've never met.
In the end, I think what I like the most about this whole thing is just being able to share with other people the fictional world that exists in my head. Whether anyone is reading my stuff or not, I'm still making it - and for people besides myself to connect with these characters... well... it's just neat.
That's right, I said neat. I'm comfortable with that too.
Chapter Two will start on Tuesday, and I think people will like the direction this year's plot is going. Max's ascension is going to be a mildly rocky one, and easily related to by most con directors I've known. I think it will be fun -- and yes, we'll find out what's happening with Lynn and Megan.
...because I know that most of you are just reading the comic for Lynn.
Actually the conventions they visit and what antics come with like Max sleeping with Tara. And Lynn knocking a beard off the dude who "Lost the Game", and the Mega Man mix CD fiasco. That's what I find most funny about UnCONventional.