It's 2014 and I must say I'm excited about the things to come. I've had my hands in so many projects in the last year that it will be nice to finally announce them and begin to let them unfold. To make sure that I'm able to make time for everything though, I had to make a major choice about one of the most important things to me, the future of my comics. That choice had to do with one simple yet complex problem; where I should host them? I had opened this point of discussion on my blog about "The Women of Interest," and on the Corvink Facebook to get input from my readers and to my surprise, people were very supportive of moving the comics here. The decision came down to time management and work consolidation. Basically, my ability to be able to manage 4 domains, each with their own Wordpress install, while being able to provide quality posts, without compromising my sanity or health, became too much to manage in the past. Thus, the all three of my comics (and any future comics) will all be posted here at Corvink!
To answer the inevitable question: Is there anything different about reading any of the L.A.W.L.S. Universe comics (L.A.W.L.S., ALT., or Words of Interest) now that they are on this site? No, not really. Each comic basically has their own themed blog (that looks a lot like they used to on their own domains) which can be found by adding /alt, /lawls, or /wordsofinterest to the end of the corvink.co URL. You can also still use their old domains, which re-direct to their new locations, to access them quickly. The nice thing about them now basically having a centralized hub, however, is that you can also just come to the main site and see the which comic was recently posted, on the side bar. Not only that, you are now able to access any of the comics from the menu bar drop down that says "read comics" at any place at the Corvink website! This is all made possible because of my switch in CMS (Content Management System).
Much like most webcomic artists, I was using Wordpress w/ Comicpress, but I was inclined to agree with the opinion of Scott Kurtz, the creator of PvP, about Comicpress in his blog called "Comic Unimpressed." Don't get me wrong, for what it is, it's a much better choice than other free alternatives like SmackJeeves, but it really feels more like a means to an end. For me, I now look at Wordpress/Comicpress as a great way to trial run your concept. Before you invest money in paying for a CMS, which I am now doing, you should post strips for a few month or even a year to see if 1) you're able to gain a readership and more importantly 2) that you find out that this is really something you want to do or not. The Webcomic industry is NOT an easy business and if you aren't passionate about it, your work not only ends up falling short, but you can start to become jaded about webcomic creator cliques, internet trolls, lack of traffic in comparison to other creators, etc. If you're not passionate about creating for creating sake, the death of you comic may come long before it even has a chance to thrive. If you're able to push through all that, still love doing what you're doing, and hopefully are seeing some sort of monetization, at some point, I personally now feel it's best to pay for a service like Express Engine.
Paid services have more stable backends that can protect you from malicious virus' because of the fact that they are not open source (anyone, regardless of level of skill, can modify code or create plugins). Also, out of the box, Wordpress/Comicpress is does not do any comic justice in the design department, which means you have to either pay someone to design it for you or spend months to years learning CSS yourself. Taking the DYI approach, which I did for years, means you can look forward to spending hours upon hours finding plugins for various crap you really don't need. I mean, unless you enjoy installing a plethora of server hogging and vulnerable plug-ins just for kicks. Some people enjoy the sweat taste of pain and suffering, I think they call that Masochism? Who am I to judge. All the same, I am not one of those people, and I began to tire of having to spend all my free time making my site perfect, to only have destroyed because of occasional updates and frivolous "upgrades" to Comicpress. I have nothing bad to say about the programmer behind Comicpress, he means well and really is a nice guy, but his constantly toying with the code, and gradually forcing of a migration to installing even more plug-ins (Comic Easel for instance) has on more than one occasion rendered a lot of very meticulously thought out CSS edits useless. What does that mean? BROKEN WEBSITE + HOURS OF RECODING/STYLING ALL THE THINGS. This, in my opinion, is not a professional way to deal with the presentation of your comic, and if you are serious about making a career in webcomics (or anything creative for that matter), you can not be investing your time in places outside of the most essential part of your art form, creating it. This was one of the largest deciding factors behind my move to this centralized site.
All that being said, because of how involved I am in the development at Decobot with Destined Legends Series 2 and a few future projects, I’m not 100% sure if I’ll be able to maintain any sort of solid schedule. Having the comics here at Corivnk will help readers quickly see if any new comics have been posted since the last time they checked. Doing it this way, I can post the comics when I have a chance (hopefully once a week for the time being), but still keep everyone updated with all the things I'm doing. I can't promise a schedule, but I can promise that I am very avidly working to get comics out regularly in the next year in hopes that I can at least make an ALT. Volume 1 book sometime in 2015... and hopefully also a Words of Interest Volume 1 as well! I'd really like to get both of these books out before I move into production of L.A.W.L.S. Volume 2. The reason for this is comes down to the basic nature of how people shop at conventions; the place I make most of my money in creating. My readers love L.A.W.L.S. how it is, but there is a HUGE barrier of entry to getting new people to want to buy or even get interested in a book as odd as L.A.W.L.S. is at a convention. I hate that this has to be something that I need to consider as far as what comic I need to be working on right now, but if I'm to be able to continue making comics, I need to be able to also sell books! I'm very confident with how often people buy the ALT. and WOI comic prints at conventions, that their books would sell easier than the L.A.W.L.S. book to strangers... and what I hope will happen is that they will be a portal back into finding out more about the characters and expand interest back into L.A.W.L.S. The great thing about this plan is that I'm getting better at writing and drawing every time I make another ALT. and by the time I get back to Volume 2 of L.A.W.L.S. I will be producing the best quality comic I can possibly make! That is extremely exciting for me.
Well, that's my rant about my comics, sorry it's was so long but I really needed to get all that off my chest. I'd like to take this opportunity to thank any one who's been reading and linking to my comics thus far, your support is amazing! I'd also like to ask if you do link to me, if you wouldn't mind changing the url to the new domain (example: corvink.co/alt) i'd greatly appreciate it! It will help with reduce any confusion for people, not to mention increase the SEO results for the comics. Anyway, with Corvink’s horizon expanding, I hope that you all continue you to follow me on this journey of creation! There’s much more I have in the works I can’t wait to talk about in future blogs. 2014, LET'S DO THIS!