I have come to give you a report! I-it's not good news, but it's not bad news either really. It's...okay news?
After years of on-and-off hiatuses, I think I've finally come to realize that I'm probably just not built to tackle school and regularly update an on-going comic at once. D: That said, I have one year left and I'm graduating next December if everything goes as planned!! (I-if it seems like I've been in college forever, that's pretty much been the case.) BUT that doesn't necessarily mean that I won't update the comic at all until then!!
I started this comic out in a really haphazard manner, and even after so long, sometimes I would go straight into drawing after only scripting out a few pages in advance. It worked in getting me to just DRAW, and my comic-drawing skills have improved a lot from when I first began, but now I really want the story and the concept to hold up with the art!
Over the past several months I've been developing the Alatus Institute further, working out the details to the building exteriors and interiors, adding more structures to the campus, and fleshing out the surrounding landscapes and towns around the school and stuff. I've also been taking out two birds with one stone by making many of my school projects directly correlate with my plans for the comic, and lately I've been really into drawing environments, so what I hope this leads to is an Alatus Institute that is much more REAL.
Another idea I've been entertaining is turning alatusinstitute.com into an official school website, where information about the school can be posted along with other fun things, like blogs for each of the student council members, and regularly updated minicomics! Although minicomics aren't substitutes for real comic pages that progress the main story, they ARE a lot easier to draw inbetween classes and don't require any planning. I really want to go through with this idea soon so that I can at least share the fun I'm having with my characters before the real comic pages continue updating.
Finally, I've been thinking much more about storycrafting and plot structure over the past year. I've been reading a lot of books on writing, and from there I've been further solidifying my story--laying out all the scenes in the entire comic from here until the end and making sure every scene is constantly driving towards the finale and no panels are wasted on boring things that make a story drag! I've been making a lot of notes on the rest of the story that will get organized and polished into full scripted thumbnails which I plan to show my friends so that I can get some good feedback before drawing them out and publishing it online. I'm really pumped about taking writing more seriously!! :D
With all these things going on in the background, I really don't want to keep it all to myself! In two weeks winter break will come, and the first thing on my agenda is to redesign this website. It'll feature a more accessible and streamlined layout that is more blog-friendly so big-ol' written entries like this won't feel so cramped. I also want to post a lot of the concept art I've been doing, plus random sketches of the characters, and maybe occasionally story thumbnails and things like that to get reader feedback! It'll make things much more interactive around here, and by constantly updating with what's going on and getting lots of input, I hope that it'll make the comic even better!
I hope to have the new site done in January 2010, so check back often :D Until then, if you have anything you'd like to see in the new Directions of Destiny website and/or the Alatus website, or if you have any issues with or comments on the current layout, comment back and let me know!!