What I've Been Up To, as of April 4, 2023
Greetings everyone, and welcome back to another What I've Been Up To post here on the Blog-shacalypse. It's been a while, but here I am to let you all in on what I've been up to since last time. Let's get into it, shall we?
It is actually, finally happening! For real this time! I mean it!!
Almost exactly a year ago now, I announced in this blog post that I was going forward with a comic project starring my Kiki Banana character, and that it was happening soon... and yet, a year later, here we are with nary a comic in sight, save but a singular page (that you can find in this post). For those of you who were waiting patiently for that, let me explain why it's taken so damn long.
A constantly changing vision of the project
Originally, the Kiki Banana comic was going to be a full-on web comic, structured more like a comic strip series where each page (or two) told a succinct little story and/or joke, and I would post each one to the KikiBanana.com website to accumulate, which is why I decided to make an entirely new website specifically for it, as that was where I was gonna host it.
But for some reason, though, I couldn't quite get "lined up" with it. I came up with a bunch of little gags, micro-stories, etc. to tell and draw, but never could get motivated to actually make them. It wasn't because I didn't want to do it, because I certainly did, but I just for whatever reason could not for the life of me get going with it. Something just felt off.
This was because I hadn't a clear vision for the project. There were so many unanswered questions and so many vague ideas in regards to it that it was hard to line my sights to hit this target, because the target was so vague as to be virtually nonexistent. As they say, "you can't hit a target you can't see."
What do I do about longer-form stories? Do they all have to be one-off gags? If I wanted to collect a bunch of them into a printed book, would anyone be willing to buy if they're also all on the website for free? Would the web comic be canon to the longer-form print comic series I also want to do? If so, how do I fit them in? Would anyone even be interested in the web comic? Should I focus my efforts on the print comic or some other medium instead? Would a web comic be at all profitable? Do I even really want to do a web comic at all, or do I just think it'd be the easiest way to go about this creative project? Etc. Etc. Etc...
This is a small sampling of what went through my mind as I attempted to work on it. Needless to say, it was not very fun, as I had no clear answers to any of these concerns. Eventually, I kinda just stopped thinking about it altogether to focus on other things. Maybe my subconscious mind would come up with an answer at a later date...
...which I believe it did.
A new trajectory and a clearer vision
Despite my doubts for the web comic, I absolutely knew I wanted to do a longer-form print comic series, and I had a much clearer vision for that than I ever did for the web comic. Honestly, I really wanted to make the print comic in the first place, I just got impatient with myself and thought a web comic would be quicker and easier. Turns out, in the absence of a clearly defined vision, it wasn't.
Now, I've decided to go forward with the longer-form, episodic print comic series instead, and leave the web comic emphasis behind. That's not to say any of those ideas for one-off gags and things will go to waste, either. The longer short-stories will make for great supplementary material for the print comic, and the shorter, more joke-centric ones could be re-tailored for animated shorts (which I could in turn use to promote the comic). So what little I did manage to develop for the web comic won't go to waste, it'll just take on a new form.
As for the print comic, it'll be structured more like a cartoon or TV show, with seasons and episodes as opposed to chapters or issues. For this first season, there will be 12 episodes, each one mostly self-contained so that anyone can pick it up from anywhere and not feel utterly lost.
The season will be split into four chunks of three episodes, which will be collected into trade paperbacks and properly published. Individual episodes will be sold both in print and digital download for a very reasonable price, and will have ample free samples available on the website for each one.
Oh, and this comic series is officially titled...
I added the "Treasure Huntress" bit to give people at least some idea as to what this comic is about at a glance, because what the hell even is a Kiki banana anyway?
As of this blog post, I am currently working on the script/outline for Season 1 - Episode 1, which will be the canonical beginnings of Kiki's treasure-hunting career, and tell the story of how she met her dapper proboscis monkey friend Shnozart.
Hold up, I thought you said no more announcements, so why are you announcing this if you haven't actually produced it yet?
In a previous post, I did indeed announce that I would be doing no more announcements unless the project is either well under way or straight-up done. That is true, I did say that.
This was to curtail disappointment in the event that I might have to cancel said project for whatever reason, or not to make people wait longer than they properly should. However, recently I thought of another means of curtailing disappointment:
What if I'm completely transparent as to the progress I've made on a given project?
I figured that, so long as I'm entirely open and honest about the progress I'm making, announcing a project before it's completed is justified. That way, I get to let you all know exactly what I'm doing at the moment, and you get to know in real time how far along I am in completing it! It's a win-win.
What I'll do from now on is, on the home page of The Bradshacalypse site, you will find a section titled "Currently Working On...", which will be where I will show you the project I'm working on at any given time, how far along I am in its development, and (where applicable) how much further I have to go. That's probably the easiest way to do that, both for you and for me.
Some More Website Tweaks
While we're on the topic of changes to the website, I might as well go into a few more that I made.
Firstly, I've reorganized and further streamlined some of the main web pages. The Major Works and Minor Works sections have been combined into one "Creative Works" section, divided into Major and Minor works. Seemed a little awkward to have those completely separate, especially when I have only one real Major work at the moment anyway.
The Study has become "Intellectual Works", really just a change in name only, it'll still function more or less the same as before.
The Blog itself has been tweaked a bit, as it has it's own section now, with subcategories which will be based on specific segments rather than generic topics, much like a magazine might have different columns specific to a certain topic or combination of topics. For example, "Tim's Journal" is specifically about what I'm personally up to, my commentary on creative projects, etc. It's not just Updates or Site News or anything.
While I currently only have two blog categories up (Tim's Journal and Practical Apps), there will be more made in the future, as I make content for them. Some ideas rattling in my head at the moment include:
One for my more philosophical musings about Art, Storytelling, and Creativity that may not have an immediate practical application but are important nonetheless.
One for analyses of popular culture through an esoteric lens, where I take a cartoon, comic, video game, etc. and break it down from the perspective of a symbol-literate esotericist, light occultist, Jungian analyst, mythologist, etc. to find meaning where none before had been found.
This is actually a really old idea of mine (one you can read about a little more in this post). Originally I thought of doing this as a video series on YouTube or something, but soon came to the realization that, without a proper video editor as well as having many other creative obligations queued, that this idea was not feasible. However, blog posts are plenty feasible, so I might be able to do it that way instead.
And that's about all the noteworthy changes to the site. There's still some tweaking to do, but that will be done in due time.
Other than working diligently on this comic project of mine, I don't really have anything in particular worthy of mentioning. However, recently a neat idea struck me in regards to a Kiki Banana game, not The Voyage of Kiki Banana (as mentioned in this blog post), nothing nearly as ambitious as that, but something else - a simple point-and-click adventure game.
Right now the idea is so new that I don't have any workable concepts to build off of, but I can see it in my head; an old-school cartoony point-and-click adventure game with lovely hand-drawn 2D graphics that tell a story with several branching paths based on the player's choices. Perhaps it involves Kiki raiding an ancient temple of its treasure, and trying to escape with as much of it as possible, as each puzzling encounter requires you to sacrifice one of them to advance... or something, who knows?
Anyway other than that, I can't think of anything too far out into the future. In the meantime, I'm just gonna focus my efforts on this comic, and not even consider doing anything else until I have that first trade paperback physically in my hands.
And that's all I really have to say today. Thanks for your attention, peace be and take Care!