So, your votes count a LOT more at the beginning of the month, so if you guys could help me out and vote at Top Web Comics, I would be ever so grateful! Full of grate. There's a panel from tomorrow's comic for your efforts :).
I think I should give up on the idea of Vincent not talking much, because he's intermittently a pretty chatty dude. Mostly in relation to his sister, though. He gives a pretty quality pep talk! A few people pointed out that he's been trying to shut down Elias's pity party a few times now, and you know, it didn't quite catch on. Honestly, though, my goal in writing Elias so down on himself is that it seemed pretty justified given the situation. He's trying his best, he's chosen a poor route to go about this rescue effort, but did his best with the information he had to work with. Elias wanted to let the least number of people down, and it didn't work, and he's mad at himself and lamenting...his whole life, I guess. That seems natural to me. But Vince sees the other side of this, which is that his sister's life is gradually improving, so he can't let someone be so mad at themselves if the outcome is something the Walters family has wanted forever, regardless of the circumstances.
It's funny that after drawing page after page of these dudes, I really enjoyed drawing Mal again, even just for a panel. Granted, we are coming up on another round of me having to draw her for page after page after page, sooooo it's not that big of a deal lol.
Anyway, as far as my writing process goes with this whole section, I struggled a bit with the pacing, which I've mentioned a few times. I couldn't quite figure out a natural place to segue into the next couple of scenes. I realized pretty early on that my original plan, which was them escaping like four pages ago, was lacking the impact that I was seeing in my mind, and that would then water down the impact of every scene after this one. The ultimate result of scrapping my original plans and reevaluating them is that I was able to give this section of the chapter a more complete emotional arc, where both of these guys give a bit of a peek into who they actually are, hopefully in a way that comes off somewhat natural given the situation. It's hard to write anyone being vulnerable, because that's not a natural state for most people, and you usually have to pry people's deeper emotions out of them in steps. Um, especially Vincent, who apparently has to be annoyed to the point of having something to say.
There's a lot to be said for editing on the fly! Since this comic doesn't have an editor, I have to basically be hyper-critical of my work as I go along, and think ahead with every step. So every page I put up, I have to consider how the events in that page are going to effect every part of the story thereafter. I've got this story planned out in my noggin up til this arc ends completely (which will be awhile longer :p), and into the next arc afterwards (though it's still pretty vague). I keep everything loose, at most an outline if I get around to it, because it helps me not get too attached to anything in particular. Then, when I get to scenes like this one, even though I've envisioned it multiple times before now, I can tear it apart and put it back together without hesitation. I think there's a lot of value in being willing to pull your work apart and examine it from new angles, never getting too comfortable or too attached. Hell, that applies to artwork as well as writing, otherwise this comic wouldn't have changed in style completely from page one. A lot of people have a hard time being that critical with their own work, which I understand, but you have to take the emotion out of the situation. It's not about the work you've previously done being bad, it's about striving to improve your work going forward, and appreciating that what you've already done is what enables you to get to where you want to go.
On a completely unrelated note, I've been thinking a lot about alternative distribution methods for this comic. Part of me is sort of attached to the idea that it only exists here, on this site, and this is where people should read it. Another part of me is thinking that hey, the more places and ways someone can read my comic, the more people will read my comic, and that, overall, is a good thing. There's Tapastic, which seems to be pretty popular, and LINE Webtoon, which seems to have a slightly different audience, but I can't really tell. Both operate on the concept of "episodes", which seems to be an arbitrary number of pages uploaded at once? A lot of these comics seem like they're kind of made with this format in mind. Overall, I somewhat worry that I'm trapped in an older era of webcomics, in a format I'm much more used to, which misses out on a potential audience that I'm totally unfamiliar with. I might go with Webtoon and just try it out, because they're now partnered up with Patreon and give kick backs with so many monthly views.
(Although, there's a small part of me that frankly hates the idea of my comic being rated on a 10 point scale because I'm petty and don't like arbitrary, unhelpful criticism like 3 star reviews lol.)
Anyway, if anyone has any feedback about other methods and websites they use to read comics, let me know! I hate the idea of having to stay on top of like, four fucking websites or something in terms of updating my comic, but hey, if it brings readers, then...I guess?