Talking Me Off the Ledge

If parody has a name, it must be... Zortic! ('cause, let's face it, what's Mel Brooks done lately?)

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What would you like to see in a Zortic reimagining?

Go to daily Black & White "Strip" format?
0
No votes
Go to a full comic page format?
0
No votes
Less parody?
3
17%
More Artistic Development?
2
11%
More Character Development?
3
17%
More Characters?
1
6%
More Universe Development?
4
22%
More Technical Development?
0
No votes
More "Family Friendly"?
1
6%
More "Adult"?
2
11%
Start drawing REAL hands and feet!!!
0
No votes
Keep it exactly as it is?
1
6%
Give it a rest for a year or so?
0
No votes
Completely scrap it and start something different?
1
6%
Give it up and don't quit your day job?
0
No votes
 
Total votes : 18

Talking Me Off the Ledge

Postby zortic on Sat Mar 15, 2008 9:45 am

Hello Loyal Readers,

Let's face it, Zortic isn't cutting it in terms of success on any scale. I've been getting more and more frustrated and I'm afraid it's coming out in the strip and becoming a bigger and bigger snowball of doom and dispair. I've been toying with the idea of giving up or trying something different, but it's way to exciting a time to quit now and I can't think of anything that I'd have to offer that's more fundamentally structured than Zortic. My experience is classic TV and Movies, I'm never going to be able to do a comic about video games.

So taking a parody from Battlestar Galactica, James Bond, Star Trek and Melonpool (cause, let's face it, that's what I do), I'm considering a Zortic reimagining. This would give me a chance to start fresh using everything I've learned over the years and hopefully reach more people.

Of course, I have no intention to alienate those of you who have stuck with me through it all, so I want to start by gathering input from all of you. So I want your input; What do you think works? What doesn't work? What could make Zortic better? What would make Zortic something that you'd be eager to tell your family and friends about?

Please let me know what you think.

Mark
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Re: Talking Me Off the Ledge

Postby Murray M. Lee on Wed Mar 19, 2008 12:50 pm

I've liked it pretty much the way it is. A nice little sci-fi parody.

Depending on how much time you have, you could always try a second strip that updates less frequently.
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Re: Talking Me Off the Ledge

Postby zortic on Mon Mar 24, 2008 5:36 pm

Thanks Murray, I have some ideas that I really hope enhance the flavor of Zortic and create a stronger universe to get lost in. I really want to keep the feel of the strip, but I think that by making the parody more subdued it's possible to make the stuff that makes Zortic more Zortic-like.

Of course, I'm also sure Splink will be standing by a shark tank with a pair of water skies just in case.
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Re: Talking Me Off the Ledge

Postby bobadventures on Thu Mar 27, 2008 10:41 pm

Hi Mark! First of all, thank you again very very much for the link to my own webcomic, "The Inexplicable Adventures of Bob!" in your links section. I really appreciate it. I hope you got my email that the link to Zortic has been added to my own links page.

Anyhoo, since you're asking for feedback-- If you'd like to transition from being primarily a parody strip to a more straightforward narrative, as a fan I'd be cool with that. Although I've certainly enjoyed your parodies/homages all this time, by all means, go ahead and let the characters do their own thing.

Since the reduction in parody content alone would be a pretty major change, I don't see any need to change anything else. I like your art and I like the characters. I've always liked the "mitten hands." :) A little more character development might be cool. And you can develop their universe a little better, to see how all the isolated worlds you've established interact with one another. Is there one big interstellar government? Or multiple ones? Do those middle-tech-level governments have any dealings with superadvanced cultures like Y's people or the Genies, or with primitive ones like Barroom or Earth?

I really like the Spaghetti Monster-- both because I like nonhumanoid aliens in general, and because it's just a really good gag. I hope he stays around as a recurring character. I also like the ongoing plot with Ottoette, 'cause I like A.I. stories and how they can reflect on the human condition and the nature of consciousness / individuality / the soul. Ditto for clone stories, so I like Citroz.

I see somebody voted in favor of making the strip more "adult," which... well, since the word "adult" in this context usually boils down to cursing and sex jokes, I really don't want to see that. I like the tone you've set, and I don't want to see that change. I know I'm kind of a prude.

By the way, I don't think any of these changes would require a continuity reboot, so I kinda hope you don't go that route. Backstory is the serial writer's friend, because it provides springboards to create plots from. I mean, you've got all these settings out there that are loosely based on existing properties... so go ahead and let them each develop into something completely different from their starting points. The space fleet can still be around without the Galactica lingo. Barroom can have races and monsters that don't resemble Burroughs's stuff.

And let the characters from those places intermingle. Imagine the mess that would result if the robots invaded Barroom. Or the 'bots could get in a fight with Citroz and his army of clones. Heck, somebody could invade Earth. Just figure out what all might happen with these guys all coexisting in the same universe, and story ideas should come pretty easy.

I do hope you keep it a humor strip! And, um... I'm assuming Splink has survived that explosion somehow ^_^;

Anyway, I'm sorry my comment rambled on so long, and I'm sorry to hear you've been in an artistic doldrum of late. I totally know what that's like. But please keep on making Zortic! You've got a big, varied setting established by now with a lot of potential.

Last of all (and I HOPE I'm not being wildly presumptuous), if you'd ever like to do a crossover with "Bob," please let me know! It'd be kinda tricky to swing because I've established that Bob's universe doesn't have humanoid aliens or faster-than-light travel, but we could figure out sumthin'.

Laters!
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Re: Talking Me Off the Ledge

Postby zortic on Fri Mar 28, 2008 5:45 pm

Thanks Jim, that's some great feedback. And you've given me some really good ideas. I am thinking of a "reimagining" in a completely different "universe" but I'm planning on doing it in a way that completely fits in with the existing universe and leaves a possibility to bounce back at any time. I want to create something that's more friendly to new readers who don't have to read the entire archives, but I'm also planning on plenty of "easter eggs" for people who have enjoyed the original series.

And it will definately keep the humor!
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Re: Talking Me Off the Ledge

Postby Celtic Minstrel on Wed Apr 09, 2008 7:26 pm

I think I would at least like to keep all past continuity, rather than any kind of complete "reboot". Beyond that, pretty much anything would be satisfactory. By "reimagining" you seem to be implying the exact thing that I just said I would prefer not to see (the "reboot"). I suppose it may be possible to "reimagine" without "rebooting"...

But whatever you do, if it's anything like the current comic, I will keep reading it. :)
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Re: Talking Me Off the Ledge

Postby zortic on Thu Apr 10, 2008 3:05 am

I think I have a solution that will give a whole new start without disregarding the past. And I certainly plan on keeping alot of familiar elements in a different way. Basically instead of parodying lots of other stuff, I'm going to parody the old strip.

I'm also hoping to have some sketches up sometime this weekend.
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Re: Talking Me Off the Ledge

Postby zortic on Sun May 11, 2008 6:58 am

There are some concept sketches over on the Podwarp Website. I'm not sure how much of them will end up in the reworked comic, but feel free to provide some feedback.
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Re: Talking Me Off the Ledge

Postby Celtic Minstrel on Sun May 11, 2008 10:12 am

That map looks interesting, though it's quite clear it's only a small portion of the entire universe. I noticed some binary star systems, too (at least that's what I assumed they were).
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Re: Talking Me Off the Ledge

Postby zortic on Sun May 11, 2008 4:47 pm

Yeah, I really want to include alot of varied space stuff. I also want to add a lot more uninhabited planets and odds and ends. So I'm hoping to develop the map even more. But I doubt it will ever enclude the entire universe, just their little corner of the world.
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Re: Talking Me Off the Ledge

Postby Celtic Minstrel on Sun May 11, 2008 7:08 pm

Well, considering the size of the universe, you have to omit something! ;)

And presumably Earth is out there somewhere, even if it's not in Zortic's little corner of the galaxy.
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Re: Talking Me Off the Ledge

Postby zortic on Mon May 12, 2008 3:06 am

Exactly! :D
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Re: Talking Me Off the Ledge

Postby NekoSaist on Fri May 16, 2008 12:09 am

lord knows if I'm replying to this in a timely manner... only ducked into the forums upon seeing Keenspot's news box and panicking.

Anyways, I put down a vote for less parody. Zortic has always been a lot like Sluggy Freelance. The parody's are good, but it's when the author comes up with something different or unexpected that the comic really shines. It's my opinion that Zortic based more on.. well... Zortic... might be more enjoyable to a wider market.

It's also my opinion that the comic... suffers.. from having gone on for so long. I think David Anez over at Bob and George had a post on that subject, but I'm failing to find it, so I think it was in one of the proper news box postings... Anyways, David noted in one of the final months of his strip that the joke and characters he had placed for the joke required information gleaned from comics 3 years ago or more. To anybody new coming in and reading Bob and George at that moment, the plotline and joke would be completely lost, just visual noise.

To me Zortic is in a similar position. The cast and characters being played with now pretty much require having read several different portions of Zortic in the past. Case in point would be this strip : http://zortic.com/d/20080425.html While I have a fairly good idea of who, or what, Splink and his girl are or could be from the recent comics, I have no idea who the robot is. I think I've seen him before in the comic. So while I can get the joke of what is going on around Splink, the overall effect of the comic is largely lost. Basically, I can't introduce somebody completely new to Zortic because everything has become grown in on itself.

I'm not saying that's a bad thing. Sometimes it's good to give long time followers a bone or too. At the same time though, it might be worth it to have a short recap or side comic panels available to give readers a brief overview of what's going on.
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Re: Talking Me Off the Ledge

Postby zortic on Fri May 16, 2008 4:09 am

It sounds to me like you're right on target for exactly the kind of changes that are going to be made. Those are pretty much the exact thoughts that motivated me to restart from scratch. I hope you'll like what's coming.
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Re: Talking Me Off the Ledge

Postby Celtic Minstrel on Mon May 19, 2008 10:57 am

Huh... I just noticed that this was a poll. It wasn't a poll initially, was it?
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Re: Talking Me Off the Ledge

Postby zortic on Mon May 19, 2008 4:30 pm

Yup, it was. Thanks for contributing your opinions.
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Re: Talking Me Off the Ledge

Postby bobadventures on Mon Jun 09, 2008 6:28 am

Hi Mark. Well, looks like those two cosmic beings may be causing a reboot warp or something soon. Good luck with everything!

Since I said earlier that I was a fan of the Flying Spaghetti Monster, I just wanted to mention I hadn't realized the origin of the term until recently. I had figured he was a parody of the big flying space jellyfish from the first episode of Star Trek: The Next Generation, and of other critters like that. I guess I'm a little less crazy about him now (I hope you don't mind!). I'm still a big supporter of nonhumanoid B.E.M.'s in general, though!

Anyhow, I've really enjoyed this recent storyline the robots and the upcoming battle, and I'm eager & curious to see what gets changed and what stays the same.

May de Schwartz be with you! :)
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Re: Talking Me Off the Ledge

Postby zortic on Mon Jun 09, 2008 9:47 am

Thanks! Yup, the clash of the titans is definately the beginning of the end. I'm hoping that the next few weeks are a fast paced action ride to go out with.
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