The Archive Restoration Project - Update Oct 13th!

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The Archive Restoration Project - Update Oct 13th!

Postby John T on Tue Sep 16, 2008 8:56 pm

OCT 13th UPDATE: The first scene of the second storyline is stripped. No major changes were made, aside from replacing a "Murder She Wrote" lunchbox with a "Magnum P.I." one, because the latter is way cooler.

ORIGINAL POST FOLLOWS: A fancy title for a not-quite-as-fancy project. Here's the gist: I'm taking all the comics I made in 2006 and 2007 and reformatting them so that they look like FF&HH strips. Then, when all is said and done, they WILL be FF&HH strips - I'll make the date of the first comic in the archives 20060401 (which is to say, instead of just being a bonus feature named "prehistory," the old "Flint Again" comics would be the actual comic archives).

You can see this in action now: http://www.flatfeetcomics.com/d/20060401.html

The first "Flint Again" storyline, once 19 pages, is now 28 strips. I restored it from the original line art and recolored it almost completely from scratch (not by choice - my high-res color art for this storyline had... issues...). Additionally, a few bits of dialog were rewritten, though not much. It's essentially the same story as before. I just changed a few words here and there to make the dialog flow better and just be a bit punchier in general.

I also added jokes to the end of each strip to give them punchlines. Since comic books don't have the same timing as strips, when I turned a page into a strip (or into two or three strips, as it sometimes happened), the strip was often... not very funny. So I made sure that every strip had a punchline, if not always a good one.

I'll post official news about this on the main page in a few days. For now, anyone reading this forum has the exclusive. Let me know if you find typos anywhere.

And yes, Pete, you can transcribe the first storyline now. Just don't go past the April 2006 comics.
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Re: The Archive Restoration Project

Postby Mister Munshun on Tue Sep 16, 2008 9:10 pm

Does every daily strip NEED a punchline, though?
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Re: The Archive Restoration Project

Postby John T on Tue Sep 16, 2008 9:20 pm

That's a valid question. I find that comic strips without jokes lose my interest pretty fast. They can really be a chore to read daily. In big chunks? Fine. But daily? Oy. Even if the storyline is good, reading a four panel strip by itself leaves me feeling "meh" unless there's a gag to entertain me. It's why a lot of comics I used to read lost me after a while. They used to be funny, but then it was all drama. Blah. Additionally, a strip with a joke on the front page is more likely to hook new readers than a drama strip from the middle of a storyline.

I do a funny strip with a story somewhere in the background. So yeah, I found it necessary to make sure every strip had a laugh during the remaking process. Your own mileage may vary.
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Re: The Archive Restoration Project

Postby Arantor on Wed Sep 17, 2008 12:18 am

FIrst up, I have to admit I loved the prehistory on reading it (although yes, I did read it end to end, as did my partner), and I really like the way the restoration has come out.

John T wrote:And yes, Pete, you can transcribe the first storyline now. Just don't go past the April 2006 comics.


How did you know that would be my next question? :wink: I'll get on that today.

EDIT: the 28 strips are transcribed and uploading to the search engine now.
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Re: The Archive Restoration Project

Postby Mister Munshun on Mon Sep 22, 2008 5:14 am

John T wrote:That's a valid question. I find that comic strips without jokes lose my interest pretty fast. They can really be a chore to read daily. In big chunks? Fine. But daily? Oy. Even if the storyline is good, reading a four panel strip by itself leaves me feeling "meh" unless there's a gag to entertain me. It's why a lot of comics I used to read lost me after a while. They used to be funny, but then it was all drama. Blah. Additionally, a strip with a joke on the front page is more likely to hook new readers than a drama strip from the middle of a storyline.

I do a funny strip with a story somewhere in the background. So yeah, I found it necessary to make sure every strip had a laugh during the remaking process. Your own mileage may vary.


Sorry it took so long to get back to this.

Your argument is valid, and I agree with it. Strips-with-jokes will be more attention grabbing than strips-with-drama... But, the old strips were archived for a reason... they're history. They're setting the scenery for the rest of the story. If a reader is interested in the recent comics, and they go back to read the beginnings, a few talky strips probably won't be enough to drive them away, because they already had the laughs. Now they want to learn about the characters and how they got to where they are. I don't think a few missing punchlines in the old stuff is going to drop readership.
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Re: The Archive Restoration Project

Postby John T on Mon Sep 22, 2008 5:59 am

True, in archive form, a few strips without punchlines wouldn't hurt anyone - but I like them a lot better. I don't consider making the old comics "funnier" a bad thing.

Of course, in the end, it's worth noting that I had to add punchlines to only, like, three of the twenty-eight strips. Besides coloring changes and dialog editing to make words sound gooder, I changed very little. Of course, that could change in the future, since I know that later pages have less funny in them to begin with. In any event, I believe that funnier comics = a more entertaining read, even in archive form. So I don't plan to stop changing stuff if I feel like it.

I'm am SO the George Lucas of webcomics.
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Re: The Archive Restoration Project

Postby Arantor on Mon Sep 22, 2008 6:52 am

You're not quite the George Lucas of webcomics, you haven't introduced pointless characters that everyone hates, added graphical effects that look more fake than the models the first time around, and you haven't rewritten your underlying great plot points into something stupider.

Having read the archives both before and after the tweaking, I don't think anything you've done has been a problem.
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Re: The Archive Restoration Project

Postby Mister Munshun on Tue Sep 23, 2008 10:04 am

Where's the missing strips with Felicity and Jabba the Hutt?!?!
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Re: The Archive Restoration Project

Postby John T on Tue Sep 23, 2008 1:37 pm

Mister Munshun wrote:Where's the missing strips with Felicity and Jabba the Hutt?!?!
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Re: The Archive Restoration Project

Postby Mister Munshun on Wed Sep 24, 2008 5:39 am

I am so fulfilled right now I could burst.
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Re: The Archive Restoration Project

Postby Arantor on Wed Sep 24, 2008 6:08 am

Darn, I wish I'd spent more of 2004-6 reading comics instead of letting my job rule my life. (Might have been reasonable if I was even a team leader then, but I wasn't.)

Any chance of a resurrection on the older stuff? I know you've said that you don't feel it is appropriate and over the top (and maybe it is, I don't know, I haven't seen that much of it), but it'd still be cool... then again, I'm 25 this year and I look at the stuff I wrote 4+ years ago and cringe slightly... don't know how I thought it was funny.

I'd still love to see it, even if it is hidden away somewhere (since trawling through the Internet Archive is hideously slow and doesn't necessarily have all the older strips in it)
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Re: The Archive Restoration Project

Postby John T on Wed Sep 24, 2008 6:22 am

Honestly, the largest obstacle isn't the content, it's the fact that I HATE THE ART. That page looks okay, but it was drawn two years after all the other pages, which I think look TERRIBLE. That said, I'm toying with it right now. I actually registered secretagentgirl.net not long ago (nothing's there right now, don't try looking). We'll see what happens.
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Re: The Archive Restoration Project

Postby Arantor on Wed Sep 24, 2008 6:41 am

Ah, I misinterpreted the problem - but I do understand. I recently removed all the stuff I once wrote off my old website(s). Partly because I was turning it into a custom MediaWiki setup which was hogging resources disproportionate to the readers (me, really) but mostly because I shudder at the quality.

(Then again, I lost one of the two copies of it in my HD crash and thought I'd lost it all and felt sad about that, until I realised I did have another copy of it elsewhere.)

I'd love to see a comeback, even if you're prefer to play it down and hide it away (including avoiding it being added to WordOwl if you preferred).

But if you hate the artwork that much, then perhaps you'd feel better about it not resurfacing. Ultimately it has to be your decision because people all over the web will be able to see it, and this stuff has a funny way of coming back to haunt you.
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Re: The Archive Restoration Project

Postby Mister Munshun on Thu Sep 25, 2008 4:15 pm

I actually just finished the self-induced torment that was re-reading most of what i'd written over the past 10 years. I sympathize, but unlike my shit, your old stuff is actually GOOD, art aside. So, y'know, get over it ;p Obviously I wouldn't wanna see it if I didn't like it.
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Re: The Archive Restoration Project

Postby John T on Thu Sep 25, 2008 5:01 pm

Yeah, I know it's a personal hang-up. People DID like it. At its peak around 2004, I had about 5000-odd readers. But I just can't bear to put 'em online myself.

That said, it also clashes with the current comic since the characters are the same but the continuity is COMPLETELY different. It's like a whole other universe, and I'd just as soon not unneccesairly confuse anyone.
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Re: The Archive Restoration Project

Postby Mister Munshun on Fri Sep 26, 2008 7:50 pm

Pfft. Marvel Comics doesn't seem to have many confused readers with the Ultimates line. :p
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Re: The Archive Restoration Project

Postby John T on Sat Sep 27, 2008 7:39 am

Funny you should mention that. My friend Andy actually wrote four issues of an Ultimate Flint that had everyone in high school for no apparent reason.

I... I didn't choose to draw it.
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Re: The Archive Restoration Project

Postby Mister Munshun on Sun Sep 28, 2008 10:49 am

I love stuff like that, though. I love the idea of the Ultimates line. Same characters, different worlds, variations of storylines.

If you're familiar with the Twisted Metal series of games, they have something similar. Each game has the same characters, but usually they all have different backgrounds. The biggest storyline shift came with the first PS2 Twisted Metal, subtitled 'Black'. Pretty much each character and car in that game had been featured in previous games, but in this one they were all escaped mental patients.

There have been other 'parallel universe' ideas like that, and I'm a sucker for most of them. I'm even rebooting some of my own storylines, coincidentally with a new one where everyone's in high school ;p
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Re: The Archive Restoration Project - Update Oct 13th!

Postby Arantor on Wed Dec 17, 2008 3:22 pm

Have there been any more restorations done since October?
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Re: The Archive Restoration Project - Update Oct 13th!

Postby John T on Wed Dec 17, 2008 6:01 pm

You'll be the first to know if there is. Stripping the archives is going to be an added benefit of eliminating Sporkman for now. I suspect that there'll be a number of "new" strips up soon. I actually already reformatted the art for all of 2 and the beginning of 3 (and, for no apparent reason, half of 5, which was already stripped to begin with). I just need to letter them.
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