On Planning, Pacing, and Patreon.
To the Coven,
I want to start off with some thanks. Having so many of you (and more than half being strangers) show a serious interest in the state of my comic, went a long way. I got asked on numerous occasions, how it was going, and when it would be released. I can not put into words how much that meant to me. I didn't think many would care, let alone even know, what I was locking myself away for months and months for. All I can say is thank you all for asking. Doesn't sound like much, but it helped me push through sometimes.
And now after years of extremely hard work, delays, setbacks, more work, self doubt, and long hours, I can finally present you all to "Gravehill."
I spent the betterpart of the past 3-4 years getting ready for this day. It's a weird feeling now that I'm actually here. A big part of me thought I'd never do it; either from fear, anxiety, or just being too hard on myself. But I am here. And I can sigh with relief. But I know I just have to look up to see that I've only climbed the base of the tower I've created for myself. There's so much that still need to be done. So many ideas, and planning, and work. I've never been one to shy away from a bit of work, though. Now that this first, and major, climb is over, It should get a little easier, I think. At least psychologically.
Regards, I planned ahead! A large part of why I took so long to put anything out was I felt like I needed to have enough material to sit on in order to do so. I see a lot of online comics pitter out when deadlines aren't met, and it can annoy your audience. I'm a patient fella, so that sort of stuff doesn't get to me, but I can see why others might get upset. So, instead of working week to week on pages, I decided to compile enough that it should give me ages of buffer in between anything new. As of now I have TWO completed issues of "Gravehill" and one of "Terminal Redux", with each "Gravehill" issue with 20+ pages. I also have 2 completed scripts for the next issues, and drafts for the ones after that. With this website being updated 2 pages a week, there shouldn't be snag in production any time soon.
Which leads me into Patreon! Since I do have so much "Gravehill" stuff finished, I have created a Patreon for anyone who would like access to this material ahead of my website! Buy supporting the book (in a certain tier) you can get all completed issues! And once a page is completed of any new chapter, you'll be able to see it that day! Not to mention, you also get tons of neat freebies and goodies. Now, I honestly, don't expect the world. I have always said this would be a free comic for anyone to read. I'm doing it out of passion. This is a story that I am doing because it's something that I've wanted to do my entire life. If no one wants to join the Patreon the issues are still going to be written, the pages are still going to be drawn, and everything will eventually find its way here free for everyone.
That all being said, I do want to make a note about the first chapter "The One From Gravehill". It was kinda of tough trying to figure out a good way to start putting this one out there, because it starts off very slowly. On purpose, mind you. I'm a very huge fan of film, you see, and a lot of my influence for this book is derived from it. Namely Sergio Leone spaghetti westerns. There's something about the pacing in those movies that creates a surreal sense of isolation that I love. If you've ever seen the opening "Once Upon a Time in the West" you'll know what I'm talking about. You're a spectator in a world that cares little of your presence. Space and time expand beyond your scope of rational thought, and all you can do is observe it all unfold. If you're not a fan of that sort thing, and find it boring, (and the first few pages of this first issue are boring) then I promise you it'll pick up! Haha! But if it helps, this chapter starts off with our hero wandering the desert for an unknown amount of time, all by himself. If you were in that situation, it would be boring. But like a barreling train, we have to pick up steam from nothing. Thusly, I've posted 3 pages for the release instead of one! And if you still aren't the patient type, become a patron and get the issues instead of the waiting for 2 pages a week!
And that's that for this update! I'll try my best to type up something neat for you guys to ogle at about the book when I can. But one last thing before I go. I want to end this as I began: with some thanks. I want to thank my brothers, for helping out with the editing, especially Anthony for being there since day one, and never holding back on letting me know what's stupid. I want to thank my friend and confidant George Muecke for all the help and motivation. I want to thank Sarah for reading every page no matter how late it is when I finished it. I want to thank everyone that previewed the issues and gave me their feedback. And I want to thank anyone that reads this.
-F. D. Duarte