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Life and work update

I've been quiet on this here blog lately, haven't I? Apart from not wanting to blog for the sake of blogging anymore (eagle-eyed readers will have noticed that I've trimmed off the "blogospheric" stuff like my Ecosystem details), I've been very immersed in Headsmen which has turned out to be a very work-intensive project. Especially my late decision to colour it kept me very busy. Even with the new approach to colouring in layers, it still took at least 20 hours a week out of my schedule for two weeks, and left me feeling rather sore in the arms at the end of the day. By the way, I haven't forgotten my promise to describe my new coloring procedure.

Headsmen has been worth it, though. Although there are one or two things that I found very difficult to draw, most of the pages have turned out better than anything I've ever drawn before. I will want to fix some of the colorings before attempting to get it printed, but that will be easy with the new layer organisation.

It's turned out to be pretty popular as well: since the start of the storyline, the number of readers has been up consistently, and readers have been browsing the archives more thoroughly than ever. Of course, the new readers didn't appear by magic: I announced the new story in many places and paid for advertising on some prominent sites. Most noticeably, I advertised on DeviantArt and the webcomic Something Positive. The two ads I posted at DeviantArt were my first attempt at paid promotion outside the webcomics world. They worked reasonably well at getting many people to take a look at my website, but most of them didn't follow up much. The advertising on Something Positive, though, was wildly succesful with over 2000 people visiting and quite a few of them absolutely devouring the archives. The only downside to the ad was that it didn't run nearly as long as promised, which I should remember to talk to the sales rep about.
For those of you who are interested in these things: during the first week Headsmen was running, my visitor numbers climbed to over 700 a day on several days of the week, with pageviews reaching over 8000 on the same days - the highest numbers I'd had since August of 2001. The Som*Pos ad on Thursday, Jan. 19 pushed those numbers up to new records of 2067 visitors on Thursday and 65000 pageviews on Friday. I'm still getting over 15000 pageviews a day although the numbers of visitors has dropped back to only a little over that for the days just before the ad.
I believe that for the health of webcomics as a whole, it is important that they are promoted outside of the webcomics fanbase. However, promotion to people who already know about webcomics is much more likely to be immediately effective. A combination of the two is best, but if you're on a low budget, as all of us are, you should concentrate on bang-for-the-buck spots like Something Positive. I'll be on the lookout for similar but unrelated sites to advertise on.
So, I got a bit sore in the arms from all that work, so I've been away from the computer more outside of work. I did a lot of reading: I finished several Simon R. Green novels which on the whole I liked, and am now reading Susanna Clarke's Jonathan Strange and Mr. Norrell which I like a lot.
To be less dependent on Instant Messaging for contact with my bandmates and friends while working in the studio, I've finally broken down and bought a cheap cell phone. As I don't want to become one of those people who yak into their cells on the street, it's usually switched off unless I'm actually at the workplace, but the fact remains that I've let myself be dragged kicking and screaming into the 1990s. Not that it's an unwieldy 1990s model; while not exactly the latest pimped-up model it's small enough for me to have already mislaid it and been unable to find it for almost a whole day.
What else? Didn't see any concerts or movies, hardly found time to do essential chores such as taking my bikes to the repair shop - they're all in a terrible state. Work, work, work, has been all that filled my days these past four weeks.
That's going to change for now, but I'll still be busy. I have finished Headsmen and uploaded its follow-up, Alchemists from 1992, which I prepared for the web earlier. In all, that gives me five weeks to prepare the story after that, The Death Warrant from 1993, and do the promised work on Alcydia over on the Chronicles of the Witch Queen website. Today, though, I'll be off to the library to read magazines and work on the next Gang of Four script, which is due soon. Er, that is, the artwork is due soon, the script was due two weeks ago. But I'll catch up.
The Death Warrant will take until June to complete so I won't be spending such long weeks in the studio after this week.

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This page contains a single entry from the blog posted on January 24, 2006 11:55 AM.

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