< Piro >
Monday - April 23, 2001
You may have noticed something a little different about today's comic. It's not a typical four-panel comic (like the ones that we discussed in last friday's Naze Nani Nadesico) - not only are the squares gone, but you will note that it's taller. Hmm...
I've said in the past that Megatokyo is an experiment. Largo and I, as well as a small group of others (Seraphim, Dom, Ed, Tsubasa, and Wing Zero) have been working on this site since... gee, has it really been that long? Since August? Gee. Well, anyways, the real purpose of megatokyo was that it has been a device by which i have attempted to improve my pathetically meager art skills by the brute force of having to draw a comic three times a week. I think i've made some progress since August. A little. I can see it when i did the Naze Nani for friday - the Naze Nani eps are like snapshots. What sucks is that i can't just re-use the frames from 3 months ago - the character drawings have progressed too much.
The story of arguing over horizontal vs. a vertical format is true - we did scratch our heads figuring out which would work best. The reason i've stuck to a four-square format so firmly for the past 8 months was that it reduced some of the variables i had to deal with when trying to draw the strips - the stage was a simple square, and i worked within that. It also worked pretty good for a comic format. Except for one small problem - is Megatokyo really a comic? To me, MT has always been fighting the format.
I was reading thru some manga this weekend, in particular Love Hina volume 1 and Salad Days volume 8. I had this very bizarre thought that it really wouldn't be THAT much more work do draw a manga-sized panel than it currently is to do a Megatokyo comic.
Well, to make a long story short - we're changing format. I have no idea what i am doing with manga-style panel layout. We'll just learn by doing, shall we? A four panel comic is pretty linear - start frame, two middle frames, and a wrap up. This has worked great so far, but i think in the long run it will be pretty limiting. Frankly, the four panel layout is one of the main reasons it took so long to get the story off the ground. With a whole page, literally 1 to 1.5 ratio (which is pretty standard for manga) Largo and I suddenly have a hell of a lot more flexibility with the comic. This is a good thing. We might be getting closer to a reasonable hybrid of comic and manga that MT seems to want to be.
It was a long weekend. A format change isn't easy - i had to re-think the way i put the comic together. Even scripting is different. After fiddling with things Saturday night, i sat down and gave it a whirl. i actually finished the drawings for today's comic earlier than i usually do (a good sign, frankly) and after fiddling with it off and on all day Sunday... I'm pretty happy with the results. We'll see how well it works out. I'm sorry if you don't like the change - perhaps you liked the old format better - that's ok. It's easy to say 'it was fine, why change it'... well, it was time to change. I'm confident in the drawing end these days that i feel it's ok to start messing with the format.
Kinda funny, really, to make this change right after that Naze Nani on drawing format... ^_^