< Piro >
Friday - September 26, 2003
Ever hear of the five second rule? You know the one - If you drop food on the floor and you pick it up real quick, you can still eat it without and adverse effects (don't try this at home kids). Maybe it takes five seconds for dirt and germs to realize the food item is there, and if you pick it up quick enough you manage to get there before they do. If something sits on the floor for a longer period of time, obviously more and more germs, dirt, and other nastiness will find it, rendering it dangerous (if not fatal) to eat.
I've never been a firm believer in the rule, probably because I have three cats - trust me, anything that falls to the floor is instantly covered with cat hair. Doesn't matter how often you clean the floors, or vacuum the carpets, if it falls to the floor, it's instantly contaminated.
In more traditional media, when something goes to print, there are a lot of points in the process where you get to look things over, check, double check, make sure things look ok, give final approvals, and off you go. Once things go to print, you can't really go back and change things. Sometimes, when collections are printed, small corrections are made, things tweaked, etc, but for the most part, there aren't drastic changes.
After posting the comic last night and giving it a final read with my sleep addled brain, it dawned on me that the comic needed a different ending. I liked the idea much better than the way the comic stood. This isn't the first time this has happened. There are a few comics in this chapter that I came up with better lines or phrases days or weeks later. In those cases, I feel that things should stay the way they are. After all, most MT readers have read the strip, and have come to understand it the way it was presented.
Last night the strip was up for five minutes, if that, and I decided to take a flyer on it and pull it down. I was too tired to draw the new frame, but early this morning I got up and finished it off, and was much happier with the finished comic (there was one flub in things, and that was that Comcast was having major borkage issues around here and I literally could not upload the comic for over an hour, but eventually I managed it).
Interesting question that comes out of this is... what really is the 'real' work you put up? would it be the same if went back and re-drew an entire comic I didn't like? What if I changed a few things here and there? I have, changed a few comics in the past because they needed tweaking (for example, this one, where I changed Megumi's lines a little, and got the reaction more in line with what I wanted). I don't do it often, never really in major ways. Mostly, I avoid doing this, if I can.
I guess with the nature of digital media being what it is, you come to understand that it's not the final page that is the issue, its people's experience of it. A lot of people saw the original, but certainly not the entire MT readership. Its hard to change an old strip because most readers people have experienced it, and changing it wont really change what people think of the story. Taking a strip down 5 minutes after posting, and reposting a new version the next morning provides an interesting grey area. Is there an equivilant to the five second rule when it comes to posting things online? Is it more of a five minute rule? Or does the comic just end up tasting like cat fur?
It gets down to that whole 3 ways of experiencing an online comic - reading the archives for the first time to the current point, reading them as they come out, and re-reading things later. each person starts at different points, and experiences them in different ways. It's not like a book or a movie, where just about everyone sees it once for the first time, then maybe again if they liked it. How did people feel when they re-mastered 'star wars'? The new Cgs were great, but the whole change with that green Greedo guy suddenly shooting first so it didn't look like Solo shot him in cold blood... you get into issues of revisionism that can leave a bad taste in your mouth.
Anyways, I don't know really where I am going with all this. I suppose it's just a little bit of a brain bubbler, something that just got me thinking a little. I watched the reaction to my little stunt last night to see what the reaction would be, and I think that most people didn't have too much of a problem with it. In the end, I don't really have much desire to go back and change things. Once a comic is done, I like to think its out of my hair, and if there are problems with it, I can always do better on the next one. This one, I felt, was worth changing, so that's what I did.
Of course, this didn't come without sacrifices. Rather than getting up this morning to spend some quality time with my new PS2, I drew a new frame, rehashed the comic, and fought with crapcast all morning to get it up. :(
Yes, I did something last week I've been avoiding doing for years... I bought a PS2. I didn't want one of the damn things sitting there, tempting me, hounding me... but... well, too late now, there it sits, taunting me. I started .hack infection. I have a copy of Disegea sitting there, and I haven't even opened it yet, and I won't allow myself to until I am done with the pre-press for MT book 2... it's almost some sorta weird zen thing, the self control I am having to exert here....
Anyawys, one result of this purchase was that it dawned on me that my Endgames character designs were really more suited to the Everquest / Neverwinter Nights / Ultima Online kind of RPG than the cuter more anime styled ones I actually prefer so I did some free sketching, and the little pirokiko sketch above was the result :)
Megatokyo t-shirts, posters and other merchandise can either be purchased online at the Megatokyo / ThinkGeek store, or from Wizzywig at various anime conventions around the country, even conventions that I will not be at. Below is a list of upcoming conventions where Wizzywig will be at:
- September 26-28 Anime Weekend Atlanta (Atlanta GA)
- October 3-5 C-Kon (South Bend IN)
- October 18 Motor City Comic Con (Detroit, MI)
- November 7-9 - Neko Con (Virginia Beach, VA)
- November 21-23 - Sugoi Con (Cincinnati OH)