This week I celebrate two milestones:
First, the site has exceeded 100 pages of content. Only 316 pages on my “to do” list now…
Second, with issue 12, the Heroes comic-book-without-pictures reaches the end of its (arbitrarily decided) first volume, and a thematic turning point: the team’s (I use the term loosely) first full adventure without their mentor, Don, and their growing acceptance of their role in the world.
This issue took a long time to write. I was doing fine until the last few pages. There I was, thinking the issue was about Fred, when I suddenly realised it was equally about James. (It’s a constant problem with James: he’s always pushing himself to the front of anything that’s going on.) This stymied me for a while and I spent quite some time rewriting the last few pages to make them say what I wanted them to say. I then needed extra pages to make the ending work (and it still feels a bit rushed).
You may have noticed that every issue of Heroes has been 22 pages long. There’s no real need for this. It’s a traditional length for comic books, but they do vary. And on the Web, I have no real constraints at all. I could use any number of pages I want to make the story work, as I have this month. But I like the discipline of keeping to the 22-page limit, so I’ll keep this as a one-time variation.
Here are some stats for this arbitrary volume:
270 “comic” pages (my printed archive runs to 498 pages of text but I’m very generous with white space)
1,262 panels (that’s 1,274 pieces of non-art, including covers)
This last figure is interesting: if Heroes was a regular book, it wouldn’t even make a short novel. Yet I feel that I’ve told a lot of story in those words. Which supports my original thesis: a comic-book script is a very good format for a lazy writer.
Elsewhere, there isn’t much more to this week’s update. The Electron bio page got pushed back to next week, for reasons I can’t quite remember (it’s written but it’s not in this update for some reason). So all you get for for your money is a rather pointless timeline of 2323, and an even more pointless entry on the Museum of Antiquities (honestly, I’m not even sure why I wrote this).
The most interest new page is probably the history of troll rock – yes, my universe has its own music genre. How cool is that? Troll rock (and its associated subculture) will crop up fairly often in the story, so it seemed worth talking about it.
Next update will be next Friday, as usual.