Videos and Books

October 13, 2014 by Tim

This week’s Comic Work video is up. For this video I begin explaining some of the tools and programs that I use in the course of creating my comics.

I also did a short review of Styx: Master of Shadows. It’s a game that sets out to be a classic hardcore stealther in the vein of the original Thief games. It brings all the most important elements of that genre to bear (sneaking, shadows, patrolling guards, etc) but falls short in so many other places (both technical and gameplay-wise) that the game feels rough and unfinished. The argument could be made that, for $25, and for the things it manages to do well enough, it may be worth the price of admission, but I would recommend just waiting to see if it pops up on the Steam Holiday sale and grabbing it even cheaper. Especially since we’re in the midst of the fall game blitz, and there are so many games to choose from.

Now, I’m going to shift gears here and talk about something that’s been in my mind for the past couple of weeks. The Ctrl+Alt+Del books.

I imagine it’s pretty apparent that I don’t release these comic collections fast enough. I think at least five years passed between Volume 3 and 4, and now its already been a couple of years since Vol 4 and I don’t have Vol 5 ready.

Putting the books together isn’t that difficult… all of the comics are already drawn. The bottleneck is the commentary. When I released my first book a decade ago, I said to myself “I’ll put commentary on every page!” without considering that I might, at some point, have twelve years worth of comics that need to be put into books. And frankly, not every comic warrants commentary.

The whole process is a chore, and it prevents me from working on the books at all. So now I have four volumes, and keeping the same size, it would take another eight books just to reach the end of Ctrl+Alt+Del 1.0 in 2012. And pretty shortly I’m going to need to be collecting the new stuff (The Starcaster Chronicles, The Console Wars, the new Ethan/Lucas stories) into their own books.

I hate the idea of abandoning the current book series. But I desperately want to make all of CAD 1.0 available in book form, and it just isn’t happening in the current format. 

Whereas for so long, the storyline was just “ongoing”, I now have a definitive ending point for the first iteration of Ctrl+Alt+Del. So I think the solution is one, massive project. An Omnibus. What I’d like to do is collect all of CAD 1.0, the first ten years of the comic, 1800 strips, into one giant, definitive book set. 

Tackling the entire first decade in one collection not only allows me to put it all in one place for people to own, but also offers me the opportunity to divide the comics in a way that I can’t do with the smaller, periodic volumes.

And what I mean by that is that I envision a boxed set where all of the Ethan and Lucas comics are collected chronologically in their own book(s), and then all of the gaming-related one-shots are likewise placed in their own volume(s). This would allow people to read the entirety of Ethan and Lucas’ first storyline from start to finish, without interruption.

This is all in the very early brainstorming stages, and if I start working on this, it’s likely I wouldn’t have anything to show until next year sometime, but it’s definitely something I’m exploring, and I wanted to let you in on what might be over the horizon.


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