Which way indeed

March 31, 2008 by Tim

Cartoons, Books, and Space Archaeology.

Let’s do the real things first.

Season 2 of the Ctrl+Alt+Del Animated Series launches today with the first of twelve episodes. After this we’ll be aiming to release them on the first of each month. We’ve been working on Season 2 since last September, so we’ve got a bit of a headstart on episodes this time around, so we shouldn’t run into any of the deadline crunch issues that plagued Season 1.

I watched one of the rough final cuts for the first episode of Season 2 last week, and it was coming in at about eight minutes. I was pretty happy with it. I really feel the animation quality is better than anything that came out of Season 1, and considering that we’re essentially starting from scratch with a whole new animation team, that’s not a bad way to start out.

This time around we have the necessary tools and communication in place to make sure the quality only improves as the season progresses. Many of you have already subscribed to the second season, and you can still do that. Subscribers get access to the show as it is released, and also get a hefty discount on the DVD at the end of the season.

Or you can buy episodes individually for a few bucks, if you want to check out the animation before subscribing. In fact, we’re going to be offering this first episode for a mere $0.99, just so people can check it out.

The books will go on sale this Wednesday at 11am PST. That’s the reprint (finally) of Volume One, and issue 2 of the comic book. There are plenty of softcovers of Volume One, and a limited run of hardcover books with the new cover.

What we’re going to do with the Limited Edition hardcovers is break them up into two lots. Half will go on sale at 11am PST and the other half will go on sale later in the evening, around 6pm PST. This is just in case they sell really fast, and some people are in work/school etc. It may not be necessary, this is a reprint of a book, not a new volume, so the hardcovers may not sell out in minutes as they have in the past. But just in case, we want to give people a fair shot to grab one.

Now, onto other things. You’re probably asking yourself… “Ethan MacManus: Space Archaeologist?”

When I was a kid I used to love this book series called ‘Choose Your Own Adventure’. They were gamebooks written in the 2nd person that allowed you to make decisions throughout that determined the course of the story and the ending you got. I was addicted to the things for a while. In high school I made a couple of attempts at writing my own versions.

For a while now I’ve wanted to try something similar with the comic strip, so that’s what I’m going to do now. I kept putting it off and putting it off, so I’m just going to do it before I push it off again. I have a wedding/pregnancy storyline to get back to, so it’s now or much later.

The premise is this: Think of the setting as a cross between Star Wars and Indiana Jones, but starring an idiot. Periodically during this story, Ethan will be faced with a choice of what to do next. There will be a few options, and you, the readers, will be able to vote for which option you want, effectively determining the course of the story. The choices will come every other or every couple of comics, so that I have a chance to set up the next set of choices. Voting will take place for 24 hours after the comic is released, after which I will draw the next comic in the story based on the majority vote.

I don’t know if this will work. It may work splendidly, or it may fail miserably. Hopefully either way it will be entertaining. In the old CYOA books, you could make decisions that would end with the death of your character, and I’m going to keep that spirit alive here. If Ethan MacManus: Space Archaeologist survives, and this little experiment works, we’ll do it again sometime, with an ‘issue 2’. If he dies but the experiment works, we’ll do it again sometime, but maybe with Ethan MacManus: Archmage or any of the other dozens of roles I can toss him into. If the experiment fails, it’s probably safe to say I won’t try it again. But who knows, I’m pretty stubborn.

So anyway, that’s the plan. I’m looking forward to seeing what happens.

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