Comics is a complex process. You have many people in a long chain, and hopefully if you pass an idea from one end of that chain to the other you end up with a comic. There are good reasons why things work the way they do, and they have been done that way for a long time. There are conventions and tried and tested methods, and professionals who make their living by doing that job the same way every time.
This project has been unconventional from the start. We announced before a word was written, did a convention without a comic to sell, and have done workshops with almost no software to test. The project has thus far been a ghost in the aether. An intangible object, or to put it more bluntly, a lot of hot air.
This month, the time has come to put the art and the words and the tech together into the actual electricomics.
This is the bit that counts. This is the bit where we work out the pipeline for production for real, where we figure out a path between the working practices of the entire comics team, and also the entire technical team.
Time is at a premium, the work still to do is immense, and the only way through it all is one step at a time, working it out as we go.
What filetype do we use? What size? How do you read a balloon when zoomed in, and also when zoomed out.
Comics is usually a constructive process, which each stage bringing together the previous ones, and a neat file being spat out at the end.
Electricomics is a fragmentary almost destructive one, with the art kept as layered files, the pages chopped apart and panels shown one at a time. Each process is complicated, each professional asked for more than usual. The resulting files will be handed off to be assembled by a team of expert but non-comics engineers. Will they put it all back together in the right way, or will it emerge like Frankenstein’s monster, all bolts and stitches and amiable awfulness?
This is the nitty gritty now, this is the bit where we have to put our money where our mouth is.
I find myself holding my breath. Not sure I can hold it for the next eight weeks though…
Edit for clarity: The eight week deadline is for the fourth of our six milestones, we have to fulfil a lot of the technological side of the project at this milestone, so its where the pinch of time and resources and features is really felt.
Milestones five and six are still vital, but have more writing up, and results of the research in them.