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2012 Jul 15 - Frederick

I have finished Episode 8, which is completing Season 3, which in turn completes the first big story arc. I also won the race agaist my kids as I wanted to complete Season 3 before becoming father and my boys thankfully gave me the time to do so.

The Episode itself is a whopping 18 pages long, far longer than anticipated and far longer than anything I ever did comic-wise. In comparison to this: the whole first season is 18 pages long. I must admit, while I like the fact that there is more story told in the episode, I feel it is a bit too long. I could have saved a page here and there by compressing the pages more. This would have also saved me quite some photoshopping effort since the acting characters in this story are distributed among four character slots and had to be elaborately cut and pasted together to appear in the same frame. But enough talk...

There is a blooper in one of the images, if someone likes to play detective. There is a character visible that shouldn't be visible in that spot. When I found it, my wife said I should leave it in. And so I did. (I has leet hubbying skillz)

Having completed Season 3 I will allow myself a creative pause as I became father a month ago and I also want to revise the design of the comic. Additionally, there are other things that need to be tended to, making photobooks from the last 3 holidays and my wedding, creating a cover for the To Borgly Go book and of course, being father. So do not expect anything before late fall. I have recently tried a few different versions of speech bubbles and I am considering moving from portrait to landscape format for the pages. I also grew a bit tired of the old page design, though I like the look, I want to change a few things here and there. We'll see how things turn out in the end.

Storywise I have already decided where to go in the next few episodes. The Klingon war will become more dominant, as a background first, later it will become very hot. Dinkelsen will visit Valhalla and witness it growing. Maybe I'll do some episodes from the view of a Klingon captain. I like the idea of showing some Klingon content. I am not decided there. I hope I will have enough time to complete these plans as they are literally pouring out of my mind at the moment.

You are still reading? Good! I have still things to say! Looking back at the 3 seasons, there was a lot of learning in for me. I had to develop my style, my characters, find my own way. I made a few mistakes mostly because I followed the STO way more than I followed what I thought was right. Most notably, the ships. In STO, we virtually have fleets of ships at our disposal, stowed away in some magic trans-dimensional hangar waiting for us until we need them. In what I consider a feasible reality, you would get one ship. If you lost it... well tough luck. Maybe you would get another, but a third?

At fist I wanted to have a new ship in every season and I planned to have a Nova, Olympic, Galaxy, a Nimbus and then a Sovereign. This way I thought I could showcase the STO ships. Big mistake. I should have placed Dinkelsen in a Sovereign from the beginning on. After all, thats the ship I am flying for 2 years now. And now I have the mess of somehow having to explain why he gets one new ship after the other in spite of him losing every single one.

Captains Dinkelsen has some character development himself, beginning clumsily and quite uninformed, has to have every game aspect explained to him. This will stop. But of course, the funny side of things will be back again, after all, its a comic. While I do intend to tell serious stories, there are also humorous aspects that have to be exploited. I already made a humorous episode for the August issue of the fleet magazine (Tribble Soccer) and another one is in production dealing with... this will be a surprise.

So I thank you for reading the comic, I hope you enjoyed it. If life allows it and presents me with some spare time, the journey will continue.

2012 Jun 25 - Cirini Prime

The Cirini Prime episode is coming along nicely, I am getting faster and faster compiling the pages after I complete a script. The speech bubbles take the most time, with Season 4 I will maybe think about a major design overhaul. New and faster to make speech bubbles, maybe a larger font, we'll see what I will come up with.

What I really wanted to write about in this entry is: a funny thing happened to me while writing the script for the episode. It ended up copmpletly different from what I had envisioned. Now that is pretty common and equally refreshing for me as the author, but in this case, the difference was significant.

The plan for "Cirini Prime" was laid down quite early when designing the season and it more or less resembles the STO mission "Project Nightingale". I will not go into further detail about writing own stories and not following the STO lead, this has been discussed and I promised to stop ranting about it.

Before Cirini Prime I made a short episode called "Camouflage", before that there was a 4 week creative intermission. So when I sat down and felt the winds of creativity rising again I started typing and was quite suprised by the result.

Every STO mission has the captain and his or her command crew running around on the ground with phasors pewpewing enemies left and right. While this is extremly entertaining in a video game scope, I'm not so comfortable with the idea when writing a story. So when I started writing I suddenly saw Miranda sitting in the bridge commanding the operation while trained and able soldiers did the gunfights. Sure, when I look back Frederick had his share of pewpewing and I am sure he will still be seen on planets but I do like the idea of having bridge officers and MACO teams doing the military part of the game, while the captain sits in his ship commanding.

So Miranda stays on the ship (with one exception but that just *had* to be) even the senior officers stay on the ship but considering this is a head on military assault, I feel very ok with it. The real reason behind this is that on Mirandas bridge, there are almost only female officers and the few male officers are quite alien. Given the cost for Maco XI gear I only have it on Fredericks character and with this char, I can only act as human males.

Interesting is, that while writing the script I always felt the urge of writing faster and faster, since the actors had so little time and there was so much going on at different scenes. I hope the fast-pacedness shows as it was quite entertaining to write it this way.

2012 Jun 26 - Stardates

Every episode has a stardate. These stardates, while following a distinct pattern, do not reflect comic-time. One episode could have a stardate a and the next episode, while in comic time starts right after the predecessor, could have a stardate several months later.

Stardates translate to real dates but they are a timestamp when the episodes were made in our time. Stardatses are the dates when I started graphically compiling an episode +400 years. So if I start an episode on June 26, 2012 the corresponding stardate would be the conversion of June 26, 2412 - 89484.64

2012 Jun 25

I wanted to do a blog for a long time now. There are episodes where I feel I have something to say, but there is only space for a few lines of text at each episode in the pages.