Issue #2 of our dysfunctional superhero action-comedy is now on comiXology and available for download here!
Issue 1 of BlackGuard appeared on the digital comic site comiXology awhile ago, and to tell you the truth, all seven completed issues were supposed to be up by now, but Will and I got busy with other projects and had to delay that for some time.
But now we’re back on track and happy to announce that issue to of the comic has been accepted by comiXology Submit. We’ll let everyone know when it finally goes on sale.
In the meantime, checkout Will-s redraw of one of the first BlackGuard group pictures from six years ago! The original is on the left. That used to be the image on our old business cards.
A Change to Our Weekly Schedule
So let me start by saying first of all, we’re not posting a new page today. If you’ve been following us for the past month or so, you’ve probably noticed we haven’t been sticking as strictly to our schedule lately. This year we’ve been moving in a different direction. We’re beginning to see BlackGuard more as a comic book (that’s available online) and less as a webcomic. Because of that, we’ve been putting more energy into areas other than having a new page every Wednesday and Friday.
That doesn’t mean we’re going to start ignoring the site though. We’re still going to try to post two pages a week, but from now on, they won’t have set days and will most likely be posted between Monday and Thursday. We’ll make announcements the day before each post so you’ll know when to look for a new page.
New Web Design
Going along with the new direction we’re heading in, the website’s about to get an updated design also. I plan to have it done within the next week, so if you stop by sometime in the next few days and the site is down, it’s only because I’m updating things
And yes, I did just redesign our site just last year and also the year before that, but I’m still searching for that right blend of usability (ease of reading pages and navigating site), professionalism (looking like a site you would trust to buy products from) and personality (not looking like every other webcomic site out there). I’ve pretty much wrapped up the main page, which is the most essential part for a site of our nature. Now it’s just a matter of updating the sub-pages to match the new design, something I never got around to doing the last time I changed our homepage’s look.
In the last blog I posted, I said that we were still waiting to hear back from ComiXology. Well we finally got an e-mail back from them yesterday. They haven’t completely accepted issue #1 yet. There are still some problems that need to be fixed before they can accept it. The main problem being pixelation and artifacts, which apparently is the most common reason they reject user-submitted comics.
As far as I can tell, our problem is coming from our TIFF files being compressed when they are converted into a PDF file. I think I figured out how to prevent this from happening again, and, as far as I know, that’s the only major problem keeping us back right now. We’ll be re-submitting again in the next few days. Hopefully it won’t take a month to hear back from them next time.
That’s all the updates I have for you today. Peace.
Sorry we don’t have a new page today, but we do have a few updates for you all.
Back in January, I posted a blog about us working on a new design for the BlackGuard logo. We actually finalized that a while ago. I just never got the time to post a new blog about it. But I have a little time today, so here it is.
There are two variations that we’ll alternate between based on the circumstances. We’ve actually already begun using the new logo, which brings me to the next topic of this blog…
I’ve been talking about submitting our comics to comiXology since around this time last year. I didn’t do it immediately because I wanted to make sure our stuff was top quality first. After re-lettering every page of issue 1 and designing a new logo, we finally submitted Issue 1 of BlackGuard for review on February 13. We’re still waiting to hear back from them, but here’s Issue 1’s front cover with the new logo.
Right now, waiting is the hardest part. Regardless, we’ll keep moving forward. We have a lot planned for this year.
Since reaching the halfway point of “The Hero Plot Trial”, we’ve been a little quiet. I just wanted to do a real quick blog to let those wondering know what we’ve been up to.
Will, first of all, has been doing a lot of chibi-style drawings. You can find some of those in our artwork page here. The reason for this is that Will and I have been wanting to launch a second title on the BOSC Comics site that is more like a traditional webcomic or comic strip, but we don’t want something that looks too similar to BlackGuard. We feel there should be a clear distinction between the two titles. Will decided that using a chibi style would help make that distinction, so he’s been working on drawing characters in the style for practice. The new title (which we were advertising to come out last year) is called The Great Purging. Hopefully, we will finally start these strips this year.
Meanwhile, I have been spending a lot of time re-lettering old BlackGuard pages. For many of these pages, this is the third time, they’ve been lettered, but recently I learned of a few more professional lettering standards that I didn’t follow back when I first began doing our lettering. Since we are planning to start selling our books in larger numbers this year, I thought it would be worthwhile to go back and try to make the books look as professional as possible. As it turns out, this task is taking me much longer than I planned, but I still plan to follow through with it. For now, I’m taking it one issue at a time.
Speaking of which, I am almost done with issue one, the first half of “Monkey See… Monkey Free?!” Once that issue is finished, we plan on submitting it to Comixology to be sold as a digital comic. For those of you not familiar with Comixology, it’s the leading distributor of digital comics. They sell everything from Marvel and DC to indie creator-owned comics. They even have apps for mobile devices so you can read your comics anywhere. We suggest you check them out.
Last, “The Hero Plot Trial” will resume this month. Since it’s been a while, we invite you all to go back and refresh your memory on what’s happened so far in this chapter starting here.
Like I said in the last blog, we’re currently looking to make BlackGuard available in more forms than just our website. We’re hoping to reach new fans this way. The website has been growing steadily, but the more channels through which we can make ourselves known, the better.
First of all, we want to get BlackGuard hardcopies into a few stores. We’re going to start with a couple of local comic shops in the Savannah area and then try to expand to other comic retailers. Luckily, Savannah is the home of SCAD, an art school that attracts a lot of sequential artists. So there’s definitely a market for comics, especially independent books, in our area. I’m not sure if we’ll try to sell the individual issues in stores, but we are looking towards having the Volume 1 collection on a couple shelves. Individual issues may just be sold at conventions for now.
If any of you are familiar with Comixology, you may have heard that they now allow independent creators to submit their comics. Comixology is basically the largest distributor of digital comics. They offer comics for iPhone, iPad, Android, Kindle, etc. The advantage to selling comics in this format is there’s no printing or shipping costs. That benefits both us and our readers. Of course, there’s no guarantee that Comixology will accept your work, as they want to keep their site looking professional, only offering quality products. I respect that and wouldn’t want it any other way.
I think we’ll offer both Volume 1 and the individual issues on Comixology (or any other digital comic distributors) so that people can have a variety of options. I do want to go back and touch up a lot of the pages before submitting them, though. There are actually a ton of changes I want to make, so it will be a few months before you see everything made available. I’ll start with issue 1 and submit each one-by-one as I finish them. I think I’ll go into more detail on the changes I’ll be making in Friday’s blog.
Until next time, go with God.
Read the BlackGuard comic here!