How freakin’ cool is this? Big thanks to SuperFan Kelsi Swensen for making my inbox very, very happy over the weekend. Now I want to play the video game!
Last week, the day after the big finale to Chapter 12 dropped, Marc and I recorded a podcast with Tom Racine, Tall Tale Radio how and he of the great, honey-dripped voice. We talked the reaction to Chapter 12, what’s coming next for the Fogeys (beware: minor spoilers), Captain Spectacular’s woes, and, just for kicks, Star Wars 3D.
Which is better for webcomics, long chapters or short chapters? I realize not all webcomics use the chapter system, but for those that do (like SuperFogeys), which is best? I think about this often. The average SuperFogeys chapter is about 30 strips, but some have been much shorter, and at least one is twice that length. Does it matter?
I think one of the advantages of shorter chapters is that I can hone in on a moment or a character. The shortest SF chapter, Chapter 8, “The Captain and the Spy,” was an intense little character study of Cap and Spy Gal. I liked it at the time and felt it was necessary, but it doesn’t get talked about much when people look back on SF history. Same with Chapter 11, “The Doctor and the Doctor.” Most refer to the last strip in 11, if they refer to it at all. I wonder if these shorter chapters are seen as too slight.
Contrast that with chapters like Chapter 7, “Visiting Day” and Chapter 10, “Bubbles of Light.” A lot happened in those chapters and people seem to really dig them. Does the length help them? Or is it just the high degree of incident?
And what of Chapter 12, “Jackpot!”? 62 episodes total. Some have said that this chapter has dragged because, according to them, not much happened in the first half. Others have told me it’s their favorite so far because of all that’s gone on from the very first episode. Which is it?
I’d love to know your thoughts. Which, as a reader, do you tend to prefer? Long chapters or short ones?
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It was recently put across to me that Chapter One of The SuperFogeys, “Insane Romance From Hell,” is the number one barrier SF has for attracting new readers. I didn’t disagree.
This same person told me that, in their opinion, SuperFogeys is easily as good if not better than anything DC or Marvel are putting out these days. High praise, but why the disconnect? If SF is that good, then why is Chapter One so bad?
If you’ve read the chapter, of course you know. Chapter One plays out the way you think a comic strip about old superheroes in a nursing home would: gag-a-day, old people jokes, stiff characters, parody and bad-to-barely-acceptable art. It has its charms. I still think strip 12 is one of the best jokes I’ve ever done. The last strip is essential to the overall SF mythology. But the rest? Doesn’t feel–or look–like what SuperFogeys very quickly turned into. Compare Chapters 1 and 2. Big difference.
I wish I could go back. I’d love to redo Chapter One, make it shorter and more concise and… pretty. I’d probably take the Operation: Valhalla story and the Third Man’s introduction and incorporate it. I’d probably make it a proper introduction to the world of Valhalla and include a lot more background characters. I’d make the whole kidnapping business with Spy Gal much shorter and less complicated. I’d make Dr. Rocket a bit less of a dirty old man.
I’d set up the mystery and the dynamics between the characters and get out. And I’d make it look GOOD. A real enticement for what follows.
Who knows? Maybe one day it will be worth doing. I’m loathe to change history, but I think it’s true–new readers who check out Chapter One do not really learn the first thing about what SuperFogeys really is. Would anyone call SF a parody anymore? Probably not.
I dunno. I wish I knew the solution here. Is there a chapter that’s better to jump in on? 4? 7? Maybe the upcoming 13. I could see that.
What do you think? Is Chapter One that bad?
I mean. This:
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Hey all. I’m still getting used to blogging in two different places. Still trying to figure out what I should be posting here and what I should be posting on my new site, brockheasley.com. Would love to hear your suggestions. I’m really interested in creating more SuperFogeys-related blog content. What would you guys like to see?
Still, there’s some stuff on my new site that many of you haven’t had a chance to see yet that you might be interested in. Here’s some recent posts:
The Year We Took a Family Photo with The Incredible Hulk -
She took his head clean off.
My wife Erin had given him to me and he sat proudly atop my computer monitor at work, glaring down at me with rage. When I shuffled the wrong way and hit my knee against the desk, he was the one who got hurt as his head swayed to and fro, his chin knocking against his chest and back.
“WHY HULK’S HEAD SO MUCH BIGGER THAN HULK’S BODY?” he asked in protest. “HULK IN CONSTANT FEAR OF TOPPLING OVER. THIS WHY HULK SO MAD!!”
But my daughter Elora loved him. Read more…
The Very Bad Year (That Ended Pretty Well) -
In my Church, on the first Sunday of every month, it’s open mic service. We call it “Testimony Meeting,” but, really, you can get up and say just about anything. It can get scary. The point is to bear witness of Christ and your faith in him, but sometimes people find a way to tie their faith into their weekend trip to Costco and, I don’t know, boogers. It gets random sometimes. That’s the risk, but the rewards are typically pretty great. Read more…
23 Years Ago Today… -
I can’t let this day go by without acknowledging it. 23 years ago today my father was shot twelve times in an armed robbery and my life and the lives of my family were changed forever. And, in my estimation, for the better.
Here’s a couple of videos showing what happened that day. Read more…
The Goal Age -
Today, I turned 35-years-old. I’m so pleased.
I’ve always wanted to be 35. Always. Read more…