POLL: We are planning to redo the whole archive. Tell us your thoughts!

Hopefully the poll mechanic works, and you can voice your opinion like that, but feel free to comment as well (because we want to know your reasons).

So, you may have heard, after the current storyline (Vengeance²), John and I will be going back and redoing the whole Ardra archive for print.

Why? Well, for print, so we can have something to sell at cons, and such. It’s the next logical step to showcasing Ardra to a wider audiences. Plus the remake will also happen online as regular updates. ALSO helping to increase the audience, and hopefully start making an earning for the artist. It’s the nature of the beast.

The remaking of the archives should not be as severe as the treatment of The Road Trip. Which was fairly rewritten and rearranged, but did not change the overall plot or intentions already laid out for the characters. The “Dizzyland” segment from the original Road Trip would be placed somewhere else, possibly expanded, but the other storylines should remain fairly untouched as far as placement and content.

For the most part, the plan is to remove references that “date” the comic. Maybe add some jokes, tighten the script (dialogue and art), and perhaps slightly expand some stories for added character development or clarifications. But nothing major that should affect continuity.

An idea that also came up, is to possibly add other storylines during this period. New storylines of experiments, jokes, or adventures that could have also happened during the time frame. The plan for these would not to be affect the continuity of already established canon (at most, they may be referenced, but would not affect the plots or content of existing storylines).

I would like your thoughts!


[poll id=”2″]

Posted on January 25, 2013 at 3:27 am in blog, Uncategorized. Follow responses to this post with the comments feed. You can leave a comment or trackback from your own site.

12 Responses

  1. fesworks says:

    I’m having a feeling that redoing the whole archive might be a bit much in one go, without breaking things up with something new; which is kinda the reason for asking about *possibly* adding new material within the timeline.

    I think the main goal will be to focus on the FIRST book for Ardra (not issues). Like a 100-150 page paperback. That would be a supreme step and goal. But I’m not going to get ahead of myself here.

    And then maybe coming back to the present/future for something new, and then going back to remaking the old. But I think seeing the old redone, with its tweeks, updates, and new art, would still be something to see for regular updates.

    Anyways, this is why I’m asking!

  2. […] With THAT in mind, we have a poll! […]

  3. Jon says:

    Screw the archives. Draw the bloody comic.

  4. xheralt says:

    None of the provided options really sums up my question, which is purely technical. How are you going to present the revised pages to us longtime readers as they come up, and yet keep them in the proper archival order for later reference?

    If you really think its necessary (particularily for compilation and publication purposes), go ahead, but don’t make polishing the past happen at the expense of going forward with the story.

    • fesworks says:

      You bring up a valid point; as well as the the other person, to a much lesser extent. Let me get all of these answered, as far as the “original plan” and the current plans are slated.

      First, I’m not going to “screw the archives”. Ardra has had its share of troubles in maintaining a regular update and creative team for years. No secret to long time fans. The comic does take time a money to create, and the site, as is, doesn’t really bring anything in. Redoing the archives is specifically for that purpose. Any comic NOT done by John, is simply unprintable. I never did get any high-res files from Trevor, otherwise I would likely use those instead. Plus My and Jason’s art is too horrible to use, even IF we had hi-res files for it. For better or worse, its something that just has to be done.

      As far as updating, the plan will likely to divide the archive once again, to keep the past and the present separate. Move The Road Trip to “the past” archive, and move Speed Dating/Vengeance to “the present” archive. Redoing the past archive was being planned as website updates.

      I was hoping to just end Vengeance, and then redo the archives all the way through, but then thought “at least through enough to print an 80-150 page, first book.” Before jumping back to the present.

      The poll, asking about inserting new stories (that could take place in the past, without affecting any current establish storyline), was designed to continue with the chronological recreation of the archives for print. Breaking up the “reruns” with new material, while still making material for the books. I would personally rather not jump between redoing a past storyline, and doing a new “present” storyline… which, again, is why I made this poll to gauge options.

      The option to switch between the past a present for website update: Still on the table. The only caveat about “moving the comic forward” is that… well, I probably should not say until we get to the end of Vengeance (which would be sometime summer 2013). But the comic isn’t outright ending, I’ll tell you that much. I can further say that some potential storylines may not work well enough, or happen at all, after Vengeance ends, as far as the continuing timeline goes.

      Bottom line is that it may not be possible to remake the archives in a timely manner, as well as make new comics updating. Between John and My schedules (including paid work and other obligations) it *might* not be practical to do both simultaneously. Unless we update the website in “seasons” with planned hiatuses. A goal is to work on the book to get something for John and even myself to sell at conventions and online, and pedal to physical and digital stores. As well as hoping to build the audience online with the new art.

      Hopefully I can crank out the scripts ahead of time enough, and hopefully John and crank out those inks more often. But for now, We’re updating this storyline as best as we can weekly, for as long as we can. We love this comic and these characters, which is why we are both stubborn and keeping it alive in spite of other projects, paid work, and responsibilities.

      All in all, we appreciate all of those that have been sticking with us over the years. Hopefully we are coming into a spot in which we can really make something of it.

  5. OrlahEhontas says:

    As usual, I’m a day late and a dollar short on these things.

    That being said, I don’t have any problem with updating the archives, but when you add a new story-line or sequence to the archive, maybe use a “Dream” or “Remember when?” sequence in the main comic and run the ret-con and/or new sequence as part of the new comic. That way the old time fans get to read the new stuff along with the newer fans and stay caught up.

    However you wind up doing it is ultimately up to you, but I’m kinda like xheralt on this. Please keep the story going. It’s really getting good and the artwork is really well done. Kudos to all of you for such a good entry into the web-comic world.

    • fesworks says:

      An idea, yes, is to add new storylines that take place in “the past”, an option is of course to do flash backs, though I would prefer not to do those for whole storylines. Though, I supposed I could just add one page that merely sets up the “flashback” and just update the story as it exists in “the past” archive, but it would likely not appear that way in the book….

      As of right now, I have no solid outlines or scripts for more “past” storylines, except one or two storylines ideas that could take place in the past, and would prefer to make it/them to take place in the past.

      That being said, I should probably say that the MOST that Ardra would update from “the present” would be after an update of “the past”. Meaning that it would alternate storylines from “the past” and then “the present”, and so forth. As stated before, I doubt we can simultaneously work on redoing the archives and updating “the present” at the same time.

      My attempted compromise (as this poll is concerned), was to see if I can add new storylines, new content, that fits into “the past” archive, as we redo the archive. If this might be enough to satisfy the readers that don’t care about seeing “re-runs” so-to-speak.

      But any added stories to “the past” including flashbacks, would not be a ret-con, at least in my eyes; as long as it doesn’t contradict existing storylines. At most they add more, previously untold material. Same goes from when I undoubted add material to Dizzyworld (so it makes sense, from being chopped out of The Road Trip), or updating/non-dating jokes here and there. Another exception will be the “Very Renelsior Christmas”, that was already designed for a remake, but never quite happened, and exists incomplete in the archives already.

      That being said, there is only going to be one ret-con planned, and that is for the current storyline… well, it’s kinda two, but only one actually changes the storyline a little bit, but that change hasn’t even happened yet.

      I’m a huge webcomic reader, so I can understand where people are coming from. I do apologize for the hiatuses, too. But we gotta start walking away from Ardra as a hobby, so we can really justify and dedicate the time to it.

      But I’m hoping to find middle ground, which is why I am welcoming this discussion.

  6. Silverback says:

    As a new arrival here (I found you from an ad link at The Intrepid Girlbot) I really like the story but… it is kind of fractured. What I mean by that is all I can see are the recent additions and while interesting they don’t tell the whole story from the beginning. And when I search the Archives for the early stuff… those original strips desperately need to be updated with the current art.

    I haven’t read through all of them and I see the art did change drastically there. I just think it would be good to have the background of the story all put together to make it a coherent read. For newcomers like me.

    • fesworks says:

      I really should add an update inbetween The Road Trip and Speed Dating, for that reason, pointing people to the old archive for the “stuff in the middle”. Then link back to the current updates.

      the reason I die not merely replace the early strips with the new pages, was because the rewrite didn’t quite line up with the shifting of events. (The Road Trip rewrite was meant to create a definitive first issue introduction to the main characters, hense some shuffling, largely for length.)

      yeah, sorry about the current fractured archive setting, but I wanted to make sure that newcommers saw the…. well… good art. that was half of the reason why The Road Trip was redone.

      hopefully that is the only thing that seemed fractured, as far as the story is concerned; though a lot of the stories are not actually meant to take place immediately after one another. The comic actually does start with The Road Trip, with the girls being about 5 years old.

      Flashbacks and other conversations reveal more about Ardra’s past, but that is moreso tertiary to the overall story. As of Vengeance, the girls are probably closer to 8 years old. Though that’s not official at this time.

  7. […] John and I will be using the extra week to catch up on the current storyline, after we worked out some fixes (that minor retcon I mentioned in the comments of the POLL we currently have running). […]

  8. Silverback says:

    That’s cool, I understand. And certainly when you have that much of the previous story, you can’t just STOP for six months while you re-write/re-draw everything that has come before. You need to keep new materiel coming to keep ahold of your current fanbase.

    I guess what I was clumsily trying to say in my previous post is:
    1. I like your comic! Great stuff!
    2. One of the fun things about discovering a new webcomic is being able to start at the beginning and read “where it all began” up to the current story in a giant fun read. For example, I recently had a few sick days from work and couldn’t do much of anything… except sit at my computer and read. I discovered Gunnerkrigg Court and that took hours to read up to current. And a few others like Girlbot which as I said then brought me here. That is a great way to draw in the new readers to grow your fanbase.
    3. In keeping with that, it would help N00bs to know things like… uh one of the girls seems to have mental powers. When did this start, how far does it go, do they both have different abilities or is it just one? That kind of thing. And the how/when/why of “the experiment”.
    4. Growing readership is good, keeping your loyal fans happy is better.

    Anyhow, thanks for giving a newcomer a chance to talk… and you actually listened!

    • fesworks says:

      The main reasons we had to stop before, was because of life and other obligations. Though right now, we really want to keep updating weekly as long as we can. I really don’t want to go on Hiatus again, if we can help it.

      Glad you are liking the comic!

      Also, yeah, you are right about the psychic abilities never really being explained. As I said, much that happens before “The Road Trip” including all other details of the experiment, gets peppered in over the course of the comic’s updating. But the psychic stuff I am not sure if it was ever expressly stated… I’ll have to look at the archives (because I think it was at least mentioned once). If not, I have a great idea of how to explain it in the remake of “Who’s Your Daddy?”, and it’d only be a page or less. Same way I explained, essentially, what Eileen and Lenore are (more or less) in the Road Trip remake: slight exposition, tied with comedy.

      Also, not sure if I mentioned this yet on the site, but I’m considering running an “Ask Ardra” tumblr blog, as supplemental material. Though John will likely not be drawing for it. Other comics seemed to have really increased their content, reader interaction, and readership by starting such things. Still in the idea stage, tho.

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