Chasing the Sunset News
Chasing the Sunset News Archive
This is a bit of a personal message, so if you just want to know why there's been so many delays of late without reading any of that: it's because of personal reasons. CtS will keep going, it's just going a bit more slowly.
I've avoided making post like this because, well, I can't see why people would care about me (you're all here for the comic after all). Some people in the past have said they would like to know how we're doing so here goes ...
I'm not doing too well.
Physically I'm okay (I think), but I'm depressed. This is not easy for me to admit ... normally I use lighter words like 'a bit down', but, well ... I've been going to bed at 8 in the evening just because I couldn't be bothered to do anything else. I've withdrawn from most forums, chatgroups and whatever I was in. I've been sitting around not doing anything, barely even thinking. It's not fun.
I'm not looking for sympathy (but thanks for those who feel it), as I said: I just wanted to let you know. I'll get over it, I have before in the past. It'll just take time. Until I'm over it, however, CtS will suffer delays. The scripts have been written, but I still have to do the shading and some of the colouring and ... it takes happiness to work on Chasing the Sunset. A bit like how it takes a happy thought to fly in peter pan.
So bear with us... we're working on it... the strips will come (and so will other things that we have promised).
That's it. I'm sorry.
P.S.: If you're one of my few "real-life" friends, and you find out how I've been this way ... I'm sorry, it's not easy for me to admit to weakness.
P.P.S.: Alien prolly needs a hug, too
P.P.P.S.: Yes, Rune is still cute. He's a bit sick right now but that just means he gets to fall asleep in my arms on the sofa.
We've been missing friday's updates of late (and this week is no different) due to a combination of things:
- Rune has stopped taking afternoon naps, leaving Alien much less time to draw
- My day job is very busy currently.
- We've had to repair that ceiling.
So yeah ... busy busy. I haven't even had time to send out emails for the prizes from the anniversary contests yet and those have been well over a month! We've been *that* busy.
However, we've still been updating once a week and we're hoping to return to twice a week next week.
Oh, and we got Alien a Cintiq, so she's going to have to get used to that too.
I'm afraid friday's comic will be a bit delayed because well ...
That is our living room.
On the bright side, when we went to fetch rune from his room so we could take him to grandma while we fixed things, we found he'd escaped his bed and curled up to sleep ...
in the drawer of his closet.
Wow, it's been a busy week. Apart from the anniversary, I've had a very busy week at work which is why I haven't been saying much. However, now it's time to look at the contests and who won!
4 People managed to score 100% on the quiz, of which two left their mail and email. Congratulations to Bryan and Rhys for scoring the full 100%!
Another 11 got 98%, of which two's only "mistake" was saying that they liked Myhrad's purple spider pattern. We'll be counting these as the full 100% as well :) of course there will be a little prize for everybody who got over 90%, so if you got more than that and you put in your email address, then we'll be contacting you with your prize later this week.
The secret code was:
"Don't give up your dreams."
8 people managed to find that, of these Sasharowan and Terrec were closest on the additional question. If you're not one of those 8, here's how it worked:
On the 5 strips, there were codes hidden in the margin like this :
This translated to:
Comic number 430, panel 3, 6th word said by Myhrad.
Once again, we'll be contacting the winners this week with their prizes later this week.
In the end we only got two submissions for our fanart contest, however, they were both very awesome. Technically, our friend Muninn from Spindrift won, but I think both are winners and both will get prizes!
In the end we didn't reach our visitor target of 1 for every day we've been up, but we got pretty close and (barely) broke our previous record for visitors, so yay for that :)
Thank you all for celebrating our anniversary with us, I will continue to try to make this year of Chasing the Sunset the best yet.
Oh, and here's Rune helping Alien draw monday's strip:
Today marks the 10th anniversary of the first strip of Chasing the Sunset going online. Wow. Alien and I have been doing this for nearly a third of our lives now!
In those 10 years a lot has changed, of course. Back then webcomics were pretty new and we were making it up as we went along. Nowadays we are still making it up as we go along, but we no longer have an excuse.
I want to thank everybody who is reading our little comic and especially those readers who have stuck with us through sometimes long periods of sporadic updates. We haven't always been punctual, but here we are ten years after we started and we're still updating (and more regularly now than in the not so distant past).
Thank you, all of you who come to our little website to read our silly little story of elves, dragons and pixies.
Thank you, all of you who through the years have commented. Your words always drive us to keep going!
Thank you, all of you who have spread the word to your friends and family and who have let others discover us.
Thank you, even if you never say anything or do anything except show up in our traffic logs.
It's because of all of you that we have reached this milestone. Thank you.
Today marks the 12th strip of this year. Wow. No, wait, that's not what we're celebrating, is it? Oh right, ten years, that's it.
It's strange to think about how large this has grown, when i consider its humble beginnings. I was doodling a little dragon in MSpaint, and didn't want to just colour it green, so i asked some friends online to name a colour. One person said blue, another orange, so i took both. This was the result:
As people wondered what i needed the colours for, i ended up showing them the stripy dragon. Many of them actually liked the beast, and Mithandir opined we should make a comic with it in, and as we started plotting out something more thorough than "something with a blue and orange dragon in", we found out we could make this story happen. And so we set to work.
Since that time, CtS has grown immensely, and us with it. We are better at creating this webcomic than when we started, and hopefully that does make it more worthwhile to follow. Knowing people do follow it and enjoy it makes it all the more worthwhile to create, and seeing visitor numbers and reading comments always makes us feel all squishy and happy inside.
10 years, 728 strips.
If I'd just coloured that dragon green, i'd probably not have shown it to anybody, and CtS would never have existed.
I'm glad it didn't end up green.
Before I begin: today's comic will be up tomorrow. Alien was having pains in her wrist so I told her to take it easy for a bit.
Now for the important bit:
On Monday February 18 2013 (in two weeks time) Chasing the Sunset celebrates its 10th anniversary!
We're celebrating this with a number of contests, and the first to be announced is the fan-art contest. Show off your skills by drawing something Chasing the Sunset related and win one of our many prizes!
- A drawing or painting to be submitted before Sunday February 17th to mith AT fantasycomic DOT com
- Must clearly relate to Chasing the Sunset, e.g. using one of our primary or secondary characters or a distinguishable structure (say the amazon's hatching ground)
- PG-13: no nudity or excessive violence, we have kids reading here.
- You must have fun while making it!
All submissions will be put up for a public vote on the 18th, so even if you're not submitting, make sure you come and vote!
The following prizes will be given out:
- Hell's pixies ministrip PDF (once we finish it)
- Signed copy of Chasing the Sunset Issue 1
- Chasing the Sunset magnets and buttons
- Chance to work with Alien and me to create a new secondary character to appear in the next chapter.
- Highest ranking european winner will additionally have a chance to win a CtS-themed 10" android tablet with all CtS strips pre-loaded!
In 4 weeks time, on Monday February 18th Chasing the Sunset will be celebrating its 10th birthday! Whee us!
And celebrate we will! In the weeks leading up to that day we'll run a number of contests (like a fanart contest) with prizes and everything!
We're still working on the prizes include signed books, buttons/magnets, myhrad cookie cutters, bonus stories and even (for our european readers) an android tablet ready to read the comic on!
Additionally we'll be trying to make that day the busiest day in CtS history with a goal of 3654 unique visitors. That's one for every day chasing the sunset has been running. If we reach that target, we'll release some bonus material for all of our readers here.
Alien and I have had a semi-assembled 3D printer sitting around since september, but we have always been too afraid to finish it. Yesterday some friends helped us finally get it done, and today I managed to print this:
Now there's a lot of work yet calibrating it and getting figures, but this is the first step towards getting Chasing the Sunset miinatures.
Update: Second print
It's not often I actually like something I've done, so I figured I'd highlight the first frame of today's comic a bit :)
First of all, a happy new year to all of you! May 2013 be filled with joy and laughter.
Second of all, I'd like to talk a bit about our plans for Chasing the Sunset in the new year. This is after all the time of year to make plans and resolutions. So what's coming in 2013?
In 2012 we managed only 42 strips (not counting fillers). While that may seem very little, it's still a lot more than the 15 we did in 2011. For 2013 the target is 100 strips. This means roughly twice a week starting when we get back from Norway. This is an unrealistic target. The last time we managed that many strips in a year was back in 2004 when the art was a lot less elaborate. The last three years combined we made fewer strips. Still, the target is 100. To make this possible we're changing how we work a bit ...
The next chapter will be the first to be fully scripted before Alien starts drawing on it. Before I at most made a couple scripts ahead of time, but now that's changing. Writing the whole chapter ahead of time will allow me to create better and more consistent stories. Additionally it will mean that comic doesn't get delayed due to writer's block, which was one of the main causes of delays in 2012. So yes, we're aiming to improve both quality as quantity.
February 17 of this year will mark the tenth anniversary of the first Chasing the Sunset strip being uploaded (say hi if you remember our orriginal dragons.falldowngoboom.org address!!) and we plan to celebrate it! We'll have contests and prices and special art and lots of other shiny things (one of the contests will be a fan-art contest so if you want a head start, we're not stopping you :)).
In 2012 we released teh first CtS book spanning the first 80 ish strips and bonus material. In 2013 we aim to release 5 more. 4 of these will be the same size and format as the first book while the fifth will be a softcover book combining the other five (that made no sense at all did it? :P). This will mean remastering quite a lot of existing strips, so even if you don't plan on buying any of them, look forward to some art upgrades on older strips.
New site design
I've been working slowly on a new CMS aimed at comics to replace Willow (which is the cms I wrote years ago and which runs cts now). I'm not sure when it'll be done, but when it is, expect a lot of new site features as well as a version of the site optimized for tablets.
I'll be finishing the seven minute war board game some time in the first quarter of this year. When it is done and properly playtested, I will release the PDF's and instructions so that anybody who wants to can print their own copy and play.
The Fantasy Comic Portal
In 2012 I founded <a href=”http://www.fantasycomicportal.com”>the fantasy comic portal, a community site for fantasy and science fiction comic creators. It has since grown to a big community with over a hundred creators. In 2013 I plan to take this further so look for things to happen there too.
Lots of other stuff vaguely planned... I'm working on a little children's story that I'm hoping Alien will illustrate for me. We will probably visit the Elf Fantasy Fair again this year and we're going to Wacken Open Air metal festival (okay, that's not CtS related :P). We might try a couple conventions again this year, possibly one in Breda, the Netherlands that looks kinda fun.
In short, 2013 should be a shiny year! What do you think about our plans?
Just a little heads up about what we're up to.
Basically we're being extremely busy with end-of-year stuff. This christmas we'll be celebrating at my inlaws place in Norway, which means getting the baby over there and a lot of complex things on top of the usual end-of-the-year chaos.
Specifically, starting friday we'll be in Norway for three weeks and we won't be able to create comics there. Sorry, but we simply don't have the gear there (and prolly not the time either). Unfortunately due to everything that needs to be done before we leave, we didn't manage to get a buffer ready either, so here's what's going to happen:
- Sometime this week you'll get a new comic. It will be the chapter image for the next chapter (that's one of the reasons for no buffer: these take a lot more work to make).
- While we're in Norway we'll post some filler strips that alien will draw there. We have no clue yet what these will be.
- While I'm there, I'm going to script the entire next chapter. This is something I've never done before for CtS. I hope this will result in a better storyline.
- Once we're back, we'll start updating normally again.
- Next year in february will be the 10th anniversary of chasing the sunset. We've got some stuff planned for that too. There will be prizes.
I've just read through the comments left on my earlier post and would like to thank you all for your kind words. I'd also like to answer some of the questions posed.
I'm nothing if not needlessly wordy, so I've divided this post up in sections so you can skip to the bits that actually interest you :)
Several of you said that if we miss updates, we should say something and I understand that. There's a couple of reasons I haven't, but for those who want to know let me explain why we have been so dodgy with updates the past few months (and why it should be better in the next few).
There's a whole bunch of reasons:
1) I've been ill. I caught glandular fever some time ago (which is weird since I already had it as a kid) and that's a disease that really drains your energy for a long time if you get it as an adult. I'm getting over that though (well, right now I'm sick with something different altogether. Yay, progress!).
2) I've been very busy with the day job. Some major deadlines got pushed forward and I was made responsible for some major new product development. All this meant that during august and september I've been working 50+ hours a week every week, on top of being sick. In theory though that workload should come down sometime next week.
3) I've been down. It's very hard to work on something creative when you feel like nothing you create is good. It's especially difficult to write a light-hearted, optimistic story when down.
4) I've been driving to work instead of cycling. Yeah, it matters. Most of the good story ideas for CtS I thought up while cycling.
So why should things be better now? Well ... I can't promise anything to be honest, but the dayjob should start getting less busy and I may finally be rid of the glandular fever. I'm still rather down, but that can change quickly with me.
Either way, I have just written a couple scripts today, which was good to do again.
I have also in the past two weeks been working on the story for the next chapter. People have mentioned, and I agree, that the story is getting too loose: it's not clear why things happen and I cut things off too abruptly. To try and fix this I'm doing something I haven't done before for CtS: I'm writing a whole chapter of scripts at once.
This is tough, but I think it will give a better story and less stale jokes.
More importantly, it will mean that the script will be done far ahead of time. The principal delay over the past few months has been me being too tired for the creative work that's writing script. The only other job I do is the colouring, which is relatively mindless work that is less dependent of my mood.
So yeah, until mid-december we should be able to manage at least a strip a week. Probably. Maybe more.
Book 1 of chasing the sunset comprises 80 of the first 84 strips, plus 4 pages of bonus material (which is 8 strips) for a total of 44 pages (every cts strip is half a page).
If you want you can order a copy here at indyplanet:
Chasing the Sunset #1 priced at $6.50
We will bring out the rest of Chasing the Sunset in a similar format, but we will also bring out perfect-bound bigger books combining 5 of the regular albums each (for a total of about 220 pages or 440 strips each).
European readers who want a copy can get one from us directly if they want, which should be cheaper after shipping. The european version has a harder cover and can be signed if desired. I'll put up another news post soon explaining how you can order this from us. Europeans can also get the wordless mini-strip about how leaf and Myhard met.
Rune is doing great. He's 21 months old now and a great kid. he loves laughing and running and pointing at things and going "dahh!". He says Papa and Mama and a couple of other things that could be norwegian or dutch words. His favourite toys are empty soda and juice bottles and his favourite stuffed animal is the little bear he's had since birth that he hugs whenever we put him in bed.
Here he is with Alien in the playground:
Hey! I've lost both your e-mail address and your normal one. I've been meaning to send you a copy of the book to thank you for the toys you sent Rune (he still plays with the doggy).
Here's some new images that Alien made for F.a.c.t.s.
They are not strictly Chasing the Sunset related, but I thought you'd like them anyway:
So yeah ... yesterday was F.a.c.t.s. convention and ... it didn't really go too well. There just doesn't seem to be much interest in Chasing the Sunset. In total we sold 2 books (one to a long-time reader and one to fellow fcp-artist Elsa from Spindrift) and 3 or 4 of the ministrips about how Myhrad and Leaf met. And that's it, for the entire two days :(
Now on previous conventions I'd reasoned that it was just because webcomics aren't really much of a thing here in this part of europe, but Spindrift was sitting right next to us and they did a lot better.
So right now I'm really dispirited. It's not just the con: readership levels here and commenting levels have been down for a good while too. And yes, I know that's because our update schedule sucks and that's our fault, but still ...
For a while yesterday I seriously considered quitting. Now don't worry, I think I've changed my mind. There's many stories I still want to tell and I got next chapter mostly worked out in my mind. (one of the reasons updates have been lacking lately is that I'm trying to write all the scripts for next chapter before sending them to alien).
Anyway, here's how you can help:
Talk to me.
I mean this in general: leave comments on updates so we know you're out there. Say hi on facebook. Let us know you exist. We don't get any money out of making cts (quite on the contrary) and really our primary motivator has always been the comments you people leave.
But also I would appreciate it greatly if you could leave a comment here and tell me what you like about Chasing the Sunset. What strip or storyline is your favourite. I'm not (just) fishing for compliments here. What you say will help me shape CtS in the future, both in the scripts I write as in the way I market it to potential new readers.
And yes, I know we need to update more. We should get back on track now that the con is over and my dayjob work deadlines have passed for now.
I'm sorry for the dearth of updates of late, but as Alien has already said I've been ill for a couple of weeks now. Apparently I got glandular fever which is no fair because I already had that as a kid and you're only supposed to get that once :(
I've finally gotten off my lazy behind and written a script though, and with some luck we'll have an update next Monday after which regular service should hopefully resume.
I haven't quite been doing nothing while sick though ...
The Fantasy Comic Portal and Dragontalks
The FCP is still going strong over half a year since it's inception and is a great place to find new fantasy and science fiction webcomics to read. I've done an experimental episode for a new vodcast where I talk with other authors. If you want to see me interview Jadiekins from Lost Nova, go check the first episode here.
Alien and I will be at the F.A.C.T.S. convention in Ghent, Belgium on 20/21 october. We'll be in the artist alley so come check us out if you happen to attend. It's supposed to be the biggest con in the benelux, so should be fun. Pre-sale tickets are now available.
Alien and I have bought ourselves a reprap prusa 3D printer and are in the process of assembling it. Once we got it working we'll be making some Chasing the Sunset miniatures, with Myhrad likely the first victim.
CtS board game
Some of you have asked about the board/card game we showed some months ago. I've shelved the idea for that because the cost to produce it would be too great, with too many pages needing to be printed. That said, I've got some new ideas that would require less printed pieces but they are still in the "vague idea" stage.
This node is currently closed for comments