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01.03.070

01.03.070 published on 26 Comments on 01.03.070

Reagan still has ALL THE FACES and Jordan has the good sense to stay out of the way XD

Thanks everyone for chiming in on putting up the original comic last week, it sounds like that’s something folks are into, so I’m in the process of putting it together!

Next public opinion poll I need input on: THE UPDATE SCHEDULE

(Some of you may have seen on the Patreon, but still make sure you let me know your thoughts!)

Can you believe it’s been almost a whole year since leveL returned?? Time flies, but so far we haven’t had a single schedule slip!

With things going so well, I figured this is a great moment to re-assess and maybe try to ruin it all :D This new schedule has not been without its drawbacks. While consistency is way up, reader engagement is actually at an *all-time low* It seems that folks are still reading, but with a single page updates they are opting to let a bunch of pages build up and then read them all at once. Binge culture, I get it (and am guilty of it) but it’s left me begging the question: Is there a better option??

Maybe. But I want to hear what you think.

I see a few options:

1) Story Beat Update: with this model you would get a readable chunk (like a whole scene), probably between 3-10 pages, updated as I am able to draw it. Instead of a consistent weekly schedule, you’d get an Update Progress Bar with how close we are to the next beat being posted. Realistically, this would mean an update about every 2-4 weeks.

2) Whole Chapter Update: In this model, you would get an entire chapter in one single update! That’s 50-100 pages!! This means an update every few months. I’ve never tried this before, but it seems to partially be what people want: the whole chunk at once. Also, this give me a LOT more creative control to plan, rework and fine-tune the chapters to really be all they can be.

3) Page a Week Update: This just leaves everything as it is, a new page every week, no questions asked! Downsides here are a much slower release of content (you get 52 pages a year o_o) and creatively I’m going by the seat of my pants a bit (harder to rework or plan chapters as they change.) This also has the least readership interaction, leading me to wonder a bit if anyone is out there reading T_T

I’m also open to any ideas folks have outside of this! I know there are a few of you out there who consistently read every week and comment on each page, which I appreciate SO MUCH!! PLEASE MAKE YOUR VOICE HEARD because it is going to determine what I decide!

I’ll let you all know any decisions or changes next week, it’s Monday Updates as usual until then!
Happy reading!

Nate

26 Comments

I like the schedule as it is! With more irregular schedules it’s easy to forget about the comic for a time. I also usually don’t engage very much so I’m not sure how to be helpful there, but some comics have some engagement happen through reddit or discord, so maaybe that’s an option – but I don’t know what makes some of them be active and others not so much.

But anyway, I really like the comic! There’s even a character of mine that was slightly inspired by a villain of the old comic…

That’s ok! I am just happy to hear there are folks reading! :D. I’m surprised by the amount of support the Page a Week schedule has, I’m definitely not opposed to keeping it as it is :D

And oh reallyyyyyy?? Who might that be? Thalia? Josephine??

I won’t be much of a help for you in regard of the update schedule. My usual answer for this is: “Whatever floats your boat.”
-I understand your feeling of needing more interactions with the reader, and while I do try to give comments once in a while, I’m not very good at it. (Who am I then to complain about update schedule…)
-I also understand that life requires more flexibility sometimes, that some weeks you get too busy to do stuff and some other you have plenty of time to draw. When it comes to webcomics, what I try my best to remind myself and everyone (the artist included) is that YOU are the artist, and you’re giving us a Very Awesome comic for us to enjoy for free. This is why I try to at least comment, criticize constructively or otherwise interact with any authors (even though I’m not very constant with it). But it is also why I’ll follow whatever option you chose.

Now with that being said, if you’re looking for more interaction, I’d avoid option 2. An update every few months is a good way to make many readers forget about or simply dismiss your comic. And while it would be awesome to get 1 chapter at a time, and to give you all the creative freedom (the latter being the best argument IMO), you would probably get a small bunch of comments on the last page, and maybe 1 or 2 here and there, and it would leave little stuff to say in the months between updates.
So I’d go with 1 or 3, but I’ll follow whatever you choose.

Now… what a peculiar timing to miss batteries and be forced to a trip to the cargo hold… Would the good doctor be up to something??? Why do I get the feeling that our poor Jun will get more freeloaders aboard his fine scav-tech-free junker… err… ship.

And to echo with Vitor’s comment, your old comic also inspired the setup one of my DnD games. It sadly never saw the light, for lack of players, but I still had a lot of fun imagining how to adapt a quest to a primitive subterranean community living in an endless network of caves under a modern megacity.

Are you kidding?? You comment on like every single page, it’s amazing (and very much appreciated!) Also so really good point on update options! Hearing that folks are into the single page updates at all is pretty good intel, I was afraid it was causing folks to dismiss the comic O_O

And I think no matter what happens, it’s pretty assured Jun is not going to be having a good day, lol

Personally, I’d prefer the story beats. I think updating a whole chapter every six months might make it somewhat difficult to remember what’s going on in the story.
Also, if you’re looking to expand readership, have you thought of uploading the comic to WEBTOON? Just curious.
But I think you should do the schedule that works best for you.
Btw, I LOVE the story, I’ve been a fan since you posted the “let’s be kind to each other” comic.

Hmmm I’m not sure about Webtoon….I looked into a couple options for cross-posting but got scared off about who retains copyright…is Webtoon a good option?

I agree the whole chapter updates is a bad idea…its good to hear that folks are into the story beat idea tho!

And aw! That’s amazing you’ve been around so long! Makes me think I should make more of those one-off comics, haha

You should! During the long hiatus, I remember looking up some more of your work (I can’t remember where exactly) but one of my fav one off stories was the one about a girl cursed to have a sword fall on her head, and how she takes control of her destiny and becomes a great warrior anyway.
I’m not really sure what goes on behind the scenes for WEBTOONs. The only thing that I know is that once a comic is featured, authors have to delete the story from all other platforms. But I do know that artists get paid for it once it’s featured (how much I have no idea).
Sorry I don’t have much info, I’ve never written a comic before, so I was asking more from a readers perspective.

awww thank you!! That comic (Damocles) is actually one of the favorite things I’ve ever made, it makes me happy to hear someone appreciated it! :D :D

Hmm I’ll have to look into Webtoons a bit more…don’t mind the idea of cross-posting but I’m a little nervous if copyright does come into play O_O’

I personally feel that having a set schedule is really important for webcomics. The ones who have gone to a “update as the work is completed for a decent chunk” (a la story beats or chapter breaks) all eventually lose track of the schedule and start to wither on the vine.

I suspect this is because in many cases there is a lot going on in their lives and the comic has to be pushed. And that’s OK, and definitely the correct choice! Often they switch to that schedule BECAUSE of the life situation. However, it does make it easier to let things push the comic further and further aside as time goes on, because there is no official deadline and the fans know things are going to flex and shift.

Without that pressure of the deadline, it’s easier to let things go, especially during hard times or when reader engagement is low.

So I’d say if you want larger chunks, that’s cool, but I’d personally still prefer a set schedule. (chunk of pages on the 15th of every month, for example). But that’s just me, obviously do what is best for you and the readership as a whole.

Hearing what folks are saying, I agree with the importance of a set schedule. I think it would be best for me as well…making me consider if storybeats could work under set schedules, since their length varies, or if I should just stick with the one page updates…HMMM

Hello! As much as I like having a consistent update schedule, I think the beat option is the best route here. Posting the comic page by page makes it pretty easy to forget what’s going on (in my opinion) and the chapter option makes it easy to forget about the comic too. As for lack of reader engagement, I think it would be a good idea to make a Discord or some other group everyone can join (like Vitor said). Keep up the good work btw!!

A discord huh? That’s an interesting idea, do webcomics normally do that?? I am definitely open to any community idea…I know the forum for the original comic was pretty successful, but I thought the days of forums were long behind us, ahaha

I personally like it once a week, I having a regular thing to come back to and knowing when I can expect it. I can understand wanting the better creative way of doing it in a bigger chunk thou. Weighing the choices, I think what I would want is the weekly release as it is. Sure, it might be slower, but every monday I remember to come look at leveL! The Story Beat is a close second, as that would give you some more creative freedom, and we’d see more of the story faster, but I dunno if I would like waiting 4 weeks to see content.

The best of both worlds I think is the way Ctrl-Alt-Del does it where there’s always something on each of the scheduled days, which are sometimes just throwaway filler things, and then big stories are released every couple months as he gets to them. Granted, that doesn’t really apply here as you only have one storyline whereas Ctrl-Alt-Del is sometimes like a newspaper comic with gag comics some days, and it think he has two major arcs to bounce between. Its also his fulltime job I believe. Not saying you should imitate anyone else, and I’m not sure it would even work in your case, just food for thought.

Hmmm…the idea of an update no matter what but maybe not a page is interesting….I just want to make sure we keep the comic moving! The Story Beat idea is mostly out of hopes for it to be easier to read and for me to cover more story (it would actually be more work than 1 a week) but I am definitely heading a lot of support for the single pages. I just wish I could draw faster, lol

strongly prefer option 3, with irregular updated I tend too to easily forget what’s going on. or miss updates. sorry I don’t really comment much (read – like ever), most of the time i don’t really have anything to say other than ‘Cool comic’, and it is a very cool comic!

+1 here on the ‘silent reader’ list. I read the update weekly, though it varies between Monday or Tuesday. I also irregularly checked it during the long no-update period… and when I discovered you’d been able to finally start updating again, I was ecstatic.

I would be fine with whichever option you choose, and I will eventually read the comic under any circumstance, but I can foresee I’ll only be really regular with the weekly. As above, I often don’t get to the comic til the day after it’s posted, but I will always remember to check it within a day of it being posted. With weeks or months between updates, I’m not certain if I’ll be very good at checking! In fact, I’m pretty sure it’ll go back to the irregular (every week, every month, it varied) checking I did during the time you weren’t able to work on the comic. It would be GREAT to get bigger chunks of story at once, and I would fully support your choice to do it that way because it sounds like it would work very well for you, I just worry others might be like me and be lax in checking for updates if the updates become irregular. I’ll still make my way here to check, regardless of scheduling system, I just don’t know how regularly I’d do so.

This is great to hear! I’m just happy there are silent readers at all, ahah :D I am happy to continue with the page a week updates…maybe i can sneak multiple pages in if I really want to move the plot forward instead. Regular updates seem to be the common thread people want!

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