Weekly update for Oct. 15, 2018

Hey everybody! It’s time for a quick update on the comic. October has turned into a busy month for yours truly. Obligations just keep stacking up. But, your plucky comic creator pal pushes ever onward. 

As all you early bird readers have probably noticed, comic updates have been lagging a bit. That’s because production has been coming down to the wire lately. There is currently no buffer. I’m considering a series of one week posting breaks to build up a small buffer. I will try to offer some advanced warning when those breaks will happen. 

Lastly, an announcement ahead of the formal announcement. All Patreon posts will be made public starting soon. I will make a post here when they are all switched to public viewing. This will unlock all the previous character design posts and exclusive background info for everybody to view.  

Until next week dear readers,

-Eldon

Weekly update for Oct. 1, 2018

HAPPY ONE YEAR ANNIVERSARY!

…..or thereabouts.

As you see from today’s update there are going to be some changes to the comic for year two. Starting today Monday updates will be double sized to compensate for the once a week schedule. This will allow each comic to contain the same amount of story content as the old double posts while giving the art more room to breath. 

This isn’t a radical change for the comic. The new size represents the format I used to plan the old double updates. I’m simply eliminating the half sheet restriction and developing it as a whole.

An example of the original update format.

I have a few other things planned for A3 year two. I will post an update with additional details soon.

See you then,

-Eldon

Weekly update for Sept. 24, 2018

Hey you wonderful readers,

A quick update for this week. This comic will be the last before the new Astray3’s one year anniversary. Next week will be the start of a new year for the comic. If you’ve been reading these little weekly notes you’d know I’ve been contemplating some changes. I’ll be debuting one of those changes next week. Tune in next Monday to see a “big” change to the comic. 

All the best,

-Eldon.

Weekly update for Sept. 17, 2018

Fwoosh….A bit late getting this week’s update posted. At the time of this writing I’ve been working on the comic for about 17 hours straight. So, not a lot of yakity yak on this post. ( My wrist is killing me. ) A quick reminder, A3 is moving to a once a week update for the foreseeable future. So, check back Mondays for the regular update. However, you may want to check the blog during the week for extras and updates. 

See ya next week,

-Eldon

Weekly update for Sept. 10, 2018

Finally, we will have a two update week. It’s been a long time coming, but it is finally here! MISSION ACCOMPLISHED!…However, this will probably be the last double update week for the foreseeable future. ( Not saying this will be the situation indefinitely. )

We are quickly reaching the one year anniversary for this version of Astray3. HURRAY! However, hold the cake and confetti, it is time for some introspection and reevaluation. While, I do consider the current version a success purely based on it’s continued existence, the last year has certainly been a learning experience. ( For instance, I now have a solid idea of what can be accomplished on a week to week basis. )

It’s painfully apparent that the webcomic environment has changed since the original A3 run. Thus the theme for Astray3 v2 year two will be experimentation. Fear not, A3 will go largely untouched and continue to update on a “weekly” basis. Although, there maybe inconsistencies in the release schedule due to taking time to work on related projects. ( Such as putting together a print version, updating the site, or just plain life issues. ) Also, since A3 is a personal project, I won’t be moving it to a popular webcomic collective site. That way I can keep it clear of any tricksy contract issues and outside meddling. 

What are my bold NEW ideas then? Well, there is nothing concrete yet. I just have some vague concepts in mind. For one, I’m considering a smaller, less complicated side comic to feature on those big webcomic collective sites. I currently try, and regularly fail at, creating two A3 comics a week. Each A3 update takes an average of 20 to 25 hours to create. ( That is a loooose estimate. Not even accounting for thumb-nailing and writer’s block. It might go as high as 30 hours. ) Moving A3 to a once a week schedule will free up time for a second feature designed to be produced in less than half the time. This second comic won’t be featured here, but hopefully, will point the new audience to Astray3.  That is the rough idea anyway. 

What do you think fair readers?

See you next week,

-Eldon

Weekly update for 8/27/2018

Sadly, this will be another one update week. I have high hopes for next week though. ( Given the pattern, I wouldn’t bet on it. )

This chapter is putting up a bigger fight design wise than I initially predicted. Basically, each update has multiple props, sets, and characters that need to be created. As you can imagine that slows down production. I think updates will speed up once we get everything fleshed out. 

Onward and upward,

-Eldon

Weekly update for 8/19/2018

Still dealing with some of the fallout form the previous week’s illness. So, only one comic update this week. I’m hopeful to have two for you next week since my normal work schedule is resuming. 

A brief reminder that the translation for this page will be posted here on Saturday. The Patreon comic post will be made public in about two days for those who want to read it early. The Patreon version of the post will usually have some notes and comments from me attached. If you want a little extra info on what’s going on with the comic. 

All the best,

-Eldon. 

Learn to read Astraylien….or wait around for a bit.

Oh, the memories…

We have finally arrived at “that” portion of the story. For new readers this maybe confusing. The inhabitants of the Astray3 world speak their own, and varied, languages. This gibberish can be translated via simple symbol cipher as depicted in the above example. ( This would be Gomradese in the comic’s current form. Too bad the comic this post coincides with is Murbish. )

Now, we are all busy people who probably don’t have the time to decipher silly languages featured in an obscure internet comic. For this reason, there will be a few ways to read a translated version of the comic. However, since the comic is being presented in it’s “ideal” form in the comic area, these translations won’t be readily available. The quickest way to read it would be to join the Astray3 Patreon. A translated page will be presented with the initial post there. ( Along with some in depth notes about the page.) Consider it a perk for the folks who help pay the comic bills.  After two days the comic post will be made public on Patreon. You can read it there without paying. Finally, for you who hate the Patreon thing altogether, I’ll post the translated pages for each week here in the blog section. These will go up on Saturday.

Thank you for reading and supporting Astray3!

-Eldon

A quick word about the A3 patreon and supporting the comic.

First, a sneak peek from the coming chapter.

Now, for the relevant topic. A special thanks to you who support or have supported Astray3 in the past. It means a lot and keeps the work grinding ever onward. I have been contemplating ways of rewarding contributors without gating off any pertinent story content. Which is tricky given the myriad of ways readers can make donations.

The principle way to contribute is via the comic’s Patreon page. ( https://www.patreon.com/astray3 ) Which is great, Patreon has a variety of tools to help manage bonus content. Buuuuttt…given some recent events, readers may have some misgivings about the service. So, it’s understandable if potential patrons are hesitant to use it.

Another way to contribute is via the paypal button that appears with comic posts. You can make a one time or recurring contribution using that service. Just look for this button…

Sadly, I haven’t really investigated this option and have no clue how to deliver exclusive content with it. It is an easy way to contribute if you already have a paypal account though.

With that in mind, there are going to be a few changes to the Patreon coming up. The comic and the new Tangent side series of works will be free for public view. Nothing is going to change with the primary story content. However, Patreon patrons will start getting exclusive updates of background/developmental material. Weekly sneak peeks, like the above image, along with supplementary work like character designs with some creator insight thrown in.  The Patreon only charges for comic updates. Which makes now a fantastic introduction period! Astray3 won’t be posting comics till March. Meaning that you can enjoy the bonus content for free until the comic starts posting again in March. ( I’ll make an announcement about the official return date beforehand. )

I’m still trying to think of a way to reward non-patreon contributors. Please comment below if you have an idea.

And that is all for now.

Thanks everybody,

-Eldon

 

Hey, Happy New Year…and a bit of reflection.

Greetings you wonderful Astray3 readers. Just wanted to take a moment to reflect on 2017 and address a few issues.

2017 was a mixed bag for yours truly. It was a year filled with triumph, horrible coincidences, rattled nerves, and family tragedies. Truthfully, I picked a terrible time to relaunch this life consuming monster. But, I do not regret it.

I’m proud of what I’ve created so far and believe Astray3 is a story worth telling. Sure, It’s not always perfect. And yes, I still kick myself for falling short of the intended vision. Yet, that is all part of the process. The only important thing is to keep pressing onwards and upwards. Cause you can’t reach the summit if you don’t start climbing. ( I need to find a different metaphor. Now, I’m thinking of frozen corpses on the slopes of comic mountain. )

So, with several months of updates behind us, let’s reflect a bit on the previous year. 2017 for Astray3 has largely been about laying the foundation for our protagonist. I always felt this was something missing in the old A3. Emily’s dissatisfaction was largely baseless. Her pathos during the story seemed shallow and mawkish. That’s why I feebly tried to do a rewrite during the last run. Alas, that was impossible while trying to keep the comic moving forward at the same time. One of the reasons for the reboot.

I do suspect that this is not what old fans were looking for in the comic’s return. A whole bunch of mundane drama. Well, I’m happy to announce that Astray3 will be returning to form in 2018.

2018 is going to be wild. A year full of new faces and old friends ( with some slightly newer faces. ) Plus, we are going to answer some questions that were left hanging in the previous iteration. Yes, Astray3 is back bigger and better than ever. ( And I’ll finally be able to draw fun stuff again. )

Now, for some more practical issues. First, I’m going to try to expand my services on Patreon and be more interactive with the audience. Astray3 is a monster of a project. Keeping up with page production alone consumes the majority of my free time. That doesn’t leave much room for creating supplementary material nor community outreach. But, I also understand that  those are the things that keep readers engaged. ( Maybe even toss some shekels my way. ) To that end, I’ll be posting a few polls/surveys to feel out the audience. Also, feel free to comment on this topic if anything immediately comes to mind.

Second, there will be a break coming up. The current run will end about mid-January. After that, there will be a one to two month break while I rebuild the buffer. Patreon patrons will not be charged during this break. The comic should be back in full force no later than March 1st. ( Sooner than that if I can help it. ) It is my goal to reach at least page 100 by the end of 2018.  So, don’t expect too many breaks during the year.

And that wraps up this update. Thanks to all of you for reading this humble webcomic. I hope 2018 will be a banner year for Astray3.

All the best,

Eldon Cowgur