Sorry for the lack of updates. Been a weird couple of weeks that have had nothing to do with the book. Which included almost 4 days without electricity due to a bad storm that knocked down power lines in my area and changed too many lives miles down the way.
Here I am at another beginning of the week, trying to balance the many things going on in my life. And in doing so, trying to figure out what exactly my plans for the future of my book entail.
I'm extremely proud of what I've accomplished.
I produced the first chapter as a PRELUDE story that met with a lot of positive comments. I reworked a bunch of pages within that PRELUDE and made a #1 issue that I started selling at the Huntington TriCon back in April. And was able to produce a second issue at the same time, in color no less. But since then, I had to return to the life that, well, keeps life going, or at least the bills.
I had a lot of pages drawn when I put out the second issue, so I allowed myself some time to live with the direction. I wanted to avoid future reworkings. Believe it or not, other than one panel in #2, I was very happy about how it turned out. But unlike my first chapter, it was a middle type story. It progressed things and showed my lead for the first time but no way was it the same type as the first.
Because it wasn't supposed to.
I have slowly come to the realization that as much as I love comics, I don't really want to publish my origin story as such. As I mentioned before in an earlier post, serializing this story was one of the hardest choices I've made since going down this path. I thought I was giving myself some more time to craft the story. In addition, I was also giving my potential readers a cheaper entry point into the series. But in doing so, I think the disjointed nature of breaking a complete story up into sections, has lost what I was going for,
I have made a decision to remedy that.
To those that have one issue or both, thank you. I really can't say that enough. And if you enjoyed it, thank you yet again. You honor and flatter me. And #3 is coming very soon (hopefully by the end of August). But it will be the last serialized issue.
It was a good experiment. I can say I did a comic book (three of them). But the story is really meant to be read together and flow a lot better than I've been doing. As an example, in the novel, there's a three page sequence that bridges the first and second parts, but I had to cut it because of the serialization. It felt too slow to start #2 with, so I went with how it is currently. And there are a few more instances of my editing because I tried to shape #2 into a more self contained issue despite being part of a larger story.
Here's what I'm planning. I will have #3 available at the next convention that it's ready for. In addition, I will have MAN IN THE MASK: EMERGING FROM THE SHADOW BOOK ONE on the table. It will be all 3 issues along with the cut out pages. If you have the other two and would like the third issue, it will be there. But I would be glad to give you BOOK ONE at a discount for having the other two issues if you prefer. After I am out of my individual issues, I will only be selling BOOK ONE. And honestly speaking, I can give a better deal on the combined book than I can on the individual issues which there unfortunately isn't much profit to work with.
Issue #3 is really the best part to end this grand experiment on. To include all story points of the graphic novel, this was going to be a six issue series, either as a 1-6 type thing or two 3 issue mini-series. The graphic novel was always going to jump (not a big spoiler) a space of time between a section of the book. A "where I come from" and a "where I'm going" is the best way to describe Tommy's journey.
However, other than in a special hardcover collection (that will exist separately), I will keep offering them as two separate books.
I hope you all understand where I'm coming from here. This has been a extremely pleasant learning experience. I'm finally working on a life long dream (both the creation of the book and the self publishing nature). I've made some missteps. But with this decision, I think I will be providing a much better experience for those enjoying the book already.
A lifelong comics fan, Mike W. Belcher is the writer/artist of MAN IN THE MASK. A story he's had with him for over 20 years.