Miscreants is officially announced!

5 years later.

We unveil the curtain on the real story. Announcing Miscreants of the Ancient Kingdom!

And now, for Marc's rant...

Well, first off, I'd like to say hello. And thank you to the few of you who have supported my vision over the last five years. I appreciate it more than you know.

(Allow me to be poetic for a moment here. I like to rant. *grin*)

Five years? Yeah, it's true - on this night, back in 2002, armed with an Anycities free account, I put up my first Darth Bear comic. It was a real interesting and, for the most part, fun experience. Wasn't particularly smooth by any means, of course, but fun.

And yet, the problems frustrated me to the point of quitting. It was rather sad, here I was, then at the two year anniversary of the comic, and I'd finally petered out. Anyone who thinks sprite comicking is easy? Yeah, I invite you to try. It's harder than you think. "Why didn't you just draw it then?" many of you wonder I'm sure.

You have no idea how bad I am at drawing. Still, I couldn't let me favorite creation - Darth Bear and his motley band of friends - go to waste like that. I talked to my cousin some 6 months after halting the comic about drawing it. We were in agreement, but...

She felt not so confident on her skills. Plus there were goals she also aspired for. Me? The story was rather 'thrown together' since I literally jumped into this after brainstorming it on a cold and rainy night earlier back in December 2002. I needed to make it better. We both took our shots - and more or less wound up highly dissatisfied. Then, as both of us are avid procrastinators, we procrastinated. ^_^;

And yet, I don't really regret the downtime. I needed to freshly charge my batteries. I also needed to focus myself. As the last of my old GHE crew left me and my original project Knights of Mith behind, I realized what I needed to do. Over these last few years, I've developed an entire fantasy realm (still ongoing, of course) of Mith - a place of fantasy worthy of my favorite fictional creation. Kat (my cousin) set up her Koneko-Ealain Studio, and worked on artwork in the meanwhile. KES is now my official partner in the production of the comic.

So! Here we are, 5 years later, and I can say with confidence, we are back. I'm not sure if our repeated attempts at making this work are akin to the phoenix rising from the ashes, or just the cockroach that manages to survive, but enough with the metaphors.

We stand at the precipice of the release of Gray Horizons Entertainment's first official product - Miscreants of the Ancient Kingdom! For those who never witnessed the insanity of the old sprite comic (a lot of you, I'm sure), it's a tale of a deluded creature known as Darth Bear. Sworn to the path of chaos and entropy, Darth fancies himself a villain. Of course, he's really not, he's just rather misguided. joined by the mysterious priestess, Atani, Darth seeks a legendary sword, and a quest to carve his legend into the minds of the world. Can he do it?

As I make this announcement, Issue 1 is nearing completion. Yes, it really IS almost done. The story script is well over halfway written, and is already finished in terms of plot. Once we have a few finished issues under our belts, Miscreants will launch. There's no approximate street date as of yet, but middle to later 2008 is a reasonable guess.

So! What's changed? Aside from most of the surrounding plot and several character changes for the story, the general idea is the same. The approach is different, of course. A bit better written I might add as well. How we are presenting the comic is one of the bigger changes as well. As opposed to the general webcomic, we are aiming for monthly releases of 10-15 pages, released in PDF format. Why the change? There's quite a few reasons:

Less restriction on artistry with monthly compilations, it can be read more like a manga or story, which is how I want it to be presented. Saves like nobody's business on bandwidth. Not only are there fewer files involved on the server side, PDF actually gives good compression. You can expect color covers, and primarily black and white pages. (We may make occasional exceptions.)

I also have other distribution options (ie: Bittorrent!) where I can circulate issues, and assemble compilations.

PDF software has come a long way. Aside from coughing up $300 (or more!) dollars for adobe acrobat, there are many free developer suites now, including desktop publishing options from the open source community (which I will be using) that make PDF a lot more sensible to use. PDF readers are easy for any end-user to get ahold of.

Point your browsers to http://www.darthbear.com for all upcoming news on Miscreants!

Oh yeah, before I forget, Koneko is running an artists' blog for Miscreants over at http://grayhorizons.blogspot.com/

It has pie. ^_^ OK, so it doens't have pie, but it does contain a few sneak peeks at Issue 1.

And thanks to all of you. I hope 2008 is wonderful for you all, as I hope it is for me.

May the horizons be Gray. - Marc