May Update! We’re back! Jason and I are going to do our best to at least have one page per week updated, but ideally we want to get back onto Mon-Wed-Fri schedule. There’s been a lot of exciting things going on behind the scenes that have kept us busy– thanks for all of the kind comments and support! There’s plenty more story to tell and I can’t wait to get it all out in a more timely fashion.
Flobots Cards - If you missed your shot at owning a limited edition Flobots Art Card and Flobot number, the offer will be back later this summer. So tune in and keep your eyes peeled!
If you haven’t checked it out, FightWithTools.org is growing! There are over 100 Street Teams around the country now, ready to make an impact on their communities and better the world. We like to think of them as little pockets of heroes out there in the world doing good. Join one or start your own!
A new year is well upon us and I thought I’d give a run down of where we are with the comic right now, where we’ve been and where we’re going and some things to look forward to.
Where we are now: - Back to the Future! I’m very excited to be telling the current story, and I wish I could say more but it will totally spoil things. I can say you’ll be meeting more “Flobots” very soon in these pages. Coming up you’ll learn just what a Flobot is, how they came to be and what the heck happened to the United States, all wrapped into a tight blanket of adventure and science fiction. - We’ve been updating Monday-Wednesday-Friday through December– When I say “we’ve”, that means my colorist pal and old friend/Webcomics urban legend, Brandon J. Carr. - Our schedules are both pretty tight and the holidays were intense, but I am really proud that we were able to maintain updates through the holidays uninterrupted. Hooray for team work! Give it up for Brandon for adding a creepy-toxic, forboding feel to the story with his digital crayolas.
Where we’ve been-- I’d like to thank everyone for the kind words and support on the first two stories. I realize the “Vote For Change” story may have been a little heavy handed on my part politically, but it was based on my own experiences in Southwestern Pennsylvania – the story will be even more relevant in the bigger plan when the “floating words” actually make more sense after you see the origin of the future story and how things came to be, the secret of the Flobots, etc. IRAQ conclusion will be up within a few weeks an tie into the present storyline in a neat way as well, and again the “floaty” words will make much more sense later on in the spring.
Where we’re going– There are a lot of neat plans in the works behind the scenes, but it probably goes without saying that we’re planning an actual print book for the comic. I’m telling the new stories in 18-24 page chunks seen sort of as “issues”- The plan is to distribute these books direct from the site, and the Flobots band will probably have them on hand at upcoming shows. We’re laying the groundwork for a lot of things. One big thing I’ve been holding off on until it makes sense in the story (sometime in February) will connect fans to the universe story, and also allow you to support great causes along the way. It’s never been done before so we’re still ironing out the details that I will spill later.
What you can do now?– Bookmark us, subscribe to our feed, link to the comic on your blogs or websites and refer your friends.
See you back here on Mon-Wed-Fri!
Welcome back to the non-beta launch of the comic. I’d like to share a few thoughts and answer a few questions that have come in.
I’ve begun an all new direction for the comic, but this doesn’t mean I’m not finishing the IRAQ story. Truth be told, there are 3 pages I had almost completed but they were a bit dark and depressing. Researching the IRAQ situation and talking to many troops left my imagination in a really dark place for that character. It frightened me to finish it. I had also been taking on more responsibilities for the band, designing their new website and taking over as the official webmaster, getting more involved with the great non-profit group, designing merchandise and doing a TON of stuff behind the scenes that conveniently allowed me to avoid finishing the IRAQ story. But YES, it will be finished, I just wanted to redo it on a more upbeat note. I’ll put all three pages up at once and announce them as a bonus update sometime in the near future.
THE LAYOUT- Instead of only updating 2 or 3 panels a day, testing the comic out in “beta” I liked the full page updates much better. So full pages, full color, Monday-Wednesday-Friday is the official schedule.
THE STORY CHANGES - (possible spoilers?? Nah, not really!) This is a biggie. When I FIRST approached Flobots about doing a comic idea, I had a very loose idea for this futuristic science fiction story with actual “FLOBOTS” being these advanced robots…more than robots really, but REAL “thinking machines” with souls. And the idea, or a minor spoiler here, was that beyond our own human brain which we only use 5% of, a Flobotic brain cell could actually “broadcast” or transmit messages from one Flobot to another, and also to human brains as well. So you could “hear” a Flobot talking to you in your head. All of these ideas I was inspiring directly from listening to Flobots songs a 1000 times over. In the song “JETPACK” there is a line that says “He’s hearing the words that occur to him for no reason…”—- And the super secret small spoiler here is that when these devices “broadcast” they’re not just broadcasting through regular time, they are broadcasting through “space-time”, which means that messages from the future (or the past) we might hear them faintly… some people’s minds are “activated” enough that they can pick up these messages randomly or in their subconscious, or attract certain messages by frequencies they are sending themselves and don’t even know it. Some are inspired by these messages, and others have been driven mad. Imagine a guy in the 1880’s hearing “There is a war going on for your mind” over and over? - So since June I’ve been developing this more Science Fiction story and making things make sense in sketchbooks…… and the more I told the band about it, the more excited we all got for the possibilities.
You may go back now and realize that the “floating words” in the previous chapters are actual “transmissions” from the far future that the characters (or YOU) are hearing subconsciously. I never spelled this out directly… but a general rule is, when you seel floaty words in that font, it’s a transmission. This was also a neat way to infuse the lyrics from the songs. One of my favorite songs is “We Are Winning”, which always seemed like a battlecry to me or call to action. It haunted my imagination from day one of hearing it. I envisioned a future where there might be a lone broadcast tower that renegade insurgents had taken over, and they were beaming a coded message out to “activate” minds that were once occupied by some evil government corporation.
WHAT ABOUT YOUR STORIES!? - Originally during the beta-launch, we had a call for your stories, and the idea was to draw out stories of people making change or taking a stand in their communities. It was to be more of a “slice of life” aspect here. There were a few problems not very well thought out on my end, one being the fact that even though I trust everyone not to do this, there could have been legal problems with other people claiming ownership to characters based on them. Plus, I felt that maybe the straight political commentary might have been a little heavy handed in a “Jack Chick” sort of way, and even though I was drawing from referenced people in my area, I was still accused of stereotyping “rednecks” and it wasn’t my intention to do so. — With this NEW universe I’ve created, we can still take trips to the past to tell inspired stories, but we can also amalgamate people’s characters or situations into this future world. So your stories are still inspiring us, and there will be an even COOLER way you can be a part of the FLOBOTS comic mythos very soon here…
This upcoming story is ambitious, and I wanted to spell those things out. I don’t think mentioning the “broadcasting” idea spoils anything, but I kept it under my hat until we launched that story. I’m also planning on doing some “live” drawing and behind the scenes creation blogs which I will schedule or post about here in the future. The best way to be alerted to that would be to follow me on twitter, http://twitter.com/djcoffman
To help make up for the missed updated due to my other responsibilities, I thought I’d pop in some teaser art from the next chapter… Stay Tuned… it’s coming!
Hey everyone! Just wanted to give an update as to what’s been going on and future plans. The last couple of months I’ve actually transitioned to doing more projects with the Flobots, from designing merchandise and posters to doing full on webmastering for the band as well as work for the non-profit group. I jumped in head first, so the comic took kind of a back seat on the priority chain while all this work has been going on. I’ve pretty much been using all of the skills I’ve learned from self publishing and the comic book market to help the band spread it’s message. To see what we’ve been up to, visit the new Flobots.com now.
To the fans of the comic, here’s where we stand!
A whole new comic will be coming soon, you can call it chapter 3 if you want, or it will actually be a relaunch of sorts with a very cool sci-fi twist in an alternate future. It’ a plot I’ve been developing behind the scenes since June and I really can’t wait to show it off. I’ve also brought on Brandon Carr to help out with coloring duties behind the scenes. Tentative plan is to begin running the new comic on a 3 day a week schedule, but we’ll also be releasing single issues for sale at shows and possibly through the website, with most of the proceeds going to benefit the non-profit efforts of Flobots.org — There will likely be a new website for the comic as well when we relaunch.
It’s been a CRAZY year for me personally, and I want to thank everyone here for the kind words and support of the comic. Hearing from troops and other flobot fans has been simply amazing and inspiring.
Stay tuned…. soon!
Sorry for the small delay in Chapter Two, I’m working on new pages now and this story is almost over. I will post them as soon as they are finished, so be sure to subscribe to our RSS feed or check back soon for that.
Behind the scenes I’ve been writing, sketching and designing the next chapter and future of the comic, which takes a dramatic change of pace and setting. I really can’t wait to talk about it or show some things off, but I don’t want to spoil it and I want the work to speak for itself.
Thanks for all the kind words about the stories here as well. It’s good to know it’s inspiring to other people, especially during this politically charged season. You are not alone… For better or worse, we’re all in this together.
I wanted to post a few thoughts/notes about the current story. There had been a lot of misconceptions out there that the Flobots don’t support the troops because they speak out against an unjust war. Every now and then, we’d get an angry letter or comment from a soldier that we didn’t care or understand what it was like. This could be further from the truth. I’ve had long conversations with Jonny5 and Brer Rabbit on how to approach this issue. How do we let the soldiers know we love them and care about them, and respect them and what they do? We all know and have heard from many soldiers with many different stories, some want to immediately oppose the war, many want to go back over and over again. While I had plans to go onto other chapters, we decided that this issue was too important to put off and I ditched my other plans to make Chapter two about our soldiers.
In doing my research and referencing, I listened to a lot of Veterans and current soldiers stationed in IRAQ and Afghanistan. I took 2 days to absorb myself in the reference I had amassed, and tried like hell to put myself in their shoes, talk like them, think like a soldier. It was gut wrenching, and the first time I’d ever REALLY worked that way. When I first thought of doing a story about soldiers or IRAQ, I didn’t want to be pretending or making things up, so the events are an amalgamation of about 4 different REAL stories I was told from men and women stationed in IRAQ or Afghanistan. Really heart wrenching tales. I also didn’t want to be preachy. Soldiers don’t talk about politics, they do their job. They talk like those characters talk, to pass the time. (although they use much more colorful language!)
I, as well as the Flobots, have a profound respect for men and women in uniform, and I’m trying to tell their story and I hope in the coming weeks I can really put the readers out there who don’t know, into that soldier’s mind and shoes. It gives you a whole other perspective on the things we take for granted every day, every minute/second here in the States. If you see a man or woman in uniform, or hear someone is a vet, or see an oldtimer wearing a military ballcap…. tell them THANK YOU FOR YOUR SERVICE! It doesn’t matter what they did, or what they saw… they did it for all of us.