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