HA Stories

Hero Feature Presents...
JimHarbor at 2:49PM, Nov. 2, 2012
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I though this would be a good idea as a way to Showcase heroes villians and conepts that may not be fleshed otu enough for a full series, but still good enough for several one shots and shorts.
Basically I image we could do a Showcase Presents, type of comic series in which each story is made by a differnt creative team about a differnt all-new character. We could take some of the charaters in the Heroes and Villians threads who have yet to appear anywhere and, if the original creatos have had a block with them, let another writer go with it.
A series of shorts and one shots would also be a good way to ease new artists and writers into the community before doing big projects like on HA.
And, if any character becomes a runaway hit, they can be expanded into an ongoing or a part in another comic.
So thoughts?
JimHarbor at 12:36PM, Nov. 17, 2012
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Ok, I just got word from Nihil and he had quite the driection for this. He said that he's always liked the idea of a Brave and the Bold/ DC Presents set up were we have established characters having short adventures with new characters.
So for example one issue could be “The Duck Presents… HERO COMICS FEATURING BOMBSEHLL ADN THE BATTLE BELLES!” The next could be “”The Duck Presents… HERO COMICS FEATURING KAINE THE WHITE SHADOW AND CAT KID!" or something. 
Any ideas?
I figure we could write them like the Teasers in the B:TBATB show, were they were cappable of introducing new characters very easily as set up for future full epiosdes.
ironhand at 12:52PM, Nov. 17, 2012
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I have an idea swirling around where we focus on the golden/silver age line of heroes. I remember someone mentioning it but it never really came to much. It would be a brief, one issue which would show how things used to be and maybe set up that past world for someone else to take on if they wanted.
I would probably write about PowerPatriot, Watchman and then other established heroes out there - as well as newly created. This might work under this feature instead of an actual HA issue.
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JimHarbor at 9:50PM, Nov. 17, 2012
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Nice idea, although that might work better in the Heroes the Strip than here. From what I can tell this is more of a way to introduce new Huniverse charcaters who dont have there own series yet and set up stuff for future HA and maybe HU plots. Like a Pilot Anthology, think O Yeah! Cartoons.
ironhand at 11:28PM, Nov. 17, 2012
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I'm not sure the golden age stuff would work in a strip. Like you said, this is about introducing new characters before they have a series - and widening the universe. This is what the golden age story would be. It's a huge expansion of the HUniverse and introduces new characters, and fleshes out already seen heroes. Having this in a strip with only a few panels, I think, won't work.
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JimHarbor at 3:22AM, Nov. 18, 2012
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You mIsunderstand the scale of the strip. Think something like Prince Valient or the Superman Newspaper strips. It'd still be of the same scope, just in a differing medium. Your idea seems a bit Volumous for this venture though, whihc is why I sugested it for the script.
Although, we probably are getting a bit ahead of ourselves, why dont we has out some story treatments and see where we go from there?
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last edited on Nov. 18, 2012 2:00PM
irrevenant at 1:24AM, Feb. 26, 2013
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Love the “Brave and the Bold” concept.  I've had a character concept floating around for a while that'd be great to introduce this way.  Was there a particular length (eg. number of pages) we need to aim for? 
Thanks. 
Abt_Nihil at 7:20AM, March 1, 2013
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We haven't established any general rules regarding length. My idea was that this sort of story would allow for shorter stories (around 10 to 15 pages, or even 4-page-shorts like the HU Adventures), but that's not a necessary requirement.
irrevenant at 8:08PM, April 4, 2013
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I've noticed that the HA setting is kinda low on villains. If you look at the wiki there are more heroes than villains!  (There are a few villains missing from the wiki , but not enough to make a large difference).

Typically comics universes have a sizable ‘rogues gallery’ of villains for each hero. This adds variety and richness to the universe (although one hopes they don't all get out of jail at the same time! O_O).

This project could be a great way to introduce a variety of villains to increase the available pool. 

BTW, is this going to be published on DD as a separate comic, or as part of HA? 
irrevenant at 8:34PM, April 4, 2013
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P.S. The Brave and the Bold idea is brilliant (ooh, alliteration! :D).  But the original ‘Showcase’ idea supported possibilities that the B&B approach doesn't.




For example, the “Origin of…” mini-stories in HA #0 were a great bite-sized read that introduced readers to characters who were going to be important later. That is exactly the sort of thing that “Heroes Comics Presents” sounds like it should be doing and which we need done. 




Maybe HCP could include both “HA Teamup Up, introducing…” stories and “”Origin of…" stories (each maybe labelled as such)? 
shastab24 at 7:50PM, April 7, 2013
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On the villains: I think there's significantly more, considering the amount of comics that make up the HUniverse, but it can be whether they've been mentioned on the boards.  It can all come down to wanting to use them.  But since the villains have appeared in other comics, it's possible people shy away from them due to the fact that they likely have already been defeated, or don't seem like much of a threat to a team of heroes.  Therefore, I can understand the idea of new villains for the comic.  I recently unearthed a few character sketches my older brother did in sixth grade, and a little of some I did at the same time (fifth grade) and thought I'd put some character behind them, after asking my older brother which of his I might be able to use.  Considering they were drawn in the 90s before the 90s antihero archetype became tired, the drawings (whether intended to be hero or villain) can easily work as villainous ones.  Heck, I found the original drawings of two characters that were inspiration to two characters who have appeared in my own comic, and the only reason why my characters don't look like that is I lost the original drawings for a while.  I also have some villains from a Mortal Kombat knockoff I came up with when I was younger, who I can revamp and put on the villain board.  After all, even though they likely won't be all used, it's nice to have a large rogue's gallery to fall back on when you need a villain.
 
As to the origin story stuff, I've been thinking of how that could be implemented as a regular issue.  At least with the heroes, we could have all the ones who haven't been given a proper origin yet (or some of them) get together and tell campfire stories, of sorts, each recounting their origin.
 
What would also be cool is to do something along the lines of what Heroes Unite Chronicles was going to do (though only the Bombshell story saw the light of day on that project), with different people doing a solo story with a character that is not their own.  Such a thing needn't introduce new backstory like Al did with Bombshell, but it could give a new spin on the characters and help for characterization overall.
 
In the end, a spin-off should be something that feels a bit different than that from which it came.  Heroes Alliance is less tightly controlled than Heroes Unite and actually feels more communal because of it (and, of course, now has the uniqueness of the only one still a community project).  Heroes Unite Adventures had the length of the stories going for it, but also a cohesively singular vision to each story (each one only having one artist apiece, after all) that was not there in Heroes Unite.  Personally, I think a regular team-up comic in which HUniverse characters can participate should probably be one that allows for more interdimensional pairings, lest it feel too much like Heroes Alliance itself.
irrevenant at 4:40AM, Feb. 3, 2014
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Has there been any more thought put into this?  I really like Shasta's suggestion of using the HU Adventures model - short (say 4-6 page) stories, each drawn by a specific artist (or artistic team).  Especially now that HA stories seem to be growing increasingly longer and more epic, it would be a nice counterpoint.  Almost an anthology rather than a regular series.

I'd be happy to contribute a story to such a thing…
Abt_Nihil at 5:49AM, Feb. 3, 2014
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irrevenant wrote:
Has there been any more thought put into this?
Nope, but I'd welcome it! :)
irrevenant at 8:21PM, March 16, 2014
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Okay, let's see if we can nail down the basics:

1. Will this be its own title or a series of shorts posted in the pages of HA?

2. Will each short be the work of a single dedicated artist (or a small team) or will it be done by roster like HA is? 

I know my personal preferences (own title and dedicated artist/team respectively) but it really comes down to artists' interest and availability.

I am of the opinion that the key ingredients should be: (a) Short stories (say 8 pages max) that (b) are, were or will be related to the HUniverse.  Other than that, I think it should be basically anything goes: HA member plus One stories, origin stories, villain stories, whatever. That should both appeal to a wider audience (even if every reader doesn't like every story) and a wider array of contributors. 

I'm happy to contribute scripts (even if every time I try to write a short it seems to turn into an overblown epic. -_-) as well as art. 

Semi-related aside: Is there any chance of getting HA Monthly Mayhem going again?  If it wasn't for HAMM I might never have found the confidence to start contributing to HA proper. 

EDIT: *facepalm* Or rolling HAMM into this anthology series! 
last edited on March 16, 2014 11:54PM
Abt_Nihil at 12:51PM, March 17, 2014
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I agree with everything, except that I would rather prefer it not being its own title. You never know how many contributors you'll have, so you might end up with one slowly updating title and an irregularly updating title… and you'd have to check both… and you'd restrict the exposure a combined title could get in relation to separate titles, and so on.
irrevenant at 4:17PM, March 17, 2014
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You make excellent points.

My main concern with making the shorts part of HA proper is that HA stories tend to be quite long and run for a long time (HA #8 took 13 months and even short ones like HA #5 seem to take about 6 months) whereas the advantage of shorts is that they don't require the time investment of the big stories and people can turn them out pretty quickly.

It's reasonable to drop the odd promo or fanart page into HA but would we really want to take a long enough break in the action to drop in a 6 page story?  Alternately, do we really want to have to wait until the gap between issues to publish shorts?  Will that disincentivise creators if they have to wait so long for them to be published?  If they're not disincentivised and a large number of shorts do build up, do we really want to defer the start of the next HA issue for long enough to publish them all?

And if we want to integrate HA:MM (which I'd really like to do) it's even worse.  When it takes months to tell an HA story do we really want to keep interrupting the story every month to post the monthly challenge?  And what would we do with the entries?  Post them at that point or post them as they come in so they're scattered throughout the HA story?

We can do any of those.  Some comics do.  Is it what we want to, though?

P.S. I heard back from MacAttack - he's happy for us to continue HA:MM.

P.P.S.  You will no doubt be shocked to hear that I have a script for a throwaway 3-page Chaos short prepared. :D  I'm happy to draw that up and publish it as part of this.  (I assume it's cool to dual-publish in your own title too, yes?).
Abt_Nihil wrote:
I agree with everything, except that I would rather prefer it not being its own title. You never know how many contributors you'll have, so you might end up with one slowly updating title and an irregularly updating title… and you'd have to check both… and you'd restrict the exposure a combined title could get in relation to separate titles, and so on. 
last edited on March 18, 2014 1:54AM
Abt_Nihil at 6:16AM, March 18, 2014
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First off, yes, there's NO WAY we could integrate HA:MM into HA.
 
With a series of shorts, it's a weighing of pros and cons. If we have more shorts, we can just update more quickly (which is what I'd really like to do, twice a week would be good)! But I also see the cons, it's just that the pros convince me slightly more ;)
 
And yes, dual-publishing is fine :)
irrevenant at 2:29PM, March 18, 2014
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How would that actually work? If you were in the middle of (for example) HA #9 and had two shorts to publish would you be going something like:
HA #9 page 12
Short story #1 page 1
HA #9 page 13
Short story #1 page 2
HA #9 page 14
Short story #1 page 3
HA #9 page 15
Short story #1 page 4
HA #9 page 16
Short story #2 page 1
HA #9 page 17
etc.? Or something else?

With HA:MM, what we could do is just publish one page per month in HA that contains the monthly challenge and maybe a list of who submitted art for the previous month's challenge. That page would be dual-posted to HA:MM.  All the actual entries would only be posted over at HA:MM so as to avoid cluttering up HA. 

Abt_Nihil wrote:
First off, yes, there's NO WAY we could integrate HA:MM into HA.
 
With a series of shorts, it's a weighing of pros and cons. If we have more shorts, we can just update more quickly (which is what I'd really like to do, twice a week would be good)! But I also see the cons, it's just that the pros convince me slightly more ;)
 
And yes, dual-publishing is fine :)
  
last edited on March 18, 2014 3:32PM
shastab24 at 8:31PM, March 18, 2014
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I'd advocate a separate comic for the side stories, simply for the fact that it would make things smoother.  For one thing, HA is a team book.  Side stories break from that aspect.  Another thing is that with the enormity of stories and their update schedule, an HA issue can be too long to effectively keep interest up in doing the shorter stories.  A second, concurrent comic could free up some room for creators to do stories about some characters when they aren't doing any pages at the moment.  Things like the Kaine or Peligroso origins probably would have fit such a comic better, as well as the little gag strips.
 
The problems, of course, have been mentioned.  It's hard to get readers to follow both comics, and a secondary comic runs into the trouble of becoming neglected in not too long.  However, I wanted to voice my opinion on the matter.
Abt_Nihil at 5:48AM, March 19, 2014
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irrevenant wrote:
With HA:MM, what we could do is just publish one page per month in HA that contains the monthly challenge and maybe a list of who submitted art for the previous month's challenge. That page would be dual-posted to HA:MM.  All the actual entries would only be posted over at HA:MM so as to avoid cluttering up HA.
    
That's a good idea. And I certainly wouldn't want to mix pages of HA chapters and sidestories, so if they were updated on the same site, they would be posted between chapters.
irrevenant at 2:07PM, March 19, 2014
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Between chapters or between acts? Between chapters means that you'd get a glut of sidestories every year or so.  If it's not in its own series, between Acts would seem to be a better balance - it would give a dramatic pause between Acts and people wouldn't have to wait forever for the shorts. 

Of course, all this is contingent on how much interest there actually is in practice and how quickly people produce shorts on top of HA. 

That thing you said about them all being updated on the same site. I suspect you meant within the same DD comic title (HA) , but it got me thinking:  If the HUniverse as a whole was its own site, it would solve a lot of these issues - all the titles would have a good cross-profile happening without interfering with each other. 

HA is very much part of the DD community and I don't know that I want it to leave the Duck. But maybe something similar could be attained *within* the Duck?  I'm not entirely sure what's possible with the design of DD comic pages. Would it be possible to make something like a HUniverse comics site within the Duck with crosslinkong and everything? 
Abt_Nihil wrote:
irrevenant wrote:
With HA:MM, what we could do is just publish one page per month in HA that contains the monthly challenge and maybe a list of who submitted art for the previous month's challenge. That page would be dual-posted to HA:MM.  All the actual entries would only be posted over at HA:MM so as to avoid cluttering up HA.
    
 That's a good idea. And I certainly wouldn't want to mix pages of HA chapters and sidestories, so if they were updated on the same site, they would be posted between chapters. 
Abt_Nihil at 6:23AM, March 20, 2014
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Isn't #9 the first chapter which will have acts…? So yes, I meant chapters, and yes, that would mean there would be a considerable time inbetween shorts. But again, the aim is to have more than one chapter a year, and having shorts would make for faster updating, at least once in a while :p
 
I am very sympathetic to what you're saying about HA having its own site. I'm afraid blowing the current HA site up to an HUniverse site won't be an option with dd though; presently, what you can do with the design is pretty limited (at least as far as I know). Of course, we could have (more) links up (although currently I'm not even sure how much you can do here - remember, I wasn't even able to upload new banners a few weeks ago; there might be some way around it by hosting banners on another server), but I guess the individual page comments would just have to function as a “news” window, featuring updates on other sites (if HA titles were to be spread across several sites).
last edited on March 20, 2014 6:32AM
irrevenant at 6:56AM, March 20, 2014
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Shame, I was afraid that would be the answer about setting  up a minisite within DD. Maybe when Duck is in better shape. 

Yeah,  HA #9 is the only issue so far which technically has Acts. Even #10 doesn't seem to.  But most of the issues have either been short (eg. #4 and #5) or had natural rest points in the story, even if they're not formally been identified as Act breaks.  For example, HA #7 essentially starts a new Act when the Flocc showed up. 
Maybe the trick is to break the longer, more complex stories across issues? HA #7 could easily have been a three-parter. Not only would that give us more slots for shorts but it allows for natural breathing spaces for both readers and creators. It worked well for HA #1 and #2. Around 20 pages seems a good length for an issue, but I wouldn't be too strict about it.

Either way, it seems promising. About time to start seeing how much interest there is out there… 
Abt_Nihil wrote:
Isn't #9 the first chapter which will have acts…? So yes, I meant chapters, and yes, that would mean there would be a considerable time inbetween shorts. But again, the aim is to have more than one chapter a year, and having shorts would make for faster updating, at least once in a while :p
 
I am very sympathetic to what you're saying about HA having its own site. I'm afraid blowing the current HA site up to an HUniverse site won't be an option with dd though; presently, what you can do with the design is pretty limited (at least as far as I know). Of course, we could have (more) links up (although currently I'm not even sure how much you can do here - remember, I wasn't even able to upload new banners a few weeks ago; there might be some way around it by hosting banners on another server), but I guess the individual page comments would just have to function as a “news” window, featuring updates on other sites (if HA titles were to be spread across several sites).
ironhand at 12:02PM, March 20, 2014
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I think the idea behind the “seasons” is that they're around 12 issues - or what I prefer to call them: episodes - long. So the longer ones may take up a lot of these 12 issues - so it's best it's an all in one (unless it NEEDS to be a two-parter) issue.
That being said, I do think shorts are great to have inbetween issues. It gives artists enough time to get ahead on the next issue (something we seem to struggle with quite a bit) and also gives added detail. It depends who wants to do them etc. As this universe gets bigger, it gets harder and harder to fit in every story we want to tell. But it sounds pretty cool, I'd like to see what people come up with.
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irrevenant at 3:50PM, March 20, 2014
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A 12-episode season works well for TV shows, but I'd be wary of drawing too close an analogy. TV shows also have episodes of consistent length and we don't. A season of TV reliably translates to a certain amount of content. 

Is a total of 12 issues what you're really after, or does that represent the approximate amount of content you want in a season?  Numbering issues in a different way wouldn't change the actual length of a season - just the ‘package labelling’.

Whether the story parts are explicitly numbered or not doesn't really matter for this purpose. The core question is: Do we want to take a pause at appropriate points in the story to post some additional content and give the artists some catchup time/breathing space?  IMO, labelling that pause ‘the gap between issue X and issue X+1’ would be tidier, but it could just as easily be done as mid-issue breaks at appropriate points.

We really are down to the fine implementation detail now.  While we sort that out in this thread, I'll post a separate thread for short story ideas and submissions.  That should help us gauge interest levels… 
ironhand wrote:
I think the idea behind the “seasons” is that they're around 12 issues - or what I prefer to call them: episodes - long. So the longer ones may take up a lot of these 12 issues - so it's best it's an all in one (unless it NEEDS to be a two-parter) issue.
That being said, I do think shorts are great to have inbetween issues. It gives artists enough time to get ahead on the next issue (something we seem to struggle with quite a bit) and also gives added detail. It depends who wants to do them etc. As this universe gets bigger, it gets harder and harder to fit in every story we want to tell. But it sounds pretty cool, I'd like to see what people come up with.

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