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Retconing and redoing

Emma_Clare at 12:00AM, June 26, 2020

A few weeks ago, my comic partner and I finished up the second season of one of our webcomic after which we took our usual season hiatus. During this time we work out what to do in the next season, what to include and what to cut from our outline. As we were doing this we quickly came to the stark realisation we were going to have to retcon/redo our first season.

There are many reasons why a creator might go back and rework their previous ideas. In our case, there was a point in season one that had been somewhat rushed at the time and thus, not well explained. To make matters worse, it is a really important aspect of our series. We have that chance to go back and make that point even clearer, both from a narrative and art perspective, making it clearer and more understandable for our readers whilst laying some firm groundwork for season 3.

Another reason for us revising our previous work was that for season three to make sense, plot points that were glossed over in the first season now have to be expanded upon. Back then, we were still tossing up where it was we wanted to go with the story. It’s very clear where plot threads were introduced and then almost immediately dropped that makes for a weaker story all around. Now, we can really expand on elements that were barely touched on but have since become important and retcon unnecessary details.

This revamp gives us the much needed opportunity to update the art. It’s amazing how much progress we have made since we started our projects and it really shows. Although I have, in the past, advocated for letting your old work stand, it has been a fantastic exercise to go back and redraw some past panels. It really highlighted to me how far we have come. I still believe in displaying your old artwork, however, in this case, if we were to updated parts of the story now, the art would look wildly inconsistent.

Doing this redraw feels like spring cleaning. Out with the old and in with the new.

Have you ever retconned or redone your comic? Let us know in the comment section below! And join us on Sunday evening for our Quackchat at 5:30PM(EST)!

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Szyszka666 at 5:51AM, June 28, 2020

I know the feeling :) I actually had two approaches to Rettubia. I've redrawn the first chapter from scratch. Only posted on DD the second version so noone saw the first attemp :). The plot didn't change much but it was the art I was not happy about.

IronHorseComics at 5:01PM, June 26, 2020

I had considered rewriting the first two chapters of Fluffy 500, same general plots just less..."filler" elements and more explanations as I didn't really have that many at the time.

MatthewYoung at 12:52PM, June 26, 2020

I did twelve chapters, which wound up being around 1200 pages total, of my comic series Coward of Valor. I finished the twelfth chapter last year, decided to call the whole thing 'Book One' (one of however many 'books' it will take to complete the whole story, likely five). I was ready to move on to book two only to realize my ambitions for the story and characters had become far too big for what I've previously made. There could be no other way, I had to start from square one and do it all over again. I couldn't let the comic as a whole be tarnished by its unfocused beginning, so I've been working really hard to redo the whole book one so that it will eventually stand side by side with the future entries I have planned. It was disheartening at first, but now its one of the most empowering decisions I've ever made. For the first time ever, I know how a whole story is going to unfold, and the journeys each character will have to go on. It's honestly exciting.

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