Well, someone got exhausted enough to sleep… …and Sarah plays the guitar too? Multi-talented girl, there.
They both can, actually. Neither really excel at it, but their families exposed the two to quite an array of learning opportunities.
I think that going into this background content that doesn’t really fit in with the main plot of Mastery would be some quality Patreon material. Ari and I have been talking about that a good bit lately.
Sorry this got kinda long… My apologies.
tl;dr: I agree, but there is a problem with doing that. Other comic artists have found out that when they had a “bonus” tier they had to be careful to not leave plot points or important backstory where the vast majority of readers don’t have access to it.
WARNING, the following has spoilers, mostly for the Min Hua prequel. You read that already, right? Go do it. Read it at least 3 times before you continue. You won’t be sorry.
In your case, a *lot* of your material is *full* of really important backstory — just look at Min Hua’s arc and you can see that. You have a really rich background between Kenji and Cheng, Xiu Mei and Min Hua, and so on that wouldn’t be directly related to the story but really adds to the story. It also seriously draws in readers– did it to me, for example. It shows that Mastery is going to be a quality experience that you are going to want to follow.
For example, seeing Kenji and Cheng clowning around with each other adds a lot of weight to Kenji’s comment 34 pages later “You can start thinking of this place as home.” If you didn’t see that interaction between these two ol’ bros you wouldn’t understand the depth behind Kenji’s comment. It also adds a lot of depth to Kenji and Cheng’s characters.
When you develop Xiu Mei’s character you see a very complex change in her personality– from arrogant bitch with a superiority complex to frustrated older sister to someone that so badly wants her sister’s flaws to be fixed that she wants to test her the SECOND she can– and through to her look of disgust at Dawei’s dad for making her sister unhappy– and you don’t mention it explicitly ANYWHERE. In the beginning you start out hating her, but by the end you really appreciate her as a good sister.
I know you want to give Patreon members value for their money, and I totally get the gratitude you have for them (I wish I was at a financial point where I could contribute myself) but you’ve gotta remember, you’re a story peddler first and foremost, and your stories are really really deep with a lot of background material that is really subtle. You need to be very careful about walling some of that away behind a paywall.
Several of the comics I read will grant Patreon members earlier access to the buffer– so they get comics earlier. That might also be a way to give the contributors value.
Anyway, my two cents. Thanks for all your efforts, they are amazing.
NGL, your comments are some of the highlights of my week xD
You’ve got very similar thoughts to where we’re at Patreon-wise. Almost all of the content that would hit Patreon would eventually be available here on the website. We’re both big fans of the “early access” approach. Our price points are also gonna be pretty small. Since I’m not expecting a ton of people to look below the fold, I’ll just go ahead and drop the idea here so it’s in writing for future reference.
What I’m hoping to do, on top of physical rewards like buttons, bookmarks and eventually books which would be sent upon reaching certain individual “amount donated” benchmarks, I want to add LOADS of additional character-building content. Admittedly, my pace will always be slower than I’d like, but here’s the model we’re currently considering.
$1 / Month: Full access to any artwork/comics posted on the Patreon.
$5 / Month: Access to voting on future content.
– Currently, I’ve got a slew of shorts and events floating around involving a wide variety of cast members.
– At this tier, I’d open up a 5-vote whittle-down system that would take place over the course of a week, letting patrons have a say in what content gets focused on amidst the prompts I feel like offering at that time. Example:
– Day 1: Casting Call: [Prequel (Min, Rei, & Company)] [Main Storyline (Sarah, Ash, their friends & family, etc.)]
Vote goes to Prequel Cast
– Day 2: Genre: [Fluff] [Dramatic] [Romantic] [Action]
Vote goes to Dramatic with Action as a close second
– Day 3: Spotlight: [Primary Cast] or [Secondary Cast]
Vote goes to Primary Cast
– Day 4: Audition: Choice of character to focus on: [Min Hua] [Rei Haiyaou] [Xiu Mei] [Kenji Haiyaou]
Vote goes to Rei
– Day 5: Scene: Choice of one of a series of pre-conceived scenes or sequences with only vague names to work with:
[Marriage Proposal] [Where Did All Those Scars at the End Come From] [Income] [Brutal Master Take Two]
– Then there’d be a wait period while I actually work getting this extra content made. Some would be heftier works than others. These would be rather unrefined, sketchy pieces which wouldn’t be inked, colored, or polished. Some, depending on how well they come out, could receive the “finished” treatment at some later date, probably for the books. None of this content would be required to follow the main story, but gobs of that depth that we both love so much could be mined out of these tidbits. It might not be the best business decision, but I’d definitely aim to have most or all of the bonus materials available to the $1 tier eventually viewable on the site. While my primary goal will always be telling the story, I WOULD like to eventually have this be a viable revenue stream as well (Not that you would guess, given how low the price points are).
$10 / Month: Access to the streams.
– I wouldn’t expect pretty much anyone to donate this much, but if they did I’d aim to start doing the “video stream while you work” thing. Don’t get much more “early access” than that.
Sorry I haven’t replied, life kinda got in the way. I promise a response as soon as I can, ok? I appreciate you ‘lifting the curtain’ on your plans and want to give them the attention they deserve.
Oh! No worries. We’re all crazy busy. I honestly wasn’t expecting one!
Your Patreon idea sounds very well thought out and would possibly work. I appreciate the fact that you’re using the fanbase to generate direction and ideas to flesh out the story– it sounds like a great way to get some of the backstory sponsored.
Looks like a pretty awesome way to get up…
Given how much has been going on, it’s been easy to focus on the immediate thing. Way better to wake up following a traumatic event with some gentle music in a safe place from your best friend than some blaring alarm.
They’re good to each other. <3
If that’s supposed to be gentle music, maybe turn down the font size? =)
That…. is a decent idea.
The print version’ll probably have that along with some music notes. <_<;; I finished this about 3 minutes before it was time to post.
Ok…with the whole prequel…are we getting…anything else? To be honest I’m not a fan of this new superhero shiz..but I loves the ‘prequel’ so are we getting…ANYTHING?
Min, Rei, and Xiu Mei will have a VERY heavy presence in the future of the comic.
It’ll be a bit before they pop up again because once-a-week is hell, but I’m hoping to help fill that gap with stuff over on Patreon/social media.
I actually feel kinda bad for Sarah and Ash… I’ve got so much more planned for the Prequel cast. Mind you, time-line-wise, from this point forward, everyone is going to be dealing with some crazy supernatural stuff. That, in part, is why I want to fill in the “before-crisis” stuff via additional content.
Woah! An actual reasponse?..damn, sorry for flipping out dude, I’ve re read the recent comics and I’m growing to like ’em, sorry again, I just get attached to things and tired me yesterday was a bit mad
It’s cool, man! xD
Reading it made me pretty happy. I love these characters. Seeing that you want more of them makes me really happy.
Aww dude…I’m a moron, I just re-read the prequel and noticed the coming soon in intermission II, damn, I’m stupid, can’t wait for more!
Ari/Krystle here, small novel incoming!
I don’t usually comment, but I wanted to also say how happy I am that you love Min and the others! We knew from the start that it was going to be a bit jarring for people going from Min/Rei/Xiu Mei to Sarah/Ash. Their lives up to this point have been so different that even for us, sometimes it feels like two totally different stories.
It’s great to know that there is love for them and a desire to see more, because we definitely have a metric ton more to share.
He already touched on it, but once we get a few things ironed out there will be a ton of supplementary material for all of the cast members, which our readers will get to help direct the focus of. We’ve got so much back story for not just our main ladies, but the parental figures, friends, and people you haven’t met yet but(I hope) will have strong feelings about as well.
So if you’ve got any questions or curiosities, keep them in mind for the near future, because we absolutely want to hear them.
Thank you for sticking with us on this adventure ヽ(〃･ω･)ﾉ
Da Artist is amazing in how quickly and honestly responds to us. Seriously, he’s totally interested in our opinions about these characters and the storyline.
Ha! Of course I am! xD
I spend so much time workin’ on sharing this story. It’s exciting to know I’m not just dropping it into a void. Besides, you all find the awkward mistakes and visual story-telling faux pas I make along the way, which is pretty cool.
We also come in with the occasional “I see what you did there” commentary, too. Just to let you know how awesome you are.
Oh, man, I didn’t realize that Xiu Mei had a place in the future as well. Any idea on timing? Is this gonna happen this year, next year, or is that classified?
Thanks for the amazing story, dude.
Can’t say it’s classified because I honestly am not sure how far out that’ll be in real life time. I don’t have all the pages between now and then scripted out and a lot of things are being tweaked/adjusted on the fly.
I would anticipate their return next year at the earliest.
That.. was a really sweet page. A lot of webcomics, novels & so forth can be heavy handed with their displays of affection, but the simple interactions and the small displays of sweetheart behaviour here feels a lot more understated and natural.
…as an aside, I am most certainly going to purloin that idea of replacing the alarm clock with some personal music to wake my beloved, come my next anniversary. Hope you don’t mind!
I love the idea that the comic can inspire acts of RL WAFF. A+, do approve.
A+, sweet! I miss those from the school days . Just, if I may? A small point of clarification is requested – WAFF? hmm – Wuv and Friendship Forever?
I may be dating myself a bit with using that one.
Warm And Fuzzy Feelings. Used to be a pretty widely used tag for fanfiction.
Don’t worry about dating yourself – I’m old enough to recall when nettiquette and netzien were shiny new concepts being discussed at length in Time magazine, Amit the wild frontier that was this world wide web thing (CompuServe Keyword: geriatric 🙂 ).
I just wasn’t reintroduced to the world of fanfiction until rather later. Thanks for the clarification!
Not CompuServe. 71123,1062 here. I’m ooooooold.
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