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Site Status Update (and secret project introduction)

To paraphrase the Plague Guy from Monty Python and the Holy Grail: “I’m not dead.  I feel fine!”

If you follow AAW, you probably noticed the lack of updates for quite a while now. If you’ve been visiting the site for a long time, you’ve probably noticed that this happens occasionally. The good news is that this time (unlike a few years back) it has nothing to do with my health. I’m doing progressively better, in fact (props to Stanford Digestive Health Center).

Partly it’s because my mother (AAW’s now-emeritus editor and occasional reviewer, Loretta) had a major stroke, which shook my life up a bit, and partly because I bought a house, which shook it up further. Mainly, though, it’s because I decided to undertake a big personal project I’ve dreamed of for a long time, and it turns out I can only effectively do one such thing at a time. More reviews and other AAW stuff will happen, eventually (there’s a review from Chainclaw going up as soon as I recover from a main-computer failure, to start with).

This isn’t an apology post, though. It’s advertising the about-to-no-longer-be-secret project, which is not entirely unrelated to AAW’s purpose for existence: I’m making manga.

I’m starting with a one-volume adaptation of the modern-fantasy romance you may have seen advertised in the sidebar: Only In Your Dreams. It will be available webcomic-style initially, and later in print. Story and writing by Makosuke (me), art by the talented HannaPhilip.

A little teaser.

I’ve been writing stories in prose for years, but I’m into visual storytelling, and anime is where my heart is, so making manga is the next best thing. I decided to finally do something about that, and I also decided that I wasn’t going to do it half-assed—go big or stay home. So last year (just before life went haywire) I started a little publishing company, found and hired the right artist, and set about making something I’d be proud of.

Initially it will, technically, be a webcomic, and you’ll be able to read it free, a page at a time, on a 5-day-a-week update schedule, launching August 10th (barring technical issue with the launch date), and concluding about one year and 275 pages later, at the end of August 2015.

Given the slipping schedules, missed updates, and burnout common to new webcomics, how can I be so confident about the length and update schedule? Because I took the insane step of finishing the entire thing first, just to be safe. So the buffer is 275 pages. As in all of it. No lazy artist days, no early flameout, no flaky unfinished stories, no hasty end, no wildly inconsistent art, no un-inked pages because I ran out of time—this story is polished, exactly as long as I felt it needed to be, and happening in its entirety, whether anybody reads it or not.

The print version will be available for purchase somewhere around the middle of the run (ideally in time for the holidays), once I work out the logistics of that and there is (hopefully) enough interest and readership to support more than a small-run on-demand version. I will also be working on Patreon and other ways of recouping my initial investment to make future projects possible.

Is this a good plan? Probably not. But my chips are already on the table. Hopefully you’ll take a minute to check out the manga once it goes up on the web, and if you like it you’ll throw a little support behind it so I can afford to do more and different manga projects in the future. I’ve certainly got the ideas and the drive—the only question is if the stories I’m telling are worth reading.

So that’s what’s up with AAW. Here comes the first manga title of AAW’s newly born parent company, Alternate World Publishing, and its book label, Alternate World Press.