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Thursday, May 17, 2018

Alt★Hero #1: the initial reactions


Some of the initial reactions to the first digital edition of Alt★Hero, Issue #1, from email and the forums. The general reaction is extremely positive.
  • I liked the artstyle and colouring. The story so far is gripping, and as someone who backed this project in order to start hitting back in the culture war in order to provide some sensible reading material for the next generation, I love the result.
  • Really loving the story so far! One satisfied backer!
  • I just wanted to congratulate you and your production team on Alt*Hero 1.  It's spectacularly well-drawn, and the story line, while still abbreviated, holds promise for a lot of development further down the road.  I think it's more than capable of giving Marvel, DC, etc. a run for their money.
  • Overall, well done.
  • First thought: nothing like clearing the fences on the first swing, with the grumble that you were just warming up. The coloring was great, story was succinct and spot-on; it's amazing what you can do with the correct amount of dialogue. Excellent artwork that showed the story and reaction without needing to tell. That's a lot of dynamic range in the action and wording. The climax and ending surprised me.
  • The coloring was wonderful, art was solid and the story was well-paced and not overly talk-y (a la Bendis, which I hate). Rainbow was handled perfectly, I thought, all body language and natural dialogue with none of the SJW preachiness we're used to, either in one direction or another. Great start overall. Vox is definitely on to something here.
  • Just finished reading Alt*Hero #1. I really enjoyed it. Topical to world events, fun "bad" guys, with a sense of ominous foreboding on what's coming up in the series.
  • This is why I donated. A big thank-you to the Alt-Hero and Arkhaven teams.
  • Congrats mate.  Huge professional accomplishment.
That being said, we are absolutely not resting on any initial laurels. Some professional criticism from various industry pros:
  • This was a very nice origin story for Dynamique and set up the global landscape for the series. I think starting in Europe is smart as everyone's going to expect #MAGA American politics.
  • Fast-paced. Funny where it needs to be. God, could comics use some humor right now.
  • The lettering. The balloons are too cramped and the lettering doesn't stack right. The font is bad as well. The worst aspect is the placement. Too often balloons are placed to cover actions or primary figures. It's especially frustrating when plenty of available negative space is left uncovered that would been better real estate for the balloons.
  • Overall I'd call the story 4.5/5. It's just minor elements, nothing major. Art I'd call at 2.5/5 could use major improvement.
  • Establishment panels. Reading this whole, I see that it needed establishment panels at the beginning of most transition scenes. We need to know where the characters are in relation to one another and their environment before proceeding. 
  • The characters are very distinct, and you can tell who is speaking mostly just based on the dialogue itself which is much better than most comics. Your use of humor is also very important -- it sets the stage that this is not all that serious, which actually helps the reader forget about the art a little bit. If the tone was more serious, the art would matter and stick out more. Overall, it's compelling.
And not everyone was equally enthusiastic.
  • I read the backer copy of Alt★Hero #1, and I have to be honest with you. It was total crap. The art was atrocious and amateurish. Scene transitions were awkward. Also, certain shots were composed in a confusing way. I got no sense of Dynamique's motivations. There were way too many characters introduced from the beginning, drowning out Dynamique even further. The beginning itself had a very basic flaw -- why should we care that this redheaded model is being kidnapped at all? 
I am not at all fazed by the criticism, and I think most of the professional criticism is both valid and worthy of figuring out how to address in the future. Let's face it, it is a better first effort than my first solo novel. I am very pleased with the general nature of the professional criticism, because I have known from the start that the technical elements would inevitably take us time and experience to master. As I mentioned in my conversation with Ethan van Scriver, you can fix the art, you can fix the technical aspects, but you cannot fix the story or the characters. They are either interesting or they are not. And ultimately, it is the story and the characters that will determine the success of the endeavor.

UPDATE: As many people predicted, the naysayers who claimed Alt★Hero was a scam are simply moving the goalposts now that Issue #1 has been released. Which is why I never bothered to engage with any of them, but just ignored the petty little anklebiters from the start. And I will continue to do so. They never had any credibility in the first place, as I'm from the game industry, I subscribe to the id Software philosophy of "it's done when it's done," and I never gave any hard release dates in the first place. People will continue to trash it - especially Jordan Peterson fans, it appears - and that will only help us become more successful over time.

I also note that we are providing considerably more than we promised. Yes, the digital version of the first issue is out to backers. But we will also release a print edition of that first issue very soon, which we neither planned nor promised to do, and we will release it in four languages. I'm selecting the font for the French, Italian, and German versions this week, because Backissues BB, the Blambot font we used for the digital edition, does not have the necessary accents.

Also, our comics will never appear in the previews. We don't work with Diamond and we don't talk to the comics media. If you want to know what we're doing, you'll have to subscribe to our email newsletter, which right now is only available to backers.

LateNightComics
I've been calling Vox Day's #althero a scam since day one. Even argued with him about it. Still no comic hahaha.... what a JOKE!

LateNightComics
So far every deadline has been missed, it's not in previews and I haven't seen a single person review it. Vox Day is a liar and #althero is a scam that hurt our side. Vox can either deliver the issue or refund the money he took under false pretenses.

LateNightComics
Sorry Jon I know you and Vox are boys you should encourage him to be a man and follow through on his word instead of getting himself banned on purpose and pocketing the money.

LateNightComics
If @DiversityAndCmx pulled the same bullshit as Vox Day I would never stop calling him out. @JonMalin and @BrettRSmith76 have reputations worth protecting I guess Vox doesn't care what people think about him.

LateNightComics
He paid the people he needed to pay so there's that at least. It just hurts all indie fundraisers when crooks and liars get involved in our hobby and trash it with bull crap like #althero

Flannel Avenger
So, when Alt-Hero ships I take it that you will publicly recant your accusations of scam?

LateNightComics
No I won't it's still a garbage comic and he still pocketed most of that money to prop up other projects.

Jawbreakers Fan Jon Del Arroz
How do you know it's a garbage comic when you just said it doesn't exist? This is backward logic and haterade nonsense.

LateNightComics
Maybe you're right and Vox is simply horrible at marketing his product. He was high energy when he was fundraising now it's sleepy time once the checks cleared.

LateNightComics
If Vox wanted people like me to shut up he could announce a hard release date or eat his shorts.

Jawbreakers Fan Jon Del Arroz
Yeah, we're talking 2 months late from the goal which was made clear was not a promise timing wise from day one and this guy's flipping out.

LateNightComics
I'm not flipping out, I'm calling out. It's got to be done sometimes and horrible customer service is Dan Slott/ Mark Waid behavior. I just had hoped Vox would be different than those guys.

Labels: ,

101 Comments:

Blogger Johnny May 17, 2018 8:26 AM  

I like the lettering okay, but it has always seemed too small, too cramped. The artist does a nice job with Dynamique when he keeps her small, not so much when she gets bigger. In this case her reflections are better than her, smaller and more feminine. Plus I find her inherently interesting, no more background needed beyond that initial cafe scene and her recruitment. Hopefully she moves beyond being eye candy as the story develops.

Blogger dnaworks May 17, 2018 8:33 AM  

Looking at the cover for the second, it appears as if the art in already starting to upgrade. Looking forward to number 2 and beyond.

Blogger Brian S May 17, 2018 8:38 AM  

I agree with some of the critiques. Dynamique joins for no reason. However, I like the art, especially the color, and by the end I wanted more. Solid start, and my first comic in a while.

Question about the dialogue... Is it a "rule" in comics on the reading order to go from the highest bubble first? I often get pulled out of the story wondering to myself if I'm reading it in the correct order. Similar question about the panels, while I'm asking. I read a couple comics over 20 years ago and had the same questions then. Thanks

Blogger The Observer May 17, 2018 8:43 AM  

Dynamique joins for no reason.

She's a woman in her mid-twenties who's tempted with not just money, but access to the super-special high-status club and what might be the most situationally alpha men on the continent. That she's let down somewhat by the water interrogation scene doesn't negate the instant appeal that kind of offer has.

Her motivations could use some work, yes, but it's not like they're unfathomable.

Blogger SmockMan May 17, 2018 8:44 AM  

Agree lettering needs to be better and font sucks. The S looks like a 6 in many panels, for one thing. Somewhat agree with very critical person on Dyna characterization. I like the idea of her as aloof and vain. Needed like 1 or 2 bits of dialog cementing why she decided to go along with it after being kidnapped.

Also agree with introducing the other characters more slowly.

Overall, I did enjoy it. Coloring seems the best aspect of the art. Looking forward to more.

Blogger Brian S May 17, 2018 8:52 AM  

Well she's also super powerful, beautiful, and used to getting everything she wants. The captain tells her no every time she negotiates a condition and she folds after a quick outburst. I'm not saying it's terrible, just a little off in my opinion.

Blogger pdwalker May 17, 2018 8:59 AM  

What’s the ETA for #2? Weeks? Month? Or when it’s ready?

The story promises to be interesting and I can’t wait to see what happens next.

Blogger SemiSpook37 May 17, 2018 9:00 AM  

Agree on the lack of establishment panels. They’re definitely a plus when it comes to providing some context within the broader narrative. No doubt they’ll start appearing further down the road.

Overall, it’s definitely piqued my interest, and looking forward to the next chapter.

Blogger bob kek mando - ( Creepy Joe Biden always asks for consent before changing your baby's diaper ) May 17, 2018 9:00 AM  

fan service never hurts either.

Blogger dnaworks May 17, 2018 9:00 AM  

@Brian S think of her as a typical woman dealing with an extreme alpha; he has all the power and while she may not seem sexually attracted, her behaviour seemed very much in line with type of interaction

Blogger VD May 17, 2018 9:02 AM  

The captain tells her no every time she negotiates a condition and she folds after a quick outburst. I'm not saying it's terrible, just a little off in my opinion.

Why do you think she folds? Do you simply not understand she is the type of woman who smiles, says "okay", and then does whatever the hell she pleases anyhow?

Blogger The Lizard King May 17, 2018 9:17 AM  

VD. Since Alt-hero takes place in an alternative timeline where WW2 as we know it did not happen, what can you tell me you imagine made such widespread anti-nationalism popular amongst the elites in Europe in the world of Alt-Hero?

And I am aware that I made a similiar question in the last blog regarding AH, but I think it is a worthy question.

Blogger KPKinSunnyPhiladelpia May 17, 2018 9:22 AM  

VD wrote--
". . .you can fix the technical aspects, but you cannot fix the story or the characters. They are either interesting or they are not. And ultimately, it is the story and the characters that will determine the success of the endeavor."

Right.

This is true across all literary genres.

I am not interested in comics, or fantasy fiction, or sci fi, but of course that's not why I come to this blog.

I have been watching a lot of Tom Wolfe videos for the last day or so, and going back to some of his seminal essays. I have read all his books. To me he is one of great figures in American literature, for this reason, among others -- he understood completely that the quality of the story and richness of the characters makes for compelling literature.

For him, the story and the characters were there in the real world, hitting you over the head, if you could only spend the time to learn.

Good luck in your venture. It will succed.




Blogger Duh-ave May 17, 2018 9:28 AM  

Dom is a pro model, I expect her to be a bit shallow. Hedy Lamarr was a one off. It would have been a cliche to give Dom that kind of backstory. The lettering was tiny for me but much more legible than some. Talking about you Schlock Mercenary.

Blogger VD May 17, 2018 9:30 AM  

Since Alt-hero takes place in an alternative timeline where WW2 as we know it did not happen, what can you tell me you imagine made such widespread anti-nationalism popular amongst the elites in Europe in the world of Alt-Hero?

What does WWII have to do with that? It was the Great War that inspired anti-nationalist efforts, which date back to the Tower of Babel anyhow.

Blogger Duh-ave May 17, 2018 9:34 AM  

Forgot to mention that I loved it. I'll buy the hard copy and see if that will be easier for me to read.

Blogger The Lizard King May 17, 2018 9:38 AM  

@16 True I suppose, I understand that it was WW1 that started alot of the civilizational decline that we see now, but when you look at our world it seems to me that WW2 is the boogyman that is always brought out as a warning to the masses from the elites about the dangers of nationalism and pride in ones people.

Blogger Salt May 17, 2018 9:39 AM  

I'm curious what brand of smokes Dynamique likes? Canadian Export-A would seem appropriate.

Blogger VD May 17, 2018 9:50 AM  

I agree with some of the critiques. Dynamique joins for no reason.

No reason? She's been informed that she's either going to be chipped and tracked and subject to some ghastly EU directive by the people who just shot her and knocked her out, or they will pay her a lot of money, tax-free, to be a poster girl for something. She doesn't even hesitate.

What sort of reason would you find more credible?

Blogger Markku May 17, 2018 9:56 AM  

"The art was atrocious"

He forgot to use the word "derivative". That would have made him sound at least 50% more like an art critic. I would have totally become demoralized and just quit the project, had he remembered to say "derivative". But oh well. Alt-Hero must go on.

Blogger Howard Stone May 17, 2018 10:01 AM  

I’ll buy all print editions, and am looking forward to the novel.

Blogger Wanderer May 17, 2018 10:10 AM  

This LateNightComics guy sounds like a typical whiny SJW gamma.

Blogger Arthur Tintagel May 17, 2018 10:12 AM  

next issue should have JBP as the villain where he commands an entire army of zombified Buckos

Blogger The Observer May 17, 2018 10:18 AM  

Oh. Come to think of it, did anything happen for the community cameo voting, did I miss it, or was it postponed? I don't remember seeing anything about it for a bit.

Blogger 357Delta May 17, 2018 10:20 AM  

There's room for improvement for the art, but it's about average for the industry as a whole. Batman, Superman, X-Men, Avengers, etc., do not have average art, Marvel and DC put their best artists on those comics. The average is closer to Darkhorse, Dynamite, second tier DC and Marvel titles. Examples in this range are Red Sonja and many of Dynamites franchise adaptations.

Blogger losemoneyfast May 17, 2018 10:30 AM  

I honestly have no interest in comics, but backed because Vox is doing more than anyone I know to productively fight the culture war. There is Vox Popoli, Castalia, Infogalactic, IG News, Dark Streams, Voxiversity, the games side of things, and now AltHero. And he has repeatedly demonstrated the ability to turn constructive criticism into success. At this point I will likely support anything Vox does.
AltHero will undoubtedly improve with time.

Blogger wreckage May 17, 2018 10:33 AM  

@11 It's clear they have not, and just the samples during the initial funding gave me an outstanding read on Dynamique. It's not like I slay it at the nightclubs and have a Game newsletter telling you how you can too, either; the character is very clearly telegraphed but without enough exposition to break that sense of "Oh man, I know how much trouble they're in with her, and they don't; clearly I knows de wimmins!"

I like the art. I really want to see the artist develop.

And I see Vox has once again cast, or been afflicted by, Greater Summon Gamma. Is it like a normal Gamma Summoning, but upscaled? Is it a Greater Summoning, thereof a Gamma? Or does it summon the Greater Gamma, ancient insecure lords of the realm of self-inflicted butthurt?

Blogger Johnny May 17, 2018 10:36 AM  

>> it seems to me that WW2 is the boogyman that is always brought out as a warning to the masses from the elites about the dangers of nationalism and pride in ones people...

I think you are striving for a level of historic authenticity that isn't really necessary. Most fiction portrays current centament as having existed in the past. Otherwise I tend to agree. WWI damaged European supremacy globally. WWII double downed on the anti nationalist, anti race identity sentiment.

Blogger wreckage May 17, 2018 10:38 AM  

@19, the only acceptable motivations are:

1. her family was murdered (male or female characters)
2. she was raped by a father figure (female only)

thereby obtaining one of the two available character traits:

1. Driven by rage-filled bloody revenge (male or female)
2. Driven by tearful bloody revenge (female only.)

Blogger David The Good May 17, 2018 10:41 AM  

"LateNightComics
I'm not flipping out, I'm calling out. It's got to be done sometimes and horrible customer service is Dan Slott/ Mark Waid behavior. I just had hoped Vox would be different than those guys."

He's a liar. He never had any hopes for Vox.

Blogger matveidaniilovich May 17, 2018 10:55 AM  

LateNightComics can't decide if comics is a 'community' or an 'industry.' They volley off comments about comics simply being 'hot dogs' to be sold, then get ticked if they don't think you're a 'fan' and are trying to infiltrate their village. Totally incoherent people.

Blogger select star May 17, 2018 10:58 AM  

Geesh tough crowd. Have you seen those early 20thC comics and how they looked when they started out? But there was no internet back then to bitch about the fonts. Alt*Hero looks impressive already, in a few years Alt*hero will make the SJWs REEEE everywhere especially in the comics industry ;-) Vox keep on with the humor aspect since as you know commies don't have any.

And I see Vox has once again cast, or been afflicted by, Greater Summon Gamma. Is it like a normal Gamma Summoning, but upscaled? Is it a Greater Summoning, thereof a Gamma? Or does it summon the Greater Gamma, ancient insecure lords of the realm of self-inflicted butthurt?

Good observation.

Blogger Markku May 17, 2018 10:58 AM  

We're not "trying". We're GOING to infiltrate, and take, their village.

Blogger matveidaniilovich May 17, 2018 11:00 AM  

I've been a comics fan since a small child. Comics fans are some of the strangest people you will ever meet. Guys who grew up playing D&D every night of the week while eating pizza pockets & slamming Mountain Dew & avert their eyes whenever someone of the opposite sex approaches are more socially competent.

Blogger Markku May 17, 2018 11:04 AM  

And for that reason, they're throwing everything but the kitchen sink at us, without even the hint of self-criticism. It's entertaining, in its impotence.

Blogger James Dixon May 17, 2018 11:09 AM  

> Well she's also super powerful, beautiful, and used to getting everything she wants. The captain tells her no every time she negotiates a condition and she folds after a quick outburst.

You obviously missed the smoking discussion. The captain folded on that one.

> There's room for improvement for the art, but it's about average for the industry as a whole.

Honestly, I'd say slightly above average for today's comics. Artwork has seriously declined over the decades.

Just this digital comic alone has easily justified at least 1/5th of my backing of the project. At this rate it's going to have been a steal.

Blogger BassmanCO May 17, 2018 11:18 AM  

Agree with the comments on the abrupt transitions, but otherwise liked it, especially the ending. I am a shitty artist, so I don't get my panties in a wad if the pictures aren't perfect. It is a comic, not a Rembrandt for crying out loud.

Is there a better format than the free Kindle previewer for the digital file? It looks good, but I can't get the screen big enough to look like an actual comic. Thanks.

Blogger Resident Moron™ May 17, 2018 11:28 AM  

Similar to others, my major reason for backing alt*Hero was to trigger SJW meltdowns.

Judging by that last criticism I’d say that the goal has been achieved.

Blogger Thomas Smith May 17, 2018 11:30 AM  

I know you were pressed by space, but it would have been nice to have a panel saying what was different about this world to kind of set the stage.

Blogger VD May 17, 2018 11:30 AM  

Is there a better format than the free Kindle previewer for the digital file?

We had a request for CBR, but I need to know what is the optimal CBR resolution.

Blogger select star May 17, 2018 11:36 AM  

"I just wanted to congratulate you and your production team on Alt*Hero 1."

Hear, hear!

"And for that reason, they're throwing everything but the kitchen sink at us, without even the hint of self-criticism. It's entertaining, in its impotence."

Good job Markku!

Blogger wreckage May 17, 2018 11:44 AM  

@33 And their women, don't forget. The Great Weasel Kami commands it.

Blogger The Observer May 17, 2018 11:53 AM  

@42: I'm not sure if we want their women. Have you SEEN some of them?

Blogger Duh-ave May 17, 2018 12:04 PM  

The art is great. If it improves as much as Brooke McEldowney's or K.B. Spangler's did we are going to need a fifth Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle.

Blogger Mocheirge May 17, 2018 12:04 PM  

Arthur Tintagel wrote:next issue should have JBP as the villain where he commands an entire army of zombified Buckos

You're just jelly that his buckos are more zombified than yours.

Blogger electricsheeple May 17, 2018 12:04 PM  

Art Style is subjective. Look at the success Scott Adams did with Dilbert and Bryan Lee O'Malley had with Scott Pilgrim. Comics are not about making fine art, it's about finding a style that serves the story. I've seen people criticize both of those artists but I found the art very pleasant and fitting for the story.

Blogger Markku May 17, 2018 12:07 PM  

That criticism up there is tedious, derivative, and just plain bad. It cannot even hold a candle to the Art Critic of Psychonauts.

Anonymous Anonymous May 17, 2018 12:28 PM  

VD wrote: We had a request for CBR, but I need to know what is the optimal CBR resolution.

CBR or CBZ are the best formats. They are simply a bunch of JPG images inside a ZIP or RAR file. Can't get any simpler than that! There are tons of viewers, and if you don't have any, just extract the archive and use any image viewer. These formats do not handle metadata however, so an extra readme file can be added. PDF is also a nice format, and it can be DRM protected.

The images inside the Alt-Hero .mobi seems to be quite low resolution. It is lower than most of the pirated manga scanlations I've got, which is a bit ironic since I bought the Alt-Hero comic... In fact, on my huge TV that I use to read comics on, it looks like pixelated trash. Same on the other PC with FullHD screen.

Since CBR/CBZ is meant to be viewed on a PC, and most viewers have excellent resizing algorithms, using a high resolution is a must for customer satisfaction ;)

Marvel's Gwenpool (pirated) is at 1988x3055 resolution, which really does the art justice (it is gorgeous, plus I love Gurihiru's style). That's a bit too wide for a 1920x1080 monitor though, and since that's the standard these days, I'd advise a width of around 1800 to 1900 pixels. Height depends on your page size.

Blogger Mike Hertz May 17, 2018 12:41 PM  

Some panels are better than others, in regards to the art. Complaints and confusion about Dyna's actions/reactions makes me believe that most of these guys have never spent time around women that are a 7 or better. A transition panel or a splash page between Dyna getting hit and her in cuffs would have been good.

Other than that, a good leap out of the gate. So far Vox has made the villains of the story likeable. Don't get me wrong ,they are in the wrong camp but i don't have a feeling of absolute evil from them yet. Almost like they are just misguided and brainwashed. They seem to not want to kill BUT we also don't know what happens to those arrested. That may have me change my assessment of them. The lengths that the "criminals" are going to in trying to keep from being arrested does make me think it's not a fine and a misdemeanor charge. I'm sure we will get a better feel for the world once we see how the everyday citizen is treated and has to live in this version of Europe.

Congratulations on the first issue. Glad I backed it.

Blogger Jon D. May 17, 2018 12:46 PM  

Grats Vox. Solid story and characters. This superhero world has a lot of room for growth...and we'll see a lot more. Just started on the novel after getting nice feedback on the outline. Pulp speed ahead! :)

Blogger VD May 17, 2018 1:07 PM  

The images inside the Alt-Hero .mobi seems to be quite low resolution.

That's the standard Kindle size. 1280 x 800.

Blogger Ceerilan May 17, 2018 1:07 PM  

It very much sounds like LateNightComics won't be happy until you spend every dime you took in on twice the amount of comics that you promised, and then returned all the money to the backers. Doing it all yesterday would be preferred. SMH

Blogger The Overgrown Hobbit May 17, 2018 1:14 PM  

When I first discovered and began reading Vox Popoli several years ago, I was promised rampant misogyny. Rampant.

But from Rod Walker to Quantum Mortis to 10 years of World Net Daily posts it's just been one big let down after another.

Finally, with Alt-Hero, they assured me, there'd be nothing but wall-to-wall sexism.

So what do I get? Janelle aka Dominique.

Such a disappointment.

Blogger Bodo Staron May 17, 2018 1:18 PM  

Just flipped through it, I will read it this weekend. Looks good.
Will "critics" ever understand that Vox Day delivers?

Blogger VD May 17, 2018 1:19 PM  

Will "critics" ever understand that Vox Day delivers?

Of course not. That is contra-narrative. They don't understand anything that contradicts the narrative.

Blogger select star May 17, 2018 1:33 PM  

This comment has been removed by the author.

Blogger Mr. Deficient May 17, 2018 1:36 PM  

I'm not a big commics guy, but my impression was that of early dilbert or simpsons. Not super high quality but engaging enough that it can become something great.

Blogger Snidely Whiplash May 17, 2018 1:36 PM  

Ceerilan wrote:It very much sounds like LateNightComics won't be happy until you...
Until Vox admits that he is a Horrible Ungood Citizen, and that LNC is smarter and better than he is.
He lives is a world of horrible disappointment.

Blogger select star May 17, 2018 1:37 PM  

The leftard doesn't understand anything that contradicts their brainwashing/programming because they are so (insert oxymoron in quotes here).

Blogger Looking Glass May 17, 2018 1:40 PM  

On the issue of computer-based viewing, most of the "scans" on any of the various mediums tend to run pretty high. 300 DPI is normally the starting point. There are scans of really random things running around at 4000 DPI for whatever reason. (Because obscure 1970s Graphic Novels need to take up 2 gigabytes of disk space because... REASONS!) Never underestimate the desire of digital packrats.

On Dynamique's "quick" agreement, did people miss she was attacked by an armed squad, knocked out and handcuffed already? That's not the hardest choice to make in life, especially for a French model.

Blogger VD May 17, 2018 1:51 PM  

We'll probably go with 2560 x 1600. It looks good on my tablet. We know perfectly well these are going to be passed around as pirate issues.

Blogger Looking Glass May 17, 2018 2:02 PM  

@61 VD

Should be fine. The Internet Archivists might want higher, but they can purchase & scan for that.

Blogger Garuna May 17, 2018 2:13 PM  

The whining about Dynamique's motivation reeks of incel. Have these people never had successful interactions with women? Plenty of women behave like this.

LateNightComics is the typical cuck "ally" who is more interested in proving he's a good boy than winning. And he is clearly arguing in bad faith. It is because of people like these that the "shut the fuck up [liberal]" meme was created. There is no debate to be had. He just needs to be swatted out of the discussion.

Blogger Garuna May 17, 2018 2:21 PM  

Used to be a casual comics fan about 15 years ago. But this AltHero stuff has been my first good look at the comics "community". And it's filled with gammas. The incel angst, the pettiness, the posturing, the passive aggression, the ankle biting... Perhaps this is why comics are dying. The community is completely toxic.

VD and EVS had a disagreement about whether we should cater to the existing community or try to bring in other people. And now it's clearer than ever that VD was right. Catering to the comics gammas is suicide.

Blogger Brett baker May 17, 2018 2:23 PM  

You forgot to add, and kill all the men and use the women as we wish.;-)

Blogger Brett baker May 17, 2018 2:25 PM  

When it's dark, it doesn't matter.

Blogger Brett baker May 17, 2018 2:29 PM  

You forgot to add, and kill all the men and use the women as we wish.;-)

Blogger James Dixon May 17, 2018 2:55 PM  

> A transition panel or a splash page between Dyna getting hit and her in cuffs would have been good.

I believe there was one in the preview. It apparently got cut due to space considerations.

> I'm not a big commics guy, but my impression was that of early dilbert or simpsons.

Seriously? This artwork is way better than even the current Dilbert/Simpsons.

> Plenty of women behave like this.

I'd go so far as to say most.

Blogger Noah B The Savage Gardener May 17, 2018 3:02 PM  

The speed with which this was turned around was impressive. Getting it out quickly in this market is key. And sure there's room for improvement in the art based on the pic above, but from what I'm seeing the whole package looks pretty good so far.

I completely disagree with the critic who asks why we should care that Dynamique is being kidnapped. At the beginning of ANY narrative a reader isn't emotionally attached to a new character, and at first the plot just needs to be interesting enough to keep the reader wondering what happens next. Emotional attachment in the character comes much later. Has this guy ever even read a book before?

Blogger NicBoffin May 17, 2018 3:03 PM  

The anklebiters are funny/sad.

I haven’t read it yet - 14h workday today, and I can’t pull it up on my phone - but I expect to be entertained.

I don’t expect it to be perfect. That’s just stupid. Nothing is, and first novels/comics/etc. less so. Like any artistic endeavor, the goal is simple. Issue 2 should be better than 1, 3 better than 2.

That I trust you will deliver on.

Blogger Markku May 17, 2018 3:19 PM  

Key is budgeting it so that it will actually get finished. Not producing that one absolutely perfect issue, and then running out of money and vaporwaring the rest of the series. But hey, at least we wouldn't get any criticism for THAT issue, right?! (Spoiler: We would)

Blogger FUBARwest May 17, 2018 3:48 PM  

Is there a date when Alt Hero #1 will be available to the public for purchase either via Kindle or in store?

Blogger Daniel Paul Grech Pereira May 17, 2018 4:24 PM  

Most of that criticism, positive and negative, is valid. The first issue is never an accurate representation of what the series eventually becomes. It's literally only the beginning. You should expect to see a rocky start. The backdrop for the story is a battlefield of VD's choosing: This is the subject matter he knows and writes about everyday on this blog. There was plenty of artwork released during the lead up to release, and anyone who followed the project knows that this series will progressively get better.

Or it won't, and we'll all take a big, steaming dump on it later. But the alternative to that is what, going back to MARVEL after swearing them off years ago?

And imagine crying over your fifteen sheckles taking a risk on a new comic series.

Blogger James Dixon May 17, 2018 4:43 PM  

> But the alternative to that is what, going back to MARVEL after swearing them off years ago?

IMO, it's already better than 90% of what Marvel produces at this point, without any improvement.

Blogger Michael Maier May 17, 2018 5:16 PM  

1: It's better art than is on the covers of most DC and Marvel titles.
2: Good storytelling in the art except in a few spots where the panel layouts seem off/odd.
3: The issue left me impatient for more. Always a good sign.

I would love to see this take off. I like the art form of comics but almost everything DC and Marvel have done for about a decade now leaves me cold.

I hope you can expand and get other creators to let you publish them to massive mutual advantage. There are a lot of great comic stories to be told.

Anonymous Anonymous May 17, 2018 5:27 PM  

What Brian S said.

I found the ordering of the text balloons to be disconcerting.  Several times I had to go back, re-read in the opposite order from what my eyes were drawn to originally, and sort out what had made no sense the first time.  This really took me out of the story.  I don't know if this is in keeping with current mass-market comics, but if there's any lesson from Alt★Hero it's that they should be ignored.

If you're looking for pointers on dialogue I'd say look at the way it's done in Schlock Mercenary.  It's always crystal-clear to me who's speaking and what order it's all in.  Prime example:
first panel https://www.schlockmercenary.com/2018-04-29

@dnaworks Captain Europa does have a bit of "jerkboy charm".

Blogger SirHamster May 17, 2018 5:32 PM  

Noah B The Savage Gardener wrote:I completely disagree with the critic who asks why we should care that Dynamique is being kidnapped.

How does one not find a pretty woman being kidnapped interesting?

And then when she overpowers the kidnap team?

Does he live in an area where this is ho-hum everday activity?

"There they go again, time to check the blogs for news"

Blogger tz May 17, 2018 6:01 PM  

Sigh.
Vox has the wisdom of the incremental. That you CANnot know what is suboptimal until you make something. Then you keep correcting toward perfection.
Alt*Hero has piqued my interest in comics again. DC and Marvel will never do a true anthology of any of the threads I would care about.

Blogger Wynn Lloyd May 17, 2018 6:12 PM  

Taking out the men sounds great!
Not too excited about the prospect of their women...

Blogger Wynn Lloyd May 17, 2018 6:17 PM  

This is the difference between doers and talkers.
Talkers demand everything be perfect from
the get-go. Doers take the necessary steps to hone their craft.

The takers will always run their mouths about the doers. Talk is all they have. While VD has a popular, high-quality comic franchise, which will only grow in popularity over time.

Blogger cheddarman May 17, 2018 7:13 PM  

I am a backer and I loved it. only complaint is that some of the print was hard to read on my laptop screen

Blogger VD May 17, 2018 7:37 PM  

I found the ordering of the text balloons to be disconcerting. Several times I had to go back, re-read in the opposite order from what my eyes were drawn to originally, and sort out what had made no sense the first time. This really took me out of the story. I don't know if this is in keeping with current mass-market comics, but if there's any lesson from Alt★Hero it's that they should be ignored.

This will be addressed in future issues. I had problems with it too.

Blogger VD May 17, 2018 7:39 PM  

Is there a date when Alt Hero #1 will be available to the public for purchase either via Kindle or in store?

Monday, May 21st.

Anonymous Anonymous May 17, 2018 7:55 PM  

Is there a better format than the free Kindle previewer for the digital file? It looks good, but I can't get the screen big enough to look like an actual comic.
This worked for me:

1.  Open in Calibre reader.  Calibre does weird things with the aspect ratio, so I couldn't pleasantly read directly in it.  But...
2.  Select "Print to PDF file" (last icon on the left sidebar).
3.  Open the PDF in Adobe reader.  Done.

Blogger The Deplorable Podunk Ken Ramsey May 17, 2018 8:50 PM  

I liked the comic a lot, and I'm looking forward to the next. So the hook worked in my case at least!

I found the font to be just fine. It was in fact a big improvement for me over Quantum Mortis, which had a much smaller font size in places that was at times difficult to read.

I read Alt*Hero on the Kindle reader on my laptop, and I made use of that feature where you click on a panel and then it will enlarge and you can arrow-tab down through the panels. That worked well until I got to page 25, which apparently presented as one large panel. But all the other pages worked fine.

I liked the story and the art. Looking forward to the next issue!

Anonymous Anonymous May 17, 2018 11:43 PM  

@VD:  there's this bit of nonsensical exposition on page 21:
A 90-kilogram object with an acceleration of 3,825 kilometers per hour strikes with the force of10 tons
Ignoring the missing space in "of10", "3,825 kilometers per hour" is speed, not acceleration, and speed * mass is momentum, not force.  Momentum is force * time, and "tons" aren't an SI unit of force anyway.

IMO, alt-comics should try to spread scientific literacy instead of gibberish.  90 kg @ 3825 kph has a momentum of 95,626 kg-m/sec so would require a force of just shy of 10 metric tons (10000 kg * 9.81 m/s) for 1 sec to bring to a stop.  Striking a non-moving object (which is what a normal human would effectively be even if running as fast as possible) of the same mass in an inelastic collision and coming to equal speed in, say, 10 cm relative motion... time is 188 μsec, force is 508 MN or roughly 51000 tons.

I'd suggest re-writing that piece:

A 90-kilogram object at a speed of 3,825 kilometers per hour strikes with the energy of 12 kilograms of TNT. This would turn a human body into a fine red mist.
That is grammatically and scientifically correct.

Blogger Snidely Whiplash May 18, 2018 1:20 AM  

Pale Male wrote:That is grammatically and scientifically correct.
No one cares. Well, no one who matters anyway.

Anonymous Anonymous May 18, 2018 3:24 AM  

Today I was inspired by the comic to write some alt hero fanfic. It's on my livejournal and I'll eventually get it in the fanfic forum on the alt hero website. I hope y'all enjoy reading it as much as I enjoyed writing it.
***
Janelle squinted and rubbed her eyes. Why did that man look so familiar? “Very well. I’ll apprehend him and bring him back.”

“No Mademoiselle Jenerette, you will not. You will kill him.” The shadows in the room enveloped the Captain’s face as he turned to the side. His voice took on an ugly tone that set her nerves on edge. “You will kill him, then you will bring his body back.”
***
And Vox if you have any issues with it I will pull it.

https://smoothpanda.livejournal.com/281.html

Blogger wreckage May 18, 2018 3:28 AM  

@86, so.... it strikes with about ten tonnes of force.

For the others: their females deemed inadequately attractive shall also be deemed to be males.

Incremental is wisdom. Here, as elsewhere, Vox is shrieked at for acting like a total pro. My face, it is palmed.

Forget people who didn't understand Dynamique's motives never dealing with women; they've never dealt with humans or the more intelligent domesticated animals. Which... is probably for the best.

The art was adequate, the story was banging like screen door in a hurricane.

Blogger VD May 18, 2018 4:45 AM  

90 kg @ 3825 kph has a momentum of 95,626 kg-m/sec so would require a force of just shy of 10 metric tons (10000 kg * 9.81 m/s) for 1 sec to bring to a stop.

Pretty close for gibberish, I'd say. Just a lucky guess, I suppose.

Blogger Rocklea Marina May 18, 2018 5:07 AM  

The worst aspect is the placement.

Agreed, no need to cover the characters.

I'm not a comic reader so I have nothing to judge the art by except to say, I liked it, the coloring too.

With respect to alternate history and back story, perhaps a guide book down the track? Telling the story from concept to creation etc.

As for Dynamique, I see her as neutral, similar to Raistlin from Dragonlance. I'm sure she will throw some sand in the gears down the track.

Good to see some of the "Haters" have powers too. Cliffhanger ending for the next comic.

Anonymous Anonymous May 18, 2018 10:17 AM  

@86, so.... it strikes with about ten tonnes of force.
Only if you decelerate it over a distance of over 500 meters.  If you slam it into something where it stops over a distance of a few inches, it exerts tens of thousands of tons of force.

Pretty close for gibberish, I'd say.
No, it's off by over 3 orders of magnitude (AND nonsense).  See above.  Leaving fake physics out would have made more sense.  What does the addition of gibberish add to the story?

No one cares. Well, no one who matters anyway.
Why do a hack-job, when it's almost trivial to do it right?  If you get people saying "hey, they even got that one right!" it's more positive PR.

Blogger VD May 18, 2018 10:39 AM  

Only if you decelerate it over a distance of over 500 meters. If you slam it into something where it stops over a distance of a few inches, it exerts tens of thousands of tons of force.

It doesn't say how fast it decelerates. You're assuming something unnecessarily.

Blogger wreckage May 18, 2018 12:01 PM  

Telling Vox what to do is both rational and productive, and I simply can't wait to see the wonderful and useful outcome of this instance!

Blogger Ahärôwn May 18, 2018 2:42 PM  

The comic is very good, Vox, and other than some minor constructive criticisms that have already been raised by others in the comments, I very much enjoyed it. The cliff-hanger ending was a nice surprise, and I look forward to the next issue.

Thank you for all of your hard work, and may you continue to be blessed with inspiration for great stories, both comics-wise and elsewhere.

Blogger Sevron May 18, 2018 6:27 PM  

I liked it. I would have liked more background to the universe and particular setting, but I have no idea how that could have been done without being really boring.

Blogger NicBoffin May 19, 2018 12:48 AM  

Okay, finally got a chance to read it.

Mission accomplished, I liked it. I could have used a bit more staggered intro to the other supers - I don't really have a grasp for what most of them do or what they are called, but that's not a big deal, and there will be plenty of time to rectify it.

I really like Dr. Nano, though I can't really say why yet.

Having the speedster as backup is a better use of such a super than I generally see in comics.

I know I'm not the only one saying it, but the only real issue I had is with the font. It is hard to read in places. The blue text boxes are worse than the white in this regard, and the red text box when Dynamique is pissed is almost impossible to make out without magnifying it quite a lot.

I don't regularly read comics anymore, but I do go through the trades as they come into my library.

It stands up just fine to what I'm seeing of late in terms of character and story, and the artwork is better than average. (Though stuff like Squirrel Girl is, sadly, bringing that average down)

Looking forward to the next one.

Blogger Bodo Staron May 19, 2018 6:37 AM  

Finally went through it. I agree on the balloon issues, placement, ordering. I'm sure the next volume will be much better in this regard.

Loved the inclusion of real news stories into the story-line. Please keep hitting on Germany. Merkels regime deserves it. If the comics really come out in German, perfect. This is great counter propaganda to the official narrative.

Anonymous Anonymous May 19, 2018 9:17 PM  

VD wrote:It doesn't say how fast it decelerates. You're assuming something unnecessarily.
<sigh>

I'm not assuming anything.  The parameters are set by YOUR scenario.  A human body is perhaps 8 inches thick, so in a horizontal inelastic collision with another body of equal size and mass with both in an upright position the impactor can move about 16 inches (~40 cm) at most between first contact and the two assuming equal speed.  The initial relative speed determines how long this process can last (maximum), and together those two numbers determine the minimum acceleration (and thus minimum force, F=ma).  If the two bodies DON'T come to equal speed in that time or less, the impactor goes THROUGH the target and/or vice-versa.

This is literally 1st semester physics, and I've already run the numbers for you.  Either show me where my calculation of speed, time or distance is wrong, or concede the point.

Also, I believe I asked you what the gibberish contributed to the story.  Are you not answering that?  I was reminded of this passage from TMIAHM:

"Functional organization. How does one design an electric motor? Would you attach a bathtub to it, simply because one was available? Would a bouquet of flowers help? A heap of rocks?"

That particular bit of balonium reminds me of a heap of rocks on an electric motor.  IMHO it is best removed, if only for the sake of not making physics harder to learn for those who don't yet have the tools to analyze such things (which will be almost all of the teen readership) by giving them nonsense to un-learn first.  But it's your story, you can do what you want with it.  I'm just interested in clarifying the facts (not disputable) and understanding what you think it adds vs. detracts.

And again, IMHO, I think you'd be adding something by getting it right.  It's really not hard.  If you don't have the eyes for attention to that kind of detail, it's not like you don't have plenty of people willing to help.  I even wrote revised exposition for you.  Take it if you want.

Blogger VD May 20, 2018 8:19 AM  

I'm not assuming anything. The parameters are set by YOUR scenario.

Yes, you are. No, they are not, and you clearly don't understand that you are conflating two scenarios in your analysis.

IMHO, I think you'd be adding something by getting it right. It's really not hard. If you don't have the eyes for attention to that kind of detail, it's not like you don't have plenty of people willing to help. I even wrote revised exposition for you. Take it if you want.

I would think it is entirely obvious that I don't want it. You're certainly welcome to your opinion, but I am not interested in people writing "revised exposition" for me, especially when they don't even understand exactly what they are attempting to pick apart.

Anonymous Anonymous May 20, 2018 10:26 AM  

VD wrote:Yes, you are. No, they are not, and you clearly don't understand that you are conflating two scenarios in your analysis.
The one scenario is Redshift slamming into subject Tango at ~3825 kph relative (minus a bit because Tango is running in the same direction at perhaps 30 kph).  That's clearly what you were outlining as the case for the "force of 10 tons", which does not actually happen because "Redshift slows down considerably before hitting him from behind".

I am not interested in people writing "revised exposition" for me, especially when they don't even understand exactly what they are attempting to pick apart.
It's a maxim that you don't truly understand something until you can explain it to others.  I've already asked you where my calculation of speed, time or distance is wrong, and explained to you with numbers exactly how I got my conclusion.  Can you do the same, and enlighten everyone who's still reading this thread?  advTHANKSance.

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