September Update – WCL, Patreon and More

Hello all! It’s time for an update (I really should do this more often but I get so caught up in working…) As of yesterday, I finished “Clipped Wings”, the second chapter of WEAPON Combat League in comic form. It’s short for a single comic issue at only 16 pages, but given the overall size of the WCL tale, I thought it best to keep individual chapters as short as possible. I chose 16 pages because when I was a kid and I first taught myself how to put comics together, I used to make them with exactly 16 pages using 10 sheets of paper–one sheet for each cover and the front and backs of the other eight for the pages. A bit of self-homage I guess. Plus 16 is a nice round number for me; given my schedule and other responsibilities (family, day job, etc.) being able to produce four full color comic pages in a week (16 pages in around a month’s time) is something of an accomplishment, and I’m proud of it.

Quinn Royce prepares for combat. In his suit, he's known as Saber.
Quinn Royce prepares for combat. In his suit, he’s known as Saber.

Clipped Wings introduces one of the story’s most prominent characters, Quinn Royce, and the folks that are (and will be) connected with him as the story goes on. I dare not say much more, though those who read the prose novels already know what’s going to happen. I reworded some things and changed some occurrences slightly, but the story turns out the same way.

Now I’m on the fence as to what to do next. I want people to read my work, and I want to put as few barriers up as possible, but I also want to try to profit from it in some way if I can. So I was thinking of putting the comic on Patreon–but before you get up in arms, I am NOT planning to put the comic behind a paywall. I’m confident in my concept, but I’m not ignorant of the fact that, based on likes, favorites, comments, views and direct feedback, there are other things I create that some fans of my work would prefer to see (cough Jet Dancer cough) so if I’m going to focus on WCL, I need to, again, make it as easy to get to as possible. So I was thinking with Patreon, I would put the comic up there for free (as of now there are actually two complete chapters, 32 pages total, the first of which is already online) and enable patrons to support me if they wanted to see layered files, the occasional coloring video tutorial, or if they just wanted to support the work in a tip jar kind of way.

Another option would be to post the comics here, on my site, in their own section, with ad support. But I wonder if I should just make a domain just for WEAPON Combat League instead. But then again, a Patreon doesn’t just have to be for WCL–those who follow my Instagram see that I still have plenty of “RPBs” in me and I’ll be posting those here and there too (and perhaps those will be behind the paywall–with NSFW content).

I know what I’m leaning towards, but if anyone else has other ideas, I’m all ears.

So what is WCL, or WEAPON Combat League?

You may have seen my posts here and there (on my DeviantART or Instagram or somewhere else) mentioning something called WCL, or WEAPON Combat League, and maybe you’re not as familiar with my work as say, the folks who I’ve known for a decade or more through deviantART. You might have found yourself asking, “Just what IS WEAPON Combat League?”

WEAPON Combat League is a concept I originally came up with in 2003. The easiest way to describe it is “Mega Man meets King of Fighters”. It started out as a fighting game idea, but I wanted to make a fighting game that had a story that was actually worth reading. I may have gone a bit overboard (I wrote two novels and half of a third telling the story of the concept; you can find links to the first two on the Products page–but since I realized WCL is a story best told visually, I’ve decided not to put too much emphasis on the prose novels).

The story centers on the titular WEAPON, or War-Equipped Armor for Protection, Offense and Navigation (acronym subject to change) and the people who use it. It takes place in a futuristic universe not unlike Earth, in a fictional city called Terradin, the most advanced civilization in the world. The setting (but not necessarily the technology) is inspired by the settings of movies such as Appleseed (and its sequel Ex Machina), Ghost in the Shell and Final Fantasy VII: Advent Children.

The WEAPON starts out as a tool of the Defense Force (Terradin’s military and law enforcement unit), but a few years before the start of the story, everything there is to know about WEAPONs is released to the public and soon the devices flood the black market. The WEAPON can be customized much the way software can be programmed, but in this science fiction fantasy universe, the customizations can be used to give the suits unique powers, far more radical what the Defense Force had ever produced.

Faust Raven a.k.a. Ruin, captain of the Reaper Team

The suits are illegal for civilian usage, but this doesn’t stop people from doing what they want. Before long, black market enthusiasts, underground fight circuits, and of course, criminals start spawning all over Terradin. The Defense Force can barely keep up with all the WEAPON-related crimes.

Soon it becomes apparent that if something doesn’t change, Terradin will face civil war. So General Patricia James, the supreme commander of the Defense Force, comes up with a new plan: instead of fighting the custom WEAPON-wielding civilians, embrace them.

The Defense Force starts a legal, sanctioned competition featuring the best of the best WEAPON wielders. Promising them fame and fortune, General James hopes to encourage them to do positive things with their WEAPONs instead of criminal acts and property damage.

These are designs from 2012-2013--I'll be updating many of them.
These are designs from 2012-2013–I’ll be updating many of them.

Twenty-four warriors are chosen and divided into eight teams; each competitor with their own motivations and their own unique, customized WEAPON. A tournament is structured and the battles begin. The WEAPON Combat League is born.

But not everyone in the military–or government–agrees with the idea. Some want war. Others want martial law. Some just want to take control of all WEAPON wielders and either force them to serve the greater good of Terradin, or be crushed under its heel.

A story of epic battles, of rivalry, of love and loss, of haves versus have-nots and a vast conspiracy tying both the military and the government to a dark secret thought buried in the past–this is what WEAPON Combat League is.

I’m giving WEAPON Combat League one strong, solid push starting now. I have resumed working on the comic I’d been planning since the concept’s inception, and I am now well into the second chapter. I intend to post the comic on Patreon, starting once I’ve built up a substantial buffer of content. So far, my momentum is high and I’m doing well.

WEAPON Combat League, Book One, Chapter 2, Page 1

Any questions? Concerns? Feedback? Feel free to contact me!

Ready to read the story of WEAPON Combat League? Start HERE!

August Update

In the wake of the completion of the RPB Book I’ve decided to move onto my next project, which is finally getting my WEAPON Combat League property off the ground. I actually completed the first chapter in the story in comic form sometime last year. I had a data loss that cost me the original files from that comic but I thankfully uploaded a PDF onto my DeviantArt Page so I was able to salvage the completed pages at least.

My intent is to put the comic online through Patreon. I want to have enough content to make it worthwhile to readers, so before I make the page go live, I’m going to complete the entire second chapter, which I call Clipped Wings. A few of my online friends and supporters have read this chapter a long time ago; it’s a core component of the WCL story that introduces one of the plot’s major rivalries and central characters.

WCL: Clipped Wings Page 1
Page 1

My goal is to have all 16 pages of this chapter drawn, inked and colored by the end of August. To this end, I am moving away from commission work and putting aside other mediums I tried in the past. I’m shelving ZBrush, game development, and Jet Dancer for a while so I can focus on bringing this concept to life.

Watch this space for further updates, a link to the Patreon page will soon follow.