Saturday night was an editorial board night for our Tales of the Taipan project. We've just published our last new issue, and when I found out that we actually have stories left in the editing file, Ed made a joke about, "We have to publish a new issue!" Of course, we haven't ruled out any more publishing -- I know we're still working on the second Omnibus, and Gene has talked about another adult supplement -- but for the most part we're done with publishing zines that you can hold in your hand. Gene said we'd be publishing stuff online instead.
This made me immediately think: why can't I publish Grandpa Anarchy stories online? I mean, I've thought about it before, of course, but the stories I've written so far were intended to be published in a book (well... as many as seven books and counting, if I ever get around to it). Publishing those stories online as well seemed kind of counterproductive to me and kind of a betrayal of the idea of putting them into a book.
A second consideration has always been: should I publish prose online, or try to do a comic? If I do a comic, could I possibly get someone else to draw it? Personally I wouldn't want to draw someone else's project, and it always seemed like a big and complicated task to find someone willing to put that much time and effort into a project that wasn't really theirs. On top of which, the stories work really well as prose stories, it would be difficult to adapt them to a comics medium. But I do think an online comic would get more attention than prose stories published online.
Still. The idea was there to just publish some stories online. At this point I've written more than 200 Grandpa Anarchy short stories, and I'm confident I can keep writing them. It may seem difficult to keep coming up with story ideas and jokes that work, but then again, anyone that does a newspaper strip has to come up with a new joke every day. It can be done. I've written enough of them to know I can keep doing it.
So I thought: why not? I could maybe work up a backlog of new stories written just for the purpose of placing them online. I don't have to put any of the old stories online if I don't want to -- but surely one or two out of every ten or twenty wouldn't hurt -- select stories from each book, assuming I fall behind my schedule at any point.
As for a schedule -- many online comics update once a week. Surely one short story a week is something I can manage. That's four a month, and I've pretty much been writing more than that for the last three years. When I'm really going at it I can manage one story every day and sometimes 3 or even 4 stories in a single day. Four a month is a cinch, and I do have an emergency backlog of over 200 stories to pull from, as I said.
So I thought about it the rest of the evening and driving home I figured my plan was to A) write 4-8 stories as a starting backlog before I did anything else, and B) research into getting a website set up. Should I got with one of those easy-to-build sites like Squarespace? I checked them out, but you know, the more I looked at their template websites, the more I thought: I can do this on blogger right now, without paying for a URL or anything. A real web site with a real URL would be somewhat fancier but right now I'm not actually sure what more it would get me. On the other hand, I don't even have to think to set up a blogger blog.
Before I even knew what I was doing I'd already set up a web site and written a short piece as a kind of holding story. It went nowhere and wasn't meant to actually be seen -- although I got 17 visits before I went back the next day to update it. By the end of Sunday I'd not only turned it into a pretty decent opening story (so I think anyway), but I'd also come up with about six other story ideas to work on.
So, you know, I guess I'm not waiting until I have any backlog... but maybe I can work up that backlog the rest of this week. ^_^