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Below are the 20 most recent journal entries recorded in Comic Whispers' LiveJournal:

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Friday, November 21st, 2008
11:30 am
CWVI finish-up
We have five intents, (including two repeats). In no particular order:


Panels should be on their way to David momentarily. Rules here.
Tuesday, November 18th, 2008
7:31 pm
CWVI reboot
After a period of unprecedented flakery, I'm attempting to get Comic Whispers VI wrapped up. Abject apologies for the hiatus; I suck. I'm assuming that the current entrants list is well and truly dead, so I'm taking fresh applications.

People who have already contributed: me, inkylj, georgedorn, K-Y, isquiesque, astrobolism, baf, jessknoch, jotasbrane, jackbishop, olethrosdc, nothings, jrw, jearl and lpsmith.

Of course, I'm assuming that everybody has more or less forgotten everything about this, so if you've already gone and want another shot I'm fine with that too.

Original parameters, abridged:
Everybody will know the title: A Critique of Pure Soapsuds. Each contributor will draw one panel.

Each contributor will see the two panels preceding theirs. The first of these will have text; the second will be textless, as in CWV. They add text to the second panel, and produce a panel without any text.

Size restrictions: the panel must be 500 pixels wide, and can be any height up to 500 pixels.

Everyone will get to see the final panel and submit ideas for what the text should be; then we can have a poll to work out whose text gets added.

There will be a three-day time limit to complete your panel.
Also, participants should make sure that I have or can get hold of a valid email address.
Wednesday, July 26th, 2006
9:34 pm
no, I don't want to know how long it's been
CWVI is moving again. Profuse apologies. Brace yourselves.
Thursday, December 15th, 2005
1:45 am
here we go again
And I have to start drawing!
order of people under hereCollapse )
Friday, December 9th, 2005
9:14 pm
Comic Whispers VI signup
CWVI, as the more gifted among you may have gathered from the title, is now open for signups. The setup will look like this:

It will be a fully linear comic this time. Everybody will know the title: A Critique of Pure Soapsuds. Each contributor will only produce one panel. Sorry, kids, but we need to go oldskool once in a while.

Each contributor will see the two panels preceding theirs. The first of these will have text; the second will be textless, as in CWV. They add text to the second panel, and produce a panel without any text.

Size restrictions: the panel must be 500 pixels wide, and can be any height up to 500 pixels.

Everyone will get to see the final panel and submit ideas for what the text should be; then we can have a poll to work out whose text gets added.

There will be a three-day time limit to complete your panel, from when I send it. I'll obviously stretch this a bit for things like Christmas and New Year, but otherwise if you get your panel and think you won't have time to do it, tell me. CWVI will commence on December 15, and signups will close on... oh, let's say New Year's. I'm in an accomodating mood.

Sign below to join. Then go and rope in every unsuspecting person you can lay your hands on, irrespective of talent.
Tuesday, December 6th, 2005
11:29 pm
CW5 imagemap

Please let me know if there are any errors. Also it's probably a good idea to copy it to live with the rest of the files.
Monday, December 5th, 2005
7:40 pm
CW6 thoughts
CW5 is complete; thanks to the labours of westernactor and a vast host of wonderful people. Consensus seems to be that people would be happy for a CW6; I have scads of free time at present, and could probably take over again without too much trouble.

  • People would generally like to see a system that produces somewhat more coherent results.
  • The biggest generator of incoherent results seems to be interstitial or connecting panels, where the contributor has to reconcile two unrelated panels.
  • People are often happy to do multiple panels, but in practise this can slow things down and tire people out. This time around I'd like to avoid a system which demands a certain number of participants, or which needs to replace people dropping out.

At present, therefore, I'm inclined to return (more or less) to our roots: a fully linear system, beginning at the beginning. I really liked the caption-competition element in CW5, but it did break up what little plot we had. Thus, what I'm provisionally thinking for 6 is a bit like this:

  • Each contributor will see the two panels ahead of his own.
  • Pretty generous with image size. We seem to get more fun results with big images. However, images should be fixed-width and within a reasonable height range, so that several images can be displayed nicely per page.
  • Maybe another caption competition, which would hopefully be compensated for a bit by the two-panel view. After all, contributors would get to see one panel with text.
  • I'm not sure about whether we should have a policy on entries divided up into multiple panels. Previously we've sort of given the impression that we don't approve of them, but haven't forbidden them outright. nothings has reservations about this, some of which I share; I'd appreciate more input and discussion on this. It sort of seems more suitable to CW5 and other complicated-structure setups than to straight linear.
  • The title will be A Critique of Pure Soapsuds, chosen arbitrarily by baf, because he was first to suggest the title and I approve of it. Totally egalitarian.

Further thoughts? Shout out.
12:41 pm
It's FINALLY finished!
Announcing Comic Whispers 5: The Treasure of Parrot Blackpants!

Yes, I realize it took five months and a day, but better late than never, right? I wholeheartedly apologize for every associated delay that was my fault, but I'm not going to take responsibility for all of them! This was a mammoth undertaking, and despite more than a few snags along the way, I think the results are very strong. Thanks to everyone here who participated, and I hope you'll consider my for participation in future Comic Whispers events. (Although I doubt I will EVER run one again, unless it's like ten panels in legnth or less!)

If you want to see the map of who drew what, it's available at http://www.matthewmurray.net/cw5/Map.png.
Tuesday, August 30th, 2005
6:57 am
Comic Whispers 5 Update!
I realize it's been really a long time since the last update, and I'm sorry for the delay, but I've had so much stuff going on that I haven't been able to post here as regularly as I might otherwise like. Sorry about that.

Anyway, so here are the most up-to-date statistics available about the current status of Comic Whispers 5.

Of a total of 81 panels, 63 panels have been completed. That means that we're more than 77% finished. Four panels are currently being worked on, but I don't have them back yet.

The good news: We're almost done!

The bad news: The downside with this particular format is that, as it progresses, fewer and fewer people can work on panels simultaneously. For weeks and weeks, eight people could work on them at the same time, which meant that panels got churned out fairly quickly. But now that we're down near the end, the panels are coming in much more slowly. This is, unfortunately, also due to personal problems that have cropped up in the lives of the artists, and I'm taking that into account as much as I can, and that is slowing things up a bit. But things are progressing, and I'm hoping (knock on wood) that the entire thing will be done by the beginning of October.

Rest assured, though, that work on it has been continuous--there haven't been any "dead" weeks; this is just a very large, ambitious project that's taking a bit more time than anyone anticipated. But it's still on track, and, as I think I've said before, I do believe you'll all be pretty darn pleased with the final results--this Comic Whispers is seeing some of the very best art of any so far, and there's more than a little wackiness going on, that's for sure. The story is going off in all sorts of weird but entertaining directions, which will certainly make for an unusual final product. But I do think it will prove to have been worth the wait.

So, anyway, that's it for this update... But we're in the home stretch now, so please just be patient, and if you still have panels coming, expect them to show up relatively soon. Thanks for all the good work so far, and there's just a little bit more to go!
Saturday, July 23rd, 2005
9:40 am
Comic Whispers 5 Update!
It's been almost three weeks since I posted anything, so I thought I'd just let you know how everything is coming along with Comic Whispers 5. Because of the really interconnected nature of things this time around (more even than with CYOCW), I feel that letting people see the comic as it's going along probably isn't the best method, especially since so many people are doing multiple panels. But I thought you all deserved an update on the progress we've been making.

So far, you all have managed to complete 25 panels out of a total of 81 panels, with eight panels that have been assigned but I don't have back yet. For those of you who aren't that much better at math than I am, that means that we're over one-quarter finished, and rapidly coming up on being one-third done. For two weeks worth of work, I think that's pretty good!

I'd love to tell you all a bit more about the comic, but I don't want to unduly influence anyone. (I think most of you know the general theme by now, although it's possible you may not, even if you've already received your first panel!) Suffice it to say, everyone's work has exceeded my expectations. Some people have turned in some absolutely exquisite panels that I think rival the very best we've ever seen in Comic Whispers (and I'm being serious about this) and are absolutely of professional calibre. And, yes, others a bit rougher around the edges. But they're all bursting with creativity (and most of them with humor), and I really anticipate that the final outcome will amuse and entertain a lot of people.

One thing, though--since we still have about 50 panels left to do (oh boy), I'd really love to expand the artist base a little bit. A lot of people (and you know who you are) have been extremely generous and accommodating in helping out, and we have just about enough people to cover all the panels. However, since I'd really prefer to avoid having anyone draw four or more comics, it would be really nice if we could line up just three or four more people, even if they'd only be willing to draw one or two panels each. If any of you reading this originally said no, but think you might be willing or able to participate now, please let me know--it's never too late to join! Or, if you know anyone you think might be interested, pass along the info to them and have them get in touch with me. Again, things are moving along very nicely, and I want to keep them that way.

Anyway, if you haven't gotten a panel yet, you can probably expect one soon, and if you've already gotten one, chances are you can look forward to another one before too long. Thanks again for all your hard work, and I'll post another update soon!
Monday, July 4th, 2005
7:40 am
Comic Whispers 5: Caption Competition Wheel!
After tabulating the votes and taking everyone's preferences and availability into consideration, I'm happy to announce that the format for Comic Whispers 5 will be a Caption Competition Wheel!

For those of you who are just joining us, this means that the first panel of the comic will be vaguely Choose Your Own Adventure-ish, offering a number of possible options. After you pick one of these options, you embark on a unique story path--but only for a while! After a handful of panels, you rejoin the same story as everyone else. Combining everyone's favorite (?) traits from Comic Whispers 4 with the more linear aspects of Comic Whispers 1 and 2, Comic Whispers 5 will offer something for just about everyone! Or something. The twist, however, is that no one will provide the text and/or dialogue for their own panel. Everyone will receive only the art for the panel before his or hers, and must provide the text and dialogue for that panel, as well as the art (minus the text and dialogue) that will then be passed on to the next person in the series. (The exception, of course, is the first panel, as it won't really be possible for six to eight people to all provide text and dialogue for it.) In any case, wackiness will, almost certainly ensue.

(For the record, I'm considering diverging slightly from what we discussed and offer one ending panel, which will probably mean the wheel won't be a completely perfect one. What can I say? I like a little bit of closure. If this bothers you, let me know--this isn't set in stone yet, obviously.)

So, anyway, I want to start sending out the assignments beginning in the next few days, so this is really the best time to commit to the project if you haven't already done so. According to this post and other people I've talked to, here are the people who have already agreed to be part of the Comic Whispers 5 undertaking: It's behind the cut...Collapse )

If your name isn't here and you would like it to be, please either respond with a comment or e-mail me at westernactor@gmail.com. If your name is here, and you're still up for it, great! You don't need to do anything, but if you want to back out for whatever reason, now's the time. Whether your name is here or not, I'll need your preferred e-mail address (if I don't already know it or can't locate it through LiveJournal), and I'll need to know how many panels you're willing to draw, if you haven't already told me. (Please let me know this ASAP--it's crucial to designing the map from which Comic Whispers 5 will have to be run.) Also, if you're absolutely unwilling to resolve any bottlenecks (which will be required--on a very limited basis--to form the wheel shape), let me know that, too--you'll never have to resolve more than a two-way bottleneck, though, I promise. Finally, if there's anything else I should know--such as whether you'd prefer to go near the beginning or the end because of scheduling reasons--tell me that, too. I want to try to make this as painless for everyone.

Last, and most certainly not least, if there's anyone else you think might be interested, or if you'd like to mention this on another journal or community or something, be my guest! The more the merrier. But hopefully we can get this kicked off this week, one way or another, and the sooner I hear from all the participants, the better.

Thanks again, and I'll see you all in Comic Whispers land soon...

Saturday, July 2nd, 2005
5:15 pm
Run up to Comic Whispers 5! (It's happening soon. No, really.)
The final decision for the Comic Whispers 5 format will be posted within the next couple of days, but some last minute input would be much appreciated. This seemed like the easiest way to get quick input from everyone concerned, so here we go!

Poll #525145 Run Up to Comic Whispers 5!

Of the options that have been discussed, which one are you most interested in?

Asterisk (one central panel leading to several completely different linear storylines)
Wheel (one central panel leading to several linear storylines that connect in a neverending circle at the end)
Center-Outward (central panel progresses in two directions simultaneously; results in one linear story)
Outward-Inward (first and last panels kick things off and meet in the middle; one linear story)
Choose Your Own Adventure (exactly like Comic Whispers 4; no description hopefully necessary)
Magic Square (sort of CYOA-ish; see maga_dogg's page for more information)

If you don't like any of those ideas and want to see something else entirely, what are you interested in?

Which, if any, of these exciting Comic Whispers variant methods are you interested in? (Check all that apply, obviously.)

Caption Competition (you fill in the previous panel's text)
Invisible Mimesis (there's some sort of gentle connecting theme through all the panels; warning, may result in coherence)

Finally, and perhaps most importantly, how many panels are you willing to draw?

Thursday, June 23rd, 2005
8:19 pm
More on Comic Whispers V - Pick Your Favorite(s)?
So, I just wanted to take this opportunity to give a rundown of some of the options for Comic Whispers V, which I'm expecting to commence sometime after July 4. I'm not going to dwell too much on the Vanilla, Backwards, or Choose Your Own (CYOCW) flavors of Comic Whispers, as I'm assuming we're all familiar with them. (If you have any questions, though, please ask.) This is just about variants we haven't tried yet. I'm hoping to pick something that everyone will enjoy, so your input on the possibilities is much appreciated.

One thing, though: There are two kinds of Comic Whispers I'm really not interested in running: maga_dogg's Two-Phase Clusteryouknowwhat, and zarf's "see the panel before yours and see the panel three or four panels before that one." I don't think I would enjoy the particular challenges presented by those options, so I don't think I would do my best at running a Comic Whispers that uses them. So I'm not discussing them at all here--if you have your heart set on them, please either wait until Comic Whispers: Part 6 or let me know if you want to run of them yourself. I won't mind, honest. I just know I wouldn't be the best person to coordinate the activities in those cases, and have no interest in making this less-than-the-hugest amount of fun for anyone.

Lots of Comic Whispers-related text inside.Collapse )
9:00 am
Announcing Comic Whispers V!
What, maga_dogg already announced it? Darn.

Well, anyway, that's beside the point. What isn't beside the point is that, to give maga_dogg and isquiesque a break from their fervent ComicWhispersings of the past... uh... however long it's been, I've decided to help out and organize the next event, which can hopefully begin not too long after the absolute-final-no-really-we-mean-it completion of Comic Whispers IV: The Carpet of Anaxagoras. As far as I'm concerned, that will be as soon as the title page is chosen and added to the last comic, so if you haven't sent your ideas to maga_dogg and/or isquiesque yet, this would be a great time.

For the moment, I need two things from you:
  1. If you'd like to participate in Comic Whispers V: Subtitle Yet To Be Decided, please leave a comment on this post, and I'll make sure you get entered into the Spreadsheet Of Interest.
  2. I'd also love to hear your suggestions about what specific form Comic Whispers V should take. I have some ideas, mostly revolving around a similar "Choose Your Own Adventure" structure to what's been used in Comic Whispers IV. If you like that, and would like to see something like it again, let me know (also with a comment); if you think you might be interested in seeing something different, let me know that as well (also also with a comment), and feel free to suggest a possibility or two. At this point I'm open to just about anything.
So, anyway, here's to what will hopefully be another Exciting, Unique Comic Whispers Experience!
Sunday, June 19th, 2005
9:50 pm
[CWIV] Image Map!
A HUGE thank you to jearl who - without being asked (by anyone official, anyway) - took it up herself to make an image map of the Choose Your Own Comic Whispers. Go check it out and click on the map to your heart's content! Thank you so much, jearl.


Thanks also for those of you who've already been sending in your ideas for a cover for the cover to The Carpet of Anaxagoras. Keep the ideas coming!
4:51 pm
Comic Whispers IV is officially finished.

The Carpet of Anaxagoras
(if you need help with navigating, the map is here. The shiny imagemapped version is here, courtesy of jearl.)

Thanks to everybody who took part, particularly those wonderful people who jumped in to cover for panels that didn't get done. Massive thanks also to isquiesque for shouldering the project; it was certainly the most complicated CW in terms of organisation, but I think the work's paid off.

In a bit, westernactor will (I believe) come to a decision on what form CW5 will be taking, and start taking signups.

but first!Collapse )
Wednesday, June 15th, 2005
9:49 pm
CWIV is getting very near completion, and for those of you who haven't already seen it yet, it's going to be utterly, utterly cool. So cool (and so much work for isquiesque, as well as inkylj and jrw), in fact, that we were pretty much thinking of a) running a very short auxiliary project immediately afterwards (more on that later) and b) taking a bit of a hiatus so as not to exhaust either the concept or the organisers, then maybe coming back to do 5 in a month or two, assuming there was still healthy interest.

However, westernactor has volunteered to take over the reins for episode 5, and if he's game then I am. This leaves the issue of how to run the setup this time.

moreCollapse )
In any case: thoughts? Suggestions for completely different setups would be eagerly welcomed.
Wednesday, June 1st, 2005
9:57 pm
Volunteers Needed. Also, the map is back at the old location.

Mad props to inkylj and jrw for their help keeping things flowing while I was away on business. I'm back, the top secret site (for those of you that have access) has been updated, and the map is back to being updated at my site (see http://www.allthingsjacq.com/comic_whispers_IV_map.png), so you can go check it out and see how close we are to being done, which is pretty damn close.

I made an omission on the original map, and to fix it, I had to add two new panels. I need a couple of volunteers for those. They're both endings. Anyone who hasn't already been given the secret URL for the site may volunteer... including people who forgot to sign up in the first place, so please leave a comment if you're interested. Thanks!
Monday, May 9th, 2005
7:13 am
Updates again imminent
Just FYI, since I have a few panels in my inbox (four, to be exact!) - I was preparing for a trip and then traveling yesterday, and my flight was delayed horribly and I didn't hit my hotel until about this morning. And I have to work on very little sleep here in a few minutes.

That's the long way of saying that updates and new assignments will happen this evening after work.

Then I shall crash and sleep the sleep of glorious sleep. Mmm... sleep.
Friday, May 6th, 2005
10:10 pm
A colorful map
Another update this evening. For those that haven't loaded the map recently, just a word of caution: the file size grows every time I add more color to it, and it's up to 220kb now. Anyway, all that color's a wonderful thing and good to see - we have six panels being worked on at present.

Also, a hint of a warning. We've had a couple of stalls. Now, I'm not too concerned, really, except that the last couple of weeks of the month I'll be away from all internet access. I was hoping we'd finish by then, but now it's looking as if we won't. Just a warning: if we don't finish in two weeks, then it'll be a couple of weeks extra, because maga_dogg will have his plate full with exams and can't take over administration. Let me apologize in advance if it happens. But do know that I'm working my rear off trying to have as little turn around time as possible from when I get a panel to when assignments go out. I'm traveling over the next week, as well, but I'll have the laptop and will keep the updates happening at least once a day.

Thank you to everyone who's contributed thus far. It's been wonderful watching this develop.
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