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Author Topic: Pitch - Westward  (Read 8251 times)
WestwardComic
Author of Westward, a daily sci-fi adventure comic strip.
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« on: July 19, 2010, 04:53:54 PM »

Hello!  I'm the author of a daily sci-fi comic strip called Westward, which you can read at http://westwardcomic.com.  If you click through the archives, you'll see that it's not Star Trek, but it's unquestionably influenced by Star Trek, and is meant to appeal to Star Trek fans.  Some of my biggest inspirations for the story are "The Cage" and ST:TMP.

I discovered SciFi-Online through Forgotten Trek and thought I'd introduce Westward to you; though it isn't fan-fiction, I believe it may fall into a category that could be of interest to your visitors.  Westward has been updating daily since January and currently has about 150 strips.  The project itself will last at least five years.



This may be wildly outside the range of projects you'd consider being affiliated with, but I owe a huge creative debt to Star Trek fanfic, and I love what SciFi-Online is doing, so there you go.  Thanks for your time!

-Elliot Toman
« Last Edit: July 19, 2010, 05:00:54 PM by WestwardComic » Logged


Westward: A gripping sci-fi adventure comic strip, updated daily.
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« Reply #1 on: July 19, 2010, 06:22:18 PM »

Sweet!  Looks interesting.  jack_cool

SciFi-Online definitely isn't limited to Star Trek or fan-fic, so this kind of thing looks right up the site's alley.

How were you looking to affiliate?  Did you just want a forum, or were you looking for hosting as well?  Or maybe something else? 

Kinda cool that you found me through Forgotten Trek, too.

Anyway, hope to hear from you soon.  thumbup
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WestwardComic
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« Reply #2 on: July 19, 2010, 08:33:59 PM »

I'm excited that you're interested!  Here's hoping that you continue to enjoy Westward after you've dug into it.  I already have hosting, of course, but I'm looking for ways to tie in more closely with Star Trek influenced communities, since I'm a Trekkie myself and I tell stories that I think Trekkies enjoy. 

The fanfic aspect of SciFi-Online was what first caught my eye—especially Star Trek: Foundations, which takes the concept of ENT and essentially tries to make it truer to the authors' conception of the Star Trek universe. 

My own project has a similar history, an attempt to take the roots of Trek and build on them in new directions. I came up with Westward about ten years ago when I became fascinated with the idea of extrapolating Star Trek's pilot, The Cage into a universe of its own.  The stories that resulted stuck in my craw, so much so that I was eventually compelled to make it into it's own original concept and commit to a rather intense long-term project with it.  And once Westward has been carried through to the end in five years or so, it serves as a sequel to another story I want to tell that also started out as Trek fanfic.  That's the power of Trek, I guess.   grin

This is your site, so I'm open to ideas.  Whether Westward could constitute a member site or not is up to you, but I can definitely imagine a banner/link exchange or some other form of cross-linking.  It seems possible that SciFi-Online could bring Westward to the attention of the type of people who can most appreciate it.  It also seems possible that Westward might generate conversation here and inspire others to bring their own ideas, fanfic or not, to life.  I'm sure you'll agree that the best fan fictions are the stories that go out on a limb, exploring original concepts and forging new creative territory, so that instead of simply mimicking the universes that inspire them, they're enriching them.  SciFi-Online seems to be all about that.

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« Reply #3 on: July 20, 2010, 09:33:00 AM »

I'm actually thinking I might have to redo a few things on how the site and messageboard are arranged.  I'm thinking I might add a page for partner sites and a new section to the board for them.  I can't do anything to the site for about another month or so, but I could add the new section to the board.  That would give you your own discussion forum here.  Would that interest you?
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WestwardComic
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« Reply #4 on: July 20, 2010, 09:51:16 AM »

I'd love to see how Westward and SciFi-Online might be mutually beneficial, so that visitors on either site can find their way to the other site and find something of interest.  Are you envisioning a difference between Member sites and Partner sites?

A discussion forum could be fun, but a little incongruous if it's the only presence of Westward on the site.  I also want to be sure that any service SciFi-Online serves for Westward is reciprocated by a service of roughly equal value from Westward.  If your goal is to attract more partners in the form of similar creative projects, Westward might be an example of what you're looking for and a gateway for new projects to partner up with SciFi-Online.

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« Reply #5 on: July 20, 2010, 10:28:02 AM »

Currently what I've done for partner sites is really just add emphasis to them by having their links at the top of the links page, and to add links to them in the quick links menu at the upper right of every page.  What I'm talking about doing would be to give them their own page, exactly the same as the Member Sites page to the SciFi-Online website and their own section on the BBS, as I have for the member sites.  The only difference between the two with what I'm proposing would be that member sites are hosted by SciFi-Online.  I suppose I could just drop the formality and add you as a member site, but that isn't quite what I had in mind for member sites, which was basically to model it after the old TrekOnline site I helped start around the same time I started Foundations.  We were all hosted by TrekOnline with sub-domains reflecting that (much like http://startrekfoundations.scifi-online.org/ today), and we all pitched in a part of the hosting and domain name costs.  People who had just joined had about a one year probationary period before they were asked to chip in, too.  Actually having partner sites is something SciFi-Online has that TreOnline didn't, and the changes I'm thinking of making would make hosting the only distinction between a member site and a partner site.

I'll have to mull it over today while I mow my huge lawn (which will take most of the day  Undecided).  Definitely would like your input on what I'm proposing above and/or more on what you were thinking.
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WestwardComic
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« Reply #6 on: July 20, 2010, 11:22:03 AM »

I like the plan—it makes a lot of sense.  I would be honored to partner with SciFi-Online, and in turn I could place a banner for it on Westward.   thumbup

If there's anything I can do to help, let me know!  I know my way around web design.

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« Reply #7 on: July 20, 2010, 04:41:09 PM »

Shiny.   jack_cool  I don't suppose you know anything about making skins for this type of BBS system, do you?
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WestwardComic
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« Reply #8 on: July 21, 2010, 08:57:19 AM »

Thanks for the forum!  I've added a banner to SciFi-Online on Westward's front page.

Simple Machines appears to be based around a templating system.  I don't see a clear separation between stylistic elements and the PHP modules that drive the BBS software, which might make the creation of a whole new theme for this site a project, but it's likely possible to change the overall look of the site relatively easily by modifying a few stylesheets and—if necessary—existing template modules.  If SMF is as Standards-Complient as all those icons on the bottom of the page claim, we really should be able to make all the cosmetic changes (for example, switching up the color scheme and incorporating a graphic into the header) with CSS.  That would fall well within my range of expertise.  PHP coding, not so much.   whistle

What kind of changes did you have in mind?

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« Reply #9 on: July 21, 2010, 12:40:48 PM »

I was just hoping to make the main page match up with the actual website a bit better, and the same for the other forums for the respective websites that they represent.  I have to admit though that I've never really dived in and started messing with things just to see how it would change the appearance.  I might do that one of these days when I have more time to play around with it.  Some day though I'd like to do something a bit fancier so each forum will actually look like it's an integrated part of the website it's for instead of just a recolored BBS theme.  So, for instance I'd like the Foundations forum to look like it's just another page on the website, with the banner, menu buttons, and overall appearance of the other pages.  It's probably not possible, but a guy can always dream.  whistle
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WestwardComic
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« Reply #10 on: July 21, 2010, 12:46:58 PM »

It may be possible, though I'm not familiar enough with SMF to tell you for sure.  It would almost certainly be complicated—and possibly also confusing from a User Interface perspective because of the frequently changing layout.   Assuming you could do it, the daunting part would be the prospect of creating a new interface scheme every time a new member/partner joined...
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« Reply #11 on: July 22, 2010, 08:45:27 AM »

That's true.  Probably be easier just to find a good skin that I like and recolor it a bit, I suppose.
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« Reply #12 on: July 22, 2010, 10:58:08 PM »

find a good skin that I like and recolor it a bit, I suppose.

It worked for Michael Jackson, it can work for this forum.
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« Reply #13 on: July 23, 2010, 08:43:55 AM »

Okay, I laughed.  lol  You should almost check out The Table sub-forum.  mischief
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« Reply #14 on: July 23, 2010, 06:17:01 PM »

Okay, I laughed.  lol  You should almost check out The Table sub-forum.  mischief

I'm on your forum, making you laugh.
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WestwardComic
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« Reply #15 on: July 24, 2010, 07:16:56 AM »

I imagine that Michael Jackson's skin is somewhat shriveled and necrotic.

Which reminds me, is there a Buffy forum here?
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« Reply #16 on: July 24, 2010, 07:59:52 AM »

Just the General Forum at this point.
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