Tuesday, May 9, 2023

Formatting Options

As I work on the Official Handbook of the Stalwart Age, I have several options for how to organize and publish this resource. My three options at present are the 'big book', the 'supplements', and the 'newsletter'.

In all cases, this will have character stat blocks, some new rules, overviews of Doc Stalwart comics and stories, and extra world-building stuff (for example, more information on various locations). 

The big-book approach would (attempt to) be comprehensive. I'm thinking maybe 32 pages, with 50+ character profiles, several Doc issue overviews, and every major location. This one would end up being my summer project (which I'm fine with).

The supplement approach would be maybe 12 pages each... and I'd do maybe 3 of these over time. These are more manageable in the short term (I could have the first one done in a few weeks), but I'm not sure how they'd be themed... I was thinking in terms of points in the story (the first hundred issues of Doc Stalwart, then issues 101-200, then issues 201-250...) I kind of like this approach (maybe the most of my three options) because it's sizeable releases, but could also include different versions of a variety of characters. There could be different 'versions' of Doc depending on where we are in the story. This might be the most fun to tinker with. I could even break it out further into 50-issue arcs, giving me 5 total books to do (so far)... if it's a comprehensive book, I'd have to know what happened in every issue of the series for all time. That's a bit much, but chewing on it 50 issues at a time might be doable. Plus, it's a one-sentence summary of each one, so I can leave plenty of options for later coming back and adding more layers.

The newsletter approach would be maybe 4-6 pages, with ten characters and a few add-ons each issue. This gives me more time and space to develop things, although it would be much more scattershot. I'm thinking of this as the Marvel Phile approach: maybe take one character or storyline and really focus on it, fleshing out the main characters, supporting characters, and key issues. This might mean I have an issue on Simian Prime, which would include his major appearances, his Simian Seven Apes, an overview of Simian City, and maybe some of his inventions. The Stalwart Phile? Alternately, I could use the supplement idea, but handle this in 10-issue chunks... but comics don't always neatly break into ten-issue chunks of story, but I could always bend the real world rules to fit my comic narrative reality. Hmmm.

I am no closer to a solution.


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