"The greatest mistake you can make in life is to be continually afraid you will make one." Elbert Hubbard The Hero Code - a long-form, independent, super-hero sci-fi sage. Advice from so many writers tell us that we shouldn't go for the long, sprawling stories which most of us are familiar with who grew up reading comics. They also tell us how the market is full, fit to bursting, with super hero books - and that no one cares about the indies. Who wants to read somebodies idea of Batman, when they can read the actual Batman? They also tell us to tell the story that we want to tell, and find the audience that we deserve. The Hero Code feels, for me, to have had a false start. When I originally set out to tell the story, I had a chronological story starting in WWII, and heading in both directions - flash backs to tell more about the Code's particular world, and stories to move us forward up to modern day. The problem was, I was trying to recreate comic books as I saw them, rather than create the Hero Code as I saw it. I opted, after far too much procrastination and deliberation, to start the story in the modern era. Problem was, there were certain beats that would play out in these issues, which would require some back story to play out. Wedging the flash-back into the main story would, in my opinion, slow the pacing down and be too much of a wrench. Couple this with the fact that the artist on The Hero Code, Jonathan Rector, needed some time to finish other commitments, which again slowed the pace of the story more. The mistakes I made, I think, as a creator, weren't that I tried to tell a story which most people tell me isn't going to resonate with indie readers, but rather that I tried to mold the story into a shape which wasn't working. Since then, I've started reading the excellent Copra, by Michel Fiffe. A long-form superhero saga, but told very much in an indie style.
Copra, issue 2 - all rights Michel Fiffe
I urge you all to seek out Copra, it is fantastic, and show me something I always thought - it can be done. I am not proposing a restart, or a reboot of Hero Code, but I will begin telling the story in the manner which I first envisioned - and I will sort out the numbering somewhere down the line. The loss of ICGeeks to the indie POD world has been a tough one, and means that I am seriously questioning how to approach the print market, so Hero Code will probably be a digital first series from now on - print, I will address down the line. I will be writing a companion piece to this at some point, addressing where I think I made mistakes in my Kickstarter campaign, and what I hopefully learned. "Mistakes are the portals of discovery." James Joyce