April 2015 Update

Hello, everyone and welcome to April’s installment of the Monthly Update! There is a metric butt-ton of changes and shiny new things to go over, so let’s get straight to it!

Our First Month of Content

Aeolian Hope officially ‘launched’ last month with the publication of the first 9 pages of Issue 1: Winter Contingency. It has been very well received so far, garnering hundreds of views from all over the world. The feedback we’ve received has all been very positive, and we’re greatly encouraged by the fact that readers seem to be liking it.

Since that first post we’ve published two new pages, bringing Issue 1 up to Page 11. We’re on a two week per page production schedule (sorry it’s not faster, but our artist is still in high school and school comes first), and so far have been posting on time. Our official schedule is to update every other Friday.

Two Straight Weeks of New Content Coming Up!

While our baseline schedule is to post one new page every other Friday, there will be occasional exceptions to this, and one of those is coming up immediately. Our next page, Page 12, is scheduled to go up next Friday, April 24th. However, Page 13 is going to come out the very next week instead of two weeks later. So look for two weeks of back-to-back new content coming down the pipe real soon! These next two pages are my personal favorites of everything we’ve done so far, and I think you might just feel the same once you see them.

Revamped Website Layout

We’ve been spending some time since our story’s launch re-tooling the website in order to make it a little more polished and user-friendly. The biggest change is the new quick-navigation menu on the right-hand side of the site. Now you can tell at a glance when the next update is coming out, see a preview of the most recent page and the current issue, and navigate straight to them just by clicking on the preview images. It’s very intuitive without being intrusive. Due to the sidebar including a preview and link to the most recent page now, we have deleted the old page dedicated exclusively to the latest page from the top navigation menu – it just ended up being redundant and less efficient.

Character Profiles!

This is the update I’m personally most excited for. We’ve moved the Characters page so that it’s now under the umbrella of Introduction to the Story. With the move we cleaned up all the group character shots so they look much crisper now. Most important of all though, we’ve started creating pages dedicated to each group of characters that include helpful character profiles. Ranks, ages, bios and even unofficial theme songs – these are all coming online now to help introduce you to the story’s characters in a little more depth. We’ll be posting each one as the characters are introduced in the story, so for now we’ve only got Fireteam Zephyr up. By the time Issue 1 is done we’ll have brought Fireteam Memnon and the Miscellaneous UNSC characters online as well. We hope you’ll check these out and get to know the story’s protagonists a little bit better.

Joining the Webcomic Community

You may notice a few small new banners on the left side of the site now. These show our ranking within a couple of the online webcomic databases we’ve joined over the last month. So far we’ve joined:

The last one, Top Web Comics, ranks their lists based on monthly votes by readers. So if you enjoy Aeolian Hope and want to help it grow, we encourage you to hop over there, register as a reader and vote for us (as well as any of the many other excellent series you may find and enjoy). One thing that we’ve learned over the past month is just how massive the webcomic universe is. We’re humbled to be a part of it now, awed by the staggering, diverse array of talent out there, and quite excited to discover new stories to follow. You should do some exploring of your own!

Other Halo Fan Projects

Speaking of great communities, the Halo fan community is one of the most impressive out there (a clearly objective fact, with no hint of personal bias). Aeolian Hope is but a drop in the ocean of spectacular Halo fan projects. Fan films, comics, game mods, cosplay and more – if it exists as an art form Halo’s left a footprint somewhere within its landscape. We wanted to help spread the word about about these passionate fan projects, so we’ve added a new page to the site that will focus entirely on spotlighting them. Right now our goal is to add one entry with every Monthly Update, but that could fluctuate depending on whether or not we can get the permission of the creators. For now, head over and check out our first entry detailing one of the more innovative (and quite fun!) fan creations I’ve seen so far.

If you have a Halo fan project that you want to see us spotlight, send me an email at clouda@oregonstate.edu or drop us a message on our Facebook page.

Wrapping Up…

Whew! As you can see we’ve been very busy here since the launch. We’re looking forward to seeing the project continue to grow over the coming months. To all our readers so far – thank you so much!! If you are enjoying it please help spread the word about AH.

See you at next month’s update! We’ll leave you with a little bit of preview art to tide you over until Page 12 comes out next week. I couldn’t pick just one image this time, so enjoy two pieces of Brian’s raw awesomeness!

– Aubrey

Page 14, Panel 3 Page 14, Panel 4

 

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