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OPORD – June 2015 Update

Greetings and welcome to June’s edition of OPORD! We’re cutting it close this month, but we still made it! June has been an interesting month for us here, so let’s take a look at what’s been going on behind the scenes.

Content Hiatus Reminder

First and foremost we’d like to remind everyone that the lack of new story content this month is completely intentional. We are not falling behind or skipping out on update commitments – this was a pre-planned break while our artist visited friends and family in Missouri. He returns this week and we’ll be picking up work on AH ASAP. Every page takes about two weeks to make, so expect the next update in roughly two weeks! I have already storyboarded the next two pages and am working on a buffer of more, so Brian will have everything he needs to get right at it upon his return.

Formatting Bug Fixes

While we don’t have any new content for June, I have taken the breather to go back and finally fix some lingering formatting issues that have been bugging me ever since we started. You may or may not have noticed them yourselves, but hopefully AH is now a smoother reading experience for new and old readers alike. The fixes we made are:

  • Increased the font on Pages 5 & 6. I don’t know why it was smaller than the rest of our material to begin with, but this has been fixed. This should hopefully make you strain your eyes much less when reading those pages.
  • Re-positioned one of Eleni Greco’s speech bubbles at the bottom of Page 4 in order to improve the dialogue flow. It wasn’t intuitively obvious that her lines were supposed to be read between Tarek’s first and second bubbles, so this should help eliminate any confusion.
  • I don’t know if others were having this problem, but unless I was zoomed into the Archive page a bit, it would look like there was a blank space or a missing image in the thumbnail lineups of our pages. This was not only visually unappealing, but it could lead to the mistaken impression that there was a page missing from our archive. I’ve now fixed this and everything lines up properly.

Is there anything we missed? If you’re having any weird formatting issues or just have some complaints, don’t hesitate to let us know in the comments or by emailing us, and we’ll do our best to fix them! We hope that this makes the overall AH reading experience much more smooth and enjoyable for everyone.

Social Media Bias

Finally, we’re continuing to expand our social media presence! Aeolian Hope now has a Twitter account that you can follow to get more frequent updates and info on our progress (Don’t forget to Like us on Facebook as well!).

We also just signed up on Comic Rocket. Comic Rocket is a webcomic database like the others we’re on, but it’s got a TON of really cool extra features built in, such as the ability to make yourself a reading list that bookmarks your progress in each comic so that you can pick up where you left off the next time you visit. It’s a fantastic ‘one-stop-shop’ setup, so do yourself a favor and head over to Rocket Comic – start building your own personal webcomic reading library!

Finally, Aeolian Hope is in the process of strengthening its relationship with the Halo Archive – one of the best Halo community sites on the web, hands-down. We’ve been posting Aeolian Hope updates in their forums since before we even published our first content here. Now we’ll be posting our new pages on their blog as an affiliate when they come out. This will help generate more content for the Archive’s already-impressive blog, and will help increase visibility and exposure for our story among the Halo fan community. We’re very excited for this new partnership!

Wrapping Up

Well that’s about it for now! Sorry again for the lack of story content this month, but as you can see we’ve been keeping busy improving Aeolian Hope in a number of different ways. We didn’t have time to get to a Featured Fan Project this month, so The Fallen: A Halo Fan Film will remain in the spotlight until next month’s OPORD. We’ll be back soon with Page 16 and much more, so stay tuned!

– Aubrey

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Page 15 is Here!

Hello again, everyone! Well, we made it – Page 15 is now up! Now that we’ve met Fireteam Zephyr and understand the conflict, we’ll be starting to get a look at some of the other characters from the story.

This is our last page before our artist, Brian goes on vacation for the month of June. He’ll be back in July and so will Aeolian Hope!

Thank you again to all our readers! If you haven’t already, please follow us on Facebook and vote for us on the Top Web Comics list.

Issue 1, Page 15

 

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OPORD – May 2015 Update

Greetings, everyone and welcome to the May Update! There’s a little bit of bad news for our readers this time around. We’ll start with that then improve things from there. =)

The Bad – No Aeolian Hope in June

Don’t worry! This is a planned hiatus, not a case of us falling behind or losing commitment. Our artist, Brian Welker, is going on vacation for the month of June. His twin brother is graduating high school back in Missouri and he’s headed out to spend some quality time with said brother, his dad and some old friends. Brian hasn’t seen them since he moved out here to Oregon last fall, so it’s an exciting trip for him. Plus, he deserves a nice break after working so hard this year on his school and the internet’s #1 (i.e. only) Halo webcomic.

The website will still be active in June, we just won’t have any new pages to share. We’ll have the June Update to post, and I’ll be adding more content to the site. Specifically, I’ll be creating character profiles for Fireteam Memnon and the Miscellaneous UNSC Personnel  groups from the Characters page. Fireteam Zephyr’s is already up, so if you liked that then you should enjoy these as well.

We’re still putting page 15 out next Friday, so there’s that to look forward to as well. In fact, here’s a little preview of the first two panels to hold you over.

Page 15, Panel 1

 

 

 

 

Page 15, Panel 2

 

 

 

Growing Stronger

Aeolian Hope is now two months into its run, with 14 pages completed and a 15th on its way next week. We’re slowly attracting more readers, and so far people seem to be enjoying it! Some exciting news? We’re nearing the halfway point of Issue 1! Once Page 17 is done we’ll be at the halfway mark, so thank you to everyone who’s been reading and encouraging us so far!

If you want to help us continue growing, please like us on Facebook and vote for us on the Top Web Comics list. Both of these will really help us to get the word out about AH.

Featured Fan Project: The Fallen

When I started the Other Halo Fan Projects page last month, I knew from the start that I had to get The Fallen: A Halo Fan Film in there as soon as possible. Luckily for me, the creators agreed to let me feature their film this month! This amazing project is very close to completion and has a lot of teaser content already to get you excited. Hurry over there now and check out one of the coolest fan projects you’re ever like to see!

The Fallen poster

 

That’s all for May, see you next time!

– Aubrey

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Page 14 Has Arrived!

Man, the two week post cycle sure seems like a slog after our back-to-back postings of Page 12 & 13. At last it is over though and we can add Page 14 to our archives!

Page 15 promises to be a good one, so don’t forget to check back for it on the 29th! While there won’t be a new page next week, I’ll be putting out our Monthly Update, so there is something at least to look forward to. Until then we invite you to like us on Facebook and vote for us on the Top Web Comics list. This will help us get the word out to even more readers.

Issue 1, Page 14

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Page 13 is up!

Page 13 is up – it’s time for a big MAC!

Thank you to all of our readers so far! If you’re enjoying Aeolian Hope, we invite you to like us on Facebook and vote for us on the Top Web Comics list. This will help us get the word out to even more readers!

Now that Page 13 is out we’re back to our regular posting schedule (every other Friday). You can expect Page 14 on Friday, May 15th. We’ll be gearing up for our Monthly Update around then too, so it should be a pretty busy time. Until then!

– Aubrey

Issue 1, Page 13

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Page 12 is Up!

Hey, everyone! Page 12 of Winter Contingency is now up! Give it a look and let us know what you think!

And remember, our next page is coming out next week instead of in two weeks, so come back soon for even more Aeolian Hope!

– Aubrey

Issue 1, Page 12

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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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New Page is Up! Issue 1, Page 11

Hey everyone! Page 11 is up, and a day early once again! A lot of exposition in this one, so bear with us. =)

While the next page will go up in two weeks, you can look forward to our Monthly Update post next Thursday or Friday. We’ll have a bunch of exciting updates to discuss (some of which you can probably spot already if you’ve been visiting the site for a while), as well as another dab of preview art from upcoming content, so be sure to check back soon!

Thanks again to everyone who’s been reading our comic! The reader base has been steadily growing ever since we put out the first 9 pages, and we’re excited to bring you even more awesome fan-made Halo storytelling nuggets.

See you next week!

– Aubrey

 

Issue 1, Page 11

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Latest Page

Hey everyone! The first of our new pages is up! Check out Page 10 of Issue 1: Winter Contingency now. We were originally going to put this up on Friday, but we actually have some birthdays to celebrate that day, so we’re posting it early!

So far we’re nailing our two-week/page production cycle, so remember to check back soon for the next page!

And to everyone who’s read our story so far – thank you so very much from the bottom of our hearts. Seeing visitors come in from all over the world, as well as the feedback we’ve received so far, has meant so much and really helps inspire our work.

Aeolian Hope is only just getting started, and it’s a great start indeed! Many, many more pages of Halo storytelling goodness are to come!

– Aubrey

Issue 1, Page 10

 

 

 

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March 2015 Update: And So It Begins…

Hello again, everyone and welcome to what is easily our greatest Update yet. I don’t want to beat around the bush, so let me just say…

Issue 1 has officially begun!

Nine pages of original Halo story content are now available in our Issues page – please give them a read and tell us what you think! This is only the first part of Issue 1 however – there’s plenty more to come and many more characters to meet (this part introduces us to Fireteam Zephyr).

Now, are you ready for the second-best news of this Update? Now that we have the worst kinks of our production process worked out, content will be generated much more consistently, with more frequent story updates possible. In the tradition of pretty much every other webcomic out there, Aeolian Hope will now be rolling out one page at a time as each one is created. This means piping hot, fresh new material here on a regular basis. Right now we are anticipating a production cycle of about two weeks per page, so you can look for roughly a bi-weekly content update.

Well that’s all for now. We are so excited and proud to finally be debuting Aeolian Hope. We hope you enjoy it and are looking forward to what’s to come as much as we are!

– Aubrey

MATURE CONTENT WARNING: While Aeolian Hope avoids hateful language, it does contain generic strong language. Additionally future action sequences, while not designed to focus on or celebrate graphic violence, will feature frequent uncensored acts of futuristic warfare and its fallout. Parental discretion is advised in the case of minors reading this story.