Methods to madnesson February 5, 2014 at 12:26 pm
A very astute reader was wondering how we tag the character entries for each comic.
The character tags drive our cast page, which needs a bit of a touch-up with characters from the current arc. You click on the character and you’ll be taken to a listing of each page that character physically appears. Not all the entries are tagged yet. There’s still some pages that need the character tags fixed because a) I didn’t get around to uploading the book version of the page yet (only affects earlier chapters) and b) I did change my tagging method. Originally, characters who spoke in a comic were tagged and the ones silent in the background weren’t. I changed my mind on that. One of these days, I’ll go through the archives and finish cleaning up.
One thing that hasn’t been inconsistent though is how the name used for the character tag is selected. For example, in today’s page, the new character (or rather her departure) isn’t tagged. Bird is tagged as “Vanessa,” but Nose is tagged as “Nose.” What gives?
The new character has not gotten a tag yet because her identity has not been revealed yet. Once it has been, she’ll get a tag.
Vanessa is the name of her character tag because she was first identified in the story by her real name long before she was identified by the moniker of “Bird.” It’s not a huge spoiler that Vanessa is a Calliope member that turned to the Rippers, sold her name and is now known as Bird. 85% of that material is provided in chapter 1.
How I choose the character tags is based off their role in the story and the likelihood that someone reading it for the first time will be greatly spoiled by reading the tags. Like, if you notice, we use “Nose” as a character tag but not his real name because that is a huge story spoiler for new readers. We want to preserve that reveal as much as possible for those going through the comic for the first time. Same thing goes for “One.” Whereas the djinn was identified right away because it wasn’t that big of a spoiler. Originally, Fred wasn’t tagged in his earliest entries, though I’ve gone back and done so now that the story of Elaine naming him isn’t such a huge spoiler. Likewise, this new character’s first entries will be tagged with her name at a later date after her name is revealed. We want to make this as engaging for readers as possible, and that’s by avoiding spoilers when we can.
There is a method to my madness. Truly.