Starting this week, anxious readers can purchase access to a new desktop picture featuring the artwork to the upcoming fourth chapter of The Circle Weave. The artwork for the new cover features a mysteriously glowing image of Rowan, sword raised in preparation for battle. Behind him can be seen the image of a large, tangled mass emerging from the misty wood.
The new picture is available at http://www.circleweave.com/bricabrac/desktops.shtml, but unlike the other desktop pictures there, this one is not available for free. Series creator Indigo Kelleigh has chosen to make the download for each individual screen resolution available for the cost of a five-cent ‘donation’, made possible thanks to the new micropayment solution called BitPass (http://www.bitpass.com).
“In the short couple weeks since BitPass was introduced by Scott McCloud, there’s just been this massive buzz about it,” says Kelleigh. “I was very anxious to try it out, and Scott was kind enough to help me out with that. Last week I put some of my old mac icons up using BitPass, and it was very easy to do. I’d like to put a lot of my other old comics up with BitPass, too, but I want to start small first.” Kelleigh plans on releasing periodical downloads for BitPass users, and ultimately to make available the entire Circle Weave archive. “It would be an alternative to the moderntales subscription. The archive would still be available there, for sure, but for anyone who’s hesitant about signing up for the subscription, this would be an option. I don’t know about prices yet, but I imagine it would be around 25 cents per chapter.”
BitPass is a service that, while still in beta mode, allows users to pay for downloadable items online in increments as low as a penny. Users pre-pay for an account (starting with as little as $3.00 US), and then have access to content on a number of sites, including http://www.scottmccloud.com, http://www.dieselsweeties.com, and http://www.makeshiftmiracle.com. For more information, and a list of some sample sites, visit http://www.bitpass.com.
“Chapter Four: A Test Of Fate” picks up where the popular online fantasy comic strip left off before its hiatus in June, with the messenger Rowan and his companions being joined by a number of Pogues, a feared race of fairy-like warriors, as they continue their journey to the capitol palace at Iscia while trying to evade a massive dark army led by a dangerous D’Nui Mystic. Chapter Four is scheduled to premiere in early August and run for twenty-eight episodes. New episodes can be seen each week at http://www.circleweave.com.