Recently I have been churning out page after page of Crazy Sunshine with no buffer, finishing minutes before the upload time most Wednesdays. It’s gotten to the point where the amount of time I am spending on the comic is starting to affect my health, my personal life, and worst of all, my future.
“But it’s just one page a week!” is what you are probably asking, and you’re right, expect that one page takes a long time to make. Let me get straight to the point;
I’ve bitten off more than I can chew with the ORIGINS arc. It was meant to be a year long, but now it’s going to take a projected three years to finish. The worst part is, I don’t have three years. I have one.
Within this next year I have to obtain enough Japanese knowledge to get and maintain a job, I also have to find a job, a place to stay, and be able to use a more than just SAI and Photoshop if I want any chance of being able to reach the goals I have worked so hard for since graduating University.
In 2012 I started the webcomic to develop my art skills and writing. It was a little project that I did in my spare time when I wasn’t working on other stuff. There was no story, no complex writing or detailed artwork. It was fun. Recently, every single page has become a chore. Something I have to do each week, and I am not enjoying it. Not one bit. It gets in the way of studying, it gets in the way of hanging out with friends, it gets in the way of any other activities I enjoy. After three years of non stop drawing the effects are starting to take their toll. The worst part is I have finally gotten to the best part of the story, the point I really wanted to tell and there’s just…nothing there. I don’t feel a thing. Maybe I burned myself out over the first three years building up this point, or maybe I just don’t have the skills to express the story like I want to. I am not happy with most pages I draw, and I feel like I have hit an artistic plateau.
The second worst part is I am not sure how to approach this situation and there are thousands of thoughts circling my head;
- If I take a hiatus and promise to come back, I will almost definitely break that promise.
- If I did stop and came back, I would have to rebuild the reader base from scratch and reintroduce everything again to a new crowd.
- If I never finish this story now, when will I? What will happen to it? Will I never get to tell it?
- I can’t just go back to writing gag strips because that won’t magically give me time to work on my future.
- If I say “I’ll update whenever I feel like it”, then I may as well throw the towel in all together.
- I could make the remaining two chapters shorter. 4 pages (one month) long each, and full of narration. Each chapter would simply summarise the remaining events that took place. The only thing I hate about this idea is that I wasted an entire year on the most boring parts of the story and the entire 2013 archive would stink to read through.
- I could just cut the entire ORIGINS project in half, and work on the final two chapters over a longer period of time, releasing them as downloadable PDFs and not a webcomic in the future.
- Scrap the entire idea and take down the website, bringing it back in the future once I have enough time to redraw and rewrite everything as I wanted it to be.
The ORIGINS project was never meant to be this long and convoluted. Every night I lose sleep thinking “It’s just a simple gag comic, why should it need such a big story?”, and regret ever taking on such a challenge, embarrassed by the amount of irrelevant stuff I have fleshed out, knowing I don’t have time to finish it.
The only incentive I have to keep going are readers who are donating via Patreon and regular commenters. If it wasn’t for you guys, I would have stopped weeks ago. (Oh, and since payment is deducted at the end of the month, don’t worry, I will make sure for the next four weeks there will still be content being released!)
So, that’s all I can think of saying, really. It’s kind of an odd blog post, but I needed to vent some steam. I don’t expect any pats on the back or reassuring comments, I just hope that everyone who reads this understands my situation. Either I keep making an unpopular comic and potentially jeopardise my future, or hit the JLPT study books and start expanding my art beyond comics and beyond this one style I am locked into.
In the mean time, I will round up Germination. It is 12 pages long and at the time or writing I have completed up to page 6. After that, sadly, I don’t know what is going to happen, but I will be sure to keep you all in the loop.
Thanks for reading.