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Before I knew there was going to be Continuity
Chapter 1 - The Ballad of George the Fish
Chapter 2 - Courting Disaster
Chapter 3 - A Pregnant Pause
Chapter 4 - Alice & Ellen's Halloween Party
Chapter 5 - Keno's Childhood
Chapter 6 - Childhood's End
Chapter 7 - Graduation Day
Chapter 10 - Gar nearly dies. Again.
Chapter 11 - The backless hospital bathrobe Blues
Neko's adventure in Whitespace (Start of soft reboot 1)
Chapter 13 - PAY ATTENTION TO ME! I'M FRICKIN ADORABLE!!!
The Adventures of Bummy!
Chapter 14 - Short Stories
Chapter 15 - Things get weird Omnibus Act I
Intermission - Guest Comics
Chapter 16: Things Get Weird Omnibus Act II - Even Weirder
Chapter 17: Things Get Weird Omnibus Act III - Full Retard
Chapter 18: Things Get Weird epilogue
Square and Circle
Neko and Keno (Start of soft reboot 2)
Ten Years Gone
Keno & Murphy: La Petite Mort
Poe & Lobster: Night on the Prowl
Sitting Around At Home
Adventures in Fantastically Short Attention Spans!
#1102 "Lapel divide"
#1103 "Burst your bubble"
#1104 "Western philosophy"
#1105 "The Adventures of Captain Fullbodybeard"
#1107 "Zero Fucks"
#1109 "Say please"
#1110 "I know some people who would consider this a good date."
#1111 "The Ethical Slut"
#1112 "The Shit One"
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, 21 May 2013 10:55 am
On writer's block.
Sorry for the delay, folks.
I'm going through one of those crises of identity that I'm not sure writers are supposed to write about with regard to their own work: "Is This Any Good?"
Which, of course, I can't be the judge of.
Reviews are mixed, there's a brilliant and supportive following who love it, and a separate following who hate it. It does well in the charts when it's updating, and some of my friends in real life still read it on a regular basis. It's the very definition of a cult comic, and I'm usually very happy about that.
Anyway: writer's block.
So I sit down at my desk to draw a couple of weeks ago, and I have a lot of trouble with the pencils. I ink up a panel, realise it looks like crap, and have to throw the whole page away and start over because pen-and-ink doesn't have an 'undo' function. I go through this process a couple of times before coming up with a finished inked page that I'm pretty happy with. Then I decide to try colouring it with watercolours and make it look like crap.
At which point I scanned it in, redid the inking in Illustrator, switched the panels around, and found myself completely unable to insert dialogue.
Anyway, I think I've figured out the root of the problem: Neko the Kitty has been succeeding a bit lately, coming up in the polls, and I started thinking about the comic in terms of 'success'.
Inevitably, the metric became money, and I started to think about the comic in terms of 'work'.
Neko's not a big earner. There have been a couple of big pay days from Google Ads, but it's more like having decent luck with scratchcards than receiving a steady paycheck. It never really bothered me until it started bothering me.
The fact is I don't think I can do this indefinitely if it's 'work'. The whole reason I started doing comics in the first place was because it's fun, and putting pressure on it to pay out makes it less fun. I'm going to stick with the 'scratchcards' metaphor for that.
Anyway, I think that's what's got me stuck. That little part of my brain that tells me to stop buying scratchcards has turned its attention on Neko.
This is ongoing, so updates may be sporadic for a while. Paige and I are also moving apartment, and I've started a diploma course, so there's lots going on.
Anyway, I think I'm going to stop checking the stats for a while just update whenever the comic gets done. Do it *strictly* for fun without worrying about deadlines or audience figures.
Thanks for your patience, whatever comes next is probably going to be a bit weird, so I hope you enjoy it.
, 23 May 2013 10:45 am
As the Chaos Portal collapses, it creates a small localised shockwave.
The event lasts approximately 0.3 seconds, and Keno's the only one that really enjoys it.
, 21 May 2013 11:03 am
That sounds like logic to me. Hope everything on the diploma course and the move goes well for you - your fans will be here successful money maker or penniless hobby anyway :)
, 21 May 2013 11:59 am
I like it when a webcomic has interesting posts to go with it like today...
I think you're great with explanations and this idea of art becoming work sounds very familiar to me. In fact it reminded me of the reason I don't follow my pageviews on deviantArt - It was so I don't fall into the same trap where I post art just because I'm looking for more views or watchers or favorites. I've had a bit of art block myself recently. So... thanks for that reminder.
PS: Today's whitespace Neko is great. :3
, 21 May 2013 12:03 pm
One more thing
Why can't you try and judge for yourself if you think your art is any good? I think you've had enough experience to allow some of that.
, 21 May 2013 02:44 pm
There's a balance between pride and humility which I've never been able to get quite right. I try to avoid the issue :P
crash motha f-ing bandicoot (Guest)
, 21 May 2013 02:59 pm
The only webcomic I actually like right now is gonna die :(
Kitty Face Studios
, 21 May 2013 03:31 pm
I've been reading Neko for years, and I still love it. Yeah, it's definitely a cult comic, but the good side of that is that no matter what, you at least have a handful of die hard fans, which in my book is way better than having a ton of fair weather fans.
, 21 May 2013 04:19 pm
Oh don't get me wrong, the fans are awesome, and it's brilliant having a cult following! Most of my friends don't have cult followings.
It just doesn't pay the bills, and that's something I've got to either let go of or be dragged by.
It's also quite possibly a depression thing. Neko's my go-to activity when I want to do something, anhedonia's probably unavoidable in that kind of situation.
Anyway, there's probably going to be more weird artsy stuff with watercolours and poems and the like until my brain gets back to wanting to make regular comics again.
, 21 May 2013 05:11 pm
I might not be the best example, but....
One time, in an art course I was taking, I had a really hard time to draw. I was focusing on all the details so much that my teacher made this an assignment:
Draw the fractious version of what you are trying to do. If you are drawing hands too big, draw them huge, if you are trying to get male anatomy good, draw a female, if one is happy and dancing, draw them evil and...doing evil stuff.
The point of the exercise was not only to stop obsessing over the details, which I believe is a cause of your writer's block, but also to explore the fantastic world of the weird, to refresh our trains of thought which sometimes come up with a whole new direction we would never have thought of.
Why don't you give it a try? For yourself, draw a sketch of the next comic you want but in a way you know will fail. Make it hilarious to yourself and absurd as you want it to be. Then when you go to draw the real comic, your brain will have relaxed and would see value in your work, rather than striving to outdo a masterpiece.....
At least that's what worked for me.
, 21 May 2013 05:20 pm
to add to what I said
when I was a kid, writing stories for my friends, I used this absurd writing style to get a fresh take on the matter. I would experiment with things (to be relatable) like if Neko saved Murphy's life while Keno was trapped in the Chaos Dimention by Edgar, Poe's evil twin who was created while Poe helped his witch to create the other twin. Then I would bring it back in an instant, by revealing it to be a dream sequance. I noticed that the story changed from there as to my usual story, but in an accepted way. Might be something to think about
, 22 May 2013 01:43 am
I resigned myself to the philosophy, that it doesn't matter how good my creation is someone isn't going to like it.
So, basically I don't care about other's opinons. I still hold to the the philosophy that people improve on their own and the most "competent criticism," not complaint, can provide is a direction to focus on.
, 22 May 2013 01:49 am
On Writer's Block
Mark Twain once observed that the best way to make someone stop doing something is to pay them to do it. He said it somewhat more eloquently, but the point was that as soon as we get paid for doing something, we start counting how much it pays - whereas, so long as we're doing it for free, we never count the cost.
I worked as a salaried writer for a video game company after college (lo those many days ago); I remember dealing with writer's block, and ultimately coming to the conclusion that I couldn't afford to let it stop me.
I see that there's a host of suggestions above, so I'll offer another one: don't spend time doubting yourself, ESPECIALLY if you're worried about how little money you get. No one is paying you to doubt yourself. The stuff you were doing for free was what got you the fans you have; more of the same is exactly what we're looking for.
Hurricane Ivan (Guest)
, 22 May 2013 10:01 am
With regards to the last thing you said, That's fine, wierd is good.
, 22 May 2013 01:35 pm
There are card games to help one overcome writers block now. They work like the dolphin set up they demonstrated in Southpark.
However, more to the point, how does one get a job writing for a video game company?
, 22 May 2013 06:10 pm
Blind luck. I was fresh out of college, and fresh off a rejection from law school - so I was sending the best resumes I could muster to every company I could find within driving distance. One of them happened to be the (now defunct) Alameda campus of Microprose, and they just happened to be looking for an extra writer.
, 23 May 2013 08:30 am
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