January 23rd, 2005



Poor NeverNever has had a rough time of it that past few years ... it's on, then it's off, then it's on again, then it's off and languishing. I keep trying to revive it, because I love it dearly (and because NN fans tend to be more "fanatical" than SJ fans), but at the same time, to "get it right" requires twice as much effort as Suburban Jungle. That's just the writing! Artistically, NN is about on par with SJ, but since the art is the hardest part of SJ, you can see what that adds up to.

NN seems deceptively simple, but it is in fact devilishly difficult to keep what the Websnark referred to as "whimsical cynicism" from collapsing under its own weight. Why do you think Black Adder is such a hit-and-miss series? Too much whimsy and it seems vapid, too much cynicism and it becomes bitter.

I figured that finding another artist would lighten the load enough to make it work, and higginsdragon, to his credit, gave it a good try, but ended up just as blocked on it as I was. Drawing a comic is not something to be taken on lightly if you aren't ready for it ... comics are hungry beasts that will consume your life if you're not careful. But because of my limited amount of time to work on the project, I couldn't really do "artist wrangling." (If I could do that, I could just wrangle myself into doing the art myself.)

I don't want NeverNever to be like the archetypal TV series that lasted two seasons too long, so I've decided to officially retire it. There were too many "ifs" and "maybes" and "what abouts" involved to try to keep it going. As good an artist as Higgins is, I don't think he was prepared for the project ... and the chances of finding an artist with the right look and feel, who could jump in and hit the ground running, and isn't already way too busy doing something else, are just too small.

When I get the time to work on it, I plan to pull down all of the strips beyond the end of Childproof the Unicorns. As much as I love the faeries and the pookas and everything else, I'd rather they had a shorter, stronger showing than to keep kinda-sorta-going forever.

I am grateful to everyone who has read and loved NeverNever, to David at Plan 9 Publishing for his enthusiasm in wanting to publish Childproof the Unicorns, and to Higgins for helping me give it one more chance.

-The Gneech
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