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Rough Housing, Con Bouncing, Job Hunting

If there was a theme to AnthroCon for me this year, I'd say it was something along the lines of, "You like me! You really like me!" People came to my table eager to pick up the new issues of SJ, people who'd never seen my work before talked about how appealing the art style was, and best of all I got some feedback on what people like, don't like, and are interested in about the comic. (Net result: several people feel like the Cangrejo Diablo story was too long, but loved that Obadiah got kicked out of the bar as a sacrifice, and have many interesting speculations on Langley's sexual preferences.)

It's also clear from people's reactions that they enjoy the story much more an issue at a time, rather than as the relatively slow trickle of one page a week. There's only so much I can do about that, what with being a one-person production crew, but I do have some ideas.

However, AC did reaffirm my commitment to keeping the comic up and running, even if it's going to do some evolving. Issue four is going to be a bit more personal, with the characters learning about each other and (hopefully) themselves, as they start to pull together behind the common cause of saving the Rough House. It's also going to have more Roxie, who always makes me happy to write and draw. ^.^

Mixed into all this is the issue of laurie_robey's unemployment, and my subsequent decision to go find a conventional day job. This has been weighing heavily on my mind, to the point where I had something dangerously close to an anxiety attack/depressive meltdown last night. The truth is that I really don't want to resort to that, all my best efforts to convince myself it would be fine notwithstanding. I may not have a choice, and I need to find a way to get over that. I don't want to go back to drawing until 1:00 a.m. and then dragging myself to work at 8:00 a.m. But "not drawing" is not an option, and not working may not be either.

It's a thorny problem. Every aptitude, personality, and career-planning test ever says that I should be a writer or an artist way at the top of the list, teacher a distant second, and anything else a far distant third. However, I have a minimum comfort level (which The Staircase falls painfully short of) and financial insecurity makes it really hard for me to concentrate and be productive. In short, not just my ideal but pretty much my only suitable career is "Creator who has already made it big." That would be fine if I were in synch with mainstream tastes and could spit out books like Grisham or someone. But what do I create? Squeaky clean furry comics. Even among the fringe, I manage to be among the fringe. :P Being able to say I was a hipster before it was cool is scarcely adequate compensation.

Granted, there are worse problems to have, and I'm grateful to be in a position where I have any kind of freedom of choice at all. Right now I'm just trying to figure out how to maximize that, and to leverage it into getting to a situation where I can live and be happy and still manage to do some good in the world.

To that end, it's time for me to get to work. Catcha later. :)

-The Gneech

PS: Many thanks to everyone who had kind comments re: my last post and the "awesome" thing. You're way kinder to me than I deserve, but I am grateful nonetheless!


( 7 comments — Leave a comment )
Jul. 15th, 2015 03:51 pm (UTC)

Man, I wish I had anything useful to offer on the job/creator front. :(

FWIW, your non-furry fiction, like your Macbeth novel and Bridgit & Greg, are pretty mainstream.

Also -- I dunno if this is actually a good idea, but instead of doing SJ at one-a-week, you could do the "hiatus between issues to build a buffer, then release at 2 or 3 a week" model. My gut feeling is that consistent but brief updates are better than "long hiatus followed by frequent updates", in terms of keeping an audience.

I know what you mean about "why does everything take me forever?" I am so discouraged thinking about how it took me 2.5 years to get one book from "concept" to "self-published" -- and that was the FASTEST I've ever written. By a factor of 2-3. D:

Jul. 16th, 2015 03:15 am (UTC)
I made some great progress on B&G in the weeks leading up to the move, and I hope to capitalize on that soon. Michael Macbeth needs a lot more work, but I'm sure will be revisited soon. (I'm actually keen to see what the new Ghostbusters movie does, because I'd like to farm it for ideas and/or inspiration if it's half as good as I hope it is.)

One sneaky trick I've been doing is to stagger releases on the website with releases on FA/DeviantArt, so that SJ is always new content "somewhere." Not sure how well it's working, but I have noticed that I get a lot more feedback on FA than I do on the actual site, go fig. :)

Jul. 15th, 2015 07:13 pm (UTC)
Yeah, I figured the previous con issues were an anomaly. Glad you were back in the swing of things :-) I do think the Cangrejo Diablo story went on too long, but it's hard to say how-too-long cuz of the RL hiatus issues.

Can't help you re: release schedule. I do think >1 a week is optimal, but I imagine that's impossible with color considerations. I'd almost suggest posting B/W pages only and catching up color when possible, but webcomics people are so into pritty colors lately XP

Best of luck regarding RL issues. :-/ Heh, teacher, eh? I could see it, but if you consider yourself an introvert I'm sure that's way out.
And you're not that niche (LOL, Niche Gneech?), at least you have the benefit of fans of both genders of characters :-)
Jul. 16th, 2015 03:18 am (UTC)
I don't really think I'm cut out to be a teacher for more than a week at a time. I could do vocational training for instance, but traditional semester- or year-long classes would make me hate life.

I suspect the RL issues hiatus was harder on Cangrejo Diablo than the actual story is. If you read issues 2-3 back to back on paper, it's nice and tight. But you can't argue with perception, y'know? So I'm just gonna learn from it and keep moving. :)

Jul. 16th, 2015 01:05 am (UTC)
Ever think of splitting a page up and posting a row at a time, three times a week?
I've seen it done and it works.
Jul. 16th, 2015 03:11 am (UTC)
Evil, Inc. kinda-sorta does that, but I don't think it really suits the style I'm going for as such.

I was thinking of trying to play with panel layouts such that there were more large closeups and such. Right now each page I do is roughly equivalent to two four-panel strips; I was thinking of changing my layouts so that each page is closer to a single four-panel strip, with more dynamic art, something like this:

Girliest yuri EVAR.

-The Gneech
Jul. 16th, 2015 09:51 am (UTC)
Re-affirmation of the comic... wooot!! (and more of the beach bar books!) :D
( 7 comments — Leave a comment )

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