Thursday, August 11, 2005

The weeping continues, then stops

It feels very decadent to bury a project like my pack of cards after working considerable Englishman-hours on it but I think it is kind of dead. Now I think about it, maybe it was a bit ambitious. Or expensive. Expensively ambitious, or ambitiously expensive.

What I have really been putting off is another Scareodeleria book. I'd meant to do four of those a year, and I've managed - oh! - one since January 2004. And four pages in the Skellington book. That's kind of embarrassing, but Scary Go Round is so much more involved artistically (and physically 50% bigger) now than it was in late 2003, so there isn't as much time for side-projects. It's almost impossible to write them, let alone sit down and churn out additional several pages a week.

Part of my brain thinks I should drop to 4 or even 3 comics a week so I can work on the Heavy Metal Hearts/Scareodeleria-style projects. Another part of my brain knows that people would be very unhappy and punch me (via emails). What is best? I do not know what is best.


Travis said...

I'd say stick with 5 a week, but instead take the odd week off. A week every two months, or something like that.

Also, instead of taking a week off, post new desktop wallpapers (as I imagine they take less time to draw than an entire comic).

I sure as sugar wouldn't mind at all if you did either or these things.

fontgoddess said...

travis' idea is good. that way when you take time off SGR you have enough time to do something substantial with your other projects.

it's important for you as an artist to stretch and do the projects that make you happy and keep your creativity energized. any true fan of your work will understand and support this, because it's also better for us in the long run. a happy artist is a productive one.

also remember that Piro over @ Megatokyo updates 3 times a week and his fans still like him.

noexes said...

No! No! Keep doing Scary Go Round five days a week, wait, no. Increase to seven days a week! Work on side projects every night! Moohohahahah! Kill your self for your work! You owe it to the fans!!!

Journal of Lies said...

Do whatever keeps you interested in SGR and allows you to have a level kitchen generally full of foodstuffs.

We appreciate your bountiful free harvest via website, and not only do we understand wanting to do something different on occasion, we also would understand if you had to, say, do things that pay for those free offerings.

Jenna said...

I also think travis has a great idea there ..but if you decide to go to three or four days a week, I promise I wont punch you.

scromp said...

I would pay up front for SGR playing cards, content to wait until appropriate funds had been raised, even should it take decades.

I thought that was a really swank idea, in other words.

Jason S said...

I dunno. I know from personal experience. If you do a webcomic several times a week, and you take a week off? You kind of don't feel like working. You put it off and put it off until the week ends before you realize it.

Zach! said...

John, I don't know if I can allow you to bury this most amazing product, so I'm looking into working out how much it would be to print cards over here in the states. I figure if I can find a cheap enough price, it would work out well.

So far though, I've been seeing things that would make charging 10 dollars (or 5 pounds) about the right price. What does everyone else think? Too much? Too little? The less decks produced the more it costs, so somewhere around 500 decks is the only place where it gets reasonable. Would 500 decks even be purchased?

Stu Popp said...

Travis does indeed make a sound proposition. Also, I would like to join the masses in saying that I too would be willing to pay-up front for playing cards even if there would be a wait for them until the money was raised

John A said...

The economies of scale mean it's very rarely cost effective to make less than 1000 of any print job.

Pre-orders stress me out too much and stop me sleeping, better to wait until funds are available. Please don't confuse any of these complaints with poverty, sometimes things just don't go to plan.

As for taking a week off every once in a while: basically suicide in the webcomics game (it's the oldest game in the world etc).

Thank you for taking an interest in the inner workings of my brain.

Jamie said...

I would be ok with 3 or 4 a week. I tried starting my little Web comic project at 5, and it was too crazy. So I'm just running 3 and it's so much less stress. If that gives you the ability to do other projects, I could live with that.

Bee said...

People are going to moan whatever you do. It is in the nature of people to moan. (Whisper it: especially people who spend a lot of time on the internet.)

Personally I think 3 or 4 SGRs a week would be just dandy, if that's what it takes. I mean, it would be better than no SGRs a week. And if it prevents you from yelling, "That's it, I give up!", hurling your Wacom Tablet out of the window and going to live on a commune in Tahiti, it's all to the good.

>>>Thank you for taking an interest in the inner workings of my brain.

... now please wash your hands.

michelle said...

Ah, if you had been really clever, you would have found a way to use your unlevel floor to make you money--an opportunity wasted.

iaoth said...

You could maybe make shorter comic strips each day? They are pretty big. That would take a load off in the drawing department, but writing for a smaller format adds the risk of turning into a raving mad claustrophobiac.

It's just that in my mind, the internet people are more concerned with frequency than quantity. Regular updates are G0D, even if it's just a sketch of Amy.

reamer rick said...

Hi John A,

It would be a shame to get no money out of that artwork. May I suggest you sell the card artwork as digitally signed PDFs?

Some will just be happy to get this treasure-trove of art. The more enterprising souls can find the fanciest colour laser printer and the fanciest card stock and try to physically instantiate the cards themselves. The truly enterprising will go to a printshop or bindery with a corner-round cutter and a varnish sprayer or such as a Multilith duplicator with varnish in the ink fountain. *sigh* now I wish my old man hadn't sold off the old printe shoppe.

Let those who can drop a mint on this do it themselves. I'm one of them.

Jay said...

I was going to suggest the preorders as well, but since that's been shot down, how about just starting a "Buy John A New Kitchen Floor Fund?"

I'd gladly kick in some cash -- no pressure involved. And if it eventually helps get a spiffy deck of cards on the market, even better.

As far as the updates go, it doesn't matter how many you put out per week, I'll keep coming as long as you keep drawing.

mycrobe said...

Those card designs would make pretty nifty t-shirts.

Red_Dog said...

"People are going to moan whatever you do. It is in the nature of people to moan. (Whisper it: especially people who spend a lot of time on the internet.)"

Do you know, I've noticed this... ;-)

Suds said...

the cards be no more
the ghost in john's floor ate them
fie! fie to you ghost!

Abbey said...

I can see why you would drop down to 3 or 4 comics a week, after all, it's not like we're paying to see Scary Go Round and you do need to take time to do work that you're going to make some money off of. Eating is rather important after all.

If dropping down to three or four comics means a new book, it would be just fine I think. The newer comics have been longer anyways.

Travis said...

I just got another idea to supplement my earlier post:

I really love SGR desktop wallpapers, and would gladly PayPal 2 pounds (or dollars) for a really good one. Post a smaller-sized graphic, and make higher-res versions available for purchase. People might share and email them around, but money would still be made (as well asword-of-mouth advertising).

THEN, use the proceeds from these wallpapers to fund the playing cards.

Of course, this does mean more work for you... and less time for books. But, considering high-res images also make excellent wall art and printing shops pretty common, you're not just making wallpapers. And maybe the wallpaper images could tell a short story of sorts.

Steven said...

I was just wondering when and if the character bios would be updated to show the intriguiging student of Evil and Shel's new pal Gibbous Moon. Boy, I hope she didn't hear me call her Gibbous. :P

m!ke said...

There would be nothing questionable about scaling back SGR to 4 days a week, 3 would illicit that "Awww..." sound, but really, the quality and story don't make it a terribly undeserved wait. Tues-Thurs would be a perfect readin' schedule, and I think that the books should definitely be your priority.
At what point in one's career is a collected Anthology To Date appropriate? The five year mark, perhaps?

beardmaster said...

You could do like a limited share issue...

If the cards are going to cost, I don't know, £2000 to produce, you put up 100 shares for sale on the site, at £10 each.

If all the shares sell within a month, you make the cards and distribute 0.5% of each pack sold to the share owners.

If all the shares don't sell within a month, you don't make the cards.

If anyone can come up with a more ridiculous idea that would be more work for less eventual payoff, i'd like to hear it. The gauntlet is down y'all.

John A said...

Thanks for all your ideas everybody. I wouldn't take whole weeks off or drop more than one comic a week. I can work these things out.

As for the cards, the artwork would certainly be used - nothing is wasted.

Terra V. said...

Oh John.

Marry me.