Monday, November 03, 2014

Goodbye, Bad Machinery

After a couple of months of thinking about it, I've decided to conclude Bad Machinery with the Case Of The Modern Men. It feels like the right time to do it. The characters have outgrown the setting, the premise and the format. I've tinkered with the comic for three cases, with mixed results - a whole story of giant pages, then lots of little strips, but I've felt like I was in a holding pattern for the last couple of years. I don't want to stop telling stories with these characters, but I'm not sure I can do much more with them without returning to the drawing board. There's definitely more to come from Charlotte, Shauna and the rest of them, but you might not see much of them for a little while. With the third book released in December and five more stories to go, Oni's beautiful print editions of Bad Machinery should continue unabated. I'm really proud of what they've done with my work.

Needless to say, comics won't stop in the meantime. When Expecting To Fly ends this Friday, Bobbins will return for a run of a few months (6 or 7 days a week) while I work on the 4th Bad Machinery book and a (currently secret) print project. I came up with so many ideas creating the idiotic, fictitious "Scary Go Round universe" over the last couple of months, that I see no reason for anyone to panic any time soon. The website will probably revert back to being called "Scary Go Round" as an umbrella for all the different things I've been doing over the last five years.

Thanks to everyone who has supported Bad Machinery. Think of this as a Doctor Who-style regeneration in progress. Your friends will be back.

25 comments:

Brigid Keely said...

I've been hugely enjoying "Bad Machinery," but I've loved everything you do. I'm looking forward to what you continue producing.

Jake Kale said...

I must admit, I'm a little sad about this. I'm really grown to love Bad Machinery! That said, you obviously need to do what's best for you creatively, and I for one look forward to seeing what you've got lined up next.

Laura McF said...

I agree with what others have said so far - this makes me a bit sad in a selfish way, but I've never been let down by you before. I'm excited to see what new things you come up with!

Rob said...

Well this is too bad, but I'm also looking forward to the next thing. Also thanks for sticking the Dr. Who theme in my head. Unfortunately I think it's the terrible Sylvester McCoy one.

dreams-of-rain said...

I panicked when you announced Scary-Go-Round was ending, but have been completely delighted by everything that's happened since. So I'm not even worried about this -- I know I'll love whatever you produce next!

Mark Stickley said...

Since it started BM has been up there among my very favourite webcomics so I'm quite sad to say goodbye. But I trust in your excellent judgement and creativity and look forward to see what the future holds for the people of Tackleford...

sleek said...

I liked Bad Machinery, but not as much as SGR.

Quite frankly, I thought the SGR characters were just getting old enough to be interesting when you pulled the lateral reboot and made everybody kids again.

On the bright side, it seems like making them secondary characters gave you a freedom to make some bold strokes with Tim, Shelly, The Boy, Ryan, etc. that you may not have done if they were central.

I like adults. I like reading about them. Kids are filled with potential, adults with realization, in every sense.

zatarahdeluged said...

I'm a little sad about this but I had that thought as I was reading the last comic. I realized how much work you had put into character development and how much they were actually developing in age as well, and how they weren't quite so young or innocent anymore--particularly with how many doubts they had over whether they had a case on their hands or not, and the nature of the supernatural. So while it will be missed, it seems like you know well what you're doing, which is why your writing and work is so excellent!

Roger Espinosa said...

These were a great way to introduce my mystery loving pre-teen to your work --- it's been nice having her age with the characters.

Ben said...

Good on you for knowing when and how to pull back on the story. I'm excited to see where the kids show up later, and so far, Expecting to Fly has proven especially touching, considering where Shelly, Tim and Ryan have all ended up in the present.

Claire said...

I've loved every minute of Bad Machinery and I'm sad to see it go, as with anything I've enjoyed, but I've been with you since the first time Bobbins ended and you've not seen me wrong so far, so I look forward to seeing what wonders you've got in store for me next!

Christopher said...

I don't care which direction you go in, as long as I get to watch where you go. Your work is clever and funny. Thank you for sharing it.

Benjamin Russell said...

I have to agree with everyone who has stated that they will gladly support whatever your next experiment or endeavor will be. But I'm also glad to hear that this isn't the last we will be seeing of the characters. One the fun parts of the last two arcs was seeing the characters grow and move into awkward interactions suitable to their stages and ages. I'd looked forward to the next bit, so I'm glad to hear they won't be entirely absent. I look forward to the "(currently secret) print" revelation and the further expansion of the SGR Universe. Thank you.

RealityMonster said...

Y'know, after years of reboots from you, I'm actually now really excited to follow you to the next thing. I was bummed when Bobbins ended, but Scary Go Round was great. And then that was a really good ride but we got Babs McChinery. I'm sure whatever's next is gonna be good. As long as you're still making comics.

Aaron said...

There were meant to be three cases per school year, right?

I was hoping for a final, ninth case to round out the year and make things nice and even -- then there could have eventually been omnibus hardcovers, each containing one school year (three cases), that I could share with my kids waaaaay down the line when they are old enough to hold giant books.

In any case, I look forward to whatever you do next. Really enjoying Expecting to Fly. I thought The Case of the Modern Men was the best Bad Machinery cases, but I liked them all.

Thanks for years and years of great comics!!

Mad Mod said...

It's been awesome. I can't wait to see what's next! IS IT MORE SHELLEY? I LOVE MORE SHELLEY.

Audrey said...

I think Bad Machinery is your best work. I was a huge Scary Go Round fan from the beginning, but Bad Machinery is leagues ahead; so seemingly tightly plotted and planned, and with really well-done subtext and care for the characters as they go through adolescence. It's a pleasure to read, and then to reread to catch everything!

I'm extremely sad to hear it's ending. On the one hand, selfishly, I wish you'd reconsider (especially since it seems like we could use one more case!). On the other, I'm sure you'll bring all that you've learned to your next project, just as you've done previously, and it will be even better than everything before it.

Alex L. said...

I've been delighted by the slower, more complex pace of Bad Machinery and all the little mini-stories that came out during the last five years. It's been great. Thanks, and I'm very excited for what comes along next - dare I hope for Giant Days? Susan Ptolemy never fails to make me cackle with joy.

Nick Gardner said...

I came into the ole Scary-Go-Round universe with Bad Machinery, so I love all these little pre-teens -- or just teens now, I suppose -- very most of all. That would also make this my first proper series 'reboot' -- I think I'm taking it pretty well!

I've spent the last 20 minutes after hearing this news in a hyper state of the 5 stages of grief before coming to terms with seeing the cast perhaps a bit less frequently than is customary. Very efficient.

Luckily, you are the most prolific creator who's ever walked the earth, so that made the process a bit easier: I'll have no shortage of wonderful stories to enjoy. I'm very excited for what lies ahead! Keep doing what you do best and mega thanks for making some of my favorite comics!

Rob Brewer said...

I'll be sorry to see Bad Machinery go, and excited for what comes next, just as I was when SGR finished. The discipline of the fixed format of Bad Machinery did wonders for your writing, and I'm so glad you stuck with it when you had your doubts in the first year. You've given yourself a big playground to play in. Have fun.

Mo said...

So far I've enjoyed everything that's come out under the SGR umbrella, so I very much respect your decision about when to close one project down and start another. Bad Machinery was fantastic, I'm sure what comes next will be at least as good!

Mr. Chopoffalof said...

NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO oh, wait. When I first read this I was up in arms that you could even be contemplating sending these little blighters off that we've grown up with over the last, what, five years or so? Then, like the others, I remembered just how apoplectic with sadness I was when SGR finished. I didn't like those little brats taking over, not one bit. Needles to say, I love them like my own now.

The leap you made from SGR to BM was pretty astonishing, so I've no doubt that whatever you decide to do next will be totes awsums. Life drawings from the countryside? Slint and the North York Moors? Lem's Stop Smoking/Eating/Crying hypnotism tapes?

I'LL TAKE IT ALL PLS

Wallace Ward said...

NONONO, I look forward to my Bad Machinery fix every weekday here in the humid flatlands of Houston, Texas! Your comic is such a welcome "comic" relief from the Republican Bible shouters and pounders that inhabit this swamp.

zirconelle said...

I haven't been able keeping up with Bad Machinery, because I've been busy working with my post grad work. I'll admit that I was sad to see that Modern Men will be the last comic. I discovered John's work accidentally by clicking on a link on the Wondermark page (another excellent webcomic, I recommend it to anyone with a quirky sense of humour), and Bad Machinery was where I started. I loved the way the characters were growing and developing and would have loved to continue watching their progression.
Selfishly, I do wish for one more story. But I have been doing a little background reading of Bobbins and SGR and it seems to help. Very interested in the new Bobbins, I would love to see where it goes, especially now it seems that Erin and Shelley will both be in Tackleford at the same time.
Just promise me that the future will contain more Charlotte, Shauna and Mildred.

jillie said...

I've really loved Bad Machinery, but also that you've created such wonderful characters from Bobbins to Scary-Go-Round to Bad Machinery. (Actually, I'm really loving the Bobbins reboot as it has the best of all three worlds!) As long as you find Tackleford, and it's denizens interesting I'll keep reading -- even if that means stories with Shelly in an old folks home.