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Hey Howdy Hey!
September 21, 2021
Hiya, folks! Been a while since I’ve written in this rant space – feels weird, to be honest!
When the comic returned, I had to face some facts about the nature of the internet and how it’s changed since the days when I started doing Real Life. The fact of the matter is, the HUGE majority of people read content on their phone or tablet instead of their desktop, and media like comics just does much, much better on social media than it does on websites. I made a few decisions when I came back – one was to remove all advertising spaces from the website. I knew that I would be coming out as trans at some point, and I was expecting a fairly big blowback (which, to be honest, never materialized). I wanted the comic to stand on its own without being beholden to anyone, and as part of that, I decided to focus on social media for my primary comic distribution.
Largely, I think that’s been the right call. I was so focused on only driving people to the website, and aside from folks who want to read through the archives, that’s a silly plan. Once I dropped pageviews as a driving force, I no longer cared WHERE the comic was being seen, as long as it was being seen.
BECAUSE of that, though, I kinda let the website fall into… well, disrepair may be too strong of a term, but certainly disuse. I ignored sections like the characters page and this rant box – I didn’t see the point! But that’s silly – there’s only so much information you can get out in a social media post, so I’m going to try and start sharing news here, as well as commentary on certain comics. I can’t guarantee I’m going to do it WELL, because if there’s one thing we’ve learned about me it’s that guarantees are absolutely pointless, but I can at least TRY. :)
With that said – back to your regularly scheduled programming!
September 21, 2021
Howdy, folks! I bet you didn’t expect to see anything from me anytime soon! And for many, I’m sure you didn’t WANT to. So I’m happy to please/disappoint you!
If you’ve followed the Facebook page, you’ve gotten a little of the skinny on why I stopped, (and if you don’t follow the page, here’s a link to that post for your perusal ), and another post about what’s going to be different, but I’ll summarize things here a bit to make things easier.
Firstly, no! I am not dead! I mean, that much should be apparent given the circumstances, but I remain above ground, as it were. The reasons for my departure would be better summarized by just reading the above-mentioned facebook post, so I’ll just leave it at that.
On to the changes:
- First, and foremost – the comic will be 5 days a week. This is a “change” only in that before I left, we’d be going weeks, even MONTHS with no new comics. At this point, as of today, there are over 2 and a half weeks of comics DONE and in the buffer, and 4 more written that just need to be put to art. I plan on having weekly writing sessions to get a jump on things, and so far, it’s been going well.
- Secondly – all “storylines” will be written IN THEIR ENTIRETY before I ever put the first comic up. I had some time to spend reading through the comic lately, and the number of times I had to call a premature end to a storyline because I couldn’t figure out how to end it, or because I ran out of time, was just NUTS. That needs to stop, and I’m going to be using my newfound adult discipline to make that happen.
- Funny will always be the rule… but there might be exceptions to that rule. I’ve done comics in the past without a punchline, and that’s just GONNA happen from time to time. There are things in my life that are extremely important and necessary for me to put out there in order to keep things close to reality, and they’re not always something that can be joked about. They’re not BAD or anything… but neither are they something I can just ignore and pretend don’t exist – so I need to walk a middle ground sometimes. And BELIEVE me, when I can find an angle to make fun of any situation in a way that makes sense, I’m gonna take it. But don’t be surprised if the comic makes you feel some stuff from time to time. (And for god’s sake, DEFINITELY don’t complain to me about it in an e-mail.)
- I’m not going to plug my ears and pretend world events aren’t happening. I mean, I made a rule LONG ago that things like religion and politics aren’t going to be showing up in the comic, and I’m sticking to the spirit of that rule. (Though, I mean, I DID sort of establish Tony as a deity.) But on the flipside, politics and world events have gotten sort of inextricably ENMESHED over the last few years, and it’s nearly impossible to discuss any sort of happening in the world without it being perceived as political. So rather than try as I have done in the past to just sort of PRETEND nothing’s happening, there are gonna be instances where I’ve gotta address things, and that’s just the way it needs to be. And frankly, there’s stuff happening right now that affects me, PERSONALLY, and I’m not just going to pretend everything is puppy dogs and rainbows all the time. I will, however, do my damndest to make it funny (see previous point).
- I am, for the time being anyway, completely removing banner ads from the website. In fact, I’ve already done it – look around! There is nary a banner ad to be found. (The Seams Geeky sticker remains, ’cause… well, it’s OUR company, so it doesn’t quite count.) With the closing of Project Wonderful, I just realized that I didn’t really NEED Real Life to be ad-supported. I make enough from my day job to pay for hosting, and I’m not doing this for money. Real Life is something I want to share with the world just because I WANT to. You might see some ads pop up for projects I’m working on, but for at least the foreseeable future, I don’t see myself pushing banner ads. Let’s keep this thing clutter-free, shall we?
- Starting with Thursday’s comic, I am going to be posting the comic here, on Facebook, on Twitter, and on Instagram. Since I’m no longer relying on banner ads for revenue, I figure there’s no real reason for people to HAVE to come to the website if they don’t want to. I mean, let’s face it – most people experience the web via mobile devices these days. This site isn’t REALLY built to cater to that. So I figure, let’s make it easy for folks to read the daily comic, and share it around. I’ve been a holdout of the old web for too long – it’s time to get on board with this stuff.
So that’s the lowdown! My head is starting to get screwed on straight (still have a long way to go in that regard, but it’s a start) and I’m really just excited to be back and doing comics again. It’s like a part of me that I just cut off, and it’s felt REALLY wrong to not be doing it for as long as I’ve been gone. I hope you all enjoy what I’ve got to share with you. I really do. And thank you so much for your support over the years – it means more to me than you can possibly know.
*taps mic* Is this thing on?
September 21, 2021
Apparently it still is. Who knew? (I told Dave to turn it off when we left)
So…. you might want to check back here as of Monday. (That’d be monday, September 10th) I mean, your call and all, but it might just be worth the visit, is all I’m sayin’. :)
(Also, I’m not dead!)