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We're BAAAA-aaaaack!

April 20, 2010
12:01 AM

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┬áthe 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?

April 20, 2010
12:01 AM

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!)

My most sincere apologies

April 20, 2010
12:01 AM

You probably think I’m going to apologize for the incredible lack of updates lately. And while that’s clearly something I’m not happy with (as you can see in recent comics), it’s not the subject of this rant. (That said, I’m taking steps to remedy it. Life in Greg-land has been tough to get a handle on lately, and I need to do some readjusting to get things back on track.)

No, this is an apology for the extreme slowness of the site lately, something which I have been wrestling with, because I could not, for the life of me, figure out what was going on. I kept upping the RAM allocation on the VPS, and it kept saying it was maxed out. It’s super weird.

And then this morning I got an e-mail from a reader letting me know that a TON of links were being inserted into the page at the very end. Which is, as you can imagine, pretty upsetting to hear. I downloaded the remote copy of the index file, and sure enough, near the end was a PHP command to dump the contents of a file on some random phony “Beats by Dre Hot Sale” page to all sorts of crazy links. No idea where it came from, but I killed it with extreme prejudice, and will be on the lookout for things like it in the future. That kind of stuff pisses me off, and I won’t let it stand. Hopefully things will move faster from here on out.

Now if I could just get MYSELF to move faster, that’d be a neat trick. I wonder if I’ve got some weird links loading in me somewhere.

…I should probably go to the doctor to get checked. Just in case.