General Discussion

Rant: Abandoned Webcomics
darrellsan at 7:31PM, Oct. 11, 2011
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Rant mode: Activate!
Re: webcomics that get going, get interesting, gain a following…and then they just stop…the author stops updating…no reason given…commentors ask why, and ask if the author is okay…or if and when the author will be back…and no response.
Reality check. We all know that…
a) life happens, and a webcomic will and should be put on the back burner in the case of illness, financial issues, marriage and so forth.
b) we readers are not entitled to anything.
However, in my not so long history of reading webcomics (since 2005) I've run across quite a few of them that just up and stop in the middle of a story arc, no explanation given. In fact I've come across a handful that stopped right after they were given feature status here on The Duck!! C'mon, son!
There's even a certain abandoned webcomic here on DD that has TWO creators…an artist and a writer… yet neither has stepped forward to address why they stopped updating…over a year ago.
Please, if you're gonna quit your comic, take a minute to let your fans know why. Don't leave them wondering if you're dead, dying, or in prison. Especially if you've been actively engaging with your readers, soliciting comments and fan art…especially if you've built up a decent and loyal readership…don't just up and go silent when you hit a rough patch in life. Let your readers and fans know that you're no longer able to update for whatever reason.
Thanks.
D
last edited on Oct. 12, 2011 4:09AM
El Cid at 8:23PM, Oct. 11, 2011
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The reason why they leave without so much as a goodbye is because the Drunk Duck Slasher got 'em!
BananaBaby at 1:05AM, Oct. 12, 2011
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I hate that too.
darrellsan at 1:39AM, Oct. 12, 2011
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El Cid wrote:
The reason why they leave without so much as a goodbye is because the Drunk Duck Slasher got 'em!
 
  
Oh nooooooooo!
lol
last edited on Oct. 12, 2011 1:42AM
Niccea at 5:45AM, Oct. 12, 2011
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My comic ended up dying du to a series of computer crashes on both me and my co-author's side but I'm pretty sure our audience knew that. There were no WHERE THE HELL ARE YOU? comments left and both of us are active in the forum.
Eddie Jensen at 8:00AM, Oct. 12, 2011
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I'd say if you get bored of it it's better to quit that to pain yourself through something that your readers won't even find entertaining, because if your hearts not in it it's gonna be shit.
And nobody wants to read shit. I certainly don't.
That being said speaking as a quitter before not anymore, it's usually not life that gets in the way it's motivation. Or maybe you suddenly had a new idea that seems more interesting. The fact is taking webcomics serious is much more difficult than a regular published comic because the deadline is made up by yourself, and the deadline is more or less a loose term than a scary editor.

I'd say take more time to work over your comics BEFORE you start them, make sure you have an ending in mind, make sure you'll want to do this in 3 weeks, or in a year. Cause suddenly you'll get stuck, and it won't be fun anymore. That being said, even if you really believe in your work and you really like your series you will find points where you're stuck wether it be in the writig or the drawings just not living up to your expectations, it takes hard work to work through this, because it's not just gonna go away. You have to push yourself.
if I was a teapot I think I'd be orange.

http://t-k-.deviantart.com/
Scorpious at 8:34AM, Oct. 12, 2011
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well in my case was the stats been missing .. I left the site for a few weeks and when am back is all gone - and working without an indicator if one effort is making any effect is kind of useless in my opinion … ( I will be remember as the stat ranter LOL ) 
Eddie Jensen at 8:45AM, Oct. 12, 2011
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Haha, if you're working to get recognition you're in the wrong trade buddy. Try pop singer.
if I was a teapot I think I'd be orange.

http://t-k-.deviantart.com/
darrellsan at 8:49AM, Oct. 12, 2011
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A lot of creators don't have a large following or don't interact that
much with their readership and that's fine. That's probably the norm.
But there are creators who know darn well that they've built a small to
medium following, especially in some niche genre, and they interacted
regularly with their readers while their comic was going strong. When
they abandon their comic in mid storyline and are not heard from again,
my first reaction is, to be honest, “here's a person who wasted my
time”…and my next reaction (which probably shoulda been my first) is
“damn, I wonder if this person's okay?”

I absolutely believe that behind every abandoned comic is a very a dedicated, well meaning author who had good reason to stop updating…from computer/tech problems to family and health related issues. As a fellow cartoonist I even count loss of motivation as a valid reason to stop…absolutely!

But I am saying that, if you are physically and technologically able, why not let your readers know that you won't be continuing on with your comic for the time being…or ever. Emphasis on “if you are able.” No need to hop on over to the computer in your full body cast on my account, lol…!
Thanks for letting me rant, folks! Peace!
Genejoke at 8:59AM, Oct. 12, 2011
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Quiting Malefic was a hard decision, one I'm still not 100% on to be honest, but I did let people know what was going on though.
Seriously thinking about starting it over.
JustNoPoint at 9:04AM, Oct. 12, 2011
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A lot of the time (experience here) creators probably don't know they have quit making their comics.
 
I know I keep being so busy. I keep thinking that soon I'll make a new page. Next thing I know it's been a month, then a year. I don't think most of these are planned. The author just gets so busy that they can't dedicate the time and focus on the page they need. But they are in denial about it too. If they SAY they are finished or something it feels more real. But in some way by not saying anything we convince ourselves that time has simply stopped. You don't really notice how long it's been till you try uploading again. Then you see your audience is either gone or a very small shell. Reality hits and it gets harder to get back in the groove again.
Eddie Jensen at 9:09AM, Oct. 12, 2011
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The reason I never would say anything on my comics page if I was quitting was because the majority of my readerbase that I learn to like (unless I'm just working on some project that ends up being 7 pages uploaded which used to happen alot) I usually try to get in contact with to spread my arms of companionship and learn from. So I have a steady contact with them and tell them on msn or something, and then I just kind of would forget everyone else. Cause I'd already relayed the message that “I just kind of got sick of this” “it's not ready” . Though speaking from personal experience and from other friends who make comics (like I said arms of companionship) When a comic is just suddenly stopped forever, it's rarely because of computer problems or injuries, when those things occur that author will usually be dedicated enough to slam the keyboard with their bloody stumps and inform you. Cause if you're not sick of something, you're commited to it. And with the dedication that it takes to make a comic at all, you'd bet your ass they'd make themselves heard. But once the dedication to the comic is gone and I've told my friends, I just kind of forget it exists.
So I wouldn't worry about the person behind the comic if I were you. If you really wanna see what they're up to you can probably dig them up from google and see what new exciting stuff they're doing instead of lingering over what's old and abandoned.
The fact is that Comic artists that chose a mass comic site instead of making their own website, are 1 either young (11-16) oooor 2. they're not entirel sure this will work out, so they're keeping it on the test basis for now or 3. It's a mirror, and once your site generates enough traffic, mirrors are usally disgarded (though not always).
if I was a teapot I think I'd be orange.

http://t-k-.deviantart.com/
Scorpious at 1:21PM, Oct. 12, 2011
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Eddie Jensen wrote:
Haha, if you're working to get recognition you're in the wrong trade buddy. Try pop singer.
not  recognition just curiosity if i should go on or move on to another thing a artist needs to know if one creation  is been seen or appriciated or whatever emotion one is looking for - 
coes why then galleries keep a record of who enters in them ?  artist like their creations watch and many like to know how many - simple :D   what is the point to make a gorgeous paiting or a beautiful poem if nobody will read it or see it?  am I making any sence here? 
Hawk at 8:24PM, Oct. 12, 2011
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I can sympathise with wanting stats back.  I have no plans to get rich or famous from my comic, but if I thought it wasn't being read at all, I'd stop making it.  I love the feedback, and I like knowing that somebody besides me is getting something out of it.

But regarding dead comics:  There are TONS of them!  I'd be really interested in knowing what percentage of The Duck's comics haven't updated in an entire year.  Could 80% of the comics be “dead”?  Maybe more?  It seems like there are SO MANY that never even make it past five pages.  The author gets started and realizes, “Woah, this is hard work!”  And they've already used the handful of jokes they had thought of.  So they quit.

I wish that whatever randomizer was running Quail's Random on the front page would prioritize currently running comics.  When I'm bored or waiting for something, I like to click on comics in Quail's Random to see if I find anything good.  Most of the comics I find are dead.  Currently-updating comics should be rewarded.  Stuff the author hasn't touched since 2007 should fade into obscurity.
Scorpious at 11:59AM, Oct. 13, 2011
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yes i side traked the topic sorry -  I think maybe dd should take a record of what comics are “dead” and not erase them but put them in a archive section with in the site so whoever wish to see them be able too .. inform the creator that the comic is been put in this special seccion with instructions of what to do in case it decide to reactivate the comic in question - that way making space for new comics been presently updated , plus for hand telling the reader is reading a presently "archive ' comic -  hope my idea does not offend anybody thanks for the forum :) 
El Cid at 5:03PM, Oct. 13, 2011
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Could always let the author set their own comics as “Active” or “Inactive.” Or do they already? I've never bothered to check.
MrHades at 5:47AM, Oct. 14, 2011
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It bugs me when someone starts a new comic, gives it the big'un about how epic it's going to be, how awesome the story they have planned is and how fired up they are to be working on the project… then: nothing. I get to see that so much, it's laughable. I get the impression that people think doing this is easy… then they suddenly realise what hard work it can be!
Hey, why not follow me on Twitter? User name: @THE_MrHades
El Cid at 6:28PM, Oct. 14, 2011
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I never pay much attention to it when people hype their comics. I think everyone's been pretty much taught that it's obligatory to hype your comic up like it's going to be the Greatest Comic Ever, so it becomes meaningless. If your comic's so awesome, show me. If you're all gung ho about what you're doing, prove it by sticking with it.
Darwin at 1:22PM, Oct. 17, 2011
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Skulks in guiltily…
 
Okay, I get what's being said here, and I'm going to sound just a tad hypocritical because I agree with the opening opinion on this thread.  I have had my share of frustration off of comics I totally get into and then the creator falls off the face of the earth with no apparant explanation. However I also agree that sometimes we  as creators tell ourselves (delude ourselves) into thinking that the “temporary hiatus” will only last a few weeks and then we'll be back on our feet.
 
I have three of my own comics that have fallen on their face in the “permenant hiatus category”. There was a time when I was putting out five comics a week…Shoot me, I know.  What ended up happening was that I was taking too much time from my family and dedicating it to the art - which I realized was a backwards priority.  So I had to ask myself…“Of the five, which ones do I want to continue producing? ”
 
The answer became “Plague” and “The Only Half Saga” my biggest draws and the ones I got the most feedback on.  The other three had to be put on the back burner - originally “as I get time” which turned into never. 
 
Part of the reason for the failure of the three was lack of hits/comments.  I like many put these out for human consumption and if I don't think it's striking a chord with the audience, it's time to pull it back.  The three I'm going to point out have very different reasons for the halt in their produciton.
 
Michael was because I found it often got more difficult traditionally drawing and shading the title. The audience didn't seem to like the traditional approach much either - and I was in no mood to go back and redo all the pages in photoshop.  Funny thing is, it is one of my most popular WRITTEN Stories.
 
Common Ground?  That one fell dead because the main story fell dead…long story short me and my collaborator on the story could not find the time/inclination to get back into the plot…and if the main plot isn't finished it would be very hard to continue the comic (don't get me wrong we only got 3 chapters into a 13chapter story…so there was lots more there…but the feeling of accomplishment died on it).
 
Midnight…ah my little delving into horror.  yeah.  Actually this one was in the “completed category” until I decided to make a graphic version of the sequel “Master of Fates”.  I didn't have the time to do the art myself, so a reader and fellow artist said that he would love to see what he could do with the storyline.   We were going very well, the story was coming along great, he would ink I would color and life was grand…and then HE ran into real life issues and not wanting to change the style of the art, I decided to let it sit.  I wanted to revive it for this year, but alas, my inker is still up to his ears in alligators.  So then I said that I would redo the oriignal tale with improved art and a slightly altered storyline.  This effort has been severely delayed with a site redesign for one of my main comics which reached 300 pages last wednesday….heh…so I am scrambling currently to get the pages done in time for some kind of halloween showing!
 
/ramble….
 
Wow that got a bit off track.  Anyway, so I sit on the fence on this issue, a mite guilty of letting my readership go hang…not intending too btw…sometimes with, and sometimes without the explanation.
evaniles at 12:21AM, Oct. 19, 2011
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I knew someone who had a webcomic once that had a very wide readership, but he had to give it up since the scenarist decided not to help anymore.  He left a message for a few months on his website (his webcomic wasn't posted anywhere but there) explaining the reason why he couldn't  go on. But so far, he's the only person I know with an abandoned webcomic who actually stated the reason why he had to stop. 
bravo1102 at 2:45AM, Oct. 19, 2011
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On the other end of the spectrum there was the comic I abandoned three times before giving it up for good.
 
Each time there was one voice in the wilderness begging me to reconsider and the rest was the field of crickets that had driven me to abandon it to begin with and this was after it was lauded and featured and the rest.  It sort of faded away as did my interest.
 
And working with horses in a photocomic is very, very, very hard.
jiminycricketX at 10:41PM, Oct. 20, 2011
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I have mixed feelings on this. On one hand, yes, it would be nice to have a heads up if you're going to stop working on your comic for some reason. On the other hand, if someone wants to end their comic and not give an explanation, it really isn't anyone's business. After all, most webcomicers do their comics for free, and they don't really owe anyone anything.
I don't know, food for thought. Thoughts? 

Darwin at 7:26AM, Oct. 21, 2011
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jiminycricketX wrote:
I have mixed feelings on this. On one hand, yes, it would be nice to have a heads up if you're going to stop working on your comic for some reason. On the other hand, if someone wants to end their comic and not give an explanation, it really isn't anyone's business. After all, most webcomicers do their comics for free, and they don't really owe anyone anything.
I don't know, food for thought. Thoughts? 
Personally, I wouldn't want to be considered a d-bag over dropping my audience on their ears.  Yes I am doing it for free, but I have built a following and my personal pride would tell me that, while I don't owe it to them, it would be polite to give them some kind of heads up (if possible that is).  I don't think the explanation would have to be lengthy or detailed, just a quick note stating RL got in the way and an estimate of time before the title returns - or a I'm sorry it isn't working, I'm going to have to quit the effort. 
pokketmonstahhuntah at 3:02AM, Oct. 23, 2011
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Whenever I start to read a new comic, the first thing I do is look at the date of the final update. If it's over a year ago, I won't even start. If it's just some time ago, I try to find out if the artist is taking a hiatus or just quit.
The exception was 8-bit theatre, since that was already finished when I started reading… but I think you get my point.
I agree with having quail's random only showing comics that are actually being updated OR that are already finished.
Man,
I would kill for some Okonomiyaki right now!
Deviant-art
Banes at 11:37AM, Oct. 25, 2011
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I have mixed feelings on this. On one hand, yes, it would be nice to have a heads up if you're going to stop working on your comic for some reason. On the other hand, if someone wants to end their comic and not give an explanation, it really isn't anyone's business. After all, most webcomicers do their comics for free, and they don't really owe anyone anything.
I don't know, food for thought. Thoughts?

 People are allowed to do what they want, and explain or not explain, of course.

But there is a sort of “contract” an artist enters into with their audience. The audience is investing their time, energy, and hopefully emotions into your work. (this is assuming no money's involved, of course. If so, they're investing that, too!)

If an audience gives their interest to a story and then do not have their questions answered/the story resolved somehow, it's disappointing and a violation of that contract.

Of course, life happens and for any number of reasons, a creator might have to stop. But there's no reason to not at least TELL people you're stopping (even if you don't tell them WHY, it's a courtesy to let them know you're finished with the project…and it's very disrespectful to not take 60 seconds to tell your readers you're quitting). 
last edited on Oct. 25, 2011 11:40AM
skreem at 4:23AM, Oct. 26, 2011
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I abandon ‘em all the time, but this is because I forget that I have started them.
I have the memory of a goldfish. (A goldfish that has had the ornamental castle in his tank, fall on his head). So I guess, this doesn’t really count..
 
Also, I have a sub-question: Does anyone else suffer (usually late at night) from dawning realisation that your comic is an absolute ton of sh*te and what the hell were you thinking/drinking to begin it in the first place?
 
This happens to me A LOT! Followed by the waggling of the delete button. Then two weeks later.. Hmmm maybe that wasn't so rubbish after all.  
 
Allyndn at 5:00AM, Oct. 26, 2011
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I abandoned a comic. What happened was the comic grew out of screen shots of a computer game I was designing (http://www.drunkduck.com/Jhulene_the_Paladin/). Quite a few pages in, I realized two things: 1) it made a better game than a comic, and 2) I needed to do a serious revision of the game code. What actually killed the comic was the poor reception the game received. I stopped developing games. If you're just one guy (like me) and you spend every waking hour on your game for a year or so, it is really hard to keep going to a “meh” response. And I just assume that no one actually reads my comic on DD. I always intended to go back and tie up loose ends in the comic, but never got around to it. Now I'm doing a much more “real” comic (http://www.drunkduck.com/Found_Art/).

An idea would be for the site to “retire” comics that haven't been updated in a long, long time. Like, there could be an automated message to the creator: “You haven't updated your comic in a year,” or something like. Alternately, some kind of message that says, “This comic is complete.” As someone said, I don't start reading a comic that I can see hasn't updated in years. On the other hand, if the comic was a complete self-contained unit, I'd like to read it, even if it hasn't been updated.
Genejoke at 6:11AM, Oct. 26, 2011
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skreem wrote:
I abandon ‘em all the time, but this is because I forget that I have started them.
I have the memory of a goldfish. (A goldfish that has had the ornamental castle in his tank, fall on his head). So I guess, this doesn’t really count..
 
Also, I have a sub-question: Does anyone else suffer (usually late at night) from dawning realisation that your comic is an absolute ton of sh*te and what the hell were you thinking/drinking to begin it in the first place?
 
This happens to me A LOT! Followed by the waggling of the delete button. Then two weeks later.. Hmmm maybe that wasn't so rubbish after all.  
 That's because short stories are the way forward for you. COUGH! LITE BITES!  HINT! COUGH!
 
Jimmypat at 10:33AM, Oct. 26, 2011
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I reckon competition is a major, if not main cause of abandonment. If you’re comic is constantly buried under the thousands of others with the similar goal in mind of trying to attract viewers, then who the fuck is going to care if you quit? The audience of two? No matter how hard you try, or how many pages or comments you post, or how good your work is, it seems to go un-noticed regardless of who
is watching. The same goal is in mind whether the work is for yourself or others, someone out there wants someone to read it. If nobody reads it, then why bother?
Uninspired is Fear.
www.drunkduck.com/Uninspired
last edited on Oct. 26, 2011 10:34AM
ayesinback at 11:15AM, Oct. 26, 2011
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First, this thread has some great thoughts.  After reading several posts, I felt guilt and went to my comic to let the 3? readers know that it's not dead, but hibernating.
 
So much of this thread coincides with the stat function.  As it now stands, it's hard to know whether there is a viewership that cares or not.  If no one cares, then why bother posting a note to let people know what's going on?  Because if no one cares, isn't an “All about ME” author note almost egotistical?  rather a personal blog with oneself?
 
Here's a thought:  if you are really concerned about a lack of updates, then PQ the comic creator (Oh, right, no PQ alerts) - or at least comment in the comic.   whatever.  
 
Me - I Very Much enjoy reading from people who've read a page of mine - it IS nice to know that in some way you've made a teeny connection.  And I never like the feeling that somehow I let someone down.
 
But these are FREE comics.  I don't think we ever want to burden a comic creator with obligations.  in some cases, it's not impossible that it could become a chilling factor
 
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