This newspost was inspired by a milestone of sorts sent to me by awsome owl 98, so I suppose I ought to start with that! His comic Powell and Derry has just wrapped up after five years and 374 pages. He’s also written a long post in the forums talking about why he decided to end this comic. The whole thing is in the forums here, but here’s an excerpt:
“ I thought about the sorts of comics I like to read and realized that I like comics that have an ongoing story and good characters so I made an effort to make one like that. Powell and Derry had only ever had very short and made up as I went along story arches and despite making it for years none of the characters in Powell and Derry had really developed any sort of personality to speak of. And I've been working on making a new comic since then! I've gone through a lot of ideas and although many of them have crashed and burned I'm not going to stop trying until I can bring you a comic actually worth reading. So that's why I've finally ended Powell and Derry. Not just because it was well past its due date and mostly bad but also because I want to make a new comic!”
I’ve never been good at intentionally walking away from projects. That’s not to say that I finish everything that I start! The number of half-knitted scarves lying around my house is frankly embarrassing. But I tend to abandon things wordlessly and hope no one will notice, promising myself that I’ll pick it up again someday when the mood strikes me.
Some projects have a defined ending: you finish knitting that scarf, or you reach the end of the story you wanted to tell. Others can feasibly keep going for the rest of your life. When that’s the case, how do you decide that it’s time to wrap things up and walk away?
Awsome owl’s experience is similar to my own with the one project that I did very intentionally abandon. That was the comic that gave me my pseudonym here, “Hippie Van.” Essentially, I realized that it wasn’t as good as what I wanted to be making, and that I could do something better. Okay, actually what I realized was that it was god awful. Thankfully, I doubt most of you ever saw any of it.
Izzy wasn’t so easy to walk away from; true, I’m not as proud of the art or the writing as I was years ago when I made those pages, but that loveable old grump still holds a place in my heart. I notice myself echoing his particular brand of misanthropy in new characters that I write. For that reason, Izzy is firmly in an “indefinitely on hold” category in my mind.
Of course, there are plenty of reasons other than burning shame that you might want to leave something behind. You could get bored with the characters, or feel that you had gotten as much out of them as you could. You might just need a new challenge.
Have you walked away from a long-term project? Why?
Have a comic milestone, a community project or some comic-related news that you'd like to see here? Do you have original art for our newspost image database? Send it to me via PQ or at hippievannews(at)gmail.com, or leave a comment below!
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HippieVan at 12:00AM, Sept. 30, 2016
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