I am taking a miniature hiatus. Here’s why:
My web comic HMS Crock Doctor has been a very interesting experience for me. It is actually the first comic I ever made. Some of you have been following me long enough to remember my uploading the first ever comic page I’d ever done, which was hand-drawn, scanned in, and colored with limited talent or experience in Photoshop. In general, a shaky start out. But you were there to tell me it looked awesome, and that you couldn’t wait to see what happened next. That encouragement is the very reason I found confidence enough to continue it, and for that I am immensely grateful to those of you who encouraged me on deviantart.
So I started stringing the comic together in an awkward page-by-page format, where the ending of every page included a punchline. This was back when I had no story and was more of exploring the dynamics between characters, and I’m afraid this was painfully obvious. I was literally writing each page as it went, so HMS served me mostly as an experiment in storytelling. But soon it started veering off in a direction I didn’t like. And I’d started to grow a little too fond of it to continue that way.
So I started over. I felt terrible for doing so, because I felt like I was jerking around the very people who had offered me encouragement, who were following the story and wanted to see its progression. I offered my apologies, and prepared myself for the onslaught. Surprisingly, you all continued to offer your support, and were excited to see where I was going to take the story this time. It felt right to start over again, and I learned so much more about the characters and where I wanted the story to go.
You see, I’ve been approaching this back-ass-wards. I wrote and posted far before I had the core of the story. I didn’t take time to panel out several pages at once and THEN set about to draw. I only wrote a few scenes in advance. The comic, then, the way it is now, is seeped in exposition and biding time, without any real direction. In fact, it doesn’t get direction until the supporting characters, the Brits, show up and take control. For the two main characters of the comic, Rem and Jez, this is less than ideal, and in the writing, it is painfully clear that I did not have a firm grip on who they were.
Therefore I must reveal to you that I am starting over yet again.
This comic has become too special to me to keep treating it as a guinea pig.
I believe this can be something really special, and I have good news. I have found the core of my story. I know precisely what I want to express in every scene. I know my theme, I know my characters. Most importantly, I finally have a grip on Rem and Jez. I have my villain’s motivation. I am ready to begin again, and seriously this time.
Therefore I will set about to write the entire outline. The ENTIRE outline, beginning to end. I shall then plan each volume minutely, write the scripts several chapters in advance (yes, it shall finally be organized enough to have chapters, to include chapter art and an actual cover for each volume), panel each volume, and THEN produce the pages. Once all this is set up and planned out, production should go more quickly, following my own directions, and I shall stockpile the comics to be able to update them once every week.
What I ask of you is to continue to support HMS, as it has become extraordinarily personal to me, and I have planned out an adventure for you of operatic proportions. I have much in store that I finally want to present to you in its absolute best light. I apologize for having to start over again, but if I plan everything out the way I shall, this shall indeed be the final version, and I shall not have to start over again, now that I have my story’s core and am spinning everything around it.
I promise you something extraordinary. I promise you excellent artwork. I promise you will love every character. I promise you will remember this story.
What I ask from you is for your continued patience. I have put so much of myself into this story and I promise to push myself to make it the best it can be, both for myself and for you. I want to move you, I want to make you laugh, I want to create characters you will remember and love.
I am almost done with the outline.
I promise you, this is better than anything you have ever seen from me as of yet.
Take my hand and come with me. I promise you adventure.