So, about my mysterious news from last week that I never got around to posting.
Readership for this comic has been steadily declining for months now. It's my own fault, completely. There's a lull in the story, I've missed a few updates due to travel and exams, and I'm spending too much time on pretty pictures instead of pushing the story forward. What is funny is that I'm worrying about such things when I do this webcomic for me, not YOU guys. But, when I compare What it Takes to the War of Winds, I can't help but be frustrated. In one year, What it Takes has about 3x more readers than tWoW. It has more pageviews with an archive 1/3 of the size. What it Takes makes MONEY, and in my position right now, I can't be spending so much time on a project that gives back so very little.
The War of Winds is a comic I started in my final year of high school. I jumped into comic-making, like most everything I do, head-first. Just dove in that pile [of rocks], not really knowing anything. It took years to learn anything. Readers here have seen how things have changed over the years. I took all that I learned with tWoW and made What it Takes. What it Takes is a simple and fast-paced story with characters designed for humor and violence, with the minimum update schedule required for readership growth. This is my personal equation for "how to make a 'good' webcomic."
Last week, I was *THIS* close to just scrapping tWoW all together. This comic is based on a novel I've already written. In 7 years as of April, I've gotten 1/3 of the way through this thing. To complete this story, I'm looking at another 14 years of doing this. Realistically, that's just not going to happen, not with the Gauntlet of an MD/PhD program before me. Making comics is a happy and wonderful diversion, stress relief--reinvigoration for my synapses. And I've started to stress about my stress relief. What can I say? I'm Type A. Effort must be less than or equal to output or quite frankly, ur doin' it wrong. In the case of comics, especially webcomics, the only measurements for output are readership numbers, revenue, and/or comments.
This comic started out as a labor of love, and it will continue to, well, continue. For the time being. But the format is going to be smaller. I have to spend less time on this. This comic might metamorphasize into a strip format like What it Takes eventually. I don't know. I will probably try a bunch of things. I will try to keep it in color. I will maintain at least 1x/week schedule. Ideally, I want to take what works with What it Takes and mold tWoW into something that may eventually work.
Please know that stopping this comic is last on my list of possible ways to deal with my frustration. No, I'm not really looking for advice on what to do. I already know what I want to do. No, I'm not going to hire an artist to help out (seriously? As if I could afford that). No, I'm not going to get a friend to help me out (I would never let an artist to work for free, furthermore, this is my comic and I'm going to do it myself, dammit). No, I'm not going to "take a break" until I feel more up to continuing the status quo. Hiatuses are the death knell for comics that have been going on as long as mine. Lose momentum, and the whole process stops.
TL;DR: deal with the changes, they're letting the comic continue.
In other news, a new character will be shortly introduced. See you next Monday.