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Comic for: June 19th, 2013
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GU Comics: "Stand Up"
Posted: Wednesday June 19th, 2013 by

I may or may NOT have drawn Scott Johnson from Extra Life into the comic (depends entirely on whether or not he approves of the representation) I talked to Scott a few weeks ago about his business model when I was looking for ways to save GU's bacon. And I talked to him again in the last few days about a stand up work desk as I knew he'd moved to one himself and was enjoying the change.

Not-Scott's right, making this change won't make me funnier. And it's not that I think I'm unfunny. My sense of humor is just so dry it passes right below most people's radar, which -coupled with my blunt, sometimes abrasive, approach to responding to people- is part of why GU's not a monstrous success. As Mike from Penny Arcade said during the season 1 finale of Strip Search last night, "the creator is as big a part of the comic strip's success as the work itself". And he's right. My personality was very much a part of GU's early success and is even more so part of GU's ultimate downfall. I've said in the past that if I could have done anything different about GU, I would have hidden more behind the curtain. Not to shelter me from the eyes of others, but rather to protect the reader from me.

Now, I don't want any of this to be construed as a downer. It's just information that has come more to the surface as I approach the idea of closing GU for good. That is to say, I've always known it on some level, but intentionally avoided super deep introspection on the matter. I love drawing the comic. I don't love writing it. And, no matter how hard I work at it, I think that disparity shows. In the early days I wasn't "writing" anything. I was just illustrating funny situations that came up while playing EQ. When I was forced to branch out, that started to change. When the comic became "big business", it changed more. I find myself now in a area where I simply don't relate to the younger gamer set. What I have to say doesn't really address their relation to games. So growth stalled, stopped, then numbers started to dwindle. I haven't looked at GU's analytics in months. I don't want to. I'm afraid to. I just want to merrily go about my business drawing pretty pictures and convincing myself that it's all going to somehow work out.

Ultimately, I think the solution is to shake the etch-a-sketch and come out the other side doing something that represents who I am now. I am a story teller. Sometimes I'm funny. But most of the time I just want to take people on a journey. I'm still not a writer. That's painfully obvious. But I've got a tale in me that I want to get out. Right now, I do that by way of playing D&D though recently we've become slaves to time constraints and the story has suffered for it. I don't know how to make that story into an ongoing comic though. I mean, I know HOW to. But, I don't really want people to know it's me behind the panels, which has the unfortunate side effect of not being able to leverage my existing install base. Which... is kind of stupid. But, at the same time, it doesn't allow the Boo birds to start pecking at the work just because they didn't like GU. **shrugs and grins**

So what does all of that mean? I guess it means... it's time to stand up.

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