Chainmail Bikini Hiatus

By Shamus Posted Monday Mar 17, 2008

Filed under: Personal 14 comments

So, Chainmail Bikini is on hiatus. I know how it often is with webcomics: Some go on hiatus and never return. I know this because it seems to happen to the ones I read on a regular basis.

Making a webcomic (or more specifically, drawing a webcomic) is a time-consuming deal, and unless you hit it really big you’re not likely to make money in any meaningful way. Under ideal conditions, you’ll bring in enough cash to pay for the cost of distributing the thing, which is like working at a job which pays you by reimbursing you for your commute. Sooner or later you’ll wake up on a Monday morning and realize that if you stay home you’ll be no worse off than if you go. So if you’re going to go to all the trouble of getting out of bed you’d better love the crap out of that job. I did, but my task was easier than most and I only had to do it for a year.

If you’re lucky enough to have something left over after rendering your debt to the keepers of bandwidth, then the likelihood you’ll be happy with this surplus is directly proportional to how bad you are at math. If you take your surplus and divide it by the number of hours you spend not playing World of Warcraft because of your comic, you’ll probably notice the resulting number is less than what Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. will pay you to stand beside shopping carts and tell people to have a nice day – a job not easily distinguished from loitering. Again, you had better derive some sort of euphoric delight from drawing the thing because there is stuff out there that is easier and pays better.

I don’t know if this is how Shawn sees things. He’s got some basic real-life issues intruding on the comic and so we’re going to take a break. Some people have asked – with varying levels of politeness – what would happen to the comic without Shawn, should he be obliged to withdraw entirely. I thought I would answer these questions in one post rather than enduring weeks of questions and speculation during the hiatus.

  1. I’ve always said that the comic is a joint thing between Shawn and I, and I don’t have any desire to continue without him. Shawn has a distinct visual style. It’s one of the strong points of the strip, but it also means that Shawn is about the only person who can draw it.
  2. If the comic were to end prematurely for some reason, I would most likely post the rest of the story as text, in the hopes that this would give readers some sort of closure. I’ve had the story of CB written from the start. While ideas have been added, the initial story arc has remained unchanged since the very first strip.

So that’s where things stand. If all goes well we’ll see you April 7th.


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14 thoughts on “Chainmail Bikini Hiatus

  1. Davesnot says:

    I totally understand… hang in there.

  2. ChattyDm says:

    For still trying to make a stab at it… it’s clear that this is way more work than what it initially looks (and taking good pictures of badly painted minis is not as easy as I thought)… and then trying to be funny is another ball game.

    So I completely understand. If it comes back, I return being a faithful reader, if not, I’ll be on the lookout for whatever project you wish to tackle…

    Thanks for the funnies, in all forms.

  3. Mari says:

    I’m keeping my fingers crossed for things to even out in Shawn’s life so you guys can keep entertaining me but if that doesn’t happen your readers will survive. Your faithful readers will probably even understand that sometimes life happens at inconvenient times that mess with things like this and will still adore both of you from a safe cyber-distance that’s nothing at all like stalking.

    Seriously, though, I appreciate what you and Shawn have given me with what is up, I hope more goes up later, but if it doesn’t I’ll deal and still consider both of you to have added something to my world.

    I also agree with you that replacing Shawn’s art isn’t a real possibility. His style adds tremendously to the story plus there’s the issue of the two of you just working well together.

  4. Vegedus says:

    It’s all true, of course. The thing is, for most people who are capable of drawing, and drawing good, drawing is in general a fun process in itself. It’s own reward. From what I have observed, though, it’s all about the mentality of things. As soon as something becomes work, it can have a quite adverse affect on the fun of it. If you’re lucky, you’ve got all sorta other factors to compensate for this, such as fanmail and fanart. I don’t think doing webcomics is all that fun in the long haul, but it’s probably very rewarding in others.

  5. Adam says:

    I have faith that you guys will be back. I have honestly enjoyed the comic so far, and saying that it was hilarious and well done was never lip service.

    I eagerly await your return, but, given that I’ve already read the ending, I won’t be in too much suspense. ;)

  6. Aaron says:

    I’ll echo Adam, except I haven’t read the ending and hunger for more! You and Shawn make a great team, and I truly hope to see CB continue. If it doesn’t, I’ll be totally content with reading the story and know it was still a job well done. :)

  7. Rev_Blacky says:

    April 7th is my birthday too!

  8. kanthalion says:

    I’ve enjoyed Shawn’s artwork, and if you can’t work out a way to continue, Chainmail Bikini will be missed, but I totally understand that real life does kinda get in the way sometimes.

    Shawn, I hope you find a way to balance everything else and still get to do the “for the love of it” projects. In the meantime, good luck with the new house and everything else, I’m sure this wasn’t the last the interweb has heard of you.

    (April 7 is less than a month away anyhow, I think we can survive.)

  9. Viktor says:

    1: I understand, and though this is annoying, as I seem to have the same effect reading webcomics as you do, it had a good run and I’ll look forward to CB’s return.

    2: Gravitars appears broken, FYI.

  10. Nazgul says:

    Happens all the time… Please post here if/when it returns so I remember to start popping in to read it again, because I’ve been enjoying it.

    Now back to hoping that OOTS will actually publish three times a week more than like once a month.

    Sigh. :(

  11. GAZZA says:

    In fact you could generalise your points a fair bit – most people that run regular blogs, webcomics, or any sort of relatively dynamic site are going to be doing it out of love rather than financial reasons. While certainly there’s something to be said for the idea that a professional site might be of higher quality, the Internet populace have consistently voted “no” to “pay to play” ideas (with MMoG the apparent only exception). That makes advertising about the only way to make money on the web, and as Shamus says – you’ve got to be huge to make a living out of that.

  12. Zaghadka says:

    To quote J.M.S.: “I mean, being a freedom fighter, a force for good, it’s a wonderful thing. You get to make your own hours, looks good on a resume, but the pay … sucks.”

    Best of luck, guys.

  13. Davesnot says:

    If ya get it up and runnin’ again.. perhaps bi-weekly will work..

  14. Viktor says:

    It is biweekly. Or at least was. -_-

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