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.
- 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.
- 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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