That is a well written and awesome way to finish. It sounds like have some great perspective and respect for where you have been in the last few years. It will only serve to augment your coming successes.
Extremely sad way to go, and I really liked this comic too… but it happens all the time, the obsession, and the burnout.
You know, it’s possible to actually cut back on a webcomic and make it a non-priority right? If it’s not any fun, takes to much time, you’d rather do other things… there’s nothing to prevent you from simply stepping back and saying “okay, I’m only going to update twice a month… or once a month… or even just take time off to other things”. I’m not attacking or trying to change anyone’s mind here, but I think that people forget that. You control the comic, the comic doesn’t control you.
Webcomics can become an abusive relationship. Once you start to recognize the signs it’s time to adjust the game plan before… you know… THIS kind of thing happens.
My apologies, Onyx. If you like, you’re welcome to send the book back unopened. Just slap a Return to Sender on the envelope. I’ll be more than happy to give you a refund. Better yet, open it, take the free buttons as a gift, and send the rest back. Up to you.
I’ve made countless adjustments to how I run this comic over the last two years, but there’s only so much that you can do to alleviate the burn before it starts to impact the quality of the output. I could certainly drop the update regiment, and in fact, I Twittered the other day that I would be dropping to one update a week before I decided to just end it entirely. The story arc needed a TON of strips to get it played out completely. Even at one strip a week, we’d be in Chapter 9 well into 2009. To me, that is not acceptable, and not at all worth continuing.
My goal in going all-out with the comic (as all-out as I could, anyway) was to make sure that I was doing everything I possibly could to make the strip successful. Sadly, the strip never found success, despite my greatest efforts, and they were great. If I could not make the strip take off while running at 150% power, how could I possibly do so while running at only 50%?
“Burnout” is not how I would put it, because I am in no way burned out. If I was, I wouldn’t have had the energy to craft such a lengthy goodbye message, let alone energy to respond to people’s comments about the whole thing. I’m simply looking at this realistically: If I can get more happiness out of other projects for similar effort, shouldn’t I switch to those? Over the entire history of this strip, I probably spent upwards of $2000 for hosting, advertising, materials, merchandise, etc. Income-wise, I’ve brought in maybe $200 if you count the emergency donation drive I held a few years ago to pay for a disk recovery. Without that, it would have been more like $75-ish.
Ultimately, it boils down to the fact that I can no longer justify the effort it takes to do the strip the justice it deserves.
Nah, it’s cool… I still want to keep the book, I’ve got no regrets about that. Heh, more of a comment on your offer for discounts really.
At any rate, I really wasn’t talking about you spescifically but more as a general comment of how many really decent comics out there just up and end because of one reason or another, and how many really deserve more attention than they get. In fact, that’s the focus of a couple of my own projects… but I digress.
My own comic takes up a significant portion of my time as well, and along with my other projects, freelance work, and fulltime employment… yeah, full days most of the time. I get where you’re coming from. Money isn’t really a driving force, but it’s definitely something to consider in the long run. Profit should never be your primary consern, but its foolish to pretend things don’t cost money.
I disagree. Profit should always be your primary concern. The more money you can make off of your comic, the less reliant you’ll be on your day job, the fewer day job hours you’ll have to work, the more time you’ll be able to spend making your comic perfect, the more money you’ll be able to make off of your comic, ad infinitum.
From a business perspective, considering the satuation of the market, to enter into the webcomic arena expecting to make a profit is foolhardy unless you have a unique and solid plan of action for deliberate execution… success in ANY kind of market under those circumstances (except webcomics apparently) would be dismissed as a bad investment. To make money you have to know HOW to make money, and have a product that can sell.
This is why the corperate suits and the creative department so often disagree… one is about the money, the other is about the work. They don’t live in the same house very often.
In any case, good luck for the future! I hope you find that success you’re searching for.
Have you been reading “How to Make Comics” by Jim Davis?
Actually, I tend to agree that profit is always an important part of art. It always has been. As long as the end goal is not simply the acquisition of wealth to the point that the art itself devolves into a mindless repetition of hackneyed themes, there’s nothing wrong with trying to make a living off your work.
I’ve always despised those pedantic arguments that money ruins art, like when as soon as a band has a little success and achieves even some minute level of mainstream exposure, people start accusing them of having “sold out”. Heaven forbid a person be able to do something they love AND make a living doing it.
Now THIS is ironic. I logged on today for the first time in a couple months, because my webcomic load have become so great that I read a group of them in shifts – 20 or so for a few months, switch with another group. I saw there was something exploding and a lot of text, but I didn’t read it and spoil the surprise, because things are often exploding in tmabb.
So, I just put up a few comments on recent strips, including the last one which was about how I thought the strip would end. I was actually kinda close.
So, it’s sad for me, but it was a fun read while it lasted. I just find it a bit ironic that I was waiting for the surprise of the explosion and words – finding out it wasn’t a very happy surprise.
Nevertheless, I wish you all the best in any and all future endeavors. W
Oh, and will any plots be resolved in the future? I don’t mean comic-wise necessarily, but just a little info? Because not only did this end in the middle of a plot arc, but right after there was lightning and stuff, and we don’t know if Eugene was split into two or what and what about the world with lego guys and this is a run-on sentence isn’t it?
Anyway, thanks for the comments, and especially the lightsaber battle ones. Epic win.
Awww man… To me, this kind of feels like a kitty dying. It’s really really sad, but you know there will be other kitties someday, and there are more important things in life than kitties… But… Kitty… :*(
This was slightly shocking to me. Not because I didn’t see it coming, but because you didn’t tell me! I figured this was going to happen sometime this year, but I didn’t think I would find out via Twitter. We got back from the honeymoon last night, and I was slowly catching up with all my online things when I came across the Twitter. It was like finding out about a kitty death from an away message. *sigh*
I’ve definitely got mixed feelings about this. I love Tee-mab, and you’ve gotten really really good at it. Most of your improvements recently have been in the artwork side of the comic, so taking up painting sounds like an awesome idea to me. The story was getting REALLY interesting, so next time I see you, you’d better freakin’ tell me everything because I’m your sister, biotch. So, I’m really sad to see the comic go, because it was getting BALLZ awesome.
On the other hand, I’m hoping this means I get to see more of my big brother and his charming girlfriend :) And now you can start homebrewing sooner! Homebrewing is definitely a hobby that you and Melissa will find very rewarding. And Tim and I will feel smart when you come to us with questions!
Anyway, to sum up, I support your decision. It makes me a little sad, but also very happy that you’ll have your life back. That being said, we need to hang out soon, because Savor is still 3 1/2 weeks away, and I miss you and Mel!
Yeah, sorry ’bout that, Steph. I didn’t want to interrupt your honeymoon with Retirement Death Kitties (oh man, that’s so gonna be the name of my next comic).
I think we’re gonna order the rest of our brewing equipment this weekend.
And yes, don’t worry, I’ll fill you in on what happens next. You get to know everything, ’cause you’re special.
Full disclosure: Steph is my little sister and the official proofreader for all of my creative projects. Other than me, no one knows the Tee-mab story better than she does. She gets special treatment. I’m sure you all understand.