01-25-2013 - UTC IN 2013
It's been several months since the postponement of Chapter 7. I apologize for the lack of updates, even informational ones saying the wait will be longer. The bottom line is that I am dedicated to continuing Phase Two this year. Chapter 7 is in the early stages of production.
I've learned from last year's mistakes, the most important of which is that holding myself to an unrealisticly fast-paced schedule makes no one happy and damages the quality of the comic itself. Many of you have reached out to me to say that a longer wait for a better comic is worth it, and I fully intend to make good on that notion.
With that in mind, I've decided to change the way in which UTC is presented. Chapter 7 will not be released publicly until all 22 of its pages are finished. There will be no last-minute schedule upsets and no waiting between pages. Over the years, as UTC has evolved from a strip-based webcomic to a full-fledged printed periodical, the way in which I craft the story has changed. It makes much more sense from a production standpoint and a reading standpoint to give you the full story in one go.
I can already tell you that working on UTC has become so much more fun in the past few weeks. Even when I'm not writing or sketching, I'm thinking about the characters and the stories that are coming up. I'm remembering why I wanted to tell this story in the first place, and I'm rediscovering why so many of you love the comic.
As always, I can't thank you enough for the patience you've afforded my efforts to bring UTC to you. I am so excited to reward that patience with the coming chapters.
Once a possible release date for Chapter 7 is determined, I will let you know. Until then, keep on changing for the better!
11-30-2012 - HAIR REMOVAL
The "Let Your Hair Down" mini-comic has been temporarily taken out of the archives. I will upload the entire thing in December when the story is completed. UTC will return with Chapter 7 in early 2013.
10-31-2012 - "LET DOWN YOUR HAIR" MINI-COMIC
Happy Halloween! Today was supposed to see the second page of chapter 7 of UTC, a wonderful Halloween episode which I have been looking forward to working on ever since UTC's creation five years ago. Instead, in the wake of being forced to put the series on hold, you will be treated to a consolation prize. "Let Your Hair Down" is a black and white comic I've been working on for a few weeks as a way of getting some ideas out of my system. It would have been finished by now, if not for Hurricane Sandy, so I'm still plugging away at it.
The story focuses on a satyr granting a last-minute Halloween "costume" to a college girl, with hilarious repercussions. It does not take place in the universe of UTC.
The comic will update two pages each day until it's finished. Please enjoy!
10-29-2012 - HORRIBLE, HORRIBLE HIATUS
You were expecting page 1 of Chapter 7 today. What you are getting instead, it shames me to say, is another hiatus.
I don't know how long it will be before you see the next chapter of UTC. But you WILL see it, one way or another, one day.
This is going to disappoint a lot of people. Most likely, everyone. The hardest part to swallow is the knowledge that some of you saw this coming and tried to warn me about it.
You deserve the truth. The truth is, I've been fooling myself thinking that I could keep up with a rushed production schedule. In the old college days, when I was more of a shut-in, I had all the time in the world to study, write papers, and draw comics. When I created UTC, my plans for the comic were ambiguous, but they were grand. The story would be the longest, biggest I'd yet told. It could run for twenty issues, possibly more, each chapter contributing to the larger story and over a dozen characters playing vital roles.
UTC is still going to be that, one day. My foolishness stemmed from trying to make it happen too fast. Life is much more complicated these days. I actually have an active social life, for one thing. A full-time job, for another. There is less and less time I can devote to art, which is supposed to be a relaxing, enriching activity. But over the past 12 months, working on UTC, I've turned it into a chore.
The other half of the problem is that I've become so intimidated by UTC's scale, I second-guess every decision I make regarding the plot and characters. I lost the confidence that used to come so easily, and the harder I search for it, the more it eludes me.
Many of you have noticed the lack of artistic improvement in Chapter 6's pages. I'm not happy with my current drawing ability, nor my ability to construct a solid story. But if I keep updating UTC without stopping, even if it's only one page per week, all I will be able to find time for is that one page per week. I won't be sketching, exploring new ways to draw a face or a room, or lay out a page. I won't be writing scripts well in advance. I won't be growing as an artist, and that is something that I desperately want to do.
I wish that I could have my cake and eat it too. I know you wish you could see UTC continue on a regular schedule AND see entertaining story and character progression. I wish I could deliver that. I can't.
Starting immediately, I am going back to the drawing board and I'm going to figure out what will get me to enjoy drawing comics again. That means no schedules or deadlines, just a purely organic development process that will hopefully allow me to regain my artistic confidence and enhance my abilities so that, when UTC does return, it will look and feel better than ever.
Thank you all for your constant, unwavering support and patience. Thank you to my friends for holding a mirror up and taking the time to offer your advice. I am extremely lucky to have such a fanbase. UTC has given me more than I ever expected and I am going to work hard to give even more back.
This is going to be fun again.
Please continue watching my gallery for future unrelated projects and stand-alone art pieces. I hope to be posting progress regularly.
On Wednesday (if power in my area isn't affected by Hurricane Sandy) the UTC website will feature a Halloween-themed non-UTC comic sequence. I've been working on this side project for a couple of weeks now, and it's almost finished. Consider it half-"consolation prize" and half-"a picture of what may come."
Until next time, take comfort in the knowledge that change is always for the better.