Hey, man, what the heck?on October 19, 2010 at 4:23 pm
You may have noticed that Jimmy and the Hammer has slipped into an update schedule ranging from erratic to nonexistent.
I’ve been uncharacteristically quiet on the subject too, and the reason is that I didn’t want to say anything until I had something definitive to say, and I wanted to make sure the problems I was having weren’t short term. So I took some time to think about it, but I still don’t have something definitive to add, so here’s my best shot:
Jimmy and the Hammer will continue to update erratically, without warning for the foreseeable future. It is not ending.
How did I get here? Well, with issue 4, I focused very intently on getting pages out twice a week, no misses, no excuses. And I succeeded! That’s good, right? Yes and no. I wound up having a lot of late nights bumping up against deadlines, quickly drawing pages the day before they were “due”. I was enjoying myself, but I feel the quality suffered a bit, and the pages just weren’t up to a standard I was happy with.
So for issue 5, I took another path. Instead of an internal emphasis on timeliness, I put the internal emphasis on quality, pushing both my writing and my art to levels heretofore unseen on Jimmy and the Hammer. And on the few updates you’ve seen thus far, it really showed.
But I ran into a new problem: the art was taking 2-3 times as long to do, and it was not a fun process for me any more. Rather than my previous process, which was basically “doodle doodle doodle it’s a face”, I now had a time consuming, incredibly detail oriented, meticulous process that felt like work. The joy and creativity of the process was gone.
I was in a position where I was spending a large chunk of my free time working on a project I wasn’t enjoying, and why? I was making no money, I wasn’t really gaining fans outside of people I know personally, and it wasn’t really internally satisfying like it used to be. So why keep doing it?
All logic was telling me it was time to throw in the towel, but my heart wouldn’t let me. I had some misplaced sense: maybe loyalty, maybe stubbornness, that just would not quit. And even though I couldn’t quantify what the value is, it became clear to me that this project still has value.
So here’s where I ended up. It may feel like work, but it’s worthwhile, and I will try to work on this every day. It may be drawing new pages, it may be getting old pages ready to print, it may be fixing html on the site (which is sorely overdue) or it may be writing. But rest assured, whether there are results that are visible to you or not, I will continue working on this.
I’m going to try to keep doing about a page a week, but it will continue to update erratically without warning, so I recommend either subscribing to my RSS feed or following me on twitter, so you don’t miss a page.
And Jimmy and the Hammer will continue until at least a semi-satisfying ending. It won’t leave you hanging mid storyline. That’s a promise. It may take a while to get there, but I won’t leave you hanging.
There may be some other announcements in the future, I still don’t know what form they will take.
Most importantly: to the fans who have found me and stuck with me through this all, thank you. Every comment, tweet, or email expressing how much you’ve enjoyed what I’ve done so far has made everything worthwhile.