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GPF News Archive

First Post Previous Post Next Post Latest Post December 31, 2007

 

Greetings, Faulties! Once again, it's been a really long time since my last update, and I missed my usual December tradition of wishing everyone a happy holiday(s), which ever holiday(s) you celebrate. Well, I'll start off with some belated holiday well-wishing, as well as wishing all of you a Happy New Year, especially since many of you won't be seeing this until after January 1st anyway. (Well, if you celebrate Chinese New Year, I suppose this new year well-wishing is either extremely late or somewhat early, but the well-wishing is still wished nonetheless.)

2008 is going to be an important year for GPF, I do believe. It will be, if nothing else, a year of transitions, as I have a number of really big changes in store. If everything goes as planned, I do believe it will make everything better for all of us, meaning I'll be able to produce more comics, help make the comic more self-sufficient, and make for a better, more enjoyable comic reading experience for all of you.

So we'll kick off the new year a day early with a sort of mini-"State of the Comic" post to give you a small preview of things to come:

Comic Update Schedule: As previously stated, the comic will continue to be weekly until at least February. The truncated final chapter of To Thine Own Self... is working out better than I had hoped, and we're right on schedule to wrap things up soon. I know a number of you have expressed reservations about me cutting some of the "fluff" from this chapter, but I assure you that the decision was the best one to make. Not only will this let us move on faster to lighter and funnier stories, but it's also helping me prepare for a whole new way of doing things.

Starting with the next "year" of comics, I'm planning to go entirely digital in my comic production. As anyone who has bothered to read the Behind the Scenes page (or its extended PREMIUM-exclusive cousin) can tell you, GPF has essentially been a half-analog, half-digital process since the very beginning. I've traditionally drawn the line art on Bristol board, then scanned it into the computer and finished it by cleaning up the lines, adding text, and adding shading, coloring, and special effects. Well, thanks to your support, I've made a number of purchases over the years, the latest being a brand new "Tablet PC". For those who haven't heard of these, they're essentially notebook PCs that can be converted into a "tablet" that allows you to write—or draw—directly onto the screen. With this, I plan to produce the entire comic from line art to finished strip in the computer. About the only part of the process that might remain analog may be the scripts, and even that may become digital if things work out smoothly.

The reason for this transition is multi-faceted, but it is in large part a move to make the comic production process faster. Right now, I have to spend hours of time sequestered in the basement at my art desk, away from my family and largely inaccessible. With the tablet, I should be able to sit at the couch and work on comics at virtually any time while still being accessible to my wife and son as needed. While the time won't be as dedicated exclusively to comicking, it will be more frequent as I won't have to find big chunks of time to work alone. This, combined with a planned streamlining of my drawing style, will hopefully mean more comics produced in a shorter amount of time and an increase in the number of updates.

When will this increase in updates occur? It's way too early to tell yet, as I'm still formulating and adapting to the production changes. How frequent will this upgraded schedule be? It's probably impossible for me to return to the daily schedule I once maintained for the comic's first seven and a half years, but three days per week is definitely obtainable. Of course, I will announce any update before it occurs.

Project Wonderful: In addition to changing the production methods, I'm working on better ways to monetize the comic so I can hopefully devote more time to it. As a first step toward this move, I've just joined the Project Wonderful family. You should begin seeing PW ads on the front page and in the archives very soon. Of course, those of you who subscribe to Keenspot PREMIUM will not see these ads as part of our ad-free pledge.

However, this opens up a wonderful opportunity for my fellow webcomic creators. PW has always catered well to webcomics and it's an excellent way to cross-promote. If you've found purchasing ads from Keenspot a little out of your price range, you can now bid on ads here at GPF directly. GPF still remains one of Keen's top comics (even with our currently reduced schedule) with millions of page views per month. Two items of note, however: (1) I will be approving ads manually, so please be patient with me if it takes a couple of days before you ads appear. (2) "Not safe for work" (NSFW) sites need not apply and bids for such sites will be automatically declined.

What's the deal with GPF books? I've had a ton of questions and complaints about the unavailability of our books from Plan Nine these past few months. Books #1, #2, and #4 have been out of stock for months, and several of you who have tried to order Book #3 have had excruciatingly long wait times or problems placing orders. Unfortunately, folks, I honestly don't know what to tell you. Plan Nine has been mostly incommunicado with me since May, and even then our discussion had nothing to do with books. Sadly, I'm afraid things are in a state of limbo between me and Plan Nine. There are so many things I wish could tell you to explain how complicated the situation is, but none of them would really be appropriate to discuss with third parties.

All I can tell you is that if you want details on when GPF books will be restocked or why an order is taking forever, you'll have to go to Plan Nine directly. I have no further insight into their inventory or order processing than you do, and on the few orders I've tried to intervene on my voice apparently carried little to no weight. I'm really sorry about this situation, and nobody could be more disappointed than I am about how it is being handled. I do plan to make a number of book-related changes in the coming year, however since the books are no longer as important a revenue stream as they used to be, their priority is a little lower at the moment.

I think that's about it for now, gang. As usual, important comic-related News will be updated here whenever there's anything new to mention, but if you'd prefer more frequent, less relevant updates, make sure to check out the blog. Make sure to subscribe to the RSS feed or use the News Notification cookie to make finding updates easier.

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