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I apologize for the late notice, everyone, but I'm afraid GPF will be going on hiatus for the month of December. Those of you who have been reading this comic long enough should know that this isn't a common event, nor is it something I would do lightly, so you can safely assume this is a major issue.

I'll try to keep a long story short. Ever since GPF went independent back in March, I've done a fairly good job of keeping my three-updates-per-week quota going. This has been important because if I couldn't maintain that production frequency, I wouldn't be able to keep my buffer up, nor would I be able to justify the current update frequency. Well, every so often circumstances have come up where I haven't been able to get that quota in for a given week. Every instance has been legitimately difficult: illnesses (either my own or my son's), unforgiving deadlines at work, difficulties getting my toddler back on his regular sleep schedule, day care complications, etc. And in each case I've lost a week from my buffer. This is, however, what the buffer is for, and for the most part I've been able to operate these past nine months without you guys having to worry about this.

Unfortunately, as of this writing, my ideal two month buffer has dwindled down to a solitary, single week, and I'm no longer comfortable with that. This has been complicated by the customary end of the year holiday season, where familiar obligations keep me moving hither and yon. So I was forced to come to a decision: Do I do my best to slog through the holidays on a one-week buffer and hope to somehow pull through to January, where I might be able to squeeze in extra updates to rebuild the buffer, or do I bite the bullet and put the strip on pause until January and use December to rebuild that buffer at least so I'll have a month in the can before starting back up again?

Suffice it to say I'm opting for the latter. I'm not happy with it, but pausing updates for December will let me get through the holidays without the additional pressures of maintaining the strip while dealing with everything else they'll throw at me. It will also give me a chance to get that buffer back to at least half its ideal capacity and back to a point where I'm comfortable. We're also in a break between stories, so this is as good a place to stop as any. Both of the following two stories are set during the holiday season, but I'm afraid there's not much I'll be able to do to avoid rewinding time a bit.

Regular comic updates will resume on Monday, January 5, 2009.

For the rest of the month, I'll be taking a page out of the history books and throwing up Jeff's Sketchbook reruns, similar to what we did during the last few months were with Keenspot. For those who don't know, Jeff's Sketchbook is one of our exclusive GPF Premium features that showcases behind-the-scenes GPF concept sketches, as well as sketches from some of my other projects. I apologize to our Premium subscribers for this, but I can promise you that all of the rerun sketches are a minimum of two years old and those freeloading non-subscribers will only have access to the sketch currently on the front page; subscribers will always have access the entire Sketchbook archive. In addition, the regular weekly Sketchbook updates should continue as scheduled. For those who are not yet subscribers, think of this as your chance to get a sneak peek at a tiny sampling of what a Premium subscription will bring you. There are over six years worth of sketches in the Sketchbook, plus dozens of exclusive articles, many bonus features, and tons of bells and whistles that add to your overall GPF experience. The front-page sketches will update on the usual Monday-Wednesday-Friday schedule until the comic restarts on January 5th.

For those of you who normally watch for updates using the RSS feeds or Twitter: For the moment, these Sketchbook updates will not show up in those feeds. The changes I made to the site to activate these updates are a hack that bypasses the normal update mechanisms, so the feeds won't get updated. I'll look into cobbling something together to post/tweet, but it will have to be a low priority for now.

Premium subscribers: Please check out the Rumor Mill for a reminder about one of our holiday traditions here at GPF.

That's all for now, folks. Again, I apologize for the interruption. I'll still be here, just busy behind-the-scenes. That said, I wish everyone a happy holidays and I'll see you again on January 5th.

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