GPF News Archive

First Post Previous Post Next Post Latest Post July 7, 2014


Hey there, folks. Once again, I apologize for the extended silence. Of course, April to July is actually not all that "extended" for News updates, given some of the longer pauses I've had over the years. Still, I'll throw in a quick reminder that if you're looking for faster and more frequent GPF news (albeit usually much shorter), you should probably follow me and/or the official comic feeds on social media. (You'll find most of the links in the sidebar or the Contacts page on the main site. Sorry, mobile site users; I haven't ported those over just yet. [Updates to-do list.])

Here's the real reason for today's update: I wanted to give you all a heads-up on some potential comic production delays. I don't want to burden you with too many excessive details, but the gist is that my family is rapidly approaching a situation similar—albeit not nearly as dramatic—to the one we experienced way back in 2006, during the height of our previous year-long mega-arc, To Thine Own Self....

For those who don't remember, To Thine Own Self... was intended to be another year-long epic in the same vein as the previous one, Surreptitious Machinations. Unfortunately, real life intervened and did so like a wrecking ball through a glass house. To make the summary as brief as possible, my day job went from infrequent and temporary contract work to a full-time position in a different state, requiring us to simultaneously try to sell our old house in one city while shopping for another house hundreds of miles away, all while my wife was late in her pregnancy. Things eventually worked out OK; we closed on the new house exactly one week before our son was born and our family had his nursery already set up, even though my wife and I were still living out of boxes.

GPF, however, did not fare as well. Updates dropped from daily to thrice a week for a couple months, then ceased altogether. We were officially on hiatus—for the first time in eight years—which lasted another three months. Updates eventually resumed, but the main comic only updated once per week for over a year. To Thine Own Self..., which was intended to last a single year of daily updates, ended up lasting 28 months. Technically, we've never fully recovered from this change; GPF has updated three times per week since 2008, and I don't see true daily updates returning for the foreseeable future.

Well, the mega-arc curse is back, although so far it isn't quite as devastating. [Crosses fingers, toes, arms, legs, eyes, and as many other appendages as possible.] I usually try to keep my private life off this site, but back in March my job situation changed once again. Glossing over the gory details, my contract with my customer entered a state of flux, essentially forcing me to migrate to the new company taking over the contract or to walk away. I was uncomfortable with the offer the new company gave me, so I resigned my position after a brief extension period. For a few months I went back and forth between searching for new jobs and calling myself a "full time" cartoonist, but financially I knew the latter wouldn't last long.

(While GPF pays for itself and I deeply appreciate the support all of you, especially our Premium subscribers, have given me over the years, the comic still does not pay our mortgage or buy our groceries. It pays our server bill and buys me a new laptop every so many years, but that's about it. I hate to disappoint anyone who believes I have a Scrooge McDuck sized money bin out back that I swim in every morning. It's more like one of those disposable paper bathroom cups on my desk that I can occasionally swirl my finger in some loose change.)

I had a number of interesting job prospects (some of which I'd love to brag about but probably shouldn't), but I eventually took another programming position... in yet another city. Fortunately, this time the circumstances are not nearly as extreme: the new city is still in our home state, and my wife has already been working there for the past several years, alternating between commuting and telecommuting. While telecommuting is a possibility for my new job as well, it won't be ideal, especially if both of us are doing it regularly. So the natural conclusion is that a move is coming. At least this time, the distance is an order of magnitude shorter.

"That's great, but what does that mean for the comic?" you might ask.

Here's the gist: For the moment, I've been able to keep up with my normal production schedule, but just barely. This is frustrating for me because I've entered a critical stage in scripting Scylla and Charybdis and I don't want to screw this section up. That said, the comic is still moving forward, but not as steadily as I want it to. The real problem here is that as my time gets eaten up by the move—looking for then bidding on houses, dealing with mortgages and lawyers, packing, shipping, unpacking, prepping the old house to sell—my "comic time" is going to get heavily restricted. While I still maintain a month plus of buffer (I draw the comic four to five weeks ahead of when it's posted), that buffer may have to slip in the coming months. If that happens too frequently, there's a possibility I have have to cut back on updates or even put the site on temporary hiatus.

To be clear, this is a possibility, not an inevitability. As of this writing, I'm going to try my best to keep the comic moving at its normal pace. However, my family has to come first, and if the comic has to slip for a few weeks, then so be it. I have no intention of putting the comic on hiatus unless absolutely necessary, and given that we're in the middle of a major story arc, I have plenty of incentive to keep it moving. If this situation changes, of course, I will update the News as quickly as possible to let you know.

In the meantime, I hope you're enjoying reading Scylla and Charybdis as much as I've enjoyed writing it. We're finally seeing some plot threads come to fruition that I've been sitting on literally for years, if not over a decade, so I hope I've been throwing you some interesting surprises. If you're enjoying the story, feel free to let me know by dropping me an e-mail, posting on the Forum, or pinging me on social media. (Trust me, when folks don't like the story, they let me know. But I love hearing from those of you who do every now and then as well.)

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