I don’t like talking about the same strip in a two-week period but Chugworth’s got me thinking again.
Today’s strip appears to be dig on the popular practice of making a special entry to mark a certain number strips. You’ve probably seen what I’m talking about. They vary from introducing new characters or storylines to big splash pages that just say, “thanks for reading!” Others bring in guests to help celebrate while others prefer to go for a little misdirection.
This isn’t the first time Chugworth has taken a swing at anniversary strips. They seem to do it quite regularly in fact.
So this got me thinking, do webcomic creators make too big of a deal out anniversaries? Are strips like these really a gift to loyal readers or just a cockamamie pat on their own back? Well call me Mr. Doesn’t-want-to-piss-anyone-off, but I’m just gonna say “yes” and leave it at that.
I think it really does depend on the artist in question. I’m sure some do it with the purest of intentions. Others I’m sure just want us to think they’re great. Others still are probably just making a deal out of it because everyone else does. Because I don’t know what the creators are thinking I’ll leave it up to the masses to pass judgment (because I know you will).
On the whole, I like these special strips. They provide a nice break or a good change for the strip. Webcomic creators work hard and should be recognized for that from time to time.
I will say this though. The frequency of such “anniversaries” really should depend on both the update schedule and the age of the strip. For example a strip that only updates weekly has a lot more to celebrate come 100 than a daily does. The ones been plugging away for almost two years while the other is still relatively new. Also celebrating 100 is fine. Celebrating strip 1300 just because it’s devisable by 100 is a little much. That be like me and my wife celebrate our 66th month anniversary five years from now.
That’s just my take on it. What’s yours?
Writing comic strips is unlike writing a novel. When you only write 8 centimetres of content three times a week it doesn\’t seem like much.
It\’s nice to occasionally note milestones because otherwise you won\’t realise just how large your creation has become. To suddenly notice that you\’ve been doing it for a year and your content would be twelve metres high if laid top to bottom. Well, it\’s a reminder that you work hard and should feel proud of yourself.
Especially considering that 80% of comics stop in the first three months because of rampant apathy.
I guess I didn\’t figure that there was a public perception that I\’m a \”celebrate my anniversary!\” Kind of guy.
In all honesty, sometimes I make an occassion about it, sometimes I won\’t. I\’ve totally forgotten anniversaries that mark the 2nd or 3rd year of the comic being in production, but I\’ll slap something together for my 350th strip. It really depends on whether or not there is a gap between arcs that I can sneak something in. It has to fit. I\’m not going to go out of my way to cram something in.
I could never do a splash page extravaganza because I like to try and maintain the illusion of a fourth wall if I can. Something that is art celebrating an anniversary for the sake of it is not something I would ever be comfortable with. I might mention it in the blog, but never within the continuity of the comic.
I dunno. Sometimes you reach a milestone be it 50 comics, 500 comics, a year or four years and you look back and take stock of the accomplishment.
Sometimes it can be a lonely job putting all this effort into something and not knowing if people are enjoying it or not. Little celebrations lift spirts, keep the energy high and might be a self-motivator in terms of \”let\’s see how long we can keep this going.\”
I don\’t know a lot about Chugworth, but maybe these anniversaries mean less to them because they kind of duck in and out of the comic as they please. I\’m not aware of any set schedule they have. They just kind of update when they feel like it, right?
Apologies if I\’m talking out of school. Like I said, I don\’t know the specifics of their work.
Have to hand it to The Geek. This has got to be one of his best posts.
This is really late but Tom if you read this I didn\’t mean to insinuate(sp?) that you\’re an attention whore or anything. I included your 500th strip because I thought it was a good example, not a bad one. I apologize if you took it otherwise, I should have been clearer.
Just by way of information Chugworth currently tries to update three times a week but don\’t always make it. I\’ve only been reading for the last 70 to 100 strips so they may have started out differently.
Thanks Daku, still, I bow to the master.