Wednesday, May 27, 2015

The Last "Last Mechanical Monster"

An early sketch of the Inventor toting his box of old vacuum tubes to Lillian's repair shop.
I kept a notebook by my bed to capture ideas that came as I woke up. This was one.

Yesterday I posted the final page of my Last Mechanical Monster webcomic. I published two per week since November 2013 and am proud to say that in 170 pages I never missed a deadline.

However, I confess that the four-month backlog I began with evaporated to about two weeks' lead time at one point, until I fought back to being about a month ahead by the end. If I had advice for potential webcomic creators that'd be near the top: don't even start posting until you've got a big cushion built up, then don't let it slip away. One of the points of doing a webcomic is practicing professionalism. Pros hit deadlines.

I won't repeat what I wrote over at my webcomic's "Coda," which you can go read if you're interested. I will say that it's been an interesting, gratifying experience. The Last Mechanical Monster developed a nice little fan base that grew over time, as I'd hoped. A few noteworthy mentions on other sites brought surges of curious readers for a couple of days, some of whom seemed to stick around. Nothing spun the ol' visitor counter faster than a mention on Metafilter following the announcement of our Eisner Award nomination in April. Not even close. At times like that you really get a visceral, almost scary feel for the power of the Internet when roused from its slumber to focus its gaze on you.

It's like this.

The Last Mechanical Monster was a story I wanted to tell, struggled a few years figuring out how to tell (you may recall my tale about drawing 110 pages of it before deciding I didn't like that version and starting over from scratch), and then sat down and did it. Sitting down and doing it is where a lot of creative people get hung up, but there's no short cut or substitute. Ideas and good intentions are useless if you don't execute. One day you've got to turn a blank sheet of paper into Page 1. That's very hard to do!

It's been great. Meanwhile, I'm knee-deep in a new project I've never discussed publicly, but which my editor and I think would make a terrific book. More on that when appropriate. I've got one or two other potential projects lined up behind that one. There's also a possibility that The Last Mechanical Monster will be published in full color, but no contracts have been signed so that's all I can say about that. Too many ideas, not enough time.

Thanks to my Last Mechanical Monster readers. Thanks to two different panels of Eisner Award judges who thought it worth nominating for Best Digital Comic two years in a row. Thanks to the folks who reviewed, mentioned, or linked to my comic, it made a big difference. From my perspective the whole project couldn't have gone better, and I appreciate it.

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