Why I Don't Do Webcomics Any More

(NOTE: Based on time elapsed since the posting of this entry, the BS-o-meter calculates this is 15.678% likely to be something that Ferrett now regrets.)

There’s something hinky on my computer, so I’m running a full scan of the hard drive before I do any more sensitive work for my day job.  And in the downtime, I figure I might as well answer a question:
Why am I not doing any webcomics these days?
It’s not for lack of desire, I assure you; I really miss doing Home on the Strange, which was sort of a Twitter-before-I-had-a-Twitter.  For example, if I had a webcomic, today’s Twitter thought – “I think that just as all biology classes should discuss creationism, all astronomy classes should discuss the terror of Galactus” – would have been a much funnier comic, a la SMBC’s recent (r)evolution discussion.  And it would have been passed around a lot more, as comics are much more likely to get StumbleUponed than mere Twitter statuses, which always makes me happy.
So why not start a webcomic?  Hell, I’ve registered two domains just in case I decide to get back in the game. I’m a better writer, with better understanding of the format that I had back in 2006.  It could be fulfilling.
Well, first off… I can’t draw.  At all.  (No, seriously – check out my guest week strip.)  And yes, I know Howard Tayler started out with only slightly better artwork than I did, but I just don’t have the time to devote to learning a new skill at this point.  Nor would I particularly enjoy writing cut-and-clip strips like, say, Wondermark or Married to the Sea, or PartiallyClips – part of my joy of writing comics is coming up with bizarre visuals and then watching them come to life.
So that involves getting an artist.  There’s two ways of doing that; the first was what I did with Roni on Home on the Strange, which is to take on a co-partner.  And I don’t want that.  If I did a webcomic, I’d want it to be my vision, without the creative frictions that inevitably led to the ending of HotS.  Essentially, I want to say to someone, “Here’s what I wrote, draw the damn thing.”
Doing that, I’d feel bad about having someone do it for what is, essentially, free.  HotS was starting to earn some Olive Garden money near the end of its run, but I don’t like the idea of compensating artists with just “exposure!” – the ones willing to work for free often that good, and the ones that are good should do better than being paid the pennies that would come from a Project Wonderful Ad.  For My Name Is Might Have Been, I wound up paying Avery Liell-Kok out of pocket for each strip – a pittance, given what she was worth (and I’m glad to see her have gone on to better things), but I was still in the hole for a couple hundred dollars a month.  Doing that for vanity was just too much.
So in an ideal world, I’d find a good, regular artist who was willing to work for the love of it, without any creative input, for as long as I wanted.  Not gonna happen.  So my webcomics ideas have remained, well, in my head.  Perhaps mercifully so.
In the meantime, for preparation of one of these non-existent webcomics, I had Rich Morris (the excellent artist behind Yet Another Fantasy Gamer Comic) draw me up two samples.  It occurs to me that I’ve never posted them, so here: have a look at what might have been.
Glenn Miller's Greatest Hits, Track 1
It Really Works
(Speaking of My Name Is Might Have Been, at some point I swear I will write up what happened in the end game. I just need to put together my notes. Probably some time before 2020.)


  1. CalebD
    Aug 22, 2012

    You could always learn to draw, I suppose.

    • CalebD
      Aug 22, 2012


      • CalebD
        Aug 22, 2012

        What about using existing images, ala A Softer World or (I think) Wondermark?

  2. Angela
    Aug 23, 2012

    I love the test strips, though.

  3. Econg
    Apr 4, 2013

    FWIW, even though it essentially ended years ago, I really miss “My Name is Might Have Been”. It was a helluva good trip, interesting world, interesting metaphysics, interesting built-in unknowns. To this day, I still wish I could have seen how it went on for at least a little longer and it was the perfect kind of story to tell in a comicbook format. I do hope that it gets resurrected someday, somehow.

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