< Piro >
Monday - August 27, 2001
Last night, while drawing frames for the next comic, i did some thinking. I was still a little sore from helping my sister move into her new apartment on Saturday, and I had spent a good 4 hours wrestling with script changes and other MT stuffs for the earlier part of the day. Once again, it didn't look like i would be able to upload a new comic Sunday night. Since I haven't really been on the M/W/F schedule for over a month, I don't think anyone was really expecting it. Personally, I was once again frustrated by my inability to reach what is, really, a personal goal - three comics a week, uploaded and ready to view monday, wednesday and friday morning at 1:00 am.
Ever since Megatokyo started, and even moreso recently, just about every comic that goes up goes live about 10 seconds after i finish the thing. In the world of professional syndicated comics this is a horrifying concept - it leaves no room for error, no room for a bad night, no room for artists block, nothing. In fact, oddly enough, it has the feel of live performance - you have to sit down and draw it right the first time, and there are no second takes. If you get behind, it's even harder to catch up - i got one day behind schedule several weeks ago, and i've been unable to really catch up yet. It's like continually tripping over your feet, never actually getting your balance back.
My initiall reactions to missed goals like this is to blame myself, my lack of planning, my lack of dedication, etc, etc - all those things that really don't do a damn thing to do with the real reason for missing goals. After wacking yourself in the head with a board for a few hours, and the self pity and loathing has run it's course, you can start thinking about what the *real* problems are - and what you can do to fix it.
Sometimes the solution to your problems is not only right before your eyes, but sometimes it's already in place and you don't even realize it. Stubbornly insisting on doing a 3 comics a week schedule has not given me any chances to get ahead, and in fact, i've fallen behind schedule (and i can't get up! (gak)). People have suggested that I take a whole week off and just get ahead. I don't feel good about that concept. I've had to take time off from MT for travel and other things - more time wouldn't be fair to people. It's also been suggested that I drop down to doing 2 comics a week rather than three. I've resisted that idea, but the truth is... that's what's been happening, whether I like it or not.
So, rather than fight this - i'm going to take advantage of it. For the next four weeks, we're going to switch to a Tuesday Thursday schedule - new comics will go up Tuesday and Thursday morning at 1am EST. I will still be pushing to finish 3 comics a week, but this way I might have a chance of getting ahead a little. The status bar thing is great, but I haven't been too happy with the 'new comic will go up when it's done' thing. I think that you folks deserve to be able to find a new comic here on a reliable schedule - for instance, you will know that when you get to work on tuesdays and thursdays, there will be a new comic waiting to view when you get there. A month from now, hopefully we can return to the 3 a week schedule, where you can reliably expect a comic to appear when they are supposed to.
I think that getting ahead is important for several reasons. First of all, even tho you have all be great and supportive about the flexible schedule lately, it's not a very professional thing to be doing. I want to see MT continue to grow and gain respect as a professional peice of work - reliablility is, i think, an important part of that. Secondly, there is something satisfying about hitting your schedule, and concequently something very unsettling about always being 'late', even if it is a self-imposed schedule. By switching to Tuesday/Thursday for a while, I'm gonna feel a hell of a lot better about it when i do post the comics. The third thing is, and I don't think most people realize this but... it can take as much time or longer to write a good script as it does giving Largo and I more room for planning, real life disasters and maybe even raw moments of pure laziness. Plus there is that (grumble) site re-design that we've been working on...
For those of you who think that i'm getting lazy - that's not the case at all. When Megatokyo was a 3 panel comic, I would typically have to draw 4 drawings per comic. The new format usually calls for anywhere between 6 and 10 drawings - recently it's been averaging around 9 drawings. With the old format - it was a total of 12 drawings a week. With this format, it can be anywhere from 18 to 30 drawings a week - i can draw a lot faster than i used to, but certainly not fast enough to actually catch up at that rate. And people wonder why I haven't posted any sketches at Fredart lately... every drawing moment gets absorbed my Megatokyo. One thing I'll try to do with the looser schedule for the next four weeks is try to get a few more free-sketches online. My old site deserves a *little* attention. ^_^
Anywhoo, i think that this will be a good thing for Megatokyo, so i appreciate your patience with me. No more 'gee, is there a comic yet?' - for the next four weeks, there WILL be a new comic tuesday morning and thursday morning. I can pretty much guarentee that you will find new sketches showing up on Fredart, as well as some overlooked things that need to be fixed on this site (like the character bios)
I really wish Largo knew what we were doing. It would make all this so much easier. :)