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< Piro >

"Things haven't been great, but..."

Tuesday - May 29, 2018

[Piro] - 21:58:42 - [link here]

It has been about a month since Mom entered into Hospice care. The past year or so has been a real struggle for me with her declining health as well as Dad's struggles with advancing Parkinsons. This is my second time dealing with needing Hospice care for a loved one. The last time it was very upsetting and I'm still haunted by the experience, so it was with great reluctance that I agreed to engage Hospice care for Mom. Thankfully, my experience with it this time is better. I'm glad to say that some of it has been a real comfort to her so far, and the additional serivices and support has made a difference. Every day is different, but I take the good ones where I can and try to help Dad with the bad days as much as possible. The rest of the family is doing ok, and Jack is having a particulary good school year, so it's not all bad, but its been a bit of a challenge to balance it all.

All of that is, of course, personal stuff, and I don't mean to burden any of you with it (I seem to have an unending supply of it in recent years). You may have seen my occasional tweet about Hospice care recently or you might be a little surprised to hear of it given how decent comic production has been so far this year. I've been doing my best to keep things balanced and I think i've been doing a reasonably decent job of it, given the circumstances. Even so, I'm working on doing better.

I came to the end of 2017 with a lot of frustration, anger and upsetment over my inability to stay on top of everything. Not only was I struggling with Mom's worstening condition but I was woefully behind in everything - Megatokyo comics, illustrations, backlogged orders, the Megatokyo Visual Novel Project, you name it. In January I sat down and decided "fuck this, I'm going to get on top things." So, I made some goals and I started tackling them.

My first goal was to get the Megatokyo comic rolling more regularly and increase my comic output. This I managed, and I hope you have been enjoying it. There is a LOT going on in the comic right now as we close in on the end of the chapter and it's been kinda fun (and challenging) letting the story go the places it seems to want to take me. Thanks in a great part to your Patreon support, I was able to back off on stand-alone illustration work and focus more on comic production. In April, when things started to really bad with Mom, i did struggle to meet the output of 5 comics per month that I had set for myself, but i've been doing my best to get as close to that goal as I can because i really want to finish this chapter. Four comics this month so far, and while I won't finish the 5th before the end of THIS month, it's already under way. Oh, and I should mention that when i finish this chapter I will have all the material needed for Megatokyo book 7. Not that anyone has been waiting for for that or anything.

My second goal was to catch up with the outstanding MegaGear orders and get fully caught up with the store. I had hoped to have everything caught up by April, but was totally unable to do so. Right now, i have engaged some of my friends to work with me starting this week to help get caught up. The biggest backlog is the pre-orders for the Miho blankets, which I am going ahead with getting ordered and under production so I can mail them out towards the end of next month. I apologize for the long delay in getting these taken care of, but I will keep you updated on the progress of these and other outstanding orders as I work to get through them. Once you get behind on these things, it's very difficult to catch up, which is one of the reasons I am getting some help AND why I decided to move some of my products like t-shirts to third party vendors. It's been years since I've been able to offer Megatokyo shirts mostly because I just could not manage to organize and stock the merchandise I would need to in order to do so. By offering old (and new) designs through the Megatokyo Teespring store, we not only have shirts again, but production and fufillment are outsourced and won't be effected by my own delays and other issues. Thank you for your patience and support, with some effort I should be able to get things caught up and cross this item off of my todo list for 2018.

My third goal for this year was to redress and get production of the Megatokyo Visual Novel project back on track. Last fall, I lost my primary developer which was a real blow and I blame myself entirely for what happened. This has left me with a well developed and customized back end for the game also with a lot of unfinished directions that I need to figure out how to pull together. I also need to resolve a problem that has been plaguing me for years - the seemingly endless and ever changing amount of art resources that I have set myself up to produce. A lot of it has been like redrawing the comic from scratch, and not taking any advantage of the efficient and reasonable use of standard character resources. I have been thinking that the VN i've been trying to make is not what people REALLY want from this game, (specifically, this 'slow animation' thing with artwork resources that needed to be drawn and produced for each and every scene that was causing what has felt like a re-draw of the entire comic). I've been working on re-focusing things to take a more simple and reasonable approach using art resources i've already produced as much as possible and focus on what I think people really want to experience - the alternate storylines and an expansion of the Megatokyo stories of their favorite characters. This is, actually, what my original plan was but I got caught up in the idea of making something more elaborate which in the end here has caused most of the problems and delays in the production of this game.

I'll be posting an update to the Visual Novel KS page soon with more details what I'm planning to do and how it should work. Once again, this was something I had hoped to have well under way back in April and I apologize for the delay in getting to a point I could post an update.

So, my goal of making 2018 a better year has been... well, it's been a struggle, but not a hopeless one. I've made progress on all three of these goals this year - the comic progress is easy to see, the store backlog I can hopefully work through in the next few weeks and the Visual Novel project changes you will be able to see when I can share some of the revised progressions. It seems trite to say "thank you for your patience and I appreciate your support" but... it's not trite. I mean it, and thank you. I blame myself for all of the strugles and for not being able to keep on top of things better. Working to resolve things as best I can is the best and only way to proceed.

I've had a couple of months to adjust to Mom being in Hospice care and there is some hope that maybe she'll rebound a little or at least not get too much worse, and I reserve the right to be positive about things. I've been doing my best through all of this to continue working on my goals for this year and will continune to do so. Thank you for listening to this long overdue rant, I'll try to keep you all updated.

Oh, and I gotta admit, i'm kinda getting tired of hospital rooms. Even in the comic I can't seem to get away from them :)

fredrin

< Chemiclord >

"The Smiling Merchant"

Tuesday - October 23, 2018

[Chemiclord] - 19:39:59 - [link here]

While the manuscript for The Isle of Donne has been difficult (mostly because now I'm at the point where I have to start bringing stuff together to a set point rather than let them meander off wherever), I'm not completely without something to share.

This particular piece is a short story that kinda came about because of a character I liked writing about when the opportunity arose... but there really weren't any real opportunities to do so.  I actually kinda rewrote an entire chapter of The Daynish Campaign in order to give him and his two mentors a bit more screen time.  It's kinda a tale about self-awareness, privilege, and how it can be very, very hard to balance those things with your own troubles.

Ah well, I've never been terribly good at lead-ins or promotions... so I'll just let ya get to it.

The Smiling Merchant

(Yes, I know.  It's a PDF file.  Yes, I know some people don't like that format.  It'll be okay.  I promise.)

 

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