It's finally here, folks! #500 has finally arrived! I'm so happy I could pass the fuck out and sleep for a goddamn year. This sprawling epic of cartoon visualry took over two calendar months to complete; the last comic went up on Halloween, and it's already 2014 now. And it really did take that long - I was nearing the end of it, going "Alright! Now all I need to do is add shading and I'm good!" 40 hours later, I was still at my drawing tablet, not having slept, saying "I'm sure if I don't take any breaks I'll be able to get it up by 2014." It was a long, slow, arduous process, that pushed my skills to the limit, and kept you guys waiting for two whole months. And for that, you all have my deepest gratitude, and my most heartfelt apologies. But more than anything, I think you guys deserve an explanation.
When I was first planning this comic, I figured it would take me about 2-3 weeks to finish. I thought, "It's about the size of 10 regular comics, so it should take me about 10 times as long." And if I had half-assed it, it probably would have gone like that. But there was no way I was going to half-ass THIS. I was going to make sure this was the best thing I had ever drawn, and I was going to take as long as I needed to make sure it was done the way I wanted it to be done. The sketching started out really slow; I was drawing a lot of things I had never drawn before - new poses, new NPCs, backgrounds, motorcycles, pianos, God in a yellow jacket, etc. And as you've heard me say previously, whenever I draw a new thing for the first time, it always takes me forever to figure out. So not only was I being meticulous with my existing characters, I was also figuring out how to draw all these new things. There were times when I'd spend an entire day figuring out a single panel. And once that part was done, and I could finally move on to outlining, coloring, and shading, then it just became 10-comics-worth of busy work for each step. It was fucking slooooooow, and it was torture.
But the worst part about it was knowing that I was keeping you guys waiting in the meantime. To the people going through the archive for the first time: you guys are seeing this page right after the previous page, with no wait time in between. But everyone else - all the older readers, the ones who were with me since the very beginning, the ones who have made these first two years nothing but amazing - they had to wait two whole months for it. I would not be surprised if some of them left and will never come back because of this. But I didn't care. I realized after starting this comic that I didn't care how long it took, or how many readers I might lose because of it. All I cared about was making it the best I could possibly make it. Making it something that I could look back on and be proud of, for all time. And seeing the comic now, finally complete, I think I succeeded. But I wasn't just doing it for myself, of course. I'm also doing it for all of you guys, so that every time you go back through the archives, this comic will be there, waiting for you, in all its glory. And I'm doing it for all the future readers, who will get to enjoy this comic without any of the wait. I know it must have been frustrating for you guys, and that fucking sucks and I'm sorry I had to put you through that. But honestly, the worst possible thing in my mind would have been to upload this comic after 2-3 weeks, and have it SUCK. I only hope that after all this time waiting, the final product was still worth it. Otherwise I may have just wasted the last two months.
But now that it's finally done and over, it's time to look towards the future. I'm going to be restarting my M-W-F upload schedule immediately, starting this Monday. There are plenty of comics I've been wanting to draw these past two months, all of which I've had to hold off on, but now I can finally get to them. As for emails, this comic comes with a special announcement. Over the past year, emails have been getting inceasingly more difficult to keep up with. And as many of you have noticed, my responses have either been coming incredibly late, or not at all. I've read every single email I've received, but responding to them is time consuming, especially since I like them to be personal. And once I starting falling behind, it basically had a snowball effect. I'd see all the emails I still needed to reply to, and get discouraged, and end up not replying to any. And then more would come in, and I'd get even MORE discouraged, and so on, and so on. But emails and recommendations aren't something I want to have to give up; they're one of the best ways I have for finding new music, from all over the world. And so, instead of doing away with emails, I am simply going to press the "Restart" button. I'm going to delete all the old emails I haven't responded to yet, and start fresh once again, answering every new email and listening to every recommendation I receive from now on. Unfortunately for all the people who sent me one in the past year: I'm sorry, but I won't be replying to you (if I haven't already). I still read your email, but you won't be getting a response from me. If you want to, or if you have a recommendation that you really want me to see, feel free to write again and send me a new email. I'll be getting to all of them much faster now.
And now, I think it's time for me to finally sleep, knowing that my comic is done, and with a new start going into the year ahead of me. I'll leave you all with an amazing piece of fan art I received this week, from DSDarren. He's the man responsible for the amazing album artwork on FamilyJules7x's new winter-themed album, Sno-stalgia, and he was kind enough to grace us with his excellence. Apparently I'm a very fun person to draw, which isn't surprising, since I'm awesome. Thank you, Darren, for being wonderful, and thank you to all you guys out there who have been patiently awaiting my return. I love you all. <3