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A Scarcity of Pears

While I love teaching, it sure hasn’t left me much time to update pear-pear. The irony is that I’m constantly telling my students to budget their time and I can’t seem to do so myself. There are other teacher-webcomickers that get along fine and provide me a good example to follow.

I could probably pop off a comic every other day if I didn’t have the annoying habit of constantly increasing my expectations for myself. The strip has evolved from something spontaneous to something carefully constructed, and I find more enjoyment in composing visual elements in a panel than dashing off something “quirky.” One problem is, then, that it takes time to sit down and go through a process of weighing line, light and dark, and narrative consistency, and time I do not have. (I'm only able to write this because of time off for memorial day weekend.)

Another problem is that I am too choosy about the aces up my sleeve and therefore decide not to play any. There are many characters and plot arcs waiting in the wings. But I find it cheap and distasteful to introduce new characters unnecessarily when there is still more development of the main characters’ relationship to be done. There were other places to go in Chico and The Man’s relationship, for example, before Scatman Crothers jived his way into the garage. Unnecessary development of secondary characters is also annoying--in the Simpsons, we don’t need or want to know about Moe’s private struggles. Even Bill Watterson fell victim to this “character set expansion” urge and introduced Uncle Max--though he quickly realized the error.

And thus, paralyzed by lack of time and snobbery of narrative, I’m drawing comics at a rate just lower than once per month. This will not do.

Luckily, the school year is almost over, and the summer will provide me time not only to draw more comics, but also to develop the site’s navigation and content.