James sums it up nicely above.
Submitted by Shepherd on February 20, 2009 - 06:35
Well, mixed feelings here.
This is obviously the end of Man-Man, after nearly a decade of Internet-driven madness. I probably shouldnâ€™t say â€œthe end,â€ because James and I may well decide to revisit the world and its characters, but knowing my own track record for following up on dropped projects, I have to be honest and say that there isnâ€™t a huge potential for more runs at olâ€™ Drake.
It has, obviously, been a lot of fun working on this, and Iâ€™ve learned a lot as a writer: the most important thing I think being economy â€” writing a strip comic that adheres pretty rigorously to a four-panel format means there are no words to waste, and since Iâ€™m a terribly sprawling and self-indulgent writer that was a massive, massive challenge.
Iâ€™ve also learned that Iâ€™m not terribly funny â€” funny enough,, I suppose, but not Kristopher Straub funny or Ryan North funny. Funnyish. It sounds weird to say that one thing I learned from writing a comedy strip for seven years is that writing comedy strips is not my fortÃ©, but there you go: I can do the funny, but doing the funny every fourth panel, every day, year in and year out is a rare and amazing gift, and I definitely recognize that talent far more now than I ever have before.
James has poured heart and soul into it, and if you go back to the earliest strips you can see the growth there (itâ€™s easier with artists!) and now heâ€™s rocking his own daily strip at Pitabow Comics, which everyone should bookmark and visit daily. Man-Man got me in touch with Roy Boney, which led to Dead Eyes Open, which has in turn led to a lot of little comics sidelines that are starting to bear fruit for me, so I owe this strip for all of that.
On the whole, warts and all, I think the strip has been a success. It started from a very simple premise, and from there James and I built a full-functioning world, a huge cast, an internal logic and a massive through line: a story arc that starts off being about Paul, but kind of ends up being about Man-Man. I like the way this wraps up. Itâ€™s open-ended and inconclusive and weird and uncertain, which is a lot like life.
I think Iâ€™ll miss Gutsy and Vivisectus the most.
So what can you do when thereâ€™s no Man-Man around? Well, Jamesâ€™ daily strip is excellent (see link above), and Iâ€™m going to be MUCH more diligent about posting at my blog. Iâ€™ve got two comics coming out in â€˜09, one an adaptation of the novel Captain Blood from SLG, the other a sci-fi/adventure series from Ape called RPM. Rise, Kraken! has sort of hit a stall, but hopefully weâ€™ll pull out of it and get that book out there this year as well. Updates will always be at my blog, so please do pull and RSS feed out of there and keep in touch.
Thanks for reading.