The 3x a week Grind ends its first month with just over half of its contestants still in the running. And almost everyone who ended said the same thing. They intend on continuing to update, maybe not on a 3x a week schedule, but at least once a week, maybe twice a week. And yet… events seem to conspire against this.
Brockway (of Swords are Cool) was shipped overseas, presumably to Iraq. War… just vanished, though rumors claim he’s in America right now, riling up trouble. Pimpette has stated outright she’s only taking a week hiatus to get things together… but I’m adopting a wait and see policy. Mercury Hat is taking half of July off, and Operation TC is on indefinite hiatus. Nary a word about what’s up with TLH’s Twice Destined.
Is the Lazy Grind cursed? Will each additional strip that falters go on hiatus, whether it’s short or long term?
I’ve got to wonder. It does make some sense to take a little time out and rethink an updating strategy. It’s difficult updating three times a week, even with a news strip format comic. None of the strips in the Lazy Grind use that format; it seems that with updating less than 5x a week, people feel obligated to give more comic for the update. And things seem to escalate from there.
Let’s look at one of the longer-running 3x a week strips that hasn’t missed an update yet, Nukees. This is one of the cornerstones of Keenspot Comics. It updates three times a week, like clockwork, with a simple black and white news strip format. It’s about Nuclear Engineers, even! But it’s still fairly popular (popular enough that when Gav links me in his news section, I get a big hit in visits at least). Nukees seems to show that you don’t need extra art or fancy colors in order to have an audience.
And no, Mr. Bleuel is not bribing me with Guinness to say that. Not at all. The Guinness bottle was definitely empty by the time it reached my mailbox.
Still, something that Darren stated recently stands out: It’s amazing how occasional feedback like this can lift my spirits and reinforce my interest in the strip.
Indeed, I still have the old comments from my own failed web comic in my forum board. Every comment helped fuel my enthusiasm. Every cry for a new update struck home and (until I went on permanent hiatus) helped urge me to do the next strip. Maybe what these people need most is for fans to let them know we’re still behind them. And I’m not talking with baseball bats.
Maybe we should let the dropouts of the 3x Grind know that we’re still interested in their strips. Then and only then, maybe they’ll come out of hiatus and continue their stories.