Updateson July 18, 2012 at 7:22 pm
Are coming soon! July 19th. 16 pages! The pages are all queued and everything.
And it looks like in my absence, there was quite a bit of discussion over the time it takes to update and why I've been absent. Lot of huge, gigantic paragraphs, which means some of you guys are passionate in your opinions! So I'll address the questions here instead of replying individually.
First off, I'd like to thank everyone for keeping things more or less civil, despite your disagreements. I knew you could do it! It means I'm not pissed off when I write any of this, which is nice for the both of us.
Why don't you post pages more regularly?
Because the story works better in chunks rather than trickles. The flow works better this way. Trying to come up with "punchlines" for the end of every single page wasn't working out. Statistics back me up. Despite the grumbling that comes from taking a long time to update, way more people read the comic when I do it in chapters than when I do it one page per week. And I enjoy drawing it more. And it means that I can make better comics.
Why did you post that poll asking us what schedule we'd prefer if you were going to do your own thing anyway?
I am sincerely sorry if I led you to believe that whatever choice won would be implemented. I needed an idea of how people felt, and maybe if it had been an overwhelming majority of people wanting weekly updates, I'd have kept them, but the results were close enough, with most people voting for weekly updates commenting to say they'd still read them by chapter if that's what happened. And then we go back to those statistics that show more readers are interested in reading the story by the chapter, so I guess the silent, unvoting majority was the true winner here.
Why couldn't you pop in from time to time to give us updates?
Well, I told you guys where I would be. I get that not everyone follows social networks, and not everyone wants to follow an RSS, but, well, that's how I roll? I know I said I'd do a status bar thing, and it was my failure that I didn't keep up with that. It's hard to quantify what percentage of the work is done. One page might take half an hour to sketch, 4 hours to ink, and 5 minutes to tone, while another might take 3 hours to sketch, 2 hours to ink, and 1 hour to tone.
And then... there is this reason that is gonna sound shady but is 100% true. I have a hard time telling the passage of time. I didn't realize it was 2 months gone. I still can't believe it. Just now, 90 minutes passed and I thought it was ten. I think I may be a TARDIS. Had I realized it was so long without an update, I probably would have posted something to let you know I hadn't abandoned this project.
Are you going to give up on this comic?
I read a lot of comics, and hate when they get abandoned, and I made a promise to myself never to do that. If I ever get to the point where I can't continue working on this on my own, I'll hire an artist and just be the writer.
Why does it take so long to update this?
Because I want to do this right. Meaty Yogurt is the comic I have the highest standards for. I draw more backgrounds, more details than any other comic I've ever done. And that takes forever to draw. And writing is tough. It takes just as much time to come up with stuff. In the case of the current chapter, what I wrote 3 months ago is not what is getting posted tomorrow. It took me a long time and a lot of tweaks before the script was what I wanted it to be.
Also, I have 4 comic series running right now. This is the only one that doesn't make me any money. I don't sell merchandise, nobody pays me by the page, ad money is small and goes toward placing ads for this comic on other sites. And right now, doing comics is my only job. I no longer have a day job. So if I want to be responsible, and not lose my house, I have to prioritize paying work over hobby work. This comic is a hobby. My other comics are jobs. That's part of why I want to do this comic in a way that's fun for me (chapterly updates) instead of a way I dislike (weekly updates). Why have a hobby that makes you frustrated? If I ever get to a point where this comic makes me money, I might reconsider how I do it and find a way to do weekly updates that doesn't make me crazy. But there aren't enough pages for a book, the story doesn't lend itself well to merchandising right now, and so it remains a hobby for now.
How can you expect this to go anywhere without regular updates?
It has been brought to my attention, many many times, that Penny Arcade updates every MWF. Many times. But this isn't Penny Arcade. This isn't a cartooney 3-panel strip with a writer and artist that ends in punchlines. It's a more complicated story, with more complicated art, and one person working on it. Homestuck updates sporadically. Octopus Pie updates sporadically. Dresden Codak updates sporadically. Am I on par with them? Nah. But blanket statements like "You can't make it if you don't update a certain way" holds no water, and we need to dispell the myth that every webcomic needs to be compared to Penny Arcade.
Do artists "owe" their audience?
This one's a little more general, without an answer besides opinion. It's actually a debate flourishing amongst webcomics, regular comics, even prose-writers. Are readers entitled to getting new material in a timely manner?
For example, many people are upset that George R. R. Martin is taking so long to write another Game of Thrones book. "We've supported you, bought your previous books, watched the show based on it. And you're old and could die at any moment, so hurry up already!"
That irks me a bit. Even though you did pay for past material, that doesn't entitle you to future material. Unless you preordered something, or in the case of webcomics, there was a donation drive or something that specifically promised more frequent updates if funds were generated (neither of which apply to Meaty Yogurt), then you can't use past purchases as some kind of golden ticket into on-demand new material for the rest of your life.
I get that many of you have supported some of my other projects monetarily. I do appreciate you helping me make a career out of this. But buying a t-shirt from me doesn't grant you the power to dictate what I do and when. It grants you the power of having a new t-shirt.
Thanks for reading all of this, if you did, and for sticking around with this comic, if you did. I'll see you all tomorrow with an update.