It came to my attention last night that some people were missing the stickmen cartoons. This was nice to know, as I’d always wondered if anyone actually found them entertaining or not and occasionally found myself suffering from a bit of a “crisis of confidence”, thinking they were crap, not funny or whatever. I’m usually fairly confident in my creative work, but I think at the back of my mind was the knowledge that bad webcomics often get ridiculed, and I really don’t like being ridiculed. Call me irrational like that.
Of course, the pretty limited audience this blog has probably means that the vast majority of the Internet had no idea of the existence of that cartoons, so there’s that.
I have a bit of a love-hate relationship with the cartoons, if I’m honest. I genuinely love the characters I’ve created, even if they’re silly, stereotypical and don’t have any really meaningful depth. It’s also nice to occasionally drop in a guest character based on someone I know — that has never been received negatively, even though I spend much too long worrying about whether their stickmen representation actually looks anything like them. (note to self: they’re stickmen. If you think you’re going to make them realistic, you are Doing It Wrong.)
At the same time, it adds a bunch of extra work to my daily blog posts (you’d be surprised how much I agonise over getting those crap drawings just right) and also means that if I’m away from my Mac — which has the software I use to make the comic layouts — I can’t do them easily. It irks me somewhat if I’ve started doing them daily again and then suddenly have to leave a gap. Sometimes I end up not starting again after said gap, which I think is probably what happened last time. Or possibly just laziness and/or starting to write when I just really wanted to go to bed.
I also get a bit hung up on trying to tie the strip and the blog post together, and sometimes there’s nothing funny in the post I can spin out into a comic. In particular if I’m writing about something personal or upsetting, cracking a joke about it can feel a little flippant or insensitive. (Can you be insensitive towards yourself? I guess so.) The solution to this is, of course, simply to not be too attached to the concept of the strip and the post having anything to do with one another, and dealing with situations where penis jokes might not be appropriate as they arise.
So there you are. Those are the things that go through my head regarding the stickmen, and the reasons why sometimes I stop for a little while. Since they apparently have a small but dedicated following, however, I will certainly do my best from this point on to keep them coming! (hurr hurr, you said “coming” — Phillipe)