- So end of last week, I noticed that It’s Willis! has got a new site set up, ready to go with a day-for-day re-presentation of the Its Universe! comics, in the best reading order, on account of next Monday marks the fifteenth anniversary of his various comickin’ endeavours.
Along those lines, next Monday also marks the second anniversary of Dumbing of Age. If I’m following the story’s chronology correctly, there have been two weekends since, which means we’ve got a rate of approximately one week (story time) per year (real time). At this rate, we can expect the DoA characters to hit midterms in around 2018, finish up the first semester and head out for Christmas break around 2024, and to graduate (assuming that Willis! only focuses on in-school time and everybody gets the classes they need on their schedules) sometime around SDCC 2138.
That is gonna be one monster of a collected-strip omnibus edition, with a cost estimated upwards of US$14,000 (in 2138 dollars; adjusting for inflation, you ought to be okay if you set twenty or thirty bucks aside in a savings account and let the miracle of compound interest do its thing¹).
- There’s one less webcomic hanging about this morning² as Jason Viola’s Herman the Manatee flaps his flippers one last time. It’s actually been a long time coming, with the final story arc starting last year, getting interrupted by the vagaries of life, reaching a formal finish to the storyline last month, and finishing up on a rather sweet little coda today. Having an oft-interrupted strip finally reach an end ordinarily wouldn’t be enough for me to post about it, but Viola’s valedictory post caught my eye:
Herman the Manatee began four years ago as a joke among friends. It has, of course, remained a joke among friends, but there are now many more of them. Still just the one joke, though. I had no idea I would be drawing it for this long; in my mind, I’ve always been six months away from ending the strip.
The sixth month has finally arrived. I’m sad to say goodbye to Herman but relieved as well – he has always made it difficult when I want to work on new things. I have more stories I’m excited to tell and I’m looking forward to having the time and space to draw them.
It’s that bit about feeling held back by a creation, wanting to tell new stories and finding an existing work getting in the way; it’s a larger version of the writer’s dictum to kill your darlings, and I expect that being willing to send Herman off to that tropical lagoon in the sky means that what we see next from Viola will be the better for it. Le lamantin est mort, vive le comique prochaine.
¹ Predictions may need to be adjusted due to intervening global monetary collapses, Mayan apocalypses, Ragnaroks, alien invasions, or societal evolutions into a more enlightened politico-economic model that no longer predicates itself on the accumulation of wealth from a basis of scarcity. Consult a qualified financial advisor for any questions regarding the tax implications of the DOGSTORM.
² Let’s be realistic — there’s probably anywhere from a few dozen to a few thousand webcomics that have ceased updating today; if you want an approximation of how many there might actually be, feel free to hit up Randall Munroe with that particular puzzler but don’t expect a satisfying answer as webcomics are well known to defy the laws of physics. In any event, we are for the moment talking about webcomics that had a regular, ongoing update history and an audience that would come out to shows and such.