This past year at NY Comic Con I had the pleasure of sharing a booth next to author Rich White of Nightwolf Graphics about the importance of meeting your regularly scheduled updates. He and I are both avid readers of other web comics. He brought up the point that there are a lot of web comics that he reads that are brilliant, but many never meet the deadlines they set for themselves. In light of taking my first break in four years from drawing my own web comic, I thought I would share my thoughts on the subject.
Many people have asked me why I only update Suburban Fairy Tales three times a week. Others have asked how I’m able to do as many as three days a week. The reality is that you need to pick a schedule that works for you and stick to that schedule. I know I can do three comics a week no problem, which is why I picked that schedule. Could I do seven strips a week? Probably — but it’s possible I might miss a regularly scheduled day here or there and for me this is unacceptable. If I promise my readers seven comics a week I need to deliver seven comics a week, rain or shine. If I promise them three, then I’d better deliver three. Nothing annoys a reader more than a comic that misses a regularly scheduled update.
Once and a while a comic strip might take some time off, which is what I’m doing for the first week of January. That’s okay — but I believe you should let your readers know when (or if) you plan to return. There are so many web comics that I have read that have just stopped updating without informing their readers what the status is on updates or whether or not they ever plan to return. If you want to stop drawing for a while (or forever) that is absolutely your right as a creator — but you owe it to the readers who stuck with you some sort of explanation.
So to sum it all up, my belief as a web cartoonist is that you should pick a schedule you know you can meet and do it. If you can meet the schedule that you set for your web comic, you’ll not only feel proud of yourself every time you update, but your readers will appreciate it too.