February 26, 2012

August The 16th

After five and a half years, time has ended for August The 15th. No, I don't mean the final act of a sequel to the film Groundhog Day, it's my official announcement that my ill-conceived and dust-collecting webcomic is mercifully being put out of its misery.

A little background on the comic: My original career aspiration had been becoming a cartoonist until my senior year in high school, when I fell in love with writing and focused on being a novelist. Years later, when I discovered webcomics online, I figured I could live out my original career choice on my own terms as a hobby. The topic I settled on was to portray incidents in my own life; either exaggerated for humorous effect, or complete factual retellings since reality can oft be funnier than fiction. I named the comic August The 15th after my date of birth after looking for inspiration for a title and having my eyes fall upon the Friday the 13th movies in my DVD library. Since I had no deadline or real goals for the strip, I updated at my own leisure, sometimes making new ones every few days, or spacing them out between weeks or even months. I published my first strip on August 15th, 2006, and the last one I ever made was uploaded on December 30th... of 2007. In that year and a half, I managed to crank out a paltry 23 strips.

I always had the intention of going back to it when I got my time more organized, even keeping an extensive list of notes and sketches for future comics. Just last December, in my Christmas card to the world, I made a collage of sorts featuring all of my major projects going on at the time. On the rightmost side of the picture are the main players of August The 15th. This "shoutout" was my way of saying (basically to myself) that my old project was coming back.

However, as I was gathering up all my scrambled notes and sketches to prepare for the revival, I stumbled upon a horrible truth about the whole thing: my ideas for strips, past and present, seemed to mostly consist of inside jokes only myself and few others would understand, and punchlines that only I would "get". The rest were just flat-out lame. True, there were some winners in the batch, but the amount of losers far outweighed those. Some were based on timely events that have long since become irrelevant, and knowing me, any other attempt to make a strip based on current topics would face a huge delay of inactivity, thus rendering them worthless. Hell, even looking back on a few of the strips that were actually completed and uploaded online make me cringe with embarrassment.

I just could not commit to a revival of something that even I couldn't get behind. I have since started removing all traces of this failed project from the world, but I don't hate it in the sense that I would shy away from discussion about it. It'll be the forgotten and unloved child that I screwed up in raising, with the mistakes made in its upbringing being used as lessons in what to avoid in my future ventures. With this said, I'm not done with making an Internet based comic, but I've settled for an idea that is more up my alley. Oddly enough, it's one of the original ideas I passed upon when coming up with a strip because I didn't feel I could do it justice. But now, with many years passed and gaining much experience in drawing, I'm ready to take this one on with renewed vigor.
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