I feel I’m reaching what perhaps is a watershed moment in my progression as an amatuer cartoonist. It’s been over a year and a half since I launched the Wizard of Quippley and I feel the need to reevaluate my goals for the comic, and for myself.
I’ve spent a lot of time in the past few years researching and learning about the world of webcomics. I am a member of Webcomics.com. I listen to podcasts, read blog posts, watch videos that can offer me insight and direction when it comes to pursuing a creative career online. There are many opinions out there on the subject and, although at times they are conflicting, there is much to learn. But there comes at time when an individual needs to extricate himself from all the noise of the community around him and decide–quite clearly–what he should do.
I’ve been dividing my energy into too many channels. To be fair, there are many hats a modern cartoonist can wear, if he so chooses. It is a business and, to be successful at it, you need to be a businessman. But first and foremost I want to be an artist. I want to be a storyteller. I have little love for crunching numbers, tracking web traffic, selling ad space, or promotion.
If I want this website to be a business, and be so successful that I can making a living from it, I’d have to do certain things. But I don’t want this to be a business, at least not right now. I don’t think this website will ever be like PvP, or the stalwarts that have gone before me and created this industry. I don’t know if I will ever collect all the comics I’ve made into a book and sell it. I don’t even know if I can parlay this thing into a career as a comic artist at all. All I do know is that I have a story to tell. And I’m going to tell it.
So I won’t be running ads on my pages anymore. I won’t be analyzing or agonizing over my pageviews or the number of comments a comic garners. I know there are tricks to getting people to share my stuff over Facebook, or Twitter or Reddit, but I don’t care about that anymore. I care about Algerbane. I care about Peter. I care about their story and journey. And I’m going to do my best to pursue it.
Maybe ten years from now, when WoQ is just a distant memory, my skills as a cartoonist will have improved to the point that I’m a professional. Maybe I’ll be publishing books, maybe I’ll be running my own business. Maybe, I don’t know. What I do know is right now I’m learning. Right now I’m figuring this all out.
It’s a journey, but one I won’t make in vain. Wizard of Quippley has it’s worth and I intend to tell the full story, whether or not it makes me money. In the end I’ll be the better for it, and so will everyone who stops by to see it.