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Achewood goes on hiatus

Chris Onstad’s webcomic Achewood is going on hiatus – at least temporarily. Chris outlines his plans on a temporary blog after the news swamped his servers.

On why he’s putting it on the backburner:

Another nagging idea which slowly grew from a whorl in the tub to a Pacific gyre was that, as I wrote piece after piece, it seemed like I was just imitating myself, if that makes any sense. I had always prided myself on not being formulaic (say, Monday jokes and lasagna jokes), so this presented a grave problem. I have always wanted Achewood to be something that didn’t exist before, including earlier versions of itself.

Like a sparrow birthing a clenched human fist, Achewood must be reborn in strange ways over time to achieve this ideal. This may mean the occasional hiatus, or span of dark strips that do not make you laugh. This may mean a week of heavily-Photoshopped scans of pencil sharpeners, or simply stenciling a “bobby” on my garage door in a cheap imitation of Banksy.

His plans:

In sum, I think Achewood will be back sooner than later. As will other projects, and the sun, and my solo album with Greg Lake (he’s on vocals and guitar). I’ve needed time to reflect on what all this is, but it’s been a good long time, hasn’t it? I still love the work when I look back over it, and don’t want to take it off the ventilator. Cross your fingers, do that RSS thing, and I hope to see you again before too long.

He says he’ll continue to provide the FanFlow subscriber.

Achewood started in 2001, won the Ignatz Awards in 2007 and 2008 and was named by Time Magazine as the best graphic novel of 2007.

Community Comments

#1 Corey Pandolph
@ 6:17 pm

Man, can I relate. I hope people leave him alone and respect his decision for what it is.

But they won’t. This is the Internet, after all.

#2 DJ Coffman
@ 6:58 pm

Yeah, there’s nothing wrong with taking a rest, or possibly finding a way to cook a better egg. What a great run so far.

#3 Marc Davidson
@ 8:12 pm

>>to be intensely praised and intensely hated by a decade?s worth of strangers. I loved meeting the thousands of kind readers on my tours, but the stress of the constant travel, constant demand, and unstanchable 24-hour communications have me longing for a…<<<

Who is this guy… Justin Bieber?

#4 Tony Piro
@ 10:44 pm

Just to follow up, here is a nice post by Kris Straub

#5 Mike Peterson
@ 3:59 am

Mark — He’s a successful web cartoonist, which means, yeah, he needs to not only produce the “product” but get out there and interact with his fans. There’s a big difference between selling something to a syndicate who will sell it to a couple of dozen editors (who will then put it on autopilot and forget you exist) and selling each view directly to individual readers, each of whom feels that you are personal friends.

I can understand feeling a little burned out by that.

#6 Tony Piro
@ 9:33 am

I would be interested in hearing your guys feelings on this… One of the things that I really respected about Chris Onstad’s work was that he always put the art first, as I think his blog post really highlights. At the same time, personally, I would rather do everything I can to make money as easily as possible with my comic, so that I do have more time to focus on creating the art rather than peddling products and so on. In particular, I was always curious about Onstad’s decision to not put ads on his site. Perhaps he felt that his audience was not the kind that would support such intrusion, and he could ultimately cultivate a more dedicated audience without ads. But at the same time, an extra $1k per month or so, even if that’s not nearly enough to live on, would help relieve the pressure to monetize in other ways that may be more time intensive.

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