Hey everyone, the comic may be done, but that doesn’t mean the reading is! Confused? Don’t be! I’m writing to announce the launch of the Kickstarter for The Center of Somewhere vol. 2: All Over But the Shouting! This 112-page book will collect the final two years of the strip in its full-color entirety! The Kickstarter runs until Thursday, March 3, but don’t wait! Contribute now and get one of NINETEEN different backer rewards! There’s so much fun to be had you won’t know what to do with yourself! But seriously, if you can support it, great. Any help would be very much appreciated.
Here we are. The end. When I started this comic in 2012, I wanted to do something different. I wanted to shed some of the cynical humor I had been writing up until then and I wanted to write something all-ages friendly. Something you could read to escape from the woes of the world, even for just a few minutes. Something, for lack of a better term, that would be a safe space on the Internet. Three and a half years and 798 strips later, I think I did that. I’m happy with what I did here. I created something fun, something I really enjoyed writing and drawing, something that challenged me creatively and let me have the freedom my previous comics didn’t always allow me.
I always knew my other comics would have finite runs. The end of “Moon Freight 3” was planned almost from the beginning, “The Gang From the Store” was only ever meant to have 64 installments, and “Drawn Away” would only last as long as my trip around America did. But “The Center of Somewhere” did not. I designed it to be open-ended because life is open-ended. As one story ends another begins and that means anything can happen. If things had gone a little differently, there’s a good chance this comic would have run for years to come. But they didn’t, and that’s okay, because what I created is something I’m happy with.
And that’s why this was the only ending this strip could have. An ending that shows there’s so much ahead of us. Is this what life will be like for our small-town heroes in 2056, or is this all the imagination of a fish who only thinks he’s an immortal time-traveler? And what happens in the 40 years between now and then? As Turbo said, we don’t know what the future is bringing us, and as he and Oakland said, they’ll see their friends tomorrow. Their stories may not be committed to paper and the Internet, but in a corner of my mind they’ll still always have their tomorrows.
So what’s next for me? Well, the Kickstarter for The Center of Somewhere volume 2 starts Tuesday, and you’ll hear plenty more from me on that. After that? I have some ideas I’m working on, but I don’t know exactly what’s going to come out when. This is the first time since I started cartooning that I don’t have another comic starting immediately. Heck, in the past when I started a new project I had another one running, so you were never seeing nothing from me. The uncertainty of what comes next is both exciting and a little scary, and I’m looking forward to it.
Will I ever return to The Center of Somewhere? Who knows? When Berkeley Breathed brought back Bloom County last year he made literally anything possible in comics. Maybe this is goodbye to Fingullet, Nick, Oakland, Turbo, Kim, Tallulah, the ghosts, Doc Shmitty, Snuggie Bear, and Brunhilde, or maybe it’s just goodbye for now.
Thanks for the last 3 1/2 years, everybody. Thanks for the kind words, compliments, and critiques. Thanks for giving me the chance to make this comic and breathe life into these characters. And thanks for sticking around until the end.
See you tomorrow.
There’s no real way to ease into this, so I might as well just go for it: On January 29, after 3 1/2 years, I’m bringing The Center of Somewhere to a close. Today’s strip is a bridge between the Christmas story and the final arc, which begins Wednesday. I’ll have a lot to say at the end of January, but I’m sure the only thing you care about now is, why now? Well, I’ve told a lot of fun stories and stretched myself creatively with this strip, and I’m sure there are plenty more stories to be had with these characters, but there are so many other projects I want to work on that I don’t have the time to do trying to meet the regular schedule of three new comics every week. You may recall I cut the comic back from five updates a week to three last year so I’d have more time to do other things, but unfortunately there still just isn’t the time to do everything I want to do. Some of you may know (if you read my Tumblr or follow me on social media) that I spent a good portion of last year working on animation pitches. I also want to learn new graphics programs, such as the Adobe suite, and learning new software is a very time-intensive process. I also have a few other comics pitches at various points on the “almost ready to be sent out” scale that I hope will be fruitful.
Also, the landscape of comics distribution is shifting. It used to be incredibly common for comics to be delivered as four-panel updates on individual web sites. But with Tumblr, mobile devices, ad blockers, the rise of Patreon, and more changing the landscape, delivering comics this way is becoming slightly archaic, and it’s important to keep up with that just as much as it is creating the content itself.
But never fear, lest you think this decision was made solely through the cold eye of someone only looking at facts and figures. I made sure the story came first in any decision I made. I didn’t want to end things without first making sure the characters were all in a good place, and held off writing the final story until I knew it was time. So yes, as with all the decisions I’ve made with my comics up until this point, this was done in service of the story and the comic as a whole.
I have almost all the work done on the end of the comic itself, and by the end of tonight the last strip should be uploaded to the web. But that doesn’t mean I’m going to sit back and run out the clock. No, I’m going to be hard at work putting the pages together for the second and final Center of Somewhere book collection, which will collect every strip from the final two years. The plan is to launch the Kickstarter the Tuesday after the strip ends. That’ll be Feb. 2, for you calendar-minded folks. So there’s plenty of time to get yourself hyped and spread the word. That’s what I’ll be doing, at least.
So that’s that for now. You’ll hear from me one more time here on January 29. Or tons more on Twitter, Tumblr, and maybe Instagram, if I have time to do any extra drawings between now and January. Until then, I hope you join our friends for one final jaunt through one of the stranger corners of small-town middle-America.
That’s right, everybody, Free Comic Book Day is almost upon us! This Saturday, May 2, I’ll be at A Hero’s Legacy Comics and Collectibles in Manchester, CT, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. signing in and selling my books. That means you can get all four volumes of Moon Freight 3, Drawn Away, or even the first volume of The Center of Somewhere. That’s right, Center of Somewhere volume 1 will be available to the general public FOR THE FIRST TIME! So come on by, introduce yourself, and maybe pick up a book if you’re so inclined!
If you’re not in the Connecticut area, head on down to your local comic shop and pick up some of any number of books the publishers are putting out this year. But make sure you support the store with an additional purchase or two, because those books aren’t free for the retailers.
It’s almost that time, folks! The start of my convention season is right around the corner! I start off on May 2 with Free Comic Book Day at my local comic book shop, A Hero’s Legacy Comics and Collectibles. I’ll be there from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. selling all my books, including The Center of Somewhere vol. 1! From there I go to Washington, DC for Awesome Con on May 29-31 and… you know what? Let me just list everywhere I’m gonna be this summer.
- May 2, 2015: Free Comic Book Day, A Hero’s Legacy Comics and Collectibles, Manchester, CT
- May 29-31: Awesome Con, Washington, DC
- June 19-21, 2015, HeroesCon, Charlotte, NC
- June 27-28, 2015: MASSive Con, Worcester, MA
- July 25, 2015, Insta-Con, Kennett Square, PA
- Sept. 12-13, 2015, Granite State Comicon, Manchester, NH
- Sept. 25-27, 2015, Baltimore Comic-Con, Baltimore, MD
So come on out and stop by one of my tables! I’d love to see all of you!