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.