Hi Everyone,

First I want to say I’m Canadian.

Then I want to say I’m sorry.

Not that I’m the kind of Canadian that says sorry very often, but in this case I feel I have to. At Christmas I decided I needed a break, get ahead on the deadlines and stop working past twelve to finish a strip when I have to get up at 5:40 am. I didn’t want to tell you guys because I’ve seen webcomic guys make a fuss and do the woe is me thing and I hated it as a reader and as a creator.

Two weeks, no big deal. But it wasn’t the relief I was expecting. Without a deadline I wasn’t able to concentrate. Could still think of strips but couldn’t think of jokes. So I let another week slip. Then another. Then I was embarrassed about it. I’ve never tripped up like that before, whether it was writing novels, drawing whatever, or working on the strip. Just couldn’t focus. Couldn’t get the jokes into my head.

Every week I’d say next week would be the week. Then it wasn’t. But now? Now it is. I hope. I’ve got all the strips done for this week. And in struggling with them I’ve gotten ideas for next week’s strips again.

No, that’s wrong, that’s not how this strip works. Essentially I know what the strip is, and I know what the payoff is, but I never know what the punchline is until halfway through the drawing phase. Then I see it. Often I change it to something better, but it’s roughly the same joke.

These last three months I’d think of a strip and then I’d think of the panels and then I’d think of the punchline but I’d never laugh. Yeah, yeah, I know, it’s narcissistic to laugh at your own jokes but I justify that by calling them improv jokes. Which they are and are not. They’re following a structure but the structural setup leads to a structured punchline but what I do is twist that punchline subconsciously, like there’s a little man in the back of my head rewriting me on the fly. And when he makes me laugh, I know it’s right.

So he made me laugh last week and that’s given me the confidence to get back in the saddle. We’ll see how it goes.

As for those asking if I’m okay; I’m great. Truly. Lovely wife, two great kids, decent job, decent house. It’s all good. Just rocked by a lowering of creativity I’ve never felt before.

Oh! And I’ve got news: We’re expecting our third child in a few months.

Thank you for your concerns,

But most of all, and as always,

Thank you for reading,

Steve