Hope you’ve enjoyed Sufficiently Remarkable so far. I had a lot of fun drawing it. We’ve hit the end of what I’ve come to call the “pilot” arc of the series—the part of the story that debuted on Strip Search a few years ago.
During this pilot period, I had a chance to try out a lot of different narrative techniques, drawing styles, and strip lengths. Some of it worked, some of it didn’t. I decided that once this pilot period was over, I’d take some time to reflect on what I learned about the comic, its characters, and its audience. That’s what I’m going to be talking about in this post.
I also penned two mini-comics, which was a way for me to have SuRe books at conventions. They feature two stand-alone stories that are wholly separate from the online story. If you’ve read them, awesome! For those of you who haven’t been able to find me at a convention or order the minis online, I am working on making them available as paid digital downloads (a section of the site I have yet to populate).
I mention the minis because I feel they most accurately represent the heart of the comic. I want to tell more compact stories without spending weeks of updates on minutiae. I also want these stories to be easier to collect into more books in the future. I have nightmares imagining how I’m going to bundle up the pilot arc.
So what’s going to change?
To start, updates will take the form of pages rather than strips. They’ll focus less on punchlines and more on storytelling. I felt the webcomic got bogged down at times in my effort to advance the plot. It’s been almost two years, and there are so many characters and stories I want to tell.
Over the past year I learned that maintaining SuRe, Boxplot, and freelance work is really difficult. Like Riti said early on in the series, multitasking usually means you end up half-assing everything, and in order to make it all happen, I found myself cutting corners in one area or another. On top of these projects, I’m now also working on a full-length graphic novel that I REALLY want to tell you all about when the timing is right. But for now, let’s just say it’s really challenging my time management abilities and artistic skills.
Where am I going with this? Obviously a page of SuRe artwork takes more time than a three panel strip, so I’ll likely have to make cuts, either in update frequency or by making them black and white. I’m leaning towards the latter, mostly because the comic already only updates twice a week. But it may very well be both in order to give you all the quality of work I want to give.
Story-wise, SuRe will be getting a bit of a soft reboot. The characters I introduced on Strip Search aren’t the same ones you see on the site now. Sometimes that change wasn’t so graceful. This was just one down sides of having characters pegged down from the start, who then became something entirely different. Much of that was an artifact of the original “pitch” format. Meg being a loud, grating foil to Riti’s quiet demeanor worked for a presentation on a reality show, where I had to put all my cards on the table. But not so much as a character who needed to have a more complex relationship.
You’ll definitely notice some aspects of the setting made a lot less subtle. A few of you have already noticed that SuRe doesn’t quite take place in the present, something I’ve only barely teased out, but want to spend more time exploring.
Big things are coming! Expect to learn a lot more about Riti, Meg, and the rest of the bunch. Expect to learn more about the world they live in. Expect to see more Gonzo, Hafiz, and Anton. Expect to meet some new folks I’ve been teasing out in artwork and daydreams. All in all, expect to see more Sufficiently Remarkable in collected books and spin-off stories.
If you have thoughts, I’d love to hear them, either here or on Twitter. See you soon!