The webcomics blog about webcomics

Scheduling Conflict

The first rule of creating a webcomic, Gary reported, is to create a schedule and stick to it. In the original posting, this spawned much discussion and additional rules – but let’s consider this first rule.

What if you don’t stick to a schedule?

In my first review here, the lack of a clear update schedule was one of the final straws in the camel’s back as to why the Canadian Creation Myth would not be given a return visit from this particular IP address. But there are plenty of comics in my cache that don’t have a regular update schedule, but stay in my bookmarks.

What make a comic worth waiting for?

9th Elsewhere is a comic about a girl who has some serious self-hatred. So much, in fact, that is impairs her ability to write – her artist’s medium – and so she has been recommended for dream analysis by a team of muses. But no one wants her and her problems – they transferred her from unit to unit, until they gave one muse who has effed up too many times one last chance – with her. It wouldn’t be a good set up unless they were expecting him to fail.

So, Eiji and Carmen set off for an adventure in Carmen’s subconscious, to find out the reason that she can’t write anymore.

Jokes like having a train you have to be so self-actualized to ride makes it clear that this comic is smart reading – the creator, Caroline Curtis, obviously knows her psychology. And to be absolutely truthful – the story is arched and plotted as a graphic novel, so the story is more fulfilling as an archive than as a biweekly update. But there hasn’t been an update at all since March.

I’m not the type to email or spam creators for updates, so the page has been quietly sitting in my favorites, hoping that the project would get picked up again, because there is a story, there are characters, there is an intelligent person putting a lot of thought and time into something that she is not making any money off of. There are no t-shirts related to 9th Elsewhere.

A comic is worth waiting for, it seems, when it has caught the imagination. 9th Elsewhere is original in concept, witty in execution, and fascinating in content. I wait patiently for updates, but perhaps it is time to take it off of my day-by-day list of links, and put it into a “check occasionally� file. Waiting is worth it, but no need to be teased.

However, there was an update only three days ago with promises of summer updating… hope springs eternal for webcomics one thinks was lost.

I felt the same way about William G’s “It’s About Girls”. And I cried bitter, bitter tears when it was rebooted without resolving the loose end it was previously left on. The world of webcomics is a fickle place indeed.

I liked the beginning of 9th Elsewhere, but as the updates became less frequent and the plot began to slow down, I found myself wearing out. I wonder, however, how much of this was due to the schedule problems and how much was to do with the essential difficulty of remaining emotionally invested in a main character who is both dull and unlikeable. It’s an interesting challenge for a strip, to build it around a passive-aggressive introvert with a major self-esteem problem. On the other hand, this is one of those comics that I feel works better in larger doses, so I’ll withhold final judgement for the time being.

You could always create an RSSPECT feed for the comics that update too slowly – then, you’ll get notified when the update, rather than having to repeatidly visit a site that hasn’t changed.


[…] Kate Okay, so we’ve already established that the twenty webcomics I read on a weekly basis do not constitute a good statistical sample. And I’ve talked about update schedules – both when to update and what happens when they’re not met. I guess this is the next in the continuing series of me talking about the methodology of webcomics and the readers who are creators weighing in. Really, I’m just feeling my way around in the dark. […]

RSS feed for comments on this post.