There are certain habits you have to have to keep up with as many webcomics as I keep up with¹ — some things get read when the RSS updates, some you wait for the trade (more often because it’s a story that reads better that way), and some you drop in on from time to time to see what’s going on, since you know they’ll be there for a good long time.
Case in point: Arthur, King of Time and Space by Paul Gadzikowski. Launched with a plan to run daily for 25 years² (which wound up being reduced considerably, but still planned to run from 2004 to 2017, which is a damn healthy run), reaching the 75% mark in the Daily Grind Iron Man Challenge³ (having outlasted the likes of Dean Trippe, John Campbell, Scott Kurtz, Greg Dean, Phil McAndrew, Chris Crosby (!), Natasha Allegri, Steve Troop, Tom McHenry, and Jennie Breeden), AKOTAS was just going to always be there.
[transcribed from the comic]
The Monday before Thanksgiving it was announced in this space that the hiatus period that’s been going on would end at the first of the year. Perhaps you didn’t notice that it didn’t actually say anything was going to follow.
[M]y wife and I have been going through a major life transition since, in retrospect, August.
The time and effort of producing a daily webcomic of any quality in one’s off hours effectively constitutes having a second part-time job. I’ve reached a time when I don’t know whether I can do that again; when, unfortunately but importantly, I don’t want to do that again.
But I’m not going to allow AKOTAS to go out on hiatus format cartoons. There’s about a week’s proper cartoons coming to wrap things up.
Life transition is perhaps too kind a term; were I Gadzikowski and his wife I’d be using words like fuck cancer, but it’s evident that they have both far more poise than I would in this situation, undoubtedly a side effect of having far more experience in this situation than I would wish on anybody. Given the choice: a second part-time job, done for free, to entertain strangers on the internet vs help my wife deal with tumors that have metastasized to her lungs and brain?
That is not even a choice. Which is why the last bit of the explanation from Tuesday reveals exactly what a class act Gadzikowski is:
Sorry about the mess. Thanks for reading.
Never apologize to us, Paul. Thanks for letting us read. At whatever point in time it doesn’t impact the well-being of your family and the muse strikes you, we’ll be here to read whatever you might share with us.
¹ The first being, recognizing that you will never read more than a bare fraction of what’s out there.
² A plan so broad in scope that it’s really only matched by Dave Sim announcing at the very beginning that Cerebus would run for 300 issues, which is exactly what wound up happening. Please note, however, that Sim is batshit insane whereas Gadzikowski seems to offend people about as often as Mr Rogers.
³ Which, by the way, has now been running for 3231 days.