Zach Galifianakis isn’t the only one who can rock a scruffy beard and a pair of dark sunglasses.
Vote for Theater Hopper at Top Web Comics to see what I’m talking about.
As you know, The Hangover comes out today and I, for one, am very excited to see it. Even though I felt the marketing campaign focused a little too heavily on our trio of heroes stumbling upon Mike Tyson singing along to Phil Collins’s “In The Air Tonight,” I think the movie looks like a lot of fun.
I was almost going to do a comic that was more of a literal interpretation on the title of the movie and make my comic about drinking to excess. I couldn’t really find a punchline that I liked. But after the week I’ve had, I could use a stiff drink.
Not to bum everyone out, but I need to communicate with you the manner in which my circumstances have recently changed and they have changed dramatically.
If you’ve been following my Twitter account, you know that on Wednesday, the corporation I work for eliminated my position. That’s a nice way of saying I was laid off. I was one of 220 that were let go on Wednesday. So I suppose I can take solice in the knowledge that it wasn’t personal.
It sucks being unemployed, that’s for sure – Especially in a down economy. But there’s not much that can be done about it. The decision to eliminate my position was made long before I could have hoped to have any influence over the outcome.
The good news is that I was given a respectable severance and I have a little bit of breathing room as I try to find new work. So the pressure isn’t on just yet. Still, I’m not taking any chances and plan on hitting the bricks first thing on Monday.
This isn’t my first time around the block when it comes to the whole job-loss thing. So I’m not freaking out as badly as maybe I should. I feel confident that the experience I’ve cultivated over the last 10 years will help me find a job in new and creative work environment.
To that end, if you know of any companies looking for a web or print designer, let me know, won’t you?
What does all this mean for Theater Hopper? Truthfully, I don’t know.
I have to admit that I was on the fence about continuing Theater Hopper after a particularly stressful first half of 2009. Diminished site traffic, ad revenue and a lack of store purchases made me wonder if I was spinning my wheels.
But after 7 years working on the comic, it’s hard to turn my back on it. I’m sticking with it.
Now that I’m unemployed, I’m trying to decide if I want to ramp UP production of the comic to 5 days a week. If I do that, I think the change would go into effect on Monday. But I really need time to sit and think about it. Either I’ll come up with a long-term story idea that will carry me through for a month or two at 5 days a week or I won’t.
I also have to decide if it’s worth it to pour that much effort into the comic while I’m trying to find work.
In either case, you will probably see me talking more about the books and shirts I have for sale though the site.
I’m willing to share that pre-orders on Theater Hopper: Year Three and the Spoiler Alert! shirt were not strong. As a result, the people who DID pre-order have been waiting and waiting and waiting. I appreciate their patience.
I think after the first two books (released in 2007), I became a little gun shy about promoting my stuff. I worked very hard to spread the word about Theater Hopper: Year One and Theater Hopper: Year Two. As a result, some people complained that they were tired of hearing about it. So I dialed back. WAY back.
I can’t afford to do that any more. In addition to gathering pre-orders for the new material, I need to work on getting rid of my existing inventory. So you’ll probably hear me mention those things more often.
Look, I know times are tough for everyone. I know there are those of you out there that WANT to support the comic but can’t afford to do so. That’s fine. I’m not trying to pressure anyone into buying anything. All I want to do is put reminders out there. So, if by luck you find a $20 in the street, maybe you’ll spend it with us.
I hope these renewed efforts in promotion don’t alienate any of you and if you have any suggestions as to how I can keep things in check before they become annoying, I’d appreciate it.
Bottom line: This layoff could be a huge opportunity to do something drastically different with Theater Hopper. Before I make any changes, I wanted to bring everyone up to speed on what was happening in my life so it didn’t feel like it was coming out of nowhere.
I want to say “thank you” to all of the people who responded to my Twitter posts with words of encouragement and support as well as the good friends who have checked up on me through e-mail or over the phone. I appreciate it more than you know.
As for the future, who knows what it will bring? But I’m encouraged to work hard and do the best I can.
Thanks for your time, your understanding, your support and have a great weekend.
Having a bit of a problem with the site today. I was moving around the social bookmarking stuff along with the ranking and site page bookmarker and as a result, the ranking for the homepage image is showing up on all the comics in the archive. Also, the comic navigation seems to be broken.
Of course, like an idiot, I didn’t save a backup of the page I was editing. So I’m talking to my webhost guy to see if they can roll back the page to a previous version.
Hang tight and hopefully we’ll get this fixed soon.
EDIT: Okay, I was able to troubleshoot the problem. I guess the site doesn’t like the little comic bookmarking thing above the navigation. Not the social bookmarking, but the little buttons that let you save your place when you’re reading through the archives.
Does anyone have any idea why that might be? It’s a widget, I guess. But it’s PHP and I have no idea what to do with that.