So, here it is. This is the artwork I was threatening to do a week ago. A nice little cast portrait to commemorate my Iron Man 2 storyline. Apologies for the lack of color, but I think it looks better in black and white.
Yeah, I know it kind of ended with a thud. But I'm really proud of about 95% of it and thought it was worth celebrating. Goodness knows I burned up a lot of midnight oil putting it together for you guys.
As a special treat, I filmed myself drawing the artwork last night and sped it up for you in this delightful little YouTube video:
If you find that exciting, then I have even BETTER news for you!
I have decided to auction off the original inked illustration you see in the video on eBay. You can find it here. It's on a 9 x 12" sheet of Bristol board with a 1" border (so you can frame it if you want to!) I will make sure to mail it flat.
Bidding starts now and the auction will remain open for the next 5 days. I don't sell original artwork all that often, so if you're looking for a one-of-a-kind piece from yours truly, now is the time to snap it up!
Now if I can get serious for a moment...
I went to this extra effort with the video and the auction because I'm afraid I have some bad news and I wanted to let you guys down gently. There isn't a good way to say it other than to just come right out and say it...
EFFECTIVE IMMEDIATELY, I WILL BE SCALING BACK PRODUCTION OF THEATER HOPPER TO ONE DAY A WEEK.
This decision was a hard one for me but, ultimately, necessary. With the end of the Iron Man 2 story line, now seemed like the best time to make a change.
The primary motivation behind this cutback is actually very positive. A year after having been laid off, I have finally found full-time employment again! I start work in June and am very much looking forward to the opportunity.
But, as such, I recognize that I cannot continue to dedicate myself to Theater Hopper on a thrice-weekly schedule. The late nights spent staying up past midnight working on the comic have caught up with me. I don't bounce back like I used to when I was 24 years-old and just starting the comic. Add to the mix two children with irregular sleeping schedules and, well, the end result is that I'm not 100% like I should be.
There's been a lot that I've sacrificed for Theater Hopper. Primarily sleep. But my health, my attitude and my availability to my family have all suffered as a consequence. I don't blame anyone by myself for these choices. But, at some point, one has to recognize when enough is enough. There simply aren't enough hours in the day to be effective in all the areas I need to be effective in.
Part of me wondered if it was better to end the comic completely. But I didn't want to do a disservice to you, the fans, for supporting me. Nor did I want to perform a disservice to myself and the investment that I've made over the last 8 years.
Eventually, Theater Hopper will have to end - as all things do. But when it does, I want to make sure it goes out on a high note with a story that satisfies the long-term readers and appreciates them for their kindness and encouragement.
Until then, it will be business as usual content-wise. I'll continue to make fun of the latest releases, just not as often. I'll probably be playing around with the format a little until I strike the right balance. But from now on, you can expect a new comic here every Monday morning.
To aid the transition, I encourage you to follow Theater Hopper's RSS feed. I also encourage to to follow Theater Hopper on Facebook and my personal account on Twitter. They will be the best places for you to receive news and updates as well as links to the most recent comics.
This is a large adjustment for me, as I'm sure it will be for you. I will miss updating the comic three times a week. But, in the end, I know that this is the decision that will benefit me and my family most. At this point, it's all about realigning my priorities. I will always enjoy producing the comic and interacting with the fans. But my family, my livelihood and my personal health must come first.
As the excellent, supportive and understanding audience you have always been, I know you will appreciate my reasons.
Again, I thank you. You have been much more kind to me than I deserve.