Discussion (27) ¬

  1. GinaP.

    Two thoughts on this comic. Cami looks awesome in that third panel. And I feel a rimshot is needed on that last panel.

  2. Chris Howard

    Well first off, it’s good to be honest with yourself. I know the struggle you’ve got. I started making comics when I was in University and was invulnerable. Now just turned 40, it’s no cake walk. However, my son has just turned 7 and as someone else promised me, once he was past 5 it became easier. I have to balance it all, and I can’t do what I once did, but I can keep up a certain pace that I’m okay with.
    As to whether you enjoy doing this PARTICULAR work, that’s gotta come from deeper inside yourself. If the format of trying to riff on each new film is the challenge, can you slide into a broader movie theme? Try doing the journal stuff as quickies to see how it works for you? (Pencils only, not published?)
    Take a mental step back and look at it in a bigger and longer context. The old ‘where would you like to be in 5 years’ approach.

  3. Liz

    To be honest, I kind of like it when you post late. It means I get to check every day and either chuckle again at last week’s comic or become stupidly excited to see the new one. I think you should keep doing this as long as you enjoy it. That’s the important thing. Also, I would totally read your journal comic.

  4. CW

    1) Never apologize for fun wordplay. Even now I chuckle when I think of the “See Saw” comic, which is more enjoyment than I ever got from watching a Saw movie.

    2) Don’t apologize for opening up to your audience either. Aside from the politeness inherent in saying “sorry I’m late” and genuinely meaning it, I always appreciate reading the behind-the-scenes stuff. In no small part because as a father who works full time and still tries to find time for a creative outlet, it’s nice to hear that someone whose work I respect is in a similar situation and managing to consistently produce quality material.

    Basically, you know your priorities. Keep doing Theater Hopper for however long as you’re happy doing it, and I’m sure I’m not alone in saying I’ll keep reading.

  5. Jacob

    I personally like the idea of a journal comic (though if you can’t do ONE comic a week, how are you gonna manage TWO). I always wonder what Harry and Perl when reading your strips; heck, you could have THEM hop theaters (as most children’s movies NEED a good snarking).

    • Tom

      I didn’t make it very clear in the blog post, but if I started a journal comic, that would mean Theater Hopper would have to end.

      I’m thinking that the journal comic wouldn’t be held to the same high standard that I place on myself when producing Theater Hopper. It wouldn’t be in color and there wouldn’t be a set schedule. I think it would give me breathing room to explore things creatively a little bit more instead of being so deadline-driven.

      • Jackson

        Hey, do whatever you need to to keep your cartooning fresh. All I know is that if the process isn’t engaging for you, the result isn’t going to be engaging for us. Comics are a way of talking about things–so keep talking about the things you want, in the way you want to. We’ll be listening and talking right back.

        I know some fans wouldn’t be too happy about you pulling the plug on TH in favor of an autobiographical comic, but I’m a casual moviegoer at best, so it wouldn’t be any huge loss to me as long as I’m getting my Tom Brazelton comics. I guess that’s kind of selfish of me. 😀

        • Tom

          That’s excellent advice, actually.

          I’ve had times in my “career” where I’ve expressed these kind of misgivings before and it’s always helpful because 1.) It gets it off my chest and 2.) Like you said, the fans talk back.

          I think pulling the plug on Theater Hopper would be unfortunate because (to my knowledge) there aren’t a lot of comics out there that talk about movies. But I don’t want that to be the only reason I keep going, either.

  6. David Welsh

    I don’t mind when it’s late. I just pretend that your weekly schedule is to release on Wednesday and it works out!

  7. daniel

    Am I the only one who has The Dickies song going through their head?

    And I want to give you a virtual slap to the face – parent to parent. I feel your pain, but … well, I understand all too well what you’re going through, but wallowing in self pity (this is coming out wrong) won’t help. Wish we could talk over a beer or two.

    • Tom

      I tend to wallow, don’t I?

      I mean… I’m over it now. Like I said, I just needed to get it out. But I would admit to setting expectations for myself very high. I don’t cut myself much slack.

  8. BaboonBill

    I have several domains that I renew each year in hopes I will find the time to hammer out the website or webcomic that I originally reserved them for. It’s called pre-planning, integrated together with gossamer clouds of hope. 🙂

  9. 8one6

    Tom, I just wanted to let you know that Theater Hopper is, in fact, my favorite web comic. If things have to be slow for a while, then so be it, but I do enjoy the comic and would love to see it continue.

  10. Bryan

    Comic was fun, simple and charming. Genuinely funny.

    As for the apology to your fans. I, for one, appreciate your work ethic. Things are very different from a long long time ago on an Internet far far away. And that is how things are. It is not good or bad.

    I am not just a fan of theater hopper but also a fan of Tom Brazelton. I will always be interested in any comic or illustrated web journal you put out there on the web and I will not get mad if an up date is a couple days late.

    I have been reading the Wheel of Time book series since 1992 and it is almost finished 20 years later (14 books). I am fine with waiting

    You are worth it. (meant in a non creepy way obviously)

    • Tom

      What you said about things being different – not good or bad – kind of hits home for me.

      Things have changed a lot in the last 8.5 years and not just in my personal life, but in the landscape of web comics as well. A lot of the other artists I “came up” with are kind of slipping away and I don’t feel as connected to the community as I used to. Part of me wonders if I’m hanging on too long.

      But there’s another part of me that doesn’t care about that and recognizes that I have a NEED to do this – to express myself and reach out to others.

      At this point, the question has become “Is Theater Hopper the most direct or efficient way of doing this?”

      I plan to continue drawing and interacting online for as long as I can. But thing might have to morph along the way to meet those goals.

      Thanks for your encouragement.

  11. Ingo

    Hey Tom,

    I’ve been with you for about six years now and I still enjoy the comic; every monday (or wednesday in this case) I’m looking forward to see a new comic up on the site and if germany wouldn’t be so damn far away from the states, I’d have dropped by at a con to buy some swag 🙂
    I do miss your podcast, and I’d hate to see Theaterhopper disappear. It truly would be strange not reading about Tom, Jared and Cami again.
    Your homepage made the bookmark transition across three PCs and is one of the oldest bookmared sites I still visit.
    Gordon’s Multiplex and Joe loves crappy movies being the other two, obviously 🙂

    Rock you, you make me smile!

    • Tom

      Knowing that a bookmark to my site has survived across three PCs really makes me smile. Thank you. 🙂

  12. TianRee

    I’m with Ingo, though I managed to get some stuff from the store shipped to the UK (then bizarrely took my spoiler T-shirt to the grand canyonthe day after it arrived) .
    To be honest I just check when I check to see if anything else has arrived I get too confused by a schedule anyways. But I’d miss TheatreHopper if it left totally.
    Have you thought of trying to do the journal comic a bit like CTRL Alt Del’s sillies, ie something that you do quickly draw quickly but concentrate on the wordyness? it’s probably an easier way to to get your thoughts over too.

    oh and I feel your pain about films I used to go at least twice a week to my local theatre now I’m lucky to make it once a month, thank god for DVD/Blu-ray, but you shouldn’t feel bad about commenting on films you’ve yet to see sometimes that emotion is just as relevant as most of us wont have seen it either.
    So if anyone’s still reading this I look forward to another 2 years, but if you do stop at least give us the opp to buy the books!

    • Tom

      I’ve thought about doing a supplemental journal comic, but I kind of feel like that’s cheating myself. If I’m going to do it, I want to explore the full experience of translating my life versus doing another talking head strip.

      Plus, I think it will be better for me mentally if I make a clear break from Theater Hopper and whatever the next thing might be. I think it will be more energizing and not come off like an additional feature that I’m using to try and keep Theater Hopper afloat.

  13. LeAnna

    I really, really love this comic. All the rhymes and everything.

  14. LeAnna

    As long as you post at least once a month, I’m fine with late or non-updates. I use Google Reader for most of my comic updates so I don’t have to check non-stop. It’s the easiest thing for webcomics.

    • Tom

      What you said about using Google Reader to find updates is kind of another reason I want to try something that isn’t tethered to a schedule. RSS didn’t exist when I first started (Dear God!) so the impetus for people to come to the site at a pre-determined time isn’t as strong anymore. Why continue to beat myself up for missing deadlines if people aren’t missing out, you know?

      A journal comic would be easier to update on the fly. Interesting things might not happen to me for a while – and that’s okay. But I won’t rake myself over the coals for missing an update if that’s the case.

      I envision a future where I push RSS and social media VERY hard to encourage people to check out the site when I update and not at a pre-determined time.

  15. Historyman68

    Having followed you for years, I would be very interested to see you put your skills toward a journal-type comic- TH already has a lot of elements of autobiography, and I think it could transition well.
    I know you’re familiar with Mitch Clem, who went from Nothing Nice to Say, a punk comic, to successive autobiographical comics with successive girlfriends- in each case, there were similarities with his previous works, but they established themselves as their own entities as well.

    I guess one question you could look at is whether you’d want to go for strict realism, or still mess around with comic and fictional elements- although Cami and Henry are actually in your life, would Jared, Charlie, and the theater employees show up occasionally, or would we meet more of their real-life counterparts?

    In any case, don’t stress about it too much, and I hope you keep doing something creative- whether TH, Triple Feature, or another project.

    • Tom

      If I refocused my efforts on a journal comic, I would probably adhere to strict realism. Jared is a real person and might show up, but Charlie is complete fiction with no real-life counterpart. I can’t think of a reason I might insert her into a comic.

      It’s interesting that you mention Mitch because he’s someone that segued effortlessly into journal comics and his work got better as a result. He never over thought things.

      • Historyman68

        Oh right, I forgot Jared was real too- I think one of Mitch’s funniest ones on the topic is where he addresses fan complaints about him not doing NN2S by pointing out that he could literally replace himself and his girlfriend in his last comic with the NN2S characters and no other change, and that that would satisfy them completely.

  16. Meem

    I don’t remember how long I’ve read your comic- it has to have been at least three years though. I love your work and think that a journal comic would be very entertaining! I like reading your posts about your kids and what’s going on in your life (for instance I remember when you almost cut your hand off). If you want to switch to a journal comic you should do it. 🙂 Just be sure to link it here so I can find it, ok?

    • Tom

      Thanks, Meem.

      And don’t worry… If I ever decided to move on, I’ll leave a trail of bread crumbs so you can find me! 😉

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