Why, hello there! This has certainly been a nice, long hiatus, hasn’t it? In case you just tuned in, I stopped drawing comics back in late 2011 when my daughter was born. It’s been a fun, comic-free ride ever since then, and I’ve just recently added a baby boy into our family mix. Nevertheless, I’ve just recently picked up the pen again and have started sketching up some ideas for a kind of Out at Five Reunion, so you can see what all our characters have been up to since everything ground to a halt.
Also, I just had an extensive interview via email with Ideal Comics about my comics — mostly Cortland, but that kind of includes Out at Five, since they’re both wrapped up in the same universe. It brought back a lot of memories from the days when I was drawing a new comic every weekday and spent a good portion of my free time online with my buddies at Comic Genesis rather than chasing around a rambunctious two-year old.
Some people have been asking me already whether I’m going to end this comic. Honestly, I’m not sure, but I’m definitely taking a hiatus. The comic as we know it has pretty much come to an end either way.
There are a couple reasons for this. First, Out at Five is based primarily on experiences I had at a job I left several years ago, so the daily inspiration I got from the stupidity swirling around me isn’t there anymore. I think that’s a good thing. Second, I just became a parent, and I knew well in advance that this would change several things. As a new dad, I couldn’t be sure how much spare time I’d have to work on a comic. I also had a feeling a new little baby in the house could be the spark of a whole new set of comics in the future. I wanted to leave my options open.
Third, I just wasn’t happy with the comic anymore. I love drawing, but I felt like I’d exhausted all the good ideas in my head. I felt like I was forcing the comics out rather than letting them flow. I’d lost my muse and wanted to get it back again.
I started planning the end of my comic several months ago, and I knew the last comic — posted December 5 — was going to be unexpectedly dark. The biggest lesson I’ve learned in my career is that jobs come and go, but the important things in life are those that happen after five o’clock. Bob’s character has lived a life wrapped entirely around his business. Nothing mattered more to him than being in charge of his little company, and when it crumbled all around him, he felt like his life was over. Everyone else in the strip was able to move on, but he wasn’t. He’s the kind of person I remind myself not to become — life is family, friends, and the fun you have when you’re not on the clock. Don’t waste your life lining someone else’s pockets and funding someone else’s dream. When you’re asked to close the door and sit down, be ready to have something to cling to other than the job you’re about to lose. Life is more than that.
When I start drawing comics on Outatfive.com again, you’ll learn about it here first. There’s a handy RSS feed, so if you stay subscribed, you’ll won’t miss anything. Thanks for reading.
The bald guy with the glasses in today’s needs to have a name, and rather than try to come up with one of my own, I thought I’d throw it out to you, the readers! Drop on by the Out at Five Facebook page and offer up your suggestions.
Yes, after doing this comic for close to two years, I’ve finally decided to sell out to The Man, specifically Project Wonderful. I’m not sure if anybody will want to buy ad space above my little comic, but if they do, it’ll be the first time it’s made any legitimate money, which is all the reason I can think of for giving it a try.
EDIT 12-8-10: So if I really want to sell out, it might make sense to “activate” the ad box.