I used to work for a shabby little print shop, which was the basis for Wieser Graphics. I was laid off at one point but came back a year or two later to get a price quote for some printing. I’d expected to see all my old co-workers, but they were all gone, replaced with completely different people. All the equipment was still the same, of course.
Oh, hi! Did you just drop in? Well, welcome. Out at Five is a comic featuring characters of mine who have been around a while, and I just recently started drawing after a long hiatus. The story has picked up five years after certain events took place. You may want to consider a few options before diving right in.
- If you’ve never read my comic before, you can start at the beginning here.
- If you’ve read Out at Five but haven’t dropped by since my three-year hiatus (running between 2011 and 2014), you may wish to start here.
- If you’d like the extended backstory that took place in my first web comic, Cortland (which started back in 2004), the whole thing is available here.
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.