I've got this very exciting comment in my head, but I can't really talk about it. Ha!
Good choices though, hope they work out.
1.) SHELDON: As you know, Sheldon is my baby. I'm going to be creating Sheldon until my dyin' day....and happily so. But there's one new wrinkle that I have to make you guys aware of: Starting this week, Sheldon is moving to a Monday-through-Friday schedule. There will be no more Sheldon strips on Sunday.
This is a decision I've debated for a long time, and I know it's the right one. Traffic on the Sheldon site, you see, is dramatically lower on Saturday and Sunday. After five days of sitting in front of our computers, all of us step away from our screens and enjoy a bit of sun, it seems -- and that's a good thing. But when I look through the website logs, it's pretty clear that people end up reading the weekend strips in a group on Monday....or largely don't go back to read them at all.
But the more important reason for the change is this: I've been creating Sheldon daily since 1998, and plan on creating it until the day I die. It ain't going anywhere: I love, love, love the strip, and want it to be the magnum opus of my creative life. But after 12 years, I want and need to make room for a few new creative sparks in my workweek -- and this is the best solution I've come up with.
I understand that you might be bummed at the Sunday news, but I hope you can understand...and more importantly, be understanding in my decision. It's not one I make lightly, but having made it, I know you'll be supportive of it. Because you guys have never been anything but awesome in the support you've shown me over the years. Sheldon would not be possible without that support...so thank you.
But on to more fun news: Let's talk about some of those new creative endeavors, shall we?
2.) DRIVE: When I started Drive, the intention was to try to tell a very different story from Sheldon: To try something totally new and different and challenging. So far, I'm loving it. And judging by the kind messages you're sending, you are, too. It's been great fun crafting a story four and five years out into the future, and then writing all the little stages to get us there. It's proving much more fun than I ever thought it would. And in a nice twist, it's actually firing up renewed creativity for Sheldon, as well....which is a great added bonus.
Over the next few months, Drive will be launching its own site, DriveComic.com, as well as a limited-print-run comic book at San Diego Comic-Con. So fun news is on the way for that strip.
3.) CINTIQ: As you probably know, every Sheldon and every Drive is hand-drawn on archival paper using archival inks. It's a very traditional process that I love: The tactile nature of it, combined with the ability to hold up a "finished", tangible product when it's all done, is very rewarding. But with Drive, I've become aware of the limitations this style presents to a long-form, sci-fi storyline.
So I've decided to change tacts with Drive, and begin producing it digitally on a Cintiq. (A Cintiq, for those that don't know, is essentially electronic paper....it's a big screen you can draw on directly.) The hope, with the Cintiq, is that I can stretch and grow my art style in new ways, experiment with new approaches, and perhaps even be able to produce more Drive for everyone.
For someone who always fancied himself a "traditional" cartoonist, I think it'll be a good flexing of the ol' muscles to try out a whole new set of tools. Taking Drive digital will probably teach me a whole new bag of tricks.
And just an FYI, since Cintiqs are super pricey, and I'm super cheap: I'll be picking up the Cintiq in the next few weeks, so if you see a great deal for one online, please pass it along. My inner penny-pincher will thank you!
4.) MYSTERY PROJECT: In addition to Sheldon and Drive, I should mention that I've started up a third project that I'm very excited about, but which I can't really talk about yet. I know, I know...it's sounds very third-grade of me to bring up a project that I can't talk about. But here's what I can say: I'm very excited about it, it's my first collaborative piece since the "How to Make Webcomics" book, it both is and is not comics-related, and I think it'll be right up your alley, when it comes time to announce it. More than that, I can't say. But good things are a-comin'.
You have my full support. After the awesomeness of years of Sheldon, and the excitement to see where Drive is going, I can't wait for new developments, artistically and in content.
Greetings from rainy UK, where I was recently hiking past the lovely hamlet of Sheldon, Yorkshire. If I ever find a sign pointing to it, I'll send a picture.
Yeah, I'll miss the Sunday comic, but if you are investing your time and not getting enough return on that investment then you are doing the right thing by letting it go.
Getting mighty curious about that mystery project.
I read Sheldon when it loads in my feed reader during my daily comic surf - I don't know when it is published!
The only way you could upset me is by saying you had decided to stop drawing the strip.
Looking forward to more Sheldon and more Drive. They are both great!
I may be in he minority, but I must say I'm disappointed; because I don't care for DRIVE, so that's two days a week without your creative genius.
OTOH, 3000 SHELDONs . . . you are awesome, and I will continue to read and share Monday-Friday strips.
Great stuff! Congrats on reaching such an awesome milestone! I really do think this is the PREMIER webcomic out on t'internet and hope to read it for many years to come.
I fully understand your reasons for dropping the Sundays. And I look forward to reading your all digital Drive comic (from the very future itself).
First of all, thank you Dave for crating Sheldon so consistently. I have been reading ever since you inadvertently handed me a copy of Pure Ducky Goodness at SD ComiCon back in 2003. That was a beneficial act of good will on your part because I have bought every collection you have published since then.
I understand how trying it can be to create something every single day, and I am happy to read Sheldon any time you are able to create a strip. Of course, I prefer a daily dose of Sheldon, but if diminishing the total Sheldon output by fifteen percent is the way to keep your sanity, then go for it.
Please continue to create Sheldon on your own schedule, and I will gladly consume all the Sheldon you are able to put out for us.
Thank you again, Dave.
Dave, we all love you and your strips :) I'm with these guys, as long as you don't stop creating Sheldon, Drive, and other projects, I won't stop reading and buying either. Big Thanks for making my days complete!
You could BUILD your own cintiq . . . Like this guy did:
I have two things to say:
One, I love the Sunday colored strips... but I'm one of those people who never read them until Monday. So maybe you should just do a colored strip for Mondays. I think that would be a great way to kick off the week and we would all still get that colored Sunday-comics style goodness when we come back to check out the site on Monday.
Two: As an aspiring webcomic artist who just bought his first Cintiq, I have to say Dave, fight your inner penny pincher off and buy new. For one thing Wacom just released a brand new model of the Cintiq and I had been using the previous model on campus and the new model changed all the annoying features to really functional ones and added much more functionality. Overall the new model is just incredible. The real thing that made me decide to buy new though was the fact that buying something like a Cintiq is a long term purchase. Buying a used one for maybe a couple of hundred less than a new one and having it last you for less time and getting a model that's been through who knows what by it's previous owner, just doesn't sound like too good an idea to me. Good luck with your purchase and the future of Sheldon and Drive.
I can confirm that there is no new baby on the way. But the one we have already is pretty dang cute.
I thank you all for being so supportive of Dave's decision. It is something he truly struggled with. He works harder than anyone I know but also enjoys his job, bring you Sheldon, more than anyone I know. I admire that he is stretching his creative legs a bit now with new creative endeavors. It's an inspiring thing to see!
Dave's wifey, Glo
What!? D'you think we'd give up on you now? After all this time?
No way, man. You and the rest of the half pixel crew are the biggest part of why I still (after 41 years of trying and almost giving up) think I can make something of this cartooning malarkey.
Good on you.
Wow! I remember how exciting it was when you started doing Sundays, Dave. This must have been an extremely hard decision.
Best of luck with the mystery project!
Mystery project eh? You're a tease Kellett, a TEASE, I say! I was disappointed when Bill Amend made Foxtrot Sunday only, but I'd rather have only 1 Foxtrot a week than none. Be thankful for what you have and don't waste too much time lamenting what you don't. We're still getting 5 doses of awesomeness a week. 6 if you like Drive, and I do. Changes happen. We're still with you.
I have enjoyed the first 3000 Sheldon installments more than anything out there since "Calvin & Hobbes." I look forward to the next 3000. And the next. And may some kind hearted Candy Striper spend his/her afternoons reading the next 3000 to me as I sit lazily drooling in my retirement-home rocker. Cause you'll still be fit and spry, right!
Heyo, you can try using Oookong to track the price of a Cintiq on Amazon. You can use it as a Firefox plugin too if that's any plus. I'm not 100% it'll help at all... BUT WHY NOT!
Gluck on your future endeavors!
I think moving the strip back to 5 a week is more than acceptable! I'd like to see more from you, so anything that helps with that I'm all for. Also, I shopped around pretty extensively and I couldn't find a deal better than Amazon on a new 'tiq. I went for the smaller model though, I don't know if you are going for the 21" or not, but I thought I'd put my .02 in there.
I would rather you not burn yourself out and continue to create awesome sauce, I second the comment about making the big color ones for Mondays. I do have to say that I really didn't care for Drive at first, but it is growing on me with each new installment. Congrats on the 3000 that is huge man!
I love the fact that there will soon be 3000 Sheldons to laugh at, and with! I am one of the few who read on Sundays, I guess, so i will miss the colored strips, but if it keeps you drawing, take Sundays off with my blessing! Because we can never have too many things that make us smile, grin, or laugh uproariously!
You gotta have time to enjoy the little one. I have 4 and they grow up too fast as it is. Blink and you miss stuff.
If you could just throw us a random Sunday strip or color weekday strip every once in a while, it would be much appreciated and enjoyed. I, for one, am not going anywhere. I am a forever Sheldon fan.