Ten Years Online: Looking back, Learning and Moving Forward

Hey guys! Page 407 should be up next Wednesday. In the meantime, here’s some special art I made to celebrate the comic’s 10th anniversary, hope you like it! This is a pretty hefty blog post about the past and future of the comic, so I wanted to make sure I got that out of the way for those who are wondering where the new page is. I’ve been meaning to write this for a while, but now really felt like the right time.

Ten years ago to the date I put my first page of this comic online (the old prologue that’s now located in the gallery). It’s almost surreal that this much time has passed, I’d be lying if I said what I’m feeling is 100% excitement as milestones can often be reminders of how much we wished we could have accomplished. That being said, I am proud of the work I’ve put in throughout the years and am thankful for how much this comic has taught me.

When I started in 2009, I had zero clue what I was doing. I basically jumped in the deep end without knowing how to swim. Despite being less than thrilled with my early pages, I don’t regret this as it helped me figure out the ins and outs of what a webcomic actually was and how it was supposed to function (Terra was literally in an image gallery in its early days lol). In September of that same year, I was able to attend college. This taught me how to actually use design principles and apply them to my work, I remember seeing almost immediate improvement after learning color theory, doing live drawings, and composition (among other things). This was all going great until I had to leave school due to increasing issues with my health that I would later be told was MS. I remember beating myself up a lot over having to drop out, I felt like that was basically it for me when it came to my art. I kept trying to improve on my own, but as the years went by and my health got worse, I sort of lost the drive to try to be better. At the very most, that drive was severly faded.

Over the past year or so I tried very hard to find out what was causing that creative fire to burn out, I was wondering if I was just broken, but ultimately I realized my problem was that while, even though I was still producing and posting pages, inwardly I had given up. I thought college was the only way to learn properly and that I had missed my shot, I felt I was too sick to attend school the traditional way and felt pretty much defeated in ever getting my art/comic to the level I want it to be. This feeling persisted for a while and I kept it mostly to myself as I didn’t want to seem like I was ungrateful for what I have, because I am incredibly thankful for all the support, patience and understanding you guys have shown me.

It took many weeks of soul searching and many long talks with Drew to make me realize that I still have a lot I wanted to learn, that I will always have a lot to learn as no one ever really finishes learning. For a while I let the idea of who I was and what my limitations were dictate my path. I worried about everyone and everything, all the while never focusing on what I really wanted, which was basically to become a student again. To pick up where I left off and learn everything I never got the chance to learn. There’s so many resources online that weren’t available when I went to school ten years ago and I’m so excited for the chance to really work out the kinks of my art and truly get better (I’m hoping to sign up for courses with critiques, even though they are quite a bit pricier, I think it will be worth it to get feedback from people who really know their stuff).

One of the biggest revelations that came with this is that Terra isn’t going anywhere. I’m not going to quit this comic, I’m way too attached to it at this point lol, but I may have to shelve it for a bit after volume 3 to really reevaluate the direction I’m taking it in. I’ve had people I know in the comic field say that just because you take a break from something or walk away from it for a little while, doesn’t mean you can’t always come back to it later. I want to make this comic and this story right. I want to take the time to really work on my weaknesses and get better. It’s what Agrippa would do after all 😉

For now you can expect updates to continue as normal for the rest of chapter 10 and chapter 11, there’s still a lot we’re excited to share with you guys. Thank you so much for reading all these years! I know the path this comic takes is far from linear, but it’s future brighter than ever before and I’m hoping you guys will stick through to the end, cause I’m not going anywhere. 😎

Holly and Drew.