EDIT: Thank you all for your kind words of support! I am really okay, I will figure out a plan soon. If you want to be alerted when there is news concerning the comic's fate, you can follow me on twitter or friend me on facebook. I'll be sure to update here as well but I'll be posting to twitter and facebook more frequently.
I've gone through fifty drafts of this post in my head (and now on screen) over the last couple of days, and they're all terrible. Full of blame, self-blame, desperate attempts to figure out what all went wrong. In the end, I think none of it matters except where things stand now and how I need to proceed to fix it.
So. Where are we now?
Goats is thirteen years old. Since 2003, I've been working on a single epic storyline meant to culminate at the end of 2012, at which point Goats would toddle off into the sunset and I would start my next comic. Easy, right?
It is becoming apparent that this approach isn't viable. While I'm happy with what I've done creatively, the webcomics medium rewards quick, easy updates with traffic. Long, continuity-filled stories like Goats that take a long time between updates tend to stagnate, although there are certainly folks more talented than I who can pull off this difficult feat.
None of this is news to me. It's hard to come to a teenaged webcomic and not get put off by the large archive. And the books do not seem to be mitigating the problem as much as I had hoped, since most folks are trying to buy food and pay rent these days and graphic novels understandably do not provide shelter or many other things at the bottom of Maslow's pyramid. As many other problems as Goats has, as many mistakes as I have made, this is the only one that matters right now. Without growth, I'm dead in the water. There's only so many times I can beg you guys to buy stuff.
If I were single, or younger, or less encrusted in the leakings of children, I would hunker down, buy some ramen and just tough it out. But it's not fair to my family to ask them to suffer like that, they deserve better. A lot better. So I have to make some changes.
I'm going to take the next few weeks to figure out a last-ditch plan to continue to make comics and writing my career. I'm not sure if it's possible but it seems silly to just walk away without doing something. Think of it as Career Triage.
My plan will probably involve some combination of a massive scaleback of Goats (don't worry, I'm going to try not to leave you readers hanging, there will be some sort of semi-satisfying conclusion), a new comic with (hopefully) more economic potential, and some writing for some non-comics projects I've been meaning to work on. I don't want to get too detailed now because I'm still working things out, but hopefully I'll have some more to tell you by the end of the month.
In the meantime, please consider buying my books. And tell your friends about the strip. I'm not a big believer in miracles but I suppose it's not too late for one.