April 17 2006
Hello, nice to see you again. As you may have noticed, Outsider is again updating on a weekly schedule, for the time being, at least.
Odd story: at the time that I started the comic back at the end of 2001, my company (where I worked as a software engineer) was in the process of moving from San Jose to Denver, and we knew it was only a matter of time before those of us who wouldn't move (myself included) were going to get laid off. I was kind of looking forward to it, since I wanted to spend some time working on the comic. As it was, the office was in a weird chaotic state... there wasn't a lot to do, and some people didn't even come in on a regular basis. So even though I didn't get my wish of being laid off, there was ample time for daydreaming about the comic and taking copious notes. Then, over the next four years, things got more stable, the company made a long-term commitment to the San Jose department, and my weird, lame slacker job turned into a real job with real career opportunities, taking up more and more of my time (helping push the comic into hiatus). And then, earlier this year, the company unexpectedly changed its mind, closed the San Jose office and laid us all off.
So, my dream of doing nothing has finally come to fruition. And yes, it's everything I thought it could be. As previously planned, I am taking an extended amount of time off work to dedicate to artwork, starting with Outsider. For an undetermined period, I will update Outsider on a weekly schedule, posting new stuff on Mondays. Knowing how delays happen, I can't guarantee that there will always be a new page every week, but I'll try to have something to post every Monday. I don't know exactly how long I will remain unemployed, but currently I plan to take off at least through the end of Summer. My goal for that time is to get through the end of Chapter 1, which is roughly 20 pages from this point. After that, I will have to reassess the situation, and make decisions on where to go from there.
Trying to get the mailing list to work has been an exercise in futility; I'm glad that ISP's have implemented spam protection, but it has made legitimate mailing lists very difficult to operate. With the return of a regular update schedule, I'm going to shelve the mailing list, at least for now. I'll keep the list I have for future use, should it be necessary.
For any who were wondering what happened with the web hosting recently, here's that story: Well-of-Souls.com was originally hosted with SimpleNet, which was bought by Yahoo! Website Services. Over time, Yahoo apparently decided that they wanted to migrate people off the older SimpleNet servers to their newer Yahoo! Small Business hosting system, but rather than do it automatically or just ask people to move, they decided to subtly "motivate" them to upgrade by letting the quality of service simply erode over time. Eventually the site started to be shut down with a notice that I had exceeded my disk space quota, which was complete bunk. Anyhow, I finally moved the hosting to the new system, and the joke is that I'm now paying them less per month than I was before for a higher level of service. I guess I should be happy about it, but I just can't understand the corporate logic where you piss off your customer to get him to "upgrade" to a service for which he pays you less money. (Maybe that's why I'm unemployed.)
Also: I have resisted putting a PayPal donations button on the site in the past, because I felt I didn't update regularly enough to be able to ask for donations with a straight face. However, now that there is more regular content (and now that I don't have any other source of income), I'm putting one up. No pressure.