Sam and Fuzzy Q & A: Panda Edition
Got a question you want answered? Just drop me an email with "Q & A" in the subject line!
"ZOMgGARDAFLLBGLARGLLSHnpt! Where are the Skull Panda updates? " -Neal
As you may have guessed, an eccentric artist like Rikk Estoban is hard to rush, especially when I am too busy to help him out!
I am sure Skull Panda will return, but I think it's going to be the kind of project that comes and goes, with regular bursts and breaks, rather than the ultra reliable comics machine that is Sam and Fuzzy! I will keep you all posted.
"I've been reading Sam and Fuzzy since 2004, and one thing I am consistently struck by is the way, even as the stories got more serious, the comedy never stopped feeling fresh. I've seen so many webcomics go from gag-based to story driven and, even when they remained wonderful, the comedy fell by the wayside every time. How is it that you have been able to keep that balance so beautifully when so many others are less successful?" -Jamie
First of all, thank you Jamie, for phrasing your question in such an outrageously flattering manner. I'm glad you like the comic so much!
Honestly, I am pretty lucky. Shifting Sam and Fuzzy to longer narratives wasn't very controversial and it didn't hurt my readership. (Quite the opposite, really.) That is not the experience of most of the other cartoonists I know who tried the same thing!
I started moving towards longer stories pretty early on in the strip's life, when the tone of the comic was still being established. And even though the change infused the comic with a lot of drama and action, it still remained primarily a comedy. It just became a comedic story, rather than series of comedic stand-alone gags. So I think that made it an easier pill to swallow. (Also, quite frankly, I think I'm just plain better at writing stories than stand alone gags, which are being done way better elsewhere by other cartoonists.)
The other big factor is, well... at this point, I've radically changed the entire premise of the comic at least a half dozen times. There wasn't really one shift. There was a constantly barrage of shifts, in style and setting and cast. I think it kind of trained my audience to not only tolerate constant change, but to expect it and even look forward to it. The lack of a constant status quo has become a core part of the comic's identity. And that has granted me a lot of freedom to keep changing things up without torpedoing my readership. (And also presumably stop things from getting boring after over ten years of comics!)
"Why ARE all the Committee members still in the Underground? Don't they have enough power to try their hand at social engineering, making certain populations gradually exposed to the Underground, and then erasing any that get too negative. Continuously building it up until it hits a major city during an incident meant to make the Underground citizens sympathetic. I'd even help crime, since the Underground would just turn into a criminal's haven. " -anon
Why, the chapter that started today is about this very issue! The members of the committee have a very specific outlook about how the world can be shaped to maintain stability and profitability, and you are about to hear all about it.
That's a wrap for this week! Come back on Monday for more comics, more crazy kickstarter news, and more stuff in general!