A year or two ago, when I was first plotting out the Noosehead arc, I had a string of crazy ideas -- each one feeding off the previous. The end result was the story you've been reading since January... a story that played fast and loose with the cast, the timeline and the style that I'd been building for the last several years.
I'm no marketing expert, but I'm pretty sure that completely removing (or more accurately, "hiding") one of your comic's two titular characters for nearly nine months isn't exactly the "smart" move, commercially speaking. It's not one of the tips that they toss out at the "Building an Audience for your Webcomic 101" panel at San Diego Comic-con. But hey, I never said I was clever! I thought this would make for a cool story, and I crossed my fingers and hoped that my readers felt the same way.
Nine months later, I am not living on the street. I do not have an inbox full of hate mail. No, after everything that's happened... my readership is as strong as it has ever been, maybe even stronger. I never expected to get off so easy. Clearly, I have the coolest, most open-minded readers a cartoonist could ask for. Thank you guys, for taking a chance on such a big change. Different or not, I think that this story is the best work I have ever produced, and am profoundly grateful that you all continue to let me share it with you.
Anyhow, the moral of the story is I should forget about everyone else and just do whatever I want! Next week: a comic adaption of Moby Dick, constructed entirely out of photographs of rutabagas. Trust me, you'll love it!