03/10/08 - 03/10/09.
0 sacred urns toppled
0 mystic ruins desecrated
0 hallowed tombs defiled
A couple hundred people tuned in on the first day. A couple hundred thousand tuned in on the last.
The beginning was humble in ways that go beyond a simple reader count. Humble might not even be the right word. The word's blade might need to be dulled further -- from something used to slice butter, to something used to ladle paste into the mouth of an infant.
I was wondering what sort of story to make, so I drew a detective on a blank canvas. Then I thought he should be in a room, of course. Probably a detective's office, because that's where detectives usually are. He needed a phone and a gun. Clearly those two items would alone suffice, I thought. The wall over there looked a little blank so I drew a safe. A window for ambience. A door for exit, which may or may not have been locked; I wasn't sure yet.
What I was also oblivious to was the two other detectives who would show up later, and to their adjacent offices. I was oblivious to the world of imagination, and the desk-made fort that would be its gateway. I didn't know the window lead there either, and I didn't know you could only get to that place I didn't know about if it was plugged in. I didn't know about the candy in his pocket, the dames in their dollhouse, the kingpin in his ship, or the weasel in his palace.
Those I's would be dotted by your suggestions, and the T's would be crossed by my reaction to them. It was a storytelling game of cat and mouse, and you presumably just finished reading the aftermath of our year-long, Tom and Jerry-style rampage through the house.
And if at the beginning you told me I would have a group of characters fight a single giant monster every day for almost six months, I would have told you... well, I would have told you that sounds awesome! But then I probably wouldn't have done it. Because I would have known I was going to do it. And what fun would that have been?
It's hard to believe it's done, I'm sure mostly for me personally. If you do the math, you'll note I produced an average of more than 5 images per day, every single day for that year-long stretch. In retrospect, it was a matter of routine inseparable from day to day existence. I didn't notice the effort, and I didn't notice the year. It wasn't a labor. It was just what I did.
But I guess it's more than just a shift in habitual momentum. There's a note of melancholy. These detectives won't be up to their antics anymore (unless I make deliberate exceptions to their retirement, of course). It seems strange to me that these characters have become so well defined in my mind, even though they've never uttered a single word. It was never supposed to be that way. It was just supposed to be about a cruddy-looking dude in his office.
But that said, I'm pretty excited to get working on something new. And maybe, if you're not all that busy, we could take the first step of this amazing new journey together.
Thanks for reading!