Two scoops of my own to look back on today…

Two scoops — part 1

The first is when I gave you the scoop that I was leaving my day job to be a full-time cartoonist. Yesterday was the fourth anniversary of that announcement. And I want to tell you that it has been a tremendous four years. I’ve been able to devote much more time to the thing that I love, and I’ve had more time than ever before to spend with my family. Before leaving my day job, I had exactly one full day to spend with my family each week. And we had never — ever — sat down to eat dinner together outside of that day. To say that my life has improved over the last few years is an understatement.

And — as I always point out — I owe so much of that to you folks who read and support the comic. However, it’s important that you know that the terms of that support has changed. For example, many of you have ad blockers installed — and I don’t blame you a bit. However, over the past 15 months, my ad revenue has dropped to lower than one-half of its former amount. To put that into perspective, I used to run ads from three or four different networks, and the monthly check from one of those networks paid my mortgage. Today, it barely covers the electric bill.

That’s why it’s so important that you become a Patreon backer if you enjoy this comic. Speaking of which…

Two scoops, part 2

We’re also nearing the first anniversary of the day I announced my NSFW comics on Patreon. I made the announcement to my backers in April of last year, and then I made a general announcement the following month.

However… I know some of you aren’t into that. I know some of you love the PG-13 Evil Inc that you get on the website every week. It’s incredibly important for you to become backers — at the $1 and $5 monthly levels — as well. Because, quite honestly, I’m a businessperson. And I’m going to do what’s right for my business. I have to. To feed my family.

And believe me… even though you’re probably not even going to notice $1 being deducted from your credit/debit card every month, all of those $1 donations add up quickly. (And you can cancel your pledge at any time — no strings attached.)

That makes my decision-making very simple. If the only part of my work that my readers will support is the NSFW comics, then — pragmatically — I need to spend more time making NSFW comics… and less time doing everything else. If the PG-13 comic isn’t worth your support, then I will eventually be forced to devote my time to the stuff that my readers are willing to support.

That’s not a “support me or I’ll quit” threat. Rather, it’s a frank and honest analysis of where my business is headed this year.

If you enjoy reading the comic that appears on this website every week, it’s really important you become a Patreon backer for as little as $1 a month.

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Two scoops… a look back on a Very Big Scoop

On March 28, 2012, I wrote the following on Webcomics.com:

As many of you know, I have spent the entirety of my career in webcomics balancing that, my family life, and a “day job” (actually, a night job) at the Philadelphia Daily News.

Last month, the company announced layoffs, and — despite my 14 years’ seniority — the chances of my getting cut were pretty good. The day after they announced the layoffs, the company also announced a plan to combine the newsrooms of the Philadelphia Inquirer and the Daily News — switching to a “24/7” news organization that would be staffed around the clock.

I’ve been open about the challenge of juggling a family, a day job and a webcomic. In the event that I wasn’t laid off, my ability to juggle all three things was going to be obliterated. If you alter my current work schedule by one half-hour in either direction, my entire day falls apart — I either can’t make it to work on time or I get even less sleep than the 6-or-7 hours that I’ve been getting for the past few years. And if my workweek is altered from Sunday-through-Thursday to, say, Wednesday-through-Sunday, my already dicey convention-scheduling would become hellish. Worse yet, I could be facing several of these schedule-and-shift changes every year.

The decision was made for me. Luckily, the company was offering a generous buyout to employees who would take a voluntary layoff, and I was accepted as one of those candidates. My last day is today. Tomorrow, I will jump on a plane and fly to Seattle for Emerald City Comicon.

A lot of people have asked me if I’m scared about leaving the regular paycheck I was earning at the Daily News, and I can’t say that I’m not. But more than that fear, I’m absolutely charged with excitement over being able to devote time to the many side-projects I’ve been trying to find the time to do in the past few years. When you see what I have planned in the upcoming few months, I think you’ll see what I mean. This is going to be a phenomenal year.

And even more than that, it’s beginning to dawn on me that I’m going to have an actual life for the first time in 21 years. I won’t be working nights anymore. And I’m not going to miss holidays with my family. Newspaper life means getting Christmas Eve off, but not Christmas… and the same for Memorial Day and Labor Day and Thanksgiving and so on. It’s day-before; not day-of. And this will be the first time in 14 years that I won’t be working Sunday nights. I get to live a normal life.

My actual schedule isn’t going to change much for the next several weeks — except instead of running to work, I’m going to go back into the studio for the second half of my day. And I’ll be working on things that I’m passionate about instead of preparing the nightly weather map.

It’s going to be thrilling and scary and exhilarating and uncertain and new. And I’ve never been more ready for it.

Slideshow

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Here’s a 360 look at my studio! Enjoy!

This Date in Evil Inc History

2005: Nobody ever sends Poison Ivy flowers

2010: Oscar learns how to curse.

2013: Miss Match crosses the point-of-no-return with Oliver