The Dealio and The ScenarioIn case you were thinking it: No, I absolutely have not abandoned JEFbot! Here’s the dealio: Many of you know that I’ve been working on JEFbot full-time now since losing my office job in October of 2012. And I’ve loved it. Loved being my own boss. Loved being able to work on a comic strip for 20 hours straight. Loved finally getting to a storyline I’ve been putting off for years. Loved being able to focus on my art and writing. Loved being able to hang with readers. Loved all that and more. BUT. While I’ve loved all of these things, unfortunately, a webcomic artist doesn’t pay a whole lot for most of us out there, and it kinda kills one’s creative drive when one’s worrying about how to pay the next month’s bills, as I’m sure many of you can attest. And while I’ve been actively looking for a job since November 2012, I’ve been putting that search into overdrive for the past month or so, which is biting into my writing/drawing time for JEFbot; every time I sit down at my computer, I’m searching job boards, or updating my LinkedIn account, or modifying my resume, or hitting the pavement to see what the local situation is. Needless to say, it’s been very time consuming and not very fruitful.

So what does this mean? Well, now that you’ve read my sob story, this means I’ll continue to write and draw the adventures of bot when I can, but I can’t commit to a regular schedule right now. Hopefully, I can average at least one strip a week, possibly more, depending on what’s going on that week. In addition, The BOTshop will stay open and I’ll continue to fulfill orders. And as far as comic conventions go, I’m still doing ’em (meeting BOTpeeps at the BOTbooth is one of my favorite things about having this comic) though I may have to limit the number I attend; I’ll make sure and update the site with up-to-date info as we approach this year’s convention season. Oh, and the first comic going up should be next week and it’ll be another episode of The Christmas Bat, so TCB fans, don’t fret. No doubt it’s late, but I always enjoy stretching the holiday season a bit and hope you won’t mind. It’s short and sweet and will give me a bit more time to mentally regroup before heading into the final act of bot and Mu’s quest!

I wanted to write this to let you faithful readers know that I haven’t abandoned you, either. As an avid webcomic reader myself, I know all too well the sting of getting involved in a strip only to be abandoned midway through a storyline, or worse, just having a webcomic site disappear altogether with no explanation whatsoever. So, just to be clear – that’s not what’s happening here. With any luck, I’ll find work that lets me do both my new job and JEFbot, and with even more luck, I’ll find a job that gets me into an animation studio like Cartoon Network, Dreamworks or Disney, which is the big goal for me this year. It’s actually because of JEFbot that I have connections in a few of these studios and I’m hoping I can lean on these to help get my foot in the door. Whatever happens, though, I won’t abandon this comic. I’ll keep it going until it comes to a conclusion or I’ve said all I can say with it and it’s time to move on. But that time hasn’t arrived yet – not even close.

Finally, big apologies for not communicating with you all to let you know what’s been going on over the past few weeks. That’s too long to go without updating and I feel bad about it. In the future, even if I don’t have a comic up, I’ll keep the blog updated every week or so, so you don’t think I’ve dropped off the planet. You BOTreaders have kept me going over the past year – while much of my income came from severance and unemployment insurance in 2013, many of you supported me by buying merch at conventions and through The BOTshop, which really helped keep me afloat. And the encouragement and excitement for JEFbot over the past several months via email, twitter and comments on the site, have kept my creative juices flowing and it’s very much appreciated. I’m sure I would have lost sanity months (actually, years) ago if I didn’t have JEFbot to work on and you guys supporting me, so a big thank you to all who have made writing and drawing JEFbot so much fun.

So that’s the dealio. Now I’m ready for the new year! Hope you’re all having a fantastic 2014 so far and are excited for some Christmas Bat next week!

Oh, and as an update on my previous blog post, I was able to get my old comics packed up and shipped in time! Just barely, though. In fact, it made a few holiday BOTshop orders go out a bit late, but they’ve all been fulfilled and should be in everybody’s hot little hands by now. And those new Grimwald tees took a LOOONG time to make. Way harder and more time-consuming than I had predicted but they were well worth the effort as they came out great! In fact, it’s one of my favorite JEFbot tees to date, so I was happy to see it become my largest pre-order ever. If you want one, there are some left, but they’re going quickly. At last look, all the S, XL and 2XL sizes have sold out, with only the M, L and 3XL sizes still in stock. I’m still debating whether to make these a limited run or not. I kind of like the thought of doing small runs of new designs throughout the year, and keeping them limited to mostly pre-orders. Let me know what you think by leaving me a comment, email or tweet, and BIG thanks to everyone who made this shirt such a success!