Well, technically it’s Thursday, but when I say I’m updating Wednesday (at least until the comic starts) that can mean anywhere from 12-4 in the morning Thursday. Rest assured, once I start throwing up pages, that’ll be set regularly at a given time (probably 9 AM on Monday, Wednesday, Friday, automated into rotation way ahead of time).

I spent the last few days doing a wide variety of things. I saw EXOHXO, and I can’t sing the praises of the band any higher (GO BUY THE NEW ALBUM), and Gogol Bordello, with its sixteen encores and crazy batshit dancing and festivities. I’ve never felt a venue literally SHAKE that hard. It was like the Village People on crack… a member of the group from every color and nationality throwing out shit that makes your heart thump, coupled with the dude from Boondock Saints playing the violin. Rock and roll.

I have page 14 and 15 in my possession now. Dexter is producing above and beyond the call of duty, getting way ahead, and for that, you will have a comic sooner. For that, when you enjoy said comic, we should fill his tip jar all the more faster.

Sion, this site’s designer, sat down with me and we worked on design. We’re going to set firm deadlines, and I’m guessing I’ll have test sites for you for the Monday update.

I am low on sketches (I burned through most of them, and others I simply can’t show yet), so the visual component of today’s show will be absent, but I’ll make up for it in hints. It’s tough on me, because if I don’t throw out images, those of you reading this won’t be as potentially enticed as you could be, but at the same time, those of you who bookmark and read in will thereby benefit when the work presents itself and the surprise hits you, right around page 10 and hopefully not letting up until the “pilot” finishes around page 132.

I just finished page 100 last night in a flurry, so the story is written WAY ahead, which is nice, because then if I decide to change a story element I can before it’s drawn. It also gives me the long view on some story problems. It also makes this officially the second longest comic story I’ve written.

Things are getting very exciting. I’m looking forward to a long weekend of lettering, and hey, maybe on Friday I’ll show some nonessential panel or some beautiful piece of non-spoilery background art…

But first, a question (feel free to email with an answer). What kind of webcomics do you like to buy? Do you buy trades (like with Girl Genius), or would you prefer single issues at cons? Do you buy prints? Do you prefer a tip jar? What would be the most appropriate way to monetize this thing (provided you like it) from the perspective of a potential reader? I’ll ask this question again, but here’s my first poke about it.

A lot of the reason why Charlie is such a compelling character is because he regrets what his life’s become. He wanted to be something he’s not, and that eats away at him. He would probably have this conversation with much the same sadness and frustration, which is why he’s named after Hugh Everett:

He started his life wanting to be an actor, and instead he was pressed, by circumstances within his control but nonetheless circumstances that he was not brave enough to fight, and he became a mirthless guidance counselor in some lonely inner city.

I’ve posted this video before, but this is the song I play when I think of Charlie’s life before he begins to find hope, a place I very much was in the deepest parts of my depressions last year:

If you picture that song over this bit of script, you’ll have the beginning mood of this story. Here’s the first panel on the first page:

    CHARLIE EVERETT, our hero, walks down the center of a street lined up and down with a long lane of parallel trees. Their leaves fall all around him, and they are scattered all around on the street. It’s fall.

    His hands are in his pockets. He’s dressed in a beaten tweed jacket over corduroys. His head is down. This is a man depressed to the point of suicide.

    Any surrounding cars are ancient and in a poor state of repair. The houses have bars on the windows and large metal fences. We’re looking at an inner city, crime-ridden neighborhood that was once what you might call a fifties suburban paradise.

    He’s got an average body, but skinny average. Not too much muscle, but no fat. Not a skinny guy, either, per the geek stereotype. More like he’s an average build person who hasn’t been eating well lately.

    1 CAPTION: Thirty years.

    2 CAPTION: Thirty years I’ve been alone.