Hiatus Announcment

Posted 00:00
Tue 21 September
by admin


This is probably one of the hardest things I have ever had to write.

Today saw the end of my ability to continue with Complex Actions. I have wrestled with this decision for over two months, but there was no way around it. I cannot continue writing the comic anymore. We always said we would keep it going until we couldn't do it anymore; sadly, that day came sooner than we expected or feared.

What happened?
As many of you know, Emily and I started this project as a new career option for each of us. She was in a stagnant job that she wanted out of, and I had recently been laid off. With unemployment benefits taking care of the bills for the short term, and the money we had in respective savings accounts, we felt it was a good time to try to make a webcomic. Despite hitting some hurdles in the beginning processes and switching from Ars Matris to Complex Actions mid-summer of 2009, we launched in September and never looked back.

OK, but it takes time for a comic to start making money!
True enough. Unfortunately, before we hit the magical point where the comic started paying for itself (which was all we needed; paying us could come later...) my unemployment benefits ran out, I had yet to find another job, bills around the house were increasing, and we depleted all of our savings trying to make the comic survive. We have gone from a comfortable cushion to vapors in our accounts, and that is unacceptable.

What about the store, or donations?
We sold a grand total of 27 orders through the store, and five of those were pre-orders for the new shirt designs. We made less than $100 in donations when we ran the donation incentives. Nothing came of any of the attempts at bringing in money, and even the conventions we attended only netted us small profits over the cost of attending. Look, we don't blame the readers; we know with the recession, and our rather targeted market for our products, etc., there would be no way to turn a huge profit. I am not sure if we could have prevented this if every shirt, dog tag, and wristband had sold from the store. In truth, Emily always made more money from commissions than we brought in from other avenues. We had intended to put a subscription system into effect, but that continued to get pushed back as the implementation was daunting the web-dev team, i.e. my wife.

Why did you expect to be a mega-comic so quickly?
I didn't. Not really. I just wanted to make enough to pay the utilities, keep us going, etc. Unfortunately, in the building phase of the comic, we were too aggressive; we put a lot of our own money into making it something it clearly could never be. We should have started small, maybe once a week or something, and just let it grow on its own. We expected a business right away, when we should have treated it as a hobby. In addition, we went from being a "gamer and gaming comic" to a "pseudo-diary, slice-of-family-life comic" far too quickly for my taste. I think the changing tone and attempt at improving my writing to impress people caused us to lose readership. I was killing the comic without even realizing it.

Are you sure this is what you want to do?
No. No, this decision will haunt me for months, if not years. No matter what, though, it is something I have to do. I have a wife and two kids that need to have a home and working vehicles to get around the city in. I need to make sure everyone can eat. I need to do what I can to pay Emily back for her portion of the costs for the comic. I am ashamed and angry with myself for leading her, my family, and all of the readers astray. I am frustrated all the time, stressed and depressed. This has affected my health and mental stability. Still, I am more upset over disappointing every reader we had, every business contact we had made. I feel like I have let all of you down.

What about WATO, Ars Matris, and other projects?

So what happens now?

The store will remain open, as well, and the items have been discounted down. We will continue to fill any orders until we run out of product. Any money that we make from the apparel in the store will go to helping Emily fund her own projects, and pay back what she paid in. I feel honorbound to make sure that money is returned to her, as I feel the comic failure was my fault.

I would like to thank all the fans, readers, anti-Twilight folks, our friends, and family for making this a great ride while it lasted. Please do not harbor ill-will towards Emily, and look forward to her projects in the future. [Redacted]

I wish I could have been more for all of you. You all mean the world to me.
Semper Fidelis

Talthos, Writer
ComplexActions.com (Complex Actions)


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