State of the Comic 2010

Seven years ago yesterday, the world was introduced to Treading Ground via Steve and Derek.

The premiere comic read like it was straight out of a crappy sitcom, but the art was surprisingly fair, especially compared to the roughness that was to come in the early years. When I moved to my own hosting I reorganized and cut this strip as well as two subsequent ones, but it does still hold the honorary title of First Strip.

In the following years, TG was an on-again, off-again project. It wasn’t until February 2010 that I was able to really dedicate enough time to getting the comic out regularly, and I’ve nearly doubled my archive in this year alone. Now as the story progresses further, I think it’s fair to give you some idea of where we’re heading.

As you may have noticed, this is not your typical webcomic. TG is more like a movie than a long-running TV series; it’s a self-contained story that was never intended to run indefinitely. The core relationship of the series has a time limit on it, and I’m keenly aware of that. There is a planned ending, and we’re working toward it.

As we get closer to that ultimate end, the characters will undoubtedly say and do things you’re not going to like. It’s all part of the ups and downs of a good story. These moments might be a little easier to handle now that you’re armed with the knowledge that I don’t plan to string you along forever.

I hope you’ll continue to join me to see how all this plays out!

October 14, 2010 | 25 Comments

That SciFi Guy reviews Demolition Man (SPOILERS)

Treading Ground may not be very Sci-Fi, but we’re all geeks here, so you may be interested in the other creative project I’m involved in. More animated Nick art awaits you!

August 24, 2010 | 10 Comments

Now Officially Updating Every Monday, Wednesday and Friday!

As part of my ongoing efforts to legitimize this webcomic, Treading Ground will now be updating three times a week with regular updates!

When I first started updating twice weekly, I established the concept of Friday Extras as something I wouldn’t do every week, and even when I did, they wouldn’t be full comics. But half-assed updates really didn’t sit too well with me. Looking back on the 6 weeks since then, we’ve seen three full-fledged comics, two pieces of finished art, and just one sketch day. In other words, I was doing just about as much work as I would be updating M-W-F anyway, so it made sense to make it official. That’s not to say that I won’t ever post extra stuff again, of course; I just won’t be releasing it on a schedule.

Thanks to everyone who reads this comic, and special thanks to those of you who comment, “Like” the updates on Facebook, and interact with me on Twitter. A lot of webcomic artists out there say they would gladly still be doing their comic even if nobody was reading, but they’re either better people than me, or they’re lying!

August 8, 2010 | 17 Comments

Friday Extra! – Sketches Of The Day(s)

When I started drawing again, I decided I was going to get serious about the whole “Draw Every Day” thing, so I developed a new habit. Now, every day on my lunch break I walk up to the Starbucks and pull out the sketchbook. Mostly it’s crap, but it gets me practicing, and occasionally doesn’t turn out so bad.

YES, I LIKE STARBUCKS, I AM (TOO HIPSTER/NOT HIPSTER ENOUGH) FOR YOU.

July 30, 2010 | 8 Comments

Friday Extra! – Dance Till Tomorrow

Today’s Friday Extra is fanart of the characters Aya Hibino and Suekichi Terayama from the manga Dance Till Tomorrow by Naoki Yamamoto. Lately I’ve tried out drawing characters from other comics first in the original style and then in my own to see what they would look like, and these two translated well.

Back in late 1998, I came across a manga that was unlike anything else on the shelf then, and to the detriment of all of us, that continues to be the case today. After initially cursing that they had taken the name “Aya,” (I had already developed the Aya that appears in TG,) I became hooked on it. 12 years later, I’ve finally finished collecting all seven volumes and have given it another full readthrough, even going as far as to forgive the “flipped” left-to-right reading format in the English version. Reading DTT over again has made me realize what a huge influence it was on the kind of comics I like to make.

Dance Till Tomorrow (Asatte Dance) involves very little dancing in the literal sense, but what it does contain is a great, realistic (mostly) story about an unconventional relationship. Although there is quite a bit of sex and nudity, I’m not sure it qualifies as hentai. The depiction of sex is refreshing in its matter-of-factness, and actually complements the story rather than distracting from it.

Some elements you’ll recognize from Treading Ground are there – the forward girl, the reluctant guy (though reluctant for a different reason,) and even the dual life between work and home (and the theater, in Suekichi’s case.) In fact I’d say it’s probably more like TG than any other comic out there (web or print,) but I’m satisfied now that my comic is different enough for me to admit I’ve read this. So if you like TG and you’re able to get your hands on a copy of Dance Till Tomorrow, it’s definitely worth your time.

July 23, 2010 | 10 Comments