I am going to be moving to yet another new update schedule. I like to call this one the ‘Dresden Codak’ schedule – I simply will not post new pages until I am happy with them. For the immediate future, at least, this is going to mean that updates will be infrequent and irregular. This is frustrating if you like the comic and want more, I know. But this is the only way Underling is going to make it to the finish line.

While this comic is a great excuse to tell a fun story with a bunch of my favorite mythological characters, its true exigence was to get myself to draw regularly and thus improve my art. It definitely worked. The first title page of Underling seriously represented the pinnacle of my artistic ability when I started this comic. The artwork I’ve been doing since I started has just been getting better and better and better. But that isn’t really reflected in the comic itself. At all. In fact, this page that’s up right now is kind of terrible, at least relative to what I’m capable of. It’s been that way for a while. Doing the comic has kind of been a chore to me recently and I’ve really been dropping the ball on expressing the story for a while now. This segment was supposed to be a bad trip for Laz and I’m not really doing it justice at all.

My old motivation for doing this comic is dead. It’s obsolete. I don’t need to force myself to draw anymore. It’s a habit now. It’s locked in. Underling can no longer function a means of just putting something out there. It now has to be a means of putting something out there that I’m proud of.

So help me God, I am going to find a way to work on this comic that makes me happy again or I am just going to give you guys the rest of it as it currently exists in notepad. I never thought I’d have the thousands of readers that I do today, and I want to thank you guys for coming here at all. I also want to apologize to the donors and commentators and everyone who has invested in the comic monetarily, emotionally, or otherwise. I hope you guys bare with me through the midlife crisis of my very first comic, and I’ll see you on the other side.

I’ve been thinking about freaking out
If I can just find the time
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Discussion (22) ¬

  1. Martin


    you don’t owe us anything, we’re just along for the ride. So whatever schedule means that you keep doing Underling, I’m going to be happy with. Its;a great story so far and I enjoy the art a lot. Thanks for what you’ve given us to this point.

  2. Clarvel

    david, underling has already been an awesome ride, it has a wonderfully unique story and artwork (both of which I love btw), and it has been great watching you improve in your artistic capabilities. I would love if you updated more often but I also love the more detailed pages that you have been turning out recently and ultimately the update schedule is up to you. I’m sure that most of us will support you in whatever you decide to do.

  3. Marvelous TK

    Man I’m just happy you mentioned what’s up. Leaving it up to my imagination was driving me crazy. But yeah, it’s your project. Your own enjoyment of it has to come before anyone else’s, ’cause if you’re not enjoying it, wheat’s the point? Still hoping to see the rest of the comic, of course, but whatever happens, however you go about everything, I’m in your corner.

  4. Miri

    While I do agree with the rest of the comments so far – it’s your comic, your enjoyment, etc. – I do hope that, once you’re done with your art crisis, Underling goes back on a regular schedule again. I’ve seen too many comics do this ‘I put a page up when I’m happy with it’ move, and then… just stop updating. FOrever. SOmetimes it takes a while to get there. BUt once a comic goes on hiatus, it usually means it’s died a slow and painful death. I love your characters and story so much, so I hope that doesn’t happen here. Good luck!

    • david

      I really want to finish Underling. I’d at least try to wrap up the main storyline and then see what I could do about wrapping up loose threads episodically.

      If it all goes completely pear-shaped, I would at the absolute least release the remainder of the comic in prose form. I really am attached to the story and characters and seeing everything go unresolved would just be a heartbreak.

      • Miri

        Thank you for replying to me. I’m glad – I’m pretty attached to little Lazzy-kins too, and I hope to see his journey finished someday.

        Take the time you need. Sometimes, what you need is just a breather. Good luck, again!

  5. narmenduke

    Good luck! I will definitely bear with you.

  6. Zyr

    If it makes you feel any better, i thought the first page was pretty awesome 😀

  7. Kevin

    Man I have enjoyed the comic so far. Even better is the Jim Butcher pattern. It makes me come back more often to see if you have any new pages up 😀

  8. Fren

    Honestly … it’s your project, and you should be proud of your work. Take what time is needed and craft each page ’til it shines. Trust in your core following to remain loyal. It really isn’t all that much effort on the part of we, the readers, to come back and have a look once a week.

  9. nikkitaheh

    Webcomics for artists are like art school on crack. If you are feeling that you need to slow down to get better imagery and deeper detail then go for it! And don’t be limited to the comic book page forum. Try newspaper strip style for dialog heavy chapters, and go to full page for action and don’t be afraid to bust the hell out of double page or panoramic views for things the inspire you. The point is to grow as both an artist and as a storyteller. Have fun man and we will enjoy the show!

  10. None1

    Me sad now…sad for you…sad for comic…sad…

  11. None1

    Why does every comic I read die?!?!?

  12. Rick

    This is going to sound harsh, but you are deluding yourself. How? You stated above that the reason why you started this in the first place was to force you to draw regularly to improve your skill. That that stated reason is now obsolete because it has now become a habit to draw.

    With all due respect – rubbish!!

    Your writing schedule over the last six months or so has been terrible. Erratic at best, non-existent at worst. Certainly, real life requirements have been a factor and that is understandable. But your current stated reason? Sorry, no.

    You want to improve your drawing style. Great. More power to you. But if it is going to take a month or more for a single page to be considered good enough, then you are focusing on the wrong area. Because that way lies ultimate death, as you keep looking, keep seeing flaws, keep going back and changing things, and keep on not putting anything out…. Accurate description of what you are currently going through?

    My opinion – focus on deadline work. If you are thinking about making a career out of this, you are not going to find many publishers who are going to be willing to wait the sorts of timeframes that we have been seeing here. They are going to want them on a much more regular basis. So, set a deadline and STICK TO IT! Once a week, once a fortnight, doesn’t matter. But stick to it. Keep working on the print quality masterpieces if you wish (use them as wallpapers or a way to generate revenue), but get things out. At the very least, you will still be practicing your drawing and also improving your completion times.

    But if you don’t, as others have said, this will die which will be a shame.

    Hope that you take this in the spirit it is offered. I really would like to see more, but….

  13. Trakonor

    I am a bit ambiguous about this…
    On the one hand I know what perfectionism can cause. (and that is what I read from your “I’m going to take all the time it takes until I’m satisfied”).
    On the other hand I can totally agree with Rick.

    Try to make a compromise with your perfectionism and your audience. Otherwise you might loose readers quite fast and this would be nothing I wish you. (Allthough I am currently reverting back from daily manual update checks to feed based weekly checks which is close to “XYZ? Abandoned project, right?”)

  14. None1

    Me still sad…

  15. Rick

    Well, that’s it, I’m afraid. Fifty days since a new update, which was my arbitarily picked deadline. This is no longer a web comic. It’s an infrequently updated gallery site.

    I wish you all the best, but I wont be here to see it…

  16. Logan

    Shifting to dead comics list for me 🙁

  17. Evilbob0

    Whelp. That is sad. Definitely hope to see you on the other side.

    I did LOL a lot at the “Dresden Codak update schedule” reference though. That webcomic truly does take forever to update. Let us know, I guess when you’re ready to start back up again!

  18. Kasai Zyth

    I’m still checking the comic every week or so. I’m not giving up on this.

    But please don’t let it die… please…

  19. Joel Monka

    Dude, I appreciate what you’ve done, and look forward to whatever you can put out in the future. Follow your own joy on your own schedule, and I’ll happily read it!

  20. Darkstorm

    I’m sad to see this comic go, but I’m glad that your artistic skill has risen by so much, and I hope that you find something else that you enjoy more. I also hope that someday you come back here, if only for one last look at this comic, and tell us what you had planned for it. I have been so curious from the very beginning where this was going to go.

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