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More on Chris Onstad and Achewood

Yesterday, Chris Onstad posted how he was feeling burnt out on Achewood, thus a more sporadic update schedule. His blog post on the matter was … a little flowery, to say the least. There were several questions still rattling around a lot of fans’ heads, some hurt feelings, etc. etc. etc.

Fortunately, Aaron Colter of Comic Alliance interviewed Mr. Onstad via email to clear up a few points. Here are a few excerpts:

ComicsAlliance: Are you finished with the comics medium for the time, or just the Achewood characters?

Chris Onstad: After ten years of working in the medium, I don’t think I’ll ever lose my taste for it, but I had to admit to myself and my readers that it wasn’t the only medium for me. That’s difficult, because for nearly a decade we poured everything we had into it. Time to spread the wings a bit, but my hope is to return to publishing Achewood on perhaps a weekly basis.

I am certainly not finished with the Achewood characters, by any stretch. I just need to grow them a bit. I’ve been writing them since a time when I was a very different person, and they need to evolve to reflect that.

CA: You mention in your note that you’re writing prose. Can you give fans any insight as to what it’s about?

CO: I’m branching into food writing, but I won’t say I’ve hit my stride yet. I’m fishing around for a book project.

CA: Do you feel at all under-appreciated by online fans because the series was free?

CO: No. Our online fans supported us by purchasing tons of merchandise through the years, and subscribed to my various pay sites. It was my choice to make the strip a loss leader, and I’m still fine about that. Strips that live entirely behind pay walls — well, I would never look into one.

CA: Was there a reader backlash toward your more experimental strips?

CO: There’s a reader backlash to a comma in what they feel is a place that is “out of voice.” There’s a reader backlash against a dresser being the wrong shade of grey. There’s a reader backlash against the strip taking half a second too long to load. I can’t worry about sh*t like that. There will always be six thousand times as many things written about a strip than was written in the strip itself.

CA: If you could go back and do it all over again, what, if anything, would you have done differently regarding Achewood?

CO: That’s not how I look at life. I think I’ve been lucky to get to do what I do. I am me, I worked my way, and responded honestly to what I saw and what I wanted to present. “Honesty” may not mean much coming from a guy who just took a couple months off with no explanation, but hey, that was honestly all I had to offer.

Read more at the Comics Alliance interview.

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Posted on March 21, 2011, in The Webcomic Overlook, webcomics and tagged . Bookmark the permalink. 2 Comments.

  1. I really liked the line that said “Also, whatever I put up on Achewood.com is free to the world, and I won’t entertain a bunch of entitled whining.” Well put.

    That’s a difference I see between art and product. Product gets pushed out on schedule and is typically reproducible. Art may or may not also be product.

    Interesting post.

    • Interesting. I felt that was the weakest part of his declaration. Calling one’s critics “whiners” is not an engagin debate tactic. I never whined to him personally but I do understand the frustration of the dedicated readers of his strip. His attitude really pissed me off.

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