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Kate Beaton retires?

Is Kate Beaton retiring from webcomics?

Well… maybe not technically, but in the aftermath of her book’s success, she is pursuing other opportunities and idling her site for now. From Hark! A Vagrant:

I’m working on a comic now, but I wanted to get this out, because the website has been idle for a little while.

The success of the book and everything I’ve done so far has been just amazing, and because of this, I’ve been given opportunities for other work, different projects. These range widely – anywhere from children’s books to television work. I’ve been lucky. But I’ve been pacing the room about what decisions to make. To be honest with you – and that’s the point of this message, I just want to keep you informed. You come back here to see what’s new! God bless ye. Anyway: to be honest with you, I’ve taken on freelance work in the past years and that’s been well and fine, but I’ve never given other long term projects a chance, because I can never detach myself from the website. If you wish I had the ability to make comics faster than I do, you’re not the only one. As much as I love them, they’re a slow moving vehicle from blank page and no ideas to a finished update.

This is a funny job. Webcomics are often cited as the future of comics and the internet and I don’t know what else, but the fact that no one has retired from them yet means that I, at least, rest a little uneasy in these shoes sometimes if only for the lack of having a dependable compass by which to steer the ship. I just want to make the best decisions I can, so that I will be around longer, making drawings and comics and writing and other things that I hope people will enjoy. I’m not sure what will work out with these opportunities that have come my way, and I guess I can’t really say much about them, but I think I’d be a fool if I didn’t give them a try. So I am going to! Whatever I can let you know, I will.

The website schedule for Hark has never been.. uh.. something to set your watch to, I know, and here’s the news I am sad to give: it’s going to slow down more. At least for now. So that I can give some other things a chance. It’s a little scary, and who knows, maybe I’ll fall on my butt right away and we will be back on track here next month. I don’t know. But I’ll keep you informed.

Good luck to Ms. Beaton. It seems like you’re living the dream.

(h/t Robot 6)

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Posted on February 1, 2012, in The Webcomic Overlook, webcomics. Bookmark the permalink. 9 Comments.

  1. FYI – She is posting on her tumblr a lot more these past few days. Those who love her goofy sense of humor really ought to add her twitter and tumblr to their watch list.

  2. I’m not sure what will work out with these opportunities that have come my way, and I guess I can’t really say much about them, but I think I’d be a fool if I didn’t give them a try. So I am going to! Whatever I can let you know, I will.

    First Ben Edlund, then Rob Schrab, and now Kate Beaton. One of the most annoying things about Hollywood is the way it vacuums talented artists into these endless limbos of pilot development and other super hush hush projects that pay well but are never ever seen by more than a handful of people.

    A couple months ago a graduate from my college came by and showed off materials from a TV pilot he’s working on, first swearing us to complete secrecy: No pictures, no talking to anybody about the content, nothing. And so I just asked point blank “Why do your bosses want this kept secret?” I felt kind of stupid for being in film school and not already knowing the answer, but on the other hand, the only answer he or anybody there could muster was that if word got out, “Something might happen”.

    I guess my point is I’m selfish enough to hope that whatever she ends up working on is something the public will actually see.

    • Reepicheep-chan

      “I guess my point is I’m selfish enough to hope that whatever she ends up working on is something the public will actually see.”

      IAWTC. I am willing to spend cash monies on whatever it is she creates, but if she vanishes from the comics scene altogether I will be pretty sad.

      It reminds me of my college days when a guest came in to show us his pre-pro work on Coraline. He was explaining about how he worked for Dreamworks at one time but they were real bad about hiring up pre-pro talent and just keeping them in an endless limbo of cancelled projects just to keep them from working for the competition.

  3. At the risk of sounding callous; I certainly shan’t miss the way Ms. Beaton was dragged out for every discussion concerning webcomics. Perhaps that sort of confirmation is awesome when you read and enjoy her work, but I’ve never really been “into” the Hark! A Vagrant style of humour. Maybe that’s because I’ve never liked the indie-esque atmosphere of such comics, or because half the jokes fall flat because I don’t have the required knowledge of British/American/Canadian history, and am certainly tiring of the former two.

    Of course, I wish her the best. I hope she has a more fulfilling career than the development hell cycles described above.

    • well, i do like her comics a LOT, but i know what you mean. i think it’s because she has a lot of ‘crossover appeal’, and gets the attention of people who don’t otherwise read a whole lot of webcomics.

  4. Reminded me of Watterson and Larson, who retired on their prime and whose work became some of the greatast comic strips of their time and who did not make the mistake of running their work into the ground. Kudos for Miss Beaton and hope her new projects go along great.

  1. Pingback: Webcomic Beacon Newscast for February 5th, 2011 | The Webcast Beacon Network

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