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!

24 thoughts on “State of the Comic 2010

  1. Noooooooooo!

    or, maybe i mean,


  2. I’m just here for the nudity. Well, and the humor. The story is ok too.

    I guess the message here is good work, keep ’em coming.

    1. yeah, the nudity is good. and honestly, on that topic, i want the chick with the glasses naked, SOON, the ad with her nekkid is why i started reading this, but the story is pretty good too. as for the idea of a wrapup and ending, just because one tale ends, doesn’t mean a new one can’t begin, like rose going to college or nate’s roommate moving somewhere new (or starting a relationship with rose’s mother)

      1. For the love of god, NO!

        Then you get things like Marry Me and Last Blood that get about 1 new page every two months because it’s past the story’s original ending.

  3. Congrats on making it to seven. And in dog years, that’s just…really fucking old.

    Just try to get it done before I have to take you down the back pasture and shoot you in the head, rather than watch you pitifully trying to get up onto the couch and falling over half way through while running out of breath.

    Or perhaps I’ll get you some viagra. Keep it coming! (pun sorta intended ๐Ÿ™‚

  4. It’s truly been a pleasure reading your strips over these years!

    1. Thanks! I’m not quitting webcomics though, so keep an eye out…

  5. It’s a shame it has to end. Going to try collecting the strips into a printed book?

    1. Indeed, and I might solicit your advice on that.

  6. I keep meaning to ask, where is Treading Ground set again? I’m guessing Virginia or Tennessee, as anywhere else in the South, Rose would be legal by now…

    As for your comment “the characters will undoubtedly say and do things youโ€™re not going to like”… I just hope this isn’t being set up for too much of a disappointment. I agree with Aya, Nate and Rose are really good together. Certainly worth readers sticking around for seven years!

    1. Lots of people ask that, and I am annoyingly coy about it. It will probably come out in the comic.

  7. I like the comic. I came over here from Between Failures, and I quite enjoy this one as well. I like the characters, I like the story. It makes me laugh, and I anticipate the next page after reading the last. All good marks.

    But when you start talking about the ‘end’ of a comic that, in the span of said comic is really not that long at all. Throughout the comic you’ve been reading, and since it says its been 6 months, you can take it on faith that the story is moving that quickly, since without that, you would naturally picture it at being closer to a week or 2 into their story line.

    Yes you have been making this over the span of several years, but as you said, in this last year you doubled the comics in here, meaning the last 6 years were lacking comparatively. All those concerns are dashed with the hope for more though. It is a great comic, but as far as web comics go, it doesnt even feel like its halfway finished, unless the comic ends when Nate and Rose hook up. Then it could be almost 80% over instead of feeling closer to 20% started.

    1. There’s still a good chunk of it left, so while the end is in sight, I wouldn’t count on it happening terribly soon.

  8. I, too, enjoy this comic, and will be sad to see it end. It feels like you are headed toward the end of a chapter, but not the end of the comic… so this announcement is pretty sad for me.

  9. I truly would prefer you to “string us along forever” rather than ending a good story. Well, as long as it ends properly, with everything done and solved, it’ll be great.

    The only thing worse than a movie ending with a cliffhanger is the same thing happening to a WEBCOMIC THAT HAS BEEN GOING FOR YEARS (caps lock=cruise control for cool, yes)

    Anyway, the comic friggin rules, keep it comin’ ^_^

  10. Huh. Today I learned what “potted meat” was. Guess I can call it a day now.

    Also, congrats on 7 years. I’ll keep reading to find out where this goes, but you should put said and done. I’d pick up a copy.

    1. Thanks! And I’d avoid that potted meat. It’s got peckers in there.

  11. Gozer The Carpathian

    It is good to see a web comic that has a distinct end in mind from the start. Too few do that and I am actually more likely to stick with this comic knowing an end is in sight. Thank you for sharing your methodology with us.

  12. Since this appears to be as close to a general comment thread as there is, I have a small question: How old is Trevor/douche?

  13. So I have to ask — assuming you maintain the three-a-week rate from now to the end, roughly how long do we have ’til TG ends? Six months? A year? Three years? Some time between 2015 and 2020?

    1. If I had to guess, I’d imagine about 100 more strips. That could easily change, of course.

      1. At the risk of being greedy, please do stretch it out a bit more than that. I’m sure it could be done with the addition of some details / focus on resolving/developing side threads, without sacrificing much in the way of quality of comic.

        1. Part of the reason I wanted to get the ball rolling on ending TG is that I’m anxious to get started on my next webcomic project. But the way I have it planned out offers the opportunity to pick it back up again later in some other form, so there’s that possibility too.

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