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Outdated content

To continue the theme of inconsistencies, here’s another con of making long webcomics: the basic growth of you as a human being.

I’m not the same person I was 4-5 years ago. I’m not even the same person I was a year ago, but at least that’s less noticeable once we reach adulthood. When you’re a teen, however, it’s a complete trainwreck of emotions, ideologies, relationships and interests.

I’m talking about changing art styles, outlooks, morals, growing skills and experiences, positive/negative perception of the world, general preferences. Chances are, you’re gonna look at what you’ve writtendrawn a year ago and cringe hard.

Some people don’t mind it and just continue making the story. Some people waste more time trying to redrawrewrite the early parts, only for it to become outdated again. Some people, like me, completely stop in their tracks, because the differences can’t be ignored anymore.

And that can be a serious problem if all you have is big projects. You start one, develop it halfway through, realize it doesn’t reflect what you stand for anymore, abandon it, move on to the next one, rinse and repeat. As a result, none of those get finished. And probably never will be, unless you endlessly keep rewriting them.

The only instance when it’s actually useful is when the abandoned material was so embarrassing that you’re kinda thankful it never saw the light. But aside from that, I don’t think that you need a whole portfolio of failed projects. After all, each small accomplished task gives a boost of confidence and each failure discourages the creative mind more and more.

And even the projects that get finished regardless can suffer from the passage of time. I can’t think of a better example than Homestuck, and it’s a problem similar to my problem with Pepper. In the first acts Dirk being an absolutely shitty guardian is presented as black comedy. We know it’s terrible and we laugh at how over-the-top it is. In Act 6, however, Dave with the absolute seriousness starts discussing Dirk’s abuse and the toxic masculinity that drove him to that.

Now, both of these things are fine on their own, but to me, they absolutely do not work together. Homestuck started out as a black comedy, very abstract, very surreal, very exhaggerated. A pseudo-ninja white rapper who raised his adopted brother by shoving sexually suggestive puppets in his face for the sake of irony was an absolutely expected thing in that context. And if your outlook on things has changed and you don’t find that funny anymore and want to write a story about a teenage boy who’s deeply traumatized by his brother’s own problems and insecurities, that’s great. Hell, I’d read that! But Homestuck, a story where none of the characters ever show any remorse about the whole goddamn planet dying, isn’t a place for that.

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you’re basically making me feel shitty for finding their shenanigans amusing back then, even though you presented it as such in the first place… that’s kinda manipulative?

In cases like this, if you decide to finish your outdated creation, I think it’s just better to finish the story the way you wrote it before. Then start another story, where you show your new take on things. Making a frankenstein monster with conflicting messaged like that isn’t much better than just outright cancelling the story.

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