Well I’m Back in…Bluuuue!

As I’m typing this, a new George comic will be coming in about 9 hours, thus ending a two-and-a-half month long hiatus. Truth be told, I didn’t originally mean to be gone this long, but I’m also happy to say that everything is okay in my personal life, and I’ve had a good opportunity to recharge my sapped batteries. I didn’t end up buying the townhouse I was interested in, but now I believe that was for the best. Aside from that, the other reason I wanted to take some time off was–I, along with virtually everyone else who works for the State of California, was in some danger of being laid off due to massive statewide budget cuts. As I balanced my options, I decided that buying a home while also facing possible job termination demanded I put more time and effort into my day job and primary profession of web design.

Ultimately, neither thing happened. As I said, I didn’t buy the townhouse, and I thankfully did not lose my job. Once the dust settled, I figured I would get right back in to drawing comics again…but I must have simply been burned out on George, because I was actually really enjoying my hiatus. I’ve been working on this comic for more than five years and I love it, but it is a time-consuming labor of love, and sometimes I felt the strain. Admittedly, it did feel really good to be free of the responsibility of having to crank out a never-ending stream of new comics for a while. But…as time wore on, I felt like something was missing in my life. I was concentrating more on my day job and not drawing cartoons as much, and eventually I realized that I had to draw to keep my sanity intact. It’s an outlet; a sort of meditation. The problem comes when I force this peaceful outlet of mine to be something more; to be a job. I’m pretty sure that’s what burned me out to begin with. I feel like what should have always been a fun, light-hearted project to share with my fans became a machine I had to continually maintain; less of a hobby and more of a demand. I honestly envy those cartoonists who take their hobby and make a living doing it, churning out comic after comic, meeting deadline after deadline, and never letting it get the best of them. I envy even more those cartoonists who don’t make a living doing it, but do it anyway without ever taking a break. I did it for a long time, but at a great cost. I kind of forgot to stop and smell the roses.

Now I’m back and happy to be back. After finishing this comic, I was reminded of what pure,¬†unadulterated¬†joy cartooning brings me! And, I want to keep it that way. That’s why I’ve resolved to take a much more laid-back approach to George and this website. I’m not going to have a set-in-stone update schedule. I’m also going to try to put a more personal face forward rather than just being a used car salesman for my comic. I want this to be a place where my friends and fans can come enjoy the comic, talk about it, talk to each other, form a community (even a small one), without feeling like I’m killing myself to meet deadlines. Maybe some weeks there’ll be several comics, and maybe some weeks there’ll be just one. I want to enjoy doing this, and I want you to enjoy what I do, too. Just remember–to ensure you never miss a comic, subscribe to the George RSS news feed, or subscribe to George in your e-mail, or follow me on Twitter or Facebook!

Discussion (12)¬

  1. Bearman says:

    Welcome back!!!!

  2. John Norton says:

    Thank you much, my good man! And welcome back, yourself!! Glad to have you around!

  3. Chris Wilkinson says:

    Good news.
    I was reorganising (yes it's an 's' – I'm English) my bookmarks the other day and I moved George down the list in my webcomics folder, but I didn't delete it. I had faith that you would return and I'm grateful that you have.
    Keep up the good work fella!

  4. Chris says:

    So you didn't leave for World of Warcraft then? I can stop levelling my new Shaman in hopes we could run the new dungeons?


    I mean, welcome back!

  5. Anton Hesselbom says:

    Welcome back John!!!

  6. John Norton says:

    Why, thank you, sir! Thanks for readin'!

  7. John Norton says:

    Actually, I've been holding out for the Spongebob MMO.

  8. John Norton says:

    Not only are you English, but you're faithful. Immediately, you are propelled to the top 10% of my fan base. Congrats!

  9. George says:

    Welcome back, John! I know exactly what you mean. I've recently gotten promoted from part-time to full-time at my new job and I'm doing everything I can to try to keep AC afloat while I go thru this time-taking transition. Hopefully, I'll get past the phase where cartooning seems like more of a job than my day one. :) I'm glad you enjoyed your vacation, and don't overexert yourself. We'll be here patiently awaiting your treasures.

  10. John Norton says:

    Thanks, George! Yeah, you truly astound me with your work ethic! Keep on truckin'!

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