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Winding Down Our Third Year

Winding Down Our Third Year published on 4 Comments on Winding Down Our Third Year

As I write this, I’m about to start work on the 320th comic to post on this site. In a few months it’ll be time for the annual break, then in June we pick up with Year Four.

When I started Quacked Panes I saw it as a way to tackle my leftover depression and growing ennui. I still felt out of place at my job, I missed my old job something fierce, and I felt that maybe I’d accomplished everything I would in this life already, so why bother trying? Clearly this was an attitude devoutly to be got the hell rid of.

So, did the comic help?

I struggle, most Mondays and Thursdays, to come up with the next comic. It’s a chore. I wrack my brains. I jostle the camera while taking a shot. I screw up the lighting. I realize after the fact that I probably used the wrong duck or didn’t give them a distinct-enough voice. And it’s not as if my traffic numbers reflect any great Internet success story.

However… this comic archive represents a body of consistent, creative output. Barring one technical glitch with the webserver itself a few months ago, I’ve yet to miss a scheduled update over most of three years. Nobody will mistake it for high art, but I earn a few laughs once or twice a week (on a good week). I learn something new every month. People send me ducks! How cool is that?

I considered giving it up, a couple months ago. “I’ll finish out Year Three and call it done,” I said. Today, however, I don’t believe that would be a good idea. I need the outlet and the challenge. I enjoy trading snarky comments with my core group of loyal readers. I like being able to claim a really silly hobby when people ask, “What do you do for fun?”

Don’t act so surprised. As if you didn’t know me for an iconoclast.

Advent Calendar, Again? Why Not?

Advent Calendar, Again? Why Not? published on

I agonized for a solid month over the question of what to do with this year’s run-up to Christmas. It’s a tradition, insofar as something you’ve done twice can count as such. My options boiled down to:

  • ‘Twas The Night Before Christmas – The rewriting! The props! The walls of text! The staging! Not this year, not on this year’s budget. Sorry.
  • Another rendition of The Twelve Ducks of Christmas – It’s a schtick that Wonderduck and I have both used, and while it’s certainly easy and amusing and gives lots of room for creativity, I just felt like I’d “done” that one too well the first time to give it another go.
  • A running series of joke comics about how we’re all scrambling to get a Christmas thing “done” and then we run out of time – A bit meta, don’t you think? (And now I’ve ruined this idea for next year if I get really strapped for ideas. Whoops!)
  • Another rendition of The Quackvent Calendar – At first I threw this out for the same reason as the Twelve Ducks… But. What if I came at it another way? I pondered this, then inspiration struck, and…

Starting Thursday, appropriately enough both a normal comic day and the first day of December, I’ll be running one “poster” comic per day, every single day, right up until Christmas when we’ll have a traditional all-cast poster. (Is it too early to say that I’m thoroughly pleased with how this year’s poster shots came out? No? Good!) You’ll even get a comic the day after Christmas, it being a Monday and all.

(I must really like you people, or something.)

You’ll suss out the theme of this year’s Quackvent quickly enough, I figure…