Yayy you’re the worst
For funzies, a comparison of this page vs the original comic from 2007
In other news, I’ve been pretty busy! Some general status updates:
-did some conventions, it was tight. Thanks to everyone who came by!
-shipped out the last of my Meek Kickstarter books, it was not as tight, but I think that’s all wrapped up! By the next update the books will probably be available for sale~ You can sign up for the mailing list to know when the store opens, since I will also have some limited/ signed editions available to celebrate that my workroom is no longer a packaging center.
-decided that to make my schedule work for next year, I’m going to prioritize finishing up my other webcomic, Mare Internum, in 2017. This means that Meek updates are going to be on a bit of a backburner after I finish up this chapter. Once we’re done with Ch5 we’ll be taking an official/ planned hiatus until Chapter 6 begins in early 2018. I know that kinda sucks, HOWEVER, being done with MI will mean that all of my webcomic updates from that point forward will be Meek only. It’s very difficult trying to juggle two very different comics at once, and MI has an achievable, finite conclusion, so I think this is a good move in general. Feel free to yell at me in the comments, at this point my body is riddled with angry Meek-schedule bullets already so a few more won’t hurt
-since updates here are likely to be a bit spotty, you can use RSS, check the Twitter, or get brief email updates as a poke to let you know when the new page is up.
-I will continue to post behind-the-scenes Meek/ MI materials to Patreon! And continue with normal operations there as well with tutorials, side project news, etc. I made a status update there recently to explain some new features so feel free to check it out
-Speaking of side projects, a Kickstarter I did a pack of cards for is finishing up soon (just made goal, in fact), you can take a look here if you’re into games sort of things
As usual, I can only continue to thank you for your patience with my comic. I mention my “business plan” now and then, but this year was always going to be weird schedule-wise… my priority was learning how to travel to and sell at conventions, getting a second book ready, and setting up projects that will be coming out 3-4 years from now. I’m a big webcomic reader too so I deeply feel all of your frustrations with having to wait for new pages, and can only promise that you are going to enjoy all the material coming up. I just keep running into the limitation of having one body to do all this goddamn work, haha. Despite all of the bumps in the road, my goal has always been staying alive long enough to get this comic fully made, and sometimes that means Being Responsible and Learning New Skills and other horrifying stuff.
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*checks storyboards* “Oh, that read ‘handholds’, not ‘handholes’. Well, too late now.” :D
A planned hiatus is much better than an unplanned one. In my business, I’ve found that what pisses clients off the most is *unpredictability*. If I tell them there will be a 1-week delay, no one gets mad. If I delay for 3 days *without* telling anybody, I get irritated phone calls.
I think it takes a lot of maturity to recognize your own limitations and give realistic predictions to your clients. I’m not too good at it myself, but it will greatly enhance your success if you can pull it off.
As a related thought, I wonder if there’s a way to syndicate your progress / status updates, such that Twitter, Facebook, the comments here, etc, all receive the same information. That way, you don’t have to waste time typing and posting duplicate messages everywhere.
Yeah, I agree. If this was my only project I would be way more on top of things, but life gets really unpredictable. I’ve had this page half-done since early May and expected to finish and then suddenly it’s June, sort of thing. Constantly updating “hey I suck at updating” every few days is also frustrating (for me). The only real long-term solution that doesn’t make me want to completely die is to get some stuff off my plate as soon as I can, which is what I’m doing… right now actually, haha.
And yeah, there’s stuff like HootSuite, I just don’t use them. I am not really a scheduled update person I guess, but I think people have figured that out by now. Just gonna keep apologizing than try and do something that feels completely unnatural, and hope you guys can hang on until MI is complete.
I mean, how do you expect your readers to show any loyalty and actually want to support you if you don’t step out of your comfort zone, sick it up, and update with, “hey something came up don’t expect anything for a month but I hope I can update before then, thanks for your patience!” on your platforms of communication?
When you decide to keep doing what you’ve been doing, which is actively pissing off readers and driving them away, you don’t deserve the loyalty you’ve received. The skill in your work alone is what has made the Kickstarter happen, however as a backer myself I regret having sunk money into the first volume when I’m positive that this will never be completed and it is incredibly frustrating as a formerly loyal reader.
So take it as you will.
Nobody grows inside of their comfort zone.
Not sure what you mean by “comfort zone.” The reason updates are so sporadic is because I’ve been consistently outside my comfort zone for about 2 years now. You don’t sound like a full-time creator, but in case you’re not familiar with the workload, it takes a lot of time and energy to make connections with people who won’t steal from you, create and promote and Kickstarter, shop around for fulfillment services, create/ store/ ship physical products, learn how to do customs, create and review contracts, create a sustainable schedule for the next ? years, do hours of troubleshooting and customer service every week, and also normal daily operations and brand maintenance. And reply to comments like this, mad that I’m not going as fast as someone who is paid to do nothing except for art. I’m not saying you can’t be frustrated, but from a common-sense point of view, it makes less sense for me to spend time confirming negatives on several platforms than it does to spend that time working on productive goals, especially when updating you that I haven’t updated doesn’t really achieve anything interrupt someone’s day to remind them that you suck. Does that make sense? That’s why I have an RSS feed and mailing list: no updates there means no updates, it’s pretty simple.
Because of the legal/ shitty-ex-publisher issues that caused the 3-year hiatus, The Meek will be self-published from here on out. That means I’m doing the job of an artist, publisher, business manager, distributor, agent and PR firm on my own every single day. For better or worse, I don’t know of another webcomic artist who is handling as much work as I am at the moment without corporate support, and that is 100% by my choice. If you can’t deal with that choice too then it’s completely fair for you to bail. But logically I wouldn’t be working this hard to grow my independent business if I had any plans to discontinue the comic.
Anyways, if you’d like to read a webcomic that updates a lot, you can always try out Mare Internum, which has about 200 pages in the archive and will be finishing up this year. And Volume 2 of TM is already slated to Kickstart in 2019 so no need to worry about sunk costs, slow and steady wins the race. Thank you again for backing and I hope you enjoyed the book and rewards!
Dershing, most of us do understand the hiatuses, and it’s not driving us away. I’ve been a loyal and excited reader since you were in the middle of chapter one. Yeah, it would be great to see consistent pages and all, but you’re providing us with your story and beautiful artwork for FREE and you are only human, with many other things going on. I look forward to seeing updates on this again, but until then, don’t drive yourself nuts with all the hard work I know you’re doing elsewhere. I’ll be back!
“doing what you’ve been doing, which is actively pissing off readers and driving them away”
I’m not sure you know what the word “actively” actually means, Leilei. Because what’s discribed in this sentence never happened? Unless I somehow missed out on all the posts of Der-shing saying “f.you”/ “no updates for losers lol” / flipping a bird / etc. Which would be what “actively pissing off readers” is.
Reality is that a Kickstarter happened and happened successfully! Thousands satisfied readers with top-notch quality books and miscellaneous extras? Whole different comic being updated? Sketches and write-ups for patreons with *every* page? New tutorials coming out *every month*, for Dagre’s sake? Participation in multiple conventions?
These are Der-shing’s actions in this time of slow updates of The Meek. I don’t see how they can be summarized into “driving away readers”.
I hate it when people decide their own personal views speak for everyone.
Speak for yourself: I’m not pissed off nor being driven away.
Rather, I’m in awe that Der-shing creates these brilliant, beautiful stories and then gives them away for free on the net.
Art cannot be rushed, and I am content to accept the gift when it’s ready.
Same; I guess I can see how other people would be annoyed, but they could always go and follow other webcomics with more regular update-schedules in the meantime?
I don’t follow any of my comics regularly; I usually let pages build up over a couple months and check back periodically to binge, so I rarely even notice Der-Shing’s hiatuses, lol
Mmm the comment is rude but there’s a grain of truth to it. I feel like this comic is known for delays in a tongue-in-cheek way (most reviews/ recs mention “wow it’s great but hiatuses happen a lot!”) but it would be easier on the viewers to have the schedule/ announcements in a place where they can find them easily. Right now they’re hidden in the authors comments. That’s not the most convenient spot since your comments can get long sometimes.
Maybe hire an assistant to help you out? At least for the business end. Sticking to the “I want to do this all on my own” sounds noble, but it doesn’t seem like you can keep up this pace forever.
Haha, if there was an easy solution I would have done it already… and unfortunately, doing as much as I can on my own is sort of why I do webcomics in the first place. I really do suggest subscribing to email updates or RSS (both located on the side column) for direct update notifications, or just understand that this particular comic happens to update in this way. It’s maybe not the most ideal, but if you want a commercially produced product that runs in a more streamlined fashion, there are definitely a lot of great options out there.
New staff cuts just got averted.
Is there candlelight behind Hyla? Should it have been there on p. 33?
Nah, the camera shifted from being in front of them (the direction Luca approached from) to being behind them (since Luca walked past them). Approaching from the door, there’s a hallway with tables w/ candles on the righthand side, and nothing on the left except for paintings and a chair near the entrance~ /overshare
Ah! I think I’ve figured it out. Normally I wouldn’t have cared where precisely they are, but the candle caught my attention.
It is said that Charlie Chaplin, being quite old when most of his children were born, lost their love one after the other when they surprised him while working; being a perfectionist, he reacted very harsh to the slightest disturbance, not even noticing their distress.
Wether this is true or not, the terrified eyes of an until then happy and trusting child brought the tale back to my mind – especially as the biography specified that the broken confidence could never get repaired, with dire consequences for some of the Chaplins.
I just noticed the smoke coming off Luca’s gloves on the last page.
Are his frying hands public knowledge? Do his staff live in constant fear of being branded by a raging emperor?
I doubt they are. I mean, even if it were common knowledge that the ambassador got fricasseed, your average, sensible person would put that down to the emperor getting mundanely creative with his kills, not to supernatural microwave-hands. And he hasn’t used his nuke-hands powers in public settings; he executed the ship captain, for instance, without raising a finger himself.
Not that that’s any less scary, really. A creative killer, angry and in power, imbalanced and inured to violence, is a terrifying prospect. Between that and a grief-stricken king driven by a hungry god, I might actually take the latter; it seems like it might be fixable, if I could separate the two entities.
Brimming eyes and burnt gloves and towering rage. “Hell is for children.”
I didn’t see them as burnt; I saw them as torn where he’s been clenching his fists so hard that his nails have been cutting into the palms.
Either way, dude has a temper.
Whenever i have panic attacks, i tend to clench my hands really hard, so hard i cut into my palms. I don’t know if it’s meant to look like that, but thats what this made me think of.
My The Meek hardcover and extra goodies turned up this week and it is all utterly fantastic. Wonderful to see it in print. Thank you!
No, thank you for supporting the book :’] It really means so much to me, and I’m glad you liked everything!
I think your plans are sensible. I enjoy your work and it’s certainly worth waiting for. Also, I do actually have other things I can do in the meantime. <_<
My favorite part of this is Ulyer protecting Hyla. His face is neutral, but that’s because he knows how dangerous Luca is. Poor baby princess :(
Hyla can seem like an annoying brat, but she’s only just turned 9, or will soon, and her mother was just murdered, her sister seems not fond of her, her brother does, but he’s ditz, and she was probably sheltered from her father’s worst side, and has been looking forward to seeing her daddy, to get the reassurance and love that her mother gave her, and is suddenly not only seeing that her father is nothing like her mother, he’s scary and people are terrified of him, and she’s just realized that her game of disobeying her governess could actually get people killed.
Poor baby princess just lost a lot of her innocence.
I don’t know, she was the one who kept saying that her Daddy is dead, right . . . ?
Just found Mare Internum yesterday. I am really excited to be able to read another comic from the beginning with your art style.
Oh god i just noticed on the last page his hands were causing small mirrages from the heat, he need some real anger management (and less magic i suppose)
Oh man oh man oh man! I can’t wait to buy the first volume of The Meek!
There is only a hiatus if you don’t follow both comics! I am sure MI will very well tide us over til The Meek regains a more stable schedule.
Yay! He didn’t kill any of his own people the first night he was home!
I mean, um, yay?
Oh wel, there’s always tomorrow.
Hey, don’t gloat too soon, the night’s not over yet.
If I were them, I’d be trying to figure out if I can leave the country before dawn.
They could always swim for it.
“Whatever, I’ll burninate them some time later”
Is the Emperor not really Hyla’s biological father? She has her Dvoda’s eyes…
Blue eye color is based on a recessive gene, so it’s possible for brown-eyed parents to have a blue-eyed child.
(a bit of oversimplification, but still)
Der-shing already confirmed that Hyla’s eyes come from her grandparents, and that Luca is indeed her father, in a previous page’s comment section.
I’ve been reading this strip since my son told me I MUST read this new strip(so I’ve been reading and following a long time, albeit silently). While I have grumbled sometimes about the long delays, I’m still here. I’m also of the mind you don’t have to do this and it’s free so I’m happy to see updates when they occur. I’m so into the story and interested in seeing where it goes that I’ll be here for the duration, no matter how long it takes. Take it for what it’s worth.
That said and out of the way, I was struck by the last two panels, when Luca sees Hyla looking at him. I’d swear he saw Phe looking back at him, not Hyla.
Whether or not that was what you were attempting to convey, I thought it interesting.
Thank you for understanding! I think my update schedule is fairly reasonable if you’re reading both comics, but following either one or the other is probably super maddening at times, haha. Definitely check out Mare Internum, it’s a bit different from The Meek but so far people seem to like it (and like I mentioned, it will be getting updated much more frequently).
And yeah, there’s a lot going on in this family…
“Welp, ya’ll is dead.”
As someone who is a creator who has also gotten behind on due dates I totally understand. I think give yourself a break! It’s okay to go slow…you’re doing a lot and most of your readers understand that. The ones that don’t are probably either very young or very entitled. I love both of your comics and the time & effort you put into each one of them never ceases to impress me, so please don’t be too hard on yourself if you can! Bless!
I’ve been meaning to ask you, do you make your pages on the computer? If so what program do you use?
I’m fairly confident Der-Shing does the comic entirely on the computer (The final product is most DEFINITELY digital, but she may use penciled thumbnails or the like)
According to the FAQ, she uses PhotoshopCC.
Sorry for belated reply! And yes, everything is digital except for the thumbnails, and I work entirely in Photoshop CC like Skellagirl mentioned.
One of the many, many things I love about your work is how I easily overlook things initially, because I can’t see them unless I know they’re there.
For instance, I didn’t notice the heat waves in the previous page until now.
LOL-My son says MI is also a MUST READ comic. We have similar tastes in reading material.
First of all, thank you for your wonderful comics! I’ve followed Meek since it’s first page and when you launched MI I followed that too.
You’re a brilliant artist, but foremost an epic storyteller. You create such depth in your characters and don’t shy away from tabu topics.
If you anytime go in to books I will follow. That being said your work always is worth the wait.
Now for the rant…
How dare people being so rude about the updates on these brilliant comics?! Do they honestly believe that it’s just to doodle something and tadaa! new comic? All the labouring with storytelling, research, sketches and all the bureaucrating does not exist? And it’s free! So these people are despicable. And don’t give Der-Shing crap because of you being a Patreaon or Kickstart-backer. English is not my first language (so don’t bother flaming me on misspelling or poor grammar), but I know what patronage means, i.e. to give support, not buying stuff – the extra is bonus, be happy! Kickstarters in general is a low risk lottery, if goal is hit you get your stuff, if not well bad luck. In this chase you get wonderful Meek stuff, so stop complaining!
Again, I love your comic!
Ah, don’t worry mate, this comic has never been famous for updating often after all.
More like, This comic has never been famous [full stop]
Just to chime in and say thank you for the awesome stories you are giving us for free! Sadly i’m currently financially strained and cannot put money where my mouth is but i think you’re doing a fantastic work and i’m always impressed by your skills and planning abilities.
It makes sense to put the meek on hiatus especially considering how long you expect it to become and how developed the lore and universe of it is becoming! I for one will be excitedly reading MI to its very end and then stick with the meek for however long you feel like telling the story (be it to its end-my preferred option, or to a point where you feel like visiting pastures new- a suitable option as well :) )
Just for the sake of clarity, you do intend to finish this chapter before switching over to Mare for a year, is that right? Or should I quit checking this page until 2018?
“Once we’re done with Ch5 we’ll be taking an official/ planned hiatus until Chapter 6 begins in early 2018.” (italics mine)
Yes, I read that, but I think it’s quite possible for the author to change her mind and not let us know.
Nah, the plan is pretty much in place. The strain of carrying two comics at once in addition to regular Patreon content and managing inventory in multiple places on my own is finally getting to me, so for the sake of not tearing myself to pieces I need to get MI off my plate. But yes this chapter will be done soon as there are only 9 pages left. Sorry pages are taking so long, I am just not great at crowded low-light interior shots, which was basically this entire chapter.
sigh “Never Mind. I’ll work this out in 2018”
Well, that ended with far fewer fatalities than expected.
Then again, maybe it’s too early to call it…