Who makes The Meek?

The Meek is created by me, Der-shing Helmer. I write the story, draw the comic, designed and run this website myself, and I even publish the printed version of comic on my own.

Does anyone else help?

Yes, absolutely! Every version of the site for the past decade has been coded by my incredible friend L. Chow. In 2015 I became a member of Hiveworks and utilize their ad network. Volume 1 of the book was a joint effort between myself, my Kickstarter campaign manager Taneka Stotts, and the pre-production team of C. McKenzie and Rhiannon R.S. All other related content and offsite campaigns are run solely by me.

When does the comic update?

When the comic is not on hiatus, it updates once or twice a week. I do not keep a backlog, and post the pages in real time as they’re finished. Additional updates are funded by my Patrons.

Since my update schedule is more sporadic than other comics, most people prefer to receive update notifications for when new pages go up. For the most accurate notifications regarding updates or delays, feel free to follow the Twitter, subscribe to easy email notifications, or subscribe to the RSS feed. To contribute to a higher number of update per month, access bonus info, and possibly snag some cool rewards, you can hit up the Patreon.

I don’t like the sporadic updates. Why don’t you just make a backlog and update with a more consistent schedule?

I’ve tried, it just doesn’t work for me. After many years of making comics, I’ve learned that the best work I put out tends to be the work that comes out at its own pace. I know that is frustrating for a lot of readers, and if that doesn’t work for you I totally understand (and hope you find a comic that is more suitable to your reading style)!

Wow, I remember this comic from when I was college/ highschool/ the womb. Updates totally died off for a few years. What happened?

The comic was on extended hiatus for several years due legal issues related to the licensing of the comic. Those issues were eventually resolved and the comic resumed regular updates in May 2015.

What were you doing all that time? Why didn’t you just keep working on The Meek?

I was unable to update in order to re-acquire my license. The hiatus took a major toll on me and I regret the circumstances surrounding it every day. To avoid this situation in the future The Meek will likely remain creator-owned for the rest of its life.

What do you do for a living now?

In the past I worked as a science teacher and then an art lead in the games industry, then transitioned to back freelance to work on comics, games and illustration for various clients. I currently make comics full-time webcomics thanks to my readers. If you have a buck or two to spare, you can definitely throw in and help us all to drown in comics.

Is The Meek being published? Where can I buy The Meek in book form?

The first volume of The Meek is now self-published and available to purchase at the store page! I also offer limited-edition special bundles through my Gumroad, and wholesale prices to retailers.

The next book, Volume 2, will likely be crowdfunded in late 2019.

Can I buy Meek stuff? Where is your merch?

All of my items are available at conventions, but I also list things from time to time in the store.

What is Mare Internum? Is it related to The Meek?

Mare Internum is a comic I began working on in 2013 in order to vent frustration due to not being able to work on The Meek. After its completion in 2019 I will be resuming full-time work on The Meek.

How long have you been working on this comic?

A long time. I had been thinking about the story and working out details since 1996, but it took me many years to figure out how to draw it. I began sketching the draft in mid-2007, and have been pretty much been working on it ever since. The comic began posting online in its current form in late 2008, so it’s been almost a decade since the site has been up.

Where did you learn how to make comics?

I am a self-taught artist and comics-maker with a background in biology. I have a degree from UC Berkeley in Integrative Biology, and a credential for high school–level science education. I learned how to make comics on my free time by reading a lot of books and comics in order to learn how to tell stories, and by practicing my drawing skills a little bit every day.

How long does it take to make a page?

A single page takes a minimum of 8-10 hours to complete. I am definitely destroying my body, haha (help)

How do you make your lines/colors?

I do all of my work digitally in PhotoshopCC. I use a Wacom Companion tablet to sketch, draw and color. As for style, line quality and color, those are just a product of personal preference and practice~

Is drawing this comic your full-time job? Are you fairly wallowing in cold hard webcomics cash?

At one point it was not! I used to make my living the old fashioned way, farming for snails. But I’ve sold my snail farm and now am doing art full-time, a mix of freelance and Patron-supported comics. I would very much like to be able to maximize my webcomic output since I would really like to get this story on paper before I die. But no, I am not wallowing in cash, but I have some leftover snails if you want one.

I love the way the site works and looks! How did you make it?

I have no idea!! I mocked it up in Photoshop and hired my genius friend L. Chow to code the entire thing for me. All I know is that 1. He is a genius, 2. He is not open to new clients at the present and 3. As of 2019 the comic runs on ComicEasel and is hosted by Dreamhost.

Can you teach me how to make comics?

Sure. Not like, personally, but I’ve got free tutorials up as well as a more in-depth tutorial series for folks who want to practice on their own time. The newest tutorials are posted to the Patreon.

I am making a comic! Do you have any advice?

Plan ahead! You can never plan too far in advance. Put yourself into the comic; make it something nobody else but you could have written. Have a theme that matters to you. Give your readers something to discuss and think about. Make sure you love your characters, even when you hate them. Don’t skimp on stuff you’re not good at, do your research and practice every day to get to the results you want. When people describe their works as a labor of love, they really know what they’re talking about. Make sure you use equal parts labor and love in everything you do.

Will you link me/plug me/review my work?

Thanks for asking, but I don’t link on request. I do link quite often to comics that I find on my own or that are recommended to me, and I read a lot of webcomics. If you would like me to link you, just do a good job on your comic, as I will find it eventually :]

I have a question you didn’t cover here! How do I ask one?

I am terrible at answering emails, but if you have a specific question, you can definitely tweet at me and I will answer. If you have a non-specific question that is too large to answer in 255 characters, I will probably do that awkward thing and pretend I didn’t see it.

When will Angora get some clothes?

Great question.