If Google is to be believed, some people periodically search the internet for the comic I used to post years ago, Sterling. I have some Sterling art archived here (check the Sterling tag), but I removed all the comic pages from the internet within the last year or two for several reasons. However, despite the fact that my comic was never that well known, considering the fact that some people have apparently been looking for it (and finding Otakusphere in the process), I thought it might not be a bad idea to explain what the status of that project is.
After somewhere around 200 pages, I stopped working on Sterling because I wasn’t sure what its purpose was anymore. It’s not a work I can be proud of as a whole, because if I look back at the early pages now, they may as well have been done by a different person. Certain parts make me cringe in embarrassment (whatever made me think THAT was a good idea?), and while there are other parts I’m still proud of, I know I would approach them very differently if I were to write and draw them today. Basically, in order for Sterling to continue to be something I was proud of, I would have had to start over, and I didn’t know if doing that really made any sense; I still don’t.
Furthermore, to be able to draw at anywhere near the level I’d like to be able to for Sterling, I have to pretty much devote my life to it. There was a period when I was drawing for 4-5 hours every day religiously, if not more, and at that time I started to improve to the point where I could see getting to where I wanted to be artistically. However, I decided I didn’t want to devote such a huge portion of my life to drawing; I also like to read, watch anime, play games, and then write extensively about the stuff I’ve read/watched/played. I just don’t have it in me to make the kind of sacrifices it takes to be a great comic artist, and it took a long time for me to be able to accept that.
Even though there were ever maybe a dozen or so people who were really invested in my comic (that I knew of), I still feel a little like I’ve betrayed my readers by basically abandoning the project for this long. Yet, continuing to work on the project when I wasn’t sure I believed in it anymore myself wasn’t a good option either.
So what now? Some of the ideas that were originally going to be part of Sterling have gone off in other directions; some of them can even be found on this blog. As to the comic itself, I have to figure out what the really essential aspects of the story are, polish those, and then present them as either a light novel with illustrations, or as a more minimalist graphic novel. I also have another idea for a comic in a different genre that it might make more sense to work on instead- a clean slate, a different style.
I have to make some hard (for me) decisions before I can get back to drawing comics, or doing anything like that, really. For now, you can expect to see my usual game and anime related posts, and occasional art here at Otakusphere, but if there’s any real progress on the comics front, that will be posted here as well.