So...... I started up the strip again and it seems to be going along well so far. I'm as confused as ever to what I'm doing, but it doesn't seem to be a problem. Like Bruno I'm searching and not understanding, I feel somehow a certain optimism but don't feel like I'm moving, I feel autumn coming and am crushed by it. I've been listening to a lot of Leonard Cohen lately (the old acoustic greatest-hits album), and have been taking walks and writing letters. All things I haven't done for a while, and it's been like putting on an old hat that still fits perfect. I don't know why it is I am who I am, or feel what I feel. It's not quite teenage angst any longer, but still I sometimes sense that I've missed that proper bridge to adulthood that leads you to finding stillness and comfort.... then again, nor do I feel that anything I've experienced to be really "wrong". So Bruno seems to express me well still. Many have noticed she's changed, and that's simply because I have changed and I don't really know how to express what isn't me. Maybe what I'm seeking is a lie. A good lie. Maybe I'm just seeking the end of seeking. Who knows, maybe I'll find it.
Regarding the surveys that so many of you filled out, I'd like to say that they helped tremendously. A few people were uncomfortable that I was "market researching" her, but that was really not the case. I did not change the strip to better match what people wanted to see, nor did I ask all of you for that type of information. What I actually did was gain a lot of perspective on the strip and on the characters in it, and I think the strip has grown stronger because of it. I've never viewed criticism or input as anything else but suggestions or perspective. And thanks again to all of you for providing it.
Book #3 came out in early june, and well.... I discontinued it. Along with the first two. I apologize for that. The explanation is simple. Hand binding the books was fun when I had only book #1 and got about 100 hits per day (as opposed to 4,000), but it eventually took it's toll. The thing is that it was oncoming for a while, and I wish my foresight had been at least a little bit better. So now..... now it may take a few months to get the books out, but I'm working on it. I have an agent who is working on finding a publisher, and as well I have an independent book press as a back-up. So, I'll keep you all posted, and I wish there was more I could say or do.
And then regarding the art
gallery on the page..... you may have noticed I've cleaned it up and added the works of Cailin Rebbecca Gibbons to it. She is a fellow artist and friend from the valley whose work I find to be both passionate and remarkable and am proud to help her display it. There is (as well) an e-mail link for her on those pages if you wish to send her your remarks. I've ALSO added a "gallery link page" to the gallery. Currently it solely features the work of Jay Fife (check him out!), but I'd be interested in adding more. The only thing being, that if you e-mail me your (or your friends) address, I will definately check it out, but I may not put up a link for it. And I will be basing my judgement purely on preference, not on merit. And I know that sounds bad, but I'm afraid I'm standing by it. Oh, and if you've emailed it to me in the past, please feel free to again... my email is straighter now... but far from completely straightened out.
Anyhow, enough of all this. Thank you all again. The email and support I've recieved from all of you has helped and encouraged me a lot to keep the strip up to the standards it's at. One of these days possibly she'll as well become my income, and thus with more time, those standards can go even higher.