I’m overdue to make some kind of blog post addressing the state of the comic and I, and a new year seems like as good a time as any. Scroll to the bottom line if you’re not interested in what will probably amount to a blow-by-blow of 2020.

First of all let’s not mince words: last year was a catastrophe as far as Next Town Over was concerned in addition to being a disaster all around. Heading into 2020 I felt like I was heading into the homestretch, the finish line of this sucker in sight, and I was simultaneously excited to be working on the Patron-only comic again, as well planning on a return to streaming and more work on game dev in addition to being back at doing illustrative work for hire, which is always more lucrative if somewhat less of a passion. I was also about half done with a new website on a new host meant to eliminate several extremely longtime issues with the current site and just update the comic’s primary home to be more usable, more readable, etc.. And then March and April happened. My kid and spouse came home for keeps. I was suddenly responsible for essentially homeschooling the boy because there was no virtual learning plan in place when the school initially closed and they were scrambling to even send out any kind of resources. My partner makes the lion’s share of our money, so I was functionally banished from my office as he [needfully] took it over to work from home. It got real hard real fast to stay on top of the comic while making good on additional commitments made pre-COVID. Then it was summer. Then it was fall, and school recommenced – virtually. And then it was the holidays. On Christmas morning we awoke to a freezing house; our boiler had died in the night and we had no heat. And and and.

I am tired.

Since I started posting Next Town Over I have always managed 52 updates a year, give or take, until last year. In 2020, I posted 21. Coincidentally and somewhat hilariously, last year was NTO’s 10th anniversary. I have been doing this for a decade. And rather than commemorate it with something big, I mostly just rattled around my house trying to keep up with my kid’s education and stay on top of commissions. I’m sorry. I hate it. I wanted to be celebrating the conclusion of NTO by now, for all our sakes.

But all I can say is I’ll keep going if you will! Thanks for sticking around! An extra thanks to Patrons who’ve supported me throughout this fallow stretch, some even offering to support me when I paused my billing for a few months because I didn’t feel I was keeping up my end of the bargain!

I hope 2021 finds you faring … decently, at least. It’s hard times for a lot of people right now and I don’t mean me; I was fortunate my big issue in 2020 was I couldn’t update my webcomic as much I wanted to and I’m very aware of it.

All the best,

Erin