From Humble Beginnings

So I noticed that SMBC has recently trimmed the archive down to only include the most recent 120 comics, presumably to avoid having his earlier, less refined work evaluated by potential publishers.

I imagine that dealing with the change in one’s quality is a debate for many, many artists out there. Some ignore it, some fix up the most obvious offenses and leave the rest, some fully redo their strips one by one, and some restart their comic entirely.

Simply… removing the offending comic isn’t done quite as often, though I have seen some artists occasionally treat the older work as a seperate strip, and having it available but disconnected from their current projects.

But I guess the advantage of a gag strip is that one can cut out the past without disrupting continuity.

Is it worth it? I mentioned the other day that my first impression of xkcd was a bit weakened by his early work in the archives, so I can certainly see the benefit of ‘pulling a Lucas’, one way or another. But even with that, you might be losing good stuff along with the old – and how exactly do you draw the final line?

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4 responses

  1. pulling a lucas? what exactly does that mean?

    -Lucas TdS

  2. That everyone’s “Childhood will be RAPED!!!!”

    I personally think the “Undo Button” (so to speak) is one of the great benefits of working in digital media and the vilifying of it should stop. When you print, your suck is there for all time. And rethinking your art is a natural: The Mona Lisa was redone a whole bunch of times, and no one is moaning about missing her Groucho glasses…

  3. pulling a lucas? what exactly does that mean?

    Basically going back and ‘redoing’ your previous works (potentially with negative results.)

    And, like I said – it isn’t necessarily a bad thing. It’s something I’ve seen quite a bit of on the web without really paying much attention to – and it was the sheer effect in this situation that startled me.

  4. It depends on what your goal is. I really like having my archives back there because they show how I’ve grown. I don’t like things about the storyline I’m doing now, but I’m just gonna fix that next time and see how I’ve grown. I completely understand getting rid of non-canonical archives when you’re looking for publication, though.

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