A while ago, I saw a post somewhere on the internet where a reader (former reader?) was complaining about the reboot of Velharthis. I say “complaint” but maybe it was a heartfelt lament. I’m not going to identify the reader in question, but they probably know who they are, if they see this post (I mean, if you link to my site and someone follows said link, I’ll see your post eventually, so why pretend I didn’t?). This isn’t a witch hunt on that reader, anyway, more like a springboard for conversation that I’d like to use.
The short of it is that said reader was not pleased that I had rebooted Velharthis a few years ago. They liked the original and wished I had kept with it. OK, fair enough observation from someone who doesn’t know the backstory as to why exactly I rebooted the comic. I don’t even know if I ever talked about it anywhere, and I’m too lazy to go back and find any posts where I may have explained it, so let’s have a review…
The story for what would become Velharthis actually came about when I was still in high school. This was… a long-ass time ago. I wrote a story for some friends. It was silly and weird and formed the basis for Jenise, Peter, and Hexten. As a nifty aside, the name “Jenise” is an amalgam of the names of two childhood friends of mine, “Peter” I named after the many immature men of both literary fiction and history, and “Hexten” I borrowed and changed slightly from a name I saw on a video game box at Blockbuster one day. The fact I have been inside an actual Blockbuster should tell you just how old I am.
I have rewritten Velharthis many times, trying to build out the world, add in extra characters, picked up and abandoned tropes, and figure out what the hell it’s actually all about. The central figures have always been Jenise, Peter, and Hexten, and their struggles with one another. That’s probably telling of where the story will eventually end up, if you’re wondering. Not much of a spoiler, really, but there you go.
Skip ahead a couple years and I’m in university. I decided to turn Velharthis into a shitty webcomic. I had no idea what I was doing but I liked comics so why the hell not. However, I eventually wrote myself into a corner, and fucked up by including some rather grandiose set-ups in the original that were never going to pay off in a way that made any sense. The situation was bad.
Also, the art was very shitty.
Now, I get that some people are gonna chime in with, “But I liked it!” and that’s fine. You like it. No one has the right to say you’re wrong, because you’re not. You like what you like. However, it’s my art so I get to give my judgement on it. You don’t have to live with your name attached to it forever and ever. You also don’t pay my server bills. I do.
And that brings me to my next point: this is a free comic. I’ve never made people pay to access this comic. I ask that you click on ads you like, and whatnot, but again: it’s free. You don’t have to support me, but if you like the comic, you can leave supportive comments, and just generally be polite to me.
One last point I’ll make is that most of you don’t know me personally. I’m pretty open about what’s generally going on in my life so that you’ll understand why I’m not working on this comic full-time (long story short: money). But you have to understand that everyone’s got their own personal story. Some people luck out and might have the financial means and time to devote to a free webcomic. That is awesome. I do not. Besides socio-economic concerns, there are so many things people can struggle with; family, health, politics, religion, gender, sexual orientation, mental health, education, etc. The list goes on.
This is more or less the rant you’ll hear from a thousand artists and writers. It’s nothing new. I just sometimes forget there are people around who may never had been exposed to this discussion before, and I guess it was time to bring it up. I hope it’s been informative.