I apologise for the scary title, but I want you all to read and understand what has been moving me so deeply and made me come to a very hard decision. After a very long time of thinking and making new experiences through the past few weeks, I came to the difficult decision and you should know it first:
Revealing the full pages of Haunter of Dreams online was not the right approach. Not for this story, for the backers and collaborators who supported me, and also for myself as an artist. I have decided to pause the weekly releases to all platforms, except Patreon and to focus on getting the book printed and sent out to Indiegogo backers.
The weekly release of pages felt like a very good idea at first. I was aiming to build a community growing around the characters and open up for interesting conversations around it. While feedback on the first released pages were overwhelmingly amazing, I realised quickly how much the weekly scheduling interrupts the flow of the story.
We are a friendly and cozy circle of people who can be open with each other and share what moves us as to remain this wonderful unity of artists and admirers alike. Some of you probably saw it coming and my family and friends have supported me greatly along the way, so it’s important to me to be open with you all and share the reasons.
1) I realized that Haunter of Dreams doesn't work well as an online comic. The story was meant to be shared as a whole, in a book, as I constructed it with the idea to let it flow like an animated movie. From the very beginning of the first page to the last one that concludes the story, there are profound symbols which let the character grow. And my plan was to have the reader experience it in the same pace. Being able to see only single chapters of a story like this is like getting introduced to a film one minute at a time. It can be detrimental to the understanding of the purpose of a story.
2) Something I haven't shared with everyone yet is the great team I had to help me make Haunter of Dreams happen. My dear friend Khaki, for instance, whom I now happily call my co-author for Haunter of Dreams, has put a lot of thought and depth into the growth of the character together with me. And the way how we all feel about the project and how it made us all grow together as friends, partners and a wonderful team of insightful people, wouldn't come across in single pages.
3) Haunter of Dreams is a story to be felt as well as to be seen. Since it has no written sound nor dialogue, the story lets the reader form their own interpretation. We want it to be an experience as well as a story to be enjoyed. It's not about an artistic experiment to show solely pretty pictures, which is why everything flows from one panel to another. The story lives by its pace and flow.
4) Another reason is my feeling towards the community which has formed around the stories of Yria. The supporters of my first campaign who pledged on the idea of Haunter of Dreams when it was thought to be just a tiny side story consisting of 30 pages, as well as the supporters who are currently helping to get the story printed as a book right now, should see the story foremost.
Haunter of Dreams was a creative endeavour, not a financial one, and the decision to change the way it’s released to the public is a creative one too. I feel the new approach best respects the story I love so much, the people who helped create it and, above all else, the audience we created it for.
The love I have for the comics is the love I have for everyone who enjoys them. And I really can't thank you enough for letting me do these explorations in art as well as supporting me. Throughout the past four years, the supporters of Myre and everyone following my art have been the most patient, the most supportive and most understanding groups of people who have been with me on the same road from the first scribble to full blown graphic novels.
The most pressing reason, however, is the state of my mental and physical health.
As a full-time artist, I have developed routines that allows me to produce art of high quality and with regularity, balancing that with exercise and sports, walks to connect myself with the nature I so love to paint, and maintain the collaborations, correspondences and relationships with fellow artists, mentors, family and fans, who mean the world to me. These healthy habits have helped me grow shoulders broad enough to carry a heavy workload, but the massive logistical pressures and production stresses have, I’m sad to say, overwhelmed me.
Trying my best to make the vistas of HoD available for everyone to enjoy, I ran myself down with completing the comic, opening my first Patreon, and then the rigorous work of making the pages available on 8 platforms, formatting them to different specifications, writing posts explaining my deeper thoughts to each page, linking to all hundred pages that I somehow managed to run simultaneously and drowning you as well as myself in piled-up information.
I want to let you know that each single comment you gave me on the pages so far really let me tear up. Comments of deeper thoughts, of inspiring others to make their own stories or continuing to better their lives and more. I can't render into words the immense gratefulness towards your support!
The decision was very difficult. But it made me instantly drop big weights off my shoulders. It halted the vortex of thoughts, I can eat again, I can begin to recuperate and return to focus on art again.
Haunter of dreams is complete. It's ready to be printed as a book. I have, aside from writing the afterword and adding the extra art to Myre and Haunter of Dreams to make the books ready for print, all the time to create more art to share.
What will happen now?
- I will continue releasing pages on Patreon, since people who have backed me there so far, were promised to read the pages online and contribute to the continuation of projects like HoD.
- I will still share my thoughts on the pages and the story, but without the pressure of a weekly schedule.
- I will publicly post snippets of selected pages to give you a bit of insight, much like "Hello Dreamer" and "Fluid Nightmare". Each panel works as single art statement. (To give you some insight, a page of HoD is about 10k pixels in width, so I have no problems with higher resolution shots and make them work as singles!)
- The printing of the story and return of Myre vol 1 will happen shortly after my campaign ended, which will be within the next three to four weeks. All names from previous backers as well as new backers of the campaign will be added inside the books. Immediately after the campaign closed and all names were added, the pages are ready to be set, colour managed and finalised for print.
- Haunter of Dreams is also available in PDF format in my campaign, and will remain as and offer through my store later. That is, if you wish to read the story without any interruption in digital format.
I will update you here on a regular basis regarding the print, your perks and the upcoming pages of HoD. If you have questions, concerns or ideas, please let me know.
If you like to obtain a copy for yourself, you can do this either through backing my Indiegogo campaign: igg.me/at/hodcomic
or my official Yria webstore which allows for more payment options: www.yriachronicles.com/preorde…
My biggest wish is to let you delve into the works that make me disappear from the surface of the world for so long, to carry you away from daily struggles and to inspire. The tiny side story of a little boy stumbling through a dream turned into a huge project and let me grow as an artist as well as a person and opened me up for more possibilities to come. Thank you for making this possible.
Thank you for understanding.