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Just as I feared, moving My Pet Succubus to black and white has accelerated its downward dive.
I feel like I'm starting to flog a dead horse. Unfortunately I have neither the skill or talent to save it or come up with something better.
Not sure what to do now.
I've considered moving back to colour, despite health implications, but I fear it would just be the final nail in the coffin.
This is a bit scary for me. If I kill off My Pet Succubus, it could indicate the end of comics for me. As I've said before, I only have one comic in me and if it fails, it would confirm my suspicion that I have no business making comics.
You know, I have terrible observation skills, horrible spatial awarenes and shockingly bad fine motor skills, yet I keep trying to draw.
It feels like the universe is telling me I'm  not supposed to be making comics.
And that's why I keep trying, because every page I make it's my way of giving the universe the finger.
Fuck you universe and your predetermined bullshit.
Over the last few hundred years, thanks to science, we have been able to peer behind our earthly veil and catch a glimpse of the complex yet elegant workings of the universe.
Amazing revelations such as that we are all made of stardust or the incredibly strange yet functional world of quantum mechanics have hinted that the universe is not only stranger than we imagined, but may be stranger than we can actually imagine.

Right, so the universe is filled with what, for lack of a better word, could be considered magic. So why do people persist to believe nonsense?
We have things like the flat earth society, psychics, ghost hunters and fortune tellers. Isn't there enough real, scientifically proven magic and grandeur in the world already?

Here's the problem as I see it. 
Take quantum mechanics for example. If you don't know what quantum mechanics is, here's a extremely condensed overview.
When in the small scale, around the size of atoms, things no longer work as we expect them to work in everyday life.
Particles pop in and out of existence, show up in multiple locations at the same time and can have multiple properties till they are observed.
It's pure madness and completely counter intuitive. In fact, I saw physicist say something along the lines of "If you think you understand how quantum mechanics works, then you don't understand how quantum mechanics works."
Yet, theories have provided consistent working results. Electronics theses days take advantage of these incredibly strange properties to make your mobile phones, TVs and computers work.
However, despite all its strangeness and other worldly properties, quantum mechanics ultimately describes our mundane, boring, everyday life.
No matter how amazing the universe is, you still got to get up for work, go to the toilet, shower, eat and eventually die.

I think the lure of the supernatural and such is a seductive proposition as it promises to save us from the the daily grind. It gives us hope that our loved ones are still out there somewhere after death, that we can acquire the ability to affect reality only by concentrating really hard in front of a candle or that if we carry the severed foot of a rabbit, we can win the lottery.
Life is hard and everything requires effort. We all want to be free of that cycle and the supernatural provides hope of an escape.

This is a shame. People blindly believe propaganda and charlatans because they do not have the capacity to question and enquiry the information given to them. Understanding and application of the scientific method in everyday life could radically change and improve society in general. Then again, those in power would stand to lose much if this were to happen. CONSPIRACY!
So I've figured out how my comic cycles go.
Make comic. Work my arse off. Get readers. Work harder. Stop getting readers. Realise I'm still mediocre and, no matter how much work I put in, I'm still going to be mediocre. Give up. Play games. Start new comic.
This time though, the stakes are a bit higher as the amount of work I've been putting in is affecting my physical health and mental health.

I've decided to take a different approach with My Pet Succubus. I'm going to make it enjoyable.... for myself.
I'll probably go into a very clean black and white look with very thin line work and minimal use of black. 
I'm also going to ignore the subscription and stat counters, and most important of all, I'll stop looking at other people's artwork.
I just need to accept that I'll never be great at what I do, so the best for me is to simply enjoy drawing again, like I used to do many years ago.

I'm sure I'll revert to bad habits at some point in the future, but for now, I hope that this will let me rest a bit and stop my stress level from giving me an early death.
So here I am again. 3 years into a comic and frustrated as fuck with my own limitations.
My artwork is not great, my writing is hit and miss and no matter how much work I put into it, there's little to no improvement. In fact, it's going backwards.
I always end up here, looking back with an overwhelming sense of wasted time.
It is around this point that I just say "FUCK IT!" and kill the series and go on a video game spree for a few months.
Unfortunately I'm not clever enough to realise that I just don't have it, be it talent, skill or whatever, and start doing a new series hoping against hope that this time I'll do something really great.
Needless to say, I never get there.

This time though, I'm taking a different approach. I'm killing off My Pet Succubus... Well, part of it at least. You see, I find it really hard to write joke set ups and punchlines. What I'm comfortable with is making a mundane little story and blowing it up to ridiculous proportions, like I did with Leth Hate. And that's where My Pet Succubus is heading.
I'm going to start writing short stories and squeeze whatever comedic value I can out of them. That's my element and forte.
I know I'll never be a great artist, writer or comic creator, but If I'm going to suck, at least I can make myself comfortable.
This is getting ridiculous.
My Pet Human takes me 2 days per page, Sunday sketch about 1 or 2 hours and My Pet Succubus takes me 5 days. So basically I'm working on comics 7 days a week... on top of my full-time day job. .. on top of house chores... on top of commitments and responsibilities.
No wonder I ended up at a cardioligist's office!
For a comic that's not doing that well, with ever dropping readership, it's really taking a lot of my time and energy.
I really need to find a way to make it less labour intensive. And no, I'm not going to hire an inker. The comic itself makes no money so it would be throwing money away.
No idea whatvto do.
Ideas anyone?
I'm never going to become a webcomic rock star. I'm never going to become a respected creator either. Shit, I'm lucky to have people that admit to read My Pet Succubus.
Does it bother me? Maybe a little, but that's part of the package I made.

You see, My Pet Succubus is an uncomfortable comic to read, write and draw.
I knew what I wanted out of MPS.
I needed Giselle to look small, fragile and innocent. I also needed Natasha to be the polar opposite.
This is where the problem started.
You see, I needed Giselle to be almost child-like but not a child.
I also needed Natasha to be mother-like but not middle aged.
I think I was a tad too ambitious and now I often see Giselle described as that "loli demon".
I'm  not happy with that description but I understand why it is used.
Part of it is my fault for driving the physical and personality representation of both characters so far apart from each other, and because I haven't found a way to rationalise them, I've left them vague.
Now I've painted myself into a corner and I'm left with an uncomfortable comic.
But hey, maybe uncomfortable is what I'm best at.
I don't exactly have what you may call a sunny disposition, in fact I'm down right miserable most of the time.
When something makes my day better or even (GASP!) makes me happy, I think it's worth sharing in the hope that it might make someone else's day a bit better too.
Also, this is my Journal and I can do whatever I want with it.

So here's my list of 2017's top stuff!

My game of 2017:
Nier Automata

A game that ultimately doesn't tell you or show you that there's good in this world, it lets you experience it.
A mind bending masterpiece.
Notable mentions: Cuphead, Nioh, Hellblade: Senua's Sacrifice and Hollow Knight.


My song of 2017:
Across The Multiverse by Dent May

I a world filled with plastic, fabricated singers trying soooooooo hard to be cool, Dent May just couldn't give a fuck and neither does his music.
I'm really, really happy to have found this.
Notable mentions: Paid In Cocaine by The Mountain Goats, Les Mouches by Miossec and Making Excuses by Mister Heavenly.

My Album of 2017:
Goths by The Mountain Goats

Have you ever asked yourself where did all the goths go?
This album has the beautiful, beautiful answer.
Melancholic, nostalgic and full of tenderness. An outstanding piece of work.
Notable mention: A Peu Pres by Pomme, Across The Universe by Dent May and Nocturnal by The Midnight.

My discovery of 2017:
Junko Yagami!!!

70's and 80's Japanese super star that mixes funk, synth and city pop.
Her 1985 album 'Communication' is a fucking masterpiece! Seriously, it's like the soundtrack to the best 80's anime ever!
Notable mentions: British India, Alain Chamfort and The Midnight.
I'm frustrated. Eternally frustrated, actually.
I finish a page, store it away then refuse to look at it ever again till the time I have to post it.
Come hither, sit by the fire and I'll spin you a yarn of woe and terror.

I spent a lot of time and effort trying do manga without making manga (let's call it not-manga).
I have an obsession with aesthetics and beauty. Manga has shitloads of it and that has always appealed to me.
Problem with making not-manga is that aesthetics is what makes manga, well, manga.
I tried long and hard (hurr hurr) trying to come up with high aesthetics which are not manga. I never quite got there.
You see, I got to a point where I decided that if I didn't launch a comic right there and then, I would never get around to it. Anything I didn't know I'd learn on the job.
I didn't expect my comic to take off and actually have people reading. Pressure started building up.
One of the issues with making comics is that 'practice' as per say, does not make you better. Experimenting makes you better. Slowly and carefully trying new things and finding what works best is the key.
That's where I kind of fucked up. I put myself in a position where I no longer experimented trying to find the perfect aesthetic. I started experimenting to find the best way to save time, and that's what defines my drawings now. It's not the best aesthetic solution I could find, but the fastest.

I see jaw dropping art everywhere and I can't help but feel that I dropped the ball. I spent whatever little time and energy I had left trying to give myself a little more time and energy.
If I hadn't been so bone-headed and just straight out copied a style I liked, then use that as a base for my own style, perhaps I wouldn't have wasted so much time and by now I could be doing much better artwork way faster than I could even dream of at the moment.

But alas, you gotta play with the cards you have. Perhaps one day I'll magically come across a formula that I'm happy with.
Hey guys,
Some of you are already aware that Patreon is changing the way fees and charges are made. They have decided to charge  USD $0.35+2.9% of the pledge as a fee for each individual pledge.

This means that a $1 pledge will now be $1.38.

Unfortunately Patreon does not give the option for creators to take the hit.

Due to the lack of any real alternative to Patreon, I will continue to post here if it's still worth my while.

I know many of you may not willing or able to continue pledging and I fully understand. This is a massive dick move by Patreon and there's no way around it for creators.

I hope many of you will stay on but I will not blame anyone who wants to jump ship.
AAAAAAAH!
I'm really close to 3K subs on Webtoons!
If you haven't subscribed yet, now would be a really good time!!

www.webtoons.com/en/challenge/…

Aaaaah by Carlos-the-G
How did this happen?  My Pet Succubus has been going for nearly three years now!
Considering it's a comic that was born out of my deficiencies, with no plot, no story, and no purpose (you know, the things every comic is supposed to have ), it hasn't done too badly.
Sure, it's but a speck of dust in an ocean, with little impact and significance, but hey, some people are reading it and I find that utterly  amazing.
I don't fit in. It's like I'm twelve years old again.
Every now and then I browse through webcomic forums, normally to laugh at the artist wannabees, and for the life of me, I can't seem to relate.
I've called myself a fraud a few times and, sure, I do throw melodramatic statements for comedic effect, but I wasn't entirely joking.
I mean, really, I'm probably the last person that should be doing a comic.
I like making shit up, but I don't particularly enjoy drawing. In fact, most of my 'practice' time is spent figuring out ways to cut corners. The less time I spend drawing, the better.
I don't like stories either. I like moments, concepts, settings... stories? Ain't nobody got time fo' dat!! I got no fucking story to tell and I like it that way.
Also, I don't give a fuck about constructive criticism. I have no interest in making my comic 'better' by being an adult and being thankful of criticism. Fuck criticism.
Fair dinkum, I'm not even a big fan of comics either. Yeah, I got comics around the house, but do you know when was the last time I bought and read a comic book? I don't know either, but it's well over ten years ago.
Shit,  I don't think I've ever read a Marvel or DC superhero comic (not that I haven't tried, I just couldn't stomach it).
I much rather buy a book about Flemish renaissance art or Aubrey Beardsley's work.
What I really, really like though, is characters. But they have to be unusual, strange and extraordinary.
Fuck relatable characters. I want to escape and forget about me. The last thing I need for some fucking character to remind me of me.
Every time a webcomic starts with "blah, blah, blah was your average teenage girl until one day a magical horse tried to ride her...." or some shit like that, I roll my eyes so fucking hard that I can see the back of my head. Yeah, nah. Fuck that shit.
I've always found that it was far more interesting to see extraordinary characters dealing with everyday life.

Anyway, back to the topic...
I do feel that a lot of people start their comics so that they can say "I'm an artist!". That way, when you go to a party and people ask them what they do, their wrist goes limp, raise an eyebrow and lightly pucker their lips as they declare "I'm an artist!"
Okay, I'm being a judgemental prick, but the amount of people in webcomic forums obsessing on how to art properly is staggering.
I think that a lot of people see comics as an easy road to calling themselves artists.

This is the way I see it. Just because you can grab a knife and cut the heart out of someone's chest, it does not mean you're a heart surgeon. Same shit with art.
I was trying to figure out a definition of art (my own, not the dictionary's) and came up with "A piece of work which main purpose is to elicit an emotional response".
Yeah, it's pretty shit.
Under this definition you could torture someone and call it art.
Then it hit me, what does great art do that mediocre art doesn't?
It must also inspire.
Think Star Wars. It was made to entertain (and make money), and it certainly did!
But now think, how many kids, because of that movie, walked outside, looked at the stars and wondered if there really was something out there? How many of those kids started thinking not only of what was out there but HOW to get there? How many dedicated their studies and moved on to careers in space Because of that movie? 
That is what I call inspiration and it's a pretty important thing.
Art, and I mean REAL art, is important not because it makes stuff pretty or interesting. No, real art is about inspiration. It does not need to be the intent, but it's the end result that matters.

I'm no artist, and I feel that people adopt the title with little to no thought of what it means.
I believe that the title of 'artist' is something that should be earned and bestowed on you, otherwise you might as well call yourself a space pirate.


PS- Alright, I don't think I made my point clearly enough as I tend to ramble on and lose track of what my point is.
I believe that the current definition of 'art' is bloated and not representative of it really is.
I believe that if people want to make art, they should stop concentrating on making art and instead they should focus on doing work.
I think that 'art' is the end result of work, not being an 'artist'.

Would it be considered as murder if I kill the next motherfucker that gives me a llama and just happens to have a fucking donation pool in their fucking profile?
Starting from page 154, My Pet Succubus will no longer be made in colour.
The demands of doing two comics per week began to take its toll. I was drawing 7 days a week, taking up pretty much all of my spare time and it was starting to affect both my mental and physical health.
I do hope you will continue to enjoy the comic and that this change will not reduce your enjoyment.

 Monogiselle by Carlos-the-G
As interest for My Pet Succubus appears to be vanishing, I'm left with a dilemma. I'm putting a lot of effort into something that has fewer and fewer readers.
I'm thinking of two options here. Stop the comic altogether or go black and white.
Problem is that if I stop, I'll just start a new comic which is pretty much the same shit because I only have one comic in me. Going black and white would reduce the workload, but your average reader doesn't like black and white, thus making the comic even less popular!
I'm stuck!
After doing webcomics for over 14 years, I feel an urge to share some of the knowledge I've acquired over time.
I can't teach you how to draw (who the fuck would want to learn from me!) or how to make a successful comic (if you know, I'd love to know!).
No, I'm going to talk about things I wish I knew before doing this whole comic thing.

1- Learn to draw with pen and paper.
Yep, the old fashion way.
Digital is great, but it doesn't pressure you to learn. I can draw shit over and over again till it looks right. Great for untalented frauds like myself.
However, with pen and paper, you're fully committed to what you're drawing. Made an error? FUCK YOU, START AGAIN! No room for error here!
It may sound masochistic but the pressure of getting it right first time will force you to actually learn from your mistakes.

2- No, it's not your fucking style.
Everyone's done this at some point. You draw something that's really shit then someone points it out and you say "Hey man, it's my style."
No, it's fucking not.
Comics is about iconography. You're making representations of reality distilled to a simpler, more basic form.
In order to do that you need to learn about reality first.
Before you develop your "style" learn about anatomy, colour and shading. It's so fucking important, specially anatomy. You can only get away with drawing characters hiding their hands behind their back for so long before your cleverly constructed ruse starts falling apart.

3- Learn to spell properly.
No, 'you're' and 'your' is not the same.
No, 'then' and 'than' is not the same.
No, 'dual' and 'duel' is not the same.
No, 'PLZ' is not 'please'. THERE'S NO FUCKING 'Z' IN PLEASE!!
Now, don't confuse this with typos. A typo is an accident and accidents will happen and there's not a lot you can do about it. What I'm talking about is persistent neglect to learn the basics of the English language (or any other language for that matter).

4- You're not Japanese.
No, you're fucking not. Unless you are, in which case ignore this.
There are some great western webcomics set in Japan. One of those is Apricot Cookie(s) (tapas.io/series/apricotcookies), a satire of the magical girl genre.
You see, this comic works because the author understands and respects the subject and the setting. He create a very believable world in which the characters can play with the genre's tropes. This is how you do Japanese properly.
What you should not be doing is throwing 'kawaii' around or giving characters Japanese names for the hell of it, specially if your comic is set in the west. 
Don't rely on anime character archetypes to build your own. Being Japanese is not a character trait.
I know people love Japanese culture. I understand because I love it too! But I also understand that diluting a culture with centuries of rich history into a few cliched words is simply disrespectful.
I guess what I'm saying is that, if you want to represent japan in your comic (or any other country) you need to understand the country and the culture first. 


Now don't think I climbed on top of a soap box and put on a crown and named myself master of the world or something, because I've been guilty of these things myself. I'm just telling you now so you wont have to spend years looking like an idiot as I did.
  • Listening to: Murder By Death
So I found this in the TV Tropes website Under Orphaned comics, in the Serial Offenders sub-section (tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php…):
  • Carlos G. simply stopped updating no less than four webcomics: The Smashing Adventures of The Bottomleys (once available for download, now no more), GiselleLeth Hate and Cottontail (unceremoniously dropped after just 15 pages). Will he manage to give an ending to his latest work My Pet Succubus? (Answer: probably not)
I stop a series when people stop reading (waste of effort otherwise).
Am I wrong in stopping a series people no longer give a shit about?
What do you guys think?