SO! I don't know, I just felt like writing about my ~feelings~
SHORT VERSION; I wrote myself into a dead end when doing Prague Race because I was young and it was my first comic! AARGH!
I started drawing Prague Race when I was 20, or 21 I think. I got the first ideas for the characters when I was 18. The very rough idea of the comic was born when I visited the city of Prague the first time when I was 16.
I think the comic had three different beginnings before it finally finalized in the version that’s online right now. And I once even retconned the beginning later on, drawing the whole prologue AGAIN and just got rid of the old one. I have no idea if I saved the old prologue anywhere... Don’t even remember what it was about.
I drew the very first pages while sitting on uni lectures for fun. I had planned that the comic would be 9 books long, each containing three chapters. The original point was to have as many books as Gabriele (the main characters cat) had lives left. In the beginning, the story had so much on it like all great ideas that you get on your twenties and don’t have any idea how much ACTUAL WORK IT WOULD BE TO DRAW THEM...
I didn’t plan anything. I just made everything up as I went, coming up with new plotlines on a whim if I felt like drawing something. The conecow monsters? I just wanted to have something out of the ordinary right on that spot even if it made no idea in the story itself. I came up with a gigantic plotline regarding them, which involved long lost forest gods trying to get in contact with the human world again by sending their little cone-animals on a pilgrimage.
Another great example is Sela’s store. There’s a big bottle which actually contains the whole world of where all the magical being in Prague Race live. It was some sort of parallel universe that was made to protect the magical beings, and it was sealed in a bottle (that actually shows in the comic at some point). There was a plotline where Leona figures this out by travelling in the magical worl so far up, that she can touch the literal sky and sees that the world is trapped inside a bottle. She then went back to the store and took the bottle, and started thinking what would happen if she took the bottle inside the world it is, through the Heen passage, or what would happen if she broke it (this is where things would get really weird so I’m saving you all from it).
But as you can see, all of these are ideas that would make their own complete full-length comics! It’s just A LOT OF MATERIAL I came up and dropped hints everyhwere, I’ve started several plotlines in Prague Race that I will never, ever have time to finish.
It was the greatest sin of a webcomicker doing their first story ever.
TOO. MUCH. STUFF.
Not neccessarily even bad stuff, I dearly love all of these little ideas I had but IT’S JUST TOO MUCH. As years went past I realized that I would never ever be able to finish this story as it was going on right now. I think I was 27 years old when it first struck me, when a friend asked me if I was ’still making the same comic?’. That one harmless guestion pretty much destroyed all my inspiration for a long while.
Imagine being stuck with the same project for years to come. I’m 29 years old now. Prague Race has been on hold for what, a year or two now? I still want to finish it... But it would require killing several storylines that don’t affect the plot itself. I had a whole sequence planned out about Miko and the werewolves, and how he would travel deep inside the huge forests in this world to meet the wild werewolves. Also Colin was supposed to learn more about the trolls with Toska, Sela would find out secrets about Fishsticks that would turn her world around, and the list just goes on and on.
I don’t regret any of this though. I’m eternally grateful for my past-self that I begun drawing this comic. Because what would be a greater way to learn how to write, to learn how to draw, and to learn how to make stories than drawing COMICS. I love the story that sprawles everywhere with no logic, even if it made me realize that this is not the way to get anything done. Oh to be 20 and fearless again that your time is eventually running out! Just kidding, 30 is still young and I know I won’t stop telling stories as long as I can write.
Anyway. I was very frustrated and scared of the gigantic monster I had created. Not to even talk about that all the drama and the ideas I had come up when I was 20! There’s not much I can identify with anymore. I just grew over Prague Race.
The story and characters are still the same, but I got older.
This is why comics piss me off, if it was a book I would be done with it already haha. I don’t think I drew a single comic page for a whole year, that’s how depressed I was with the neverending wastness of Prague Race. I needed something new. I needed a world and problems and drama that I could relate to. Something that would spark the same kind of fire in me that PRace did when I was young.
I came up with Tiger, Tiger. Which was first a DnD-campaign! As I planned the campaign I just fell deeper and deeper into the pit of how much fun it was to write something new! How much joy and heartache the plot twists brought to me! How I loved it so much that then I just didn’t make it a campaign at all and made it a comic instead LOL
And this time, this time I had learned my lesson and I actually planned it very carefully from beginning to ending, so that there wasn’t a lot of room to stray. Not that I won’t stray a bit anyway, I love fluff and little moments that don’t neccessarily take the plot forward. But I won’t let this story blow apart in a way that Prague Race did.
I’ve fallen in love with Tiger, Tiger. I promised I would update two pages of Tigers, and one PRace every week but... I just cannot take my mind out of the world of Tigers. The way it grows slowly as I draw it, page by page, I get so fucking happy seeing the story develop further towards the catharsis that looms in the future.
It’s such a joy to work on a story that makes SENSE! Where no moment is pointless, where every character have their moments and stories come to fulfillment.
Also the problems and issues the characters struggle with are something that I can relate to and that I can write about with my full heart.
I guess I just grew over PRace. I love it still, but it was the making of someone who doesn’t exists anymore. A 20-year old me. I cannot wrap my head around it anymore in the same way I used to. This, in my opinion, is the biggest problem in writing stories that are too long. I just outgrew my own creation.
I know that I might be actively shooting my own leg by not updating Prague Race that often anymore. It’s story that has been growing audience for years, and it has a lot of readers, at least a LOT more than Tiger, Tiger has! Which has resulted into me falling into financial problems. But I don’t make comics for money anyway, I make them because I love them. Of course it would be nice to be able to live by your art, but it’s not possible for us all. I don’t have much merch, nor I have books for sale.
I just wanna draw comics and tell stories, I hate thinking about financial stuff and making money. If I wanted to get rich I wouldn’t be making comics LOL!
I think it’s already a kind of miracle I make do by as it is. I won’t be able to do things like buy my own apartment or get kids, but I make do. A special thanks to all my patrons who have kept me afloat all these years, I would’ve quit a thousand times before if it wasn’t for you. Like holy shit you don’t even KNOW how much you’ve helped me. Pretty much every comic page you see on either one of my site exists thanks to you.
And who knows! Maybe Tiger, Tiger will find its’ audience in years to come.
I know I love the story dearly, the characters, the huge plot twists i have planned out, the incredible, joyful, macabre, strange things.
I just hope my love shows through the story. Like it used to show through Prague Race.
Prague Race is so important to me, because it tought me how to make stories. Now I think it’s time to put all of that I learned into a good use.