Yes! It's embarrassingly true! As of this week's update Kaspall has been running for five years.
Quite apart from the comic, the past five years have been rather a life changing time. This time back in 2005, I had just finished university and was working as a barmaid, while living out of a shared room in a shared house, drawing all my comics on half a sideboard balanced on a stool. Now, I am the proud owner of a career, a house (kind of), a drawing table, and an upsettingly interesting medical history.
And yet, through all those changes, the comic has remained a constant annoyance. Sorry, pleasure.
No, wait ... annoyance.
Okay, I've got to admit, I'm pretty pleased with the fact that I've progressed from drawing like this, to drawing like this. That's something to be proud of - even if, when given the opportunity to show something to a person I like / admire, I still think 'OH MY GOD EVERYTHING I'VE EVER DONE IS SHIT WHAT WAS I THINKING?!'
Now, there were a lot of things I could have done to celebrate this fact. But almost all of them involved drawing something complicated, so I didn't bother with those. Instead, I decided to write some stuff down, because that's a lot easier.
So, here it is, in the vague hope that it might be useful to someone, or at least mildly amusing to me in another five years time:
TWELVE THINGS I WISH I COULD TELL MYSELF-FIVE-YEARS-AGO
1) The difference between the page you think is 'brilliant' and the page you think is 'utter shit' is hilariously small five years later.
2) Use those first twenty pages as a buffer you idiot! Don't just put them all up at once! Also, having a buffer is great. Maintain the damn thing or watch yourself go insane.
3) Stop stressing. Nobody cares. Honestly. Nobody.
4) Cancer is scary, but anything can become mundane if you do it for long enough, including chemotherapy and sticking your drawings in front of thousands of people.
5) Genuine criticism is good - don't be afraid of it. Most of the points they raise will be things you kind of knew about already. After all, you're the one staring at the thing for a ridiculous number of hours every week. But remember that the most common response is a deafening silence (see point 3).
6) A title that no-one knows how to pronounce or spell is a bad title. For god's sake think of another one before it's too late.
7) Don't buy those red cowboy boots. You will never wear them. Not even on that hen night where you all have to dress up as cowgirls - and it's not like there's ever going to be a better time than that, is there?
8) Your comic is not as good as you think. It's also not as bad as you think.
9) Don't lend that 'How to Draw Comics' book to Tom - he never gives it back.
10) Never tell people that your comic is crap. Either they like it - and no-one wants to be told that something they like is crap, or they don't like it - in which case that's hardly going to persuade them otherwise.
11) You will never be 'good enough'. But you do get to be constantly pleased that you're 'getting better'.
12) Clean your goddamn brushes!
... And that's your lot. Happy Anniversary, me!