The title of this post is a little underhanded. Ludo and I are barreling forward with our story and have no plans to give up on what we started. But I wanted to talk a little about how my tastes in comics have changed, and how that change relates to the story we're going to tell.
When I began reading comics I was all X-Men, all the time. It was during Claremont's extraordinary run, just after The Fall of the Mutants. My Mom once asked me why I liked comics, and I answered that I liked to read, and comics were a way that the story never ended. Sure Kitty and Wolvie had escaped the Marauders, but all I had to do was wait one month and another chapter would be on its way.
That was then. Now when I think back to the stories that stuck with me, single arcs in ongoing comics don't jump out. The ones I remember are Mage, Watchmen and V for Vendetta. I still have a love for the comics I read as a kid, but the ones that made the strongest impressions on me ended. And they didn't end because they were cancelled, they ended because they were written to end.
In my adult life I've finally read my two favorite comic series of all time, Sandman and Bone. They both end. And they end when they're supposed to. I can not recommend either of them enough.
Seriously. Go read Bone and Sandman if you haven't. Now.
I believe these series resonate better with me than the perpetually ongoing ones because when you're on the 400th issue of a title, what could be your goal? Sure you want to entertain your readers. And yes, you want to invent new and interesting conflicts/scenarios for those characters to live through. But in truth what you're really trying to do is just keep the patient on life support as long as possible.
A very recent example is Fables. From what I understand Fables was envisioned as a 70 or 80 issue series with a definitive end. And when they got there, the writer realized he had more stories to tell. Bill Willingham is an extraordinary writer (and his primary artist on the series, Mark Buckingham, is one of my all-time favorites) so each individual issue after the envisioned ending has been enjoyable. But in my opinion, they aren't memorable. To me the series ends when the war against The Adversary ends. Everything afterwards fades from my mind. Please feel free to disagree in the comments if you've read it.
So what does that have to do with Tart? Ludo and I are (perhaps, naively) ambitious with this project. We want it to be the type of series that resonates. We want it to be one that can be read multiple times. And we want it to be one that sticks with you.
Tart will end. I can't say which issue it will end on (heck, the story to issues 4-7 didn't exist when we mapped our series, and a few of our ideas will not work for various reasons so any total number of issues for this series would be no more than a guess), but it will end. And we know what that ending is.
As my mind wonders to the ending, and I plan on how to make it satisfying for the audience, it also allows me to build toward it. Just yesterday, I sent Ludo an image he'll need for the final issue. An image he may not draw for print for 5 to 10 years, but that he will draw eventually. I hope this will make each issue not a comic in your hands, but an individual chapter in one long novel (I chose not to use the term Graphic Novel here because Tart is a comic, and I'm proud it's a comic. Graphic Novel is a term people outside of comics use to forgive themselves for reading comics. Off soapbox).
Oh, and Hell No, I won't tell you what that ending is.
Have a great week, everybody!