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stop drawing American Elf
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gerardo



Joined: 15 Feb 2011
Posts: 8

PostPosted: Tue Feb 15, 2011 3:24 am    Post subject: stop drawing American Elf Reply with quote

James, are you really thinking about leaving the American Elf strip? I read this idea in a pair of your last strips recently, and I'm really worry about this. I can't imagine your reasons but, if this words could be useful to you, I would like to tell you something. I write to you from Spain, in Europe, and I like your web site very much. I read your strips every morning (in fact, is the first thing I do when I put on my computer), they are kindly and funny, and I can't imagine another better way to start my days. Dispite this, I would like to tell you that through your work I meet Vermont and his people. I've never been there (but I like'd it) but today I see the "Stuck in Vermont" program and hear de VPR radio station with some frequency. I hope you consider this idea carefully.
With love. An spanish fan (and sorry for my awfull english).
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James Kochalka



Joined: 03 Jun 2002
Posts: 5774
Location: Burlington, VT

PostPosted: Tue Feb 15, 2011 7:15 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thank you.

I guess I'm going to spend the rest of this year THINKING about it, and see what I decide.
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gerardo



Joined: 15 Feb 2011
Posts: 8

PostPosted: Tue Feb 15, 2011 7:56 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

(you really start to work early in the morning) Thank's for you answer. Smile
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boxbrown



Joined: 13 Apr 2005
Posts: 1237
Location: Philadelphia

PostPosted: Tue Feb 15, 2011 8:36 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Isn't 10 years coming up? Or, did that already happen? If so, 10 years seems like a nice round quitting number. Although, if you do quit, I might have to email you daily so you can tell me a little story.
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James Kochalka



Joined: 03 Jun 2002
Posts: 5774
Location: Burlington, VT

PostPosted: Tue Feb 15, 2011 8:55 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I should've stopped at 10 years. Now we're on year 12 or 13 or something. One of my friends just said, Go to FIFTEEN!

My brother doesn't want me to ever stop.
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Kelly Tindall



Joined: 20 Oct 2010
Posts: 53
Location: Canada

PostPosted: Tue Feb 15, 2011 9:12 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

If you're going to stop, make sure you have enough for a final volume at least. Then you can ride the 'end of an era!' hype to modestly higher sales. You can do interviews with Comics Reporter, The Beat, CBR, Newsarama, Comics Alliance, get a retrospective going at Robot 6, maybe get some mainstream attention going, sell the strip as a movie starring Paul Bettany and Jennifer Connelly, then launch a new and improved daily webcomic about sexy robots or something.

Yeah, it's probably not a bad idea to wind down. I mean, I'll miss the strip, but I want you to be successful enough to keep making stuff I can read.
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boxbrown



Joined: 13 Apr 2005
Posts: 1237
Location: Philadelphia

PostPosted: Tue Feb 15, 2011 10:27 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

James Kochalka wrote:
I should've stopped at 10 years. Now we're on year 12 or 13 or something. One of my friends just said, Go to FIFTEEN!

My brother doesn't want me to ever stop.


You've got to get to a round number or it doesn't count.

Also: your brother is very smart.
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travtrav



Joined: 16 Sep 2002
Posts: 648
Location: new york / brooklyn, ny

PostPosted: Tue Feb 15, 2011 10:45 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

IDEA! You could spend two straight weeks drawing a few hundred strips in an Adderall fury and set up a script that automatically uploads one every day.

This is what Johnny Hart does every five years.
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Happypeepeehead



Joined: 18 May 2007
Posts: 803
Location: NJ

PostPosted: Tue Feb 15, 2011 1:38 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Oh man, it'll be great to see the strip he draws after he quits and legions of us chain him to a notebook and scanner and force him to continue


I mean... please continue. I sincerely doubt you've said all you can say with American Elf since this really is an examination of life on an unprecedented scale, though I recognize there have been and will be more moments when recording life will be painful, that's the spectrum of life anyway.
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James Kochalka



Joined: 03 Jun 2002
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PostPosted: Tue Feb 15, 2011 3:33 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I've always had a fantasy that I would very slowly evolve American Elf to be a story about an alien invasion from another dimension.
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Chainsaw Guy



Joined: 04 Dec 2003
Posts: 1876
Location: portland, or

PostPosted: Tue Feb 15, 2011 4:25 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

boxbrown wrote:
You've got to get to a round number or it doesn't count.


that's what i was thinking. you've already passed 10, so now you have to go to 20 before you can consider quitting. 50 would be ideal.

James Kochalka wrote:
I've always had a fantasy that I would very slowly evolve American Elf to be a story about an alien invasion from another dimension.


i did a fake journal comic for a couple years as a girl named norah west. i had planned for it to lead to her friend getting abducted by aliens and even foreshadowed it at one point, but never got to it.
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urkotic



Joined: 19 May 2006
Posts: 128

PostPosted: Tue Feb 15, 2011 5:11 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

James Kochalka wrote:
My brother doesn't want me to ever stop.


You have to please yourself of course but I agree with your brother. Smile

I feel like there have been a couple strips about how you'd feel lost without your sketchbook diary. I'll have to see if I can find the ones I have in mind.

I would be really sad if you stopped but, we'll see. Anyway I have to think you'd still be creating some kind of comics. Right?
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DagothJones



Joined: 23 Dec 2010
Posts: 4

PostPosted: Tue Feb 15, 2011 8:19 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

If it's to be your final year, have your last comics sync with 'Peace Train' by Cat Stevens

I don't know how you'd do it, but I think you could make this happen.
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James Kochalka



Joined: 03 Jun 2002
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PostPosted: Tue Feb 15, 2011 8:28 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Honestly, I'm not even sure if I'd be capable of quitting. Let's not freak out or anything, either way.

Actually, I'm sure you fine readers won't "freak out", but I myself am in great danger of doing so at practically any moment. Smile
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JMak



Joined: 03 Apr 2004
Posts: 72
Location: Catasauqu...the suburbs.

PostPosted: Wed Feb 16, 2011 1:12 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

American Elf on any given day is a cute slice of life comic. When you read a year or two you feel like you know James Kochalka as a real person, and these single moments take on an added depth. When you've read five years, it feels like you're hearing stories from an old friend. Suddenly ten years have passed and you realize that, on a day by day basis, you've watched him mature and raise a family and that you've been able to share the ups and downs along the way. You've seen a decade pass through the lens of his drawings. And it's transcended from a webcomic to an undeniable, herculean work of art. Simply put, the longer it goes the more significant an accomplishment it becomes.

The flipside, of course, is that if it isn't creatively fulfilling anymore and it's keeping you from pursuing what you actually want to do, then it has to end.

This is your life, James. When American Elf ends, a part of you will die so that you may truly live.
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