Archive for October, 2013

October 30th, 2013 | filed in News


Well, folks, I’m afraid I have to report indeed to go back into treatment for my neck. I went to see a neurologist on Monday, and I’ve been ordered to have a battery of tests to get to the root of the problem. So for a second time in 15 months I have to put my business on hold and stop production on both STRANGER and PS. I’ve try to manage this problem and continue to work, and I have failed.

This time, I’m not coming back to work until I’ve solved this problem for good. Rest assured, I’m going to try everything I can to correct the problem with both conventional and alternative medicine. While I’m sure many of you have great suggestions, please keep them to yourself for now. I’m going to have to develop a treatment regimen that works for me. That said, I’m reserving surgery as the VERY LAST option. If I can fix this using non-invasive means, I will.

In the meantime I’ll be continuing my physical routine of regular exercise, yoga, meditation, massage therapy and stress reduction to calm things down. I know stress is at the root of the problem, but i have to figure out how to untangle the mess before I return to work. Hopefully, I’ll have some better answers later this month.

As always, thanks for your unending patience.

October 25th, 2013 | filed in News


I think we finally found the problem. For some reason the server’s disk space had maxed out, and it was screwing with the functioning of the website. Still not sure what caused the error, because the website only uses a small fraction of the server’s total space. I’m still awaiting a report from my provider, but overnight disk usage went from 98% to 10%, so clearly they found the root of the problem.

In any case, I’ll keep checking up on it to make sure it’s not acting up again. Sorry it was causing problems for you guys. It was a really frustrating mystery, and I’m glad the site appears to be fixed now.

Still going to be awhile before I start updating PS again. I haven’t had the most productive month in terms of art production for STRANGER. I’ve had to back off because of my neck. It’s pretty clear the root of the problem has to do with stress and anxiety (sound like any characters you know?), and I’m going to be seeing a neurologist soon to see if there can be anything else I can do about the problem. In the meantime, yoga, physical activity, and massage therapy seem to be prescription. Learning to relax into my work seems to be the key, but it’s hard to do. I’ve spent most of my adult life in high gear sprinting at my deadlines, and now my high gear has been eliminated because I lock up when I try to slip into that mode.

Right now I can tell you I’m accumulating some rich experiences that will undoubtedly come back into my writing at some point. Kate & Mike’s story has always paralleled my own life in many ways, and this will be no exception. Even choosing to have Kate be a werewolf wasn’t just a case of me thinking it was cool, but because it’s such as juicy metaphor for dealing with one’s internal stress and anxiety, quelling the beast inside. And Mike’s calm, Zen demeanor being the antidote. These are the forces I’ve always struggled with myself. Beneath that calm exterior, I often had this swirl of anxieties, anger, and frustration that I always fought to keep in check. Everyone does. In many ways, that’s what this story is about when you strip away all the tropes, adventure and nonsense.

Anyway, I’m now having to stop and face those fears and learn to cope with my own anxiety and response to stress. Like Kate, I’d been running away from it for quite some time, always feeling like I had a freight train bearing down on me, always trying to meet the next deadline, the next update, the next convention. And last year the freight train caught up with me. And I got flattened. My body rebelled, and now I have to learn to work without having to feel like I’m constant catching up to everything. It’s humbling, and a bit humiliating to admit that I wasn’t able to meet my own (admittedly, unrealistic) expectations. I have to thank God/The Universe/Luck that I have a supportive wife and family to take care of me while I work through this, because if I didn’t have them, I would be in a bad way right now. And thankfully, I am not.

I’m still working, but I’m having to change my relationship to my work, to my business, and to my comic. And it isn’t easy. I’m looking forward to getting back to PS, but it may take awhile. I’ve got a lot to work to do before I get there. But I will get there.

Thanks again to you all for your patience.

October 24th, 2013 | filed in News

Still scratching my head…

As you can see, the site is still not back up. I finally have a little time to poke at it, but so far I’m completely flummoxed as to what is causing the problem. Basically, the database keeps crapping out when it comes time to access any of the webcomic content. I don’t know if the plug-in is broken (a re-install failed to fix the problem), or if the server’s database connections are simply being overloaded.

Right now I don’t know how to fix it short of nuking the server from the OS up, because I suspect simply wiping the site and restoring from a backup is not going to fix the problem. Other options include moving to a new machine entirely, or re-coding the site from the ground up using a newer version of WordPress and Webcomic or ComicPress. None of these options are very appealing.

At this point I’m in way over my head. I can handle my fair share of PHP, MySQL, XHTML and such, but this is getting into arcane server areas that I don’t know how to fix.

At this point I’m just confused and frustrated and ready to throw in the towel on this whole webcomic thing. Managing all this really isn’t as fun as it used to be.