September 26th, 2013 | filed in News

STRANGER (or where the hell is PS?)

Okay, in addition to the website freaking out on us (for which I’m very, very sorry — I honestly haven’t found the root of the problem, yet — my provider says there’s network problem of some sort) I have been completely remiss in keeping you all updated as to what is going on. First, since I last posted, I’ve been working on STRANGER, and I’m really happy with how it’s turning out so far. Here’s sneak peek:


To answer your big question: When is PS coming back?

Answer: After I finish STRANGER.

Q: And when is that going to be?

A: I honestly don’t know yet. Rough pencils are finished, and I’m about 20% through the final artwork. I’m also juggling illustration projects around it. It will be finished this fall for sure, but there will some lead time as I finish up the next PS scene before anything new gets posted here.

Q: What’s up with the archive? Are you changing anything?

A: No, it’s just my server freaking out. I will get it fixed as soon as humanly possible.

Q: Do you hate us?

A: Absolutely not! I am grateful to you for sticking this out with me. I know you just want to keep reading the story.

That said please understand that I have a lot of responsibilities I have to handle right now, and unfortunately I have to put PS on hold until I finish them. I understand that I’m not very good at communicating at times, and frankly it’s because I get overwhelmed. There are people out there who live to interact with everyone they can online, but I am not one of those people. When I’m working on a project, I tend to stop interacting online so I can focus.

I admit I am at fault, and I should have checked in so I found this website issue more quickly. I’ll do my best to make sure that doesn’t happen in the future.

Rest assured, I will be finishing this book, and you will be there to see it. It just might be a couple more months before PS starts posting again. I hope you understand.



24 Responses to “STRANGER (or where the hell is PS?)”

  1. Andrew says:

    Hi Dirk, I’ve been following PS nearly since its started & I’m here for the long haul. Totally understand that you’re busy and have physical limitations on how long you can work, I’m just grateful that you haven’t given up on PS _and_ you’ve made it freely available.

    Also, when STRANGER’s finished I assume it’ll be available for sale somewhere? If you could let us know where to get hold of it that’d be great :)

  2. nitalya says:

    thank you for the update and will be happily wait to read more of your comic.

  3. Frédéric says:

    I started reading PS in 2009 and have never stopped checking the page ever since. Rest assured, I won’t quit checking the page until at least 2017 ;) I appreciate the fact, that you give us some insight in your ongoing work. I’m very looking forward to get my hands on Stranger once it’s finished. The fact that you illustrate Stranger is enough reason for me to buy a printed copy.

    What I’m a little concerned about is all this “I’m at fault”-part in the end of your news post. Please, don’t feel at fault! You’re packed with responsibilities and pressure. I always thought that you treated this comic as a recreational project, something which you feel fond of and – most importantly – which gives you joy in the process. If that’s the case a constant feeling of obligation to continue (but you can’t since you’ve got work to do) would be a pretty sure killer for the whole comic in my opinion.

    So if I may give some unasked advice: Keep on gonig just like you were, prioritize your projects as you will or as you must. And if you feel a little bad about letting your PS fans in the dark you could plan a monthly blog-update with some small news just like this one. It would cost you 15 to 20 minutues tops and it would keep us in the loop.

    On my behalf, I appreciate consistency over fast results any day of the week. Some sort of regular update – no matter how small of an update – would give me the assurance, that you’re still well and kicking.

    At any rate, this is just me trying to express myself in a foreign language. You do your thing, you’re really good at it! I’ll be still around when PS continues. Note: WHEN, not IF. I have faith!



  4. David says:

    Make sure to let us know how to get a copy of Stranger when it is done. The preview looks quite promising, and the work to date on PS adds to the promise.

  5. ChinseWolf says:

    Good, it gives me an excuse to put off translating PS Part 4. :)
    Just joking. Take your time and take care.

  6. Steve Ford says:

    For those of you hoping some kind of regular update, even if just to say “hi”, let me assure you that it is more complicated than that. I’ve been in this situation before, and I know that I have felt a responsibility to do that, and when there isn’t time, the guilt rises. Even going in once a month is hard in that case, partly because it will suck you in and consume an entire day, and because of the emotional cost. Too many emails to answer, too many responses to read, too many website glitches to fix. It’s overwhelming, and when there are bills to pay and higher-priorities to service, sometimes you just need to stay away.

    All that said, I am glad to get this update. :-) Like others have said, I’m patient, in it for the long haul, and happy to see an update when you can. Hang in there.


  7. Matt says:

    Hey, Dirk. I’ve been a fan of this manga of yours for quite a while now. In fact, I met you at an Anime USA convention back in both 2009, where I bought books 1 and 2, and then again in 2010 when I pre-ordered number 3. I’m anxiously awaiting the time when number 4 will be published, so please be sure to let me (and everyone else) when that date will be! Until then, all the best!

    • dirk says:

      I can’t say exactly when it will be out, yet. If my experience with previous books is an accurate indicator, then probably about 3-4 months after I complete the artwork for the book. I’ll definitely start a pre-order campaign when it’s getting close to completion.

      Based on current rate of progress, I assume it will be next spring before I’m putting the final pages in the can. But, it’s hard to tell based on the amount of hours I can work plus any other paying illustration work that comes in.

  8. Stomme poes says:

    STRANGER looks interesting; I would probably buy it, though I’d love a one or two sentence synopsis first to get an idea of what it’s about.

    I have PS on a list-of-webcomics on my site, so usually weekly I just check everyone all at once; that PS has a hiatus isn’t unusual in my current list anyway, and it’s just good to know that it’s not dead (and if it ever needs to die due to, you know, life or whatever, all I need is a paragraph or two telling me How Did It All End if you know… I can forgive any web comic that dies if I get that).

    I suspect most of your fans, like me, have little trouble waiting. Otherwise your door would already be covered with pitchfork-and-torch-carrying angry mobs, no? :P

    • dirk says:

      Here’s the quick pitch for STRANGER: It’s about a girl who goes to school in space and is bullied for being the only human girl in her class. It’s about alienation, friendship and finding a place in in the world, only with cute aliens.

      Think Star Trek meets Miyazaki.

    • dirk says:

      As for PS, I don’t think it will come to having to abruptly summarize the end that never comes. However, I think that taking more breaks from it like this will be inevitable before I reach the end.

      In the past year I’ve had to come to terms that this isn’t a project that will be finished quickly. It is my magnum opus, and as such will be the work of my lifetime. However, that means that I will need to work on other things while I continue it. Perhaps one day I will get better at scheduling those breaks in a predictable, pre-announced way, but as it stands I have to accept that I’m disorganized about how I handle this.

      Anyway, thanks for sticking with me for the long haul. I think I’m starting to understand how George R.R. Martin must feel.

      • Andrew says:

        Wait till HBO decide to make a TV series of PS, and with each episode they get closer & closer to the end of the published storyline :)

        I honestly don’t know how Martin copes with that kind of pressure.

  9. OctoDude says:

    Hi Dirk; I’ve said it before, and it still hold true – do what you need to do, and we’ll be here – no worries. I personally think it can (depending upon the creator and their personal processes) be a positive thing to take a break from one project to work for a while on another, and then come back – it can afford a new perspective to the original project that sometimes can be helpful… that old axiom about sometimes not seeing the forest for the trees.

    Look forward to any project you apply your creativity to, and always best of luck!

  10. Ben Scott says:

    Glad to hear you’re okay, Dirk. I can wait for Paradigm Shift, but I was starting to wonder if you had had a relapse or some other real problem. “Busy” is a small problem. We’ll be here when time permits. And /Stranger/ has me intrigued, the story sounds interesting, and the artwork is (of course) very good. Looking forward to that, too. Anyway, take care, priorities happen, life happens, we all (I would think) understand that. Clear skies!

  11. ChineseWolf says:

    My rss reader said you posted “Can I recruit you? (Website is back up… I think.) ” , but I only found a “Error 404 – Not Found”. I am translating part 4 (slow as a snail), so I will report if I ran into one.

    You retold a Chinese folktale of Dao? Good!
    In fact, most of Chinese nowadays, or more exactly, most of Chinese don’t understand Dao. Only a few people understand it.

  12. MacGuges says:

    Stranger looks like fun! I’m happy that you’ve got this opportunity to broaden your bibliography, and to put in practice what you’d learned from the master class you attended this summer. I’ve been reading PS since book 1, when I recognized Shirow’s influence on your work. I can wait until you’re ready to continue this storyline. Good luck, and get well soon!

  13. Lunis says:

    Where can I find “stranger”? is it a webcomic?

  14. chumash99 says:

    Could you do something about the text color or the background for the Q & A section? It’s very hard to read unless you do “CRTL-A” and highlight it. And since it’s December now, is “Stranger” almost done? Inquiring minds want to know! :D

  15. chumash99 says:

    Merry Christmas, Dirk! Did you get a lot of presents? Is “Stranger” almost done? Answer the second question first. :D

  16. a mark says:

    As the old year ends, I’m looking forward to three things:
    1. Paradigm Shift
    2. Drive
    3. Christmas leftovers (not a comic)
    Many other comics have gone on hiatus. But y’all know how to tell a kick-@$$ story. It’s important to get some variety in your life and to pay the bills (“Stranger” looks awesome). But please do come back. We miss you.

  17. chumash99 says:

    Yo, Dirk, what’s happening? Happy 2014! Any updates on “Stranger”? Maybe a preview of “PS”? Anything? Bueller…? :D

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