Evil Inc.


Evil Inc. by Brad Guigar

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On becoming a full-timer... (12 comments)

On becoming a full-timer...

Wednesday, March 28, 2012 - 12:00 AM


As many of you know, I have spent the entirety of my career in Webcomics balancing that, my family life, and a "day job" (actually, a night job) at the Philadelphia Daily News.

Last month, the company announced layoffs, and -- despite my 14 years' seniority -- the chances of my getting cut were pretty good. The day after they announced the layoffs, the company also announced a plan to combine the newsrooms of the Philadelphia Inquirer and the Daily News -- switching to a "24/7" news organization that would be staffed around the clock.

I've been open about the challenge of juggling a family, a day job and a webcomic. In the event that I wasn't laid off, my ability to juggle all three things was going to be obliterated once the company started altering my hours. If you alter my current work schedule by one half-hour in either direction, my entire day falls apart -- I either can't make it to work on time or I get even less sleep than the 6-or-7 hours that I've been getting for the past few years. And if my workweek is altered from Sunday-through-Thursday to, say, Wednesday-through-Sunday, my already dicey convention-scheduling would become hellish. Worse yet, I could be facing several of these schedule-and-shift changes every year.

The decision was made for me. Luckily, the company was offering a generous buyout to employees who would take a voluntary layoff, and I was accepted as one of those candidates. My last day is today. Tomorrow, I will jump on a plane and fly to Seattle for Emerald City Comicon.

Evil Inc, incidentally, will continue to run in the Daily News after my departure. The comic has a separate contract with the paper, and has not been effected by the layoffs.

A lot of people have asked me if I'm scared about leaving the regular paycheck I was earning at the Daily News, and I can't say that I'm not. But more than that fear, I'm absolutely charged with excitement over being able to devote time to the many side-projects I've been trying to find the time to do in the past few years. When you see what I have planned in the upcoming few months, I think you'll see what I mean. This is going to be a phenomenal year.

And even more than that, it's beginning to dawn on me that I'm going to have an actual life for the first time in 21 years. I won't be working nights anymore. And I'm not going to miss holidays with my family. Newspaper life means getting Christmas Eve off, but not Christmas... and the same for Memorial Day and Labor Day and Thanksgiving and so on. It's day-before; not day-of. And this will be the first time in 14 years that I won't be working Sunday nights. I get to live a normal life.

My actual schedule isn't going to change much for the next several weeks -- except instead of running to work, I'm going to go back into the studio for the second half of my day. And I'll be working on things that I'm passionate about instead of preparing the nightly weathermap.

It's going to be thrilling and scary and exhilarating and uncertain and new. And I've never been more ready for it.

GreyGeckoPress
goon

Posts: 2

Registered:
Mar 2012
Re: On becoming a full-timer... (Score: 0)
posted Wednesday, March 28, 2012 - 12:21 AM (#61292)

Brad,

I've just taken a similar step, leaving the engineering company I worked for after 9 years to become the owner and CEO of my own publishing company, Grey Gecko Press [greygeckopress.com].

This move was inspired, at least in part, by those such as yourself, Kellett and Kurtz. I happened to meet all three of you at Comic-con 2011 (here's the photo [on.fb.me] of me and Kurtz you so kindly took that day), and you were all without exception nice, professional and just generally awesome guys, which told me I was - again, at least in part - in awesome company.

It's scary, not having a regular paycheck for the first time in 15 years, and I don't even have a family to feed. But every morning (all two of them so far), I wake up and ask myself one very simple and yet profound question:

Could I have done anything else?

For me, the answer is a clear and resounding "No!" You're a great artist and storyteller, and though it is, as you say, thrilling and scary, you are ready for it.

Congratulations, my friend. Welcome to the world of the free. It's freakin' sweet!

Jason Aydelotte
Executive Director
Grey Gecko Press
(And a big fan of Evil, Inc and Courting Disaster, of course!)


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Count_Chocula
goon

Posts: 1

Registered:
Dec 2010
Re: On becoming a full-timer... (Score: 0)
posted Wednesday, March 28, 2012 - 12:50 AM (#61293)
In Response to GreyGeckoPress (#61292):

First of all, I want to echo Jason's sentiments. Two years back I quit my job at GameStop to pursue my passions. Now, I write for a gaming website and teach Taekwondo. It was the best post-college decision I ever made, and I wish you all the best going forward, Brad. Your fans will be here to support you.

Jason, I also want to thank you. Your post, and your publishing company's website, have spurred me to start taking a look at one of my formerly ignored NaNoWriMo projects. If I think it's salvageable, you can bet Grey Gecko Press will be the first place I submit.

To both of you: congratulations on following your dreams, living life on your terms.

- Shelby


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SterlingCamden
goon

Posts: 1

Registered:
Mar 2012
Re: On becoming a full-timer... (Score: 0)
posted Wednesday, March 28, 2012 - 01:23 AM (#61294)

That is so awesome! Reading this, I was afraid you were going to say that you were giving up the strip to keep your job at the paper. You made the right decision -- rock on!


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tomxp411
goon

Posts: 1

Registered:
Mar 2012
Re: On becoming a full-timer... (Score: 0)
posted Wednesday, March 28, 2012 - 11:58 AM (#61297)

I don't think anyone deserves this more, Brad. You've been working tirelessly for years on your comic, on your job, and going to cons.

I remember the "great Wikipedia Webcomic purge", where the Wikinatzis decided that your comic wasn't "notable" enough to be in an encyclopedia.

I spent a lot of time reading up on what you do, how much you do, and just generally being in awe at your talent. The stuff you've been drawing lately is just amazing, and I'm so glad that you'll be able to focus on getting your creativity out in to the world, rather than being a wage slave.

Congratulations, Brad. I just wish I had the courage and the ability to do the same thing. :-)


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ThatSteveMills
goon

Posts: 1

Registered:
Mar 2012
Re: On becoming a full-timer... (Score: 0)
posted Wednesday, March 28, 2012 - 12:16 PM (#61298)

Congratulations Brad and good luck. Not that you'll need it. I am so excited for you. I have been reading your strip for some time now and have been in awe of your incredible work ethic. I can't wait to see what you have in store.


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Silvanus
goon

From: Catonsville, MD

Posts: 91

Registered:
Jan 2008
Re: On becoming a full-timer... (Score: 0)
posted Wednesday, March 28, 2012 - 12:36 PM (#61299)

That is exciting news! Makes me wish I was going to ECC this weekend to tell you congrats in person. Good luck to you and let us readers know what we can do to help!


--
Torture numbers and they'll confess to anything.
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drowemos
goon

Posts: 6

Registered:
Feb 2008
Re: On becoming a full-timer... (Score: 0)
posted Wednesday, March 28, 2012 - 02:55 PM (#61300)

Best of luck Brad. If anyone deserves to make a career out of this webcomic thing it's you.


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ceganjr
goon

Posts: 1

Registered:
Mar 2009
Re: On becoming a full-timer... (Score: 0)
posted Wednesday, March 28, 2012 - 05:15 PM (#61301)

Congrats Brad, I'm really looking forward to what you are able to accomplish with all this extra time on your hands.


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woohooligan
goon

From: Dallas, TX

Posts: 1

Registered:
Mar 2012
Re: On becoming a full-timer... (Score: 0)
posted Saturday, March 31, 2012 - 02:59 PM (#61314)

Hey congratulations, Brad! :)

I've experienced similar sudden life changes when I was diagnosed with Asperger Syndrome and found myself on disability and when I got custody of my kids in February last year. It's always scary but knock wood the changes have all been for the better in the long-run. I'm sure this will turn out well for you too. :)

p.s. Thanks for all your work on the podcast and the book How To Make Webcomics. I got it a couple weeks ago and have been really enjoying it. :)


--
www.woohooligan.com
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henrykuo
goon

Posts: 1

Registered:
Mar 2012
Re: On becoming a full-timer... (Score: 0)
posted Saturday, March 31, 2012 - 05:47 PM (#61315)

I admire your incredible attitude! I'm a recent victim to similar circumstances, and I totally know how you feel. But that little bit of fear is a good thing, otherwise, what would you have to work for? And mix that in with a fresh new supply of free time and all of a sudden, so many things are possible! But you already know this, and I'm just incredibly impressed and look forward to everything new that comes of this.


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Dragonpriest
goon

Posts: 3

Registered:
Sep 2008
Re: On becoming a full-timer... (Score: 0)
posted Monday, April 02, 2012 - 08:25 AM (#61320)

Grats Brad!! It's always great when you find yourself with the newly found free time that you've always wanted.


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rangeraragorn
goon

Posts: 2

Registered:
Oct 2010
Re: On becoming a full-timer... (Score: 0)
posted Wednesday, April 04, 2012 - 08:25 AM (#61333)

Congratulations Brad! Best of luck on this change in occupational set up!


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