The end

No Comments

This is going to seem sudden, but Nate and I are not going to continue creating A Zombie Story. It probably sounds melodramatic, but that sentence was even harder type than the decision was to make.

Some of you probably don’t need the wordy explanation that’s about to go down so to you I’ll simply say thank you. I’m so appreciative of the time you spent reading our comic and hope you’ll watch out for our upcoming projects.

To the rest of you, there are a few reasons for this decision:

1) We can’t/don’t know how to draw in new readers and, outside a small circle of dedicated and supportive family and friends, no one is seeing the result of our effort. I know that the comic was only relaunched a few months ago and that’s not an unusual amount of time for a webcomic to hover under the radar but we have other projects that will take off quickly and can’t be worked on due to the time investment required by A Zombie Story. Nate and I have so much fun creating this comic and even more fun sharing it with all of you but it takes a lot of work, a lot of time, and, most importantly, it makes creating our other projects impossible.

2) Extreme Sax Workouts has been simmering on the back burner for far too long and it’s time to… you know, move it… to a different burner… on a higher heat setting so that the contents can reach the appropriate temperature for consumption. Every conversation I have with Nate about Johnny Screecher and Extreme Sax Workouts yields a dozen or so new ideas for jokes, episodes, merchandise, etc. It’s been over two years since we posted the initial videos and I’m still getting requests on a weekly basis for more ESW. Nate recently asked the question, “Why aren’t we making ESW?” The honest answer is: A Zombie Story.

3) There are several more comics projects that I want to create. Nate has recently started pursuing his lifelong passion for writing head on and has already put out several short stories that would make GREAT comics/graphic novels. There’s also a comic strip written by my friend, Phillip, that I’ve been dying to put more time into.

less A Zombie Story = more everything else

4) Getting exposure and building a readership for A Zombie Story is hard. I’d rather spend my time making my comics better than trying to drag people to my website. By comparison, Musicomics sells itself. I don’t invest that much time trying to show it to people. I just make it better. Extreme Sax Workouts sells itself. Spoilertoons will sell itself. As passionate as we are about A Zombie Story, it will be a much more successful project if it hits the ground running with a substantial readership. Maybe a chunk of the potential readership of Musicomics, ESW, and Spoilertoons would be excited to jump into A Zombie Story if they already trust us as creators and enjoy what we do.

So, to my friends and family who have been reading, voting, and sharing A Zombie Story over the past year or so, thank you. You’ll never know how much it meant to both of us.

Dustin & Nate

Decisions, decisions, decisions… – Dusty

When I first launched the original version of A Zombie Story on my Facebook page as a completely open-ended webcomic just over a year ago, I had no idea how the pace or plot flow were going to work out. I basically drew each page and took suggestions on what happens next. While part of me loved this system, the other part of me grew increasingly frustrated that I simply couldn’t draw fast enough to deliver on reader suggestions in a timely manner. I quickly realized that there was going to be a several month gap between the suggestions coming in and the execution of those ideas. I knew I couldn’t expect readers to stick around for weeks or months at a time this brand of super delayed gratification.

After a short break and a few long conversations with Nate, we relaunched the comic in its current form, this time, with a voting system.

The voting system allows us to maintain some control over the story by coming up with the plot possibilities ourselves. The major advantage is that we can write both short and long term decisions. In other words, sometimes you’ll be deciding on a path and other times you’ll be deciding what happens on a path.

For example, three of the four choices for the very first decision in Chapter 1 had the potential to send Nate to recess where he would have met up with John and Walter for some sci-fi role-playing fun-time action. You all took the sassy route which got Nate in trouble and sent him to the principal’s office where he met Beth and, of course, Principal Wart. This had a major influence on the path of Chapter 1 and forced us to think in entirely new direction.

We also decided that each of the community’s initial decisions were going to help establish Nate’s character.  When he talked back to Miss Mary, we started offering more troublemaker options. Throwing a projectile at Itch merely for laughing at Iggy’s “B.O. Beth” burn sealed the deal.

This kind of adaptive and reactive writing is what Nate and I have always wanted from a choose-your-own-adventure story.

I hope you enjoy reading and participating as much as we enjoy writing and drawing it!

Page 29 Results!

So, I was doing some site maintenance last week and screwed up some links. Sorry about that!

For last week’s comic,

What should Nate say in his announcement?

A. The sick are turning into monsters! Everybody get out of the school! Now! = 6 votes

B. The adults are turning into monsters! Arm yourselves and lock the doors! Don’t let them out of your sight! = 7 votes

Pages 30 and 31 are up today so read ‘em & vote!

Page 26 Results!

You guys & gals set a new record this week with 21 votes! ~HOORAY~

A. Tend to Mrs. Dolores’ wounds = 1 vote

B. Make an announcement = 14 votes (don’t miss Majid’s great suggestion in the comments below)

C. Search for weapons = 6 votes

Check back Monday to see what comes of this announcement…
Also, I preorderd Austin Kleon’s Show Your Work and it just came in! SO EXCITE.

If you are a creator person and haven’t read Kleon’s Steal Like An Artist, DO IT.

His blog is good great amazing too.