The Thursday Blog: Denouement Edition

As of this morning, the final strip has been uploaded for a little more than a week now. It’s a rough adjustment for me, given that this is something I have been doing regularly for the past five and half years, and that I have loved so much. I feel as if I am dangling from a trapeze a hundred feet in the air over a parking lot with grease on my hands. I am more than a little wigged out.

HOLE has been a great ride for me, and I feel as if I have accomplished something I can be proud of. Six years ago I do not think that I had much ability to structure my own time and to stick to a schedule of my own devising. I had never finished any major project I had begun… “momentary enthusiasm” seemed to be my middle name.

But HOLE changed all that for me. I connected to it, and through it, to you. I had 1,200 reasons a day to be on time, to be structured, and to take the comic, and myself, seriously. (Well… you know what I mean.) For the first time I had a major project that was all mine, with a real, tangible product at the end. Something I could look back on and say, “I did that.” And more importantly, really most importantly, I had the confidence to know that I could do more. (It remains to be seen if the comic itself is anything to be proud of.)

I’ve mentioned before that I’m planning on writing some books. I’d like to see them in print but that might be wishful thinking. There’s nothing wrong with ebooks. The stories are burning a hole in my head, trying to get out. I’m excited, but even better than that, I’m confident. That’s something I didn’t have before.

Tuesday and Thursday will continue to see blog entries here as it has for the past years, and we’re planning of setting up a more efficient archive system for the comic too, to make it easier to just sit and read that. HOLE may be over, but I’m not really going anywhere. For those of you who want to stay on top of future projects and receive announcements about major developments, feel free to add yourself to the email list over there on the right. Your name and address are safe with me. I detest those who sell lists of emails under false guise and I will not do it to you.

I’m going to go now. Lena is taking the day off and I don’t want to miss any further opportunity to spend some time with her. I think we’ll finish watching Game of Thrones.

Take care.

42 Responses to The Thursday Blog: Denouement Edition

  1. Eh, you’ve shared Orc-Tongue Hero of the People with us, I guess I can’t blame you if you don’t feel up to making another comic which is even better than HOLE was like that Evan Dahm and Rice Boy (plus now working on a second in-world comic after finishing Order of Tales).

  2. Gratz Kevin! You kicked some serious ass. HOLE is a badass resume that can never be taken away from you… although I don’t think it will be getting you too many jobs from The Man. Anywayz thanks for making an awesome comic that ends, and enjoy some well-deserved rest.
    P.S. I just found out ladies in the middle ages didn’t wear underwear and just pissed on everybody’s lawn.

    • Thanks a bunch. I appreciate that.

      Some nobles owned more than one castle specifically because the smell of their residency eventually grew so foul that they would retreat to their next home while the old one was swabbed out. (In some places, you just pooped in the corner of whatever room you were in.)

      • Keep some HOLE books handy at all times and hand them out to anybody you meet from Hollywood or the publishing industry. HOLE is a totally solid comic and destined to be a cult classic 10 yrs from now.

  3. Well, I expect the announcement of the last book of HOLE in print on that list. Keep up the interesting storytelling!

    • There’s actually going to be three… sort of.

      The material since book three is more than sufficient for a book four and five, and I’ll probably add a little something extra to them as I have past books. At the end, I’m going to see about the practicality of making a giant, full-color, “Big Book of HOLE,” which will probably cost something ridiculous and I’ll be the only one to buy it, but what the hell? Why not?

  4. Thanks for making such a great comic, and keeping with it to the very end. It’s been a real treat to read, and I’m sure your future endeavors will be equally entertaining. Would love to see you go back and take the time to clean up and colorize all the black and white strips now that you won’t have regular update deadlines pressuring you. Would also be super awesome to see the further adventures of HOLE (providing they survive), or possibly a similar adventuring group. Whichever way you go, I’ll stop by to check it out. Good job- you’ve definitely earned a nice vacation.

    • It was VERY important to me that HOLE should make it all the way to the end. I have read way too many comics that sputtered and died halfway through, and I really didn’t want that to happen.

      I’m also really grateful to those of you who have stuck with me till the end. It means more than you realize.

  5. Kevin, you should be very proud of what you just said you’re proud of.

    Seriously. I can only look up to a man who’s done something like that.

  6. Thanks a lot for all those years of free comic, Kevin. HOLE has been and still is one of my favorite webcomic (I’ll probably re-read the whole thing sometime) : you created something really original and brought to us great characters, in particular Swillberine Rochlassen, definitly my favorite (what becomes of him by the way ? I don’t remember if he got killed, hope not). The comments are fun to read too (yours included), seems like your art attracted a nice bunch of loonies 🙂
    So good luck in your future projects, have fun.

    • Swill escaped, and is likely to be the subject of an in-book extra.

      BTW, I am likely going to make ebooks of HOLE soon, which will include all the extras. They will certainly cost less than the print versions, if you are interested.

  7. Dear Kevin,

    I am writing to you on behalf of the Internet. As a collective whole (No pun intended), we thank you for the many hours of entertainment that you have provided through this comic.

    I hope that your future endeavours go well.


  8. Maybe consider throwing us a one-off comic every once in a while. No epic story, just a funny gag that can be told with a single panel ala Far Side. And not even regularly, just every once in a while if the inspiration strikes.

    Just sayin’.


  9. Of all the D&D-themed online comics, this must be amongst the top 9.

    Seriously, it’s the only online comic I’ve followed weekly since discovering it, the only one I’ve read from start to (near-)finish, and I haven’t even played D&D in 20 years.

    So thank you for keeping me entertained for the last 4 years. Here’s a question, if you could recommend 1 other comic strip for your readers to turn to to fill the hole left by… erm… H.O.L.E, what would it be?

    • Your opening line made me literally laugh out loud. 😉

      I can tell you the ones I read, though it’s harder to pick just one. My favorite is Wonderella, though it only posts once a week. Still, it’s hysterical. I enjoy Girl Genius, and have met and chatted with its creator, Phil Foglio. He is a warm, wonderful, and VERY generous soul. Like most everyone else I have always loved Order of the Stick, although you need an RSS feed to appreciate it. It posts VERY sporadically, and from what I’ve been able to discern, its creator, Rich Burlew is a little douchey. (OotS has actually “borrowed” a few items right from these here pages, I am proud to say!) Shlock Mercenary is well told and a fun read. It posts EVERY SINGLE DAY and often backs up on me, so I sometimes sit and read fifty or so of them if I’m eating at my desk.

      There are a few other, but those are my faves.

      • Good choices. We seem to have similar tastes in comics, so I’ve got a few recommendations:

        -Sluggy Freelance. (FRIG YEAH Sluggy!) If you like Schlock Merc and don’t demand sci-fi, you will probably love Sluggy, too.
        -Saturday Morning Breakfast Cereal. It used to be not actually that funny, but Zach Weiner’s sense of humour just keeps getting BETTER and BETTER. It’s gone from being one of my unfavourited “super bored I guess I’ll catch up on this” to “grudgingly favourited” to “B-list comic” to “A-list comic” to “I don’t ever use my favourites folder to access it any more because my browser remembers it as soon as I type “sm””. Good stuff. Don’t forget the red-dot bonus jokes.
        – Subnormality. Doesn’t update often, but when it does it’s amazing.
        -Oglaf. Everyone who likes HOLE will like Oglaf. Warning: NSFW. So much so that it has a “No seriously, you’re 18 right?” intro page. From the girl who draws Platinum Grit, if that means anything.

        I could keep going. I have over 100 webcomics in my webcomics folder, but eh, those are the ones I think you guys would appreciate most.

        • Augh, how could I forget AGC [Another Gaming Comic]? It’s a webcomic about high-optimization players. One of my favourites, but I understand it’s very niche appeal. Also, the art sucks.

          • And I only recently found “Rusty And Co.” Which is a webcomic about a D&D adventuring party. Made of a rust monster, a mimic, and a gelatinous cube.

            It’s SO AWESOME.

            … Sorry, I’ll stop now.

  10. This is actually the first webcomic that I ever started reading. I enjoyed it so much that I went looking and found a few others that I really like. I hesitate to post a list because the FBI is probably reading this just because I put “FBI” in the post. Oh wait. whoops…

    I also have enjoyed the hell out of reading the posts, comments and jokes from the other readers. Most of the forums that I have read have sorely tried my patience. This one has them all beat for that special something, that ‘je ne sais quoi’ that they wish they had but never will. So I thank you Kevin, but I also thank the special folks who have been posting this comic as well. Smiles.

    • There has always been a really good crowd here that I have always appreciated. Other webcomic creators have alternately complained to me about the intelligence of their posters or simply been agog that I would allow posting at all, but I have never been disappointed in the level of discourse here. Ninety nine times out of a hundred the forum is self-correcting anyway, and most disturbances have simply been misunderstandings. You guys are really great.

  11. It’s been a good run I think, alas I only know you through your wit, humor, and boob drawing abilities but I have enjoyed your comic and rantings anyways. You did what most people cannot do easily and that is captivate pure strangers in a story.

    I started reading the Song of Ice and Fire, I highly-highly-highly recommend reading the books. The Game of Thrones is just the first of 5 books. I plan to rent/buy the HBO series once I have finished the books.

    I can’t wait to read what you crave to write, I know it will be great.

    • Wit and boobs… I think that pretty much sums it up. 🙂

      I did read that first book, but halfway into the second I had to stop. They are fantastically well written and VERY imaginative, but Martin’s tendency to develop these wonderful characters with so much life and potential that he just kills off wholesale left me kind of disenchanted. I like to identify with the story through the characters, and it seemed like he was chopping away at all of my connections to it. The HBO series has been more enjoyable though. Somehow the story seems to make a better TV show than a book. (It is fairly faithful, in case you were worried.)

      • Happy to hear it is faithful to the story. I am just a few chapters into the second book. I kind of like the brutality of the world the characters live in where they are as mortal as lesser minor characters, I dunno I find it a bit refreshing from other stories. I definitely do get encaptured by each character though, and it is a bit devastating when they die, yet it makes me keep reading to see what the next character is doing.

  12. I fully intend to read your book Kevin. If I have to wait years to do so, fine. If I have to buy a kindle or whatever to get an e-copy of it, that’s fine. I could use one anyway. Essentially, I’m down to continue my fandom of you and be amused and entertained by whatever you have to offer.

  13. Congratulations!

    I know how hard it is to see something you’ve worked on for years all come together. Hard, impossibly so, and wonderful too.

    I remember when my first ‘big project’, ‘The Guardians’, (yes, this is a shameless plug), came together. It seemed impossible. Nearly a quarter of a million words, over a period of around two years. A storyline that had touched people — and I mean really touched them, and for some made their lives a little better — and now it was over. (Please note that while HOLE isn’t likely to touch anyone the way my much darker, more serious story is, that in no way diminishes it! Laughter is important, and you provide that!)

    Nothing seems as big, at first. Nothing seems as grand, or hard. But something you’ll come to realize is that things have changed, you have. You’re better than you were, and the world seems smaller because you’re a little bit bigger. Things seem a bit easier because you’ve been there, you’ve done that, likely got the T-Shirt, and now you now what you’re doing.

    It’s not a magic wand, things aren’t going to become magically easy. But they are doable. And if you keep at them, your works just keep getting better.

    HOLE is one of my favorite comics; I will miss it. Good luck, sir!

  14. Over the years, the Hole bookmark has moved up my daily check-list. It has survived new computers and wipes and re-imaging, which means I had to remember every time to re-add it, which few other sites have survived. (YAFGC, Questionable Content and GoblinsComic along with demotivational and Notalwaysright, to give you an idea of my twisted mind and its preferences.)

    I am glad to see you moving on and also selfishly glad you will still have the “T-Posts” (Tuesday and Thursday). I will likely move this to my weekly list after a while, but I always appreciated that when I disagreed with you and many of your commentors, This community has almost always been mature, repectful and thoughtful. I feel even more free to express my opinion here than even my own sites. I think you are not only a talented author, but also have the knack at creating a Mature and Respectful online following. There probably are thousands who are talented authors, maybe more, but I think your unintended achievment is an even rarer talent! Either way, [IC] (Bamko Raises a glass of ale in salute) Well done Kevin, and may the road rise up to meet your feet, Happy Hunting [/IC]