Occupational Hazard VIII: The Red Scare


I would like to make a formal apology.

I have received, in recent weeks, and also on occasion during Soft Reset's lengthy hiatus, e-mails from readers indicating that they were dissatisfied with the update schedule of the comic. The general complaint is that the comic is not updating frequently enough, that the pace of it is boring because there is only one weekly update to look forward to, and that there have been numerous instances where an update was missed which broke the pacing.

My initial reaction was one of smug and presumptuous complacency. "How dare these indignant readers complain about this thing which they receive for free? I don't owe them anything, and they certainly aren't paying my bills. What obligation do I have to them?" It is a common and substantially defensible position claimed by many of us in the web comic world who produce without expectation of remuneration.

The answer to this question is still, of course, none. I have no obligation, except for one small and important fact. My readers have taken it upon themselves to give me their time and attention. And that is something which cannot be bought.

Readers make a web comic what it is. All of you who are reading this have chosen to set aside time in your schedules, time which you will never be able to get back, which you regularly dedicate to checking on the progress of my comic. You don't owe me your time anymore than I owe you a comic. This is an contractual exchange, of comics for time and time for comics, that we have agreed upon without words, and in the blitz of web comic creation, and indeed in the blitz of every day life, it can be easy to forget that. That is why I appreciate all of the attention that Soft Reset has received in its own dusty corner of the Internet.

My responses to these e-mails were harsh, and it is here and now that I would like to make reparations to those individuals. I must stress once again that I do have a life outside of my comic, that I do have imperatives, namely those of survival, which need to be addressed before I can give you this comic which you have come to expect of me. But that does not give me or any other web comic creator the right to be impertinent. Courtesy is a valuable currency in human interaction, and my failing to produce it came as a result of my unwillingness to dig deeply enough in my wallet to find any.

I will continue to provide you with Soft Reset insofar as possible. Because I love it. And I love the people who love it. I want to make those people happy. And I want to make myself happy. This is a project of passion which I intend to pursue to its fullest.

But we must proceed with courtesy.