July 3rd, 2007
Hello K City readers and friends of K and B,
At this time last year, I was -- very much against my will -- taking a month-long break. At the end of which I had no readers left. And once again, another June came and went without a single new strip.
Thankfully, it now surprises me to see that even after more than a month since I drew that last comic strip, this time people still come by this page and, I imagine, inevitably leave with the disappointment of finding no new strips. I'm sorry for that.
You see, in the first part of the last month and a half, I was preparing for a move that I haven't yet completed, from Kansas City (where -- if you were to count Lawrence, KS as part of the KC area -- I lived for nine and a half years) to Chicago. As of today, I have been in the Windy City for the last three weeks, feeling overwhelmed and overworked, and still lost in many aspects. One of which is, of course, what to do with K City.
For those first few weeks, it was funny to notice how fast the question "what are you going to do about the comic strip?" came up after I told one of my friends (or my mom) about my move. Inevitably, I'd say that I didn't know, and would ask for their opinion.
K City started as many things: as a place for all the stories and funny bits I collected while hanging out with friends in bars around KC, as a commentary on being single at a city that was never very easy for singles, as a creative outlet during a time I wasn't satisfied creatively, and as an excuse for the doodles I drew while sitting at the bar or the bad decisions I made while thinking "hey, even if it doesn't work, this will make for a funny strip."
A year and a half later, I have turned nearly a hundred of those stories and bits into strips, and found people (in Kansas City, the U.S., and beyond) who were interested enough in those to start visiting the website regularly, leave comments, or berate me when I'd spend a full week without a new story. The Kansas City Star ran selected strips for three months in their entertainment section, and featured it prominently in an article about KC blogs. A paper in Atlantic City wrote a story about the comic in their dating/relationships column. Google took a liking to it. And last but not least, my friends started saying things like "now, you're not going to draw a comic strip about this, right?" or "I have a great idea for a strip" (guess which one ended up inspiring more cartoons).
On the other hand, I'm still dealing with the dilemma that started the moment I accepted a job in a different city. Despite a backlog of stories jotted down in beer-stained post-it notes, I know I -- until they come and visit for a weekend -- won't be able to be inspired by the flesh and bone (and skirt and make-up) muses that made up the imaginary K. I won't have the bartender that printed out the comic strips and was used to the post-its on the counter. And I won't have Kansas Citians feel like this is a comic strip about them. In a good way.
On yet another hand... What? Where did another hand come from? As you see, I'm confused. The bottom line is, it's been fun for me, and it's been fun for others. By which I mean, probably you. And that's why I'm turning to you for help on where to go from here, and where the strip needs to go. Is it cool to keep the strips as they are, at a bar that could be located in KC, Chicago, LA, Rio de Janeiro, or Hong Kong (or anywhere else in the world where being single is not particularly easy -- like anywhere else in the world)? Is it necessary to move K and B to a different town? Is it fair to even keep calling it "K City" and hope no one's bothered by the fact it's a clear reference to the place where it was born and raised? Or does any of that even make a difference?
Please email me (brunopieroni at yahoo), leave a comment, call me, myspace me, facebook me, whatever, telling me what you think should happen to a new K City. My new job has been squeezing those creative juices I mentioned earlier pretty dry, but as things get more manageable, and as I get on track to get the comic strip to some newer audiences, expect new strips (whatever they're called, featuring whoever it is) soon.
Thanks for the support so far -- and in advance,