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Interview With Ryan North
Excerpt from interview:
Do you have buffer comics? Or are you more the draw and upload that morning/evening type? Either way, what is you opinion on working ahead of your publishing schedule, on freshness vs quality?
When I started the comic I did 15 all at once, and that was my buffer, which lasted me 15 days and then I had to start doing comics again. For the first several years it was always "write the comic the morning of, put it up the second it's finished" which got you absolute freshness, but also meant that if I wasn't funny that morning the comic wouldn't post till the afternoon or sometimes the evening, which was the worst. Starting in 2009 (I think?) I made a concerted effort to be a Professional and I've kept at least a one-day buffer since then - one day giving me the ability to put the comic up at a consistent time at least.
Having a buffer took some getting used to, because I would continue to tweak the comic after I'd pronounced it completed when the next day came around and it was time to post it. And those tweaks weren't generally making the comic better - they were changing things to very little effect. What I've settled on now is reading each comic before I post it and if I still think it's good, great, up it goes. If I don't think it's good then I don't post it and start rewriting it (or go with another one in the buffer, if it's big enough) but generally those rewrites go beyond just tweaking it.
You never want to put something up that you're not proud of, and that's my guiding principle. "Freshness" doesn't really enter into it because I don't do too many comics that are riffing on the news that morning, and nobody REALLY knows if I've been tinkering away on a comic over years before it gets posted that morning (which has happened! One comic was started in 2005 and only put up this year, and nobody could tell, but it was SUPER SATISFYING to finally be able to finish that strip.)
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