I don’t know how to say any of this, but I’ll try my best.
This is the last page I’ll be drawing for Shades of Gray.
I know this is sudden, and I’m so sorry, but it’s been building for a long time. My husband and I have talked a lot about it over the last few days, and what it comes down to is this is just too much for me. My mental health is already pretty bad, and the comic and everything that goes with it is just too much of an added pressure. I don’t enjoy it like I used to, and I haven’t for a long time, and it’s reached a point where I have to stop for my own health.
However, I won’t leave the story just hanging here. I’ve always hated when stories get dropped with no resolution, and I promised myself I would never do that to my readers. So what I’ll be doing is writing an abridged version of it, with occasional illustrations if I’m up for it, just to get us to the end. You’ll get to find out what happens with everyone and where the plot was going, and at the end I’ll answer any questions that might be left over.
Please understand. I’m so, so sad to do this, especially at this point in the story, which I’d been looking forward to reaching for so long. Letting go of these characters is… I don’t even have words for it. Especially Kiva and Jovi. They still had so many wonderful developments to go through that I’ll only be able to briefly touch on in the written version.
I don’t know how long the rest of the story will take to tell. Maybe a month, maybe less. I won’t set a schedule for anything, but I’ll try to update daily if I can. Illustrations will slow me down, but I feel they’re important to have, particularly for certain scenes.
After this is done, I have no plans for future comics. I may revisit my characters in small pieces on DA and Tumblr if I feel like it, but I think I’ll need a long break first. I still want to draw, but I want to draw other things too. And I want to draw just for me again, not to keep up with a schedule.
As for logistics… This website is paid for up until sometime in August, I believe. After that, I don’t plan to host it any farther, so I imagine it’ll go offline. If you’d like to have pages for future re-reading, I’d suggest saving anything you want before then, as I haven’t posted them in their entirety anywhere else.
I haven’t decided what to do about my Patreon. I’m going to keep drawing, though much more eclectically, so I may keep it up as a sort of tip jar if anyone wants to use it, but I don’t expect anything. It’ll be edited to reflect that at some point soon.
And… god. Just… thank you so much, everyone. Those of you who have been here since the beginning, those of you who just recently started reading… everyone. Your comments, your support, your interest in this project kept me going for so much longer than I ever would have on my own. You helped me make new characters and helped shape the existing ones. You helped shaped the story. I couldn’t have done any of this without you.
I’m going to miss so much about this. This is so hard. Letting go of something that’s been a part of me for eleven years is so hard. But it’s the right thing to do.
EDIT: I’ve had several people ask me about uploading the story to a free mirror site to save it after this one goes offline. I’m happy to tell you I actually will be able to do this. DrunkDuck, the free hosting site I started out on is still alive and kicking, and my account is still active, so I’ll be uploading everything on there. I won’t be able to save all the wonderful comments everyone’s left me over the years, unfortunately, but the story itself will live on. ♥
Link to the DD mirror: http://www.theduckwebcomics.com/Shades_of_Gray/4820502/