GOOD-BYE, FOR NOW
It's with a great sense of regret that I have to announce that this site--home to my comic series, RENNIN--has to be put into mothballs. I am not entirely comfortable explaining the reasons why here. Suffice it to say, unlike previous periods where the site went on hiatus, it is not entirely a matter of my personal choice, but more a matter of professional conflict of interest.
If you were able to explore this site recently, you would have found a page devoted to the history of RENNIN COMICS. There I wrote about the fact that I have had these characters running around inside my head since I was 12 years old, about how they are very loosely based on real adults I knew as a kid, and how the town of Goose Creek where the series was set was modeled directly on the place where I grew up. But RENNIN was never intended to be an autobiographical strip, in the strictest sense of the definition. I always saw the characters and the locale as conduits for hopefully entertaining stories.
I have owned this domain name for about ten years. When I acquired it, it was not long after I had published the first RENNIN comic in print. My initial idea was to use this site as a place to simply promote the comic and present supplemental, background material. After some time though, it became increasingly clear that I was never going to get a handle on the print publishing thing, either time-wise or financially. There are just too many steps involved in undertaking a print comic to be able to do it on even a semi-regular basis. Well, at least for me anyway. And I knew it would be a venture for which it would be next to impossible for me to recoup my costs.
Yet the desire to continue with this series and these characters never left. I eventually began to think about simply producing the strip directly on the web. (And, I might add, this was years before the recent web comics boom.) My rationale was that if I knew I would never make money on RENNIN COMICS, I could at least do it without losing any.
It was a great idea, in theory, but as with most of my great ideas, life got in the way. I never quite had the time to focus on producing content on anything approaching a regular basis. And as a guy who's not real tech-saavy, I also struggled with learning even the most rudimentary aspects of web design. With what minimal skills I did acquire, I fiddled with the design endlessly. Additionally, I literally spent years trying to create all the background material (character bios, history, etc.) before I even began the process of creating an actual strip.
Then, more recently, I started to experience a creative breakthrough of sorts. I finally got a design down that I not only was happy with, but which actually worked across various operating systems. Strips were finally going on line, if only occasionally, and I was coming up with more story ideas than I could even get on paper.
In my latest efforts, my writing was starting to take a more serious turn. This wasn't a deliberate, self-conscious shift. The change was more evolutionary, and an outgrowth of where I am in my own life and what kind of stories now interest and concern me. I was responding to the muse and not some grand plan to take RENNIN into a more adult direction.
All of this comes to an end now. Again, it's something I must do and willingly accept. But I can't say that I shut down this aspect of my creative nature without a sense of mourning.
I will certainly keep the domain name; I've had it too long to let it go. Certainly, if you've contacted me via e-mail over the past decade, you know that my account has been linked to this site. I just can't let that convenience and tradition go. And, if there's one lesson life has taught me, it's that nothing is ever permanent. I may even choose to re-launch the site as the home to other, non-comics related forms of creative ventures. It's not a big concern of mine at the moment, but we'll see what the future brings.
Meanwhile, I want to thank the friends, family members, and those occasional people who--amazingly--I didn't even know but who came by from time to time to check this site out and encouraged me with their kind words. I am extremely grateful for those individuals who kept inquiring over the years "What's going on with Rennin?" Such, small, unjustified displays of faith often kept me from simply abandoning this dream entirely. You're a very, very small group, but you have my heartfelt gratitude, one and all.
And so, we bid farewell to RENNIN COMICS. I can't say "I'll see you in the funny pages," but I will see you around.
As always, feel free to e-mail me at firstname.lastname@example.org-- Jim Chadwick