After two years and 116 comics we’re shutting UUDD down. This will be our final weekly comic. Holiday comics were always special for us, so we decided to do our send-off as one final Halloween party with all our characters. It’s as much a celebration of our body of work as it is a thank you to fans who have been reading from the beginning. You can check out a larger version of it here.
You all made the journey worthwhile and we can’t thank you enough.
Back when UUDD started it was a group of friends who wanted to work together. Sopes wanted to get better at illustration, and automaton and I needed outlets to write.
And we did those things. We grew. Scripts got tighter and art soared. But after awhile you have to reassess what your goals are. We realized we’ve accomplished some of our primary goals. As for our secondary goals, we can still continue those together on a different project.
More on that later.
There’s a lot going on behind the panels. A delicate juggling act of talent, timetables, and people involved.
You probably didn’t notice the day the site went down because we had too much traffic. You don’t know about the kind people at InMotion who kept reactivating our domain because I told them it was, "raining on our wedding day."
Or see how automaton took to writing on paper with blank panels. How quickly he can structure our conversation into the panels once he has an idea.
Or know about the awe-struck comments automaton and I exchanged after each comic post day when we saw Sopes’s final product. Each and every single week Sopes dazzled us with something else.
Or saw how giddy we were when we made our first Halloween comic together. I remember I met Sopes while he was drawing it, and he casually said, "So I’m doing the finishes touches on Cock Me." I remember the praise we got from all our friends who were reading the comic out of love, but hadn’t really belly-laughed yet.
Or that run of comics where we went from 20,000 people a month to 100,000. It was a thrilling run. We were only just starting and so excited about how far the comic could go.
Or just how many of these comics had no buffer between them, and every Wednesday comics were finished at 9:00 AM and went up at 10:00 AM.
We never missed a single day.
As we grew, we learned from other webcomics creators. We interviewed each and every one of them here: Up Up Down Down Associates.
Ronnie over at Whomp! Comic has had a link to our site since way back when. He even drew a guest comic for us that is the best individual video game comic I’ve ever seen – it holds a mirror up to nature.
He gave us Internet followers like Fren who read every single comic and commented on half of them. Sometimes I would email Ronnie just to say I love him.
Vitaly Alexius is the guy we all looked at and said, "I wish we’d thought of that." In the webcomic world being different is perhaps the only commodity worth having, and Romantically Apocalyptic has it in abundance. The first time I met him in person he shook my hand and said, "you guys should get your prints done with us. We always have extra at the ends of our print runs and you could tag on." We’d only just met.
Josh Mecouch from Formal Sweatpants is the guy I cheer for in webcomics. He’s doing everything right. Watching him was like learning what we SHOULD do and consider directions we ought to try. I’m a lifetime supporter.
Eoin Ryan of Space Avalanche and I talked about more than comics, we talked about life. I remember talking to him on Skype and being surprised to hear he had some of the same concerns about webcomics as we did. Recently he told me, "think about what you want to be and then work towards it every single day." I look forward to our future conversations.
Brian Russell from The Underfold is as part of this comic as any of the three of us. He helped us with with script writing, marketing, and growing pains. He comforted us when we were down, and cheered with us when we were up. He’s more than a friend, he’s my mentor.
But our real life friends helped too.
Our friends Riyad and John support us every single week. They never miss a comic and are never afraid to tell us how they feel, which gives us TONS of invaluable perspective on how people think and how people read. Much love.
Friends and family who read our comic we love you. Webcomics are easy to ignore, especially if they are about things you don’t understand. Thanks for sticking with us this long. Every compliment you gave brightened our post days. Every comment you gave helped us understand. Running with a comic every week can get tiring, but friends and family asking about it and encouraging us helped raise us up.
Ray Hunter? One day I will hug you. Septicor – your support has been phenomenal. Evan you’re why people make webcomics. And Mike. Loyal, day one fan Mike. You’re a Godsend. Shaha. I wish nothing but Ron Swanson birthdays for you. *chest thump*. Stacie – everyone needs a guardian angel like you. Krylon you son of a bitch I love you. Team Stratford we love you! And Rob. I know you’re there. You’re always there. Thank you. Jimmy! You’re always part of the family.
I’d like to thank Sopes for his tireless, heroic efforts. All our lives I’ve been astonished by his art, but there were weeks where seeing a comic froze me place, staring in quiet awe as I felt privileged to look at something so special.
One time when we were kids I showed up to his house to walk to school with him, only to find him dead asleep, head right next to a blaring alarm. He’d gone to sleep fifteen minutes prior because he’d been working late on a school project. That we never missed a post date is because of him. To see him grow, adapt to schedules, and plan ahead makes me (at the risk of sounding condescending) proud.
And I’d like to thank automaton for doing the impossible and finding a way to co-write with me. I didn’t make it easy. What you don’t know about automaton is that he’s extremely competent and strong willed. He likes to think for himself and prides himself on his decisions and ideas. But he shared. He helped make it work. Our writing shorthand is now so slick that I doubt I’ll find that kind of creative partnership again.
This isn’t the end for all of us. We’ll likely do some mini comics, sell some commissions, and God willing, a t-shirt or two. We’ll move onto other projects, but Up Up Down Down will still be here. Our ideas – like our characters at this party in this final strip – go on.
Thanks for the ride everyone.