Originally posted on 12/26/06....
So, I have a huge and not pleasing announcement to make. That is: I am going to be ending Bruno soon. I have just completed the final scripts, and although I may adjust them, or add additional strips, the current scheduled final strip is February 12th.
Over the last couple of years I have mulled over this idea (of ending Bruno) a million times, and on June 18, 2006 I finally decided to end it. At that point I plotted out the ending, although it has morphed and extended itself several times. I didn't announce it sooner because I couldn't bear to admit it to you all, let alone myself (I feel physical nausea right now as I write this). I also wanted to be able to back out if I changed my mind.
But I have now written the final sequences, and despite misgivings and sadness, I have never changed my mind that it was the right decision.
The reasons "why" are complex enough that I will never be sure exactly what has brought me to end Bruno. No doubt many of you will have your own theories as well. Was it a trade-off for attention to Little Dee? Was it burn out? Was I creating a Jungian Anima in Bruno and it is now complete? Did I become happy or less angry at the world, and so have nothing left to write about in Bruno's character? Do I need to figure out how to push my own life onto it's next stage before I'll have anything more to say about the human condition through Bruno?
I have no good answers. Some? None? Who knows.
In the end, my gut tells me this. I simply do not have a drive to continue creating Bruno's world at this time. And although I know her and her world well enough to continue doing a decent job, I can no longer deny these feelings that it is time to give it a gentle closure. Bruno needed my everything, and I don't feel I am giving it that anymore.
I will be up front, that I do feel longings to work on other projects, but I do not feel I am leaving Bruno for inherently better things. I don't view Little Dee to be a better strip, and I don't view my graphic novelly type projects to be "better" or "more serious work." They are simply different, and they are what I feel the need to explore right now. And I am trying to listen to that inside me, despite knowing I am disappointing thousands of readers, and despite feeling this huge emptiness in my own chest at the thought, feeling this fear to leap.
I'm not sure what else to write here, but to thank you all. The support, love, and encouragement you all have given me has been phenomenal. The last 13 years of my life have been drastically altered by your presence and enthusiasm (Kari, Comb, Leahy, Szedenits, Knute, Lyda, Eric J, Corey, Cudinski, Rabbit, Carrie, Davidescu, Auros, McGlothlen, Tamara, and on and on and on). I only hope the years I've drawn the strip can express my gratitude. I have never made much money from Bruno, it has always been a labor of love, and a show of thanks for you all of you who've loved her.
And so, now I am going to end this post with practical information:
1. I will not be ending the strip in tragedy. Perhaps that's a spoiler, but so be it. I am putting her on ice. Today's strip may hint at my plans.
2. And who knows, I may pick up Bruno again in 5 or 10 years for whatever reasons. But I would not advise holding your breath, I have no idea if it is likely or not, but you can be assured that she will never be far from my mind.
3. There will be a book #10. I will not have it in my hands before February 12th, but I will likely have at least proofs by then and will take pre-orders probably in the final week of the strip.
4. On the 1st of every month I will be posting a blog at baldwinpage.com, letting readers know what I'm up to. If I have new comics to share, or if I finally print "Water Street" (collecting my short comics) or other works, I will post it there. It will remain my permanent online home. Hopefully before February 12th I'll set the blog up along with an RSS feed or something so people can put it in their livejournal, Myspace, etc accounts and not have to remember to return every month.
5. If you wish to email me (or snail-mail me, 234 Central St NE, Olympia, WA 98506), I welcome any responses, good or bad, although I will likely not be able to respond to them all. I have become poor at email, always too overextended with work. but I do truly welcome all.