Blogs and Updates

We’ve had a make-under

Hi! So, apparently the WordPress theme-and-plugin combo we’ve always used to run this website has died a horrible death. After a long and valiant and stupid struggle, we’re at least up and running again!

Unfortunately, the website looks terrible!

Hopefully that won’t last forever, and eventually we’ll figure out how to make things look better again. Meanwhile, thanks for visiting and (re)reading. We’re doing fine and hope you are too. We have a million kids. We miss you. <3

Hello again

Before I say anything else, I need to apologize with every bit of my being that this post is so late in coming. I really have no good excuse for its ridiculous tardiness. Though, funnily enough, that is actually the reason in itself. The truth is I’ve been ashamed; webcomic creators who suddenly stop updating and let their works get swallowed up in hiatus are so common that they’re a cliche, and I couldn’t bear to make it official unless I had a really impressive story to tell. Or better yet, an estimated time of return. In the words of Ani DiFranco, I want to have good news to report every time I come up for air.

But in fact, it’s just life. In quick succession, Michael got married, went back to school, and acquired a more demanding job. I had some health problems (I’m better now), supported my husband through grad school, and had a second awesome baby. We ran out of time for this wonderful, wonderful project. We have no idea yet when we can come back to it.

We’re in a busy season of our lives, but we still love Runewood Abbey and we still love our readers and we’re so sorry to have been out of touch. We’re dumb. We’re bozos. But we are still here.

Anyway, if you would like to keep your finger on the RWA pulse and be the first to know when we suddenly come back to life–whenever that may be, weeks or months or years–probably the best way to do it is to like us on Facebook. If you’re not a member of the big blue club, you are more than more than welcome to send us an email, and we will keep it in a safe place so we can let you know personally when we’re up and running.

Again, sorry to have disappeared on you. Thank you so much once more for all the friendship, support, hilarious participation, constructive advice, and general awesomeness you’ve displayed. We love your guts. We’ll come back as soon as we can.

Your fan,

~ Rachel

PS. In the meantime, please check out the sidebar to the right of this post and take note of a few of the other comics out there that truly, truly deserve attention and love. I used to limit it to just comics I thought might be of interest to our same target audience, but I just doubled its size with a lot of totally irrelevant stuff that I’m fond of.

Two next week!

Now there’s a positive spin!

Just a heads-up–Michael is traipsing across the countryside right now, helping family with a big move, so this week’s page will be delayed until the early part of next week. After that we’ll do our darnedest to get another one up on the Saturday following. So that should be interesting speed-practice. :)

Thanks for your patience! We’ll pop up the new page on facebook as soon as it hits!

~ Rachel

Happy New Year!!

Well, hi, everyone. :D

How was the rest of your 2011? As promised, we here at RWA are BACK IN ACTION! …And we will be releasing our first page of 2012 on the first Saturday of 2012–that’s the 7th–so come back then to party with us as the story continues! WOO HOO!!

Both Michael and I are utterly stoked to be able to do this again. We’ve been having some awesome planning meetings, and have set up an official time for Office Hours every week where we get to work without interruption. We’re starting off carefully, but our immediate goal is to try and streamline things enough to be able to produce two pages a week.

The complication, as before, is that one page of the comic generally takes about ten hours to create, which is a lot in Starving Artist Time. So one of the biggest things we want to get better at is advertising ourselves, getting a bigger audience, getting more page hits, and generally making it so that Michael can financially justify treating this as a part-time job. (Which has been his dream as far back as I can remember.)

We’re thinking about running a Kickstarter fundraiser to allow us to spend more time working. As part of that, we would be selling a low-price ($8-$10) booklet of the first three chapters (75 pages) of the comic. Keep an eye out for a Facebook poll about that possibility in the next few days! If there’s enough interest, we’ll definitely do it.

So! Lots of hard work for us. Lots of fun reading for you! We hope you’ll enjoy the rest of this chapter as much as we do. If you do, please tell your friends and keep coming around! :)

Again, happy new year! High fives all around! We’re thrilled to be back. <3

See you next week!

~ Rachel

RWA on Break

Well, I guess some of you saw this coming.

First of all, I want to apologize for the lack of news on what was going on behind the scenes over here. We saw this coming, too, but we’ve been doing our best to fight it, and that meant not wanting to admit it. But now we figure it’s time to cut back on the stress on ourselves, be honest with our amazing and wonderful readers, and plan for the future.

Runewood Abbey will be going on official hiatus for the remainder of 2011. The reasons are about what you’d expect–a toddler for me, new wife and career for Michael, and blah blah blah about the economy for all of us. We need to regroup and to change our strategy, because the current method of producing pages takes way too friggin’ long and is incompatible with also eating and sleeping and earning money.

The plan is, we’re going to experiment with drawing comics directly via a tablet (which we already use for the Photoshopping phase, so we may as well save some time, eh?). Meanwhile I want to flesh out a lot of the script for the future. When we come back, we hope to be producing pages much more efficiently, and more frequently. There may even be a Kickstarter campaign to help us devote more time to the project, and to work toward publishing. Despite the downtime, we’re excited!

This story is really important to us, and we’re determined to keep telling it. We still have the itch! We just want to do it in a way that’s faster and smoother for both of us and for all of you, and we want to take care of our families at the same time. Words can’t express how grateful we are for all your continued patience and your fantastic comments. This has been an amazing experience. It’s not over yet.

Check back on January 1, 2012 to see what our new plans are going to be. In the meantime, please feel free to “like” us on facebook or subscribe to our RSS feed, so we can update everyone right away as soon as things are up and rolling again.

There will be minor updates during the hiatus, too–these last two pages will be finalized, and one more drawn to at least finish the current conversation. Michael is planning to do a profile image for Ferryn. I’m vaguely daydreaming about starting another webcomic I’ve had in mind for a while, which I would draw myself, meaning it would have much lower visual standards and be publishable on a daily basis. I still have to consider the details, but it could be fun. Meanwhile, whenever a minor or major update happens, you can hear about it by either RSS or facebook, as mentioned above.

Thank you again! We love your guts! We’re excited to kick things back into gear once the new year hits. Send us an email any time you like. ♥

~ Rachel

Skin Horse guest art

Hey! Check this out! Michael has a drawing up over at Skin Horse, one of our favorite comics by one of our favorite artists! See his drawing of Tip right here, and then go back to the beginning and read it all. We love this strip’s guts, and it’s completely insane to see our names anywhere near it. While you’re at it, I hope everyone has seen Shaenon’s earlier comic, Narbonic, which is one of the best things I’ve ever read in any medium (and a humongous inspiration to me as a writer and artist). Thanks for featuring us, Shaenon and Jeff! Yay! The timing is good in providing something for us all to look at this weekend. Keep an eye on your facebook and RSS feeds for the latest page, and a paradigm-shifting blog entry, in the next few days. Thanks for reading, everyone! ~ Rachel

Thumby fun

Page 4.13 was originally going to have dialogue, until I realized that everything that needed to be said would be communicated far better if I just let Michael’s radawesome art do the talking. It’s summed up very nicely in this adorable thumbnail he sent me during that week’s production:

Hee hee hee hee hee.

~ Rachel

Two week special!

Hey everyone!

My planned post for today has been borked by technology, so instead, I’m posting the incentive comic from fall 2009. Did you miss out on them, way back when? Well, here they are once more. :) Ahh, such memories. I was in my first trimester of pregnancy when I made these, and living in a desert wasteland of nausea. I hope to do more of these little comics sometime–hopefully with all my body cooperating. What a thought!

To thank you all for your continued patience and good cheer, I’ll be running these on Tuesday and Thursday for the next two weeks, plus posting something else next Saturday. That’ll get us through all five incentive comics and the new year, and we’ll look and see where we’re at with starting Chapter Four! I’m having fun writing it and look forward to seeing how it turns out. :)

So, see you again Tuesday! This’ll be fun!

~ Rachel

What to plan for

Hi all!

Not too surprisingly, the comic will be delayed again this weekend, but we’re making plans for how to cause the least possible amount of annoyance with all this. Basically, the current chapter is almost over. We’re gonna finish it out as quickly as we can, and then take a break from the story to serve up some special bonus material for the remainder of 2010 (which will be a month or so). That’ll give Michael a chance to get stupid, get married, and get smart again as nature requires, and meanwhile I’ll hang out with you guys here. :)

So, what kind of bonus material, you ask? Lots of kinds. We have some pretty awesome developmental stuff from when we were first getting all our character designs worked out, including not only Michael’s first sketches but mine as well. And yes, if a character you haven’t yet met happens to appear there, we will be including her! So be ready for sneak peek or two. We’ll also have a special sketch post announcing the winners of the naming contest, since it’s obviously not feasible to use the comic itself for that announcement at the moment.

When the new year starts, we’ll roll right into posting Chapter Four. Can’t wait to see you all there. :) Thanks again for your comments and support! You guys are fantastic!

~ Rachel

PS. Keep an eye on the RSS feeds and facebook for the next update!