I've been having a little crisis regarding these cartoons.
See, some of my cartoons have had a lot of views. One of them has 30-something thousand, a couple of them are 10-thousand plus, plenty of them are over one thousand. That ain't exactly Charlie the Unicorn numbers, but it's not bad. And I am grateful for every damn person who ever watched these silly things, honest to Pete I am. I don't get many comments, but the comments that I do get are overwhelmingly supportive, and that's awesome.
I haven't been shy about promoting these cartoons. I've probably been kind of gross about it, actually. I've done everything I could think of to get people interested in my stories about these two strange little characters who have all sorts of funny (to me) and sexy (to me) adventures. I have beat the skin off my little drum, here.
But I don't seem to be building an audience. At this point I know that a lot of people have seen one or two of my cartoons, once. But it's becoming all too clear that very few of them come back for more. Unless a cartoon has an actual gender change in it or something else that's potentially jerk-off-able, my new cartoons seem to stall out somewhere in the 250-500 view range. I know that eventually - very eventually - they'll probably get a thousand views. But when I see somebody like Onision - bless his heart - make a video where he just lets food dribble down his chin or something and it gets more hits in an hour than I'll get in a year, it's.... frustrating. To say the least.
I've been telling myself that all that really matters is that I'm having fun, that making these cartoons is a learning experience and it's healthy for me to get this stuff out there, and all that other stuff that you tell yourself when you've been working hard on something and it kinda feels like the world doesn't give half a poop...
But if I'm doing these cartoons about all kinds of crazy, fetishy sex stuff, and I can't build an audience with magical gender swaps and conversations about dongs, maybe I'm doing doing something wrong. Maybe there's a reason why all those people watch one cartoon and then never come back. Maybe there's a reason why even people I know never seem to get around to watching my new episodes.
Sometimes I think that the serial nature of these cartoons is what's killing me. I've got like a zillion episodes now, and most of them are part of an ongoing story. That's going to be really daunting for any new viewers, and it doesn't help that a lot of my early stuff is pretty rough. Even if I feel like I've gotten better since then, who wants to muddle through a bunch of crude, bad cartoons to get to the good stuff? But I keep trying to drop the serial elements, and I just can't seem to do it. All of my story ideas build on what came before.
I still feel a strange compulsion to keep making these things. But Xtranormal keeps finding new ways to complicate the process of making these silly cartoons, and it's reaching a point where it feels like a lot of work just to jerk off into the wind.
I had to stop making these cartoons for about a year and a half, for reasons I won't bore you with. It was due to external forces, and during that extended break I ached to get back to work. But lately I've found myself thinking about getting to episode 100, and then quitting. Or maybe doing episodes that are like 10 minutes long, so I can tell an entire story in one go instead of spreading it out over 9 episodes and then watching my audience give up around episode 3.
I don't know what to change. But it feels like I've got to change something.
* Doesn't Major Dithery Grump sound like an Edward Gorey character?