Chris sent me a script idea on September 20th and, yes, it's taken me this long to get to is. Partially because there was a bit of backstory I wanted to establish beforehand but mostly because it really just takes that long (sometimes).
(SIDENOTE: yes, I'm happy to take your comic strip ideas. I don't promise I'll use them, but who knows!)
So Chris sent me a script. I liked it, I told him so, and immediately re-wrote it. He approved of the new material and all was good. Right up to the point where I actually started working on the strip.
See, with as much circulation as the last strip got, some of the most obvious jokes still seemed to go straight over people's heads. My comic was obscure -- and I don't mean just hard-to-find. This is bothersome because, to me, everything seems to be fairly on-the-nose. And the joke I'm referring to in the last comic was exceptionally straight-forward, and yet it seemed like too many people needed it explained to them.
Is it just a quality of audience issue? Or is my writing not as tight as it should be?
Probably a little bit of both, but ... mostly the writing.
So instead of producing Chris's comic as written and rewritten, I started re-writing some more, cutting the material down to its core.
I think the problem with the last strip (and most of my comic in general) is that I'm trying to fit too much into each episode. The joke that seemed to go straight over everyone's heads, in spite of how simple it was? It was crammed into the first panel of comic -- promptly followed by five other panels that had nothing to do with the first gag. In other words, that first joke/panel should have been a strip all its own.
This is what I'm trying to do, moving forward: keep things simple. Don't cram so much into each strip. Spread the joy around a little. So Chris's pitch (an "ok" 6-panel affair) is turning into four 3-panel installments, giving each joke and sentiment the respect they deserve.
Too many people are complaining that they don't "get" my writing, so I'm trying to make it simpler. There will be three more installments of Chris and VHS tape.