Okay, so (hopefully) you’ve all read the last instalment of this thrilling cyber-chap-book and found it to be a satisfying conclusion… Well, that’s all very formal, in actual fact I hope you found it very sweet and touching, I doubt those last few episodes were as emotional for you to read as they were for me to produce, after all, you haven’t spent part of nearly every day for the last two years with this little creation, but be that as it may I hope your heartstrings were pulled in some small way.
First of all I’d like to thank all of you loyal readers, no matter if you were here from the very begining or if you only found the strip last month, no matter if you were reading it because you enjoyed the parallels to a certain feature film or if you enjoyed it for its own merits. You’re the reason I kept the story going until the very end, you’re the reason I worked during insane hours of the day and you’re the reason why I enjoyed working on this project SO much.
As I mentioned at the very begining of this outing, I had never embarked on a long form comic either as a writer or cartoonist and I had planned to learn a lot as I went, which I did, very much so. Those with a keen eye for sequential art will have noticed that my art approach changed subtly yet massively; the characters slowly became more refined and eventually started coming in ‘on model’, which is to say, retaining a consistent look. I settled on a certain look for backgrounds and inking, which as well as infusing the work with some amount of confidence, sped up the process no end, and I learnt tons about leaving open space to accommodate the lettering as well as tons of stuff about lettering in its own right.
From a writing perspective my pacing became much more fluid, I gained perspective about how much lettering was acceptable for a given sequence, and, acting as my own artist, I quickly became aware of the amount of information an artist can portray in a given panel… and all this is just the tip of the iceberg, but I won’t go on about it and risk boring you all to death.
Maybe you’re wondering what’s next? Well, first of all I plan on getting the ball rolling on a print version of the entire saga. The details are sketchy at the moment but I want the finished product to be a beautiful graphic novel worthy of a place on your bookshelves, it should include the full St. Shawhshank’s narrative, an updated forward, the ‘Making-of’ found elsewhere on the website, the original character designs, the full collection of ‘Other Tales from St. Shawshank’s’ and whatever else I can think of putting in there. I’m not sure where you’ll be able to pick it up from yet, but I’ll almost certainly sort out a purchase section on this very website and I’ll no doubt start a bit of a convention tour.
You may also be interested in knowing that there might well be a sequel on the horizon… “But how can there possibly be a sequel?” I hear you shout, “The Shawshank Redemption doesn’t have a sequel!”. You’d be right to be shouting such questions at your monitor, but the more literary minded amongst you might find a little insight if I tell you that the working title of this future sequel is ‘St. Shawshank’s Infant School: Andy’s Shadow’
That’s gonna be a ways away yet though as I have a few film projects I’m gonna be sinking my teeth into, one of which is going to be my most ambitious film outing yet and will be a short fan film based on one of my all time favourite comic franchises. A few hints: the franchise has already had a Hollywood adaptation AND the long running comicbook was cancelled earlier this year…
That doesn’t spell the immediate end to the website though, so I urge you subscribers, email AND rss, to stay connected, and further, you guys who pop by from time to time, I would suggest that you subscribe in some way too, as I shall periodically be adding new material to the site, in the form of more ‘Other Tales’ or other fun strips, which will most certainly include more adventures of the site favourite ‘Mark Jones: Superhero’, but these will be sporadic to say the least.
I would like to take this opportunity to chuck out a few official thank-yous, first to Gary Deocampo, Chris Giarrusso, Bethan Mure, Rick Cortes and most especially Lyndon Webb, for their efforts and contributions to the bonus material on this site, yous guys are all finer artists than me!
Second, Jordan Morris, Chris Shiel, Luke Shiel and Paul Marsh all get bonus thank-yous for listening to me bang on about the strip no end and contributing ideas on numerous occasions, yous guys are the best!
I’d also like to thank Frank Darabont and Stephen King for a truly astounding source material, though I highly doubt this comic will ever cross their respective paths.
It really HAS been a blast and I sincerely DO hope you enjoyed the ride. I think it turned out to be a pretty respectful and loving homage to one of the greatest films ever made…
And on that note, this is Richard Reynolds and his young friends, Andy Ashtree and Ellis Boyd, signing off and wishing you all a very good day.