Five years ago, Tom and I launched the webcomic Hopeless Maine: Personal Demons. It led to a second narrative arc – Inheritance, both of which have since been published in hardcover. It also had a lot to do with our falling in love and getting married. Before the webcomic even landed, there was also a weekly newspaper for the island of Hopeless – The Hopeless Vendetta.
The Hopeless Vendetta ran small stories as flash fiction, weaving bigger plots and connecting to the timeline of the webcomic once that got going. Sometimes, as a consequence of pacing in the comic, time gets a bit bendy.
As it got up and running, a thing began to happen. Islanders started turning up and making their opinions known. Strange figures like Professor Enoch Swaine, Bocan, Shrove Tuesday Jones, Henry Covert, Incompetence Parsons, Jimmy Misanthrope, Little Lizzie, and Mithra Stubbs started to appear, bringing their own stories of island life and conflicting views of events. This was wholly unexpected and really exciting.
I love collaborative projects. I do a lot of working with other people, and opportunities to play tend to inspire me. I realise that I need more play in my life. We’ve decided to re-launch The Hopeless Vendetta this autumn, and to run it more collaboratively so that more people can get involved. Keep an eye on the site for information about how to do that if you are interested.
The main story arc for Hopeless Maine is already written, and won’t change, but there are many other tales to tell about the strange little island. I look forward to finding out what those are. After years away from this project, it feels a lot like going home.