Looking back over the last book, the word that describes Road Notes best would be turbulent. I'm faced with the ambivalent feelings of how this book has both brought the readers further into the Pictures of You story, while at the same time driving many away. I won't rehash, but suffice it to say I was right about everything. Seriously, though, despite the contentious turn that the comments took, I feel closer to my audience than ever before.
During the past 200 pages, I drew more than 100 of you (I lost count) which brought, for me anyway, a new meaning to the title. You're part of it now, even some who may never visit these pages again, and I've been lucky enough to get to know the faces of my audience, in a way that very few artists are able to do. My sincerest thanks to everyone who lent me their images for this volume in the series, it was an event without precedent in comics, and no one can take that from us.
Things will be different from here on, as you may be guessing, with many changes in both the story as well as the site and the community. More on that to come. In the next few weeks, we'll be sharing with you some extras from me, along with some fun guest comics from some good friends, and some announcements about the comic. All of this is leading up to the October launch of Pictures of You Book Five, BYE BYE BABY.
For now, I hope everyone can take the time to look back on the story so far, and share with me a little of the connection I feel, the love and exasperation and confusion and respect, because you never know what's going to happen next.
Seriously Mr. Twist, I couldn't have put it better myself. In a weird way, I count you as an absent friend that I have never met. I admit, that your story is so many ways close to my own that I superimpose faces from my own past over your characters without meaning to. I really hope this blows up for you and becomes widely known...this story deserves to be told to a global audience. I still check this site every day, and reread often. I imagine that something amazing will both be missing and at the same time forever a part of me when the tale comes to a close.
The relationship between you, your comic, and your readers, astounds me. How can I put it? It feels real, like, as others before have described, talking about friends (the characters) in an open forum, as if you were telling us how your day went versus a story. That doesn't quite do it justice, but to me, its a close description.
Hats off to you Gibson! I hope to see many more years of your success to come!
Infrequent commentator and short time reader
I found your comic randomly late one night a couple of months ago and read every page you had out at that time, it was close to the Bishop Street saga, staying up till 8am the following day. Your story, I believe, is a story many of us could tell of our college years. My friends and I in college mirror so many of your characters it is baffling and still your story is compelling, heart warming, and heart breaking.
Personally I look forward, and dread, the eventually ending of Pictures of You because when it ends I fear it will be the last time I fondly remember my college days. Instead I will look back and see the missed opportunities and poor choices of youth.
I do love how the fans make cameos in the actual comic. It feels so much more like real-life, like fans and comic are part of a community together, and I don't actually know of any other comic that does this. Don't forget either, book four was also the Book Of The Kickstarter and all the awesomeness that that brought!
Let us know if you ever need more fan-pics for cameos I'm already kicking myself for not being brave enough to go for it the first time around!
Mr. Twist, When I first found your comic two years ago, I was in a bit of a bad place, so I put it aside to read later. Then I met an amazing woman and my life got much better. After she left me I was shattered, and that's when I found you and your work again. I want you to know that your comic has helped carry me through some of the toughest times of my life, as funny as that is to say about a webcomic. but the connection to the story gave me an out, I could escape into your work and marvel at it and hope for its characters, free from my troubles for a time. I will follow this story right to its bitter end, and thank you once more for the ups and downs of this magnificent tale.
I am still, and always will be, an avid follower of this story. I was really happy to be cameoed, and the story that I am following for a really long time now, keeps me on my toes. Well done, and good continuation Mr Twist.
Pictures of You stands out among the sea of webcomics out there, and that is saying something. With so much variety on the 'tubes, it takes a special kind of story to suck people in so much that they feel part of it themselves and really connect to its characters. We felt for them, admonished some, vigorously defended others, guessed at motives, sat slack-jawed before unexpected developments... the gamut is as broad as it is varied.
How many other webcomics have that sort of impact? I can sit there and read Ctrl Alt Del, Questionable Content, Oglaf, Penny Arcade, Junior Scientist Power Hour, et al and think "Well, that was a fun/cute/interesting page," but nothing comes near PoY (except perhaps Order of the Stick, but that's just the DnD nerd in me talkin') in terms of the commitment I feel to the story. I simply MUST read each page. I see characters reflecting aspects of both myself and people I know in real life.
What you've achieved here is fantastic, Gibson. This last book took a lot out of you, that much is clear, but I feel that what it took turned into something not only entertaining, but also revealing and educational. Everyone who reads it takes something from it. We can relate to this, and that, more than anything, is why we keep coming back for more.
I can understand to an extent what might drive people off. I think as a reader, sometimes we get our own ideas of where we want stories to go, especially with characters as relatable as yours. And then when the author moves in a different direction, or throws hurdles into the mix that we wouldnt have thought of, we get snippy and get ourselves in a fit over it. It takes a strong reader, when reading a strong author such as yourself, to set those personal expectations aside and see where the author, and even, sometimes, the characters, want things to go, and just hold on for the ride. I've been here for years now, and plan to continue lurking until the conclusion. I've loved every moment of this comic, even the ones that make you look at your own opinions and ideas and rethink them. I think you are truly talented, and I cannot wait to see what more there is to come.
Also, sorry for the long silence. I've been here, just not been very comment-y. My year has been pretty shit, so I've been letting others do the talking while I watch. I'd love to know if you're going to do cameos again. I missed the opportunity last time.
I've been reading since just before I entered college, and Peter actually left school around the time I graduated. Never thought about this before, but I have close friends I've known for less time than I've been reading this comic. All my married friends have known each other for less time than I've been reading this comic.
And it's funny how even knowing I'm about to get my heart broken a little, it would never occur to me to bail out.
I think the turbulence the community went through during this book really only shows how important PoY is to everyone, and how real.
I'll be back in October then. No offense, but if I wanted to sit around for over 2 months and watch extras, I would buy the "Pictures of You: Extended Edition" DVD. Professionals in the real world don't get to randomly take 2+ months off their work (or stop producing their real work, at any rate), and I don't think webcomic artists should do so either. But that's your decision to make, so have fun.
I love your comic. If it were a graphic novel, it should be on a bookshelf next to the other great titles I read. When I found this sometime ago. I was hooked like a large mouth bass. Not wanting to let go of the juicy worm. I'm staying to the end, and will hang on tight to it after. I may not have agreed with some of the subject matter, but that is why I have not stopped reading. Its different, its surreal. And if you ever want another face, I'm all for seeing how you would draw me. Again love the road in which you travel. So many twists and turns to make the scenery worth watching.
@AmusementPark: And um... who said he wasn't going to be doing work? I'd rather an artist take some time to get caught up and maybe get a bit of a buffer going--rather that than for him to start book 5 and then have to halt updates because he wasn't ready (this happens SOOO much in webcomics, and I'm totally guilty of it, pretty much why I don't actually have a webcomic anymore.)
Twist and I don't see eye to eye on much, but I absolutely applaud him for this comic---you guys realise that otherwise, this comic updates every weekday??? When some comics only update once a week? Maybe less?
To everyone a little sore about a two month break: step back and think about it for a second... this isn't something you are entitled to, this is a free comic... being pissed that someone is taking a break after MORE than a year?
Seriously, take a look at the date of when book 4 started. 2012. February. Think about that for a second! Holy crap. Take a break. Seriously. You earned it!
This is the best comic series on the web. I wish I could shake your hand. The fact that you have been able to extract the kind of emotional response from your readers in the comments that you have is a testament to your story telling ability. If this comic was a tv show it would probably be the best show on television. The artistry in the story telling dialogue and actual art work is astounding. Its a wonder to me everyday how this comic isnt a world wide phenomenon. Mr. Twist, let nothing stop you from ever telling the story you want to tell. Any idea that isnt your own is not worthy of being put into this story because your ideas are pure gold! Best wishes on you much deserved time off and I cant wait for book 5!
Yes they do
@AmusementPark Actually, Garry Trudeau, professional comics artist of more than 40 years standing, takes at least one month off each year and the newspaper re-run old strips in place of the new content. Gibson isn't doing that -- he's offering us extras, unseen art, etc. That takes as much time to format and upload as any new pages.
Long time reader, first time commenting.
I've been loving this story. During the turbulent time, I ignored the comments, and remained thankful for the story. It's had depth, beauty, turbulence, and lots of life. Obviously it stirred quite a few people up, which I'd consider a success.
Thanks to you, Mr. Twist. Well done all around, thank you for staying above the bell curve. Looking forward to the next chapter.
Dying for Bye Bye Baby! I'll be on here every weekday to read the extras and guest comics, and just because I don't know what the hell else people do on weekday mornings. Seriously- if you don't read POY, what do you do to get up in the morning?
I've never commented here before, but I have been a long time reader. I just wanted to thank you for all of the hard work you put into this comic, even when things get difficult. I have really enjoyed it, and I look forward to seeing it through to the end.
It has been a fun ride, even though we all know it isn't going to end up in a happy destination.