Farewell to Bishop Street

So Bishop Street is done. What's next?

Okay, I suppose I should say a few words about it, but whenever I start, I come up with a blank. What do I say about a single project that I did almost every day for two and a half years? In fact, I just deleted a whole paragraph comparing it to raising a child, even though the Terrible Twos is an apt analogy. What it comes down to, though, Book Three in the decalogy of Pictures of You is my most ambitious, most challenging and most soul-spelunking thing I've done in my professional career.

What's happened in the time I've been producing Bishop Street?

I got married, which I will talk about sometime but not now. I lost my little four-legged pal Lucy, which hit me like I would never have imagined. I relocated by accident to the US, something else I never planned, and have grown a new home here in St Louis. More relevantly, the audience for Pictures of You increased nearly tenfold, which is amazing, even though it led to a crisis of confidence in myself as an artist, my plans for the future, my place in the comics industry and my love for it as a whole.

I don't think it's a secret that I've had a hard time with Bishop Street, artistically at least. In the last year, I've struggled to come to terms with what I want to get out of Pictures of You and what it's possible to do with it in my career. I won't lie, there were days that I wanted to stop, and on more than one occasion I did very nearly do. What kept me going wasn't one thing or one person, but a sum of everything.

My wife was very supportive, as well as a handful of friends from around the world, but in the end it was the love shown by the readers, the impact the story was having on people, affecting their lives and in at least one case, saving it. Knowing all of that, how could I stop?

I kept making the pages, knowing that if I didn't, I might not take it up again. Every time, I told myself just to do one more, I needed to do just one more. So I did, and then again, and then again. My heart wasn't in it, but I knew I couldn't let people down, people who had invested so much of themselves in the characters and the story, who came back in some cases every day to read it, to reread it, to pore through several hundred pages in one sitting.

Some people think it's arrogance when I say things like that, but in truth, it is incredibly humbling. To know that thousands of people give a shit what you do, that it makes the world better somehow, even in small doses, a man should know what a staggering privilege that is. Not many people are so blessed, and I am more thankful for it than words can convey.

So now, here I am with the third book in the series firmly in the can, and sitting down to figure out what to do next. Many of you have asked about a print version, and I can say that I'm looking to make it happen, and soon, but a great many things need to happen first. Chief among those, I need to get my shit together, so as soon as that happens, I'll let you know.

In the immediate future, we'll be posting a couple weeks of “Ask The Gang” or whatever it ends up being called, where the cast answer some questions from the readers. After that, I'll be showcasing some comics from friends of the comic, both new and old, and we'll wrap up the hiatus with another round of Snapshots, very short pieces written by me and drawn by some of my favourite webcomic artists. I'm pretty excited about that.

Book Four, Road Notes, will launch in the first week of February, beginning on Feb 4th with a celebration of our fifth anniversary! We're still working out the details on what those celebrations will be, but another video chat is likely. Details will be forthcoming as soon as they become firm.

That's where my wife chuckles, because she has a dirty mind.

As for the story, Road Notes will see a return to the more light-hearted fun of the first couple books. The book will be much shorter than Bishop Street, and should run about a year. I'll save most of the details, but everyone who guessed a One-Inch Punch tour, you are correct. As for what characters we will and won't see, time will tell.

And that's a wrap for Bishop Street. Thanks again to everyone, everywhere, for everything. We're all in this together for a long time to come.

posted by Gibson Twist @ December 8th, 2011, 9:50 am  |  10 comments

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TheBeardedOne (Guest), December 8th, 2011, 2:08 pm

I've never really posted on the site, but this seems like an appropriate time to acknowledge your work and that I come and swing by the page everyday. That is really all because of your writing Twist. I first started reading the comic as I myself started at university and was struggling to determine who and what I was. The fact your story reflected that I found profoundly moving in a way I can't really articulate. And now I'm starting to ramble. Just thought you ought to know. Looking forward to book four.

Buffalo Pete (Guest), December 8th, 2011, 7:30 pm

yep. What TheBeardedOne said. Cheers, Gibson.

BlinkyTheRed, December 9th, 2011, 3:10 am

I'm glad you didn't quit. That would have given me a reason to! haha.

Anyway, I'm looking forward to the next chapter of the story, and to collaborating with you sometime. :D

darkamnios, December 9th, 2011, 6:48 am

A party will have to be thrown. Fuck it, we'll drive from NJ. But this should be celebrate major scale. :)

Cheers indeed Mr.Twist.

(heh silly wife)

cdnovack (Guest), December 9th, 2011, 10:19 am

Hey Gibson, it's @cdnovack from twitter. I just wanted to say thank you again for all that you do. I got turned on to PoY from a friend via Facebook a couple of years ago and I've loved every minute of it. That year I was a freshman in college, so the story grabbed me in a very real and relevant way, and its hold on me hasn't lessened. I look forward to the future of PoY and anything else you create. Keep creating and, I, just like all of your fans here, will keep reading and supporting you in any way we can. Cheers man!


Benoit Lelievre (Guest), December 9th, 2011, 11:28 am

Great work! Thank you so much for doing this Gibson. It was a high point of my work day when a new page was posted. I'm looking forward to Road Notes very much.

Benoit Lelievre (Guest), December 9th, 2011, 11:28 am

Great work! Thank you so much for doing this Gibson. It was a high point of my work day when a new page was posted. I'm looking forward to Road Notes very much.

Jake Atkisson (Guest), December 9th, 2011, 4:01 pm

Sing Us A Song ...You're the piano man. Familiar lyric? If so, if not; either way; it is to me.

You tell a great story, Mr. Twist. When I stumbled on this web comic oh...fair few years ago now, I had no idea that it would be one of the few I'd be following, with great interest to see what happens next, to this very day.

Had not one clue that it'd be one of those I tell my colleagues at work, my personal friends and family about by saying things like "If you're human and you've lived at all, you ought to read this. It'll grab you with the familiar, the forgotten, the unforgettable and that which we all wish, in all our own ways, we could forget but never will. Read it nao!"

I make no habit of frequently commenting. I read the comments as well, and very often someone's already said whatever I'd have wanted to say, so I let it be at that.

I wonder sometimes if, given the substance you've indicated these comments to have for you, I shouldn't alter that.

I feel, in that perspective, like I've not so much served the interest of not elaborately wasting space to basically go "Me too!" in more words as failed to give the piano man a tip.

You do fine work, Mr. Twist. If you've had doubts about the quality of your art, let me be one of the voices to say that I've never noticed. The story you put to your characters makes whatever mechanical flaws might exist in the drawing or coloring invisible, at least to me.

Why? Because who the characters are and the story you're guiding them through makes them move in my imagination. That, more than anything, tells me that you've really got something here, 'cause I'm usually one of those that can be turned off to a comic if the artistic medium keeps distracting me in some annoying fashion or another.

Hasn't happened once with Pictures of You.

First comic I can say that for. No exaggeration; no fluffed up feel-good praise, though praise (and well earned) it is.

So, my hat is off to you, piano man. It is, for me where I'm at, quite literally nine o'clock on a Saturday; in the comments, I can often see the regular crowd shuffle in.

I don't think most of us are here and keep coming here for the art of the pictures so much, though with those specifically, you do fine work there too. Best I've ever seen? I don't think its a singular Best/Worst dichotomy.

You have created the perfect vehicle for the story you're telling. Wouldn't be the right artistic vehicle -without- the little 'flaws'.

Tom Waits doesn't have a good singing voice; he sounds, in fact, like a drunkard with a bottle of whiskey and a carton of cheap cigarettes permanently lodged in his throat.

Yet, for the songs he sings and what they are and -why- they are, no other voice could do them -right-.

Same goes for your art and the story of Pictures of You, in my never-quite-humble opinion.

So, all that said...have a smashing day, Mr. Twist. Hell, have a wonderful month.

Now go kiss your wife. In my experience with my own, it's always a good time to do that.


Onyxlight, December 11th, 2011, 9:00 pm

I applaud you for hanging in there we all know what a bear and $%^&*()@#$ life can be at times. You are stronger than you know and it shows in how you handle yourself. I'd love to sit down over a glass of Jack with you one day. I'm sure it would be a conversation I'd never forget.

I look forward to all the things you have planned for the Gang and I admit to being more than a little "I was so right" about some things... the last solid guess I had that hasn't been confirmed is in an older Peter's hand on one of the last pages... for some reason I had a feeling from the beginning when he was talking about those who were lost along the way I thought she was among them... only time shall truly tell

yayness (Guest), December 12th, 2011, 3:07 am

I got married this year too!

I'm so glad you stuck with this although "stuck with it" seems like a strange way to say "produced excellent art and a wonderful story-line" Despite how you might have been feeling at the time, this book lost nothing during its creation and is still a work of art.

Good luck with your career and stuff! Real life and jobs are hard, but if you can find a good place to be with it, it is awesome. Looking forward to the road trip :D

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