Tuesday, June 21, 2011

An Overnight Success Twenty Years in the Making?

It’s been almost twenty years, and that got me thinking…

It’s practically a truism that behind every overnight success, there’s twenty years of hard work in obscurity. This is not true in every case, and the number isn’t usually exact. But next year just happens to be exactly twenty years after I started work on the manga series that would eventually become the webnovel Chaos Angel Spanner. Later this year, after the first volume completes serialization, I’m collecting it all into ebook form and selling it on all the major online bookstores. Having the whole series collected into one slickly formatted volume makes a difference, and for $2.99 at that.

If this actually does become an overnight success, it will be exactly twenty years after my very first story notes and character sketches, which I threw together into a binder during an anime club meeting and called Project Notebook #1. That one Project Notebook eventually became fifteen before they spawned this blog. I put a whole lot of work and thought into writing (and hopefully drawing) Spanner, but you probably wouldn’t know it if I didn’t tell you. Most people, of course, have never heard of it, or me.

If Spanner succeeds, it’ll catch most people by surprise. That’s the reality behind the truism. Of course, my goal is to get readers and make them want more — the job of any storyteller. That means more work on my side, writing and editing and drawing and promoting. But once the mind viruses are out in the wild at last, they’ll do some of the work for me…


  1. Wow!!! What a great milestone. Love the idea of it being all available in an eBook.

    Congrats on the upcoming anniversary :)

  2. It's a personal milestone, really. It's almost a secret I share with the cartoonists' group of my old anime club. To most people, though, it'll be totally new, possibly even unlike anything they've seen or read before.

    Of course, I marvel at how the saying is exactly true in my case, right down to the number. I'm determined to make all those years of hard work pay off.

    Oh, and thanks. :)