I'm not going to lie. Doing a webcomic for free while having a full time career (therapist) and being a husband and father is very hard.
The reality is that making a single Cancer Owl comic takes a lot of time, and it costs me money. There's no regrets because I love the craft and love the impact my comic has. This comic has already given me so much, and I credit much of my recovery on creating it during cancer treatments. But saying yes to the comic means I say no to other things. And I did some very deep soul searching as to if it was time to say goodbye to my feathered friend. But Cancer Owl is not ready to fly away. It's not time. I feel that there is more yet to try and to be done. My wife helped me see this.
And one thing I have not really attempted is set up a merchandise shop. I've been asked by fans so often to do this. And I feel it's been unfair to all of you to not provide for you a great way to have a piece of Cancer Owl that you can have at home or in the hospital. I have been selling Cancer Owl cards, but I've had to arrange all the printing, packaging and shipping. It takes a BUTTLOAD OF TIME! Time that I just don't have. And the thought of expanding the store is exhausting to think about. I also set up a Patreon account for donated funds, but was overall unhappy with the whole thing.
Which leads me to....
I am setting up shop....which will be launched very, very soon. I've decided to go with Threadless, who will take a fair chunk of my sales but save me all the headaches of resourcing, packaging, shipping, etc. I will be selling shirts, hoodies, throw pillows, mugs and more. I create the products and the company does the rest. I'm really excited about these products, and the fact that they can serve as a tangible purpose for those who are going through cancer treatments. The thing I'most excited about are the pillows, which give you a chance to give the Owl a hug or punch Cancer right in the face. There is simply not a lot of cool products out there for cancer patients...especially patients under 40 years old.
So besides being able to further support what I do (and at this point, I need to start doing that) I feel like I'm getting started on filling a void.
I will continue my goal of creating a comic a week (with occasional breaks like this week) and 2 comics for I Had Cancer every month. I will continue to illustrate true stories from patients, survivors, ostomates, and caregivers. And setting up shop is the newest chapter.
So stay tuned. I'm thrilled to finally offer ways that Cancer Owl can be right in your home or with you during cancer treatments.