To be honest, it ended back in 2011, when I finally drew the strip for a public audience. The script and layouts had been done years earlier still. I remember sitting down in 2005 and writing all the dialogue, the jokes and sketching the layouts. Earlier still, I was planting all the details throughout the series to ensure that the conclusion which I planned made sense. This was a long time coming.
I don’t really want to get into the details of why it took so long. Suffice to say I had planned it all so well that I couldn’t draw it to my expectations. I have in my archives many false starts, half-completed strips where I would get so frustrated I would just start again from scratch. I knew it had to be perfect, and I couldn’t match the images I had in my head with what I could draw.
But I knew that for as long as this particular series was incomplete, Sexy Losers was incomplete too. What made me not give it up completely and return occasionally for a few strips was this particular story. I couldn’t abandon it knowing it wasn’t finished. But I didn’t have the confidence to do justice to the strip. So I was caught between a desire to do the strip and my belief I couldn’t.
I considered that perhaps I was building it up too much and needed to strip down what I was doing to make it more manageable. In 2011, inspired by what Josh Lesnick was doing, I was going to do a Tumblr called the THIN H LINE that was going to bring it back to its roots: smaller and completely hand drawn, just like I started doing it in 1999. About 20 new strips came about, plus the completion of the Shuinji thread. Unfortunately very few people actually read it, and I shelved the THIN H LINE as depression comix was becoming more important to me.
However, it always felt uncomfortable that the completion of the story was at a different website than where the majority of the strip resided. I didn’t know what to do about this – when I first built the Sexy Losers site it wasn’t designed to handle a new series of strips and when I tried to reprogram it the site crashed, and it was too complicated for me to fix. I knew I had to restart the site from scratch, and I really didn’t have the time to do that.
In 2013, I bought a new phone – a Galaxy Note. It had a pressure sensitive pen with it. I decided it would be cool to recolor those THIN H LINE strips and rebrand them as Sexy Losers strips, to be added to the archive. I did a number of those strips, probably the best ones to be honest, and in 2015 I finally redid the Sexy Losers site from scratch. Most of the Shiunji strips were recolored and posted, except the last one.
I have to admit I was unhappy with the strip as it appeared in the THIN H LINE. The last panel wasn’t drawn that well, and it’s not clear that the reanimated corpse in the last panel was the dead wife of Mr. Watanabe. This strip needed to be redrawn. (You can see the original strip below the new one and make the comparison for yourself)
Now, the strip is part of the archive, and you can now read the entire story of Shiunji and the Suicide Girl on Sexy Losers.
It took a long time to finish this story, and it took longer to put it all in one place. If you’re reading this, I deeply admire your patience.
But it’s not the last Sexy Losers strip. It might not even be the last one with Shiunji and Tomoe.
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