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ATPM 18.01
January 2012

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Out at Five

by Matt Johnson, mjohnson@atpm.com

Bob’s House

2011-12-02-bobs-house

Downstairs

2011-12-05-downstairs

Moving On

2011-12-09-moving-on

Some people have been asking me already whether I’m going to end this comic. Honestly, I’m not sure, but I’m definitely taking a hiatus. The comic as we know it has pretty much come to and end either way.

The are a couple reasons for this. First, Out at Five is based primarily on experiences I had at a job I left several years ago. The career I have now is at a company that very much has its act together, so the daily inspiration I got from the stupidity swirling around me isn’t there anymore. I think that’s a good thing.

Second, I just became a parent a couple weeks ago, and I knew well in advance that this would change several things. As a new dad, I couldn’t be sure how much spare time I’d have to work on a comic. I also had a feeling a new little baby in the house could be the spark of a whole new set of comics in the future. I wanted to leave my options open.

Third, I just wasn’t happy with the comic anymore. I love drawing, but I felt like I’d exhausted all the good ideas in my head. I felt like I was forcing the comics out rather than letting them flow. I’d lost my muse and wanted to get it back again.

I started planning the end of my comic several months ago, and I knew the last comic—posted December 5—was going to be unexpectedly dark. The biggest lesson I’ve learned in my career is that jobs come and go, but the important things in life are those that happen after five o’clock. Bob’s character has lived a life wrapping entirely around his business. Nothing mattered more to him than being in charge of his little company, and when it crumbled all around him, he felt like his life was over. Everyone else in the strip was able to move on, but he wasn’t. He’s the kind of person I remind myself not to become—life is family, friends, and the fun you have when you’re not on the clock. Don’t waste your life lining someone else’s pockets and funding someone else’s dream. When you’re asked to close the door and sit down, be ready to have something to cling to other than the job you’re about to lose. Life is more than that.

If I start drawing comics again, you’ll learn about it at ATPM and OutAtFive.com. I can’t say for sure what’s coming next, but I’ll be eager to find out soon.

Thanks for reading.

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Reader Comments (1)

Grover Watson · January 7, 2012 - 08:53 EST #1
All good things come to an end. I really enjoyed all your comics over the years. Good luck on your next project. Becoming a Dad changed my life too. He's 18 now, and I'm more involved than ever with him. Don't blink.... they grow really fast, so take lots of pictures, and shoot a ton of video.

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