05/17/21 – Letter of Commendation

Spacetrawler, audio version For the blind or visually impaired, May 17, 2021.


Announcement below the comic!



So…. I have an announcement. I am going to reduce Spacetrawler down to 3 days a week. And I ask you all for your support in that.
I am doing this for my health and for my future work. Which breaks down into three main categories right now.
1. Having bought a ridiculously cheap house which was entirely NOT habitable, I am spending two very long days every week working on it. Hopefully this will ease up in the autumn. And I need this. I need a house, a home. I can’t afford to keep paying rent as a cartoonist, or I’ll slip back into debt. If nothing else, think of it as an investment into me being able to focus on work in the future with less worry.
2. This summer I have a month-long artist residency in Montanna. I wish to get ahead on Spacetrawler, so I can spend that time recharging my batteries, and just writing freely, and exploring new ideas, and not having to do my day-to-day work while there. I know you all appreciate that I don’t remain static in my work, and I think this is really needed for me. It’s been a hard year (for all of us). As of now, I haven’t even BEGUN getting ahead on Spacetrawler, because I can barely keep up. This easing up on my schedule will help.
3. Which brings us to the third point. I’ve over-extended myself. Some of it is my own fault. But I am at risk of burning out. And doing this is an act of self-care, and I hope you stick with me during it.
best, Christopher



    Speaking for myself, I’d say you should have complete control in your art, and if that means taking your time, that *means* taking your time.
    After all, you do most everything; we only point out the occasional typo.

  2. Jude

    I’ve always been amazed at the amount of work you do, Christopher. You extend yourself beyond what other cartoonist do and I’ve seriously wondered how you do it. You do realise that “cutting back” to three days a week is still easily way more often than some webcomics are updated, don’t you?

    In no way do you have to explain yourself to us but a sincere thank you for honouring us, your readers by doing so.

  3. Rikard

    You’re turning a house into a home, that takes priority. Personally, as one who a couple of years back was in a similar situation (bought a house from 1927, well maintained but stuff needs fixing as you well know) I’m not in a position to complain – I know full well how Herculean it can seem.

    Because that first spring, when the ground thawed and became soft, and I realised that one of the outbuildings was actually sinking into the ground… ‘Freude schöner Götter funken…’ was not the melody I heard.

    Oh, and use a mask, the right kind – you do NOT want to breathe in some of stuff that can grow in old houses!

  4. Anthony

    Definitely do what you need to for your own health and well being. Don’t be surprised if you crash a little when you do manage to slow down – and take a longer break if you need it.

    Thank you for everything to date and look after yourself!

  5. Efogoto

    You have my support, and my warmest wishes for your good health and happiness. Thank you for the many years of entertainment you have given me. I look forward to more.

  6. KQY61

    Hey, no worries. Well, actually *I* am now worried about *you*. And I will suggest a return to the *two* days a week ST was originally. At the current strip length. Not the longer version it was back then. I know what you do now began as a splitting in half but it seems to me that the strips have grown longer….. So, give that a thought. I fully understand and now wish I lived closer to you. I would be over helping you with that house project.

  7. Hades

    Lord knows maintaining a house takes way too much time, and that’s when it IS habitable. Renovation is a whole other level of time and energy suck.
    And also, echoing other sentiments, it’s your art; it’s entirely within your right to do with it as you please, especially when you provide four days of full color entertainment for free every week. Three days is more than reasonable.
    All this to say that please, for your health and sanity, take all the time you need, with your reader’s blessing.

  8. Bernard Coxhead

    Of course I’d prefer 2 strips a day from you, but 3 a week is enough! To be honest, as long as strips keep coming, I think I’d be happy even if you held off on new strips for a break and put out some reruns, others have done it (such as User Friendly).

  9. Keith

    Works for me, try the Montana coffee traders while you are up here. It’s, above average. And yes, I can see GNP and Canada from my kitchen. Now, take care of yourself. I’m doing that today after rearranging the pens AND stirring and shoveling manure last week.

  10. someone

    If you need to slow down, by all means, slow down. 🙂 It’ll give us a chance to explore some of the links on those very large lists in the site’s sidebar…

  11. pitgamer

    100% behind this move – your art and storytelling is amazing. And burnout is a terrible risk for those who are willing to do the work they see or feel needs be done – I see it in not-for-profit organiation volunteers all the time. You take care of yourself so there is more of you to share with everyone, including yourself!

  12. karenth

    Christopher Baldwin, you’ve been giving us wonderful stories for a very long time. Thank you very much. Please take the time you need and take care of yourself and yours and know that I (and a bunch of us around here) think the world of you.

    Ahem. Carry on.

  13. Dave L

    Just another person saying “OF COURSE! Take the time you need”

    Echoing what’s already been said
    *other people don’t update nearly as often as you and the quality is always higher
    *personal health and safety should come first
    *spend on the good masks now that they are available again without a “prescription”.

    Reading your strips helped during the current ‘pocalyse. May getting the house ready let you be ready for the next one.

  14. Laura Bauer

    As an avid Spacetrawler reader I hate to suggest this, but you might want to consider taking an actual hiatus for a few weeks rather than/along with the 3-times-a-week thing. That seems pretty common for, e.g., webtoon artists.

    Congratulations on being a home owner! Having lived in a fixer-upper, I strongly recommend that you prioritize getting the plumbing working before almost anything else.

  15. Capn Gravy

    I think its unanimous (is it? *checks all replies–it is*), we are all more than happy for you to slow down and pace yourself. Get that house in order, build up your buffer, and go get some creative relaxing done in Montana. The Mon-Tue-Wed setup is a very good idea, allows you to better focus on your other projects. Excelsior!

  16. Dave

    This is such a supportive community! Take your time, my friend.

    If I lived closer, I’d definitely volunteer to come wield a hammer (etc) as needed. Remodeled part of my house just before the pandemic and I love doing that stuff. Good luck!

  17. Thorfinntk

    Just adding my voice to the chorus of waht everyone else has said (at least I get to join a chorus – given my absolute lack of singing voice, that’s normally out of the question)

  18. Eric S

    I appear to be among many who are grateful to you for updating any number of times, be it a week, a fortnight, a month with such superb artistry – both writing and drawing
    Best of luck with your new home, take care of yourself, steer clear of the armchair epidemiologists and constitutional experts from facebook college of medicine/politics/advanced conspiracies, and we’ll look forward to your updates when YOU damn well please

  19. Owen Smith

    Take the time you need.

    And in addition to nasty stuff growing in old houses, don’t forget they can be full of asbestos and leas paint. Wear the appropriate dust mask when sanding anything down or removing any insulation. For asbestos that’s an FFP3 mask, which I think is N95 in US terms.

  20. Efogoto

    I like how Zakzar refers to her “verdigris days of childhood” in panel 1 (much like Cleopatra’s line “My salad days, When I was green in judgment” (in Shakespeare’s Antony and Cleopatra)), but shows that she’s not so far from them as she thinks when in panel 6 she holds out hope of a refund.

  21. Pete Rogan

    As so many readers have already said, don’t worry about us, Christopher. You have bolshoyeh work to do with house and career, and Spacetrawler, I have always known, is but the froth from a simmering cauldron that one day will be, oh, absolutely pulsing with work the public demands and is willing to pay for. I celebrate the work you are about to do and wish you the greatest success accomplishing it, as I know you will.

    Um, ‘verdigris’ may mean ‘green,’ but it refers to the patina outdoor unfinished copper obtains over time — a product of age, not of newness, which I am also sure Zakzar knew using the word. Fascinating counterpoint to the idea of ‘green’ being a metaphor both of new growth and metallic age. Splendid language, to be sure.

  22. Janice M Rugar

    I can deal with three comics/wk, but what I’d really like is to see some more pictures of your house. It looked like a real treasure in the ones you posted earlier.

  23. Seymour Joseph


    At 3 updates a week you’re still way ahead of Order of the Stick and many other webcomics. Good luck fixing the house. Don’t watch “Mr Blandings builds his dream house” or the crappy remake, “The money pit”. Too close to reality.

  24. Miguel Figueroa-Pagan

    It’s OK CB. Take yoour time as you have giving us fun for years. Keep ur good work in the future. I’ll be here to cheer your original and funny stories.

  25. walterw

    pics or no new house

    and good god yes, pace yourself! 3 a week is still a very kick-ass schedule, especially for your big full-color updates; i doubt any of us would begrudge you going to 2 or even 1 a week for a while

  26. Please take care of yourself, Spacetrawler is bright spot for me and I would greatly encourage you to look after yourself from the purely selfish motive of having Spacetrawler to enjoy for longer , I can squeeze in a hope that you maintain health and happiness as well.

  27. Ramon

    Dear Chris Baldwin:
    I’m writing you to commend you on doing such a fine job on your comics. I have been enjoying the free ones since the Little Dee days. Perhaps I will take some time and money to purchase and enjoy some of your not-free work during your slow down for Space Trawler. I hope all goes well with the house and the residency!

  28. Stephen

    Three days a week of a freely-given webcomic is still generous. Even if you had to reduce your pace to one day a week or less, we’d understand and support whatever it takes to keep both you and Spacetrawler alive. (But, primarily you!)

  29. demarquis

    What everyone else said. But…

    “entirely NOT habitable”

    New favorite phrase. Sounds like it comes somewhere between “not entirely habitable” and “entirely uninhabitable.”

  30. Lin of Rosse

    Haven’t replied before, but I’ve been lurking around this webcomic for years.

    And I must say: Your ongoing trilogy is absolutely amazing, and to this day one of the best comics I have ever read. The wit, the art, pacing, drama, and humor— all of it leaves me wanting to follow your characters to the very furthest end of whatever wacky shenanigans they’ve gotten themselves into this time. I await your newest page with all the nonexistent patience of Mr.Zorilla confronted with sharing a slice of cake. When it arrives, I devour it as if it were a handful of jalapeño chips, neatly packaged. And it never fails to impress. Cheesy similes aside, this comic is somehow always on point.

    That said, please do take the time you need to recover your spark! Burnout is a very real problem, and as much as I had loved the daily updates, I think I’ll enjoy the story just as much at whatever speed you decide to release it. Best of luck in all your endeavors, and thank you for sharing this strange world in your head with the rest of us!

  31. Tephlon

    Take your time.

    I’d rather have you be healthy, happy and (sort of) sane than getting a strip every day. 3 times a week is already more than most webcartoonists spit out, especially work with this amount of detail.

    Take care

  32. Jack

    Hi Christopher, I’ve been reading your comics for a long time now and really love them. I just wanted to say it’s way more important to me that you write them in a way that you enjoy and that is sustainable for you to do than that they come out every day. Thank you so much for all the comics.

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