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October 22, 2007
To start things off… yes. It IS true. Liz and I are going to be moving to Texas. I’ll be making light of the whole thing in the comic over the coming weeks, but I’ll give you the downlow on it down here in the rantbox, where it belongs.
We’ve been fairly (read: VERY) quiet about this over the past few weeks, because A) I didn’t want to say anything to anyone until we were sure we even liked the area we were looking at, and B) Because I didn’t want to say anything about it until I told my boss… ’cause he kinda visits the site from time to time, actually. Pretty much the only people who knew was our family.
So now the why. Over the past few months, it’s become increasingly difficult to make do here in San Francisco. Specifically, in our apartment… we’ve lived in this 600 square-foot studio for 2 years now, and it’s starting to wear a little thin. Beyond that – it’s costing us an arm and a leg, and my student loans have finally entered repayment. Basically, that which brought me to the city is forcing me to leave it. We looked at places around here, but everything is incredibly expensive – costly as our place may be, we’re actually getting a damn good deal on it, comparatively speaking. And prices around most of the area are rising, to boot.
Which brings us to AnimeFest last month. It was our first time to Texas, and we had a great time. During the course of our stay, the topic of housing prices came up. (it was actually during one of the panels – those in attendance probably remember) Liz and I were shocked. See, here in San Francisco, the median house price, for a CRAPPY little house, is $900,000. And that’s actually a combination of S.F. and East Bay, so the prices in the city itself are way higher. The median house price in some of the major metropolitan areas of Texas is around $120,000 or so… and that’s for a NICE place. Rents fall in line with that, too.
Now.. Liz and I aren’t buying a house just yet. We can’t. But we have been thinking about it. We’ve also been giving serious thought to wanting to start a family in the next few years… and that’s something that’s just not feasable here in the city. If I was rolling in dough, maybe.. but San Francisco’s not a great place to be a kid, frankly. This city is for adults.
So we did our research, looked up the various metropolitan areas of Texas, and settled on either San Antonio or Austin. (we’ve been told Austin is a lot more like San Francisco than anywhere else) We took a trip out to San Antonio early this month, staying with our friend Eric, and basically just drove around to get a feel for the place, looking at houses, that kind of thing. Those of you who live there already know this, but… San Antonio’s a NICE place to be! Anyhow, on the last two days of our trip, we drove up towards Austin to look at some places, and the first place we found was actually on the way TO Austin, in this little town called Lockhart, just 20 miles south of Austin. It’s the kind of town you could drive through without noticing, and this house was just perfect. The people renting it had just remodeled it in its entirety, and were looking to sell it, but decided to offer it up for rent as well – and it was well within our potential price range. So we signed a lease then and there. As of the end of November, we will officially be living in Lockhart, TX. I know… if you had told me that three months ago, I’d have laughed in your face. Now… I’m just plain excited about the whole thing.
The other bit that has me excited (and a little terrified, to boot) is the “Big News” I hinted at in that filler comic a few weeks back. During the course of this whole thing, we got to thinking that now would be the best time to see if I can really make it as JUST a cartoonist. And I think, with some hard work, a bit of luck, and of course, your support… I can. The plan is for me to get cracking on getting books done. Book 2 has been delayed for a whole 3 years now… that’s unacceptable. If I focus on my cartooning, not only will I be able to spend a lot more time on the comic itself, but I’ll be able to lay out and release the books. I’ll also be able to personally focus on the merchandise side of things, and really whip this site into the shape it deserves to be in. I’ve had my attention diverted from it in a big way these past two years. If I can do this, I can change all of that.
It’s starting to get (very) late, so I’ll make a few last points I shoudl make, and then head to bed. First, we are going to be continuing in our yearly christmas card tradition this year! (Mainly because we need to raise moving funds, but also because coming up with these christmas cards is fun. ) To get in on that action, it’s simple. Any donation made of $20 ore more through the “Not Hungry, Just Broke” paypal link above will recieve a Real Life Christmas card, signed by Myself and Liz. The image is always a surprise, but I put a lot of effort into making them look nice, and the past two years have had some awesome designs, so I’ll be sure to hold myself to the same high standard. Be sure to include your mailing address when you make the donation! I can’t send you a card if I don’t have an address.
The second bit of news is a book I will be putting on Lulu.com later this week – think of it as a “CliffNotes” version of Real Life. It’s an idea I’ve been tossing around for a few months, and I’ve been working on it feverishly for the past few weeks. It’s basically every comic you need to read to understand the comic in its entirety… the idea is that if someone who had never heard of Real Life before were to read it, they would then be able to jump right in and start reading from that day forward, without ever needing to read the archives. (not that I endorse that… I’m just saying.) I suppose you could also think of it as a Greatest Hits album for Real Life… but that implies greatness, which clearly doesn’t belong anywhere near this site.
Anyhow, I have digressed long enough. It’s 4:15 a.m., and I need to be up for work in less than four hours. Fun times. If I think of anything else, I’ll post it in a separate rant tomorrow – this one is already a novel in and of itself. 😀