CFC On Hiatus by Dave Shevlin

Hey CFC fans. If you’ve visited the site you may have noticed we are on a break due to my decision to go on hiatus. A lot of you are probably asking why. No, it isnt because I rightfully got criticized for my dumb tweets. It goes way beyond something like that and deals a lot more seriously with my personal life which I feel the readers and contributors to CFC deserve to know. Some of you may have noticed a couple weeks back we didn’t have a new Podcast episode:

I didnt want to get into it at the time and haven’t told many people why this happened. During that week I had some scheduled time to work on some projects for the site as well as the Podcast. Some of you may know, but my immediate family has some extremely serious health problems. I don’t love sharing this stuff much. During that time, some gravely real health stuff flared up. I found myself scrambling trying to figure out how I could make sure to get the things I needed to get done for CFC while also making sure I was here for what was going on personally. After awhile I hit a rock bottom moment of clarity and thought to myself: “Jesus Christ, what the fuck am I doing??”. Somehow this site had consumed my life so thoroughly I was momentarily placing it above the life of the person I love most in this world. I was shellshocked. I realized I was severely fucked up. I was disgusted. I realized I had to make some drastic changes.

This wasn’t something I decided on right then and there though. It’s been brewing since the start of 2021 how I could scale back or make my exit. I’ve slowly been making steps to point writers and editors to other venues while still trying to make CFC work as I could. I’ve never really planned for CFC to become my entire life and career. This started as a silly blog I could write on in between real life moments. Eventually it expanded as I paid friends and people I admire to share their writing for the site. I never wanted to be the next big thing but I did want to try to make some small impact on this industry. Along the way, I blinked, and suddenly this had gone from amateur blog to being perceived as and on the level of a professional comics criticism site. This was never what I expected or desired. I cannot even remember when I started running daily content. It is a huge blur. Truthfully, I was never prepared or built to run such a site. I am far from perfect. I am a stupid, immature, impulsive dope that speaks before he thinks and never really had a plan or idea of what I was doing. I feel this really shows. I’ve had some very public, humbling learning curves. I’m sorry for never really getting a handle on how to run a legit site as a business. I’m sorry for being an idiot on social media. I’m sorry for never clearly making the transition from personal to professional for how I managed things. I’m sorry I couldnt pay more or run more articles or help change this industry more. I’ve messed up plenty of times and I’m sorry. I really regret not taking ahold of this situation and steering it better. People will never know how truly sorry I am for any of the times I’ve messed up or negatively affected someone. I couldve done so much better and with some time away I hope to learn from it all and continue to grow as a person.

I’ve had a few weeks off of the site and social media now and I feel like I am only now seeing the reality of my life. I REALLY leaned into social media and the site as a lifeline during the Covid pandemic. I was mainly trapped at home and work and to combat loneliness and the incredibly stressful year we had I went in hard. Problem is I struggle with an addictive personality and have all my life. I have a hard time finding balances or seeing clearly in the moment what’s happening. Expanding the site so much, so quick was a mistake. It got away from me and took over in such a bad way. I had become an addict to it all in all the wrong ways.

Anyone who runs a site will be able to tell you it is HARD. I am constantly busy. No one sees everything you deal with. No one sees the literal thousands of dollars and hours you put into it without making anything back. No one sees the ALMOST DAILY DM messages you get of random people violently demeaning you because of your comic opinions, including the death threats and legit troubling ones you have to start taking seriously. No one sees the hours you spend in between work and home life editing, posting, messaging, etc at all hours of the day. No one sees the daily interpersonal drama you end up involved in and have to act as a mediator, etc. No one sees the nights you spend learning HTML, WordPress and any other software to help the site. No one ever sees how fully you pour yourself into these sites. No one sees the serious toll it takes on your life. I have neglected my ACTUAL career, my family, my friends, namely everything besides this site. Yes, it’s mostly self inflicted and I’m not looking for sympathy it is just what I’ve done to myself and why I need to make drastic changes.

For months now I’ve never felt more miserable or exhausted with the comics and comic crit industries. I’m so burnt out. The daily discourse and drama beats you down so much. Youre always learning something new and terrible that makes you question why you ever even got into this comic book hobby. Being in this as I have, I’ve now seen how the sausage is made and it has deflated me on so much of this stuff. If you follow me online, you’ve probably noticed I’ve barely read any comics lately. I stopped doing my weekly threads. I have been consistently reading new comics weekly for something like 15 years but back in December that stopped. I’ve barely written anything or read anything all year long. I have lost any joy, love or passion I had for the industry. It sounds pathetic, but I feel like I have a small form of PTSD now when it comes to comics and this industry after taking a small break. I NEED out. I desperately want to feel that fun and joy I had before when I first started doing any of this. Running this site and being so involved in social media has made my mental health fall to the lowest it has ever been. It shouldn’t be like this and I want to fix it.

All that being said, running CFC has also been one of the greatest experiences in my life that I wouldn’t trade for anything. I’ve been able to help support the careers or lives of such a wide, diverse group of people while constantly trying to erase the barrier of entry and lift up marginalized voices. I am IMMENSELY proud of all the stunning work everyone has done for the site. To the people who have contributed any time to CFC and the team that has provided so much help running it with me – I will never be able to fully express my gratitude. I am so honored and so thankful to every single person who has ever supported what we all tried to do here. It’s corny but I started being on social media and opening this site to others solely to make friends, and I have made some lasting lifelong connections with people because of it. I love this site and everything it has done and stands for.

So, with all that said I have to apologize again. I could have handled this shutdown better but I was on the verge of an entire breakdown and had to prioritize myself. I had become a person I didn’t recognize in someone else’s life. I need to make these drastic changes to find myself again and not be the worst version of myself. I know it is selfish and I know it is unfair. I’m not asking anyone to wholeheartedly support my decision but I hope everyone can accept it and hopefully respect it, given time.

In the meantime, I’ll be supporting who I can and the abrupt changes behind the scenes in what ways I can. For the foreseeable future there will be no new articles. The hiatus will be indefinite besides possibly some special occasions here or there. For now, I am trying to remove myself from these circles, quietly support people, and get back to just being a fan and enjoying comics that way, not as an employer. One of the ways I’m trying to reset is by only doing the Podcast from now on when it fits my schedule. Going back to the basics. That will continue for me, for Dan, and for the people requesting it. I hope people can enjoy. I need to reconnect with reality and try to learn to be a better version of myself and right now this is the only way I know how. To everyone who has ever given me even a second of your time, I want to send you my DEEPEST thanks.

2 Comments

  1. I don’t think what you are doing is selfish. Rather, like you said at the beginning; you are getting away from yourself and your “addiction” and focusing again on the closest people in your lives.
    You’ve made the right decision (in my opinion).
    Take care of yourself and your loved ones and God bless this time of reorienting.

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