A Silent Comic and the End of Hchom

To start with, here’s the first page of a silent comic I drew recently. It’s very short, but it might be the first completely textless comic I’ve ever made.

This summer hasn’t been light on work, exactly, but it has been very, very light on text. I’m a little disturbed to say so, because I’m starting a creative writing MFA program in less than three weeks, and where are my words? Even my attempts at journal entries (not a thing I’m historically any good at, but nonetheless a thing I’m currently attempting) tend to run something along the lines of “I don’t know what to write, today.” Which is no doubt an evasion of what I don’t want to say, but nevermind that for the moment.

Earlier in the year, when I gave myelf a tri-weekly posting deadline, I fully intended that it should include long text posts as well as art – proper essays, even – but none of that materialized. Instead, everything I wrote felt forced, in tone and in content, and no amount of editing or revision seemed to fix it.

I suppose, in retrospect, I was pumping breath into a corpse (pardon the macabre analogy. The silent comic was probably enough). Hchom was so much fun to work on in its heyday, I wanted to keep it up forever; but it was also a creature of an another era, belonging to a different Marian, and now it’s time to let it go.

I will, of course, start another site. I’ve had a personal website in some form or other since the year 2000, so I’m like that weird hermit living in the catacombs, and you know I’m too deep to ever escape. But I’ll take some time before I launch it in full, to figure out what sort of creature I’ll be hatching next, and to let the word-hoard open on its own.

In the meantime I’ll use something else – Instagram, probably – as a bridge, and I’ll make sure to post a link before I hit the red button. It also occurs to me that taking Hchom down from the internet might be a good opening to collect its content into a proper book, so I’ll look into that with real intent.

Allow me to say, to all of you who visited and posted here throughout the history of the site: you are just the best people ever. Thank you so much for being willing to engage with me in all my various, often ridiculous topics. It was a fucking honor, you guys, for serious.

37 Comments

Filed under Art, Hchom, Personal

37 responses to “A Silent Comic and the End of Hchom

  1. L

    Dear Marian, thank you so much for everything you’ve shared here. I’ve been a faithful reader from the first post, though I’m very sorry I haven’t commented before. (Too shy, I guess.) Your words and art mean a great deal to me, and I’ll always be grateful for how they’ve affected my life. I really hope you’ll make that Hchom book! It is much longed-for. It will be sad to see this site go, but I’m also looking forward to what comes next. Wishing you all the best as you move forward!

  2. I’m sad to see this site go, but the thought of your artwork collected into a book has my wallet quivering with anticipation. You’re a huge inspiration to me and my comics so I’ll happily follow you to Instagram and whatever new site you start up. Your work is a gift to the world and I’m so thankful you share it with us.

  3. I was afraid this might be coming, as your posts grew less frequent and shifted in their tone and focus. I will miss the regular infusions of enchantment and inspiration that poured forth from entity that was Hchom, but good for you for knowing when it was time. Thank you for the reminders, through your artful imagination, that the world is more wonderful and more mysterious than we know. Blessings on your new venture.

  4. As everyone else has expressed, I’m sad to see the site go, but I can appreciate your desire to move on from it. I’ve gone from blogs to deviantArt to Tumblr to Facebook to Twitter and for most of that time my posting has been spotty at best, so I sympathize. Thank you for sharing as much yourself as you have with us; it’s a courageous thing to open up your heart and imagination to the outside world, and I’m always inspired by your amazing work.

    I look forward to seeing more of your work in the future, wherever that might be! (And I agree that a book collection of your Hchom stuff would be awesome!)

  5. I am going to miss you. I came late to your site but have enjoyed the art and honesty. And I always felt (rightly or wrongly) a bit kindred…(even if too shy to post a comment before!) But Hchom encouraged me to carry on and do my own thing. Lord knows I seem to have painted myself into my own box at present so hurray for your courage. Creativity is change, and I wish your “changing” good luck and energy. Hope you cross my path again.

  6. Kiel West

    It’s been a pleasure following Hchom, including this post. Your honesty and resolve are brave and an important model.

    Good job, friend.

  7. Aris

    Thanks for everything you shared until now, and looking forward to what comes next! :)

  8. Many thanks for all the wonderful posts, most especially the ones about gender issues which have helped me along my own path. Really looking forward to whatever you do next. You’re a fantastic person.

  9. Ooh, would love a book. Been slowly working on my own for what seems like forever…

    Also love this wordless comic. Please do more!

  10. I can’t wait to see what you do next!

  11. Emily Handy

    This blog, for whatever reason, has meant a lot to me over the years. I’m glad to have found it. Eager to see where you go next. (And please do collect some of this in a book!)

  12. chris

    Your blog has been an inspiration to me for years and it was nice to get an insight into another hermit’s life. Thank you for sharing your life, many many wants and your beautiful work. I would love to hold this blog in grimy hands in the form of a book!

  13. Please make a book! I’ll buy it. I don’t know what I’ll do without your drawings of crystals, gray underwear, and meaty wodges of ham.

  14. Hchom has helped me through some pretty rough times over the years. Thank you not only for being a massive creative inspiration, but also for reminding me to find happiness in the little things and igniting my love for shinies. If you ever do come out with that book, it will be an instant purchase!! Seriously, thank you Marian.

  15. Lioram

    How dare you make me read this with my own eyes. Well, but seriously, I regret not finding you earlier but you still made a solid impression on me and my style/art/mood and I thank you for that; I actually couldn’t help but tear up a little when I saw the title, blame my stupid hyperfixation on that. Hope you don’t mind that I saved a few of my favourite drawings, gotta add them to the shrine♥ I will miss Hchom.

  16. I have been following Hchom for many years now and it has had a profound effect on my growth as an artist and on the ways that I bring magic and happiness into my life. I’m saddened it won’t be here anymore but I am, as always, excited to see where your future art making goes! A book of wants & goblins & shinies & beautifully drawn munchables would bring me such joy. I truly hope that you have a wonderful, inspiring and revitalizing MFA experience. I’ll be thinking of you every time I eat a muffin or am lusting after an especially impossible jacket. <3

  17. I am ready to follow you wherever you post!! I need your beautiful art and goblins in my life face 8) <3

  18. Jossette

    Good luck with your MFA. I just moved to the hellish and awful south for a graduate program. I’m sure we both feel similar mélanges of dread and anxiety (that pet good part bad kind). Please do update with whatever/wherever you end up doing/going next so I can follow. And thanks for alerting us in advance.

  19. Amy

    Aww. Even saying how hard it was to write Hchom, you are so elegant in describing it! Best of luck in your MFA, Marian, and all other endeavors. Will def follow your Instagram whenever you set it up, or your next blog or whatever. Like everything else, art changes, artists must always change, so here’s to the next step. Also, would happily buy and display and read a book format Hchom!!! Need some goblins to decorate my bookshelves, stat. <3

  20. Im sad to see this site go down, is been a place of solice i turn to when I’m looking for safety and inspiration. Thank you for giving us that for so long, your goblins and lists and introspection have been so enjoyable. Loved the time i had here and i would happily get a hchom book!!

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  22. Hannah

    I am looking forward to purchasing said book!

  23. jj

    Ahw no! …but ok, yes, understandable and after all it is your blog and not ours. Well, then, all that is left to say is…thank you very much for your posts (the really funny/ well observed and well written texts (!!) – and of course the great drawings in the last years.) I have always enjoyed them. Apologies, I am aware I should have commented before in your blog to express my gratitude and enjoyment. This comes a little late.

    I realised that on the surface I have no great overlap of interests, am no artist, nor do I play computer games or care about the worlds of role playing games. I don’t know much about muffins/baked goods, nor do I fall in love with jackets…but I nevertheless have enjoyed reading your posts very, very much as they were captivating.

    I found your drawings in this blog in many cases even better than your “official” work and could really relate to the personal topics ( to take a recent example, the observations about hair matched my experience with haircuts since my teenage years. The difficulty to find adequate/dignified clothing as a woman is a topic close to my heart, too.) I also loved those lists and started to think about how some of mine would look like – but the goblin self images were my favorites and are really among the best stuff I have ever seen!!!

    So I hope we will be able to purchase the Hchom book in Europe when it comes out. I will definitely have an eye out for your new website/posting locations.

    Good luck with your future plans. Sounds like a good idea. Hope it will be fun,too!
    All the best, jj

  24. I have enjoyed the work you posted here so, so much, but as someone who has also deleted old internet spaces (I recently erased my old livejournal) I certainly understand the desire and need to start over sometimes. Please make sure you do link to the new place though! I am on instagram and really enjoy it as a platform. Also, that is very exciting about your MFA program! I hope it is everything that you are looking for, and that you will share the fruits of it, some day. Best, Maia

  25. Thomas Rosin

    Marian, Hchom has been my favourite art/comics blog for years. Since Beast I guess. Your posts on fantasy, androgyny, shinies, and wants kept me inspired and laughing (and hourding shinies) and made me feel a little less weird.
    Thank you.
    May you slay in all your adventures x

  26. Thank you Marian for your exquisite taste in all good things, the quick sketches and shiny collections. Your art is beautiful in every way and so are you, you have a very quirky poetic soul and it shines (it makes me feel “light” and “airy” whenever I read your posts, they brighten my day) through your way of viewing the world. Have a great time in your MFA, best wishes truly.

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  28. I too am going to miss this blog dearly (your posts were always so comforting and homey to me!), but wondered if some kind of change or ending was in the works. Congratulations on the MFA acceptance, and I look forward to whatever the next thing will be!

  29. Ash

    Thanks for all your brilliant work here. And looking forward to seeing whats next.

  30. thank you for sharing your wonderful work.

  31. I’m sad that my first comment on your blog will be my last as well, but I felt the need to thank you for so much wonderful and endearing content over the years – I’ve been following Hchom intently from fifteen years of age to the ripe old age of twenty-two, and it’s always been a north star of inspiration for me. Graduating from university next month makes this news seem a little more fortuitous than it might’ve otherwise, very much looking forward to the next chapter in the digital life and times of Marian Churchland!

    p.s. to add fuel to the fire, I have to say that a Hchom book would be the best graduation present I could imagine…

  32. Sebastien Baialrd

    Good luck with your pursuits!

    I look forward to seeing your future work and to seeing Hchom collected as a proper book.

  33. your website has shaped the machinery of my subconscious since high school, five or six years ago. i emailed you once to ask about watercolors, and you gave great advice. i can’t draw goblins any other way. making little illustrations of the contents in an adventurer’s pack (or just drawings of Objects) is one the best gifts you’ve ever given- i’m sure it’s common, but it always filled me with a sense of wonder. those worldbuilding posts you did a while back… they’ve always stuck with me. i’ve never had enough spending money to buy any of your physical work- partly why i treasure this blog so much- but i can’t wait to get a hchom book.

    i don’t know where you’re going next or if it will ever resemble this particular place again, but i’m excited to go there too.

  34. krz

    I’d like to say I was a faithful reader from the first post but I only stumbled upon Hchom a few years ago, and have been religiously checking it ever since. Thank you for your posts about how you see yourself, and your insight about gender and – especially – attire, which have helped me tremendously as many here I’m sure.

    You don’t know this, but I read Tales of Earthsea because I learned about it here, so thank you for that as well.

    I am looking forward to follow you in your new internet place, whichever it is.

  35. NJ

    Your art and words have always brought me so much joy. Thank you for sharing them with us for all this time. Be like a phoenix and rise from the ashes! Best wishes.

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