Eh, I was having a discussion with another forum member in PM, and I was just gonna leave well enough alone here, but I suppose I should share at least some of it, lest Bland continue to fear me as a fanatic.
Reading a good webcomic's a weird thing. You go to check for an update and nothing's there, it's like walking around on your birthday waiting for the surprise party and being bummed when it seems like your friends don't realize what day it is. The more of a life you have, the more it's just a momentary thing, but you get that happening again and again and the feeling starts to multiply. Now, it's really ALL IN YOUR HEAD, cause the reality of it is that the webcomic author's not /really/ personally snubbing you multiple times a day for several days, but you're still having this buildup of frustration and it has one very obvious source, until you eventually need a moment of "HEY I'm HERE!!!"
You'd be surprised how much animosity went away in the first hour after I hit send, cause once you have your catharsis, rational thought has room to kick in again. And y'know, the comic updated today, and damned if it wasn't great as always. Still, it really is going to hurt Erfworld in the long run if things don't change, which in turn would hurt Rob because he needs to make money off the thing. Now it's less about personal dissatisfaction and more about "Rob, I'm concerned for /you/," but the basic idea is still the same. Maybe I'd feel differently if I were on the "inside", and knew what Rob was going through. Maybe if I knew the details I'd feel a little shame at how heavily I laid into him, as much to try to get a response as to actually express my discontent (I don't really think Rob sold out, but it's not exactly a strong post that says "I don't think Rob understands how much it can be perceived that he's doing this on purpose", rather than an I-dare-you-to-prove-me-wrong accusation. I'm always willing to look sheepish if I can get a Big Reveal out of it).
But like a few people said, running Erfworld's a lot like being an elected politician, with thousands of "employers" who have expectations, perhaps even mildly unreasonable ones, about what the contract is between them. I wouldn't feel much shame, cause there's a hundred things Rob can do here. ESPECIALLY with hundreds of hardcore fans and thousands more whose ears he has. For example, I'm sure there's at least two dozen potential volunteers who would handle the lettering for Erfworld without being paid a dime, some for the experience to put on their resumé and others just for the privilege of seeing the update in advance and proudly proclaiming that "I was part of this".
I did get to hear something I was unaware of, which is that Rob /has/ delegated some of the work on Book 1 to other people in order to give at least that much more attention to Book 2. That fact alone made me feel better, because I had this image from his updates as the guy who feels like he needs to do it all personally, and that some frustrating sense of perfectionism was one of the root causes of the delays.
I'm still a discontented camper, but now that it's off my chest, I can look at it from a slightly more human perspective again.