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File:Acdc 7224 2 4312 8945.jpg

Just a little busy.


Interviewer: I want to tell everybody out there, for the record, no new Mike Portnoy projects were started during the making of this interview.

Portnoy: I’m actually not so sure about that.

Sometimes a creator becomes extremely popular, and thus extremely in demand. Or perhaps he becomes so enamored of his own abilities that he believes everyone wants to see the results of every idea he has. Or maybe it's just his natural state, who knows?

But in any event, the creator winds up turning their attention to more than one project at a time, sometimes many more. These projects may have staying power, or they may fall by the wayside fairly quickly. It may result in one of their projects lying dormant for days, months, even years, and then suddenly seeing a burst of new activity as the creator's other projects lay gathering dust for awhile.

Sometimes a creator winds up having this through no fault of his own, as his projects encounter Executive Meddling regularly and he thus has to keep many of them in the air, never knowing which one will be given a chance to survive.

Attention Deficit Creator Disorder (or ADCD) can often lead to the quality of the overall projects (or at least some of them) suffering, or at the very least a Schedule Slip, sometimes regular and sometimes unannounced.

Also, sometimes it's not another project that's causing the creator's attention to wander, but merely that they feel they have something more entertaining to do. If a webcomic has regular bouts of "Did you expect a comic today? Silly readers, Katamari Fantasy XXIV was released today, no updates this week!", you're probably seeing ADCD in action.

This trope is very Truth in Television - Sometimes, people can be commissioned or contracted to do multiple things at once, or they get a lot of ideas. Some artists or writers can tell you they just get so many ideas at once, or they get a strong idea but don't know how to finish it.

Not to be confused with the band ACDC.

Examples of Attention Deficit Creator Disorder include:

Anime and Manga

  • CLAMP is this trope incarnate. Not only do they have two current manga, but also four 'incomplete' series. This doesn't include the character designing for Anime and books, nor articles and short-stories for various magazines.
    • It helps that CLAMP is two teams of multiple artists.
  • Yukiru Sugisaki seems to be trying to catch up with CLAMP in the "unfinished series" department.
  • Naoko Takeuchi had enough of this when she was pouring all her attention into writing Sailor Moon, making Codename: Sailor V take far too long to complete.
  • For 27 years, Rumiko Takahashi was working on at least two manga series regularly (3 from 1984–86) as well as producing one-shot "Rumic Theatre" comics.
  • Im Dal Young is currently working on several projects at once, some with irregular schedules and at least one on hiatus.
  • Pokémon Special is in a unique position in that its creator can suffer ADCD with it alone. Different arcs are published simultaneously and in different magazines; this can get confusing when reading the magazines as the events don't properly get put in order until the official volumes are released. The Emerald arc was put onto hiatus for a whole year, the Platinum arc went through a major Schedule Slip, and the HGSS arc was horribly rushed. On the plus side, Kusaka Hidenori is allowed to make major revisions in the official volume releases, smoothing out quite a lot of continuity kinks and expanding the plots as he does so.
    • Hidenori himself notes this and wonders if anybody, much less kids, can keep up with his stories in the magazines releases.
  • Miyabi Fujieda finished two mangas and is currently updating one (semi-regularly), while the remaining two have been gathering dust for literal years now.
  • Masaki Tsuzuki, the creator of Lyrical Nanoha franchise, has been accused of this trope on an entirely different level: each season so far has fallen into a different genre, with the creator changing story gears literally on the flight before the old genre has been fully explored.
  • Noboyuki Fukumoto, creator of Akagi and Kaiji, suffers from this heavily. He's been writing and drawing Akagi since 92, Kaiji since 96, and all the while he worked on other, fairly major works, at least one of which went on indefinite hiatus without being completed. Currently he's working on three separate manga.
  • Kazuya Minekura, the creator of Saiyuki, Saiyuki Gaiden, Saiyuki Ibun, Wild Adaptor, Executive committee, Bus Gamer, and more, tends to juggle a few projects at once. This often ends in works being put on hiatus, though everything is on hiatus right now due to her health, unfortunately. (Note that the only finished work in the above list is Saiyuki Gaiden, which unsurprisingly judging by its name, is the prequel to Saiyuki).

Comic Books

  • Joss Whedon. Besides running Buffy and Angel at the same time, had various other pokers in the fire, including trying to start up Firefly. He's still working on getting a few series started, as well as writing and co-writing multiple comics, both in the Buffyverse and for Marvel as well as another Firefly comic.
  • Pat Lee became notorious for penciling the first few issues of a series, and then handing it off to another artist. Readers have hypothesized this was to boost the sales of each new series by advertising a star artist. The fact that Pat Lee also spent his employee's salaries on new sports cars and robbed his investors blind indicates he just didn't give a crap.
  • Joe Madureira had a little of the regular kind and a little of the "can't be bothered" kind. After building an elaborate office full of toys and entertainment, he and his employees were apparently more concerned with having Nerf wars than getting out issues of Battle Chasers. And besides, doing up covers for PSM resulted in faster, easier paychecks.
  • Ben Dunn has a tendency to start up new comics and then abandon them fairly quickly, possibly due to low sales and fans fairly quickly recognizing whatever anime and manga he snagged elements from to make them. (One of the more recent non-starters was an almost ridiculously transparent amalgamation of Ah! My Goddess and Yu Yu Hakusho.)
    • His most recent efforts, Obamouse and Enter The Zombie, lasted one issue each.
  • Stan Lee, during the Silver Age, not only supervised Marvel Comics but wrote virtually the entire line, from Amazing Spider-Man to Millie the Model. It was a huge workload for any one man, and led to the development of what came to be known as the "Marvel Method." Instead of writing a full script, Stan would write a general plot, which was then given to (for example) Jack Kirby to draw. After receiving Jack's pencils, Stan would then write the finished script. The Marvel Method put a lot of the storytelling responsibility on the artist's shoulders, and later led to considerable controversy (not to mention lawsuits) over who should get what sort of credit for "creating" the story. On the other hand, some of the greatest American comics ever were produced under this system, and arguably key creators' later solo efforts never matched the quality of their "Marvel Method" collaborations.
  • Brian Michael Bendis. A prolific writer for Marvel, at any given point is the main writer for three/four (sometimes more) headlining comic franchises (Ultimate Spider-Man, at one point both Mighty- and New Avengers, Powers as well as being a main co-writer for any and all major Marvel events, as well as being involved in some form of movie developments, both Marvel-owned and his own properties, on top of his indie comics, which he both writes and draws himself.
    • He's picking up even more titles! He's doing a new series called Scarlet and writing the new Moon Knight ongoing. Is it possible for a writer to have Wolverine Publicity?
  • Geoff Johns is basically running the DC Universe right now, being responsible for the revivals of both Barry Allen as The Flash and Hal Jordan as the Green Lantern. He's in charge of the latest Crisis Crossover, Blackest Night, wrote a couple of miniseries during Final Crisis, and has a new book starting, Adventure Comics. Geoff Johns doesn't sleep. Geoff Johns is powered entirely by the Silver Age.
    • Don't know if this example counts, considering that his output is uniformly GOOD, and his miniseries and storylines don't fizzle out, but actually end in a satisfying manner. He's just very, VERY prolific.
    • That said, whilst, on top of everything else, was writing the weekly series 52, Teen Titans quality slipped noticeably, starting a Dork Age that lasted until the reboot. YMMV on that, too.
  • Warren Ellis. At this very moment he's probably working on a dozen different comics and two or three screenplays. And when we're ever going to see another issue of, say, Desolation Jones is anybody's guess.
  • Robert freaking Kirkman is another example.
  • Jhonen Vasquez is made of this trope. He never sticks with any project for very long.
  • Rob Liefeld seemed to love creating new series, then forget about them partway through. Also he was very prone to Schedule Slip on the titles he did continue.
  • J. Scott Campbell's schedule seems to be comparable to Tectonic Plate Shifts. He loves getting work, or setting the foundations for new interesting stories (like say.... "Wildsiderz" for example)... and then NEVER FOLLOWING THROUGH. Either suffering from Schedule Slip or just pure laziness. He was tapped to do the artwork for a then upcoming "Spider-Man" story in 2006... we've YET to see this come to pass five years later. His greatest claim to fame was "Danger Girl", (which itself suffered from ridiculously long delays, imagine that) which he created in the late 90's and seems to still be riding off the success of, despite the fact that he hasn't worked on it in almost TEN YEARS.
  • Jason Aaron in last years was working on several Wolverine comics, Ghost Rider, Scalped and Hellblazer while working on miniseries and giving guest apperances in other comics and currently is working on four ongoing series at the same time - PunisherMAX, Wolverine, Wolverine and the X-Men and The Incredible Hulk. What's funny is that only one of them (Punisher) suffers from Schedule Slip and that's because of the artist , who had to deal with personal matters, so Marvel has to put the series on a very long hiatus.
  • Scott Snyder is an example that somehow manages to keep his quality up despite his work load. Hitting it big with American Vampire, he soon penned a highly acclaimed run on Detective Comics and a mini-series, Gates Of Gotham, before the DC relaunch. Now, he's the writer for both the Batman and Swamp Thing monthlies where he's coordinating events shared with other books (Swamp Thing is with Animal Man, and the Night of the Owls event in the Bat-Books), in addition to American Vampire.

Fan Fiction

  • Inevitably the good writers you actually like will become so prolific and excited about their amazing ideas that they start four or five different projects and never finish more than one. Which really blows when a Dead Fic winds up happening after a bloody horrible cliffhanger.
    • Innortal is a prime offender of the above, having only completed a whopping seven out of his thirty-eight stories, most of which are for Ranma ½ and/or Sailor Moon. When Angels Fall is also infamous for its epilogue which borders or falls directly into Gainax Ending territory.
    • Shadow Crystal Mage also falls into this, having fifty-six stories, only sixteen of which are labeled as finished, and of the remaining forty, thirty have been updated over the past year.
    • NeonZangetsu is quite possibly the king of this trope, having currently 197 stories, few, if any of which are finished, or have more than a couple of chapters.
    • Aya Macchiato tends to suffer from this. Primarily writing for the Harry Potter fandom, she is known for creating some of the best dark!Harry fanfics on the web... but she sometimes gets distracted by the next Plot Bunny that comes by, so partially because of this trope, pretty much anything and/or everything she writes tends to inevitably be dropped and get turned into a Dead Fic.


  • As noted, Joss Whedon with his projects for The Avengers and The Cabin In The Woods.
    • And then he did a secret modern-day adaptation of Much Ado About Nothing immediately after finishing Avengers... y'know, for kicks.
  • Joel and Ethan Coen frequently have more than one film in various stages of production at a time. For example, No Country for Old Men and Burn After Reading were written at the same time (on alternating days, in fact), and shot more or less back to back. Not that this was a bad thing, in this case. Hail Caesar and The Yiddish Policeman's Union are currently in some stage of production.
  • Guillermo Del Toro gave up on directing The Hobbit (he'll probably just co-write) because he is involved in way too many things, with his schedule filled up until 2017. Among the projects are a new Frankenstein, a remake of Slaughterhouse-Five, adaptations of At the Mountains of Madness, The Haunted Mansion, and Drood, and a third Hellboy (and that's just the ones he'll direct!).
  • Ridley Scott is attached to at least 9 projects at the moment (Prometheus was released in 2012 , and an adaptation of The Forever War is certain to occur). And the man's 73 years old!
  • Did Jim Henson ever sleep? In the early eighties (just to take one example), he was simultaneously making The Great Muppet Caper and The Dark Crystal (both of which he directed and starred in), developing Fraggle Rock, and still somehow finding the time to tape segments for Sesame Street.
    • Jim Henson is most likely an aversion, while the man did an ungoldy amount of work in a very short time he almost always finished what he started. Only his death left projects undone.
  • Quentin Tarantino suffers from this whenever he finishes his last film. He has been talking about Inglourious Basterds over ten years before the film came out, in one form or another, to the point where it became near-vaporware in Hollywood. He also talked about a Kill Bill Vol. 3 after the second one was released focusing on Vernita Green's daughter (which has never become anything concrete). In addition, he mentioned in passing a prequel to Inglourious Basterds after the film finally saw release. It's a common belief amongst Tarantino films to take EVERY one of his proposed ideas with a grain of salt until filming actually starts.
  • Speaking of Tarantino, his buddy Robert Rodriguez suffers from this from time to time. After Sin City came out, he began talking about a pair of sequels filmed back-to-back with new original material written by Frank Miller. After Miller failed to produce (mostly due to his new love of film directing) the sequels hit a major snag and even Mickey Rourke publicly announced he wasn't waiting up. Then, after Grindhouse was released Rodriguez was not only attached to Sin City 2/3 but a Machete feature film (which happened years later) and a remake of Barbarella. Once again, nobody believes any news regarding future Rodriguez projects until the cameras start rolling.
  • Tim Burton admits he's one of these.
  • Orson Welles had this reputation, but in reality the reason he so often had to delay one film or cancel another was because he ran out of money and had to do more acting work so he could afford to continue.
  • Terrence Malick seems to have turned into this (ironic, given he is well known for the decades-long gaps between his projects), with an untitled project coming out in 2012 and Knight Of Cups/Lawless shooting back-to-back


  • Many of the more prolific Baen Books writers are prolific both in total output and in the number of series they have out. David Weber, John Ringo, and Eric Flint are particularly notable for it.
  • Stephen King has a less arduous schedule than most, but at certain points, he's got a couple of novels peppered with short stories and perhaps a screenplay. He has said that turning The Green Mile into a Serial Novel saved it from the slosh pile, because there were too many things on his plate at the time.
  • Apparently the default state of quite a few authors, such as Australian fantasy authors Garth Nix and Isobelle Carmody. Both of them generally work on more than two things at once (on and off). This, however, seems to be how they've always worked, so whether it effects their standard of writing will probably always remain a mystery. Nix, at least, seems fairly good at avoiding schedule slip.
  • George R. R. Martin is only working on one epic fantasy series, A Song of Ice and Fire. He also has his hands in a dozen other smaller scale projects. And he's quite the fan of football and collecting miniature knights. During the egregiously long wait between the fourth and fifth books, fans began to grumble that Martin was too distracted by his other projects.
  • Isaac Asimov typically worked on several books at once. He claimed it helped him avoid writer's block. Since he wrote fiction and non-fiction on a wide variety of subjects, and since his target audience would vary from book to book, the practical problems he had to deal with would vary widely depending on what he was writing. As a result, if he got stuck in one book, he'd give his brain a breather by switching to another.
    • Asimov also loved writing so much that he hated vacations. According to one story, he came back from a trip, kissed the walls of his office, and sat right back down at the typewriter, never to leave it again.
  • Geoffrey Chaucer left us with a number of unfinished works; while scholars debate why particular ones may be unfinished, he does seem to have abandoned more than one collection of tales for a bigger and better collection of tales, culminating in The Canterbury Tales (which are, as you might suspect, one of the unfinished works). He was also a pretty busy guy doing lots of things that weren’t writing (among other things, he had some hand in politics, and wrote a bit of non-fiction as well; the guy was pretty smart), so ADCD isn’t 100% to blame.
  • JRR Tolkien wrote a huge amount of stuff for his Middle-earth legendarium, but due to having a job, being a perfectionist, and also a bit of this trope he only managed to publish The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings during his lifetime. For everything he left, see The History of Middle Earth and the other posthumous works. To give you an idea of how much he left, his son Christopher continues to publish collected and edited versions of his notes on a periodic basis, decades after his death.
  • The Russian author Vera Kamsha switched to the Reflections of Eterna cycle just before the final duology of the Arcia Chronicles, stating that the latter will be finished after the final part of the former is released. Then, after publishing the penultimate Eterna book, she turned her attention to a standalone novel written jointly with Nick Perumov.

Live Action TV

  • As noted, Joss Whedon. Besides running Buffy the Vampire Slayer and Angel at the same time, had various other pokers in the fire, including trying to start up Firefly. He's still working on getting a few series started, as well as writing and co-writing multiple comics, both in the Buffyverse and for Marvel.
  • Bobby Flay has multiple shows on Food Network. He also regularly guest-stars on other Food Network shows. He's also constantly opening new restaurants. He's also the food correspondent on the CBS Early Morning Show. When he finds time to sleep is anyone's guess... perhaps he simply draws his power from the rage of the semi-inexplicable Hatedom he's acquired.
  • J.J. Abrams is often referenced as an example of a producer who comes up with some of the best ideas for projects, regardless of what medium it's in... and then skipping out soon after it airs to try his hand at something new. Abrams started Lost while Alias was still running. He co-produced the short-lived series What About Brian and directed Mission Impossible III while still on Lost. The year after that, he worked on multiple projects at once, including Cloverfield, Star Trek and Fringe. At any one time, he's helming both a film and television series, and often has multiple works listed on his IMDB page.
  • While it probably will never be authoritatively confirmed or denied, some theorize that HBO ended Deadwood not so much because they wanted to cancel the show, but because creator David Milch got bored with it. Under this theory, Milch instead wanted to do his pet project, the "Surfing Jesus" drama John From Cincinnati, also for HBO, and the network decided that it would be better to let Milch create a new hit show than continue Deadwood if his heart wasn't in it. (The "new hit show" part didn't work out so well. John was canceled the day after the last episode of the first season aired.)
  • Before J.J. Abrams, there was Glen A. Larson - he often had multiple shows on air in the '70s and '80s (most notably with The Fall Guy and Knight Rider running concurrently in the 1980s), but he generally left his shows early on to launch new projects, not always of his own volition.
  • Chris Carter of The X-Files fame ran four shows in the late 90's and early 2000's. The X-Files was by far the most successful, but he also had Millenium, The Lone Gunmen, and Harsh Realm, the latter two not even running a full season.
  • Stephen J. Cannell had numerous shows on the air at once through the '80s (example: The A-Team, Hardcastle And McCormick and Riptide[1] all ran in the 1984-85 season), somewhat less so in the '90s.
  • David E. Kelley. Just... David E. Kelley.


  • The Beatles, as represented by Apple Corp. since the late 1980s. There are numerous Beatles projects, and it is hard to know which ones will come out when.
    • Paul McCartney as solo artist has also done this quite a bit, for various reasons, and all variants.
  • Damon goddamn Albarn. Blur, Gorillaz, Mali Music, The Good, The Bad & The Queen...
    • Not to mention that after leaving Gorillaz fans waiting five years for a follow up to Demon Days and finally releasing Plastic Beach in 2010, he then released The Fall as an official Gorillaz LP only 9 months later. Fans would have been happy, had the album not been mainly Albarn playing with music apps on his iPad for 40 minutes.
    • To be fair, he gave away The Fall as a free download because he didn't spend anything making it, and the general reception of it was good (especially for the tracks Amarillo and Revolving Doors, which are beautiful).
    • In 2012 he's released a Gorillaz single, made an Elizabethan opera album, released a funk album with Flea and Tony Allen and produced Bobby Womack. He's about to do some dates with Blur, too. When does he sleep?
  • Zak Starkey was with The Who and Oasis at the same time. He has since left the latter.
  • Devin Townsend is best known for his Extreme Industrial Metal band Strapping Young Lad, but is also credited with the following.
    • Several albums just under his own name.
    • Punky Brüster, a parody of selling out, based around a Death Metal band becoming Punk.
    • Ocean Machine, a relatively low key Progressive Rock project
    • He is occasionally a producer for others(since he does so much for his own albums), the most well-known being Soilwork's Natural Born Chaos
    • Devin Townsend Band, an eponymous Progressive Metal project
    • Ziltoid The Omniscient, a sort of Rock Opera based around an alien who tries to destroy the Earth because the humans failed to bring him a perfect cup of coffee. But it turns out it's all in a coffee shop employee's dreams.
    • Guest vocals and general collaborations with who knows how many bands(mostly Progressive, of course), including Ayreon and Gojira, and having Chuck Billy of Thrash legends Testament perform as the Planet Smasher during a live performance of the aforementioned Ziltoid.
    • Performing vocals on Steve Vai's Sex & Religion album
    • His latest endeavour, The Devin Townsend Project, which is a poppy take on his normal Progressive Metal leanings, but leans towards the extreme as of the album Deconstruct.
  • Mike Patton is best known for fronting Faith No More, but also started Mr. Bungle, Fantomas, Peeping Tom, Tomahawk, Moonraker, and probably several other bands. Aside from all those, he frequently works with John Zorn, has recorded numerous one-off collaborations with various others, and occasionally releases albums under his own name, to say nothing of the countless guest appearances for artists all across the musical spectrum. (He also provided the snarls for both the Anger Sphere in Portal and Left 4 Dead's zombies, but that probably didn't take too much time...)
  • Arjen Anthony Lucassen, best known as the man behind Ayreon, takes part in a great many musical projects that all coincide in some way, either in similar style or playing one another's songs when in concert. The last two Ayreon albums have had four year gaps between them and the previous one.
  • An old joke on metal message boards was that if Phil Anselmo announces a new project, someone would usually reply "Can't wait for the first and final album!"
  • Spencer Krug of Wolf Parade, Sunset Rubdown, Moonface, Swan Lake, Frog Eyes, and Fifths of Seven.
  • Maynard James Keenan.
    • Tool: the longest runner, founded 1990, most recent album in 2006, and a new one reportedly in the works.
    • A Perfect Circle: founded 1999 together with Billy Howerdel, most recent album 2003 or 2004 depending on whether you count eMOTIVE, and a new album also reportedly being written
    • Puscifer: founded 2003, currently touring as of 2009-2010.
    • Tapeworm: with Trent Reznor of Nine Inch Nails and Danny Lohner of NIN and A Perfect Circle. Disbanded in 2004 without releasing an album.
  • Dante DeCaro has been solo, with Johnny and the Moon, in Hot Hot Heat and a member of Wolf Parade, among other projects.
  • Jon Foreman from Switchfoot is currently juggling his role as lead singer/songwriter for the band with the side project Fiction Family, and at some point in between all that, he founded time to release four EPs as a solo artist. The two year-period between late 2007 and late 2009 saw the release of at least fifty songs between these three projects.
  • Les Claypool of Primus moonlights in Oysterhead (with Phish guitarist Trey Anastasio and drummer Stewart Copeland of The Police), Les Claypool's Holy Mackerel, drums in the fictionalized jam band Electric Apricot and does solo albums. He also formed Sausage and Colonel Claypool's Bucket of Bernie Brains (with guitarist Buckethead, keyboardist Bernie Worrell of Parliament-Funkadelic and drummer Brain), and occasionally produces acts. As if all of this wasn't enough, he shows up as a session musician on about ten albums a year, often uncredited.
  • Ashley Monroe. She's a solo artist. Now she's working with the Raconteurs. Now she's writing songs for other people. Now she's in the Pistol Annies with Miranda Lambert and Angaleena Presley. Make up your mind!
  • Flea of the Red Hot Chili Peppers. Because of his reputation as a bassist, he is constantly in demand to play on other people's records, to the point where he's almost as known for his session work as for the band.
  • Trent Reznor has got to this point, what with running two bands (the long-running Nine Inch Nails and the newly formed How to Destroy Angels), writing film soundtracks for David Fincher, developing a mini-series based on one of his albums and being offered directorial jobs.
  • Ennio Morricone in the 1960's would average over twenty film scores a year. Even though he's fewer scores each year since then, he still keeps busy with conducting and concert projects (even in his eighties).
  • Phil Collins was well known for this (especially in The Eighties), as a solo artist, member of Genesis and fusion band Brand X, on-call drummer for Eric Clapton, Peter Gabriel and Robert Plant, and with his various appearances as a session drummer/producer. This is not counting his work as house drummer for the Prince's Trust concerts, his appearances in Live Aid, Knebworth '90, The Secret Policeman shows and the Concert For Montserrat, or for that matter his acting and voice acting work (and the occasional Disney soundtrack later on). The Critical Backlash his career suffered from may have had as much to do with his ubiquity as anything.
    • Live Aid in particular saw him appear (via Concorde!) in both Philadelphia and London, doing his own set as well as guest-drumming for The Who and the reunited Led Zeppelin.
  • Lil Wayne was this for a while. Moreso during the period of 2007-08, he was seen as a workhorse in the hip-hop genre, dropping guest verses on a lot of projects with various hip-hop artists and even certain non-hip-hop acts. This Wolverine Publicity is what caused his Tha Carter III album to be pushed back relentlessly, to high anticipation. During that time, he also dropped several mixtapes, including a prelude to the aforementioned album called The Leak. Fast-forward to last year, before Tha Carter IV was released(which was also pushed back quite a bit), he hinted that it might be his last album. Only when the album dropped that he started mentioning future possible albums such as a sequel to Rebirth, a sequel to I Am Not a Human Being and probably one or two more projects.
  • John Debney and Alexandre Desplat are ridiculously prolific film composers (seriously, say no sometimes).

Traditional Art

  • Leonardo da Vinci and other Renaissance Men were especially prone to this. The Mona Lisa was apparently done in fits and starts.
    • While employed by the Duke of Milan, Leonardo had plans for a huge bronze statue of a horse and rider that never happened. During this time he was also working on and off on The Last Supper, which wound up taking about three years.
      • Although the horse did finally get built.
      • The horse statue wasn't his fault, though. Milan ended up in a war when he was in designing stages, and the bronze meant for the statue was used for making cannons, instead.

Video Games

  • Video game designer Suda 51 of Grasshopper Manufacture may be suffering from this. Not only is he is collaborating with Hideo Kojima on a Snatcher radio show, but he is also developing a Kafkaesque game for the Playstation 3 called Kurayami, as well as porting The Silver Case and Ward 25 to the Nintendo DS.
  • The high-definition remakes of Silent Hill 2 and Silent Hill 3 were so riddled with bugs, glitches and graphical issues that, for a time, Amazon refused to sell it in light of the fan outrage. The newest game in the series, Silent Hill: Downpour came out almost at the same time, and two other Silent Hill projects were in the works as well, leading many to believe that the creative teams involved were producing unrefined products due to being overloaded, though each project did have different teams.
    • Not to mention one of the Guild 01 games for Level-5.
  • Go to a indie game design forum and be enlightened.
    • Wolfire (makers of Lugaru) and Datarealms happily avoid this trope. Otherwise they'd never get anywhere, since their projects are so ambitious.
  • Interactive Fiction authors suffer from this big time. Even the offer of up to $100 cash has not induced any Intro Comp authors to ever finish their games.
  • Valve didn't formerly provide the page picture for nothing: For the past few years they've been so busy churning out offshoot projects like Portal and Left 4 Dead, along with their own full-length sequels and commercial releases of past game mods like Counter-Strike, Day of Defeat, Team Fortress 2 and DotA 2, that their original flagship franchise hasn't seen a new release in over four years, with Half-Life 2: Episode 3 being seemingly eternally stuck in Valve-time limbo (a term taken right out of Blizzard's lexicon, coined for their own "when it's done" release schedule).
  • It was actually this reason that the Loom series was unfinished.
    • It was more to do with the fact people had lost interest in making serious games because they weren't as funny as the other things Lucas Arts were working on.


  • Michael Prokop's main project is his magnum opus, Starship Moonhawk, which at one point had two spin-offs (Cosmic Feline and Space Destroyer Hunter) and a planned roleplay forum, all of which save said main comic got canned or put on the backburner. That freed him up to work on his adult comics, Peppermint Saga (and its non-canon spin-off, Blue-Grey Rhapsody) and Ship in a Bottle. He also does website work for Salient Caligation, has one called The Lavenders in the works and does commissioned pieces. Combined with retcons, a slight attitude and just plain old bad luck, it can feel very rare to see anything of his updated consistently for more than a month.
  • Furry/Manga artist Gillpanda suffers from this trope, he has more than 15 mangas/doujinshis (plus other projects) and none of them was finished (commissions doesn't count). His more recently project "Affinity" probably will get canceled or put in Development Hell after the Vol. 2, but, after all... There Is Always Hope.
  • Randy Milholland. The Something Positive front page alone had at one point five differently-titled comics on it, and that's not counting at least one that he just allowed to trail off without resolution.
  • Despite having an already tremendously behind schedule main comic in VG Cats, Scott Ramsoomair also has a Pokémon comic and does the official Final Fantasy XI webcomic. ... Neither of which seem to be updating much.
  • Kris Straub, man. Just Kris Straub. In addition to various musical side projects, one-offs for posters and t-shirts, being one of the four Webcomics Weekly panelists, and sometimes having a day job...
    • He used to do Checkerboard Nightmare 3 days a week. Then, he started doing Starslip Crisis every weekday and Checkerboard Nightmare ceased regular updates a few months later.
    • He started the Starslip side project "Alterverse War," a Massive Multiplayer Crossover involving any sci-fi webcomic that wanted to participate, but has put it on hold indefinitely.
    • Some years later, Starslip Extra started, a simple gag strip that ran once a week, trying to recapture the earlier flavor before Starslip got bogged down in plot. Around the same time, Straub launched another comic, chainsawsuit, originally updating 3 days a week.
      • A few months later, he started yet another comic, F Chords, running two days a week, and very soon upgraded chainsawsuit to daily and F Chords to three days a week, bringing his total to 13 strips each week, along with video commentary on reruns of Checkerboard. That only lasted a few months, with F Chords put on hiatus for two years and the commentary indefinitely.
    • Around the time he moved into the Penny Arcade offices, he restarted Blamimations with Scott Kurtz for PATV.
    • F Chords was reborn in 2011 with the intent to repurpose it into an office comedy, but within a few months, he realized that, since he changed his mind about ending Starslip, was still running chainsawsuit, and not only doing Blamimations season 2 but adding a live action Kris and Scott/Scott and Kris show to PATV (not to mention getting married), he had to put it back on hiatus directly after the first story arc.
  • Bleedman has three different webcomics running. It's hard to tell his pattern of updates; at times one will have more focus than his other two, or two will have more focus than the remaining one. Back when he only had two, he put one on hiatus to get the third one up and running.
  • Wicked Hatter of Skewed Reality. And Angry Hatter's Happy House. And I Was Your Dog. And Kalten. And....
  • Bryon "Psyguy" Beaubien of That's My Sonic fame suffers from this like no one else. Look, he's working on a sprite comic! Oh, wait, that's boring him, here are some videos! Oh, that's too much work, have a hand drawn comic instead! Sorry, he dumped that comic, look, he gave some other artist this new script! Whee!
    • One of those "other artists", Alan Solivan, aka Mr. O.M.A, is also a victim of ADCD—one look at his atrociously long to-do list makes that pretty evident, and the work just keeps piling on.
    • That's My Sonic was really the only project he ever properly saw to the end; he managed to find exactly the right audience for a project he found to be tremendous fun. My theory is that the ADCD he's been experiencing since then, including attempting to revive TMS at least once, has been his attempt to find a project that has the same combination of being fun for him and beloved by all that TMS brought him.
    • It seems that his new webcomic GG-Guys has somewhat cured him of this, as now his only projects are that, Wha-Chow (a podcast), and the occasional script to give to someone else.
    • There was also a chatroom Psyguy "ran" about a decade ago - Psycho's Sonic Chat, hosted on beseen. He eventually abandoned it completely, and let it sit unmanaged to the day beseen shut down. Currently unknown if this was due to other projects, or simply becoming disillusioned as to how great it was to have his own Sonic the Hedgehog chatroom.
  • David Morgan-Mar. Irregular Webcomic, Infinity on 30 Credits a Day, Darths and Droids, Mezzacotta... And oddly free of Schedule Slip problems.
    • Though Darths and Droids and Mezzacotta are work of DMM and his friends, and he's only coordinator in Infinity on 30 Credits a Day, which actually are worked on by other collaborators.
    • Mezzacotta doesn't require much work, it's largely automated.
      • That still depends on which of the comics you're talking about (Mezzacotta is currently a composition of several projects at once).
    • Irregular Webcomic has now technically ended, but because DMM apparently hates having free time, it's been replaced by giant weekly blog posts, as well as daily "reruns" of old strips which often have lengthy new comments tacked onto them.
  • Shivae Studios. Four actively running, another five on planned hiatus, and some cycling in and out.
  • Invoked when the Machine of Death project was first proposed:

  Do it, Ryan. Do it! Abandon all your other projects and write this anthology!

  • Owen Dunne of You Damn Kid fame at one point had five simultaneous comics, only two of which ever saw an ending.
  • Andy Weir juggled Casey and Andy with a side project, Cheshire Crossing. At the time of this entry, the former reached its conclusion (at strip #666). One storyline of CC seems to be complete but ended on a Sequel Hook.
  • For a time, artist Jin Wicked attempted to keep two webcomics, Crap I Drew On My Lunchbreak and Asylum on 5th Street going simultaneously while also doing commissions and other work. It eventually led to a literal Creator Breakdown. Both these strips are now ended (and in the case of Asylum, the archives completely purged).
  • Isabel Marks currently has two comics, Namir Deiter and You Say It First, which update between five and seven days a week. For most of the past five years, she's had a third webcomic (Spare Parts, Undoubtedly Kawaii, The Shokora Diaries, Dealing With It, Grover Hills, and a few others). She also colors Kevin and Kell and does even more comics for a bonus site for donors. As of August 2009, her total is over 10 series and over 6000 webcomics.
  • Brian Clevinger: He's been working on Eight Bit Theater regular for the greater part of a decade, and since then he's written a novel (Nuklear Age), tried to write a sequel to it, is currently writing and doing various other jobs on a published comic (Atomic Robo), and has recently started writing for two other webcomics simultaneously, and of all of these only Warbot in Accounting has run into any severe Schedule Slip (which is more because of the artist than him). 8-Bit has had some schedule slip, but that is almost always caused by things such as hurricanes, and he apparently learnt from the experience, as 8-Bit is the only comic which is not written ahead of time.
    • Now he's finished 8-Bit. But the number of projects is still huge (the two three webcomics and Atomic Robo, a comic comics for Marvel...).
  • Benny Reyes has this problem, his comics include Magiversity, Zephyr The Lost Battle Fortress, Hypershooter, Astronomolies, & the adult comics Pr0nCrest, B4 Pr0nCrest, Sexy Bouncin' Oppai Troopers & the collaborative effort Pr0nCrest Alt-Again & he has plans for, at least, one other comic.
  • J. X. Gans has GansWorks (which shows off a number of aborted comics), PostHuman, The Bees Knees, Power Trip, Misfits Of Mischief the adult comic Stella & Celeste as well as a couple of accounts he created, then deleted.
  • {{KAM Keith Alan Morgan}} created The KAMics to get around his problem of writing & drawing the same characters over & over & over again & allowing him to bounce from series to series while still (mostly) keeping to his update schedule.
  • Brian Carroll of Instant Classic fame usually has eight or so projects going at once (which he regularly makes fun of using the marquee on his site). Past projects have included a comic called Trumpet Airlines that only featured three or so strips, GRAMPAA (a site against the MPAA), Studio Litchfield (a spinoff of Instant Classic), The Millatreuese Project (a series of short quick one-person films), and several independent film ventures. Currently he's producing Instant Classic, Genrezvous Point, the Instant Classic Editorial, The Rapscallions (a reboot of his earlier comic Pirates), a journal comic called F-Stop Blues, and a feature film. At least Carroll acknowledges it.
  • Bill Holbrook manages to keep three comics (Kevin and Kell, Safe Havens, and On the Fastrack) going simultaneously, the latter two being syndicated. Unusually for this trope, he seems nearly immune to Schedule Slip.
    • As these comics are all newspaper-style, it could be argued that the art, at least, is less time-consuming than it might otherwise be; each strip consists of a few panels, often using talking heads, simple/reused poses, and other shortcuts, and someone else does the coloring. On the other hand, a comic must be written before it can be drawn, and the time involved in conceiving, writing, and polishing the scripts for so many comics per week is considerable; Holbrook estimates that the writing accounts for three-quarters of his workload.
  • A common criticism of Piro of Megatokyo fame—he might be too busy to update his "day job" more than 2-3 times a month, he might not have time to work on the cast page, he might miss so many deadlines that he's quite literally helped put one manga publisher out of business... but he has time to go to every anime convention in the US, spend 6–8 hours on a "dead piro day" strip here or there or post blog rants about his favorite anime, anime merch, and MMORPGs.
  • David Herbert is not only the writer of Living With Insanity but also writes Gemini Storm and it was recently announced he would be starting a new comic, with Michael Chick of The Author which Herbert has taken over writing duties for. He manages it by writing months before the due deadline.
    • He just released a new webcomic, Tnemrot, and another print comic, Just Another Day and he and the JAD artist are working on something else as well. And on his facebook he mentions working on three other projects he hasn't mentioned yet. Apparently he doesn't sleep.
    • And he just started a review column that's going to update twice weekly. And he's still updating everything with regularity.
  • Bobby Crosby has a good half-dozen webcomics unfinished, each of which see maybe three updates in a year. These updates seem to coincide him trying to push the story to a movie or media publisher; one gets the impression they're little more than vehicles for a screenwriting career he can't seem to get off the ground. One especially cynical may wonder if his inability to keep any of his web-works on a consistent schedule might be negatively affecting these attempts.
  • Nepath, creator of webcomics Energize – he's currently working on Energize, it's spin-off Saroth and another comics, Fearless, still has unfinished crossover between Energize and Dasien, is a member of Crossoverkill creative staff, has been pretty much a head of Heroes Unite creative team and now will be it's artist. For some time Energize, Fearless and Saroth were updating in a system - two of them were on extended hiauts while he was updating another chapter of third, but currently Fealess is on extended hiauts until he'll get over with his other comics.
  • While not to extreme, humon [1] can suffer from this from time to time. Scandinavia and the World is easily her most popular project, and she will sometimes focus on those for long periods of time, often to the chagrin to fans of her second-most-popular work Niels. Love and Tentacles fans are also very disappointed as she apparently has no ideas for it, and it has been long dormant. Occasionally Sat W fans will become annoyed when she focuses on Niels or a non-comic project (like her recent fantasy species).
  • City of Reality author Ian Sampson confessed to it here, after a long bout with Schedule Slip.
  • Zoe Kirk-Robinson, of The Life of Nob T. Mouse (runs Monday to Friday), All Over the House (runs Monday to Friday), The Webcomic Builder (supposedly runs Mon-Wed-Fri), The Webcomics Company podcast (fortnightly), Ink Proof Cannon (apparently going to run Monday to Friday) and a vlog (supposed to update Mon-Wed-Fri). Oh and she's studying for a law degree, too.
  • Adrian Ramos (most often known as "Adis"). As of this writing, he is writing and drawing four webcomics at once — Count Your Sheep, The Wisdom Of Moo, No Room For Magic, and My T-Shirt Fairy Tale. Unfortunately, between these comics and Real Life commitments, any attempts at a regular schedule are quickly discarded, and the best way to follow his stuff is to just check in occasionally and hope for the best. Fortunately, his best strip (Count Your Sheep) usually gets updated once or twice a week... but many fans still wish he wouldn't spread himself so thin.
  • David Willis is currently running Dumbing of Age (a full-color, 5-updates-per-week comic) and Shortpacked (a huge full-color, 5-updates-per-week comic) simultaneously, while also spewing blog posts and comments on his own comics, and presumably also maintaining his time machine.
  • Sandra and Woo's site now hosts a second webcomic, Gaia, which has the same main writer and artists.

Web Original

  • Little Kuriboh, creator of The Abridged Series genre, also has a webcomic that updates sporadically and two other Yu-Gi-Oh the Abridged Series spinoffs, regularly flies off to conventions all over the US and his native UK, and is a stage actor.
    • He now also has a videoblog. So far, he's recorded a dramatic reading of a Sonic fanfic with fellow Abridgers, and several prank calls in his characters.
  • Andrew Dickman.
  • As noted, Joss Whedon.
  • Arguably, Chris Bores, aka The Irate Gamer. His review series has recently gotten stagnant (a new review was once released, three months after the last one). He also focuses on two other projects: Haunted Investigators and Chris and Scottie Roadtrip.
  • Bek D. Corvin, co-creator of the Whateley Universe, and author for a slew of the protagonists. She's also an author in the 'Heaven and Hell' universe and the 'Caregivers' universe and several others of her own invention, like the 'Erinyes' world. Word of God says she's dragging half a dozen of the Whateley authors into yet another sci-fi universe construct.
  • Alexandra Erin's projects include serials Star Harbor Nights, Tales of MU, Tribe, Void Dogs, More Tales Of MU, and The 3 Seas, as well as numerous more self-contained or episodic stories. At her peak, she was regularly updating all but the first of those serials as well as a run of stand alone stories in the Tales of MU continuity. Recently, however, she's been struggling to make roughly weekly Tales of MU chapters.
  • Ross Scott of Accursed Farms fame. Not perhaps, because he has so many irons in the fire, but because he's working in a medium that requires an unholy amount of time and effort. (And he presumably has a day job as well.) Fans of Freemans Mind who have been waiting a long time for the next installment to come out can't help but tap their feet and check their watches while they watch the Progress Chart for Civil Protection slowly inch towards completion at a glacial pace. (Again, it's a work-heavy, time-heavy medium...)
  • Shadyvox has shown shades of this. With Yugioh GX Abridged slowing down to a crawl, he's made two other Abridge series... none of which made it past the pilot so far.
  • Jesu Otaku. Let's see, she reviews anime, is making a retrospective on all the Digimon anime, dubs Anime Theme Songs, is analyzing the Trigun anime, has another job reviewing even more anime on Anime News Network and oh yeah, is currently working on a Radio Drama adaptation on the ENTIRE Fruits Basket manga (also, she works at a theater).

Western Animation

  • Trey Parker and Matt Stone made the movie Team America: World Police while production of the eighth season of South Park was still ongoing. According to Parker and Stone, making the film left the pair creatively and physically exhausted when it came time to make the second batch of South Park episodes for the season, and in DVD commentary for that season, they point out several places where it is evident that they were running on fumes.
    • Similarly, the third season was done while they were making The Movie. The DVD commentary for season 3 has the two mentioning how busy their schedule was, especially when they were making the meteor shower trilogy.
    • Also possibly happening again, thanks to their award-winning musical.
  1. and Hunter, but he didn't create that one