Series Hiatus

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When a comic artist is too busy, too tired, away on vacation, or needing time to catch up on his Strip Buffer, rather than allow an extended Schedule Slip, he may resort to announce an intentional break in the series, usually with a pre-set return date. Unfortunately, it is not rare for what is intended to be a short hiatus to become permanent.

During the early days of TV, this would frequently result in a Summer Replacement Series.

Compare Uncanceled.

Examples of Series Hiatus include:

Anime and Manga

  • Katsura Hoshino took a hiatus from D.Gray-man from November 2008 to March 2009 due to an injury, then while fans were enjoying the return, it started a whole new hiatus in April.
  • Fruits Basket took an extended break after about 36 chapters because Natsuki Takaya injured her drawing hand. She came back after a few months and finished out the series.
  • Kohta Hirano with his series Hellsing: The Dawn. He felt like stopping out of nowhere in 2007 but Young King Comics did not declare the series as finished or cancelled. If it ever comes back to serialization, the fans will probably have forgotten about the series altogether.
  • Hunter X Hunter has gone through multiple hiatuses, the longest one lasting about one and a half years, due to Yoshihiro Togashi's health problems.
  • Hayao Miyazaki started the manga version of Nausicaa of the Valley of the Wind in 1982, regularly stopping the comic - sometimes for over a year at a time - to work on his films (beginning, naturally, with the Nausicaa movie). Because of this, it took Miyazaki over 12 years to complete the manga.
  • Technically happened with Trigun, although it was sort of out of Yasuhiro Nightow's control: the original magazine the title was serialized in folded, and when he was hired by Young King Comics a year later they asked him to restart his old series instead of creating a new one.

Live Action Television

  • All Creatures Great and Small went on one of these from 1982 to 1988, with two Christmas Episodes in between.
  • Happened to Doctor Who in the mid-80s; it was rested for 18 months. A similar thing happened in 2009; although five specials were produced after the Series 4 finale, the fifth series didn't air until 2010. This was in part to allow for a smoother transition to the new production team.
  • Torchwood did this this between Children of Earth (2009) and Miracle Day (2011), because the producers needed to find an American network to take on the show in conjunction with the BBC.
  • The producers of Thank God You're Here took a break for a year before bringing the show back for a fourth season.
  • The first season of 3-2-1 Contact aired in 1980, but due to funding constraints, the series went into reruns until 1983.
  • Allo Allo went on a two year hiatus from 1989 after lead actor Gordon Kaye suffered a horrific head injury, putting the entire future of the series in doubt. He went on to make a full recovery and the show successfully returned for 3 more seasons.

Newspaper Comics

  • The best known cases in print comics were the more-than-yearlong breaks taken by Garry Trudeau in 1983 and Gary Larson in 1989, and the shorter breaks taken by Bill Watterson in 1991 and 1994 and Charles Schulz in late 1997. In the business, these are known as "sabbaticals".
    • Trudeau has gone on week-long vacations every now and then since the long break, with reruns being published in place. He also took a 3-month break in 2008.
  • Tom Pappalardo published the comic strip Whiskey! Tango! Foxtrot! from 2007-2008, took a year off, and returned in 2010 with a retooled layout, renaming it The Optimist.

Web Comics

  • The author of Casey and Andy announced that he was planning to leave the comic alone for an indefinite amount of time while he worked on his other project, Cheshire Crossing. He did later return and finish it.
  • The author of Collar 6 took a one week hiatus after he completing the 100th strip.
  • Maritza Campos of CRFH takes off the first two and last two weeks of each year (though she had to start the hiatus in 2006 several weeks earlier due to health issues). She also took several weeks off after the birth of her first child.
  • Earthsong has gone on a number of hiatuses in the past. The author getting married and going on honeymoon caused one of them.
  • Josh Sortelli of Elf Only Inn has taken lengthy breaks from production of his webcomic, up to several years on one occasion.
  • Dan Shive of El Goonish Shive took two months off at the end of 2006 to catch up on his Strip Buffer and attend to personal issues.
    • And takes several more on a regular basis due to deciding he doesn't like his buffer anymore and redoing it
  • The webcomic Eversummer Eve has a long and tortured history online. It had been running for several years before Denise Jones moved new updates and its archive to subscription-site WirePop, where it helped launch the site. The comic eventually hit Schedule Slip in 2007 without notice, quietly leaving the site in early 2008. The comic has not been updated since, and the author has since indicated on Deviant Art that it's on hiatus, but she intends to come back to it and remake/reboot it at some undetermined point in time.
  • Gamerz Heaven appears to be on hiatus, but some speculate that the non sequitur cliffhanger the last chapter finished with could just be a really, really lame ending.
  • When Chapter 14 of Gunnerkrigg Court finished in September 2007, the series went on a hiatus In Name Only. The regular comic didn't update for two weeks, but bonus material, including a few Guest Strips, were posted every weekday (whereas the regular comic only updates three times a week). Tom Siddell explained that the break was supposed to represent the protagonists' summer holiday, so the time skip between Chapters 14 and 15 wouldn't feel so abrupt.
  • Hello Cthulhu, thought to be an orphan, was updated a whopping year-and-a-half after the 85th strip. Hopefully we'll get some more strips by 2015.
  • Jayden and Crusader experienced a hiatus between January and May 2008 in an effort to improve artistic ability before continuing.
  • Mike Shapiro, author of Joe The Circle, mysteriously ceased his already-sporadic updates on his comic in July 2002. To the frank astonishment of both his readers and his characters, he unexpectedly resumed updates... in September 2006. Thus, at four years and two months, Mike has one of the longest non-permanent hiatuses of a webcomic.
    • And, unfortunately, he stopped again shortly afterward.
  • The Life of Nob T. Mouse went on hiatus for eight years, but has since been running along nicely and now updates three times a week.
  • Christopher Livingston, author of Livin' in Oblivion, started a hiatus titled, startlingly, "Hiatus". Two months later, an update, then nothing. He still sporadically updates, but with no schedule.
  • Living With Insanity took one while David was on vacation with no internet access and Paul was doing some work for Oni Press. Other than that, no major problems.
  • Loserz went on hiatus several times, for durations of two to four months, mostly in winter. On the other hand, when it was alive, it often updated daily.
  • Megatokyo actually does do this on occasion, but due to Fred Gallagher's notorious Schedule Slip, it's hard to tell the difference.
  • Melonpool ended up getting a couple large breaks, with each one flat out abandoning the material that it went on hiatus with.
  • Mountain Time took a hiatus that was later "explained" in a special travelogue feature.
  • Due to his chronic illness, Rich Burlew of Order of the Stick took a few weeks' break from the comic, once he reached the end of the "War and XPs" story arc.
  • Sailor Sun: placed on hiatus due to the author moving to the middle east for job reasons, now at the vague statements of intent on the Dead Fic scale. However his other, shorter, comic I Dream of a Jeanie Bottle is randomly coughing up updates.
  • Pete Abrams of Sluggy Freelance is known to go on at least one major hiatus a year. The longest occurred shortly after the birth of his daughter and lasted over two months, during which time a number of other artists (including some mentioned in this very entry) drew filler strips for the site.
  • Wayfarer's Moon in an unusual subversion: The announcement for the hiatus included an announcement for an extra Spin-Off comic once they would start up again.
  • Anne Onymous of The Wotch took off the first six weeks of 2007 to recover from a serious personal problem. Another hiatus began in August 2009; as of July 2011 the story has not resumed, although the site underwent a slight reorganization in May.
  • The Prime of Ambition stopped in the middle of the most interesting part of a flashback in the very beginning. After 11 Jun 2008 the authors occasionally dropping in bonus materials, sketchbook pages and teasers, until the #bpspill page on 4 Jul 2010 and Christmas Episode. A to-do list promising reanimation of the comic in the first days of October appeared only 16 Sep 2011 It wasn't, but at least to-do list got regular updates.
  • Xin, who draws Erfworld, took time off in November 2011 to deal with her dying mother. During this time, the text only "Inner Peace (Through Superior Firepower)" was posted instead, which was set before the events of the main comic.
  • Brawl in the Family had to be on hiatus shortly before the 400th comic due to Matthew Taranto's health problems.
  • Unsounded. As the author puts it between chapter 5 and 6:

Long time readers know I take a one month break between chapters to recharge my batteries and fluff the page buffer, allowing me to keep the awesome three updates a week schedule. It's for the best

Web Original

  • That Dude in the Suede left That Guy With The Glasses for a two-year hiatus in January 2009, in order to do missionary work in Auckland for his Mormon church. His return, which was supposed to occur in January 2011, was pushed back to May, and when he failed to return to the site even then rumors sprang up that he was doubting whether he would return at all—rumors he had no qualms about confirming. In reality, his delayed return was tied to delays in editing TGWTG's third year anniversary special which was meant to provide his He's Back moment. Said moment finally occurred on June 30, at the end of Suburban Knights part five, shocking everyone who believed the rumors, and pulling off a successful long-term prank. On July 8, Suede released a trailer announcing that yes, he will indeed return to making video reviews for TGWTG. It shows him wearing his iconic jacket, as well as sporting a Badass Beard, and flanked by the ever-popular pink drapes set to a cover of The Times They Are a-Changin' made by Tomoya Takaishi. He began officially releasing videos again on August 10, 2011. As of now, the original jacket is gone (replaced by more formal attire), his pink drapes replaced by green ones (the result of him moving out of his old home), and "That Dude in the" has been all but eliminated from his name.
  • Homestar Runner has been known to have long gaps in between updates, especially when The Brothers Chaps were working on the video game. As of March 1, 2012, it is currently on its longest hiatus in site history, having not had a new cartoon in over a year.
  • Super Mario Bros. Z is on an indefinite hiatus due to an unspecified "real-life problem." As of this writing, there hasn't been a new episode for 2 years, leaving fans on a serious case of cliffhanger. It didn't help that on April Fools Day 2010, he posted a video that was supposedly the next episode, but it wasn't, and hasn't posted anything on Newgrounds since then, not even a news post explaining what's going on.