I felt so bad when I read your rant , that I wanted to respond, hoping to put you back on your feet again. If not for the creator of Thermalyte, then for a friend and fellow artist.
What I'm really concerned is about how seriously you are taking all this. You're too young to be that serious! Well, at least I can say that you are more mature than most people our age, to understand what responsibilities you have set out for yourself. And you already know, drawing a comic and maintaining it is a huge responsibility. And you understand that. That is great. But don't get too depressed when things don't come out the way you want them.
To tell you the truth, I too sometimes lose the motivation to do certain things, and that causes me to feel bad when I don't update in a while. It is very frustrating.
Unfortunately, I think that the loss of what you may call "gusto" is something that we can't really completely rid ourselves of. There will always be some day when you don't feel like doing something? Then what is the way to avoid that?
Well, I don't have the answer. Sometimes, you can't force yourself to draw. Sometimes you feel crummy or feel like something else motivates you, and that's okay. Take the break. Quit if you really need. Do what is best for you. However, AC, I know that you truly hold comicing very close to you, and that's why when you feel crummy about it, you still feel the urge to not quit. I have hopes that you won't quit drawing.
So it's okay to take a break. Do so. You are not obligated to draw if it makes you feel crummy.
So how do you keep at something you know you want to do but sometimes feel like you don't want to? Well, that's the part of growing up that we all have to do, constantly figuring more angles to approach our comic from, and finding motivations there.
Like for example, I often feel real crummy when I come across awesome artists who are way better than me. It's that crummy feeling that makes you want to throw all your pencils out the window. But I don't do that anymore - I take what things I awe at and appreciate it and have it inspire me to do more. Then I try to use that inspiration to draw something of my own that takes on what lessons I've learned. It's hardly ever as good, but I appreciate it for having been opened to an artistic approach I haven't been opened to before...it's exciting. Sometimes you end up with something cool for different reasons. It doesn't matter, it's having your territories expand that is important, and never losing that sense of awe. I still feel crummy. It's a crummy that I really like.
And then there is the whole idea of getting better through practice. Practice always sounds so rudimentary, but in actuality practice is done in everything you do. I usually motivate my practices with some external factor, like instead of just making a graphic, do it so the end product can be a fan art for someone else. And being able to draw something for someone is a great motivational tool.
Sometimes someone is out there to take the motivation from you. That is really the most crummiest feeling out there. What to do? Feel crummy. Feel really really crummy. Feel awful and kick walls and stuff. Then a few days later, get out some paper and draw like crazy. You'll see that motivation is still in your hands, and if that motivation is true, then no one, no matter how hard they try, can possibly ever take it away from you.
Being yourself is definitely important, but I wouldn't say that that means you have to close yourself off from being influenced by others. Of course people shouldn't be imitating others, but drawing upon influences can be a totally different thing altogether. People get influenced by people all the time, art influences art. It's a fact, and a good thing if you use it correctly. You just have to know when being influenced by something else is expanding the space you work in, or if it's confining the space you work in, or confining you to a space that you don't feel you belong in. That's the main difference between being influenced and not being yourself.
So usually when one loses the motivation for something, either that something just doesn't give what they need to learn, or they are not learning the right stuff from something. Hopefully this will give you a sense of what to do when you find yourself without motivation. Sometimes it takes external motivations, and that is okay too.
Remember, no one expects you to make a grand production. No one should, at least. Make sure you are doing comicing for the reasons that you love. And almost without thinking about it, you will have improved, and things will become subconsciously easier for you, and suddenly you'll be able to make the big productions that you dream of doing.