Updates, minicomics & fanart

Messenger is back! Weekly updates should resume on Saturday as usual from here out. Follower will continue to update on Wednesdays. Ask a Chio updates…whenever.

I spent part of this weekend updating the layout for both Messenger and Follower. Both comics are now more mobile-friendly, and should look nice on things like iPads and phones and whatever other crazy touchscreen devices people are using these days. I am still making a few tweaks, but the big changes are all done. If you spot anything that isn’t working, don’t hesitate to let me know!

The “Light” minicomic continues – you can view the latest page by voting for Messenger on TopWebcomics! I’ve also put up all the back pages in a new minicomics section as thanks to everyone for supporting the comic so far.

I also have a couple of new fan art drawings to share:

Batchio by Spartan

by Spartan

Sandwiches by Spartan

by Spartan

Thanks, Spartan!

And thanks to everyone else for your continued support and readership! See you next Saturday for more!

Overdue Fanart Friday

It’s been a while since I’ve made a post, and I have some stuff to update with, so let’s go!

Vote Messenger by Spartan

by Spartan

First off, I’m going to hijack this fanart by Spartan for some shameless self-promotion! The Ursa Major Awards nominations are open for a few more days, and I would really like to see Messenger and/or Follower nominated this year! The awards are based on the voters’ choice, and you can nominate multiple works as long as they fit the category. Please take a moment to support Messenger (and any other works you feel are deserving) by nominating it for a UMA this year! These comics would probably fit best in either the Best Graphic Story or Best Other Literary categories, but you can submit them where and however you choose. (And many thanks to Spartan for the image!)

I also received another drawing by Spartan of Eldora in the Monsterhive IRC channel, as well as a drawing from Aiwan. Huge thanks to them both! Getting fanart always makes my day.

You can check out tons of other cool stuff readers have made on the Fan Stuff page.

In other news, the hiatus is over at last! I wanted to sit down and finish up issue 1 of Follower once and for all, so I could submit it for print and build a buffer for updates. I accomplished this goal last week, but have spent the past few days prepping the pages for print. Follower #1 should be available in March in both print and as an ebook, and will contain the entire first chapter of the comic – even the pages that haven’t been posted yet! Now that I’ve gotten that beast out of the way, I’m going to catch up on Messenger. Doing two comics is a juggling act for sure, but I really enjoy it.

That’s all for now. Keep an eye out for new Messenger very soon!

2013 Ursa Major Awards Nominations

The nominations for the 2013 Ursa Major Awards are now open, and this year I’m hoping to see Messenger and Follower nominated in either of the Best Graphic Story or Best Other Literary Work categories! The Ursa Major Awards are, as written on their site:

More formally known as the Annual Anthropomorphic Literature and Arts Award, the Ursa Major Award is presented annually for excellence in the furry arts. It is intended as Anthropomorphic (a.k.a. Furry) Fandom’s equivalent of the Hugo Award® presented by the World Science Fiction Society, mystery fandom’s Anthony Award, horror fandom’s Bram Stoker Award, and so forth. Anyone may nominate and vote for candidates for the Awards. These Awards are decided by the fans, not by a committee.

I feel that both Messenger and especially Follower qualify for these awards due to the Chio storylines in both comics. Although I don’t identify as someone in the furry fandom, I know a lot of my readers do — and being nominated could help the comics reach a new audience. While I don’t think I stand much of a chance competing against some really big webcomics as have been nominated (and won) in the past, even being nominated would be a huge honor, and help both Messenger and Follower become more known.

How can you help? Visit the Ursa Major Awards site and click “nominations page,” and then either enroll to register or login if you’ve registered before. Then, add Messenger and Follower under Best Graphic Story and/or Best Other Literary Work. For clarity, you may want to submit the comics both by name with their URL, so there is no confusion – for example, “Follower – http://follower.messenger-comic.com”. Submit the form, and you’re done! It’s easy. You can (and should!) nominate other comics and media you enjoy for the other categories, as well. You can even nominate multiple things for the same category, if you like.

What’s next? The nomination period is open through February 28th. After that, if the comics were successfully nominated, you can then start voting for real on them!

If we can make it into the nominations category, I’ll come up with some kind of small reward comic. If we can get even further than that, I’ll have to think of something bigger!

As always, I appreciate your ongoing support. Thanks for reading my comics!

New Ebook: How Eldora Met Icy

Best Friends cover

I’ve been meaning to make some new books and things and finally got around to putting this short story into ebook form.

Best Friends is the story of how Eldora met her adorable adventure cat companion, Icy! First published in the print edition of Messenger: Chapter 2, this story is now available as a stand-alone, DRM-free PDF. This ebook is 19 pages and contains a full-color original comic. Being image-heavy, the file is approximately 4 MB. Tested on an iPad and Kindle Fire, it works best on devices with a color display. “Best Friends” is $3 minimum through Gumroad, although if you like Messenger and want to support it, you can pay what you feel the story is worth.

This is pretty much an experiment in selling comics as a digital download, so if you would like me to produce more short stories like this (or republish existing print-only stories) please show your support.


Guest Art?

First off, happy 2014, everyone! This is the year that Messenger turns 10 and that’s pretty weird to me.

I wanted to make a post as a follow-up to my last news bit about taking a short break from comics for a few weeks. There’s been a lot going on in my life recently, like a death in the family, a new job, ten million winter holidays, and then getting sick. I’ve not been feeling well on and off since November, and finally went to a doctor last week and found out I have pneumonia. Oops. I’ve been dealing with that and am starting to feel much better, but just incredibly drained all the time. I had been planning to start posting both Messenger and Follower again this week, but the most I’ve been able to accomplish is sleeping and looking at my DS occasionally and doing other exciting sick activities. It’s really, really frustrating to want to get all these things done and just not have the energy to do them.

So all of that aside, if there is anyone who would like to contribute any kind of guest art/fiction/etc to the site, I would certainly love to share it up on the front page as filler for another week or two while I kick this bug out of my lungs. I will provide credit and links to your own comic/DA/whatever, of course, and will also put your art up on the Fan Stuff page for everyone to see for the rest of forever after. You can e-mail anything you’d like to share to me at bug [at] messenger-comic.com, submit it to DA and note me a link, or post it on the forums.

If not, hey, at least here’s an update about what’s going on with the comic! Here’s to a (hopefully) much better and healthier 2014. Thank you for all these years of continued support; just knowing there are readers out there enjoying what I do makes it worthwhile.