2010 has been an amazing year for Messenger. In total, 80 new pages were added to the online archive, which doesn’t include the 30 or so revision pages I did for Chapter Two and the minicomic extras for the second book. Regardless, it’s substantially more than an ordinary year’s worth of pages due to the fact that I started doing twice weekly updates in the fall. Messenger also hit the printer twice, with a re-issue of book 1 and the entirely new release of book 2. Webcomics are usually a one-man show, and Messenger is no exception, so I’m pretty pleased to have successfully kept up with regular updates as well as produce two whole books of approximately 100 pages each.
This year felt like a huge advancement in the things I’ve learned about making comics; from writing and art, all the way down to promotion and running advertising on the site. 2010 has been the first time I’ve truly had a chance to sit down and work through an entire chapter of the comic at once instead of working on it when I can, and I feel that the quality of it has improved overall as a result. This is kind of a bittersweet thing, since I’ve spent most of the year aggressively job-hunting – but I’ve also learned a lot about advertising, and have managed to make enough of a profit via advertising to pay (at least) for groceries in addition to the upkeep of comic-making supplies. I may be a broke artist, but at least I’m not starving! While I know that I’ll never be able to turn this comic into a full-time job, it’s an exciting and satisfying feeling to know that I’ve been able to do as much as I have just in the span of this past year and it feels worthwhile to have spent all this (unfortunate) free time I’ve had working on it.
Statistics-wise, 2010 has brought a huge jump in readership – up 66% on average, with about 200-300 more views daily over the same time last year. I’ve put a little bit of effort into finding new readers and getting the comic out there this year, so it’s really cool to see this pay off. That said, if you’re reading this out there (and I know you are) don’t be afraid to chime in on the comments or on the forum! I don’t bite, and your feedback is a huge motivating factor for me. My fanart section has almost tripled in size from what it used to be, and it’s still super humbling every time I get a piece of art from a reader. Knowing that I’ve produced something that people enjoy enough to say so or even to draw or write something based on it is such a cool feeling, and I don’t think it will ever get old. 🙂
All things considered, 2010 was fantastic. For once I really feel like I’ve made massive steps from where I started when I first put the comic online in 2004. If all goes according to plan, 2011 will be even better. My next steps include starting work on book 3 as soon as possible, getting through the rest of Part 1 of the main comic, and possibly doing some side stories from the Messenger universe.
But most of all, none of this would be possible without you – the readers. So, a huge thanks to you for all your support! I hope you’ll stick with me for whatever is to come. Happy 2011! ♥
Really, Nekos? Looks like Nekos sort of became the leader of his own little revolution. Oops.
I would like to take a second to thank Philip of Frumph.net and Webcomicplanet.com for both pointing out (and subsequently helping me fix) several glaring errors I’ve been making using ComicPress. I never even realized I was doing it wrong in the first place since it looked like it was working! But now everything runs so much slicker. It is fantastic. Thank you!
I thought it might be worthwhile to mention that I have one extra copy of the new chapter one book floating around that I would like to get rid of, if anyone is interested in having their very own copy. I can sell it to you for $12 (+$3 shipping anywhere in the US/Canada) and I will even sign it and sketch the character of your choice in it before I mail it off. It’s a bit cheaper than buying it from lulu, so if you’re interested, drop me an email at bug [at] messenger-comic.com!
In other news this week, I have a couple of links to put up:
Messenger at TVTropes: This is a really neat site that’s just fun to dig through, so I shamelessly stole the idea from Chu and added Messenger to it. Anyone is welcome to change and add to it.
I’ve been doing a lot of outlining and scripting for upcoming storylines in the comic, and so I’ve been spending a lot of time using Tiddlywiki, which is basically a little wiki notebook thing you can run on your local machine. It’s great for keeping track of all kinds of things going on at once, and it’s free, which is awesome. I used to use this to take notes in in college, since it was easy to cross-reference ideas from entry to entry. It is super handy for comic-writing, anyway.
I’ve added a couple of link exchanges to my links page, hooray! It also occurred to me that I made a tumblr account for art/comic related stuff quite some time ago and never bothered using it. There is also a plurk page now, too, which kind of seems like a twitter ripoff, so I’m not sure how long that will last. I did a whole research thing on social networking in college, but I never much had a reason to play around with it. The comic is now my excuse. I just find it interesting. 😀
That’s all I’ve got for now!
In an effort to keep the trend of comic updates going, a new page! Hooray!
I have been spending a bit of my free time lately sketching pages for further on into this chapter to ensure a steady buffer and keep the updates coming. There is a lot more here to plan for than I remembered in this part of the story, but that’s what makes it fun.
I am having fun being more quick and loose with the art this time around. It feels really nice to work this way, though I’m not sure it would suit the whole story. You also may (or may not) have noticed a font change; this is a custom font that I made from my handwriting, called “Bughand”. It’s a little bit neater and more readable, and I like the feel it gives the comic without using one of those generic comic-text fonts. Eventually I plan on changing all the old pages to match, but that’s down the road.
As a last note, I wanted to express my thanks for all the kind words I’ve gotten from commenters of late, whether it’s congratulations on the wedding or just mentioning that they’re enjoying the comic, thank you! I know I may not be great at getting back to everyone individually, but I do read all that stuff. 😀
If you have a chance, vote!