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! ♥