So… as I sit to type this live on the blog, the hit counter is at 29,999. To paraphrase from classic Doctor Who, this moment has been prepared for…
Over the weekend I prepared the above simple animation, knowing the milestone would probably happen early this week. Truth be told, this probably would have happened in January but the combination of illnesses and some Internet outages took away from my normal stream of visitors. I didn’t lose any followers (thank you all!) during those times but I did obviously lose hits those days when I hadn’t posted new nonsense.
I’ve continued the tradition of building upon the first animation I made when I hit the 10,000 hit milestone… then again at 20,000. Will I keep doing this? Who knows. I kind of like keeping the aspect of where-I-came-from by continually building on what came before for each new milestone.
Meanwhile… some less celebrated, but still occurring, milestones… I have over 975 posts on the blog now. Sometime in the next couple of weeks I will make the 1000th post on the blog. I’ll try and pay attention and do something special for that. That’s a lot of blogging in about 2.5 years! Also of note… at some point this past week I reached 650 episodes of my comic strip ‘Sects on the blog. I’ve had a lot of skipped days, some will be revisited, or that count could have been higher. Again, lots of nonsense from me the last couple of years! 🙂
I would like to take this moment to thank everyone who follows, and everyone who visits regularly. You give me encouragement to keep the nonsense going. Thank you! Also thank you to everyone who randomly stops by irregularly… one day I’ll ensnare you in my web of nonsense! 😉
So, yeah… it’s been a couple of weeks, give or take. Sadly it also meant I missed celebrating the two-year anniversary of ‘Sects too! But… I’ve been sick for the last couple of weeks. Just when I thought I was getting out, it pulled me back in again! Some unknown virus, maybe the flu, made me an offer I wanted to refuse… but alas, could not… which meant chaos for the blog.
But… hopefully I can get back on track. I have a backlog of stuff I’ve drawn and haven’t gotten around to posting. I’m also starting up the ‘Sects comic strip again. I’ve got a lot of good skipped days to fill with backstory one of these days when I get the time, and I have some cool ideas about how to do that in a creative and hopefully entertaining way… but for now, back to the funny… and hopefully no skipping days for a while!
Is it weird, though, that I picked up a bunch of new blog followers and daily visits didn’t seem to suffer much from my not being able to post new content in a couple of weeks? Is my blog more popular somehow without new content? 🙂
So… anyone new to the blog over the last week has found a ghost town, lacking only tumbleweeds to seal the deal. I hope I haven’t missed out on any new followers as a result! Regulars have probably wondered just what the heck happened. Well, to make a long story short, I’ve been without Internet since last Friday… so for the past seven days roughly it was not possible for me to check emails or post to the blog or do any number of other things I wanted to do.
But, I’m back… in black… yes I am… wait… that’s a song… I am back, though! I have been doing a lot of new drawings during the impromptu hiatus, so there will be a LOT of new posts coming your way over the next few days to make up for lost time. Also, I did continue with new ‘Sects episodes that I will be posting this weekend as well. Hopefully everything will be back on a normal schedule by Monday, but, here’s where things will get confusing for some so bear with me…
To make things easier for future followers and to make it easier to re-read old episodes, I am going to back-date all the posts of ‘Sects episodes so that they appear to have been posted on the regularly scheduled dates. They will be in order, and if you visit the blog it’s no big deal… but if you’re using the WordPress Reader then it means you’ll have to scroll back in time to see them. To help out a bit, once I’ve posted all the missed episodes for the past week, I will come back and edit this post and add active links to each day’s episode to make it easier for you to find them.
On the plus side, I think I did some funny bits while unable to post… and I’ve got a bunch of other drawings to post as well that I hope you’ll like. Thanks to everyone for sticking with me, sorry for the temporary absence, and I hope these will all be worth the wait!
‘Sects Friday 10/07/2016
‘Sects Sunday 10/09/2016 (I skipped this one for now, to be revisited in the future!)
‘Sects Monday 10/10/2016
‘Sects Tuesday 10/11/2016
‘Sects Wednesday 10/12/2016
‘Sects Thursday 10/13/2016
‘Sects Friday 10/14/2016
I did some math earlier in the week and realized that my 800th post was going to happen over the weekend. I had some choice as to what to actually post as number 800, but decided to go ahead and let the 800th post be about various milestones happening this month. Tomorrow (July 25th) is also the two year anniversary of starting this blog. If you’re at all curious, go take a look at the very first post (appropriately an early comic strip) I made on the blog way back on July 25th, 2014.
A milestone that occurred earlier this week… ‘Sects had its 500th episode! I also realized counting the ‘Sects milestones are tricky. I have skipped some days here and there, and that’s easy enough to keep track of… but there was also one day last year when I actually posted two episodes in the same day! So… the 500th new episode was posted on Wednesday this past week… but the 500th day of unique episodes actually happened on Thursday.
An honorary mention is the hit counter… I’m just under 24,500 hits on the blog in two years. It has been a slow uphill climb, gaining followers and regular visits over the years. I’ve definitely got a strong loyal following now, but I’m always hoping to expand… hence why I gave up the ghost and joined Facebook last year to provide additional promotion for my work.
Thank you to everyone who has been here for the long haul… thank you also to all the newly following! I hope I continue to create things that engage you in some manner, whether it be in quality of the art or the silliness of the idea. Please, if you really enjoy any of the things I do here, tell your friends and let’s see how much we can blow this thing up for year three!
I have an idea for a thing… that I will not get into right now… but something I wanted to do was use some inspired-by-real-life local locations with this. Given what I know and what you do not know, the place to start was with an old comic book store. Capitol Comics of Raleigh, NC, opened back in 1986 on Hillsborough St in downtown Raleigh, NC. Many years later they opened another location out past Crabtree Valley Mall, but a few years back they closed the original location and consolidated to just the newer one. Sadly even the building where the original location opened no longer exists! I worked at the original store location many years ago, and the owner Ken Pleasant has always been a class guy. I’ve also met and worked with lots of good people that I met through the years working and shopping at Capitol Comics.
I believe I’m mostly done here with the front of the store, complete with trademark easily-recognizable Spider-Man sign. There was originally an awning across the front of the store but I can’t find any pictures of that at the moment, so that is in the TBD later pile for now. I’d also like to draw the right-hand side of the store and I have plans to also pull back a little and create a semi-perspective look because that will allow me to also show the building next door that has a classic bulldozer sign on its roof. For those interested, below is a closer look at the Spider-Man sign, which I also have attempted to recreate as close to the original as my available source photographs would allow:
I don’t want to say too much about my eventual plans for all this… but it could involve some further decorating of the insides of the store (as seen through the windows) and some looks at the interior as well. Stay tuned! I’m hoping to keep a sliver of the past alive through the creation of a whole ‘nother thing as I get the time to work on it. Please let me know what you think (especially if you’re local to Raleigh, NC and are familiar with this store) and remember, if you’d like an original commission by me or would like to hire me as an Illustrator, please use the Contact page and let me know as much as you can about your request.
Eagle-eyed observers, folks who aren’t easily fooled, and basically anyone who pays attention will note that there was no new ‘Sects episode this Sunday. Chalk it up to a need to catch up on some sleep and a decision to not force-feed creativity just to make Sunday happen. But, because of that… I’ll give you a sneak peak at a little bit of process stuff to semi-make-up for that.
Early on, I knew I was going to be re-using stuff in my digital Web comic. That’s part of the beauty of it… draw some good backgrounds and stuff once and you get to re-use them. It also allowed me to start with sparse backgrounds in the beginning only to build brick walls and other things over time into the backgrounds and have a bit more complexity while not driving myself nuts in the early days!
What I wasn’t smart about, however, was making things easy to access. I have to go back through the archives and find backgrounds and objects that I want to re-use, and that can be tedious. Recently I’ve started gathering up some of the things into source files so that I can more easily locate stuff I want to re-use. Now that I have that, even though I haven’t rounded up all my old stuff, I at least create new stuff in the new space so I’m not perpetuating the process. Here’s a sneak-peak at what one such file looks like…
If you look closely, there’s a couple of things that haven’t yet been used… Spoilers! Eventually I hope to go back and scavenge all my objects and all of my different backgrounds as well. My characters are mostly all together, but some of Buzz‘s special costumes/disguises are all over the place right now and I need to organize all of those as well. Anyway, just a peak into the madness of my mind to make up for the lack of ‘Sects this weekend.
So… there was no Sunday episode of ‘Sects yesterday (Sunday). Not entirely intentional, but not entirely by accident either. I’ve just accepted now that sometimes it will happen… or rather not happen… and so, with this little non-explanation out of the way just so you know you didn’t miss anything… back to the cartoons! 🙂
So, I knew this was coming a week or two ago when I started paying attention to my hit counter… and I also noticed I was coming close to my 700th post on the blog. It just kind of worked out that my actual 700th post on the blog is this one, in which I’m talking about making my 700th post. I am the hand that draws itself! (Dropping mad MC Escher references, yo!)
On an unrelated note, I’m having intermittent problems with WordPress not properly pushing my blog posts to my Facebook page. It happened back in February for a day or so and magically self-corrected. Now, as was the case then, I had to manually share some posts to get them there, but most irritating are the already pushed posts that just spontaneously disappear and reappear. I hope they sort this out once and for all!
Meanwhile, all that glitchy fun prompted me to look at my site design. I decided the Twenty-Twelve theme was getting a little stale so I wanted a change. I spent some time the other night browsing, and liked the look of this Retro-Fitted theme. What I didn’t realize was that it was going to trash all of my previously submitted headers… but that’s okay because I needed some new ones anyway and the old ones wouldn’t have scaled properly to this new theme. Look for more random headers to show up (wait for it) randomly as I create them. For now, I hope you’ll enjoy the new ‘Sects oriented one that features virtually every major character that has appeared in that comic strip so far!
The next major milestone will be when I hit two years of blogging at the end of this July. Sometime before that I’ll blow past 800 total posts and should pass 500 ‘Sects episodes. I need to pay attention to that ‘Sects milestone and see if I can’t come up with something special for that one at least.
As always, thank you to all my fans and followers for jumping aboard and hanging on! Thank you also to the new friends I’ve made as well. I hope to keep growing and expanding, and perhaps even diversifying a bit more in the months to come as I stretch into new areas and try new styles.