So, I sort of let it slide because I frankly had better and more important things to do, but there were a couple of small landmarks for my current comic-making activity this past weekend – namely, the first anniversaries of both Metrocop’s inauguration, on Saturday, and the first chapter of The Adventures of Hercule Cubbage, on Sunday. The latter date (September 1st, for those of you not keeping track) also marked six years since the release of my very first comic, very cleverly blessed with the simple, short and easy to remember title of What if the Combine Administrator was a Feminist?, which means I’ve been releasing Garry’s Mod comics for over half a decade, which, in turn, pretty much serves as an unofficial certificate of insanity. It was also my girlfriend’s birthday, something I personally place a lot more value in – if you are reading this: happy birthday once again, sweetie!
So, what went on for the past year? While my efforts to bring back Garry’s Mod-based (or, alternatively, Source Filmmaker) comic making are relatively well documented, I admit I haven’t exactly done my best, but it’s still better than nothing, I wager. I did find a few promising new starts in that period and I hope one of them has a better sense of virtual hobby-based, non-profit entrepreneurship than I.
Arguably, my own focus has changed considerably. It’s not that I’ve grown disillusioned or anything, but the lack of time and the increasing importance of other, better things in my life made me veer away from creating a comics community and just focus on me making the comics I want to – and, along the way, hope to find people who want to read them. I did manage to get both Marc Laidlaw and Chris Livingston to look at my main offer at one point and even somehow make my way into a Kotaku post, all of which I’m thankful for, but I frankly feel like I missed the main objective, which was to get an actual readership. A few of you do read the comics and even blog posts such as these, and you have my heartfelt thanks for both; I do hope some more will eventually share your interest. Still, better to have a good few than a terrible many!
Metrocop itself changed little besides its appearance, although I opted to focus more on the comics themselves and less on Valve as a general thing. I feel that was a smart move, particularly because there are far better sites to read on that, like LambdaGeneration (unavailable as I write this, but with a very promising countdown clock). The look itself arguably also didn’t get a huge leap – the overall layout has been consistent, it’s just the pages and the visual flourishes that have changed. I’ve taken to code-naming the original look, with the concrete texture (from Half-Life 2) as a background and the “MetroCop” name in my own alterations of the CMB symbols, the “Manhack” version, as it’s a harsher, grittier look. The current version, opting for a Microsoft Modern Design-esque simplicity, would be the “Scanner“, as it’s arguably cleaner and less aggressive. I look forward to creating a “V3 Chopper” at one point in the future.
The biggest success of the past year, however, was undoubtedly The Adventures of Hercule Cubbage. While it’s much harder to get the same amount of insane views and attention one got in 2007, back when there were places for the exact purpose of sharing GMod comics, I still have to label it a huge personal success – at the moment, all three chapters released so far have collectively amassed 113 “Winner” tags (44 for the first, 34 for the second, and currently 35 for the third), and most reactions are very friendly and positive. I’m very happy I got around to making this series and it’s definitely the GMod project I have become most invested on since 2007. Funny to think I shelved the first few pages of the whole series for a year before nostalgia made me get back to it – if it weren’t for the re-release of Apostasy, maybe Hercule Cubbage would’ve never seen the light of day!
On that note, I made a little silly something to mark the date. It’s nothing special, but this is a fad with British origins, so I felt it was very appropriate to play on it:
Maybe I’ll make T-shirts someday. I’d definitely like to wear this proudly on my chest!
All of that retrospective just to say that this place may be only regularly visited by about five people and even I spend little time with it, but I like it and making chapters in the life of Hercule Cubbage is still extremely enjoyable. I’d like to be joined by new blood in the blogging staff, but active comic makers are few and far between these days, so we’ll see what the future holds – I’m still hoping to hear back from AJ Rimmer and maybe someday I’ll manage to snatch Dactrius for Metrocop. Obviously Hercule will keep popping up from time to time with more zany adventures and maybe, one year from now, his story will be complete… then again, maybe not. Plans within plans!
For those of you who stuck around to see what I did with the place, thank you. Here’s to another year of barely updating the place and releasing two more comics!