Hello, ladies and gentlemen! Another year has come and gone, so I’m keeping to this sort of tradition from 2014 and 2015 and doing an overly verbose overlook of 2016, as well as some quick thoughts on what’s coming up in 2017.
What went on during 2016:
Lots! Or nothing at all, depending on who you ask. Heck, if you ask me, you might get both answers at once!
Let’s start with the positives. 2016 was the first time we had a proper release schedule per se, and ignoring a couple of delays here and there, it worked wonderfully. We announced this on May 9 and haven’t let up since, releasing at least one comic every week, which, by my count, gave us a grand total of 83 re-releases during the year. While not as many comics as the big “Updates” I kept adding to the site in previous years, it still kept Metrocop active throughout.
Of course, while we had comics from lots of people popping up (Jim_Riley and Uberslug, AJ Rimmer, Clover and more recently Striker89), the true standout this year was Mjolnir82991. We re-released the entirety of Kenny the Cop and his short comics up until December, bringing 54 classic comics to the archives. If it wasn’t such a bad pun, I’d dare to say 2016 was the MjolnYear! His collection has kept the site rolling and it’s a genuine pleasure having these classics back online. Thanks, man!
On the other end of the spectrum, well… there weren’t that many new comics around on 2016. Petfe, MadmanMad, Gogi, usaokay and a few others brought some new stuff to the table throughout, mostly during the beginning of the year, but there was clearly less enthusiasm over creating new stuff. On the side of Metrocop, despite our promises last year, the only Team member to really deliver was Jim_Riley with Beyond Borders Episode V, way back in June. Everything else has been MIA so far, which… I’ll get to that in a minute.
Let’s take a peek at the stats first.
I pretty much do this every year now, mostly out of curiosity – nobody gives a shit about the stats here, not even me. We’re not making money from the site (the ads you might see are all imposed by WordPress.com, which hosts this site for ‘free’), so there’s no point in numbers except for looks.
In that regard, I’m happy to say we’ve actually had the best year by far in Metrocop’s relatively short history. I think having weekly content coming in rather than nothing showing up for months really works!
The visitors haven’t increased at all – on the contrary, there were a few less compared to 2015 – but the views themselves increased tremendously. Now, I’ve learned not to trust WordPress’s stats, but since it doesn’t matter at all… it’s okay! Even if it’s not 100% real, it might still be a good indicator, and I imagine the site will actually keep increasing over the years as the content slowly gains strength on search engine searches.
But, again, nobody gives a shit about the stats. If you’re checking out Metrocop, you’re either doing it for my winning personality (hah, as if) or for the comics. And going back to that…
Where the %&#@ is Hercule Cubbage?!
Yeaaaah… for the first time in years, I actually didn’t release a single comic for a whole year, which is ironic considering I originally wanted to release Chapter 6 of The Adventures of Hercule Cubbage at the end of March.
Not that I didn’t work on it during 2016 – I have 13 finished pages sitting in my drive, which amounts to basically 65% of the next chapter -, and in fact I only started it this year, but life keeps getting in the way. I went from an internship to a highly demanding full-time job last March, which leaves precious little time for everything else. That said, I do have free time – to be completely honest, I just wasted nearly 12 hours of this weekend on Final Fantasy XV (good game, recommended!). What I don’t have much anymore, though, is patience.
Look, I’m getting too old for this shit. I still love GMod comics, my ongoing devotion to keeping this site running in some fashion should prove that, but 2017 will mark the tenth anniversary since my debut as a GMod comic maker. Ten years, in case anybody hasn’t told you, is a long time. I’m not the best comic maker there ever was (although I like to think I must be in some top 10 for someone) and certainly never the most active, but lots of people hung around for a lot less time. (And, of course, a precious few for longer – shoutout to usaokay and Jim_Riley!) But you start to feel the years weight on you and, considering my job keeps me in front of a desk and a laptop for pretty much 40 hours a week, I have increasingly less willpower to stand in front of a computer and keep working after working hours.
And I’ll be honest: for the longest time, I intended 2017 to be the year I called it quits. Nothing very melodramatic, I just figured I’d reach 10 years and retire, either altogether or just from making comics, sticking around to manage this site a bit. With that being said, I also intended to have finished The Adventures of Hercule Cubbage… oh, I dunno, a year or two ago? I guess nothing ever goes according to plan, especially not where this crazy, 11-year-old community is concerned.
Get to the point, Mythos!
Fine, geez! The point is, I still have work to do. Making Hercule Cubbage is getting increasingly tough and Chapters 7 to 9 are by far the most ambitious thing I’ve ever wanted to make, which is hugely discouraging, but I feel an obligation to finish it somehow. Hell, I’ve had the whole plot nailed down for a couple of years now, so it’s not even writer’s block! Just not enough patience to do it all by myself, while at the same time wanting to do it by myself (and ESToomere on the maps). It’s tricky!
So, I’m not done yet. Not sure if I’m gonna be done by 2018, most likely not, but this certainly is a make-or-break year for Metrocop. We’re really teeny tiny but this underdog has had a good run so far, but if everyone is as uninterested/incapable of making comics as they seem (and hey, who am I to judge?), this could be the beginning of the end… or the end of the beginning. It can’t be all up to me and ol’ Herc now, can it?
In any case, at the end of 2015 we talked about delivering 5 comic series. As we’ve mentioned before, Jim_Riley was the one to deliver; Orpheus’ (the artist previously known as mcharest) works Kaden and Escape from Nova Prospekt are still missing, I believe for pretty much the same reasons I have (we’re old, we’ve got no time left to have no life), and as for the New Little Odessa poster, that is for a spin-off to Hercule Cubbage that, ridiculously enough, I’d really love to make despite everything I just said. I’m thinking once I get Chapter 6 out of the door, I might try to make that one. Wish me luck.
As for the Hercule Cubbage poster released last year…
Still more likely than Half-Life 3, right?*
So, to sum up this rambling post written way too late by a feverish mind:
2016 sucked as a year in general (lots of death, President Trump, et cetera) but Metrocop did okay. Not great, not amazing, but okay. In 2017 I plan on keeping content coming on a weekly basis for as long as there’s content left to use, continuing with Striker89’s comics for now. And I guess I won’t quit just yet; I’d also like to do some sort of sequel or remake to my in-hindsight-somewhat-offensive first comic on its tenth anniversary, but considering how often I release things, I would’ve needed to have started making it two years ago to release it on time. So I guess we’ll see!
Everyone who’s been kind enough to follow Metrocop throughout 2016: thank you. We love to have you here, and I especially love you if you somehow managed to make it this far in reading this post. Despite my foreboding words, we’re not done yet, and if we work together we can turn things around and make 2017 the most epic year for GMod comics!
Oh, and by the way, we have a ridiculously depressing Facebook Page I invite you to like, if you’re not one of the 16 people who’ve liked it already. There’s a much more cheerful Discord server now too, if you want to chat live with some of the Metrocop regulars (thanks to our newly-minted moderator Fort making it happen).
*Actually, I’m guessing we might see something about Half-Life VR later during the year, which hopefully will bring renewed interest for the series (and to us in particular), but I’m not betting money on it. Check back in a year to see if I was right!