As I type these words, this brand new website has been over three years in the making, so it is with great pleasure and a hearty dose of relief that I can finally say: welcome to the new and improved Metrocop!
If you’re new here, allow me to introduce myself and the website: hi, I’m Mythos and I’ve been around the Half-Life and Source comic making community since at least 2007, though my fascination with Half-Life began much earlier. Metrocop is my little long-running project, launched precisely 10 years ago as a Half-Life-themed website with an ever-increasing archive that preserves a variety of comics created with Garry’s Mod and the Source engine.
Metrocop originally ended in 2018 after 6 years and over 640 comics collected in its massive archive, but it only took a year for me to get pulled back in and start developing a complete relaunch of Metrocop, combining a new direction with the same archive of comics people already loved, just expanded even further.
So, without further ado, let me show you around the new site and explain what it’s all about!
A new, custom-built platform
Definitely the most obvious change is the brand new website, with a theme and features custom-built by hand by a one-man development team (me!). The new Metrocop.net is designed to be more user-friendly, with a clean, minimalist design that is available in both light and dark mode (switching depending on your own system preferences, so you don’t even have to do anything). It’s also completely mobile-friendly, meaning you can take Metrocop with you on the go and enjoy a great experience wherever you are!
More importantly, as you can probably tell yourself, it’s also super-fast, designed from the ground up with performance in mind. That means that, whatever your device and your Internet connection, you can always enjoy a seamless and fast experience on this website (though I wouldn’t recommend loading some of Metrocop’s absolutely gigantic comics on a limited mobile data plan)!
Of course, any platform launch is really just a beta test in disguise, and I’m sure new bugs and issues will be found as the site reaches a bigger audience. If you do find something wrong, or really just something that feels off to you, feel free to reach out either through the contact form or via Metrocop’s Discord server.
Beyond that, the plan is for Metrocop to be an ever-evolving platform, with new features being added as time goes on, so stay tuned for even more fun stuff!
(By the way, if you ever want to revisit, or are curious to visit, the old website, it’s actually still available online—and hopefully will always be—at metrocop.wordpress.com, so that Metrocop’s history isn’t lost forever! We are nothing if not preservationists, after all)
More content, every week
The one big change you can’t see immediately at launch is one of scope. While the old Metrocop was originally conceived as a Half-Life site first, the reality of Half-Life at the time was that there was a drought of activity and even interest as fans grew increasingly disillusioned with the prospect of a Half-Life 2: Episode Three.
While things have improved somewhat, thanks to both Valve itself (hi, Half-Life: Alyx!) and an incredibly active, talented and engaged fan community, the new Metrocop is going beyond the idea of being some Half-Life news site or just a hosting ground for comics.
During the absurdly long development period of the new website, I prepared a content plan and have continuously been working on new content, to be published (at least at first) on a weekly basis. I’m aiming for at least 3 months of sticking to that schedule, then seeing if that’s sustainable in the long run—Metrocop is, at least for now, still very much a one-man hobby project, so I’m sure you can imagine how much work that is!
The weekly schedule will work as follows:
- On Mondays, Metrocop will release a Half-Life- or Valve-related article, which can vary from reviews to essays, rankings, interviews and a variety of other entertaining stuff;
- On Wednesdays, we’ll post something comics-related, which can range from new comics or a re-release of long-lost comics to an article related to the subject of Source engine comics, like tutorials, interviews, essays and more.
It’s worth pointing out that we may break off of that schedule to share important news on some other day, like new game or mod announcements, fresh content from Half-Life-related community projects and more, but those can fall on any day of the week as they happen, while the above is set in stone, at least for now.
On launch day, we’re already kicking off with the first two articles: a review of the original Half-Life and a newbie-friendly article on what, exactly, are Garry’s Mod comics. Hopefully that gives you a brief idea on how this will go, and there will already be new articles next Monday and Wednesday!
If you’re worried we might run out of ideas eventually, don’t worry: there are already ideas for over 2 years of content at the aforementioned weekly rate, so we won’t be losing steam (heh) anytime soon!
The new comic archive
Of course, Metrocop’s archive of comics created with Valve’s Source engine is also back and better than ever, rebuilt from the ground up to be easier to use, more appealing and, like the rest of the website, perfectly adaptable to any device of your choosing.
Among the quality-of-life improvements is a filter system, letting you change the ordering of the archive, filter by genre and author and search for specific terms. While it’s not easy finding what you want from nearly 700 comics, hopefully that will help you get sorted! We’ve also gone to great pains to try and make comics as accessible as possible, which includes alternative text for each one of our 600+ comics, in order for everyone to be able to enjoy them as equally as possible. Finally, individual comics are easier to navigate with a contextual sticky menu that hides as you read so you can focus on the content, but pops back up if you simply scroll up a bit.
Of course, an archive is nothing without its content, which is why we’re relaunching with more comics already than the old site! 35 extra comics, to be exact, pushing our total tally at (re)launch to 675 comics. If you’re curious what has changed, here’s a brief list of the newly added content:
- Three episodes of the classic series Jeff: #105, found and shared with us by reader Peter Siroki, #106, that I myself miraculously found on an old computer, and the original #84, sent to us by Twitter user MAGNEDETH (old Metrocop erroneously listed a guest comic instead);
- The remake of Kenny the Cop episode 1, accidentally left out of the old Metrocop at the time;
- A short-lived three-episode series by Jeff author Jeff “Clover” Eastman, Cerebral Tranquility, sent to us by Clover himself;
- Robot Insurance #11, the only missing episode of that series, found by a stroke of luck on DeviantART;
- 24 more of Striker89’s other comics;
- Two parts, 9 and 10, from The PoB/CR-O War;
- Two infocomics by Lt_Commander, with his previously single-issue series Star Trek Intrepid joining his list of other comics, rather than being a standalone series like in the old website.
We’re not stopping here, though. There are already more comics on their way to the comic archive in the coming weeks, meaning we’ll soon surpass 700 comics total! Not just old classics (though we’ll also have those in spades, with some very exciting stuff having been retrieved from the ether), but also new comics—in particular, Mjolnir82991’s excellent Combine Exchange Program is coming back with new episodes, the first of which is releasing very soon, exclusively on Metrocop!
A growing community of Half-Life fans
Metrocop used to have forums, but we’re not relaunching with forums—not that I think they’re obsolete (in fact, quite the opposite, I love forums!), but going back to those isn’t in the cards right now, although plans can change (although, given the development efforts required, they probably won’t change anytime soon).
Instead, like any modern gaming community, Metrocop has its own Discord server, which is already bursting with activity and excitement! If you’ve made it this far, then you’re more than invited to join us and chat about Half-Life, comics and more. The only requirement is to be nice, friendly and have at least a passing interest in Half-Life and/or comics made with the Source engine!
Wake up and smell the ashes
And that’s it! Whew, that’s a lot, I know, but that’s what you get with 10 years of history and 3 years of dedicated development gets ya.
Before we go, I just want to take a moment to also give some special thanks and acknowledgements to a few people:
- First off, Metrocop’s own community, particularly the few people that have stuck around from the start (and some even from before Metrocop itself)—you guys are our MVPs!
- I’d be remiss if I didn’t also thank our friends in the Half-Life community, especially LambdaGeneration, who were kind enough to preview our new website and have shown their support from the start, and Half-Life: A Place in the West, the other community comics-related project, who’ve been encouraging of Metrocop from the get-go;
- Metrocop stands on the shoulders of giants that came before it and continue to make the Half-Life community better, such as the Combine OverWiki (arguably the most important website in the Half-Life fandom), Marphy Black, Jaycie Ewald’s Valve Archive, the VŌC Podcast, all the dedicated modders working on their own Half-Life projects and many, many more, to whom we tip our crowbar and thank for all their hard work over the years;
- Last but not least, we also have to acknowledge Valve Software itself, the reason for all of this! Thank you for the Half-Life series and for not giving up on it (we also just had a long break so we’ll conveniently ignore your 12-years one).
If you like what you see and want to support Metrocop somehow, the best thing you can do is just spread the word! Let your friends who love Half-Life know about us, share on social media and with your groups articles and comics that you enjoy and, most importantly, just have fun and enjoy all our content.
Are you excited for this new and improved Metrocop? Sound off in the comments section below and start exploring the new website!
Cover art generously created by community member Tacarish.