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Here’s to 2 years of Night Fox! And now, a little bit of introspection:
When I first started this comic, I began with some very lofty aspirations for how it would go, and how popular it would end up getting. Looking where I’m at right now currently… I have to say, back then, I was very naive and I needed to have my expectations tempered.
I had drawn comics before in my spare time all throughout high school, though I think I had been drawing comics all the way back as early as elementary school. Anyways, they were never anything all too special, and my drawing capabilities were extremely lacking back then compared to now, but when I showed them to my friends, they were usually pretty impressed and I got a fair amount of laughs out of the jokes I had made. I got content with the mild praise I got for my comics in high school, and just sort of didn’t really do anything else with them once I graduated. I went onto community college immediately after the summer I graduated, where I hit a few speed bumps. All of the friends I had gotten over the years of attending public school just sort of, went away. I only stayed in contact with 1 or 2 of them for maybe a semester before I sort of gave up contacting them. My fellow classmates in college were more or less all strangers to me at that point. It was because of that, that I sort of lost my drive to do any more comics for a while, because after all, I didn’t have any friends to show them off to, so why bother?
From there, I took a 9 month break from community college after a semester and a half to go attend a “special” trade school of sorts. When I first started taking classes in college, I didn’t really have much of a focus for what I wanted to end up doing (I mostly wanted to just keep doing art related stuff, but I knew I was probably never going to get money doing that), so my mom said I should learn at least some kind of practical skill to make it easier to get a job, which is why I went to the trade school until I could sort those things out. It was the first time I had lived away from home, and it is there that I tried my hand at learning computer repair. The only problem was, living at that school was the worst experience of my life. I hated my roommates and most of the other students. The only people I got along with were the other people in the computer repair program, but they weren’t enough to make me feel like I wasn’t rotting away at that place. So I tried to finish up my program there as fast as I could. What resulted was that I learned enough to pass the program, but not enough to actually do computer repair properly. I did managed to get certified, but I had so little confidence in my abilities, that I never ended up doing anything with that certification. It was 9 months pretty much wasted at a school that felt more like a prison at times, and to make matters worse: I still didn’t know what I wanted to do once I went back to attending community college again.
Thankfully, some of my initial hang ups with community college went away once I got back. For starters, I didn’t have to walk 30 minutes to get to my classes any more, because I was able to get my driver’s license and a car. My older brother had also ended up moving back in after he got fed up with living in Florida, so it wasn’t just me and my mom anymore back at home. More importantly, with my brother moved back in, I finally had someone else to bounce comic ideas off of again. I eventually settled into the course I had first picked when attending college, as I saw it was pretty much the best option for me, that course being Graphic Design. I had gotten a lot more comfortable talking to my other classmates, so I didn’t feel the need to keep to myself in my classes any more. And as a result, I wasn’t as nervous showing people stuff I had been drawing. I wasn’t as good as I am now (and right now, I’m not too afraid to admit I’m still pretty average), but my drawings were good enough to them to earn me some praise. A lot of people said that I should start posting stuff online. I knew that was logically the next step, but I still didn’t feel ready for that at that point.
I dragged my feet for a couple of months on the idea of getting a presence online, but I never really acted on it until eventually I was required to start a blog for one of my classes. If you had been following the comic from the beginning, you’d know that that class blog would eventually transform into this one. It might not have been as idle of a start as I had wanted, but in the end, I had finally gotten myself to post some of my artwork online. I started off bright eyed and beaming about the possibility of my comic being able to reach so many people, but, as I stated earlier, I set my expectations way too high.
The comic did not really take off all that fast, and I didn’t actually have any idea how to do a web comic in the slightest. I didn’t have an optimal setup for how to arrange the panels, or how to set up the speech bubbles, and I never saved the files in a web-friendly resolution, so the comics ended up being massive. I used to, and still do, make a lot of typos that I only end up catching after I finish uploading things. And I still cannot nail a consistent look for the comic, having changed the general layout and how much detail I put into the comics at least 4 times (ie, whether or not I do backgrounds, whether or not I do shading, or even whether or not I just do everything in pencil). In those first 2 years, there were so many times that I just wanted to give up on the whole thing, because it just felt so pointless as nobody was even reading the thing, with there being stretches of entire months where it seemed like even the people who were following the blog had stopped bothering. And to be perfectly honest, there are still times where I want to just give up on the whole thing now. But at least now, if I decided to give up, it would only be so that I could start over again now that I have some idea of how to actually make a web comic.
I’ve gotten to the point that I don’t think I’ll end up truly giving up on doing a comic online. I’ll only end up stopping so that I can do it better my next go. And sure, while things have been slow, and nobody leaves any comments to tell me what they like or don’t like about the comic, at least I’m still getting likes, and still getting new people following the blog, which tells me at least people are reading. As slow as the pace that I’m going is, I’m still getting followers each month, and even if it’s only one person a month, it still enough for me. I also still get really excited and happy whenever I get just a single like. The knowledge that someone still wants to read my comic is what truly makes me happy about doing this. And while I’m not sure how reliable WordPress’s stats are, I can still tell I’m growing, and not just stagnating into obscurity. After my first year, I only had 52 likes, and maybe some 10 followers. Now, as of typing this, I’ve gotten 169 likes and 39 followers. It’s not a huge increase over the first year, but it definitely is an improvement, and it’s all thanks to you guys.It can take a long time to build yourself up, but so long as things keep going at this rate, sooner or later, I think Night Fox can get there. You just have to remember, pretty much everything started off with a humble beginning…
Anyways, I feel like I said most of what I wanted to say, so until then, I’ll see you next post.