Wow, our last news update was in May? Where has the time gone? I think there are more grey hairs in my beard than the last time we spoke. And I think this wrinkle might be new. Our time on this mortal coil is fleeting, dear readers, our lives so easily slipping away unnoticed into the long dark night of eternity. Every passing day filled with changes that remind us that things will never again be as good as they were when we were young, vibrant and beautiful.
Haiku Comics continues its own decline into mainstream irrelevance by this week introducing a new website design. It features bigger comics, a better logo and thumbnail-based archives. No doubt our long time fans, who remember the website we limped by on for the first six months of our run will just see this as further proof that we are “selling out,” which is entirely justified. Bob and I would be quite happy to “sell out,” as “selling” indicates some sort of income, which would be a nice change from the current paradigm that requires us to spend a lot of our own money so that you all can have the pleasure of reading our work for free.
On that note, buy our stuff.
I had a longer post in mind for this subject, but since we are at that awkward moment in the conversation where I rattle my empty cup and you attempt to avoid eye contact with me while mumbling something about “giving at the office,” I think perhaps a few words are in order. Bob and I have always wanted to avoid bombarding you all with pleas for money. We sell a few items in our online store and we would love if you bought some of them, but we are happy to have you as readers even if you can’t afford to buy anything from us. In fact, we have intentionally resisted asking for donations because we ourselves don’t like going to websites that make us feel guilty for not giving away our money to strangers.
Haiku Comics can make money two ways: selling goods or increasing our readership. If you can’t afford to buy our merchandise, you can still help Haiku Comics earn income by bringing us new readers. We make a small amount of money off of every person who visits our site. For all the hours we have put in making these comics, if you could take 5 or 10 minutes each month (or even once!) to promote our comic on the internet, it could make a real difference. Reddit, Digg, Stumble Upon, Twitter, Facebook, Delicious, Tumblr, Blogspot, Livejournal — the more effort you, our readers, put in promoting our comics on the internet, the greater chance we have of expanding our audience into something that might actually allow Bob and I to spend more time on this project. If every single one of our readers Stumbled us or Dugg us, it would be a game changer.
I would be remiss to not mention that some of you have put in time promoting us — I assure you that we have noticed and your efforts are very much appreciated. But the number of people who have done this is no more than a couple of dozen — we have hundreds of readers and we need more of you to help us.
So, anyway, there’s that.
The comic schedule, unfortunately, is going to remain erratic for the time being. All the time I spent the last week updating the website took away from the time I have drawing comics, although Bob and I have a few good ideas for the next couple of strips. I’m hoping to have something for you by Friday. However, as some of you may know, I’m also currently working on an M.F.A. in Illustration and, as I turn thirty-four next month, my wife is understandably eager to see me graduate this fall. You can follow my progress over at my blog.
Bob and I will also be exhibiting again this year at A.P.E., which also requires some preparation — a new book, buttons, maybe some limited edition prints. If you’re in the Bay Area, we’d love to see you at the convention, even if it’s just to say hello.
So that’s that. How have you all been? Any reader requests? Any characters you’d like to see return? Do you like the color strips? Did you enjoy the return of the black & white strips?
UPDATE: Bob and I will not be attending APE after all. We are instead focusing our efforts on putting together a table for Wondercon next spring. Stay tuned!
I proudly sported your banner on my blog for quite some time, but as I added more content, I had to remove it, as it was rather large and unwieldy. Reading this post made me regret that decision, so I searched the site for something a little more user friendly. I settled on one of your iPhone wallpapers. It’s not its intended purpose, but I think it works fairly well. So rest assured, this beatnik bastard is still trying to spread the word to his minions.
J, we have always appreciated your efforts. If what we have is to unwieldy for your site, we understand. You have been with us from the beginning (or damn close) and we thank you for that. Without you, we would never have gotten a paragraph about us in Rue Morgue magazine.
…and did I hear mention of a new book? I’ve already got my wallet halfway open…
I would go a step further than Bob and say, without you, making these comics wouldn’t have been nearly as fun. I’ve always enjoyed the comments you and Julie and the rest of the gang have left for us after we post a new comic. I don’t know if this would still be going at all without that kind of feedback. Stats really don’t give you a sense of your audience at all — it sometimes feels like we’re comedians performing for an empty room and a video camera, with some guy assuring us that a bunch of people will look at the tape later.
I noticed the little banner you put up the other day — thanks for the help. I’ll add to the list of things to do to put together a media kit so you and others can have a variety of different sized banners to pick from for promotional purposes.
And yes, we will be putting together another book. We haven’t yet decided exactly what will be in it. The original idea was that the second book would include the second hundred comics, but the slower pace has hurt us in that regard — we’re “only” up to 182. The first book didn’t sell at the pace we expected either. So I think the plan may be to just expand the first book to either cover the first year or… everything to date.
I know what you mean about stats not giving an accurate depiction of your actual audience. It’s the same with my blog. I get hundreds of hits to a specific post, but only one comment. And that comment will be from “Anonymous” (who is quite a prolific author, it seems). You never really know who’s reading your stuff. Or if anyone is.
And, no matter if you wait until you reach 200 comics for book two, or it covers the first year, or it becomes an omnibus of everything to date, you can count on me to purchase one.
time to make the donuts…
i miss your regular posts, but i understand…you need to eat prunes to become regular again…