“I’m not even supposed to be here today!” – Dante, Clerks (And also my inner twentysomething who didn’t figure on making it to 30, let alone 50.)
As of today, I’ve been hanging around for half a century, and while many parts of those five decades have been rough going, I can’t say it’s all been bad. After all, at least there are comics.
Still, it’s a milestone birthday, so I’m inclined to spend a little time thinking not only about what has gone before, but also about what is yet to come. Not that I don’t do that all the time anyway, but it is, arguably, a special occasion, and so my thoughts are a little more focused on what to do in the time I have remaining.
It’s also worth noting that OpenDoor Comics also has a birthday coming up, as it’s been about seven years since I first launched – and then relaunched; there was this whole thing, but it doesn’t really matter – this site.
And when it comes to this site, I’m not terribly inclined to think about what has passed, because…well, let’s just leave that where it is, shall we?
I’m thinking instead about the future, or at least the potential future, and the things I should do, things I should stop doing, and really thinking about what I can do to steer this ship in the direction of the destination I’d originally set sail for all those years back.
What does that actually mean? I’m not entirely sure, I just know that I need to do something different.
My goal in launching OpenDoor Comics was to make an effort, as the tagline says, at “Opening the door to a wilder world of expression.” To provide a platform for everyone – particularly people who may not otherwise have the opportunity – who has any interest in creating comics that will allow them to do so, and to find a build a community to help them. That’s still the goal and will always be the goal.
And while I recognized from the start that there are plenty of alternatives out there, I had hoped that the spirit of this platform, and its aspirations, might prove compelling. Certainly, I knew that the platform itself, running as it does on a WordPress content management system, was not especially compelling in terms of technology. Especially given that anyone who has access to the internet can just create their own WordPress site.
I had hoped, however, that it was at least a start, that I could build a community of creators who would help me identify their needs while also earning some money for themselves and for the platform, and then I could use those requirements – and that capital – to build something better and go on from there to continually improve.
This has proven to not be the case, of course, and it’s clear that as it exists now, the platform isn’t tenable even as a starting point, as I’m sure the one person who attempted to use the platform for its intended purpose can attest.
It’s just not a great platform for this endeavor, especially since, as mentioned, anyone could just struggle through making their own WordPress site, without having to bother with me and my ideas at all.
Unfortunately, it’s what I’ve got, and given that I don’t have that capital I was hoping to have, it’s going to be what I have for the foreseeable future.
With that in mind, I will be putting more effort into working with what I have, and so, going forward, you’re going to see some changes around here. Some will stick, some won’t. You may have noticed one change already in the look of this site. This is an example of “won’t stick,” as it was just what I could quickly do to resolve an issue I was having with the checkout process in the The Supply Closet.
In my last post I mentioned a change I made – removing a site that wasn’t doing much else besides taking up space. I also mentioned that I will be removing the Worldtamer site soon. “Soon” now has a date: this Sunday, April 17th.
The PDF version of that comic will continue to be available for sale – and since I fixed the checkout issue, you can actually buy it for a mere 99 cents – but if you want to read it for free, your time is running out.
Beyond some basic clean up and making some cosmetic changes, I also plan to figure out how to make some functional changes and start creating some documentation to help make it easier for anyone who is brave/kind enough to try using this platform to get up and running.
I’ll also be doing some more research into how other platforms operate – and in particular, how they compensate creators who use those platforms – and try to figure out what I can do to provide a compelling alternative.
The part that will be the biggest challenge, and, as an awkward weirdo who seldom left the house even before the pandemic started, has always been the biggest challenge, is the whole “building a community” thing. That part…well, we’ll just put a pin in that for now.
But what will be my main focus is money and trying to figure out the best ways I can actually start acquiring some so that I can spend it on doing more of the stuff – and getting help with the stuff – I listed above. (On that note, if you’re viewing this post without blocking ads, take note of what is right below this sentence.)
And also, just straight-up begging. If you look to the side – or below this post if you’re viewing this on a phone – you’ll see some of the ways in which you can directly contribute to my efforts. Or barring that, just take a look around at the various posts on here, or the comics I have posted (including Worldtamer, while that site is still up) without and ad blocker and sharing some of what you find with others and encouraging them to check it out and share it with others.
Consider it a birthday present to me.
Of course, as a present to myself in the present, I’m going to put those future plans on hold for a day while I spend my time enjoying what’s best in life. No, not crushing my enemies, seeing them driven before me, and hearing the lamentation of the women.
Comics. It’s comics. I’m going to buy new comics and I’m going to read comics that have been waiting for me to get to them, some of which I may end up telling you about here, and just generally…comics.
Because no matter what else happens, at least there are comics.
Here’s a little hint at some things that are to come…
Thanks to everyone who has supported OpenDoor Comics over the years – and the people who have supported me for half a century. There aren’t a lot of you, especially in the latter case, but you are out there, and I appreciate you.