How To Love Comics turns 10 years old today. That’s ancient when it comes to blogging. If you had told me a decade ago that I would still be doing this ten years later, I wouldn’t believe you. (Before this, I did a project that involved 738 days of daily illustrations, so maybe it doesn’t sound inconceivable to me.)
Comics were in the early stages of what’s often referred to as the Blue Age of Comics when How To Love Comics started. The New 52 had launched less than 18 months prior. Marvel was beginning to roll out the Marvel Now! initiative. And creator-owned comics were coming into their own again, led by a creative renaissance at Image Comics and the success of books like The Walking Dead and Saga.
It was an exciting time to get into comics. However, there was something that bugged me. While there was a new wave of readers, most of the marketing catered to existing readers. They focused on people who visited sites like CBR (which was very different to the clickbait farm it is now), Comics Alliance (RIP), and similar places. Essentially, they were preaching to the converted.
Based on that, an idea began to mill around in my head. What if there was a resource that informed new readers of the basics, could recommend great comics, and overall helped readers make sense of things? At first, it was to be a PDF, which I hoped would be circulated online. However, that idea went out the window when I started doing a web development internship at a really shonky agency. I had told them I knew how to develop self-host WordPress sites (I didn’t). All of a sudden, I needed to get acquainted with them quickly. So I spun up a website and had a tinker. That site ended up being How To Love Comics, which had its first post go live on January 14th, 2013.
I’m not going to link to this piece. While it’s essentially a mission statement that rings true, I think it’s a little embarrassing. My writing wasn’t that good, with an almost nonexistent editing process. Luckily, I’ve improved substantially in the subsequent decade, having published about 660 pieces since then. (It’s actually closer to 675 pieces written by me. I’ve rewritten some from the ground up and republished them. Also, there are another 40 from other contributors.)
While ~700 might not seem like a lot for 10 years, significant time has been spent keeping the guides, reading orders, and other resources up-to-date. This constitutes thousands of updates. So unlike other sites, which post and then move on to the next piece, I’ve returned to them time and time again to make sure they remain helpful. While it has been a slog at times, I hope it has been valuable for you! With over 4000 pageviews a day (more than 8000 during the early days of the pandemic), I’d like to think someone is finding value in the site.
It has certainly been a learning experience. I’ve learned a slate of new skills, honed existing ones, and it’s been something that’s helped me get two different day jobs. This site is something that I can be thankful for.
At the same time, I guess some thank yous are in order:
- I want to thank my wife. She has been on this journey with me since the beginning. I appreciate her support, especially during the tough times.
- Anyone who has contributed a piece on the site. Thank you for dedicating your time, energy, knowledge, and passion.
- To all the fantastic people I’ve met along the way.
- Finally, I would like to thank the readers. Whether you’ve been following the site for a while or just discovered it today, knowing that people have been reading How To Love Comics has kept me going.
So here’s to ten years of How To Love Comics! (And hopefully many more.)