Yesterday was Down the Hatch's 5th birthday! WOW!
When I started the comic, I figured it would probably fizzle out pretty quickly. I'm excellent at starting projects, not so great at finishing them. It was what I considered to be the next stage of a writing project I had been fussing with for about 2 years at that point. I wanted to improve my skills, see my characters in action, and make something I couldn't find in the fandom. It hasn't gone the way I first envisioned, but I've learned so much be doing this project, and it's been a humbling experience. I'm in awe of what it's become!
I have to thank Nomfox for being an extraordinary friend and self-appointed manager. He's been so helpful and patient and always has time for me with my constant self doubts, impostor syndrome, and weekly existential crises. He's also always full of good suggestions (if not good name ideas, sorry frand, you suck at that) and the comic would probably not be around anymore if not for him. He's been my reality check, and the voice of reason when I find myself trapped in deep dark holes that really only exist in my own mind, and for that I am forever grateful.
I also want to thank Nickotavers for building the new comic website. In the beginning I didn't imagine there would ever be a need for a website, but Nomfox offered to build one, partially for practice, partially because I think he was taking the comic more seriously than I was. He did a great job with v1, but as I ramped up the comic, we realized the features I wanted were a bit out of reach for us, and that's where Nicko came in! At this point, I don't know if he volunteered, or was volunteered, but I'm very thankful he got involved because he's been patiently accepting my vehement disregard for limitations, and quietly coming up with features I didn't even know I wanted!
I also want to send a shout out to Nomfox, Nemane, and Voraciousollie for coloring comic pages this year! You guys have done a wonderful a job, and seriously saved my wrist and my sanity, and I can't thank you enough.
And of course I want to thank the comic's fans. In an effort to avoid the same old platitudes, I imagine this experience is a bit like feeding birds. Artists put out seed, and the fandom slowly starts showing up at the feeders, and we're both a little in awe of each other, but it's a magical experience, and so we both keep showing up. Sometimes putting out the seed is a lot of effort, and it's expensive, and it's hard to get up the motivation, but the birds faithfully show up at the feeders even when they're almost empty and the fact that someone derives joy from your efforts makes it all worth while. And what beautiful and diverse birds you are, full of ideas and inspiration. You light up my day. ❤
And finally, we should all thank the comic's patrons. Without them, this project would have fizzled out a long time ago, paved over by the demands of rent, and bills and groceries. I would probably be working in an office somewhere, creating someone else's bland, watered down ideas, bored to tears. You guys are my peace of mind, the reason I can set aside the hassles of every day life, and focus on what's important to me. That's invaluable, and I can't ever repay you. Thank you so much for your support. ❤❤
Here's to another great year! :3