Here’s something new and interesting — I’m actually going to discuss the comic in this log-thing.

First a confession. I didn’t used to be good at updates. I spent a year building a backlog of strips and managed a grand total of 20. Just shows what a deadline will do to productivity because I whipped off 20 strips in 10 weeks without breaking a sweat this year. But in the past… well, just check the archives between September ’06 and April ’07. Back already? That was quick.

Those days are gone, I promise. Barring some major disaster (like a dead parent or my left hand being cut off by ninja), we will not see the return of those dog days of the Great Slump of ’06. Since the slump I have done two things:

  1. Discovered Photoshop
  2. Discovered Podcasts

You would not believe how those two little discoveries can change the shape of a man’s work schedule. And since April of this year I have been updating every week, twice a week, providing a comic which is both written and drawn (forget written and drawn well — by webcomic standards the fact that I can write in correctly-spelled English itself is a mirucle). That’s four months of solid work. It makes me wonder. Some small, cynical part of me is doing a calculation.

Life on the Fourth Floor has existed for two years. It has 81 strips in its archive now. That’s quite a lot. So where is everybody? And I don’t mean that in a ‘I want to get rich’ way or a ‘I want to be better than everybody else’ way or even a ‘everybody hates me’ way. Because right now I’d take hate over what we’re looking at now. I don’t have enough readers. I work on this comic every day of the week — writing it, drawing it, tinkering with the site, thinking up new ideas — and I’m thrilled that every month 2000 people read Fourth Floor and come back later on in the week to read more. That means the world to me. It touches me in a way I cannot explain. It’s like my childhood spent watching cartoons and being bad at sports is finally being justified. And isn’t it better for a few people to love something than for a lot of people to just like it? But it’s a shame to put all that work in for so few people to read it. And that’s why I’m publishing free comics on the internet — because in the past I’ve just drawn pictures for myself and the people I know and now I want to widen the net.

Bearing all this in mind, I want you to consider the possibility that I will one day (God forbid) become despondent with the comic’s performance and give up, that a new slump — more terrible than the last — will begin. Right now I feel confident and happy. But if that confidence is shaken the whole thing could go tits-up. I don’t know how long the confidence will last but I do know that it will not last forever. What keeps David positive, what fuels him? Readers. When the numbers go up — even if it’s just by one — you just bought yourself another month of comics. When I get feedback — bam — that’s another two months of free entertainment. When someone criticises me we lose a week.

This is where you come in.

If you’re reading this now… well, it’s a three-score miracle since you’re:

  1. A reader.
  2. A reader who actually reads the news posts.
  3. A reader who has read this far down the page without leaving to read Penny Arcade.

If you’re reading this now I want you to do your part to help the comic. Get a friend to visit the site. Direct them to the good comics, the ones you found funniest. Sell it to them. Be an ambassador for me, an evangelist. If my calculations are correct, if I am to have any hope of living off this I need 100 times more readers. I’m going to do my best to make the comic 100 times better but if you’re going to do your part you need to tell 100 friends. Each. And if you’re anything like me… well, I only have about ten. And I don’t even like any of them. So forget 100 friends — let’s try just the one. Let’s see if together we can double the comic’s page-views. If we do that, everyone gets free wallpapers. Forever.

Right now we’re on 123 pages/day. Our goal: 246. Good luck. You rock.