and another year down. The last 12 months have gone by really fast, and I'm not sure how many milestones there have been this time. I did start the Luann Tracker site, which got a short burst of attention from GoComics back in May, but is now attracting readers primarily for the twice-weekly polls I have regarding the Luann comic strip. I've cleared 2,500 posts since I first started, and 700,000 page views. I still only have 69 followers, but I'm averaging 300 views a day so I guess I do have a larger regular reader base (thanks for reading!)
Ongoing projects: I'm reviewing the "I want to be a Vocaloid Producer" bi-weekly magazine/DVD-ROM series over on my Wordpress blog, and I hope to start using that animation package for an idea I have, if I can get myself to knuckle down enough. I'm occasionally working on kiri-e artwork, when I can get to it, the Sakurajima time-lapse stuff, playing with synthesizers and reviewing synth-related albums. Gakken hasn't had a new Adult Science kit out since September, and I'm concerned that they may be thinking about discontinuing the series because of low sales.
Highlights: Got commissioned artwork from Greg Cravens, Rich Powell and Gavrilo Gnatovich (Lazar) (and I hope to receive a new piece commissioned from "Those Annoying Post Bros" artist Matt Howarth in August). Visited Okinawa for a couple days. Saw lots of live music and dancing this year, including Bon DX and Yuria, which was good. Got a new batch of Hubris stickers from Greg, which was great! Started reading Zuzel and the Fox, which is a really well-drawn webcomic based at a border camp between Poland and Belarus in 1929. And, there was that one time back in March when Google decided to do a doodle for Momofuku Ando, and my Wordpress blog entry on the development of cup ramen got 240+ hits in one day from people trying to learn more about him.
The GoComics contests weren't quite as lucrative as last year. I did win prints of Endtown, Calvin and Hobbes, and Wandering Melon strips, which are all cool, but that's not as many contest wins as a year ago.
In the update entry last year I'd speculated that I've written well over 1 million words since starting this blog in 2008, but that was based on a loose estimate from a couple month's of blog entries I'd backed up in Word files. This time, I was hoping to get a more impressive number by writing a visual basic script that would go through all 7 year's worth of backup Word files and do an actual physical count. It took me a couple hours to learn how to get that information from Word via vbscript, debug everything, and then run the program on all 160 files. Turns out, I've got 1,080,000 words as of July 6th, 2015. So I must have cleared 1 million this year. That averages to 12,700 words per month, or 423 words per blog entry (i.e. - per day). Not quite as impressive as I'd wanted. On the other hand, that's only for this one blog, and does not include Maid Runner, Nihongo Hunter, The Wordpress ThreeSteps Gakken blog, or Luann Tracker...
As for the next year, I do want to do something with Vocaloid, try to get in some mountain hiking, finish more kiri-e artwork, and win a few more contests. After that, we'll see.