I don’t know the exact date, but I must have settled on the name Comic Book Herald sometime around August 2010 (that’s when my Twitter handle debuted!), a few months into my first real world job, and around a year before I’d get married. It’s strange to consider, but I’ve had nearly a full decade with Comic Book Herald now, although any site traffic data doesn’t begin in earnest until 2012.
Simply put, until my kids, Comic Book Herald was the proudest creation I’ve worked on, and remains a deeply committed work. I have too many lessons to count, but I think the primary lesson is one of patience. After years of work, I’m able to drive more visitors in a single month than I did in all of 2012 to 2013 combined.
Big picture, I’m most proud of the way the Comic Book Herald community has offered an overwhelming majority of generosity and kindness, whether through positive feedback on reading order guides, or through messages thanking me for the work. The internet is (ever increasingly) full of rage and hate, and Comic Book Herald has been nearly immune to that plague. If there’s one takeaway for me heading into 2020 it’s to maintain the culture and ethos of a helping hand. This is the place where people from all walks of life can come and find their way into the muddy messy world of comics. I never want that to change.
In terms of Comic Book Herald’s most popular articles throughout the decade, the top 10 are as follows:
- Complete Marvel reading order
- DC Rebirth reading order
- Batman reading order
- New 52 reading order
- Marvel Ultimate Universe reading order
- Marvel Knights to Avengers Disassembled guide
- Marvel Now reading order
- Thanos reading order
- Civil War 2 reading order
- X-Men reading order
The biggest surprise there – by far – is Civil War 2 demanding enough interest to crack the top 10 (My guide to the OG Civil War is 20th on the site). Never let it be said that a lazy sequel title isn’t worth the easy marketing.
Heading in to 2020, I’ll admit to some uncertainty about Comic Book Herald. Competition for comics sites is much greater than it was at the start of the decade, and I’ll be the first to tell you I have an uneasy sense about the right way to take CBH to another level. Reading orders are my bread and butter, and I’ll continue doing them for new Big 2 initiatives, but throughout 2019 I’ve seen that approach plateau in some ways. It was simultaneously my best year of all time, and the most I’ve worried about the site’s potential flattening out.
The clearest opportunities that I see are outside the proper comicbookherald.com, with the My Marvelous Year podcast, and the work I’m doing on the Comic Book Herald Youtube channel. I spent most of 2019 kicking myself for waiting as long as I did to get into these spaces, where the chances to reach hungry new comics readers absolutely explodes.
In a lot of ways, the podcast and Youtube feel like launching CBH back in 2012, albeit with the benefits of some brand recognition. I’m confident in the content and my passion for comics, so I continue to hope that will win out in finding audiences.
All in all, though, I have to look back at this decade with pride, wonder, and gratitude. Thanks to all the readers who have made for one heck of a first decade, and I look forward to enjoying many more comics with you in the decades to come!