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No, it’s not my birthday — that’s not for another week. It’s the blog’s birthday. Well, technically, that’s not till Monday, but I’m too excited to wait!

Since I made my first post to this blog on July 11, 2004, my readership has gone from a few friends to thousands of people all over the world. I’m averaging around 2,600 unique visitors a day, with around 1,300 of those being repeat visitors. And one of the hallmarks of my success in drawing people to the site has been the very active community of posters in the comments section.

However, I’ve been thinking for some time that this community has been formed almost in spite of the structure of the site, not because of it. After all, the comments section of each post makes it hard to tell what comment exactly you’re responding too, and as new posts push old ones further down the main page of the site, conversations that should keep on rolling end prematurely. And sometimes the conversation wanders so far afield that comments that actually relate to the post to which they’re attached get lost.

To solve all of these problems, today I am unleashing … The Comics Curmudgeon Community Forum!

Here you can chat in a number of forums that I’ve arbitrarily organized by topic. As of this moment, all the forums are empty; within each forum, registered users can create any number of topics, which are essentially threads of conversation. You can reply to a post in an existing topic as well, of course.

Anyone can read posts, but in order to create new posts or new topics, you’ll have to register, which I hope you find to be a relatively painless procedure. Just click on “Register” link in the top right of the screen. You’ll need to give a working e-mail address to sign up; this is just to ensure that you are a real person and not a spambot. I will never, ever give your e-mail addresses to anyone else. Oh, and because I have only a limited amount of server space, posts are automatically taken off the board after 90 days.

Anyway, most everything should be pretty self-explanatory. I am totally new to this forum software — it comes for free from my Webhost, but I’ve never played with it before today — but I think most things should be pretty self-explanatory. Of course, if you have any troubles, you can always e-mail me and I’ll try to help you as soon as I can.

I hope you enjoy this forum and that it makes it easier for the Comics Curmudgeon community to have fun together! Of course, the comments section for each post will still be there for you, though I imagine that those comments will be more focused on the individual posts from now on. (Not that I’m stopping you from posting anything that isn’t spam, of course.) So have fun in the forums, and don’t forget about me out here on the front page — I’ll still be posting tasty comics commentary for your amusement.

(And confidential to daChipster — I know you sent me your detective story; I thought I had saved it to disk, but apparently I did not. Can you resend? Sorry!)