The webcomics blog about webcomics

Never Too Long To Wait For The Right Book

It’s been a long time coming, and it’s a draining thing, making yourself available as the sounding board for those who have suffered. The physical book is now out there thanks to the determination of C Spike Trotman who decided that some Kickstarts just can’t fail to fulfill. Two years late is a long time, but it’s out there now, and we are all the better for it.

Plus, I will never tire of seeing something I wrote blurbed on the back of a book.

  • Speaking of Spike, The AV Club’s Caitlin Rosberg has a lengthy discussion today about self-publishing sprung from webcomics, the changes it’s making in capital-C Comics. Readers of this page will find much familiar in Rosberg’s arguments, all of which are well thought-out and draw examples from a series of webcomics types like Spike, and Sfé Monster and Taneka Stotts, who collaborate on Beyond Press. Every kind of story, every kind of character can be found in comics because people like this are out there making stories that show their experiences.
  • Today’s mail brought a package from the good folks at :01 Books, who sent me a copy of the print collection of The Creepy Case Files Of Margo Maloo by Drew Weing, fresh off its win at the Reubens for Online Comics — Long Form. It’ll release to stores in September, and we’ll be running a review at that time.

Spam of the day:

Piecing Gary Tyrrellpurchaseb goodb pillf http://[nope!]/wp-content/dwarfs.php

I have no idea what any of that is supposed to mean.

Is There No End To This Running Gag?

You gotta hand it to Ryan North, the guy know how to play the long game. Today’s Dinosaur Comics installment (which would be number 3000) continues a gag from DC #2000, which in turn continues a gag from DC #1000. Look for the next mention of Kangaroo Kicking Kraziness™ in let’s see, 1000 strips divided by three strips a week is 333 weeks or six years and 146 days or let’s call it … Wednesday, June 29th, 2022 (or Year 6, SixthMonth, NinthDay of the GTC¹).

  • Speaking of long games, will this page ever tire of talking about Raina Telegemeier and the revolution in comics that she sparked starting with Smile and continuing to the present day?

    Nope! Telgemeier is responsible for shaking up the industry, shaking up the demographics of who reads comics, who will be making them in the future, and given that she started pulling in fans with her Baby Sitters Club adaptations ten years back, shaking up who (in the near future) will be raising their kids as the next generation of comics readers.

    Although the big capes comics companies tend to ignore the lessons that Telgemeier and her contemporaries offer at their peril, in each passing year there’s a greater appreciation for the changes they (and particularly, she) have brought about. The discussion to that end at The AV Club today is especially on point because a full half of the participants aren’t tremendous fans of Smile, but all recognize it for the watershed moment that it is.

    As usual, the invaluable Oliver Sava makes the best points, but the entire group knows the score: comics is an industry that needs new readers to live, and right now it’s imprints like Graphix and :01 that are leading the way. Anybody that doesn’t get on board is dooming themselves to obscurity. Read the whole thing, set it to the side, and read it again.

  • Speaking of book publishers and comics, I’m adding Knopf Doubleday to the SDCC exhibitor map from yesterday; I missed them initially as they’re away from the publishers row in the 1100-1200 aisles, but with offerings like The Art of Charlie Chan Hock Chye by Sonny Liew and The Thrilling Adventures of Lovelace & Babbage by Sydney Padua, it would be criminal not to point you towards Booth 1520.
  • Finally, speaking of nothing in particular other than a damn good story, Christopher Baldwin announced today that come September and the conclusion of his current sci-fi story, Anna Galactic, he’ll be returning to the first of his sci-fi stories for more Spacetrawler:

    Yup! That’s right. All new adventures of the comic, Spacetrawler will begin in September.

    Anna Galactic ends sometime in August/September, and then I’ll switch over to Spacetrawler. There will likely be some overlap, and my best guess is that Spacetrawler will begin the first week of September.

    And helping bring about this is the generous support of many of you through Patreon! Please, follow that link and help out in bringing back all the awesomeness. Also, my weekly Patreon blog will include Spacetrawler development drawings and blather! You can unlock it to read it by helping out too, by contributing over on my Patreon page.

    Speaking for myself, Spacetrawler’s Dmitri may be my favorite of all of Baldwin’s characters, ever; he maintains a carefully-cultivated air of hedonistic amorality, but he’s the most altruistic schemer that Earth’s ever produced. I hope the revival is all about Dmitri as a truly benevolent philosopher king who pretends to be a dictator while actually spreading freedom, because I think he could actually pull off all the contradictions inherent in that job description. Of course, the booze helps!²


Spam of the day:

worked out well for me

Good to hear! Feel free to tell me all about it from way over there.

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¹ Glorious Trumpalo Calendar.

² From approximately his fifth speaking appearance in strip #21, Dmitry was never without a drink in hand unless in a sealed space suit in hard vacuum. For reference, that’s 120+ appearances over nearly 400 strips, which I guess counts for one hell of a running gag. Theme complete!

SDCC 2016 Floor Preview

Hey, look at that! A map of San Diego Comic Con 2016’s exhibit hall, which you can pull down to your device of choice here [PDF].

There will never be an extension to the San Diego Convention Center, so once again the bend in the hall divides things roughly in half, with our attention mostly on the north — or away from Tijuana¹ — side of the hall.

The Great Geek North
Let’s start over to the right side of the map, which is the side of the building closer to most hotels, the harbor, and the road from the airport. Conversely, it’s further away from the stadium and the surrounding lots where much of the offsite eventing will take place. It looks like this:

The Webcomics, Small Press, and Independent Press Pavilions are all reasonably accessible from the “B” lobby. Let’s break ’em down.

Upon The Webcomics Sea
Centered roughly on booth #1332, you’ll find a majority of the webcomickers who will be at the show within about a 1.5 aisle radius; some are slightly outside the orange area, but not too far. Those that return are for the most part at the same booth number as previous years, but there’s been some upheaval, as we shall see.

:01 Books Booth 1323
Alaska Robotics
with Marian Call²
Booth 1137
Blank Label Booth 1330
Blind Ferret Booth 1231
Cyanide & Happiness     Booth 1234
Dumbrella Booth 1335
Girl Genius Booth 1331
Monster Milk Booth 1334
PvP and Table Titans Booth 1316
Scallywags International Booth 1332
Sheldon and Drive Booth 1228
The Oatmeal Booth 1021
TopatoCo Booth 1229
Two Lumps Booth 1230

Notes:

  • Blank Label appears to have given up its space, with David Willis deciding that twin boys are preferable to SDCC crowds. Booth 1330 will be the home of newcomers Cool Cat Blue.
  • Similarly, it appears that Matt Inman will not be at the show, perhaps the better to https://twitter.com/Oatmeal/status/746829450843557889 against pornbots (or, more likely, spend his time and effort on his ever-expanding series of Blerch Runs; coincidentally, yesterday marked seven years of The Oatmeal, so happy strippiversary to Inman).
  • Other listed newcomers to Webcomics Central include Jefbot in 1232, Mystic Revolution (boothing away from the rest of Keenspot, see below) in 1235, Digital Pimp in 1237 (which is odd, considering their latest newspost is about SDCC 2014), and Rhode Montijo (of Happy Tree Friends fame) in 1329. Lotta turnover.
  • No news yet on which TopatoCo creators will be along; we’ll update once we know.
  • Given all the book deals flying about, I would be remiss not to mention the presence of Hachette (1116), Harper Collins (1029), Macmillan Children’s Publishing (1117), and Simon & Schuster (1128) in Publisher’s Row; Knopf Doubleday is staking out their turf on the other side of Webcomics Central (1520).
  • As of this writing, Booth 1332, the heart of Webcomics Central, is not listed as having an exhibitor. If this situation persists on arrival, I will claim that space in the name of Garylandia.

Small Press And Such
Right by the Webcomics section is Small Press. Here you should find:

Eben Burgoon Table P-12
Bob the Angry Flower Table K-16
Ben Costa Table O-07
Claire Hummel Table Q-15
Kel McDonald Table M-13
Wire Heads Table N-01

From the Small Press section, you’re close by:

Cartoon Art Musuem Booth 1930
CBLDF Booth 1918
BOOM! Booth 2229
Oni Press Booth 1833
Gallery Nucleus Booth 2643

Notes:

  • Gallery Nucleus will feature arty types when they aren’t hanging out at Mondo down in booth 835. Keep an eye out for your Scotts C, your Beckys and/or Franks, and alumni of the various Flight anthologies.
  • No confirmation yet on which webcomickers will be at the BOOM! booth when, but I’d expect a pretty strong rotation.
  • Gene Yang and Hope Larson will be spending at least some time at DC’s enormobooth (1915).

Now head back toward the “B” Lobby into the Independent Press area and you’ll find Jeff Smith (no longer webcomicking but so what, he’s the best) again splitting booth space with Terry Moore (who’s announced no new series work — miniseries only from here out) at Booth 2109. You’re also not too far from the Jack Kirby Museum at Booth 5520 which, yes, is a very large number but is actually just inside the B1 entrance. Weird, right?

Going back to that larger map of the northern half of the exhibit hall. Wedged in between the Marvel and Image megabooths you’ll find Keenspot in Booth 2635.

The South Shall Rise Again
There’s still some neat stuff if you keep wandering past the video games, Star Wars, Legos, and suchlike.

Give yourself half an hour or so, try not to spend all your money on Copic markers (Booth 5338), and you’ll find both Udon Entertainment (home of such worthies as Christopher Butcher and Jim Zub at Booth 4529); and The Hero Initiative (at Booth 5003). Zub’s onetime Skullkickers artist, Edwin Huang will be in the Artists Alley at table EE-19, and Katie Cook will be at table HH-17.

Offsite
Every year for the past half-decade the amount of stuff you can see outside of the exhibit hall has grown; I’m guessing we’re only a year or so away from complete parity. If you know of anything especially good, let us know and we’ll add it here. Otherwise, just wander the city and see what you got.


Spam of the day:

Lonely Asian Girls Looking for Boyfriends

Nothing special about that, but the fake disclaimer at the bottom that tells me how to get off their list (liars) is hilarious: Click here if you no longer want to receive offers of Safeway coupons.

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¹ The happiest place on Earth.

²Don’t forget that Ms Call has a concert on Friday night over in Little Italy with a passel of internet musicians, NASA scientists, and David Malki !.

Always Wanted My Own ‘Verse

Yes, yes, I know — no proof that John Allison meant me in particular with today’s strip, but you know what? Gary is an endangered name, practically to the point where my fellow Garies and I deserve protection under CITES; statistically, there aren’t that many other dudes named Gary it could refer to, so please remember to check in at passport control when entering the Garyverse.


Spam of the day:

Je suis a la recherche d’un rendement pour nos patrimoines immobilier soit une villa J’ai entendu parlé de défiscalisation donc, je viens vers vous pour essayer de comprendre la marché de toulouse J’ai bien prit toutes les informations, je voudrai tout simplement avoir des avis des gens qui en profitez déjà. merci de votre aidee et de donner des informations sur calcul taux de rentabilité immobilier

Pierre, I think this one’s for you.

_______________
¹ Newcombe engines, whalebone hoopskirt stays, saltpeter, and/or chimney urchins are the traditional gifts one exchanges at this time.

² Obligatory disclaimer: he hosts Fleen, is the one responsible for me blogging in the first place, and having recently cheated death, is apparently indestructible in the face of all enemies, external and internal.

Never Felt So Prescient

UK younger people, Jon Rosenberg predicted what your older citizens have done to you two and a half years ago. Let’s find happier things to consider now that the entire world’s economy has been thrown into uncertainty by people who admit they didn’t really want this to happen.

  • Happy Thing! It appears that Faith Erin Hicks has taken a bit of time from her Nameless City series of graphic novels (first one: so good; second one: due out in April) to do a Squirrel Girl/Ms Marvel crossover in an annual due in August. Reserve this one now.
  • Happy Thing! Speaking of Squirrel Girl, her book has done a nice job of featuring drop-in art from a variety of webcomickers, normally in the form of the collector’s cards that SG uses to learn about her foes. Issue #9 (due next Wednesday, 29 June) will one-up that with a full page from Wondermark scribe David Malki !, in his trademark style.

    Ever wonder what it looked like when Kraven the Hunter punched Giagantos at the bottom of the ocean? Wonder no more! (It looked a lot like Victorian woodcut illustrations smushed up together.) This is so beautiful I want to laugh and cry simultaneously.

  • Happy Thing! Spike Trotman over at Iron Circus Comics continues her Friday Upcoming Book Announcement trend, giving us the dope on next boo she’s signed for publication. This time it’s Crossplay by Niki Smith, a graphic novel-length expansion of a shorter story that was serialized at porny subscription site Filthy Figments [NSFW, duh], where many of webcomics finest go to vend their adult creations while waiting for the next Smut Peddler anthology to come about.

    And if ICC’s new offerings are heavily tilted to the Smut Peddleresque, I think it’s going to be filling a market niche (well-produced smut that’s not juvenile or misogynist) that’s pretty wide open¹ for whoever’s smart enough to exploit. And Spike is very, very smart.


Spam of the day:

A Shocking Energy Boost For Men 50+

Gods dammit, spammers, how many times do I have to tell you I’m not over 50, I’m not interested in walk-in tubs, chair lifts for the stairs, retirement living, or Medicare plans. You are bad at math, spammers.

________________
¹ So to speak.

Quietly Impressed

I may have vented in the somewhat recent past about how NYCC has decided I no longer serve their purposes; a year ago I was venting about how SDCC couldn’t get their act together to either grant or deny me press access. This is a cyclical process, as there have been years that each show has been really smooth and painless to interact with, and years when it’s nigh-impossible to tell what the hell is going on. Typically, they stand in opposition to each other, so I really should have expected rejection from NYCC because SDCC has been pretty painless this year.

Case in point: I got the customary receipt for my registration from SDCC via email back in April; as in prior years, I expected to print it out, line up with a lot of people early on Preview Day, get the barcode scanned, and then get my badge. It usually takes 10-20 minutes. This year, I found an email on Monday morning that said to expect my badge in the mail (no more lining up!) in 3-5 days.

Later on Monday, it was in my mailbox. I can line up for a lanyard, a program book, tote bag, and the rest at my leisure. The rest is done, and I appreciate the time that will not be spent in line.

Interestingly, this is a more complex badge than in past years — SDCC has taken a cue from NYCC and gone to an RFID-enabled hard badge that needs to be tapped on entry and exit. But that’s only good for building access — to provide at-a-glance determination of when/where you’re allowed, there’s a printed paper frame with category coding (PRESS), validity coding (P1234 = Preview Night, Days 1, 2, 3, and 4), and what I assume is color-coding (light blue for me, presumably other for paid, pros, exhibitors, VIPs, etc)¹.

The frame sits behind the RFID badge in the plastic holder with its text peeking around the perimeter, and contains some additional barcodes/QR codes on the back. If this doesn’t prevent counterfeiting, they’ll have to escalate to DNA testing and even then I bet some enterprising crook would find a novel use of CRISPR.

Since it appears nothing barring travel fiasco can keep me from the show, we’ll get to our traditional markup of the floor map in the next couple of days, and discuss programming when the event schedule is released in about two weeks.


Spam of the day:

Be in the biggest truck on the road.

Dude, I’m already qualified to drive a multiton ambulance with lights and sirens. Appealing to my sense of insecurity ain’t going to work.

________________
¹ Now I just have to remember to bring the damn thing with me and hope that the airport scanner doesn’t fry the RFID tag.

From San Francisco And The Immediate Environs

News and things! Things and news! Let’s see what there is to see out there.

  • I believe I’ve mentioned the excitement that we at Fleen have for the imminent release of Hope Larson & Rebecca Mock’s Compass South (that would be in just under a week). I don’t know if I mentioned that a chunk of the story involves twins Cleo and Alex trying to make their way to San Francisco (by steamer and train, in the mid-1800s, when such successes were not guaranteed and plagued by greater dangers than a lack in in-flight WiFi), thus tying into today’s theme.

    What I know that I haven’t mentioned is that Larson and Mock will be taking a virtual book tour in support of Compass South, visiting on-line and in the [virtual] cafés talk about how Compass South was created. The blogtour kicks off Monday (the day before release) at Supernatural Snark, and in subsequent days will make daily port calls at Love is not a Triangle, Forever YA, YA Bibliophile, Sharpread, and finishing up at Watch. Connect. Read. on Saturday.

  • And while Cleo and Alex might have to wait a century or so before the Cartoon Art Museum gets organized in San Francisco, we need not engage in any such temporal chicanery, and CAM has plenty of events in the coming weeks, just in case you missed their just-closed exhibitions with the Queer Cultural Center at SOMArts Cultural Center and were wondering what’s up next.

    The highlight, at least in my opinion, will be A Salute to Chuck Jones¹ at the Castro Theater. Jones, naturally, is best defined by his cartoons and so the salute will be a screening of over a dozen shorts, including One Froggy Evening, Feed the Kitty, Duck Amuck, Rabbit of Seville, and motherscratching What’s Opera, Doc?.

    You have probably never seen these on the big screen. You need to see these on the big screen, with a big, booming sound system². If you are anywhere near San Francisco on Sunday, 10 July from noon to 3:00pm, you must see these cartoons on the big screen. Packages run from US$17 to US$150 (with various goodies and perks on top of admission, naturally) and may be purchased in advance through Guestlist. Presenters from the Chuck Jones Center for Creativity — conservators of Chuck’s³ legacy — will be on hand to talk about the films and memories of their creator.

  • Should you find CAM’s efforts to continue to bring you the finest in cartoon art laudable (and really, you damn well better), there’s a new channel by which you can indicated your support. Check out their new Patreon, where you can help unlock curator blogs, online exhibitions, member pricing for events, and the general running of the museum.

    Granted, they only just launched it, but at the moment the Patreon has a shamefully insufficient eleven (11) backers pledging US$33 (thirty-damn-three dollars) per month. The people who love cartoons and comics (and who do you know that doesn’t?) can do better, and CAM deserves better. Support, and spread the word.


Spam of the day:

Re:Scelerisque Dui Suspendisse Corp. Please find attached the bill

I’m supposed to believe that your company is actually named after a section of lorem ipsum text? Nnnnope.

_______________
¹ Very possibly the greatest animator America’s produced yet, and definitely a dominant influence on every comicker, animator, filmmaker, and teller of stories and jokes for the past 60 -70 years.

² Not that I ever have, at least not by actual modern theater standards, but even a poor imitation was life-changing. Below the cut, a small story how how life-changing, adapted from a letter I wrote in 2001 to be included in a collection of letters from Chuck’s fans as a birthday present for the master.

³ It is Fleen’s editorial policy to refer to people by given and family name on first reference, and family name thereafter. There are two exceptions to this rule, namely Chuck (because he is always Chuck) and George (because he is always George).
(more…)

Can’t Blame Morgan-Mar For Today

Again with the weeds, and tonight’s EMS duty night, so no chance of getting ahead. It’s almost like work takes up the whole day!

Items of note:

  • Benign Kingdom does the most beautiful art books in webcomics, and they are inexplicably at 70% funded with 7 days to go on the latest iteration of their art. Compare to earlier efforts, ranging from 121% to 937% of goal and ask yourself if you want this to be the project that fails. There’s loads of unproven creators biting off more than they can chew (or have the IP right for) to make up the approximately 50% of projects that fail. Let’s not see people who can actually fulfill wither on the vine.
  • Speaking of B9, one of the contributors this time around is Meredith Gran, and this is your periodic reminder that she continues to kill it on Octopus Pie, particularly with the quiet moments of self-revelation. This is one is so good, says so much in so few words (and fills in loads of characterization between the cracks of the last half-decade of story without ever resorting to exposition) that killing it seems too mild. Gran is laying waste to entire civilizations and salting the earth for all times lest enemies rise up to challenge her eternal rule.
  • Dante Shepherd¹ continues to spend that grant money in productive ways to teach large, complicated engineering ideas. See, I was an electrical engineer² in college, so what I know about chemists is that their building always had beakers that smelled funny, and what I know about the chemical engineers (such as Shepherd) is their building always had 500 liter tanks that smelled funny.

    So basically I am ignorant of what went on in those enormous arrays of pipes in the high-bay lab and now I know a bit more, thanks to him and Matt Lubchansky. Also cookies are involved somehow?

  • Speaking of [web]comics making their way through the development cycle of Hollywood, I see that Kazu Kibuishi’s Amulet has taken one more step towards realization with the news that the executive producer of the current Star Trek TV efforts is taking over the scripting. Also I see that the reports are that Amulet was to star Will Smith’s kids, but now it’s not … did we know that? I’m not sure we knew that.
  • Let us finish, as is often the case, in the northern reaches of Webcomickia, which is to say, Canada. Ryan North has shared the news that his and Erica Henderson’s Squirrel Girl has new merch in the wild, and also the less-happy news Howard The Duck (written by fellow Torontonian Chip Zdarsky, drawn by Joe Quinones) will be coming to an end soon. It’s a shame, and I hope it doesn’t presage more cancellations of comics that are actually, you know, fun.

    At least we have some more good news from Canada, as it seems Blind Ferret is hiring. Supremo Ryan Sohmer is vocal about the often-dismal pay scales in comics, so you can bet the salary on this one doesn’t fall in the category of crap job you take to build up experience while eating ramen.


Spam of the day:

A sure-fire way to get richer …

Make regular deposits into an index fund that you leave the hell alone for 20-30 years? Oh, sorry, I see — fake gold futures from a crazy person that believes the Federal Reserve is illegal and that random punctuation in your name means you don’t have to pay taxes. Silly me.

_______________
¹ Professor, bon vivant, man about town.

² AKA the best kind of engineer. Shepherd would probably dispute that, but I think we can agree that at least we aren’t civil engineers, ew.

Explain To Me How This Works

Irregular Webcomic creator David Morgan-Mar (PhD, LEGO®©™etc) had lunch with me on Saturday (a leisurely Belgian meal with some rather nice beer, and a long discussion of sport, American vs Australian politics¹, and radio astronomy), then immediately he headed to the airport and:

Straight off 24 hours of economy class flying, across 10 time zones, and do I go to sleep?
No, I draw comics!

Meanwhile I went home on a local train and decided it was too hot to mow the lawn. That, in turn, put me so far behind on things that needed doing over the weekend that just a tiny amount of friction in work today has put me solidly in the weeds, timewise. Lesson here: do not compare yourself to Australians, productivity-wise or any other wise; they are hardened in the crucible of a continent that wants to kill them and will beat you every time.

So if I’m to get anything written for you today, it needs must be brief:

Kris Straub’s Candle Cove — perhaps the ur-creepypasta — is, as we know, heading to TV as the first season of the Channel Zero anthology series. We also know that stories of this webcomic or that getting developed, or optioned, or whatever, frequently come to naught but a check (hopefully substantial) to the creator for the right to try to make something.

And sometimes they actually happen:

.@SyFy has cast Paul Schneider and Fiona Shaw in new horror anthology series #ChannelZero http://bit.ly/28IvZSX @nickantosca @Uptomyknees

Casting means that contracts exist, means that money is actually being spent, that it is almost certainly less risky to move forward and make a thing than to cut and run. Per the attached story at Variety, we can expect to see Candle Cove this fall — call it four to six months from now, hopefully in a suitably scarifying fashion. And that’s some pretty good news for a Monday, even one where I’m behind.


Spam of the day:

Finally! Natural Way to Destroy Sinus, Mucus, Throat, and Cough Problems

While I have some of those problems, they are well controlled by this spray medicine I received from an actual doctor. Kindly keep your Roto-Rooterish body horror-inducing devices that they don’t want you to have.

_______________
¹ I was aware that Australia is in election mode right now, and being a parliamentary country, will have the entire thing wrapped up quickly. I was not aware that the present government are such dicks that after the election they may provoke another legislative crisis which could cause them to have a second entire national election before we are done with our current campaign and hopefully see the back of what Charlie Pierce so aptly refers to as a vulgar talking yam.

Weeeeekend

But first, thanks to Fleen Senior French Correspondent Pierre Lebeaupin for entertaining us all with lessons in effective French cursing during yesterday’s self-inflicted charlie-foxtrot.

Let’s do this.

  • Item! Ryan North has discovered that he is now a New York Times Best Selling Author in the category of Advice, How-to, and Miscellaneous¹. By the principle of transitive closure, this means that all of the artists who appear in the book are also now New York Times Best Sellers. Congrats, um, almost everybody Ryan knows! And in case that not enough major media domination for one day, please enjoy the audio of an interview that North did with NPR’s Scott Simon last weekend. It’s a hoot.
  • Item! Spike Trotman has shared with us the latest Iron Circus Book Pre-Announcement; we can expect these weekly for the next forever, and this week we find out about As The Crow Flies by Melanie Gillman, due in 2017. It’s a story of faith and skepticism, serialized online in gorgeous pencils.
  • Item! They don’t all work out. Dante Shepherd/Lucas Landherr put up a Kickstart last month to make the second iteration of calendars for his chalkboard-centered webcomic, Surviving The World. It failed to fund yesterday, reaching only about 53% of goal. Oddly, there are some numbers in the successful first calendar campaign and second that are virtually mirror images. See, calendar 1 had a goal (US$12K) that’s about the same as the amount raised for calendar 2 (US$13,891), whereas calendar 2 had a goal (US$26,000) that was about the same as the amount raised for calendar 1 (US$24,686). Increased costs necessitated a rough doubling of funding to make the project viable, but if he could raise more than US$24K three years, why could he only manage about half that today?

    Honestly, I think it’s a case of success breeding success. He crossed the goal line about a third of the way through the campaign in 2013, meaning that everybody knew it was going to happen, and there’s no sense of wasted effort to click a couple of times to back the project. Yes, I know, clicking a couple of times is hardly an effort, but we’re talking about perception here. By contrast, this campaign had a much higher goal and although the funding was a bit slower at the start of calendar 2 than it was for calendar 1, it wasn’t that far off. But having to make up twice as much money? I think it drove some people away because it looked tougher to reach.

    People like sure things, and had that dropoff not happened, I think that calendar 2 could have made it. It’s been a while since an established webcomic (particularly one with Make That Thing behind it) failed to fund, but realistically not every project is going to succeed. Nor should we take this as the start of a trend; right now it’s just one data point. Then again, there’s other projects out there which I would have thought would easily succeed (and in which I have pledges) that are still working towards funding, so maybe let’s try to reset our expectations towards the positive. They won’t succeed if they don’t fund, they won’t fund if people don’t think they’ll succeed, but the risk of trying is low so fund ’em if it’s in your budget. If you don’t, well it’s on you if the world economy collapses is all I’m saying.


Spam of the day:

Want a New T-Shirt?

I know literally every vendor of webcomics t-shirts. I think I’m good.

_______________
¹ What? I mean seriously, what? Just put it in Paperback Trade Fiction where it belongs, New York Times. Although it’s probably pretty satisfying to be on the same list as The Food Lab, What To Expect When You’re Expecting, and that cleaning up for crazy people book.