The webcomics blog about webcomics

Do I Take One Lump, Or Two?

How many lumps should I take? [sound]

Let’s rewind about 24 hours, shall we? A good chunk of yesterday’s post wasn’t up to standard; in part, it was me explaining my thoughts poorly, in part it was a poor choice of words. Let’s take them one at a time.

In response to my discussion of Webcomics Dot Com subscribers getting a discount on tables at C2E2, where I went on a digression of how another con had some pretty hefty charges above and beyond table space, Scott Kurtz wrote the following:


I’m sorry things cost money.


Which only makes sense if I failed to make my thoughts as clear as I should. I tied unforseen expenses at one Reed show to the story of discounts at another Reed show; I swear it made sense in my head as a general lesson on “reading the fine print”, because four years into the history of NYCC, I am still seeing exhibitors surprised that they had to pay extra for things like tables and chairs.

I want to stress that I don’t know if this is Reed’s charge or union charges at the venue, but it really doesn’t matter, since I wasn’t effective at drawing a distinction between the specifics ($60 discount!) vs the general (as always, make sure you know what you’re getting for your money, at any show, anywhere, put on by anybody, ever). In any event, Brad Guigar clarified in a comment that my concerns were unfounded. For everybody that was confused by the almost completely random train of thought, mea culpa.

Secondly, I realized that a reference I made to Guigar’s efforts with the new WDC was likely to be misinterpreted, in large part because Larry Cruz did a much better job coming to the same conclusion. I wrote:

I’ll be very intrigued if Guigar manages to line up similar sponsorship/discount packages for his subscribers. If he does, he’s just one eco-friendly tote bag away from duplicating the model of public broadcasting across the country.

Where Cruz far more clearly wrote:

I come to the sudden realization that Guigar and company are trying to transform from a casual blog to a professional trade organization like the Society of Automotive Engineers … except for online comics. You’ve got your seminars (online), inside information, and contacts with vendors for a yearly fee. All that’s missing is your own laminated ID card identifying you as a member.

It’s that “tote bag” line that got me into trouble. As a long-time member (not “donor”) of public radio, I know that while the tote bag is the most visible symbol of support, the greater side benefits of giving money to my local NPR station is a wide variety of discounts and benefits negotiated for me — memberships and admissions to all sorts of cultural groups and events are mine for the asking.

But from my position as insider, I forgot that most people don’t give to their local NPR or PBS station, and likely would see the “tote bag” as the only benefit … and as we all know, tote bags are pretty cheap to make, and you gotta give far more than their fair market value to get one shipped to you.

This could (and likely did) leave the distinct impression that the discount that Guigar & Co. lined up to C2E2 was being described as low-value, when what I meant to express was WDC lacks only that visible symbol, with the high-value members-only benefits already in place. Again, my bad.

Looking back on how badly I pooched that story, I’m reflecting on what it is I’m trying to accomplish with this blog. I’ve long described myself as a “hack webcomics pseudo-journalist”, precisely because I’m not a journalist at all. Yet, that tagline up there on the title bar makes reference to the “Webcomics Action News Team”, and clearly that’s not the case. A previous tagline invited you to “Enjoy Our Semi-Abusive Opinion-Mongering”, which isn’t quite my goal either (but certainly it’s catchy). For the record, my wife liked the recently-retired “Try Our Thick, Creamy Shakes”, which might actually be the most accurate description of what to expect here.

In any event, with the possible exception of the day in 2006 that I hit “Publish” instead of “Save Draft” and put a half-finished set of notes up for a couple hours, yesterday’s posting was probably the least successful I’ve ever put into the aether. Like everything else, it stays up, but I’ll be adding a link from that posting to this one shortly, so that anybody that wanders through the archives can get a fuller sense of what should have been said.

In closing, I’d just like to add one thing: In case you were wondering, the onomatopoeiae FAP FAP FAP and FAAP FAAP FAAP do not mean the same thing. Please kids, search the internet for definitions carefully.

Edit to add: Dave Kellett has changed the “FAAP” sound effect in that strip to “PAAP”. Doesn’t really sound like a duck’s wing, but honestly it’s probably for the best.

[…] Editor’s Note: The post below is preserved in its original, clumsy, only marginally useful form. A pretty extensive clarification may be found here. […]

Scott tends to be hypersensitive about that sort of thing.

Nice post. I’m glad you took the time to explain yourself better.

It will be interesting to see how Guigar & Co. develop this business model. I could foresee them providing similar deals on POD services, convention services, fulfillment services, and more.

That said, for all the help and goodwill this does for the community, for any individual webcomics creator, I’m not sure if this type assistance is really needed for success. There are just so many examples of recent webcomic success where all that was really required was a great comic and a little business sense. It’s an interesting debate.

Is the C2E2 Webcomic Pavilion only for members, hence the discount? I don’t see anything about it on the C2E2 site. If non-members can get in (minus the discount, of course), where do we apply?

Yeah, I was going to say, *I* understood what yesterday’s post was trying to say. I think Scott is just always expecting to be attacked and so he tends to take things wrong.

That discount is for members of only.

Oh, since Scott seems to be taking shrapnel here, for the record, I was the one who contacted Gary, not Scott…

I thought my comment in yesterday’s strip was pretty tame. All I said was that I’m sorry things cost money. They do.

Whatever being at C2E2 costs, being a subscriber means it’s now $60 less if you want to have a 2X8 in the webcomics pavillion.

:< It's a shame that there is so much tension in the air. I read your post and didn't feel any hostility at all. Rather it seemed like praise because now the fee had a real tangible benefit beyond the articles. I think anyone who misinterpreted it needs to start reading this blog in the following mindset: 'Gary is a nice guy who says nice things, and he means no harm to anyone.'

Cypriss – it’s true!

What?! I don’t get a tote bag *or* a card? – why that Guigarrrrr!

… (and letting that pass)… Gary, that was a very effective and, indeed, mellow recant/readdressing/public-service-announcement… it shows a deal of maturity often lacking in the Blogisphere…

I think yesterday’s post was fine – or at least nowhere near the line requiring clarification. I, for one, understood what you meant and thought you had a good point.

Don’t most professional organizations (worth their salt, anyway) have minimum standards for membership? Otherwise what you’re referring to is a discount club, like Costco.

[…] clarifies a previous post about […]

[…] clarifies a previous post about […]

Greg, if you want to find out more about exhibiting in the webcomics pavilion at C2E2, you can email me…

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