The webcomics blog about webcomics

On The Importance Of Diaereses

Although it's pretty clear from context.

Yeah, I know there’s an elephant in the room and we’ll be getting to it in a moment, let’s just be patient.

  • I was reading Stand Still, Stay Silent this morning (as is my wont) and was taken by the final panel, which creator Minna Sundberg rendered in untranslated Swedish. Okay, it’s pretty clear from context, but I was curious so I hopped over to Google Translate and punched in the text:

    Forbannade finnjavel, Lalli

    Okay, Lalli is a proper name and so I left it off; but the response I got was less than satisfying:

    cursed finnjavel

    Okay, finnjavel looks like a compound word, and Lalli, who the dialogue is directed at, is Finnish; splitting it up gave:

    Forbannade finn javel

    … which gave me:

    Cursed Finn bastard

    Better! But odd that it didn’t recognize the compound word (there was also a slight digression where the language autodetection thought I was typing French, where javel translates as bleach). But what about the diacritic marks I’d left out? Javel also suggested son of a bitch, but what about jävel?


    Nice. Spelling everything correctly (Förbannade finnjävel) gave the much more conversational Bloody Finn bastard, which I’m going to go with (although oddly, förbannade finnjävel becomes cursing Finn bastard). I just found the entire thing a delightful example of the difference between translation and transliteration.

    Also, my regard for Ms Sundberg has gone up another notch, since she’s rendering SSSS in clear, colloquial English, which only somewhat resembles the Scandanavian languages. Oh, and did I mention that she did her last comic in your choice of English or Finnish? Or that Finnish is not like anything else that originated between the Ganges and the Atlantic?

  • As noted back around Halloween, we mentioned that Wacom was putting together an anthology of digital comics, to be released sometime in January. Well, sometime is today, and Pressure/Sensitivity is now available for download over at comiXology.

    Here’s the thing, though — despite being free, you can’t download Pressure/Sensitivity unless you have a comiXology account, which I do not. I know this makes me a terrible resident of The Internet, but I won’t have anythign to do with DRM-heavy services that reserve the right to take back content I’ve paid for. And quite frankly, the last thing I need right now is another account with another service and another set of Terms of Service that says it can change the rules at any time in the future without notice.

    I can tell you that if you have a comiXology account, this is a no-brainer: contributors include the previously-announced Meredith Gran, Ming Doyle, and Giannis Milonogiannis, along with Mike Holmes and Ben Sears, cover by Ulises Farinas and Ryan Hill, and edited by Caleb Goellner.

  • It is, as I write this, as close to 24 hours since the launch of Exploding Kittens, and the Kickstarter campaign for same is as close to US$2 million as likewise makes no difference. I’ll be honest — when I predicted yesterday that this game would out-pace the Tesla Museum campaign, I figured it would take a week or ten days; I really thought that the incredible pace of the first few hours would taper off. Instead, we’re north of 50,000 supporters and the main page updates both supporter count and total amount every few seconds.

    For contrast, the most-funded Kickstarter campaign was for a fancy cooler that raised US$13.2 million. The most-supported campaign I can find was that for Reading Rainbow with just under 106,000 backers. At this point, it seems certain that Exploding Kittens will break into the top 10 all-time most-funded Kickstarters (position #10 presently taken by a nanodrone that funded out at £2.36 million; the exchange rate on the day of campaign close equates that with US$3,522,760) and possibly be the most-backed of all time¹.

    Since we’re past the 24 hour mark and we clearly have at least 200 backers, the Fleen Funding Formula Mark 2 matched up with the present Kicktraq trend value of US$30 million² gives us a predicted finish in the range of US$6 million to US$9 million. Oh, and let’s note that this is presently for a campaign that only has two backer tiers (the two limited tiers are sold out), which is about as simple as you can get. If, as was mentioned in update #2 last night, the team decides on stretch goals, the frenzy could accelerate. Take a look at the daily data from the Order of the Stick campaign (of just about exactly two years ago) and see if you can pick out when Rich Burlew added especially popular stretch goal rewards. I said it yesterday and I’ll say it again: yikes.

    Update: Since starting the post, a new Kickstarter update has gone up for Exploding Kittens and the first stretch goal is simultaneously announced and achieved: the NSFW deck (available at the US$35 backer level, but not the US$20 level) will now have 40 cards instead of 20, no additional cost or shipping. Look for some of the 4300+ backers at the US$20 level to do some arithmetic and decide to re-pledge at the higher level.

Spam of the day:
Nothing of note today.

¹ Trying to sort the history of Kickstarter campaigns by popularity doesn’t actually sort by descending number of backers, oddly.

² You know, just 300,000% of goal, that’s all.

For what it’s worth, Comixology supports DRM-free comics: for some purchases (mostly from indies, as far as I can gather) such as the awesome Princeless</shameless plug>, you have the option to download them from the Comixology site site as DRM-free PDF or CBZ. In fact, I just realized I only ever bought one DRM-laden comic issue on Comixology.

Thanks so much for the translation! I was doing the Google thing to find it as well – This was much more well done than I could have determined, I am certain.

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