The webcomics blog about webcomics

One Of Those Faith In Humanity Days

Where to start, where to start?

  • How about with the elephant¹ in the Bethsda Marriott hotel ballroom, where it was noticed that the famed bricks that represent the Ignatz Awards all went to women. Before any arrested man-children start bawling their delicious, delicious tears that this is everything wrong with feminazis ruing comics and making things nobody wants to read, they would do well to remember:
    1. The Ignatzen are voted on by everybody attending SPX, which attracts a sizable and diverse crowd.
    2. The nominees range from low-circulation minicomics to critically- popularly-acclaimed works that have large print runs and are obtainable in any bookstore in the country.
    3. Nothing about this prevents you from continuing to read your masturbatory power fantasies, so quit acting like this is a zero-sum game².

    Looking back at the nominations, for instance, I failed to notice that of the five of the nominees in the Outstanding Online Comic, none identify explicitly as male³. A quick scan of the other categories show that women made up pretty much 50% of all the nominations (40% here, 60% there, some teams and group efforts make attempts at calculation necessarily inexact; I’ll note that Promising New Talent was 80% ladies).

    Still, there’s a long way to go from a hell of a gender-balanced slate of nominees to it’s Ladies Night in Comictown, and the simplest explanation is that this year, the work that spoke most to the audience happened to be made by women in each case. So congratulations to Emily Carroll, Eleanor Davis, Sophie Goldstein (×2), Jillian Tamaki, Sophia Foster-Dimino (×3), and Lilli Carré.

  • It’s pretty much inarguable that one of the most important tools in the business plan of a web/indy-comics creator (or creator of any sort) is crowdfunding, and that the dominant platform in that space is Kickstarter. So it’s pretty damn encouraging to see that the people that run Kickstarter are in no hurry to run up the valuation, float an IPO, cash out with a dumptruck full of money, and watch from the sidelines as the need to make tech-bubble levels of profit screws over the user base.

    In fact, they’ve just made that worst-case outcome pretty much impossible, and they’ve got the legal structure to enforce it:

    Kickstarter Inc is no more. We’re now Kickstarter PBC — a Public Benefit Corporation. We’re thrilled to share this news, and we’d love to take a minute to tell you exactly what it means.

    Until recently, the idea of a for-profit company pursuing social good at the expense of shareholder value had no clear protection under U.S. corporate law, and certainly no mandate. Companies that believe there are more important goals than maximizing shareholder value have been at odds with the expectation that for-profit companies must exist ultimately for profit above all.

    Benefit Corporations are different. Benefit Corporations are for-profit companies that are obligated to consider the impact of their decisions on society, not only shareholders. Radically, positive impact on society becomes part of a Benefit Corporation’s legally defined goals. [empahsis mine]

    That’s from an email that you probably received if you’ve ever dealt with Kickstarter, or you could read the story at the New York Times if you prefer. If you want to see how Kickstarter is interpreting their positive social impact, you can read their PBC charter here.

    Interestingly, the Kickstarter board is going extra-strong on the public benefit and transparency. The PBC structure requires them to report every other year on how they meet their charter’s goals, but they’ve also defined themselves as a B Corporation; that’s a voluntary designation that requires annual reports on their social goals, as well as some fairly rigorous environmental standards. What it all amounts to is that the people in charge of Kickstarter not only recognize what made it a success, they want to preserve it rather than abandoning it to unchecked capitalist exploitation. Good for them, and good for all of us.

  • And for those of you that like geeky things and leave the house occasionally, Jorge Cham has some news for you:

    It’s #ThePHDMovie2 premiere week! Pass it on! >20 screenings this week including @CERN @DukeU and more:

    Doesn’t look like any of those screenings will be at TopatoCon, but given that it appears that Cham will be conducting a Q&A and signing at CERN in that time frame, I suppose we can forgive him. Just one request for everybody working the LHC, though: if you want to show off for Jorge, please don’t do so by pressing the Big Red Button that says Generate Black Hole, Suck Earth In. Thanks.

Spam of the day:

Hello pecker 8-) i need s3x right now i’m not picky!!

“[N]ot picky”? Are … are you negging me? Am I getting the same approach that MRA dipshits think works on women?

¹ Fun fact: elephant society is matriarchal in nature; the females that have lived the breadth of life’s experiences are what holds the culture together. I’m sure this has absolutely nothing to do with anything we’re talking about today.

² One might address a parallel thought towards those that are bitching about Viola Davis’s speech at the Emmys last last night.

³ One, Ariel Ries of Witchy, uses the pronoun they; the others describe themselves in bios using explicitly female pronouns or depict themselves in their comics as women.

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