The webcomics blog about webcomics

Back From Pondering Drive … For Now

Okay, so yesterday I promised you other stuff, and now we get to it. Hooray for kept promises!

  • Via Meredith Gran, news that Image will be comprehensively reprinting Octopus pie:

    Image will be collecting the whole OP series starting next year. Out of print material returns! New and never printed comics… IN PRINT

    Specifically, volume 1 will hit in January (a retitled and newly covered edition of the first comprehensive collection, the sadly out of print There Are No Stars In Brooklyn), to be followed by the subsequent collections Listen At Home and Dead Forever, and then on to new stories! No word yet about the release schedule, but I’m already clearing room on my bookshelf for the future volume 4.

  • Meanwhile, Oni Press announced the long-anticipated Lucky Penny collection from Yuko Ota and Ananth Hirsh (serialized from February of 2012 through March of 2015, a timeframe including multiple bouts of near-crippling repetitive stress injuries for Ota). Readers may recall that Ota & Hirsh Kickstarted Lucky Penny so that they could have a stock of the book in addition to what Oni would make, an unusual creator/publisher/crowdfunding partnership that I expect to see more of. The KS version of LP is due in December, and the Oni release is due for March.

    But that’s not all that Oni announced — KC Green’s also part of the press release, as the last long storyline from Gunshow, Graveyard Quest (omitted from the last Gunshow print collection) will also be published in March of 2016. Graveyard Quest is probably the best longform story Green’s ever done, surpassing The Anime Club in depth, and even The Dog’s Sins in terms of unsettling feelings — not from spookyness or unnaturalness, but from the unresolved, heartfelt unease that can only occur in families in crisis.

  • Lastly, I want to recommend to you a piece that’s about a week and a half old, but made it way around the technical corners of the web yesterday, and not just because it contains the entirely amazing sentence I worry about Jeff Bezos’ bizarre obsession with dinosaur sex. That line was uttered by Matthew Prince, head of Cloudflare, the DSN and web security company. He was talking about Amazon chief Bezos and the recent ban on e-books containing weird human/dinosaur (or human/monster, or human/whatever) erotica, which has proved oddly lucrative for certain creators, and thus also for Amazon. Amazon don’t do nuthin’ that doesn’t make money, so banning an entire category of books that a) sell and b) give Amazon a cut means that somebody at the top (hi, Jeff!) has a serious beef with people gettin’ it on ceratopsians¹.

    It’s all very amusing, but it masks a more serious problem; part of the whisk[e]y-fueled chat I had with Brad Guigar concerned what happens if (when?) porn becomes so prevalent on Patreon that credit card processors automatically start charging the higher transaction fees that they level on adult material? What happens if the entire site gets cut off from the financial system altogether? Visa and Mastercard have, multiple times in the past, cut off merchants whose business was insufficiently family-friendly rather than be accused of catering to the porn industry.

    There’s also pretty concrete evidence that the Justice Department (or at least the offices of the local US Attorney) have leaned on banks to close the accounts of smut producers (usually small, sometimes essentially individuals) under the authority of laws meant to fight financial crimes and the funding of terrorism. Not to speak for Josh Lesnick, but I’d imagine the biggest headache that Slipshine [NSFW, obvs] has is keeping a payment processor that doesn’t decide to yank his merchant account because somebody has to think of the children.

    We think of webcomics has having evaded gatekeepers, and on a content/editorial basis, it absolutely has. But in trying to make that independent effort a proper business, one must engage in a system that is entirely one-sided. Run afoul of one person at Chase or Bank of America and you’re frozen out; they’ll never take on a major corporate creator of inferior smut (cable and dish companies make a lot of damn money off of naughty pay-per-view; so does every hotel chain other than Hilton, who are weaning themselves off the grumble flicks), but they’ll freeze out anybody that attracts enough attention from a loud enough pressure group.

    Which is why the interview with Prince is important. With the continued concentration of information services into the hands of fewer and fewer providers, the possibility of getting strong-armed by somebody that doesn’t like your personal aesthetic is something we’re going to have to be increasingly cognizant of.

Spam of the day:

I’ve been wanting you inside me since I saw your pictures. Can you please message me so we can hang out this weekend?

Sorry, I think you meant to send this to the Triceratops with the very similar email address.

¹ I almost wrote women instead of people, but there’s plenty of gay dinosmut as well, although does anything on the hetero/homo axis make sense when you’re talking about different species?

RSS feed for comments on this post.