The webcomics blog about webcomics

Y’Ever Feel Like Maybe The World Is Burning Down?

I mean, Jesus H Christ in a chicken basket, bullshit is happening faster than the news can keep up with it. Surely there’s something to look upon, ye mighty, and not despair?

As it turns out, yes.

  • Item! You may recall that yesterday I talked about the forthcoming ALA GNCRT recommended graphic novels for adults list, and wondered how much a spot on that list might goose sales figures. I dropped some emails to publishers to see if anybody wanted to venture a guess on the record, and nobody did, but I did get one off-the-record response, speculating that being named to a spot on [a] list like that would probably be good for 5k sales.

    I’m taking that to be immediate sales of the book in question; once library patrons get their hands on it (and a book is assumed to hold up to ~ 60 circulations at a library before needing replacement), I’ll bet that some number of them will be interested in other works by the same creator, causing a knock-on effect. Bottom line: keep an eye on this, and find people willing to nominate your work.

  • Item! You may recall that Nancy is the best thing on the newspaper comics page, that Olivia Jaimes has been affirmatively identified as a webcomicker, and that Sluggo Is Lit. It’s also been known that a number of potential cartoonists were auditioned for the Nancy gig, and that one of the was the inestimable Shaenon Garrity, Tiki Queen of the Greater Bay Area And Surrounds, and Nexus Of All Webcomics Realities.

    What wasn’t known before now is what Garrity’s audition material looked like:

    Found some notes from when I was trying out for the job of drawing Nancy, a thing that happened. The border doodles (except for Mustache Nancy) are by [Cartoon Art Museum curator and Garrity’s husband] @andrewfarago.

    Garrity’s ideas are amazing, including a storyline suggestion of Sluggo getting kidnapped by evil doppelgangers of the main cast, involving the Order Of The Three Rocks. Three rocks, you will recall, being one of the hallmarks of Ernie Bushmiller’s run on Nancy, in that it’s the exact minimum number of rocks he could get away with drawing to convey the idea of some rocks. Not a rock, or two rocks, but some nonspecific number of rocks. I love this with all my heart, and hope that someday the syndicate opens up Nancy to a fanfic collection, and Garrity gives this the treatment it deserves (even though it could be argued that Jaimes mined the Three Rocks — so to speak — for comedic effect already).

  • Item! Okay, this started in the world-burning-down category, but ended up okay. Amazon Web Services had a bit of a wobbly period for a goodly chunk of hours there, making it impossible for people to reach their AWS resources thanks to a DDOS attack. The problem being, lots of people rely on AWS for hosting, allowing for scalable responses to whatever demand your site may experience. This includes webcomics, and while I didn’t see a lot of impact on my morning trawl, there were missing images at PvP until midmorning my time.

    The resources in question pulled from, which my browser was telling me was unavailable for a considerable amount of time past when Jeff Bezos declared everything was working again. Curiously, other images pulling from the same Amazon bucket were getting through without any problems, which just goes to show that in any mass outage, somebody is going to be the last one reconnected.

    My whole point being, yes there’s value in making an enormous, successful, reputable platform a partner for your critical services. But there’s just as much value in recognizing that putting too much infrastructure in one proverbial basket is a bad idea. I’ve long said that if Bezos ever wanted to go full supervillain, he’d just have to get on the giant viewscreens at the UN and tell the Security Council that he would be activating the self-destruct on all the AWS servers¹ in 48 hours unless they gave him US$1 trillion and the Chaos Emeralds.

    You can’t control that Amazon is the proverbial 363kg gorilla, but you can have a backup plan. Take it from the database administrator — have multiple backup plans, and test them with dry runs before the next wobbly. You’ll thank me later.

Spam of the day:

Eula O’Donovan wrote:

Eula? EULA? As in End User License Agreement? Fuck on outta here with that shit.

¹ Alternately, releasing everybody’s browsing history.

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