The webcomics blog about webcomics

Good And Bad Embarrassment

We’ve got two kinds of embarrassment to talk about today. Buckle up.

  • Here’s a rule that I live by: when Sophie Goldstein emails to ask if you’d like a PDF review copy of her latest full length graphic novel, you say yes. When she clarifies that it’s her first collaboration with Jenn Jordan since Darwin Carmichael Is Going To Hell, you say yes, please.

    Not long after, a 200+ page high-res PDF hit my inbox, titled An Embarrassment Of Witches (from Top Shelf next Tuesday), and I’ve been stealing bits and pieces of time since, seeing how much I can get read in and around work.

    Much like DCIGTH laid out it world-with-magic-critters milieu in the opening pages, we get some framework for the rules of AEOW pretty quickly. Rory is an at airport, being dumped by her jerk boyfriend (fiance? husband) immediately prior to boarding. He doesn’t know why she’s so upset, since she gets earaches when she flies he couldn’t very well dump her in the air, which means he’s really being the mature, courteous one here, why can’t she see that?

    Flashback twelve hours, Rory and Dickly O’Smug (okay, his name’s actually Holden) are revealed to be heading to Australia for several months, doing important work on dragon conservation. Her familiar is being a pain about not wanting to go. Magic exists, witches do important work (in between the rest of their grad studies), and bad boyfriends are a multiversal constant.

    This is not a review; reviews take time and multiple readings. This is me sharing my excitement with you about something new that I think it pretty awesome as I dive in. There’s a million little details, and like DCIGTH, it’s all in service of some real adult-human drama that’s belied by the loose, cartoony style that Jordan uses. I’m ready to dive into this world of mundane witchery and beasties and see what I can learn about myself on the journey.

    And I’d be lying if I didn’t expect at least one line to match my absolute favorite jawdropper of a dirty joke, which was in DCIGTH and for which Jordan (unnecessarily, I thought) apologized in the endnotes; I have every faith that the trash-talking unicorn declaring that another unicorn’s pure maiden companion was the wet slut double penetration queen of virgins will be surpassed in gross-out giggles somewhere in AEOW, and I can’t wait to discover the degree to which it does.

  • Now, for the sake of balance, some grossness of the non-amusing variety. Blue Delliquanti’s twitterfeed is where I first caught word of Patreon’s latest foray into either fundamentally not understanding their users and why they’re on the platform, or fundamentally not caring:

    I’m getting tired of Patreon finding creative new ways to make its service worse and think it’s doing users a favor.
    Here’s an email I got telling me what a great idea it will be for me to unpublish my $1+ tier, cutting off new $1+ patrons and disincentivizing current ones.

    It’s accompanied by a screenshot of the email, and I’d encourage you to go look at it.

    I’ve been pretty consistent in my opinion of Patreon every since they started their back-and-forth dance with ToS changes, depublishing naughty content, shifting payment rules to favor large creators, opinions that were absolutely cemented last year when they started engaging in the naked pursuit of pumped-up quarterly numbers.

    Patreon has now officially ceased to even pretend it cares about its user base; it’s trying to pump revenue because the VC money backing them is doing what VC money always does: demanding a fuck-all huge payout in return for their earlier funding, without giving a single shit if that leaves the company with a viable service. None of this is to make you, the creator more money. None of it.

    Unfortunately, my thoughts about Patreon being Uberlike are looking more and more true — they can’t make money in a sustainable way, so they’ll squeeze the people that create value (that’s everybody with a Patreon) to make the money guys happy. And since the attempt at making a Patreon killer didn’t pan out because The Andys were unwilling to create an unsustainable platform that would screw over their users, there’s not much that can be done except to find other revenue streams and not put your eggs in the Patreon basket.

    Because they not only don’t care about you, they never did, and it’s embarrassing how much they’re trying to pretend otherwise.

Spam of the day:

Karl Budd wrote:
Hi, Could you direct me to the person that handles your online marketing?

Hi Karl, that would be nobody. Does that work for you? Works great for me.

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