The webcomics blog about webcomics

Any Of My Readers Work For Verizon?

I need somebody on the inside that is willing to help me burn your employer to the ground.

Because the new DSL modem that they sent me? Piece of crap. Every five days I have to reboot the friggin’ thing because wifi stops working. The eleven year old modem I had before a month ago? Rebooted it like twice a year, normally after power spikes.

Today, in the middle of using it — in the middle of the work day, no less — the wired connection to my desktop goes out. Swapping the cable (it’s old, but it’s not like a cable that’s protected from motion and yanking spontaneously goes bad) did nothing, as did switching the cable to different ports. Connecting the CAT5 to a laptop with wifi disabled also resulted in no internet, to the point that the computer couldn’t even see the router interface. When isn’t responding over cable but wifi is fine, it’s a friggin’ hardware issue and not something you need to line test or have me reboot my friggin’ computer over.

You guessed it — modem reboot fixed everything. And you’ve already guessed how my call with first level customer support went. A replacement will be here in a couple of days (day 30 of the 30 day warranty, yes!), but until then my posting may be irregular. Mea culpa, and for those Verizon employees that may be reading this? Your modem’s bad and you should feel bad.

Post Later Today Hopefully — Update: Nope

Sorry, network is disrupted just now because I’ve finally had it with the suck-ass product that Verizon¹ claims is DSL. How bad is it? Bad enough that I’m willingly switching my service over to the cable company², which is for nearly everybody in the country the most-despised corporation they deal with.

Yesterday was the last straw, today the switch is occurring, and for a period of time I’m not well supplied with bandwidth. In the near future, my speed and reliability will both improve by about a factor of 25-30, and I will be able to make a call to Verizon that will feature scrupulously polite contempt. When they ask if there is anything they can do to keep my business, I intend to laugh like an evil clown until my voice breaks.

Edit to add: I didn’t do the evil clown laugh, because the guy who answered for Verizon was a fellow Gary. When he asked, I told him to open up the detailed support history for my DSL account and read the entire thing, I’d wait. I let him stop after four minutes.

I’ve got speed now and I’m drunk on the possibilities. I’m also behind on work so it’ll still be tomorrow before a real post. No kidding, I feel like a weight has been lifted from my shoulders.

Spam of the day:

Please help me, i will sent the order back to you. i just want the good order. Sincerely “Sent from my iPhone”

Hi Sent from my iPhone, I’m Gary. Dad jokes aside, you really think I’m going to click on a link that claims to be a photo of the wrong order I sent you? I’d say nice try, but that was lazy and weaksauce.

¹ I will not be completely rid of Verizon; my position in EMS means that I have to have plain old copper landline so that I can be reached no matter what. During the aftermath of post-tropical cyclone Sandy I was without power for five days, but the ol’ Sport Illustrated football phone³ pulls all the power it needs from the copper line that carries the voice signal.

² To be fair my cable company has always picked up promptly when I called, fixed problems cheerfully and without complaint, and it’s only been my insistence on splitting up my comms — voice, cell, internet, TV — among different companies to the extent possible that kept me from using them in the first place.

³ Okay, not really, but it is an actual late-80s plug-in handset. Switch it from tone dialing to pulse dialing and you have telephony unless the copper is physically cut.

Less Of A Day Than Yesterday

But still plenty day-ish, you know? I mean, what’s up with seeing five-bar wifi signals all over an office, but only being able to connect when sitting in one particular chair? Somebody’s messing with me. So let us move onwards and put this whole unpleasantness behind us. And quickly, too, as I shortly get to subject myself to the greatest Transportation Hell this side of the fabled I-95, namely, the United terminal of O’Hare International. At least they have a dinosaur.

We hinted at the San Francisco Comics Fest a couple of days ago, and seeing as how San Francisco is also home to the Cartoon Art Musuem, I figured you’d want to know more about where the two intersect; too bad if it’s not what you wanted to know. Today you get to learn about Storytelling Across Media, which is a free one-day symposium produced in association with San Francisco Comic-Con¹, capping off the Fest with panels and workshops covering comics, gaming, animation, movies, and other media. The Fest itself starts next Wednesday (2 November), with SAM occurring on Saturday (5 November).

SAM is free and open to the public, but space is limited and you’re better off registering online to reserve your place. Programming starts at 11:00am and runs to 6:00pm, at the Marriott Marquis on Mission. The full list of guests and participants is has some damn impressive credentials associated with people who aren’t necessarily household names; for example, how many of you could identify the supervising animators on The Iron Giant? I couldn’t, and I love that movie, but you can bet I’d attend the hell out of a spotlight panel on any of them (Stephan Franck, in this case).

The programming list has at least one must-see panel every one of those seven hours, and frequently more than one in conflict. Click on the More Info button next to any panel description to reserve your place, but be aware — some are shown as sold out (including — encouragingly, the session on Diversity And Representation In Storytelling). Go, enjoy, and report back so that those of us in other parts of the world may share in the positive aspects of comics.

Spam of the day:

Revolutionary smart home accessories are here. Enjoy Wi-Fi enabled devices that keep your home safe brought to you by the Verizon Accessories Store.

You’re actually trying to sell me — me, who has a long, painful history trying to get Verizon to make a proven, perfected, 140 year old technology not suck — on Verizon’s Internet of Things garbage when IoT is behind the entire damn internet falling over last week because they’re unsecurable shit? And pitching it as a way to make my home safer? You’re either insane or tripping all the balls.

¹ Not to confused with the previously-mentioned San Francisco Comics Fest. SFCC is a production of Comic-Con International, who also put on San Diego Comic Con and Wondercon.

Number Five

So an interesting thing happened today. The five top-funded Kickstarter comics projects prior to about an hour ago were:

  1. The Order of The Stick Reprint Drive (2012; US$1.1254 million, 14.9K backers, 2171% of goal)
  2. The Ctrl-Alt-Del Box Set (2015; US$666K, 5.6K backers, 443% of goal)
  3. Dresden Codak Volume 1 (2013; US$535K, 7.6K backers, 1783% of goal)
  4. Penny Arcade’s ad-kill campaign (2012; US$528K, 9.1K backers, 211% of goal)
  5. Girl Genius Volume 12 & back catalogue reprint (2013; US$389K, 4.4K backers, 707% of goal)

All long-running projects with zillions of readers, deep archives, and well-established creators. All the hallmarks of success under the general rules of engagement that we’ve been working under for the past decade or so. Yeah, those rules just got re-written because as of now, the new number five goes to a Tumblr-hosted, irregularly-running comic about gay college hockey players that’s only been around a couple of years:

  1. Check, Please Year Two (2016; US$399K, 5.1K backers, 1226% of goal)

Which prompts one to consider what lessons may be learned.

Lesson: Much in the way that New York is not a city (it’s a collection of 900 different neighborhoods that happen to have a common political structure and very little else in common), captial-w Webcomics is not a medium, it’s not a delivery mechanism, it’s a collection of niches. Whatever your niche, there’s people out there that will respond to it.

Lesson: The more underserved the niche (or niches that intersect in non-obvious ways), the bigger the pent-up demand for the story you’re telling.

Lesson: The necessity of regular scheduling (even in a potentially post-RSS world) may be dead; a compelling story and characters that you care about will carry your readership over irregular updates.

Lesson: The US$75K that Ngozi Ukazu raised a year and a half ago for her first reprint wasn’t a fluke; it was a warmup.

Reminder: Webcomics has always been defined by what’s next; what delivery channel, what payment mechanism, what project. Smart creators are thinking two or three steps down the line at all times.

Reminder: Check, Please! is presently part-way through the third year of a story that will cover four academic years; the ending is closer than the beginning.

Conclusion: Ukazu is likely already planning for whatever will fill her time after Bitty, Shitty, Jack, Ransom, Holster, Lardo, and the rest hang up their skates. Smart publishers should be making offers to her now. She managed to raise nearly half a million damn dollars¹ on her first two projects with very little infrastructure behind her the first time out². If she’s forward-looking and ambitious (and has a decent lawyer), there’s no limit to how far she can go.

Spam of the day:

Getting help is easy with Tech Support Pro

You want me to subscribe to a support service from Verizon? That’s hilarious. No, wait, what’s the other thing?


¹ At just under US$400K for Year Two, the FFF mk2 overestimated the funding (prediction: US$600-900K), as the big first-day surge was likely to. The McDonald Ratio would have pegged funding at US$620K, at the low end of the FFF mk2. This isn’t the first project where a huge Day One response skewed the prediction up by 50% or so, but still not enough data to predict what the limits of a Day One response to trigger the reduction would be. Data, man. It’s weird.

² She coordinated the production of Year One while still a student, with Amplifier handling the fulfillment. Year Two, she’s brought in Breadpig for logistical support, along with a designer and production specialist.

Science: It Works

News came in from the Bethesda Marriott on Saturday night that all and sundry were having a great time at SPX’s Ignatz Awards ceremony¹, and the winners (list from the always valuable Johanna Draper Carlson, as it was her livetweets I saw first) include Kate Beaton (Outstanding Anthology Or Collection for Step Aside, Pops), Meredith Gran (Outstanding Online Comic for Octopus Pie), and Lisa Hanawalt (Outstanding Graphic Novel for Hot Dog Taste Test), all members of the since-disbanded-by-rent-pressures Pizza Island studio in Brooklyn.

Also pointed out Carlson, the nine awards were spread out across eight creators (only Tillie Walden repeated) and only two were won by dudes². Ladies are the future of comics, y’all — it’s scientific.

Speaking of scientific, there are two stellar examples of comics-as-science-education to commend to you today.

  • First up, The Nib continues its habit of providing as much space as is necessary to tell the story, this time so that Andy Warner can bring you a sidelight the story of the biologic revolution du jour, CRISPR. If you’re not familiar with CRISPR, there’s a nice introduction at Radiolab that you can listen to; suffice it to say that it’s as revolutionary as Polymerase Chain Reaction, and may well beat out PCR for the introduction-to-Nobel Prize land speed record³.

    Amazing stuff, CRISPR, with incredible potential and incredible ethical challenges ahead — and one hell of a messy legal fight between two research labs that assert they should be given the patent in lieu of their competitor. Bad Blood is Warner’s look at the issues and the fight over the potential billions of dollars of future value. You know it’s journalism masked as comics when the caption below the last panel reads Doudna, Charpentier and Zhang [the primary researchers/litigants] all declined to comment for this piece.

  • Meanwhile, Dante Shepherd, or Lucas Landherr, or whoever the Batman/Bruce Wayne of Chemical Engineering is, shared the latest comic done under education research grant to teach STEM subjects. Science Comic #7, Assumptions talks about the value of approximations in scientific/engineering inquiry, starting from a reference to one of my favorite books ever: Consider A Spherical Cow, first recommended to me by Dr Frank Acker, the man that taught me to viciously oversimplify complex waveforms because damn, it works.

    Shepherr4 is joined by a co-author for the first time in Science Comics, Christopher Cogswell, who is the primary explicator in the comic. Artist Carey Pietsch did a great job, in that it was immediately apparent that the teacher character was an actual person, where the learner is a stand-in for anybody that wants to know about assumptions/approximations. The result is the most accessible and readable of the comics that have been produced so far, and sets the bar for future iterations (which, per the note at the bottom of the comic, will continue later this week).

Spam of the day:

Verizon Info — Make your home safer, smarter, and more connected

The Internet of Things is a hodge-podge of ferociously insecure crap, and Verizon is a company that, 48 weeks on, still has not resolved the problem with DSL, although they finally have finally fixed the enormous static they managed to introduce into my landline. I don’t trust them to control the elements of my house any further than I could fling the members of Verizon’s executive board for distance from the height of a cliff.


Consider a cliff of 100 m height, with a cylindrical Verizon board member of radius 0.25 m, length 1.7 m, and a mass of 75 kg. Gary is able to loft the board member upwards at a 12° angle above the horizontal plane at an initial velocity of 2.5 m/sec.

Neglecting tumbling effects and air resistance, how far can Gary trust Verizon to control the elements of his house? At what velocity will the Verizon board member crater into the damp sand at the base of the cliff?

¹ Sadly, I couldn’t be at any part of SPX, but I do get to see Raina Telgemeier’s Ghosts book tour tonight, so I’m going to call it even.

² I expect to see panel discussions at every con next year asking promising male creators what it’s like to create comics while male.

³ Truly huge scientific breakthroughs often take decades to show their effect, with a corresponding lag in time from publication/demonstration to the fancy award ceremony with the King of Sweden. PCR was developed in 1983 and its developer, Kary Mullis, was awarded the Nobel a scant ten years later.

4 It’s not everybody that gets their own celeb couple/shipping name all to themselves.

Collective Experience: About Six Decades

We’ve got a confluence of comicking anniversaries (and anniversary-like events) going on just now, so let’s run ’em down.

  • First up, the person whose work I’ve been reading longest without actually ever meeting in person is possibly Christopher Wright of Help Desk. It’s been around forever, although punctuated with numerous (and sometimes lengthy) periods of hiatus¹, and remains my favorite editorial comment on the world of computer vendors and technical trends. And when I say forever, I mean it:

    There were a few comic strips posted in online bulletin boards like CompuServe² (that’s where Kevin & Kell came from). A web magazine ought to have one too! After a few conversations with my father, where we traded horror stories of trying to get tech support to actually address the problems we were having, I made an off-the-cuff comment that it seemed like Help Desks were actually trained to convince the customer that the problem is their own fault instead of a product defect, and suddenly I realized I had a Theme.

    I created a few comics and sent them to Trevor Smith. He generally liked the idea, though he was wary about posting images that were as large as 13k (in 1996, 13k was a huge freaking file). But on March 31, 1996, the very first Help Desk was posted on line, in the archives section of OS/2 eZine. When the April edition came out, it actually appeared as a link on the front page.

    Heady days! They won’t last forever, though:

    That said, Help Desk is definitely winding down. I’m not ending it tomorrow or anything, but there’s not much chance it going 40 years. The computer industry isn’t nearly as much fun to make fun of as it used to be, because most of the relevant jokes involve courtrooms and lawyers and while the jokes aren’t bad the reality is depressing.

    [A]nd anyway I’ve developed other interests: I’m much better writer than I ever was as a cartoonist, and this whole storytelling thing is awfully compelling, so I’m pretty sure as time goes on there will be more and more of that and less and less of clipart comics about Evil Computer Demons.

    All good things come to an end; it was worth it if only for Clippy³ getting cloned and various iterations going on perpetual tequila benders and/or murderous blood harvests.

  • And as long as we’re talking about things coming to an end, we’ve mentioned that Meredith Gran’s Octopus Pie (which keeps getting better and weirder and more magical-realist I mean have you seen the last halfdozen updates?) is in the end stages. Pretty much every character has gotten their own story arc (some more than others — Marigold and Jane have become far more key to the story than I would have guessed when either was introduced) except for Manuel, and he wouldn’t stand still long enough for you to watch him anyway.

    But over on her Tumblr, Gran took some time to talk about her theory of endings and why they matter:

    My worst case scenario would be that it DOESN’T end. If it was one for the webcomic graveyard.

    You know that end. Frozen in time on its final page, that unremarkable page that neither resolves nor provokes. The page that perfectly encapsulates an artist’s final gasping shred of interest. The drawings on par with everything you’ve ever seen. The layouts woefully consistent. The facial expressions of characters you loved, eyes dead, lightly singed into your mind like a former desktop or lockscreen. Like a poster from your childhood bedroom that you see on Google Images once in a while.

    That’s why when the OP cast is redesigned in hideous 3D and sings “Livin’ La Vida Loca” on the final page, I’ll feel I’ve done things right.

    I love that woman, I love her work, and I’m taking bets right now as to whether or not she actually does what she threatens for the final page. I’m putting the odds at 8:5 in favor.

  • We’ve previously mentioned that KB Spangler of A Girl And Her Fed will be running commentary on old strips three times weekly starting Monday, in recognition that she’s been at this for ten years and all. Today, she let us in on some of her plans [she doesn’t do permalinks on her strip’s newsposts]:

    Anyhow. Beginning Monday, there’ll be the usual Big Anniversary Sale in the store, and I’ll be running the comics from the beginning with author commentary at This should be fun! I love yelling at Past Me. She was a dick. [emphasis original]

    I hope that her yelling is restricted to things like Why did I decide to draw this thing that I hated drawing and now I’ve been drawing it for a decade, because honestly? She’s as far from being a dick as I can imagine, and Past Her was no different. She did have a wicked sense of humor, though.

  • Lastly, the reason that I’m here talking to some number of people on the internet is that one day Jon Rosenberg suggested it over beers and it seemed like a good idea at the time. Jon’s also been at this webcomics thing for a long time:

    Friday is my 19th anniversary in comics. Fuck, I’m getting old.

    Bah. I just turned grunkle for the second time last week, so I don’t want to hear it, youngster. Also, happy strippingversary, you magnificent bastard.

Spam of the day:

Moving? See how Verizon makes it easier.

A) I’m not moving, and 2) The only thing Verizon makes is my inevitable death seem preferable to trying to get them to get this shit together and fix my fucking landline.

¹ Similar to the other serious contender for the longest/never met title: Owen Dunne of You Damn Kid! and other fine comics.

² Ask your parents, or click here.

³ Don’t ask your parents, the wounds are still too fresh.

Need More Proof? Todd Is A Squirrel

This day in Great Outdoor Fight history: I remain conflicted to this very day what the most disconsolate part of this tableau is — the smallness of the snack tent? The underwhelming nature of the “feast”? The lone spork? They could have at least made some “Dinosaur” Potato Chuds.

  • It was in the early morning hours of yesterday — having twins means he’s on Baby Duty until 5:00am — that David Willis launched the Kickstarter for his fifth Dumbing of Age book, which funded out before he went to sleep. Hardly surprising, as the prior four DoA books have funded like clockwork (at rates of 273% to 370% of goal), although I don’t recall one funding out in less than eight hours before.

    It also doesn’t hurt that Willis puts together his books and sends out his stuff on time; as a result, he generally increases his backer count by about 600 folks from book to book, meaning the just under 700 backers and 177% achievement on a US$22,000 goal (as of this writing) is just an ordinary outcome for him. Checking out the ol’ FFFmk2, we’re looking at US$120K to 180K, which would be in the range of double his previous best funding level.

    Then again, he’s already go more backers than his first collection, and will likely come up with 2 to 3 times as many by the time the campaign ends in 28 days; if the per-backer averages hold, he’d be looking at US$78K to US$117K, and he hasn’t yet unlocked all the stretch goals, the things that convince people to move from intangible rewards to physical rewards. It appears that the twins need not worry about starving before their first birthday.

  • Something else that need not be worried about? That Fleen readers will be uninformed about the goings-on in Eurocomics, thanks to Fleen Senior French Correspondent Pierre Lebeaupin, who has a choice recommendation for us:

    Tim from draws pages about a number of matters, from his admiration of Maddox to what became of Totoro to figuring out what the deal is with these darn squirrels, but he is best known for stories on his various workplaces and coworkers, published in Quotidien Survival.

    He also had a side blog, Glauque-Land, where he publishes photos of his explorations of various urban ruins and other abandoned buildings. Which caught the interest of a Flammarion imprint, and today they are releasing a book of his photos, with accompanying text and illustrations he created for this purpose.

    Maybe more interesting than the publication by itself is the story he published (as comics on his site, of course) of the whole process from his side, especially his attempts to keep a level head and dealing with not being in control of everything. Check them out if you can read French.

    My French is rusty, but you ain’t need to read French in order to see what the squirrels are up to — no good is what. Doesn’t matter if they’re French or otherwise, squirrels are not to be trusted. And curiously, this appears to be one area where animals outside Australia are more dangerous than those inside Australia … this should indicate how incredibly evil and malicious the little brush-tailed bastards really are.

Spam of the day:

Verizon Services FREE 30-day HBO NOW® trial – Let the binging begin

Ha ha ha ha ha ha ha. No. Get bent, Verizon. I’ll let SquirrelCo put their lines into my house before I upgrade my service with you.

No Post Today

This day in Great Outdoor Fight history: No strip; I imagine that the residents of 62 Achewood Court are starting to gather around Téodor’s computer.

Typing this via phone because I still don’t have phone or network. Reminder: Monday, I have jury duty and may not be able to post.

Spam Goddamned lie of the day:

Thank you for choosing Verizon, we appreciate the opportunity to serve you.

First of all, you have a monopoly, there’s no choice at all. Second, you have nothing but contempt for your customers and appreciate nothing but the multiple billions of profit you make each quarter. Lastly, fuck you.

Also, Artisanal Sparklebutt

Correction The entry that originally ran below should have run tomorrow; there was no strip on 23 February 2006, leaving us all in a cruel, two-day interval where we did not know what happened after Ray ripped a guy’s face off. We at Fleen regret the error and have indicated the deletion below and replaced the image above.

This day in Great Outdoor Fight history: Ray faces up to what he’s done. Watching Cody Travis eat heavily sauced pastas cannot possibly be more unpleasant than that pun I just dropped, I’m so sorry. Let’s just go check out The Tenmen and forget I said anything.

  • The thing that I love about Kate Beaton’s work — as if there were just one thing, but let’s pretend for a moment — is how often I end up learning as much as laughing. I count myself fairly well versed in history and for every Matthew Henson, Miyamoto Musashi, or Emperor Norton that I know about, there’s a Catherine Sui Fun Cheung¹, Dr Sara Josephine Baker, or Tom Longboat that I’ve never heard of.

    Today she tops them, bringing us the story of Karl Heinrich Ulrichs, who was probably the first person to argue for LGBT equality. In 1867, when he had to come up with his own word to substitute for the now-commonplace homosexual because the latter hadn’t been invented yet. As Beaton notes, I only found out about him last fall, which is surprising and also sadly not surprising; I’m certain that pretty much none of us would have found out about Ulrichs without her cartoon today. It’s the most optimistic, affirming thing you’ll read today.

  • There’s also optimistic and affirming in the work of Meredith Gran — lots of it, in fact — but the characters that feel that optimism and affirmation might insist that there’s none to find. As previously noted, Image Comics is doing a comprehensive reprint of Octopus Pie from the beginning, and that process starts tomorrow with Octopus Pie, Volume 1, which I will not be buying.

    But this is only because I already own it twice, in the form of the original three self-published books (subtitled A Brooklyn Drama, A Brownstone Companion, and An Interstate Oasis, which between them comprise chapters 1-12), as well as the Villard-published There Are No Stars In Brooklyn (chapters 1-12 again, plus the bonus story The End Of The World; while I’m not above buying a story twice, I draw the line at three times².

    I also have the self-published Listen At Home With Octopus Pie and Dead Again, which between them cover chapters 13-38, meaning that I need not pick up Volume 2 or Volume 3 (due at the end of March and April, respectively), and may pick up with Volume 4 at the end of May which will print stories never before collected.

    Four volumes in four months! This is the ideal situation for somebody that needs to catch up with the best ongoing story of the past ten years. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: Meredith Gran gets better every single update, and however good you thought her storytelling was, it’s so much deeper and richer than you thought. Grab V1 tomorrow, and put the others on your pull list.

  • Apropos of nothing, today’s Wondermark (number 1200, as it happens) is entirely true to life, in that it closely resembles the struggle I’ve had over the past five months to get Verizon to fix my DSL (which escalated to them pooching my landline to the point it isn’t usable whenever it rains). The only difference being I haven’t (yet!) reached the creepy old crow, but then again I expect to find one when I get high enough in the corporate complaint structure. Webcomics be damned, getting satisfaction from a company that’s been happy to cash my checks is my new hobby.

Spam of the day:

Please accept this Panera Bread gift

I don’t eat at Panera Bread because, ironically, their bread is awful. Really ought to be better at what’s right there in your name.

¹ With a bonus appearance by Beaton’s best running gag — Top Gun and beach volleyball.

² Although it appears that Volume 1 will be better than TANSIB on the key issue of sparklebutt; V1 has it, TANSIB doesn’t. Then again, my copy of ABD is better than either of the other two as it has sparklebutt made from glitter and highlighter that Gran did by hand.

That Didn’t Take Long

So I went to bed early and wasn’t awake to watch Iron Circus Comics — aka Spike, aka The Woman Who Is Going To Own Comics Publishing, aka Maybe If You Apologize For All Those Years You Told Her She Was Never Going To Succeed She’ll Have You Killed Mercifully — launch its latest Kickstarter. Kickstarters, actually, as two pieces of pure, uncut smut went up together, and you can back one, the other, or (and stay with me here because this is a a little out there) both of them at the same time.

So, uh, maybe assume all the links in this post are probably not things you want to click on if your boss can see.

First up, Yes, Roya, a book-length graphic novel of quality erotica, written by Spike herself and illustrated by Ghost Green, with Kinomatika on the cover. It’s the early 1960s, there’s cartoonists involved, and sexy times as a young upstart finds that life behind closed doors in the Camelot era was decidedly kinkier than your parents and grandparents let on.

Secondly, My Monster Boyfriend, continuing the Iron Circus tradition of ladycentric erotica anthologies, this one is exactly what it says on the cover: there are monsters, and they are various people’s boyfriends, and there may just be hot, hot monster action going on. Lots of creators on this one, and Spike hasn’t released the full contributor list yet, but you’ll find names like EK Weaver, Jess Fink, Gail freakin’ Simone, and Trudy Cooper.

And since this is a Spike Kickstarter, a couple things we knew were going to happen did in fact happen:

  1. The goal was reached ridiculously quickly after launch. Keep in mind it was 9:00pm on the east coast when the campaign went up and promptly started raising US$1000/min before tapering off to US$10K in 15 minutes, US$20K in the first hour, and the entire US$40K goal in less than eight hours. Remember, this was overnight, and word doesn’t spread so quickly when your audience are away from keyboards.
  2. There’s gonna be bonuses. As a result of we at Fleen bungling a description of Iron Circus’s bonus structure a little while back , Spike reached out to us and let us know that these projects would use a different pay structure than previous project¹, one that will scale with the number of pages as well as the overfunding. For My Monster Boyfriend and Yes, Roya, pay starts at US$75/page, with an additional US$5/page for US$10,000 over goal.

    One may note that (as of this writing), pay rates are already up to US$80/page. Assuming this one goes follows the same funding patterns as prior ICC smut offerings, I’d expect funding above US$150K (NB: not a formal prediction; we’re still 8 – 12 hours away from being able to use the FFFmk2), meaning page rates of US$130 or more.

Oh, yeah, and the first stretch goal — a reprint of Smut Peddler 2012 — was met by the time Spike woke up this morning. There will be more. Oh, and did I mention that there are previews, more than 20 pages worth, over on the Kickstarter page? Because there are; no links, I’m gonna make you go read the damn thing and find ’em yourself … and before you complain, I just told you about free porn so hush.

The Smut Peddler Double Header runs until Wednesday, 24 February.

Spam of the day:

why havn’t you claimed this Walmart gift yet?

Because Walmart is a rapacious, evil corporation run by the vampiric scions of the Walton family with a bloodthirstiness that would make Vlad Tepes say Hey, maybe just chill a little, and I would rather deal with the bastard child of Verizon and Comcast for the rest of my natural life than set foot in a Walmart. The only worthwhile thing Walmart has even done is be so awful that provoked not a single twinge of sympathy in anybody anywhere.

¹ Briefly, contributors got US$50/page, and a US$50 bonus for every US$5000 over goal.