The webcomics blog about webcomics

These Are Gonna Be Quick Successes

Some days, there’s just no ambiguity about what image goes at the top of the page.

  • In case you haven’t seen it in the roughly 105 minutes (as I write this) since the Kickstarter went live, Zach Weinersmith and Boulet have collaborated on more than just the foreword and one strip from Weinersmith’s French-language strip collection last week; they’re producing an illustrated children’s story, about a young girl named Augie who insists on treating the fantasy world she finds herself in with a sense of scientific rigor.

    Augie and the Green Knight is a retelling of Gawain and the Green Knight, only with a Weinersmithian sensibility instead of a medieval romantic one. Oh, and Boulet’s illustrations will surely outclass those of any of the monastic illuminators of bygone days, and every copy of Augie will be a hardcover book rather than hand-inscribed on vellum. And this one probably has more Baba Yaga than the original.

    Amazingly, that hardcover will only set you back US$25, for some 20,000 words and at least 10 watercolor illustrations; exceeding the base goal of US$30K will result in more illustrations — and seeing as how Weinersmith has only revealed the US$35K and US$40K stretch goals, there will presumably be the opportunity for many more.

    The only question in my mind is, When I get my two-book bundle¹, which lucky niece or nephew gets the other copy? Oh, and naturally, How quickly will this campaign make goal, and how much will it raise total? At current rates, I expect to see goal reached before the four-hour mark, and by this time tomorrow I may have a decent estimate of the final total.

    [Edit to add: it was actually a bit less than three hours. Good job, Zach!]

  • You don’t have a specific goal or period of time for Patreon campaigns, but sometimes you can pick an arbitrary milestone goal and see if it hits in a reasonable amount of time. Also, with webcomics Patreons thick on the ground² I haven’t been mentioning them much since the first few to launch earlier this year. But sometimes, something catches my eye and that makes a mention almost obligatory; case in point: Jeph Jacques has, since launching his Patreon overnight, made it roughly two thirds of the way to making a second strip:

    $3,000 per month

    Yes, it’s true. If we meet this goal, I will start publishing an all-new comic strip along side QC in the fall of 2014. This is something I’ve been thinking about for years, and Patreon can make this happen

    Now that caught my attention, because for a creator whose work appears pretty obvious on the surface (group of friends in a particular time and place and their lives via music and coffee and hangouts and sometimes makeouts), he’s got some fairly deep currents that don’t get addressed except in passing. Now I don’t know that Jacques’s second strip will take place in the QC-iverse³, but if it does, he could do some pretty interesting storytelling about the one fantastical element of his stories that’s just taken as a given by his characters: the presence of fully-developed, widespread Artificial Intelligence.

    He’s hinted at all kinds of story hooks, including (with the return of May in the current story arc) the idea of Robot Jail. How did AIs become recognized? How did they achieve any degree of civil rights and personal autonomy? Can they vote? In a criminal justice system, can you distinguish between the physical manifestation and the intelligence behind it? That’s a story setting that could have a very different tone than his usual work, and perhaps start a good old fashioned Webcomics Feud:

    I was looking at these aspects of AI and Transcendence when you were just making hipster jokes! Aaron Diaz might shout, Go find you own niche and leave the cyborg girls to me!

    The air crackled with Super-Saiyan energy as Jeph rose up to his full, nearly-two meter height. Just because some of us measure panel drawing times in hours instead of weeks, he growled.

    Oh, it is on! bellowed Diaz. Nearby, Randy watched with feverish anticipation as the titanic clash began, ready to hinder or help as the mood struck him. Soon, he crooned to the half-feral cat sitting in his lap, it will be our time.4

    Huh. I think I finally figured out why people write fan fiction. I wonder if they’ll kiss5.

Spam of the day:

You can sign up for our UP SCALE network with a free trial as we get started with the public’s orders. Imagine how your bank account will look when your website gets the traffic it deserves.

Any traffic this website gets is undoubtedly more than it deserves.

¹ One regular hardcover, one super-deluxe foil-embossed cloth-covered.

² And, at present, no good means of searching within a category. I know that Patreon’s brand new and still evolving but if the word Comics shows up as a link, it should take me to a page of all the different campaigns tagged as Comics, not to one particular campaign. I have no doubt that functionality will debut soon (because clearly, the people behind Patreon aren’t idiots), and I expect uptake of the platform to increase with that feature in place.

³ Yes, I said will; at this point, it’s just a matter of time.

4 If anybody gets the urge to draw this scene, I will pay you a dollar.

5 Note to self — next time you get the urge to make a funny, try not to pick a giant man (with a giant dog), a martial-arts expert, and a man with a scary hobo beard who eats internet punks for afternoon tea as your targets.

[…] last time I mentioned Jeph Jacques it was also in proximity to Augie and the Green Knight, where I speculated that the second strip (which his burgeoning Patreon would prompt) might deal with the concept of AI […]

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