How’s everybody doing today? Nice weekend? Having a good one? Good, good.
- Know what I respect as a reason for doing anything? Honestly, truly respect, I’m completely not being snarky here? An arbitrary, meaningful only to yourself, completely petty I’ll show them all! achievement.
Like, say, blogging about webcomics when my entire initial motivation for doing so has been overturned about three full times since I started because goddammit, I said I was going to blog regularly and that’s just what I’m gonna do. There are others out there that write better, have more developed insight, or actually get paid for the writing they do, but I’ve been doing this for eight and a half years and I’ll keep going out of spite if necessary.
Not that this is about me.
Rather, Greg Dean found a bit of inspiration in a completely arbitrary milestone — drawing and posting more strips than the legendary Bill Watterson — and now he’s achieved that milestone. I doubt that three thousand, one hundred and sixty-one comics will ever catch on in the same way that big round numbers have, but it’s got to feel good all the same.
- The Reading Rainbow Kickstarter is down to single-digit days at this point¹; the US$1 million original goal was obliterated on the first day, and the stretch goal of US$5 million looks pretty doable at this point in the long tail. I just wanted to point something out in the latest update to the project.
A reward item that’s fairly unique² is a 2015 calendar, to be illustrated by the artists behind Harry Potter, Lemony Snicket, and tons of your favorite comics and childrens books. Traditionally, there are twelve months in a (non-lunar) calendar, and six of the artists have been named so far: Mary GrandPré (illustrator of the North American editions of Harry Potter before Kazu Kibuishi), Brett Helquist (illustrator of the Lemony Snicket books), and four webcomickers: Mike Krahulik, Chris Eliolpoulos, Katie Cook, and Mike Maihack.
It makes sense that the comics side is represented by webcomickers, as they are mostly young enough to have grown up on Reading Rainbow, and are getting to the point of having kids themselves. They’re each donating the art for the calendar as well as five prints for inclusion in high-dollar-value reward tiers. It’s not known who will illustrate the remaining six months yet, because they’ll be picked via a an open contest after the Kickstarter is done.
I know that we at Fleen have more than once urged creators to not participate in art contests where the prize is you get to give away your art for free, but you know what? There’s an exception to every rule, and for the Don’t vie for the opportunity to give away your art for exposure rule³ that would be But it’s okay if LeVar Burton is asking you to help kids learn to love reading.
The Burton Exception is pretty damn narrow, and I think that’s probably for the best. Anyway, start brainstorming ideas; webcomickers with kids in your lives, this could be the best shot you ever have for them to respect you. And if the calendar goes over large, maybe there will be more of them in future years.
Spam of the day:
Hey, I think your blog might be having browser compatibility issues. When I look at your blog in Firefox, it looks fine but when opening in Internet Explorer, it has some overlapping.
Man, fuck Internet Explorer.
¹ In fact, while I was typing that paragraph, it rolled over from nine days remaining to eight days remaining.
² It’s only directly included in two reward tiers, one at US$30, and again at US$175 with some other items. But it’s available as an add-on to any pledge for US$25 per calendar.
³ I think I’ll just shorthand it as the Stevens Rule, for the very quotable Rich Stevens observation: People die of exposure.