The webcomics blog about webcomics

Oversight

It occurs to me that while I mentioned programming at the upcoming MoCCA Fest t’other day, I neglected to make mention of the special guests that will be there. Obviously, Scott McCloud and Raina Telgemeier will be there, what with their spotlight panels being discussed, but there are loads of others.

(For those wondering who is going to be at EmCity, which kicks off tomorrow, the answer is: everybody. Every person in webcomics is gonna be there.)

Joining Telgemeier and McCloud as special guests will be Aline Kominsky-Crumb: painter, cartoonist, collaborator with husband R. MoCCA has also always made a concerted effort to bring cartoonists (both guests and exhibitors) in from overseas (remember the year of the Swedes?), and continues the tradition this year. The emphasis this year is on French-speaking countries, from when come:

  • Pénélope Bagieu (known for comic bloggery and her collaborations with Joann Sfar and Boulet)
  • DoubleBob (whose pencil-centric style has found a home in Belgium, in contrast to the ligne claire style)
  • Annie Goetzinger (with a career of longform work, especially graphic novels dealing with societal and historical issues)
  • Ilan Manouach (whose experimental comics are a part of a larger creative output, including music and publishing)
  • Anne-Françoise Rouche (founder/director of an arts center catering to the mentally handicapped)
  • Barbara Stok (the token non-French guest; she’s from Holland and known for humorous autobio as well as a comic biography of Van Gogh)

Several of the international guests are touring in support of their first translated-into-English work, so it’s an opportunity to get in on the ground floor in following talent that new to those of us that don’t speak French, Dutch, or the Belgian variations on French and Dutch.

MoCCA Fest runs Saturday and Sunday, 11 and 12 April, from 11:00am to 6:00pm. See you there.


Spam of the day:

93 Mouth-Watering Quick Easy Recipes at a Whooping 66% discount!

I’m not sure if you mean a whopping discount (as discounts typically do not whoop, but honestly — do they whopp?), but that’s actually the lesser of my concerns. What exactly is being discounted? The recipes themselves? The watering mouths? Enquiring minds want to know!

Welp, No Comic Con For Me, Maybe Ever Again

I didn’t enter today’s hotel rodeo because I still have received no assurance that I’d be let in the front door¹ and hell if I’m spending the money to get out to San Diego and not get in; let’s focus on shows that answer their damn email.

  • EmCity happens later this week, and there’s a plethora of webomicky programming going on. Of particular note, you may find Spike, Destroyer of All That Oppose Her on four panels:

    MY 4 ECCC PANELS: Running a Comics Anthology- Fri, 1:10 Adult Comics- Fri, 6:50 Non-Compliant- Fri, 5:00 Discussing Diversity- Sun, 3:50

    The one on Adult Comics will also feature Leia Weatherington and the invaluable Hurricane Erika and Blue Delliquanti

  • And for those that want to learn some of the best tips for making your way in the waters of business, superlawyer to the creative community Katie Lane will have a series of appearances: building up your legal toolkit, on the role of the artist in this electronic world (with Gene Ambaum, Pat Race, and Nadia Kayyali), and how to negotiate like a murderous acrobatic spy. If you aspire to destroy all those that oppose you (and truthfully, who doesn’t?), that last panel is a good place to start.
  • After you’re done bein’ all adult and all lawyerly, there’s a screening of STRIPPED Friday at 6:00pm in Hall A, with a Q&A featuring Danielle Corsetto, Kris Straub, Dylan Meconis, and the very sexy Brad Guigar (we appear to have looped back around to the adult portion of the show, if you know what I mean).
  • Not to be outdone, MoCCA Fest released their programming schedule for this year’s show, with a Q&A with Scott McCloud and another with Raina Telgemeier being the two standouts to my eye. Given its size, MoCCA only does a dozen programs, only two at a given time, so you can see a significant fraction of the offering if you’re determined to do so. Reminder: the programming is not at the main venue (Center 548), but rather about 2 blocks away at the High Line Hotel; see the map on the programming page.

    Please note that due to limited space in the panel rooms, the Q&A sessions on Saturday require a reservation which you can get by “purchasing” a free ticket. Yeah, it’s a pain to sign up for an account, but Raina! Scott! Worth it.


Spam of the day:

Hi, my name is Pauline and I am the marketing manager

Nnnnnnope!

_______________
¹ If I didn’t earn back my press status this year, SDCC, just bloody tell me. Don’t not tell me by your own announced deadline and then refuse to respond to my enquiries for three damn months.

Okay, Client Site Gig Is Kicking My Ass

Tech issues, connectivity issues, book issues, logistics issues. It is a perfect Monday, so this is going to be quick:

Okay, back to my ass-kicking; that is, getting my ass kicked, not engaging in the kicking myself.


Spam of the day:
My life is spam today.

Last Weekend In September

As promised, I spoke to Holly Rowland, fancy lady and TopatoCo Vice President of Kicking Your Ass about the upcoming TopatoCon. The following is not an interview with precise quotes, but reflects the conversation we had.

On why she wants to run a con:

In part, it comes from the fact that it’s been nearly five years since New England Webcomics Weekend was last held; in part, it comes from going to a bunch of different conventions and making an internal wishlist of all the things you want to see in one place. Sometimes that’s a balancing act: you don’t want to be on panels, but you don’t want an absence of programming; you don’t want just comics, but you don’t want a huge pop-culture extravaganza either.

TopatoCo’s creators are at the center of a Venn diagram of a bunch of different things — comics, music, podcasting, books, comedy, film making, game design — and it’s a good time to find a show that embraces all of those things, along with the sense of camaraderie you get from something like MaxFunCon.

On how that fits in with the curated exhibitor selection:

Rowland and her fellow showrunners (Sara McHenry of Make That Thing and Rich Stevens of … everything, really) want to keep the feel of the show consistent; curating means that they can balance the number of comics artists with those that create streaming content, or podcast, or make music. Finding a messload of creators that do multiples of those things (I’m definitely thinking that Kris Straub should get in contact with Rowland) would be the dream.

On why now, instead of last year or next year?

Verbatim answer: Because my business coach yelled at me. She was talking about her big dream, what kind of show she’d like to see, and he kept saying Go. Go do that. Don’t wait, it’ll make you happy.

On the size and scope of the show:

In part due to the available space in part to keep the first year¹ from getting out of hand, there will be a limit of 70 exhibitors and 2000 tickets sold. But those limits will allow for some interesting choices — for example, there won’t just be a tabletop gaming area, there will be a tabletop gaming area where you play with the game’s designers and there will be table service that will bring you beer and chicken fingers.

I’ve never used a standout color for text on this blog in going on ten year but I had to; with that single decision, Rowland has invented a model that every other show will try to emulate because goddamn is that brilliant.

On when we get logistic details:

Exhibitor applications will be opened up on Monday, 23 March, and run for a month. When the curation process is done, the exhibitors will be announced along with venue details. However, we can share that TopatoCon will be held in a hotel with conference center capabilities, and two nearby hotels are also going to have room blocks available.

The first day of the event (Friday, 25 September) will be out-of-hotel, with various community-type events while setup is wrangled. Saturday and Sunday will each be $20/day; the organizers have opted against weekend passes, as they want to give as many people as possible the ability to attend. Too often shows have seen multiday passes go to somebody that only uses it part of the time, so this approach is designed to make people think about when they’ll actually be there. To help make it easier to attend, passes will be transferable.

On big names attending:

Nothing to share yet, but she’s got big dreams. Oh yes, she does.

Fleen thanks Ms Rowland for taking the time to answer our questions, and for continuing to kick asses.


Spam of the day:

michael kors online shopping outlet

Michael Kors is a bitchy, ambulatory tangerine². Put him in room with John Boehner (ugggh) and Guy Fieri (the human cheese-fry) and you will have all the most unfortunate personal-style decisions ever made in one place.

________________
¹ With the plan that TopatoCon will become an annual event, assuming nothing disastrous happens.

² Which, let’s be honest, is why I loved him on Project Runway; nobody is as creative in their dressing-down of the defiantly egotastic as Kors. But man, he’s got to cut back on the tanner.

Only One Story Today (And, Most Likely, Tomorrow)

So maybe a week-ten days ago, TopatoCo Vice President of Kicking Your Ass Holly Rowland put a tweet out into the aether that caught my eye with its mysteriousness:

Are you a TopatoCo creator? You just got a SUPER RAD EMAIL, my friend.

I was wondering what was up with that, given the immediate enthusiastic responses that it gathered¹; the medium being Twitter and the participants being webcomickers there was discussion of ASCII dicks, but mostly enthusiastic agreement to something the rest of us were not privy to.

I suspect that we now know what was in that email:

Twitter buddies, would you like to know a secret? Look at this; http://www.topatocon.com/

At the time that the news broke I was giving a tour of an ambulance to a troop of Daisy Scouts², but my reaction when I found out was spontaneous and heartfelt. For everybody that’s missed the magic of those two New England Webcomics Weekends of March 2009 and November 2010 and wondered if the magic could ever strike again, it appears that the answer is yes:

Announcing the first TopatoCon. We’re putting together some of the best people in comics, podcasting, indie gaming and music.

In addition to our 70 exhibitors that we’re collecting from all over the internet, we’re going to have three programming tracks: we’ll have live podcasts, TED-style talks about comics and culture, and premium workshops where attendees can learn a hands-on skill. Plus! Tabletop gaming, nightly events, and more!

We’ve had a bit more information since then: exhibitor applications open up on Monday, it’s being run by the folks at TopatoCo (duh), probably with an assist from Rich Stevens because nothing happens in that town without his say-so. Given the depth of their involvement in NEWWs 1 & 2, I have no doubt that this show is going to run like friggin’ clockwork, because they know how to make shit happen. Since there are fewer than 60 TopatoCo creators to fill 70 exhibitor slots, we’ll see at least some creators from outside the TopatoCo family. Past that, it’s all speculation at this point.

But! We’ll know more tomorrow, because in a few hours I’ll be talking with Holly and getting as much info from her as I can so that we can all start making plans. In complete and utter honesty, the very first thing I did when I got to work today was put in for vacation time; you cannot keep me away from this event and I very much want to see you there.


Spam of the day:

3, see text.Rhamphotrygon Sundevall, 1872

When I saw this (in a spam shilling for a cheat-on-your-spouse website) I thought that Rhamphotrygon sounded like a relative of Rhamphorhynchus but it turns out it’s a genus of Tyrant Flycatchers, which sounds pretty bad-ass. Not as bad-ass as pterosaurs, but I’ll take it.

_______________
¹ My best guess at the time: TopatoCo had prevailed upon the IRS to declare that all monies made via their webcomics merchateria had been declared “a public good” and thus subject to a tax rate of minus 47% and they were all getting enormous checks from the feds.

² Adorable, but slightly exhausting.

Big Damn Number

On his income taxes on the line where it says to enter your occupation, I hope that Jeffrey Rowland puts down internet merchandise mogul.

  • Speaking of moguls of all sorts, you know what they need to keep their air of dapper superciliousness? A Monocle. Know where you can get a supply of monocles? From Zach Weinersmith. As I write this, the campaign to bring single-use monocles to the world is fivehours old and less than US$100 from its goal. If you think that it’s a joke, well, that’s where you’re right, but if you think it’s a scam or fake, allow me to share proof with you that these exist. Thank you to Weinersmith et. al.¹ for gifting me with this indispensible bit of dapperment; I await only an occasion when I must exhibit extreme surprise to deploy it for its intended purpose.
  • Speaking of Kickstarters, I would like to mention that my very favorite webcomic for reading in book-length chunks — Gastrophobia — has launched its latest campaign for its latest book-lenth chunk (which is to say, a book). Gastrophobia volume 3: Best At Winning, Worst At Love has been fundraising over the weekend and currently sits at an inexplicably paltry 75 backers, although they have pushed creator David McGuire up to some 40% of goal. The strip is great fun, McGuire knows how to both build a damn good story and fulfill merch on a timely basis, and there’s nothing that should be keeping you from dropping the dough to pick up this book. Make with the clicky, already.
  • Never bet against Ryan Estrada. Whether it’s setting out to provide guest strips for every webcomic, teach the world to read Korean and Russian in fifteen minutes, or wrangle eighteen different creators to tell one story from six different viewpoints based on an experience from his time running an Indian call center, Estrada takes on seemingly impossible tasks with aplomb.

    The aplombed tasque du jour is the one about the call center, as he’s launched Broken Telephone launched today as his newest serialized webcomic at Broken-Telephone.com, and it launched with what I believe is the largest initial buffer on record. Namely, the full year-long story is queued and ready to go on a daily basis. Estrada was kind enough to send me a review copy, which I have only just begun to read; what I have seen, however, is really good and plays to the strengths of his various artists, so be sure to check it out.

  • It appears that the results of the SPX table lottery have gone out, and while there’s no list of who got in yet, there’s a lot of mention on the Twitters and such from people that didn’t. It’ll be interesting to compare the list of last year’s exhibitors (archived here) against the final list of who made it in. It looks like SPX has become a victim of its own success, with a desire to bring in new talent and meet demand for tables — but when your process is designed in such a way that it finds a way to not include such rarely seen on these shores talent as John Allison, it’s time to look at how well you’re balancing your priorities.

Spam of the day:

A friend of mine got off dialysis (stage 5 CKD) and healed his kidney.

You’re lying or fooling yourself. Go hang out with your flouride-decrying, homeopathy-loving, anti-vaxx friends, and keep your crackpottery out of here before I get some on my shoes.

________________
¹ Which group, regrettably, includes the nefarious James Ashby, aka History’s Greatest Monster. And he gets the girl to “accompany him to the opera” in the promotional film! Boo, hiss!

Plowing Ahead With The Planned Topic For Today, Despite More Prominent News

It’s shameful to admit it, but I never read any Terry Pratchett. I know, I know — I’m a terrible nerd, but I’m afraid I have nothing to say on the man and his work¹ that would be meaningful in any way.

San Diego Comic Con remains — for good or ill — the premiere big show in the country. Much has been written about how each year it becomes less friendly to the average fan (as opposed to members of industry talking to other members of industry) and/or less focused on comics. Many creators will talk about the challenges they endure trying to keep SDCC as a profit center rather than an expense. If you’re there on somebody else’s expense account or primarily interested in networking/socializing it remains much as it ever was, but for the small creator or average attendee, the sheer size and scope (one might say success) of San Diego make it trickier to cope with each year.

And yesterday it got a little trickier. Assuming you got ticketed (passes all but sell out a year in advance) and find accommodation (the hotel lottery system remains Byzantine and fraught with hopes and dashed hopes), you could at least pre-purchase parking to assure that you wouldn’t be hoofing across half of San Diego to get to the convention center. Could, that is, until, oh, now-ish:

This year, according to Ace [Parking] to “provide the best experience possible and take the pain and pressure out of the process”, they’re moving to a lottery based system.

In order to be register, all you need to do is send an e-mail to cci2015@aceparking.com (one entry per e-mail address) between now and April 12. After that, a random drawing will be done to select the winners, who will then be e-mailed by April 15 with “details on how to purchase your permit at the location you were drawn for”. If you are chosen, you are guaranteed a spot. If you are chosen and choose not to purchase a permit, it will be forfeited.

Got that? If you were planning on pre-purchasing parking, you have to get your email out and hope you get the chance to buy at a facility that will be chosen for you, meaning that you may not get one that bears any relation to your hotel’s location or other physical needs. Lower-demand lots will now become more competitive, and I foresee an active after-market in trades (Hilton Garage here! I’ll trade for Horton Plaza!) unless Ace has contrived a way to disallow that. It’s not that parking (or even convenient parking) is a right for convention-goers, but it becomes one more item that’s left up to chance, meaning that it’s difficult to plan an end-to-end travel experience.

Speaking of which, I asked this on Twitter but now I’m asking here — did anybody in the comics press that’s required to submit for re-verification this year — you have to requalify for SDCC press badges every other year — get a response yet? I sent in my materials well in advance of the 12 December 2014 deadline (and have an automated reply from the same day), and was told to expect a response in six weeks. Following the directions, I sent a followup email to the address provided asking if I’d gotten in or not at the end of January, and again at the end of February. Each time I’ve gotten a duplicate of the original acknowledgement email (from November!) and still have no clue if I’ll be allowed past the doors.

It’s basically impossible to plan out flights or hotel, and I have no idea if I’ll be attending this year or not. I’ve been credentialed every year since 2006 and would hate to break the streak, but the decision appears to not be mine. Since nobody’s answering the press registration email, I figure asking in public like this can’t make things any worse.


Notspam of the day:

brb, gonna see if walmart.hiphop has been claimed yet …

This comment was too good to not share, and I sincerely hope that every single idiotic TLD has somebody willing to pony up (ha ha — horses, amiright?) twenty bucks to register a Walmart name and cause them a little annoyance. walmart.bar! walmart.ninja! walmart.church! walmart.dating! walmart.sexy! walmart.webcam! And please, please, please: walmart.moe!

_______________
¹ His solo work, I should say; based on Good Omens, I suspect I’ll like Pratchett’s writing very much.

Does Toronto Have A Song I Can Reference?

I mean, I was going to title this We Stand On Guard, but that would refer to all of our Great Northern Neighbor, not just their premiere city. Anyway, stuff about Toronto coming up. The Toronto Comics Art Festival — TCAF, for those in the know — is coming up in about eight weeks time and I will continue my unfortunate streak of missing one of the great shows. This year it’s because I have a niece getting married the same weekend, and comics be damned, I love her more. But if you’re going, you can see some neat stuff.

  • On the official end of things, TCAF showrunner Chris Butcher recently announced a new partnership for TCAF that sounds intriguing:

    The Toronto Comic Arts Festival is proud to announce a brand new partnership with the Lakes International Comic Arts Festival (LICAF)! They are bringing a who’s-who group of the UK’s finest cartoonists to TCAF 2015, including Featured Guest Hunt Emerson!

    While TCAF has gone all over the world to promote and proselytize to folks about the amazing work being done by Canadian cartoonists (at events like the Kaigai Manga Festa in Japan, or the Angoulême Festival in France), this is the first time we are engaging in an honest-to-goodness cultural exchange. This year, LICAF are bringing seven fantastic cartoonists from the United Kingdom, with TCAF bringing our own cavalcade of Canadian creators to LICAF in October!

    TCAF have been instrumental in setting the pattern of public space-based, free, comics festivals, to the point that the CAF suffix tells you you’re looking at a show that’s probably worth your time¹. To see a formal partnership (possibly the first of many) just reinforces the value of TCAF and the likelihood of more good, local shows around the world. Well done Mr Butcher and the organizers of LICAF.

  • While you’re at TCAF, you might pick up a copy of an anthology where the unifying theme — you might even say the central character — is the city of Toronto itself. The first Toronto Comics Anthology released last year, with a dozen stories about the city from some reasonably unheralded creators (the only one that I recognized was Christopher Bird of Al’Rashad, who wrote five pieces, some of which can be seen here and here). The new volume will launch at TCAF, with twenty new stories; several titles have already caught my eye, including Welcome to Turdberg and The Toronto Patty Wars of 1985. If you’re going to TCAF, pick it up and tell me if I’m misplaced in my interest (I’m not).
  • Via Heidi Mac at The Beat, news of this year’s Cartoonist Studio Prize nominees, presented by Slate and The Center for Cartoon Studies. As noted in prior years (this is the third), the CSP is unique in that it’s got two categories — one for graphic novels, one for webcomics — and that’s all. Winners in each category get US$1000, and there’s an intriguing blend of familiar and new works on both sides of the aisle.

    Part of what I like best about the shortlist is the variety of work on the webcomics side; there’s everything from the weekly Oh Joy, Sex Toy to investigative cartooning to shortform personal experience to the obligatory Emily Carroll. Special congrats to Jillian Tamaki for being nominated in both categories for This One Summer and SuperMutant Magic Academy. Winners will be announced on 6 April.

  • Man, I went and had dinner with Brad Guigar last night and I didn’t notice that he’d been recently bounced from the Daily Grind Iron Man Challenge, now going on for ten freakin’ years? I suck. Also, apropos of nothing, that author’s pic of Guigar on the DGIC page is terrible. He’s much more handsome than that, as anybody who actually tore their eyes away from the photo up top can attest. Somebody get on that².

Spam of the day:
Seu fotógrafo privado irá acompanhá-lo em sua próxima turnê.
Yeah, no. This is one of those deals where the “private photographer” ends up selling everything to one of those revenge porn sites. I ain’t falling for that again.

_______________
¹ For now at least; if it becomes as widespread and genericized as “Comic[-]Con”, it may not mean much.

² Get on supplying a new pic to the Daily Grind thing, not get on Brad. Jeez, people, get your minds out of the gutter.

Y’all Sure Are Upholding Roddenberry’s Vision Of A Better Society, Good Job

That's the problem with past representations of the future -- they rarely age well.

Apart from the garbage people coming up from out of the floorboards to tell Jon Rosenberg that he’s a blasphemer, heretic, apostate, and filthy SJW¹ for his extremely mild jab at Star Trek, is it a good day to for good news about webcomics creators? I believe that yes, yes it is.

  • For starters, the invaluable Jim Zub has posted another in his series of studies of the economics of creator-owned comics; the key takeaway from this one is how much the market has changed in the couple of years that he’s been sharing data. Zub’s gracious enough to talk about the work that Image (his publisher for creator-owned work) has put into building up the market, identifying it as the second of six key factors for the relatively greater success of Wayward over Skullkickers.

    In fact, if we take the ordering of his factors as significant, he cites Image as being more important than his own efforts in three areas: his higher career profile, retailer outreach, and press outreach. I think he’s being too modest here, as even the best company — and by all indicators Zub clearly thinks of Image as being a near-ideal fit for him — will never care about your career success more than you do. Choosing to work with Image is one of many things that Zub has done right, and I am hammering on this point because I don’t want (and I suspect strong that Zub doesn’t either) anybody to read his piece and conclude The secret to success is getting in at Image.

    It’s not. The secret to success is hard work, improving skills, becoming a known quantity (not the least, becoming known for meeting deadlines and publication dates), and a hell of a lot of luck. If the secret to success was landing at Image, we’d have seen issue #2 of Nonplayer by now. The success of Zub in comics is 90% attributable to Zub; or as he puts it for those who read the entire thing:

    In the end, I think that’s what creator-owned comics are all about – charting your own destiny and growing creatively with each new project.

  • Speaking of building success on past success, Spike is doing well with her plan to turn Iron Circus Comics from the company that publishes her comics and the anthologies that she leads into a publisher of other creators. Case in point: the Kickstarter for ICC’s first non-Spike project, an omnibus edition of The Less Than Epic Adventures of TJ and Amal by EK Weaver, has been … well, let’s let Spike tell us in real time:

    the TJ & A omnibus Kickstarter project will launch in five minutes! Just putting in the media credits.

    Jesus Christ Whisper Grass [a 20-backer limited reward at the US$75 level] didn’t last FIVE MINTUES

    Jesus it’s at over 5k and I haven’t even told tumblr yet

    LET ME FINISH MY TUMBLR POST YOU ANIMALS

    Four backer levels sold out within a half-hour of a Kickstarter’s launch” is a new record for me.

    50% funded in an hour good lord

    This Kickstarter is funding faster than the original Smut Peddler KS!

    DING. 100% OF GOAL IN SIX HOURS.

    Please note: this campaign launched at midnight East Coast time, and funded entirely by 6:00am; a lot of people went to bed before funding launched and woke up to find it already over goal. As of this writing, some 13 hours after launch, the omnibus is sitting at a hair under US$29K (call it 156% of goal) and 565 backers. Yeah, it’s not going to be the next Exploding Kittens², but come back tomorrow and we’ll see what the Fleen Funding Formula (mark 2)³ has to say.

  • How about a simple story, something with no math or numbers? The Bram Stoker Awards (from the Horror Writers Association) have announced their nominees for 2014, and in the comics category (or more officially, Superior Achievement in a Graphic Novel) we find one web/indy creator competing against the likes of Joe Hill and Paul Tobin. I speak, naturally, of Emily Carroll, recognized for Through The Woods, described on this site as the most frightening book I’ve ever read, and for good reason, too.

    Here’s hoping that the HWA members are diligent about reading the nominated works and here’s hoping that Carroll wins, because if there’s something out there more spooktastic than Through The Woods I’m not sure I want to know about it. We’ll find out on Saturday, 9 May, when the Bram Stoker Awards are handed out in conjunction with the World Horror Convention in Atlanta. Try to remain calm until then, and remember — there are things that lurk under the bed, in the closet, and behind the walls.


Spam of the day:

This is the place where I started out also it would have been a great start for you as well.

Yes! All my efforts have come to fruition, people are starting here and then going out into the world to spread my word.

_______________
¹ Social Jew Warrior.

² That already launched today: the new version of the Pebble Watch, which is at $4.5million (or #8 most-funded of all time) and climbing a few hours in. In a month, we seem certain to have a new #1, although the relatively high price of entry means it probably won’t displace the Kittens from most-backed.

³ Which, because I just realized I never followed up on my prediction for funding: Exploding Kittens closed with US$8.782 million in funding, just inside the range of US$6 to 9 million that the FFFmk2 gave us. As a reminder, the FFFmk2 states you take the Predicted Value of a project at the 24-30 hour mark from Kicktraq and call that PV. The range at close will be PV/4 +/- PV/20, but has only shown to be valid for project with at least 200 backers at calculation time.

Yes, something like Exploding Kittens produces a fairly wide range, but US$7.5 million +/- US$1.5 million is as tight as we can make it with current Day One technology.

The Solution For Technical Problems? Guigar

So what you don’t know is that yesterday, Fleen’s back end was acting the hell up. Some combination of MySQL and WordPress decided it just really didn’t like the post I was working on, and it fought me at every turn. And by fought me I mean ten minutes to save a draft and spontaneously stop responding and lose all the changes. Today, by contrast, is running perfectly smooth and normal, which I can only attribute to the prevalence of Brad Guigar in today’s post; around Brad, comics spontaneously behave.

Brad! We’re a couple of days late, but we at Fleen would be remiss if we didn’t note that this past weekend, Brad Guigar marked his fifteenth anniversary of daily cartooning, having produced a total of:

1,471 Greystone Inn comic strips, 2,943* Evil Incs 410 Courting Disasters and 95 Phables. (And 163* Tales from the Con comics, which I write for Emerald City Comicon.) (emphasis original)

Or a bit more than 5000, if you’re into aggregates. Oh also three books on cartooning, an Eisner nomination, and a couple hundred hours of at least four different podcasts, a school full of students that will kill and destroy in his name revere him as a mentor, and the most infamous laugh in history. Not bad for such a young guy.

Brad! So where do you go after accomplishing all that? You go to the place where you launch two more comics, because of course you do. Previously available only to supporters of his Patreon (who still get first dibs), everybody can now read Arch Bros (based on his sons, one of whom thinks he’s a superhero, and the other thinks he’s a supervillain) and single-panel gag comics/sketches at the revamped Guigar.com, which also serves as your source for All Things Brad.

Brad! Guigar’s also a tastemaker and trendsetter. Case in point — his new colorist Alex Heberling, who’s been knocking it out of the park with her work on Evil, Inc these past few weeks. Please don’t misinterpret me and ascribe her success and skill to Guigar, but let’s acknowledge that the guy has an eye for talent and that paying gig is only helping Heberling in terms of career and public profile. Oh, and in case you weren’t paying attention when Guigar was telling you, Heberling’s Kickstarter campaign for the first print collection of her webcomic, The Hues, is about to end. You’ve got about two hours to get in on it.

Brad! So we talked about what Gumroad is doing for its clients in re: VATMOSS last week. But it’s simply not enough for Brad Guigar to point out what one company is doing … he went out and figured out the responses of seven different delivery vendors to the VATMOSS challenge, letting you know who’s doing a good job and who isn’t. The report is behind the subscription wall at Webcomics Dot Com, but I don’t think it’s a spoiler to say that Guigar found Gumroad’s response as impressive as I did. You’ll have to purchase access to determine who else is doing well and who isn’t, but if you hope to sell e-goods to the EU, the US$5 month’s trial is a pretty good deal.

Curiously, not Brad! Yes, even on a Bradarrific day, there will be some news that’s not Guigar-related. Today, that would be the announcement of the first tranche of special guests at this year’s TCAF, a list which includes Charles Burns, Eleanor Davis, Gurihiru, Lucy Knisley, Scott McCloud, Barbara Stok, Jillian Tamaki, and Chip Zdarsky. Keep in mind that about 300 more creators from around the world will be at TCAF, a list of which will be found here.


Spam of the day:

I got an Appletini and the hubby coffee.

Of all the things that I have no interest in, alleged weight-loss tips from R-----l R-y is at the very top of the list.