The webcomics blog about webcomics

Back To Work, Now Enjoy The Long Weekend

Another webcomic announced forthcoming retirement, but it’s more like a beloved sports figure having a farewell season. Today is the start of September and in many parts of the world, that’s as close to the start of the academic year as you’re going to get. A number of Fleen’s readers and subjects are academic, and so they’re thinking of this as back to work season. For one of them, it’s the last season before retiring:

[T]his is the time that feels most appropriate for reviewing the past year and preparing for the oncoming year, setting what your goals will be and challenging yourself to do what you want to, as well as figure out where everything should be when the Academic Year is over.

So with that in mind, I’ll be ending Surviving the World on June 1st, 2018.

I started Surviving the World because I needed it, and it was crucial to my happiness and success through the end of grad school and through my post-doc. It started off my professorial career on just the right note. And then in what has been my dream job of being a teaching professor, not to mention the raising of two awesome kids, STW slowly became less and less important in my life and to my happiness. And while I still love STW, I know this should be the year that STW graduates, if you will, if I want my love for it to persist. So I’ll pack away the chalk at the end of the Academic Year.

I hope to make good comics straight through the end of STW. I hope you’ll enjoy them. I’ll try to crowdfund the one and only STW book (finally) early next year, and hopefully that will be successful. I don’t know exactly how well it will finish up, but I never expected many of you to be along for this ride in the first place, so I guess we’ll find out together.

So let’s roll into this last Academic Year together. I hope you liked what the class has been so far. I hope you like what’s left. Thanks for being here, either way.

(Also, June 1st will be one day past the 10th anniversary of STW, so I’ll be able to honestly claim that STW ran for 10+ years! It’s a small and ridiculous detail, but STW has always been about both small and ridiculous details, so it feels appropriate.)

That would be Dr Lucas Landherr of the Chemical Engineering faculty at Northeastern University, in his alter ego of Dante Shepherd, chalk addict and labcoat aficionado. What he doesn’t mention in his essay is that he will no doubt keep the comics coming in other forms, as he’s received both grants and significant professional acclaim¹ for his innovative use of comics to teach complex STEM concepts [PDF].

What I am saying is that it’s been a fun ride, and things are only likely to get funner as the year wears on. I hear during Spring Break, he’ll be naked, drunk, and cavorting with dry-erase whiteboards for the whole week. Scandal!

Now get out and enjoy the long weekend. As a reminder, the F-Six matching campaign for Houston flood relief continues until midnight on Monday, so don’t forget to give even a little; as mentioned earlier, your contribution will be tripled.

Current fundraising for Houston total: US$175

Spam of the day:

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No foolin’, I have no debt to consolidate. My debt is negative.

¹ American Institute of Chemical Engineers 35 Under 35 Award, 2017;
American Society of Engineering Education Northeast Section Outstanding Teacher Award, 2016. Not to mention awards for teaching at Northeastern, all within his first five years of teaching. For a person at the start of his professing career, this is an amazing track record.

Valuable Resources

Here’s some fine folks that want to help you make your life in the creative end of things just a bit easier. They’re great.

  • Katie Lane¹ reported t’other day that her How To Read A Contract free e-course got an overwhelming response from fine people such as yourself. So overwhelming, in fact, that it broke the email system she’s using to deliver the lessons. It took a day or so to resolve, but the emails are going out now, and Lesson One is a counterintuitive doozy.

    For a course on How To Read A Contract, it seems a little weird to start by saying don’t read the contract yet; however, readers that are familiar with Lane may recall that her chief objective in contracts is to reach a place of mutual understanding. The key to that is to first understand yourself and what you want the contract to reflect. So before you read it, think hard on what it is you want to see in the contract — what terms, what guarantees, what understanding.

    Only after you have that worked out do you have the framework to evaluate if the contract reflects what you want the agreement to be. Then you’re in a position to say This is not going to work for me, where do we go from here? Focusing on the language of the contract too soon means you’re already dealing solely on the terms and conditions that whoever wrote the contract considers important, which may not address everything you find to be important. It’s a neat way to look at things, and I’m guessing that the next lessons will build on it.

  • On a related note, those that follow the small press that serves independent creators will be familiar with Koyama Press and its founder, Annie Koyama. She’s got her own opinions on how creators need to develop business skills and the ability to evaluate contracts and proposals; to help them protect themselves, she’s looking to hold a Toronto-area workshop along those lines:

    I’d like to gauge interest in holding a 2 hour workshop with a pro at KP headquarters to teach artists some of these basics. A full course is taught at OCADU and Sheridan College so if you are enrolled in those courses, this is not for you.

    It would be a one time thing unless there was a ton of interest to follow up with other topics. Probably to occur in late fall.

    Preference would be given to KP published artists initially but anyone is invited to attend.

    If there is enough interest, say ten people, Koyama Press would subsidize the cost and the artists could attend free of charge. If more than ten people wanted to attend, I’d look at repeating the event later.

    If interested, please comment here and send me an quick email at: anne at koyamapress dot-com. Thanks!

    The comment here bit refers to the Facebook posting, where she’s posted in the past hour that there’s definitely enough interest and the workshop will take place. But! All communications about the workshop and logistics will be email-only, so if you want to attend be sure to drop her a line. Anybody that attends, do let the rest of us know how it goes.

  • Hey, you know who’s great? Lucy Bellwood (Adventure Cartoonist!), that’s who. I don’t know if you followed her artist’s residency in Iceland on Twitter earlier this month, but there were many majestic vistas featured, and more than a few really lovely paintings that she shared². But consider: a berth on a tall ship (or even a modern research vessel) may only offer a very small space for stowage and personal belongings; trekking across the blasted heath of Iceland, you ain’t carrying a full Cintiq rig with you (and there’s no place to plug it in if you did).

    So how art? Today, she’s done a writeup of how she manages to go to the far ends of the land and water and get all of the visual sketching and painting and such done; it’s at her Patreon, but it’s open for anybody to read:

    There’s a lot of bluster around asking artists about their tools. On the one hand, newer artists can become needlessly hung up on shortcuts, prying into artists’ toolkits to try and find the Magic Paintbrush that will grant them the power they desire. (Bad news: it doesn’t exist.) On the other hand, asking about people’s tools is a GREAT way to discover new materials and techniques.

    When I think about tools I picked up because artists I admire used them (Windsor and Newton Series 7 No. 2 Sable Brushes, Pentel Pocketbrush, etc.) I realize that they were neat to learn from, but ultimately didn’t stick around. When I found something that really worked for my tendencies and preferences (Kuretake’s felt-tip brush pen, for example) it felt right. However, like choosing a college major or a life path, that rightness is generally only attainable after a LOT of experimentation! [emphasis original]

    Her conclusion: trial and error is how you put together your travel art kit, but she’s helpfully included hers. It’s pretty compact! I’m guessing that all the stuff she’s included is super-neat for artists to ooh and ahh over, but I’m not qualified to judge. I can tell, though, that the tone of the post is pretty identical to when I talk about emergency kits with fellow EMTs and we have Opinions; whatever the tools of your trade, there’s always that discussion to have.

    Oh, and in case you think that your art isn’t good enough, regardless of the kit/tools/travel/whatever? She’s got you covered there. Punch your inner demons in the face when self-doubt strikes.

Current fundraising for Houston total: US$150
Come on, people! We’ve stalled since yesterday.

Spam of the day:

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Here’s my feedback: I have no idea what you’re trying to say by offer a free accomplishment of written work. I will not be buying the writing services of people who cannot write clearly.

¹ Light-ning Law-yer!! I need to write a macro to set up that footnote automatically.

² There were also boats.

Maryland, Yo

Here we are a little more than two weeks out from SPX — to be held 16 and 17 September in Bethesda, Maryland¹, and I’m eager to talk to you about the programming slate, which is always well-curated and humanely paced. Unfortunately, it’s not posted yet.

More precisely, the schedule of events is not posted, but SPX did give us a fairly extensive list of highlights. Traditionally, SPX runs two programming rooms, one panel in each, on offset schedules. Maybe six events per room on each of two days, for a total of a two dozen or so panels (plus the Ignatz Awards and dance party on Saturday night). And at least eight of those two dozen or so panels have had descriptions released. Highlights include:

Plus Sikoryak! Heidi Mac! Shannon Wheeler! 2dcloud! Jeremy Sorese! And many more! I’ma guess sometime between now and this time next week, we’ll have the proper schedule, until then, prepare for your time in Bethesda, and don’t forget to stock up on Faygo.

Know who else you’ll find in Maryland, on account of he lives there? Jamie Noguchi. When you see him at SPX, he’ll be halfway done with his Tokutember project, about which we now have some details. Check it:

Starting September 1, I’m going to kick off a little art project called Tokutember. It’s like daily drawing or Inktober or any other drawing challenge, except it’s tokusatsu themed! I’ll be posting my daily creations here as well as twitter and instagram with the hashtag #tokutember. Please feel free to join in on the fun!

That link takes you to the main Tokutember site with the details: from now on, September is Tokutember, and every year will have an appropriate theme. For 2017, the theme is insects, so draw something (in the theme or not, he’s not your boss), post it, and repeat at whatever interval you desire.

Noguchi will post his contributions at the site, and he’s included handy soshmeeds links to tags so you can find all the best kaiju, rangers, and other effects-heavy Japanese entertainment tributes.

Current fundraising for Houston total: US$150

Spam of the day:

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Up to 1200 what? Is this one of those over 9000 deals?

¹ Coincidentally, the same weekend as the Juggalo March on nearby Washington, DC.

Three Seemingly Unrelated Items

Readers of this page will likely know a few things about me: I stand second to no man in my admiration for the work of Katie Lane¹, I started in webcomics with You Damn Kid and will wait however long between hiatuses², and I had no real opinion on Pepe the Frog prior to his appropriation by the worst people in America. By extreme coincidence, these three things are all in the news today.

  • Katie Lane said it best in a tweet:

    I’m tired of creators feeling confused and intimidated when they’re given a contract. So I made a thing.

    The thing in question is a free e-course for artists and freelancers on how to read contracts; don’t let the vaguely clickbait wording on the landing page deter you — this is solid information, it’s free, and Lane is undercutting her own professional practice by teaching potential clients to do something that they might have hired her to do for them. She just cares that much.

    So click the link, add your email, confirm your request, and about a minute later the first message will hit your inbox. You’ll get daily emails for the next four days, with advice on how to read a contract³, written for normal people. Why aren’t you doing this? I’m doing this because reading a contract is something I taught myself to do when signing a mortgage and I figure I can always use better info that what I figured out by my lonesome.

  • Owne Dunne has been telling the stories of You Damn Kid and associated strips for as long as I’ve been reading webcomics; probably longer. The first webcomics stuff I ever obtained for money were a book, print, and t-shirt featuring the iconic Frog Rocket Wiener, and I’ve been sharing that factoid since at least 2008. He’s done many, many strips since I started reading back in Aught-Aught, or even Ninety-Nine. And while the original launch date of 12 June may have been a bit ambitious, but it’s here at last.

    While I was expecting either Classic style or New style YDK, and would have been thrilled for something related to Nippleshine Manor (RIP), the first animated short comes courtesy of Norman P Function, and concerns Stink Lines, dog adoption, and teaching canines methods of birth control that do not involve chop[ping your] nads off. It’s as exactly as uncontrolled as you suspect.

  • There’s very little Matt Furie can do to reclaim Pepe the Frog; he killed Pepe off and Kickstarted to try to revive the positive aspects of the character. Terrible, terrible people, on the other hand, outnumber Furie by about a squazillion to one. One of those terrible, terrible people recently self-published (and later signed a contract with conservative-leaning Post Hill Press) a children’s book starring a frog called Pepe defending his farm from menacing Muslims.

    That shit would not stand.

    The terrible, terrible person behind this book (a vice principal in a Dallas suburb, until all of this hit) admitted to the blatant copyright violation and worked out an agreement with Furie’s lawyers in a very few days. The book has been pulled from Amazon and no longer appears in Post Hill’s Coming Soon section.

    Best of all, the terrible, terrible person behind this book has had to surrender all the money he made from it (a little over US$1500) and, at Furie’s insistence, is giving it to the Council on American-Islamic Relations. Furie is a badass, and terrible, terrible people ought not to forget that.

Current fundraising for Houston total: US$100

Spam of the day:

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¹ Light-ning Law-yer!!

² Hiati?

³ But not advice on what the terms mean; for starters, those vary state to state. You still need a lawyer and oh damn now you know one that’s giving you valuable info for free who would be happy to have you as a client (as long as you’re not a jerk; jerks need not apply).

Unpleasant Echoes

Update to add: My employer will be matching donations to the Houston Food Bank; if you want your effort to be tripled (you give $1, I match $1, my employer matches my $1, total of $3 donated), there’s the place to give.

It was twelve years back that Hurricane Katrina hit New Orleans, and that being some months before this here page launched, we didn’t talk about the impact it had on webcomics — a number of hosting and colo facilities were in the Crescent City, and they failed as the floodwaters rose.

Actually, we wouldn’t have spoken about that regardless, as Hurricane Katrina was a bad time for me personally; I’m not sure I’ve ever mentioned it here, but my wife’s parents lived in New Orleans at the time, and we lost contact with them about 9:00pm Monday night¹. We didn’t hear back from them until the wee morning hours of Saturday. It’s a terrible thing, not knowing.

Anyway, they called us around 3:00am from a Red Cross intake center at an Army base in Texas (they got to ride in a helicopter!), and then their time at the phone was up. In the meantime, I found a hotel in the same city with vacancies, and when they got their next shot at the phone eight hours later and were still waiting their turn at processing (there were a lot of displaced people there), I told ’em to sign the We’re Leaving release, hop in a cab, and head to the Marriott. An hour later they’d had their first showers and hot food in days, and the luxury of talking to us without anybody waiting their turn.

We told ’em to stay there at least the weekend and were never so glad to get a higher than expected Visa bill that month. They did return to New Orleans, but only briefly to gather their things; they wound up in West Virginia, close to one of my wife’s sisters (the surgical nurse, which was helpful when their health later took downward turns).

Houston, and its metropolitan area, is much larger than New Orleans. It is not conceivable how many people will have to be rescued as the waters are — as of this writing — still rising nearly three days after landfall; it is not conceivable how many will have to be evacuated from homes and neighborhoods that are no longer structurally safe or provided with the necessities of life; it is not conceivable how many may never be able to return. Some of them were probably chased out of NoLa in 2005 and wondering which deity they pissed off to go through all of this again.

All of which is a roundabout way of saying that there’s going to be a continuing need for help down in Texas; the immediate rescue-and-recovery will last for the next couple of days, but the rebuilding will take much, much longer.

Fleen readers have proven themselves to be generous in the defense of others, and I’m asking you to help once again. Material goods are not as helpful as cash, so any contributions to any of the local charities called out by Charity Navigator as being well-regarded, we’re going to match them until the end of Labor Day.

Those organizations are:

Remember: a lot of people that don’t evacuate make that choice because they can’t take their animals with them; add in the animals that have been separated from their people, and you see the need.

If there are webcomics down that you learn about alternate posting locations for, we’ll run a list; otherwise, let’s be patient, and let’s do our best to help².

Spam of the day:
Not today.

¹ Exactly twelve years ago tomorrow.

² On that note, there is a nonzero chance that FEMA may ask my town’s EMS to send ambulance and crew to Texas; it happened after Katrina. If that happens, I’ll be away. I trust you’ll deal.

Welcome Returns For A Friday

Hey, the weather is distinctly non-Augustlike and I want to get out there, so how about a couple of quick pointers and we all enjoy the weekend? Got two things to share.

  • Great news from Becky Dreistadt and Frank Gibson, who’ve been away from one of their signature creations for too damn long. Capture Creatures has been incomplete and hiatused for too damn long … two years or so by my count. I have theories¹ as to why this is, but Gibson and Dreistadt are too polite to confirm these suppositions.

    But good news:

    Capture Creatures returns in 2018!

    I’ll try to get a confirmation if this is a relaunch, a continuation of the interrupted original run, or something else. Since I’m on the far end of the continent from Gibson & Dreistadt, I won’t be able to use my traditional technique of buying them drinks and hoping they volunteer something². In the meantime, dust off the old issues and refamiliarize yourself with Jory and Tamzen in anticipation. 2018 cannot come too soon.

  • From Fleen Senior French Correspondent Pierre Lebeaupin, a little breaking news about the insanest fight manga to not come from Japan, Last Man:

    Last Man [the animated series, last mentioned here] will air in English on [streaming app] VRV starting August 25th [i.e.: today] at 6:00pm ET, and director Jérémie Périn will be a special guest at Crunchyroll Expo [running today through Sunday at the Santa Clara Expo Center).

    As previously mentioned, Last Man (the book series) is batshit insane and good, and the fact that the tie-in series will be available to those of us on this side of the Atlantic is welcome news. Now to wait for the final volumes to get finished, translated, and released because boy howdy! Book 6 ended on one hell of a cliffhanger and I needs me some closure.

Spam of the day:

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Oh. It’s like a radar for finding free offers on completely ordinary stuff. Talk about burying the lede.

¹ Namely, that the chronic disorganization and crappy (not to mention slow-walked) payment model at BOOM! ran into somebody that said no. I surmise that BOOM! is trying to treat the pair as they treat their work-for-hire newbies and don’t know institutionally how to interact with somebody that has the experience and knowledge to enforce their contractual rights.

To be 100% fair, for every BOOM! creator I’ve spoken to that has experience terrible treatment (on the business side, not the editorial side), I’ve spoken to another that has zero complaints and has been perfectly happy. How much of this is luck, or how much it’s BOOM! picking strategically who gets their limited attention³.

² I plied both Dreistadt and Gibson with excellent drinks in San Diego (adjacent to a wall decorated in 3D-printed human skulls, apparently left over from a Rob Zombie video shoot.), and could not get them to tell me anything on the record. As I recall, the conversation went something like this:

All: These are great drinks!
Me: Care to confirm my theories about how you’re getting screwed on Capture Creatures?
B&F: Nope!
Me: Fair enough. Let’s have more great drinks!

That’s some hard-hitting investigative pseudojournalism there, let me tell you.

³ Apparently, there was a time where BOOM! editor Shannon Watters was responsible for literally dozens of titles at the same time. I’ve gone back to pull their publication history and check mastheads, but I have been told by numerous sources that the number was upwards of fifty. That’s five-zero. If true, no matter how short a period, BOOM! was putting the crunch culture of Silicon Valley to shame as fucking amateurs in the field of running their people into the ground.

Thursday Continues The Tradition Of Being The Quiet Day In Webcomics

Especially Thursdays in late summer.

I do, however, want to point you to something that happened today, something which puts the capper on a great deal of work by a number of ferociously skilled people. I speak of the final episode of the first series of The Nib animated, as seen at Topic.

Matt Lubchansky (associate editor at The Nib, as well as creator of a zillion brilliant cartoons, editorial and otherwise) has put in a lot of the producer work to make static comics come alive, and the project has delivered what was promised: sharp humor, and the more horrifying Trump visages imaginable¹. All told, the ten episodes come to some 45 minutes of piss-taking, and if you’ve not been watching them for the summer, you could to worse than to binge.

Congrats to Lubchansky, Nib editor Matt Bors, and contributors including Jen Sorenson, Emily Flake, Andy Warner, John Martz, Kendra Wells, Joey Alison Sayers, Keith Knight, Maki Naro, Sarah Mirk, Pia Guerra, Brian McFadden, Nomi Kane, Sas Goldberg, Ellen Crenshaw, as well as voice actors James Adomian and Rachel Butera, and the animators at Augenblick Studios. Be sure to keep an eye out for the next series.

Spam of the day:

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I never really thought of getting earthmoving equipment to roll trenches before, but now I kind of want to.

¹ Since Trump shows up in multiple segments of each episode, based on the work of different cartoonists, it’s a kick to see multiple interpretations of him.

New Projects

The thing about webcomics and webcomicky people? Always doing new stuff. Let’s see what some longtime creators are up to.

  • Item! Jamie Noguchi has been away from Yellow Peril for a while, thanks to the demands of a young human in his household and the freelancer’s life. We got some really cool George Takei biocomics out of the hiatus, so that’s okay. And it appears that behind the scenes, Noguchi has been working on something related to his one true love.

    I speak, naturally, of tokusatsu, the Japanese entertainment genre featuring rubbersuit monsters and overly dramatic young people saving the world with giant robots, karate, motorbikes, and possibly Spider-man. Noguchi knows his way around tokusatsu, with a series of videos explaining what’s up with the various Rider- and Ranger-type series.

    And the new project? Well, we have to wait another week or so:

    Alright! There we go! And starting September 1, you’ll see what this dumb thing is all about! #tokutember

    I suspect this will be better than the time a pair of puppets slap-fought each other in a train-themed Ranger series.

  • Item! Meredith Gran may have wrapped Octopus Pie but that doesn’t mean she’s idle. What would you most like to see from her? If you said a point and click adventure game, it’s your lucky day:

    a few weeks ago I started working on a point + click adventure game, my first attempt at such a thing. it’s going to be my next project!

    it’s so nebulous right now that I’m having trouble formally announcing things. I’m not fundraising at this time – just developing

    but I will be updating patreon soon with info about it. at this time I’m really just looking for a sustained income so I can focus on it

  • Item! Not only is Vera Brosgol’s new book about to drop, it appears her last graphic novel — the stellar Anya’s Ghost — is going to get the screen treatment:

    Soooo here’s a thing!

    The quoted treat leads to a Deadline Hollywood story about the production of the feature film, with shooting set to begin later this year. Everybody feel good for Vera, and wave to her as she sets off for a life of Hollywood glamour.

  • Item! Any day that Anthony Clark posts pretty much anything — a comic, a sketch, a picture of a cool dog he met that day — is, by definition, better than a day without Anthony Clark posting anything. What with his wizard-a-day series for 2017 (posted today: #235, Badminton Wizard), there’s been plenty of days better than there otherwise would have been in an otherwise terrible year. And if any of those wizards particularly catches your fancy, but you don’t want to scroll back through a lengthy Twitter thread, there’s now a Wizard Gallery! And you can buy prints of your favorite wizards through TopatoCo!

Spam of the day:

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It’s possible that the (91) is just indicating that this is the 91st Isabella to send me an allegedly sexy spam, but it’s also possible that (91) is meant to be an age, which makes the similar spam from Leanna (3) especially icky.

A New Perspective

Still ramping back up into what’s happening in webcomics these days. I expect it’ll be a while before I’m fully caught up.

Erika Moen & Matt Nolan’s Oh Joy, Sex Toy is very nearly always educational for me. I learn about things that people do in ways that I do not that sound awesome. I learn about things that people do or like that have no interest for me, but which makes me more empathetic — just ’cause I’m not into it, don’t mean it’s a bad thing is a lesson we can all stand to learn. But best of all (for me) are the sexual health lessons, because I almost always learn something useful.

Today, I learned something that in retrospective is blindingly obvious, but which had never been taught to me or occurred to me before. I happened to have a reasonably complete and comprehensive sex education experience when I was in high school — it was the mid 80s, AIDS was poorly understood, and at least my school district decided to respond with the best, most up to date information possible. None of this abstinence-only nonsense — here’s methods of birth control and STI prevention, here’s the odds they work as intended, here’s the ways you can mess up using them and cause bad outcomes. In retrospective, it was great.

There was also a really good anatomical component each year (starting back in fifth grade, as I recall), and one of my teachers being a breast cancer survivor, there was a no-bullshit discussion of self-exams with absolutely no snickering tolerated from the male portion of the class. This is how you catch things as early as possible; this is how you keep from dying was her message. But we never got the message that came near the end of today’s update, where Moen’s character delivers this exhortation:

So get familiar with your funbags (or where they used to be) and keep an eye out for anything that looks or feels unusual for them! [emphasis mine]

or where they used to be encompasses both survivors who’ve had mastectomies and those undergoing gender transition. Trans* issues wouldn’t have been taught to me back in the mid 80s because it just wasn’t a topic of discussion; the gradual increase in trans* visibility means that where they used to be is perfectly logical¹. It’s actually the concept of survivors and recurrence that caught me flat-footed. We were taught you lost your breasts to cancer and that was it; you might get other cancers in the future, but not breast cancer again.

It’s a sobering thought, delivered in an almost offhand manner. It’s made me think a lot. It’s a hell of an accomplishment for six words. And that’s why I love what Moen and Nolan are doing, week after week.

Spam of the day:

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The partially-clothed young woman pictured in this spam has been Photoshopped to render her incapable of fitting her breasts into a mammogram scanner without the aid of industrial sedatives and a forklift. Reminding myself about the bit above re: just ’cause I’m not into it but jeeze. I’m surprised anybody thinks she can stand upright.

¹ In the notes below the strip, there’s also links and resources not only for assigned-male-at-birth transwomen, but also cisgender males. Fun fact, a small (but measurable) fraction of breast cancer cases are in cis-men, which often are not caught until disastrously late because they don’t do self-exams or get mammograms. Heck, most penis-havers can’t be bothered to do self-checks for testicular cancer, so they really aren’t checking their manly pecs for breast cancer. Once again, knowledge to the rescue.

I Picked The Wrong Day To Come Back To Writing

On account of I do the majority of my blog writing in midafternoon, and against all past historical precedent, it’s clear skies for today’s solar eclipse. I needed to ease back in anyway, so let’s do this briefly, yeah? Since I’ve been gone, there have been two things I noticed in my greatly-reduced webcomics-attention-paying:

  • Ugly Hill! Oh good glob, Ugly Hill! There’s nothing at that link, and even the Wayback Machine has most all of the art missing, but Paul Southworth has brought it back via his Patreon:

    ANNOUNCEMENT: I’m re-releasing “Ugly Hill” from the beginning for $5 Patreon subscribers starting Monday, 8/7/17!

    Add this to the recent revival of Lake Gary and we’re getting what all that is good and right in the world tells us we deserve: hideous Southworthian creatures behaving terribly. And it will go on forever; at five updates a week, it may take four or five years to get through the entirety of Ugly Hill.

  • The latest Iron Circus anthology sent out its call for submissions. FTL, Y’all takes as its theme the prompt of a cheap faster-than-light drive — like two hundred dollars cheap — and asks for stories of the situations that result. As readers of this page will recall Iron Circus Benevolent Dictator For Life Spike Trotman runs successful projects that pay (including, historically, bonuses based on how the Kickstarts go), but that she does not suffer fools gladly.

    Got a great idea for the anthology you want considered? Great! Read the damn FAQ first so you don’t waste your time. Then read the damn submission guidelines so you don’t waste Spike’s time, or that of project editor Amanda Lefrenais. I can pretty much promise you that the best looking and most original story in the known universe will be kicked to the reject pile if you don’t follow the guidelines. Submissions close 15 September, and contributors will be announced 15 October.

Okay, time to observe the majesty of the universe.

Spam of the day:

Find Your Perfect Credit Card!

Wow. They claim to be Credit One Bank in the images included in the email, but can’t bring themselves to maintain that fiction in the return address. They’re really just a partner of Credit One Bank! (they’re not)