The webcomics blog about webcomics

It’s … It’s So Beautiful

Hooray! My Four Seasons Total Landscaping shirt from the drunken recesses of Shing Yin Khor’s celebratory id has arrived, and that means I am giving a chunk o’ money to Fair Fight, which Stacey Abrams founded to combat voter suppression in the state of Georgia. I promised to match donations up to US$1000 and … okay, I get it. It’s been a long four years and you’re tapped out. It wasn’t much that I got informed of, but I like nice round numbers, so I rounded my contribution up to five hundo.

And now, let’s talk webcomics.

  • Molly Ostertag remains one of the finest writer/artists we have in comics, and I am very much looking forward to her next book. While I was sad that the Witch Boy series has concluded, it told the story that Ostertag wanted to tell, and I know well that she’s got many more stories in her. Thus, my excitement yesterday when I saw a cosplay photo of a character from the cover of Ostertag’s next book. The excitement that drives people to invest in a story, knowing it’ll speak to them, based on the creator’s track record? That’s intoxicating and joyful.

    And it reminded me that I didn’t mention Ostertag’s next book when it was announced over the summer on account of [gestures] everything. So look for The Girl From The Sea on 1 June 2021, hopefully when we’ll all be able to walk into bookstores freely again.

  • It was not quite two weeks ago that I noted that one of Jim Zub’s typically strong creator-owned stories was hopping from Amazon’s clutches comiXology to print, but he didn’t let me know at that time that he was about to launch a second chapter to that selfsame story. Which he did. Today:

    STONE STAR Season 2 Begins!
    Last year, Max Dunbar and I launched a new creator-owned series as part of ComiXology Originals and now we’re back for Season 2 of the series.

    Espen Grundetjern has brought his stunning colors once again and Marshall Dillon’s lettering continues to dazzle. Our creative team is having a ton of fun building out this world and setting the pieces into place for even more cool stuff to come.

    You can pick up Stone Star‘s entire first story arc at comiXology for two bucks, or grab the first issue of the second arc for three. Have at it.

  • Scott C jigsaw puzzles, Scott C jigsaw puzzles, Scott C jigsaw puzzles. On sale starting 1:00pm EST (GMT-5) Friday at the Scott C shop.

Spam of the day:

This brew is a powerful painkiller, without opiates, or addictive effects. Once used for everything, from painful toothaches to leg amputations…

The fact that you are trying to tell people to forage for whatever plant it is you’re basing this on is only slightly less astonishing that the fact that you’re expecting people to find a reason to imagine they’ll be amputating their own legs.

How’s The Schadenfreude Going For Everybody?

When the histories of this time and place are written, I’m not sure that anything will embody the utterly fruitless flailing of the Trump Administration as calling a Very Important Press Conference starring Insider Goon #1 (Rudy Giuliani) in the parking lot of a lawn service next to a dildo store and across the street from a crematorium, during the middle of which the press all left because the race was called for Biden.

And all of us, I think, want to know what the story is behind Four Seasons Total Landscaping, accidental venue for maybe the saddest, most pathetic outburst in four years of increasingly sad and pathetic behavior. Did Rudy know a guy who knew a guy? Did — and I believe this with all my heart — the campaign think they were contacting the Four Seasons hotel and end up booking the wrong Four Seasons by accident? Did they think we wouldn’t notice that the entire thing took place between a fire extinguisher and a hose?

I want the oral history of this fiasco, the podcast series, the dissertation of what the hell actually led to this parking lot on the edge of Philadelphia, but in the meantime I have a new favorite shirt. Friend of Fleen Shing Yin Khor spent some time Saturday night gettin’ tipsy and designing a tribute shirt for Four Seasons Total Landscaping with everybody’s favorite orange nightmare, Gritty, prominently featured.

For about 24 hours, the shirt was up for sale at Threadless, with the intent of maybe sending five hundo to the campaigns of Democrats Ossoff and Warnock in the Georgia Senate runoffs, as well as to the Stacey Abrams-led Fair Fight, which has done so much to counter voter suppression and gerrymandering in Georgia.

That was the plan, but like everything else about 2020, reality had its own ideas:


1. We raised $28k+!!
2. This is now a tax problem for me!
3. Please be patient as I sort accounting, and wait 2 weeks for Threadless to actually send/transfer money.
4. Here are my max contribution receipts for the Senate runoff campaigns.
5. Shirt comes down at 2pm PST.

Khor maxed out the allowable contributions under election law to a campaign per election cycle for both Ossoff and Warnock, and will be sending the remainder presently. For a few hours, there was only a tote bag at the Threadless link (benefiting National Queer and Trans Therapists of Color Network), because you gotta have a product there to leave a message saying the shirt are down, because wrangling finances is not Khor’s job and they have better things to do.

And then, a few hours later after convos with Threadless, the shirt was back:

SHIRTS ARE BACK! I will be working directly with Threadless to get money directly to voting charities(the ones mentioned earlier)!! However, I am still refusing to offer shirts on black, out of respect for the beautiful oranges of Gritty’s fur. Thank you.

Get yours here, and remember: any designs on Etsy or elsewhere (all of the ones I’ve seen being considerably more expensive than Khor’s versions) are knockoffs by lowlifes that need to be reported.

And let it never be said that we at Fleen don’t step up, so the Fleen Fight For Fungible Futures Fund is back in business. I will match all donations to Fair Fight up to US$1000 between now and when I get my shirt in the mail (damn right I ordered one). This is the one time you should accept the USPS being a little slow.

Spread the word, email or post your receipts, cost me some money, and let’s put McConnell out of his godsdamned office.

Spam of the day:

Bear Grillz shared a new online system for earning!

I think they’re trying to make me think of Bear Grylls, but instead they’re making me think of a bear that grills, or possibly a bear with grillz. That last one is frankly terrifying, but a bear that grills is awful close to something that Ryan North and Erica Henderson shared with us and is thoroughly awesome.

Well, That’s Not Going To Complicate Things At All, He Said With A Grimace

I speak today of international tax regimes, and a Brexit-addled government in London that is determined to immiserate the residents of the UK. One may recall changes to value-added taxes in the UK in the past, the VATMOSS which eventually exempted small purchases and which was mostly addressed by services like Gumroad and everybody else? Well, they just hoped to fly under the radar of Her Majesty’s Revenue & Customs.

Yeah, got some bad news for you, person who sells anything to anybody in the UK:

This HMRC change to VAT on small imports is potentially hugely damaging to free trade and customer choice – article here summary below

That from Paul Lewis, a financial journalist in Blighty. The summary from his tweet was the image included above, but for screenreaders, here’s the important parts:

Anyone abroad who wants to sell a product in Britain will have to register with HM Revenue & Customs and pay VAT directly to the government. At present the seller merely has to fill in a customs declaration that the purchser pays the tax. Three other changes will come into effect. First, the VAT exemption for products worth less than £15 will come to an end.

I left out the second and third because they deal with EU-resident sellers with British customers and vice versa; I’m addressing the folks that are not part of the EU or UK, but regardless of where in the world you are, I’ll repeat that first line with some bolding this time: Anyone abroad who wants to sell a product in Britain will have to register with HM Revenue & Customs and pay VAT directly to the government.

So if you’re an indie creator with customers in the UK, I’d encourage you to encourage them to get any purchases sorted out now, with delivery dates well in advance of 1 January (who knows if the Customs officers will treat a package showing up on 2 January but in fulfillment of an order placed on 15 December as old rules or new rules). Either that, or get in business with Her Majesty’s Government, and be prepared to pay with time, money, and effort to get in (and stay in) compliance with the new regs¹.

I mean, you could try to ignore it, but something tells me that small merchants that don’t pay VAT are going to see their shipments refused for delivery² rather than a discreet eye turned to the side. At the very least, if you try to smuggle your stuff to customers via the post, you’ll possibly find yourself the subject of inquiries if you ever change planes at Heathrow.

Spam of the day:

Contact Benjamin Today and Discover the Difference a Professional Blog Writer Makes!

I sincerely doubt you can master the intricacies of Fleen House Style but sure — submit 3000 words on why working on spec is a bad idea and if I like it, maybe I’ll have some work for you in the future.

¹ Hopefully we’ll get more information before or near to the first of the year if t-shirts and books from overseas becoming prohibitively complicated for sellers to process. Because that revocation of the £15 exemption is either a major-league a dick move, or Her Majesty’s Government needs every tuppence it can wrangle from the rest of the world as their economy gets Wrecksited. I’m seeing reports of EU vendors being told they have to pay HMR&C £1000 for the privilege of collecting and forwarding VAT and ha ha no, fuck that.

² Or worse, the purchaser never gets them, and the shipper never gets them back. Whether they end up in a landfill, on Ebay, or in some Customs officer’s home is open to speculation.

Hey, How Are You Today?

Me? Okay, I guess. I mean, I found out that work has apparently decided that we’re all using Microsoft Teams now, which is an abomination against all that is good and holy, and which decided to mark me as “Available for your DMs and chat, send ’em over any time you like!!!” despite the fact that I’m always teaching and not available, and which won’t let me log out or quit.

Seriously. I log out or quit, and it friggin’ re-launches and re-logs in, which brings my computer down to a crawl. Let’s try to find something that does not suck from every pore of its being; I’m thinking … webcomics.

It’s more than a little shame that work decided that today was the day to inflict pain, as today is one of the great holidays of Webcomickia, being as it marks — jointly and severally — the births of both John Allison and Ryan North. I thought I might put some birthday-apprope photos up top, but wouldn’t you know it? The internet is replete with photos of Ryan North — some even fully clothed! — but relatively few of John Allison. Doing a search produced the preview shown above, where I think we can quote Sesame Street and hum One of these things is not like the others, as one of the photos is John Allison, debonair chronicler of weird goings-on, and the other three are a different, lesser John Allison, onetime head of the Cato Institute.

There are no photos of lesser Ryans North; all other Ryans North have hidden themselves away from the extreme handsomeness and also Chompsky. Happys Birthday to Messers Allison and North; both of you produce better comics every time one comes out, and that is a rare skill.

In other news:

  • David Morgan-Mar (PhD, LEGO®©™etc) has been throwing himself into Irregular Webcomic and his myriad other creative endeavours since his (mostly controlled, but still a big shift after a lengthy period of association) dejobbing¹, and has taken the next step — he had a store where you could get his (honestly, excellent) photographs, but sometimes you just gotta go where everybody else is:

    As part of my ongoing attempt to start a photography business so that I can avoid going back to working for The Man, I have opened an Etsy shop, selling greeting cards featuring prints of my wildlife and landscape photography. I ship worldwide. If you’d like to support me, and get some cool greeting cards, please check it out, and maybe mention to your friends and family.

    Speaking of cool greeting cards, my friend with whom I toyed with an art scammer, Hollis Kitchin? Awesome greeting cards and prints at her art shop, including some gorgeous new floral designs. If you need cards, please consider these two fine folks from opposite corners of the Pacific Ocean.

  • Speaking of Comics Camp, which is where I know Hollis from, another Camper has a new book announcement. Readers may recall that my primary complaint about Nidhi Chanani’s Pashmina was the :01 Books should have given her about three dozen more pages to let the story and characters breathe a little more. I don’t want to say they definitely listened to me, but I will note that her next book has had its official cover reveal and pre-order announcement over at The Beat, and if you follow the link to the Macmillan page, it appears this time they gave her four dozen more pages to play with.

    Jukebox features more Indian young women as protagonists, more time travel, more family history searching … everything in Chanani’s wheelhouse, and anchored by her adorably inviting style. Get ready for discussions of music history (Sister Rosetta Tharpe!) and poetic waxing on the merits of vinyl², both of which are making my old college DJ habits start to rouse and demand to be fed. Jukebox releases from :01 on 22 June, 2021.

Spam of the day:

It looks like an ordinary survival tool you’d see at Cabela’s or Bass Pro Shop – but it’s not.It’s been updated with a tiny military technology that makes a 300-pound meth-fueled man lose control of all bodily functions in seconds.

So what, you finally found the Brown Note?

¹ The fact that that story is nearly two years old shows you what a country with a functioning safety net — notably, a national healthcare system — means for somebody taking a flyer at a creative career. It means the luxury of time, the luxury to try, the luxury to fail and not worry that it will cost you your life just because you’re no longer making corporate research PhD Aussie Fun Bucks.

² I’m not apologizing for that.

Today’s Choice

Give those three books another read or rush through a review that’s not completely informed yet.

Actually, it’s a slightly more involved choice than that — give those three books another read and put together the next missive in my campaign of stringing along an art scammer that targeted a friend. I’ve sent him an image of an example of my work, The Tenderness Of Memory Is A Balm Always, after which he replied to ask for more samples. Give it a click and scroll allll the way down and to the right to get to the deep emotional core of the piece. Trust me.

And I’d feel terrible if I didn’t have some information to share with you, so how about the news that Gallery Nucleus is currently running an artist highlight on Fleen Fave Becky Dreistadt? All of her work is 15% off until 15 October with code BU87WOEU. There’s some gorgeous work there for the collector who likes awesome things.

Spam of the day:

My name is Sam, and I work with companies to help them add (or change) live chat software on their websites.

That is a horrifying idea. Yuck.

Gamecomics? Comicgames!

Tie-ins, at the very least. Let’s see what’s up.

  • There have been numerous adaptations of Girl Genius (by Professor and Professoressa Foglio) into other media over the years — novelizations, radio dramas, card games — and they’ve expanded to a new frontier now with vidyagames. Girl Genius: Adventures In Castle Heterodyne takes its inspiration from the Castle Heterodyne mega-arc (running roughly from here to here, or about six years of comics), which gives a whole lotta room to play.

    The game itself is made by Rain Games of Norway, who appear to have a track record making games of this sort, but not crowdfunding — this is their first Kickstarter campaign. Goal is set at a reasonable US$200K, but they’ve got stretch goals reaching improbably as high as one million dollars which … I don’t think I’ve ever seen stretch goals go as high as five times base funding and actually be met.

    There’s a huge ask, so the FFF mk2 may not work so well — the trend held really steady for the first couple of days then dropped hard, giving a prediction of about US$135K-200K, which puts goal at the upper end of the range. The McDonald Ratio is predicting about US$150K total, which is worrisomely low.

    Again, this isn’t the sort of project that the predictions were trained on, so we’ll have to see, but with 6 days down and 24 to go, the project sits at 31% of goal at present, and video games are both notoriously expensive, and have a tendency to run over both time and budget. We’ll have to see.

  • By contrast, paper-based games are quicker and cheaper to develop, and oftentimes the creator of a comic is deep into a particular game, which helps. Enter: Jim Zub, who’s already got a dedicated Skullkickers“>Skullkickers tabletop game in development, but who also decided to mark the 10th anniversary of the comic by releasing the first new Skullkickers story in five years inside a 5th edition Dungeons & Dragons adventure book.

    Skullkickers: Caster Bastards And The Great Grotesque¹ will feature a 30 page story and 60 page adventure campaign, featuring new spells, game mechanics, magic items, and monsters, adaptable to whatever game you’re currently playing.

    As I may have mentioned previously, I haven’t played D&D since it was called Advanced D&D waaaay back in my college days — before 2nd edition was a thing — and I’m heartily tempted to get this because a) Skullkickers is hilarious, and b) the love that’s pouring out of the game portion of this book is apparent even through the distance of the internet.

    Zub’s been writing official D&D comics for a couple a’ years now, and went so far as to shave his head to better get into character for a live game last year. He’s mentioned multiple times that his course in life was irretrievably set from discovering D&D at the age of 8, so when he tells me that he’s picked out some top-notch game designers to make the playable part of this as good as it can be? It’s gonna be good.

    And, as an added incentive, the crowdfunding/fulfillment parts are being run by George, who mentioned casually he is approaching his 100th crowdfunding project managed, so I think he just might have a handle on how to keep everybody on track. Just a hunch. It’s a little early to apply the FFF mk2 math, but somewhere around a day in, they’re at 64% of the CA$22.3K (or US$16,843) goal with 23 days to go, so I think this one’s gonna fund. In case you were wondering, only one of the top tier reward (where, among other things, you appear as a wizard character in Caster Bastards) remains as of this writing.

Spam of the day:

Hello! I saw you the other day and I really liked you. I live in a neighboring yard, alone) let’s meet at my place?

This town’s ordinances don’t even allow dogs to live in yards, they have to have access to the house. Besides, I know my neighbors and none of them speak Russian like you do.

¹ I’m sure the similarity of that title to Hamster Huey And The Gooey Kablooie is mere coincidence.

Opposite Coasts, Opposite Approaches

We’ll get to the title reference in a moment, but I want to call out something first. Yesterday I spent quite a bit of space talking about Shing Yin Khor’s meditation/poem in comics form, Stone Fruit Season why, my goodness, you really should go read right now if you haven’t yet. If you have, read it again.

Anyways, when you’re done reading Stone Fruit Season, you might want to check out the comment below yesterday’s post from reader David Cortesi, who notes that Stone Fruit Season contains a number of references to TS Eliot’s The Love Song Of J Alfred Prufrock. Having spent most of my nerd school humanities electives on history and political science, I wasn’t familiar with Prufrock (or really, much of Eliot’s work except to be aware that his poems are the root cause of why people got purposefully very drunk/high to watch a movie and have been clamoring for The Butthole Cut.

But now I’ve read Prufrock and yeah, I think Cortesi is onto something. So thanks for that, I learned something today. Namely, that while I can’t say that I’m suddenly an Eliot fanboy, I can see how he set the stage for modern poets poems I do enjoy, including one in particular that I once traded a hand-transcribed copy of to The Space Gnome in exchange for admission to an interstellar trade guild. I love it when circles close so neatly.


Okay, time to get a bit more serious about thing, as I have to look at two comics institutions that are (at least as of the time of this writing) taking two entirely different approaches to the dominant issue of our time, the novel coronavirus pandemic.

  • On the one hand, you have the Cartoon Art Museum (who I was always going to write about today), who are running an auction to benefit the museum and its programs. Specifically, they are holding the Shelter-In-Place Fundraising Auction:

    The Cartoon Art Museum’s galleries were locked down following a statewide mandate issued on March 15, and our staff took immediate steps to adapt, developing online exhibitions, workshops, and conferences, sharing resources with other institutions, and seeking alternative sources to offset the revenue lost from our temporary closure.

    Members of the creative community have stepped up to help the Cartoon Art Museum and offer assistance during these uncertain times, and many cartoonists offered original art for the museum’s forthcoming Shelter-In-Place Fundraising Auction. Comic book artists, graphic novelists, comic strip artists, and animators have contributed artwork from their own archives for this ongoing online auction, which will help us continue our mission to ignite imaginations and foster the next generation of visual storytellers by celebrating the history of cartoon art, its role in society, and its universal appeal.

    That link will take you to a preview of items to be auctioned, the first of which will go up tomorrow, Thursday, 27 August, at CAM’s Ebay page with new items listed weekly. Props to everybody at CAM for finding a way to continue on in the face of closure.

  • On the other hand, you have something I had no idea I was going to write about today, except I happened to see a related story that caught my eye and subsequently raised my ire. The Ringo Awards announced today that their final ballots are decided, and voting is now open. So far, so good. But nowhere on their site (so near as I can tell) do they actually list the names on the ballot categories unless you provide an email address to register to vote.

    No. I’m not providing an email address for the privilege of researching information that should be public. I spent a significant amount of time poking around the Ringo Awards site looking for anyplace that has the categories and final nominees, and nothing. As of this writing, the sole communication from TRA on their Twitter account since late June is to say Hey, Kids! Comics award ballots! Vote and we’ll tell you who’s on them!¹.

    It was in my poking around in vain that I came across the following, which is on the home page, just above the list of this year’s judges:

    The fourth annual awards will return as part of the fan- and pro-favorite convention, The Baltimore Comic-Con. Top honors will be announced Saturday, October 24, 2020.

    That can’t be right, I thought, nobody could expect less than two months out from an event that regularly tops 15,000 people is going to be held indoors. That would be unbelievably irresponsible. So I went over to the BCC page, where (as near as I can tell) neither the words coronavirus nor COVID appear. The About/General Info page mentions exclusives, hotels, and sponsorships, but nothing about public health. The News page features a tickets on sale story from last November and literally nothing more recent.

    They are planning to hold this thing in person. There’s no other interpretation. They’re pushing tickets, advertising guests, and not acknowledging the elephant — the entire friggin’ population of African elephants gathered together into one improbable herd — in the room.

    Okay, they’re not good at communicating, I thought, but the absence of newer news doesn’t excuse this. The past ten days have been nothing but stories from around the country of schools — ranging from local public up through large universities — resuming classes and immediately having to shut down because of massive COVID outbreaks. The Frequently Asked Questions is about ticketing, how kids have to stay with parents, rules on celebrity group photos, how VIPs can enter the hall 30 minutes early, and their privacy policy. They are not acknowledging reality here, and it is dangerous.

    Well, maybe they’re just waiting for somebody else to pull the plug? I thought. In that case, there should at least be a statement about how they are carefully assessing the situation with respect to everybody’s safety, and oh, I dunno, recognizing that every other con canceled more than two months out? The Baltimore Convention Center has, right there its front page, a link to a Re-Opening FAQ that says, and I quote:

    The Baltimore Convention Center is currently unable to host events during the current State of Emergency enacted by Governor Hogan in March of this year. Events will take place again when the state of emergency has been lifted.

    They aren’t allowing more than 10 people at a time to make site visits (and are strongly encouraging virtual visits) to decide if they want to take a gamble on booking the convention center sometime 12 – 14 months from now. The city of Baltimore — home of Johns Hopkins and the best epidemiologists in the world, they are not fucking around with this thing — is currently at Phase 2 of reopening² and as of yesterday is meeting criteria to revert to Phase 1³. You’ve got all the justification needed to make a decision, stop jerking off in public, Baltimore Comic Con Committee.

    Call off the godsdamned con. And if they don’t and you decide to attend, stay the fuck away from me.

Spam of the day:
Know what? No spam today. I’ve had enough stupidity for one day.

¹ If you want to participate in the public voting portion of the multipartite Ringos, you have until 23 September. If you do and feel like sharing the nominees, I’ll run the list here at some point.

² No direct link to that screen; follow the link provided and click the button for Reopening Phases. Screenshot taken 26 August 2020, approximately 4:00pm EDT.

³ Again, no direct link; go to the button for Reopening Indicators. Screenshot taken 26 August 2020, approximately 4:00pm.

Today Is Particularly Stupid

Since last night I’ve had news of friends swept up into bullshit charges and a justice system designed to impoverish and immiserate even those for whom no charges can remotely be made, and another whose company is deciding to lay off half his work group and send the other half to work for a contract supplier at a 30% salary cut, who will be expected to do all the same work that was previously done. Because insurance in this country is tied to employment, that’s being held over his head to keep him on the job until August, during which time he is expected to train his replacement¹.

So having done what I can do to help in both situations, I am spending the rest of the day finding joy where I can. Shing Yin Khor, who has been the subject of admiration of this page on more than one occasion, sent me a package full of amazing stuff and I thought if you saw it, you might find some joy as well.

Firstly, Khor has been doing some remarkably powerful divination of late; the card marked Outer Colony Divination contains a fortune and an embroidered patch of the three-eyed rat. The sticker is an absolutely beautiful death’s-head moth. The Field Guide To The Space Worm is full of Khor’s delicate, fantastical watercolor work (see the Center For Otherworld Science to get a feel for how good that can be); some day, I want to see their take on one of those weird, possibly fraudulent codicies. Finally, the metal coin you see is engraved with the words YES and NO on opposite sides; it is heavy, and will guide you to correct decisions in your life.

Some of these things are available at Khor’s store; some can only be obtained by trade or gift or attendance at the correct ritual. All of them are marvelous and bring joy; should you dive into whatever can bring you joy today? Coin says YES.

SM20 Countdown for 3 June 2020:

¹ His words to his boss on the topic: I dare you to place somebody with me to train.

You Can Choose Which Finger, Even The Rude One Will Do

That title will make sense eventually, I promise.

If there’s one person (and he would be the first to say there’s never just one person, it’s always groups) that has done more to popularize and legitmize webcomics and indie comics, and to make niche foreign comics available to North American audiences than Chevalier Christopher Butcher, then I don’t know who that would be. Y’know, little things like co-founding and largely running TCAF, being instrumental in running The Beguiling for much of its history, scouting manga for importation to the US/Canada market and editing stone fuck classics are why. This is aside from the fact that he is the sweetest dude in the world and is compelled to take care of people down to his core¹.

So when something he’s built is under challenge, when he feels the need to ask for help, people step up. You may recall that TCAF launched a pop-up store in the Toronto Reference Library for the 2014 holiday season; it being what the kids call a roaring success, the shop stuck around as an ongoing concern under the name of Page & Panel². Like everything else, it’s feeling the pinch of public places closing, and with TCAF cancelled, they’re also missing out on an expected bump in sales. So Butcher and the TCAF folks are asking for some help:

Happy Giving Tuesday! The pandemic has hit our festival shop Page & Panel hard and we need your help. Please consider supporting our vibrant community space! #GivingTuesdayNow, #GivingTuesdayCa #TCAF2020

Look, I get it, we’re all tired and cranky and many of us are about a week from being From Circumstances. But some of us are still okay, and maybe even don’t need all the stimulus money that we maybe have received from the gubmint, and could kick a few bucks to P&P (along with creators that could use a hand, many of whom have direct cash links on their sites)?

The first day of fundraising went well, and they’re about a third of the way to meeting the goal that will stabilize finances and hopefully allow for staff to be re-hired. If you can’t give away cash, maybe that comic you were going to buy anyway could be bought from them? Or possibly you have your eye on something from The Beguiling’s online art store? Plenty of chances to lend a hand, or (as Topato would say), a finger or two.

Spam of the day:

We are also ready to offer professional EN-RU and RU-EN translations. All our developers are from Ukraine and Russia!

You can’t see it here, but the body of this spam was ridden with not-quite-standard Roman letters, designed to be readable but also defeat text-matching based filters; the f in from was actually italic, with swooping descender, likely the forte indicator (𝆑, which may or may not render in your browser) from a musical score. So color me slightly distrustful that you are actually looking for a business partner to market your computing services in the West, unless those services are widespread cybercrime.

¹ Although he is an inveterate trash-talker when playing drunk Pac Man Vs and not above attempting to body-check opponents away from the control stick. You might be twice my size, but you ain’t chasing ghosts onto me, Butcher.

² That link took me forever to find, as the name consists of two words that appear all the hell over this blog.

Huh. We Were Down For A While There

Thanks as always to Jon Rosenberg for hosting Fleen, and for doing what’s necessary to get it back up and running when it stops.

Also, thanks are due to a bunch of creators up and down comicdom, who’ve decided that they aren’t going to let something like a pandemic that forces us all inside take down the friendly local comic shop that depends on us all going out. Creators 4 Comics¹ have come together to offer a series of auctions, the proceeds of which will be pooled to support the Book Industry Charitable Foundation (BINC, although I’m not sure how that works out unless it’s in French or something), which is taking applications for direct aid to stores, to disburse starting at the end of the month.

Various creators are running their own auctions of stuff that is, at times, very them. Chip Zdarsky, for instance, is auctioning off an original erotic story starring the auction winner, a situation for which the phrase self insert is both tailor-made and somehow insufficient. Ryan North, by contrast, is offering an original erotic story about Chip Zdarsky writing erotica about the auction winner and if these two keep this up it’ll turn Tinglesque in no time (North is also offering a never-before-seen comic book script). You can find commissions, signed books, TV show set visits, care packages, promo swag collections, logo designs, and more.

If you want to find a constantly-changing possibly current list of everything, that’s here. Then take a run over to Twitter and look for the #creators4comics hashtag and tweet a bid at the person making the offering you like (increments of a dollar, please). At noon EDT on Monday 20 April, bidding closes² — if you’re the high bidder, make your donation to BINC, send the creator your receipt, and get your stuff. Also keep in mind that new auctions will be going up for the next while, so keep checking in case you don’t find anything grabbing you.

Spam of the day:

Made with nanotechnology to filter the air you breathe

Oh for fuck’s … ahem. Making a mask with a very fine mesh to filter out things as small as viruses is not nanotechnology, you enormous, blithering bullshit artiste.

¹ Not to be confused with Creators For Creators, who are awesome in a different manner.

² Well, officially at least. Creators may run things with different end times, so check with them.