The webcomics blog about webcomics

Kicking, Starting

I am cautiously optimistic that all the of frozen water I cleared away from my house will be the last we get this season; much of it is melting away as we speak, which makes me wonder what the point of it all was.

Anyway, let’s talk Kickstarter, and not for the reason that appears to be all over subtwitter¹. Rather, let’s see how Kickstarters can/should be run from people with a history of running them well.

  • First up, the irrepressible Lucy Bellwood² is presently in Denmark teaching various things, including the effective use of Kickstarter; by a peculiar corinsidence, this came just as notices of shipment were going out for Bellwood’s 100 Demon Dialogues campaign, bang on time.

    Bellwood, being the community contribution maniac that she is, has also kept a live Google spreadsheet showing all the finances on this project so that all can learn from her hard-won experience. And since looking at a spreadsheet isn’t enough to learn all of her secrets, her talk is here, where over the course of an hour she talks about community-building, reward design, budgeting, and outreach — plus some important information about wizards and how they can totally heck up your whole deal. If you don’t want your whole deal hecked up, give it a careful watch or five.

  • Brad Guigar is utterly predictable in a couple of respects: he will burst out laughing like his life depends upon it, and his Kickstarts follow a definite pattern. Namely, he takes a year’s worth of strips, pitches a reasonable number of tiers to his fans, gets 1.5x to 2.5x overfunding, prints ’em up, and does fulfillment on time between two and four months later (shorter for stock items, longer for personalized). Guys, when it comes to Kickstarter, boring is good; you know exactly what you’re going to get from him.

    Which, in the case of his latest print collection, is exactly what I just mentioned, along with the added bonus of smut. Guigar’s got fans of his teens-and-up strip, and fans of his (ahem) late-night Cinemax Patreon tiers, and for the first time he’s providing for both in one campaign (instead of the whole thing being adults-only, there are a couple of tiers that include the cartoon sexytimes, with most being safer to leave out on the coffee table around family).

    Boring, but with suddenly revealed sizzle is the pitch for more porn movies than you can think of because it works. I anticipate that the Guigar Sons College Fund is going to benefit mightily from BBWSRS for the foreseeable future.

  • Howard Tayler³, on the other hand, swings wildly in his Kickstarts; not in the BBWSRS sense, but in the sense that he’ll do alternating quick turnaround, narrowly focused campaigns, complex, ever-growing campaigns with long fulfillment times, then back to simple. The books come as the chapters dictate (and are planned out well in advance, at this point).

    Every once in a while, he’ll throw in a simple project, but mix it up so he doesn’t get bored. Case in point: his first new shirt designs in some time, which is running with a unique stretch goal model. Reaching the US$25,000 figure (US$10K over goal) unlocked a shirt design that everybody was going to want. Reaching a total of 1500 shirts ordered allows everybody at the three shirt bundle tier (US$60) to choose a fourth shirt for free.

    But please notice that there are five designs, and if the total orders reach 3000 shirts, people will be able to add on additional shirts for US$15 instead of US$20. Everything about the stretch goals increases value for the backers while simultaneously incentivizing them to give Tayler more money. It’s a thing of beauty where everybody (but especially Tayler’s bank balance) wins. Writing the adventures of money-maximizing borderline sociopaths must be inspirational, as Tayler’s got the money maximizing part down cold; here’s hoping he leaves the lessons learned there.

  • Kel McDonald (for whom the McDonald Ratio is named) has done every kind of Kickstart under the sun — print collections (simple reprints to multivolume omnibus editions), anthologies, pins, done-in-one stories, and more. Of late, she’s been working around digital-only projects, which simplify the crap out of fulfillment. Got a story to tell? Write it up, get a team of seasoned comics pros to edit, draw, and color it, and have it in everybody’s hands in 60 days or so. It would be a mistake to think that McDonald couldn’t make good on any campaign, what with a baker’s dozen under her belt, but with the help of Roxy Polk, Kara Leopard, and Whitney Cogar, it’s pretty much a slam dunk.

Spam of the day:

Easy care suits: Wear. Wash. Repeat.

Why is this the subject line for a spam full of pictures and links to knock-off jewelry?

_______________
¹ For the record, I’m far away from the corners of Webcomickia where all of this went down and don’t know any of the principals, but people I know and trust have Opinions and yeah — been a while since we had a mess like this. And it seems risky for Kickstarter to have offered a 22 year old a job in charge of stuff without an unimpeachably solid record of managing people and processes (which pretty much no 22 year old has, so …).

² Adventure Cartoonist!!

³ Evil twin, etc.

Yep, Dangerous

One may recall that not quite four weeks back, we talked about Meredith Gran and the old-school point-and-click game she’s working on, and how I mused that this could be dangerous for me when the promised Kickstarter dropped.

Danger time:

A point & click adventure game about the fun, alienation, stupidity and agony of being a teen.

At the heart of Perfect Tides is a linear story that unfolds over the course of one year. We see the emotional genesis of a teenage girl, filled with humor, intrigue and visceral moments, against the backdrop of four seasons in the American northeast.

As the story progresses, there is opportunity for non-linear exploration, collection and utilization of items, and puzzle solving. The player can uncover new secrets in different seasons, in both day and night settings.

Gods dammit, Mer, I am not made of time! Maybe I can avoid the staying up until 3:00am with work the next day habit I fall into with these things; how much to pledge for the prequel comic? US$15 for PDF, physical copy with the game, soundtrack, and wallpapers for US$50? I like physical, but if I let that game in my house it’s all over. Any rewards further down that might include just a physical comic?

Pledge $250 or more
In-Game Exister

Hopefully EVERYone will be *drawn* into the game, but this is literally what you’ll get. A non-playable character will appear in the game based on your likeness.

Pledge $500 or more
Line Sayer

All the benefits of the $250, but your character will have a small speaking role! Subject to approval, the character will embody your own interests and/or objectives.

Gods dammit, Mer, I am on a budget! And I am weak. So very, very weak.

Please look through the rest of what you can expect from Perfect Tides, check out Gran’s collaborator Soren Hughes, and help fund this thing. As of this writing (about six hours in), funding is sitting around 16% of the US$30K goal, with funding running until the last day of February. Good luck, Mer — I know you’re going to crush it.


Spam of the day:

IVC Blood Filter May Shift In Your Veins, Causing Damage

The text of this one is worded such that it isn’t sure if I realize that a filter was surgically implanted in my body, as if that’s something I wouldn’t remember.

Clever Students And News of Dessinatrices

This may be my professional bias talking, or my innate sense that engineering is the most fun you can have in the physical and mental worlds simultaneously, but there may be nobody taking comics into more exciting directions than Lucas Landherr¹ of Surviving The World. As has been mentioned on this page more than once, Landherr has been making comics (with a variety of artists) to explain the trickier concepts in his discipline (that would be Chemical Engineering²), and of late he’s been inspiring his students to do the same.

As a class project last semester, his students produced new ways of explaining key bits o’ esoteric knowledge, ranging from their own comics (on convection, or heat transfer, or heat exchangers) to video (on heat transfer, or on heat transfer but with a Queen song³). It’s cool stuff, and I get the feeling in that last video that I’ve seen some of the tics that Professor Landherr exhibits in class, and I definitely fear — nearly 30 years distant from my own graduation — to ever take a class with Professor Satvat, judging by how often he shows up in these projects.

From Fleen Senior French Correspondent Pierre Lebeaupin:

These ladies had messages to express with their comics in 2017, and you can bet they will persist in 2018.

Our thanks, as always, to FSFCPL for keeping us up on Gallic comics happenings.


Spam of the day:

Hi Gary,
I saw you tweeting about reading and I thought I’d check out your website. I really like it. Looks like Gary has come a long way!

Not only has Gary come a long way, everything’s coming up Milhouse Gary!

_______________
¹ Alter-ego of mild-mannered chalkboard enthusiast Dante Shepherd.

² Which, as a proud Electrical Engineer, I might concede almost involves more difficulty and scholarship than my own chosen field.

³ Very cool thing I noticed — judging from the clock on the wall in the lecture portion of the video, the Landherr-spoofing scene was done with few (if any) reshoots.

4 If you need a refresher, these are comics specifically designed to be read by scrolling on a smartphone screen; they are a big deal (not to mention big business (French-only)) in Japan and South Korea.

New Year’s Stretch Goals

Get ’em while they’re hot.

  • So Gordon McAlpin went and made a Multiplex short (the funding of which was mentioned in the beforetimes), and before we get to that, can I commend him on one thing? The Kickstarter in question launched on 9 April; between that day and when the campaign finished on 8 May, McAlpin posted more than two dozen updates on the project. Since completion of the campaign, he’s dropped more than sixty progress reports. That degree of communication with backers is worth noting and emulating. Okay, back to where we were.

    Judging from the topic lines of the updates (most of which are backer-only), the short is done, seeing as how certain backers go the early-access link a couple days before Christmas. Hooray, project successful, all done, right? Nah, that’d be boring. The campaign was just to get the first short done; now it’s time to release the short wide, get shopped around the festival cicruit, and maybe make more. A very modest US$2000 (you read that right, two stinkin’ grand) will:

    [H]elp fund the film festival run, digital release, and promotion of the Multiplex 10 short film, in hopes of reaching the widest possible audience. Although the Multiplex 10 short film stands on its own, it was conceived as a pilot for a series, and reaching a wide audience will give us the best possible chance of producing more Multiplex 10 videos.

    [O]ffer a physical copy of the short for existing (and new) backers who want them, and to sell at conventions, screenings, and other venues. And …

    [I]f we can raise significantly more than the base goal, we can fund additional 2–3 minute Multiplex 10 webisodes, to be released free online. These webisodes will feature Kurt and Jason (and possibly some other familiar faces) talking about a then-current movie or facet of movie culture

    As of this writing, there’s 11 hours left and the campaign has passed the second stretch goal (US$4K), meaning that the USB cards the short will be sold on are 4GB instead of 2GB, and the first webisode will be made. At US$5K, the USB doubles to 8GB, at US$7K a second webisode gets added; at US$8K the USB doubles again to 16GB, and at US$10K a third webisode is produced. If you want to see any of these things happen, now’s the time.

  • It’s less than a month since we noted the up-wrapping and comprehensive collection-printing of Plume;; it’s got another week to go on its crowdfunding and is approaching double its US$25K goal. Today, K Lynn Smith announced that since all the financial stretch goals have been met, there will be one more based on backer count.

    1000 backers means that the book plate used for signing the omnibus edition (alas, the earlier single volumes don’t qualify) will have a fancy spot gloss added to it; this is not something I’ve seen anybody do before, and it’s a neat idea. Spot gloss and other fancy treatments get added to the covers of books, but this is a fancification that’s like a secret between creator and fan.

    Okay, that’s probably stretching the point a bit, but it’s a neat idea, and it may drive backers to up their pledges if they weren’t getting the omnibus, so it’s a smart way for Smith to push upsells. As of this writing, there are 903 backers and a bit more than six and a half days. Let’s see if that count can go up by 11% in a week.


Spam of the day:

IT Degrees with SE

Okay, gotta ask — what in the world is SE? Because I’m being offered IT degrees with it, nursing degrees with it, local hot wives not getting enough sex from their husbands with it, knockoff Viagra with it, and credit scores with it. Whatever SE it, it’s very flexible.

New Year, New Stuff

Or at least, some of it will be new to you. Onwards!

  • It’s been a considerable time since the heyday of Webcomics Weekly¹, and the logistics of wrangling four people — when there are kids and other time demands — means we won’t ever get that back. Brad Guigar’s had conversations with movers and/or shakers via his own Kickstarts and Webcomics Dot Com, and he’s been talking to Los Angeles resident Dave Kellett somewhat regularly lately² (especially in/around Patreon’s troubles), and it’s clear they’ve got the bug again.

    Thus, a new Patreon and a new podcast very much in the mold of Webcomics Weekly:

    Welcome to the ComicLab Podcast, the new show about makin’ comics, and makin’ a living from comics.

    If you loved Webcomics Weekly, you’re gonna love this show: It’s half shop-talk, half how-to, and half friendship. WE SQUEEZED IN THREE HALVES.

    Everything launched yesterday, and they appear to have gone from three Patreon supporters to 29 in the past 24 hours; if you want to draw extrapolations, by the end of the month their supporter count will either be 728 (assuming they add 26 each day), or 24,254,780,439,831,450 times the population of the Earth (assuming they grow by 8 1/3 times every day), or maybe predictions are garbage. In any event, give ‘er a listen, and leave plenty of time for laugh breaks.

  • Meredith Gran has been keeping a bit of a low profile since Octopus Pie wound up (and there’s not a day I don’t think back on how good it was, start to finish), and we knew she was working on a videogame, but things are starting to kick into gear:

    the game I’m working on is called Perfect Tides, and I’m going to start rolling out social media stuff until KS fundraising begins in January! until then you can follow @perfect_tides for news + tidbits

    PT is something I’ve wanted to do for a long time, an introspective teen adventure with the mechanics of a classic adventure game. to me they are a perfect fit! I hope you will think so too

    Kickstarter this month, y’all! And hoo boy, Sierra point-and-click games were things I spent waaaay too much time on in my younger days. This could be dangerous.

Okay, not actually new to 2018; in fact, this report from Fleen Senior French Correspondent Pierre Lebeaupin has been hanging about since last week, but I was lazy during the holiday break. Some of what he talks about has been going one for some time, and some of it is pretty much outdated by now, but you know what? It’s all good.

  • We at Fleen always enjoy efforts to help English readers better understand French. Especially when they come from Boulet, who has been publishing thematic guides to French expressions and idioms to his Twitter feed: everything around kissing, drinking, butts .. or cucul la praline or vachement.
  • Speaking of Boulet, also do not miss his advent calendar of mythical creatures.
  • And speaking of France and butts, there appears to be a new French-language webcartoonist on the block; usually we would not relay the news of a newly created webcomic, but we’ve been told this Jeph Jacques guy is kind of a big deal in the States (despite the French-sounding name), so his French-language efforts should be worth keeping an eye on …

Yeah, that was pretty much all out of date. That’s all me. Thanks for your patience, FSFCPL!


Spam of the day:

Child Predator Risk Warning

Gaaahhh, okay, if you must alleviate sleepless nights by checking on sex offenders in your area, please understand you don’t need to pay a service for this information. Every state’s got a public, official list, and the feds incorporate all of those (plus DC, territories, and Indian Country) in one free website. Save your money.

_______________
¹ Remember, the greatest Webcomics Weekly of all time was very nearly the last that adhered to an even vaguely weekly timeframe. Pretty soon after, it was every other month, then annual, then even less frequent. And it was damn near seven years ago!

² Meanwhile, Kris Straub is busy podding and vidding around areas other than webcomics, and Scott Kurtz has been more concerned with the intersection of the business of new media and the broad whole of art.

Good News Just Bustin’ Out Everywhere

I’m not even talking about the gears of justice grinding finely today, I’m talking about webcomicker news. To the Newsmobile!

  • Readers of this page may recall that I have a high opinion of Hope Larson and have for some considerable time. Today, something that I asked her about last year is one step closer to an answer, as it turns out that Goldie Vance is getting a big-screen treatment, from Kerry Washington and Rashida Jones, no less:

    The project, being designed as a potential family-film franchise at Fox, will be based on the graphic novel series, created by writer Hope Larson (who’s also created graphic novels of Madeleine L’Engle’s A Wrinkle in Time and DC’s Batgirl) and artist Brittney Williams (Patsy Walker) and published by Boom! Studios.

    Jones will adapt and direct the film version, which Washington will produce under her Simpson Street production company banner, which is overseen by Pilar Savone. Also producing are Ross Richie and Stephen Christy for Boom! Studios. Boom!’s Adam Yoelin will co-produce. Daria Cercek and Jon Wu will oversee for Fox.

    Here’s hoping (har, har) that BOOM! getting the Hollywood money payday means that they can stop nickel-and-diming their creators, and also that Larson and Williams are getting nice chunks of change from the deal¹. We at Fleen are obligated to remind everybody that Hollywood moves slowly, and there’s no guarantee that Goldie will see the screen anytime soon (or even at all), but it’s a nice recognition of a great story.

  • Speaking of good news, thanks to GeekDad for finding out what Ben Hatke will be up to for the next while:

    First up, next fall (2018), First Second will be releasing a Zita the Spacegirl box set! It will combine all three bestselling Zita graphic novels into one volume–plus an all-new poster! Seriously, if you haven’t yet jumped on the Zita bandwagon, you’re missing out.

    Second, the following fall (2019) will see the release of the third Mighty Jack graphic novel. The third entry in the series will be a big crossover spectacular wherein Jack and Lily team up with none other than … Zita the Spacegirl (and her friends) for the adventure of a lifetime. This is the big one!

    We at Fleen are on record as digging both the Zita and Jack series, and I was hopeful that the post-credits reveal at the end of Mighty Jack And The Goblin King meant that we might see a crossover, but it was ambiguous enough that I wasn’t banking on it.

    The only thing is, Hatke’s a machine; by my count he’s done more than one book a year at :01 (three Zita, two Jack, Nobody Likes A Goblin, Little Robot, Julia’s House For Lost Creatures, plus four books illustrated for other authors), and while the box set next year is exciting, it doesn’t require a year’s work. I suspect we’ll see at least one more book between now and the Zita/Jack crossover, which I am eagerly awaiting already.

  • The one thing I get every year at this time? The Wondermark calendar. I love that thing, year after year. David Malki ! dropped the news all low-key that this year’s version is up for order, so if you require a means to tell the passage of time in the coming year, grab a calendar and stand, or just a set of calendar refills, over at the Dry Goodsery. You’ll be glad you did. I mean, I’m glad that I did, and that’s the same thing, right?

Spam of the day:

Heya! I’m at work surfing around your blog from my new iphone 4!
Just wanted to say I love reading through your blog and look forward to
all your posts! Keep up the great work!

An iPhone 4, “scat_female”? I think you’re a little behind the times.

_______________
¹ I’ll put it another way; since Goldie Vance is creator-owned, Larson damn well better be getting the lion’s share on the deal.

Can I Claim To Have Been Blackout Drunk?

May all the angels and ministers of grace forgive me, I have backed a Sweet Bro and Hella Jeff book. Welp, I guess I have between now and April 2018 to do as much good as possible before that thing shows up and I lose all sanity. Again.

Doing Good 1: Hey, remember that talk that Kelly and Zach Weinersmith gave at the Strand Bookstore, which was recorded by C-SPAN? It was broadcast this past Sunday, and that means it’s now available for streaming at the C-SPAN site. Round about the 42:30 mark, I achieve a lifelong dream and get identified in a transcript as Unidentified Speaker.

Doing Good 2: I’m going to reiterate my call for all of you to purchase Shing Yin Khor’s Small Stories. It’s a slim, small volume — almost Moleskine cahier size — with Khor’s delicate watercolors perfectly reproduced, though ten stories of anger, redemption, hope, silliness, and magic. Some of them are heartbreaking¹, some are uplifting, some are both at the same time. She’s collected some of her best work from the past few years, and you will not find a better use of twelve bucks than this

Doing good 3: Looking to get some sweet, sweet webcomics merch for the upcoming Solstice-adjacent holiday(s)? Keep in mind that you can’t wait until the night before and expect to get stuff the next morning … Amazon may be working on direct teleportation via quantum entanglement, but your favorite webcomicker needs lead time. Also, sleep.

As a most optimistic guess, the TopatoCo shipping times calendar for Aught-Seventeen is probably representative of what the most on-the-ball creators can do. Probably want to order at least 4-5 days earlier for a lot of single-person operations, though.


Spam of the day:

Young cute blonde looking to cheat on my BF this weekend

Oh no, what if I am her BF? This is just like the pina coloda song.

_______________
¹ On par with Trigger Warning: Breakfast, which was originally published anonymously, but which Khor has recently claimed.

Oh Good Glob, There Goes My Sanity

[Header image below the cut to contain the horror]

Hussie, Green, and (motherfucking) Dril collaborating on a Sweet Bro & Hella Jeff project? I just got over the flashbacks from the last one.

(more…)

Audio, Video, Smart People

Want to see smart people talking about stuff? Time to follow some links, folks.

  • First up, Brad Guigar¹ took the time to talk to Los Angeles resident Dave Kellett as part of his Webcomics Confidential webcast series [Webcomics Dot Com subscription required]; for longtime readers of this page, it was a hearkening back to the glory days of what he learned at the recently-held PatreCon 2017. The conference was invite-only, and while there are some talks from last year’s iteration publicly available (and the same will probably happen eventually for PC17), there’s not really an effective way to learn everything that happened without talking to somebody that attended.

    Guigar and Kellett’s discussion is a dense hour of key points about how to use Patreon to its best effect, and if you’re on Patreon there’s undoubtedly good info for you here. It’s well worth tossing Guigar five bucks for a 30 day trial to have a listen and take notes. I will give you one nugget though — there’s a killer discussion of whether it’s better to set up your Patreon to run per month or per update.

  • Hey, remember when Kelly and Zach Weinersmith talked at Strand Bookstore and C-SPAN recorded it? That was great. It wasn’t known at the time when C-SPAN would be running the talk, but now it is:

    This Sunday at 7pm ET scientist Kelly Weinersmith and cartoonist Zach Weinersmith report on future technologies

    That would be Sunday, 12 November. C-SPAN is on your cable lineup in that block of channels you don’t usually visit. or will likely be here sometime after the broadcast premiere. You’ll learn about how supermarket snickerdoodles will enable the hilarious robot apocalypse, space elevators, why quantum computing will never get a popular explainer, and Crypt-Keeper wasps all of which will be worth your time.


Spam of the day:
We are offering this to you because you are a registered member of the comic community.
Okay, I mock down here, but I want to be serious for a minute.

This disclaimer was at the bottom of an email imploring me to support a Kickstarter that recently concluded (it was sent approximately halfway through the successful campaign).

I’m not mentioning its name and I’m never going to mention it, because this? This was done wrong. You got my email from a list I’m on because I hold press credentials for SDCC; it’s meant for sending news and announcements.

While it’s acceptable to indicate that you’re running a Kickstarter, a press release is not the same as the give-us-money appeal that you send to your audience. People wanting to let me know about your thing, don’t do this.

_______________
¹ A sexy, sexy man.

The Common Thread? Homestar*Runner

But Gary, I hear you cry, if you’re talking about Homestar*Runner, why do you have a picture of Grover at the top of the post? Bear with me. It will all relate by the end.

  • Readers of this page will recall that I have, at various times, declared Homestar*Runner to be a webcomic, originally in the context of a discussion I was privileged to lead at Comics Camp this past April. Said discussion and declaration were sketchnoted by Jason Alderman.

    Alderman’s on my brain because of a tweet I saw earlier today; if you are lucky enough to be in Pittsburgh now-ish, and lucky enough to work (as does Alderman) in the support and design of museums, then you (like he) might just be attending the Museum Computer Network 2017 conference. And just maybe you were lucky enough to attend Alderman’s presentation (recently wrapped up as I write this) on how to make sketchnotes.

    It’s something that I want him to teach me someday, something that I think would make a really cool 27-part series here at Fleen, just as soon as I can convince him to create something so extensive for free. Or maybe one of the times he does one of these talks, I’ll get him to record it and post a link.

  • But getting back to H*R, my point was that webcomics need not be ink on paper (or pixels on tablet), it can be anything that tells a story with a point of view, a direct relationship between creator(s) and audience, and the likelihood of collaboration. It can have sound and motion¹, but it has to have them for a reason; the creepy-ass blinky eyes of late-era FOOB² aren’t a reason. But used correctly, they can set a mood and serve a story, and that’s the other part of what I wanted to point you at today.

    I met Mike Grover at Comics Camp, and today he’s released the first chapter of a new limited-animation, looping soundtrack comic called Deeply Dave, and damn if it doesn’t do all the things you can do with webcomics that you can’t do with just comics. Grover provides the option to read it without the AV enhancements, and it’ll be a book eventually.

    For now, the repetitive motion brings more than a bit of depth³ and atmosphere to the story (especially considering the use of red and blue accents, reminiscent of the colors decoded by old style 3D glasses), making each panel appear to have far more going on that it would otherwise.

    The jittery images (think Squigglevision™) add a sense of menace to the presumptive Big Bad (the white circle eyes and heavy silhouette body remind me of the God Warriors from Nausicaä). The music is echoing, and distant — exactly the mood you want to convey the enormity of an ocean that does not care about you and could kill you at any time. Turn it down to just above the level of audibility for maximum effect.

    Grover may only be using the animation and music as a means of promotion, but I hope that he has the time to keep at it through each of the subsequent chapters. They’re super effective.

There you go: Camp, sketchnotes, Homestar*Runner, Gover, it all ties together. Now go forth and find your own weird coincidences in the world.


Spam of the day:

Today only: something SCARY GOOD

For the record, this spam did not get sent on Halloween Day, but rather five days after. Considering it purported to be a Pandora ad (although not from anything resembling Pandora.com) for spooky Halloween music, they really pooched this attempt to get me to click on totally innocuous links.

_______________
¹ As opposed to Sound And Motion

² Which may not show up in the linked strip, but trust me — they were a horrorshow.

³ That is such a great joke and you don’t even get it unless you read the comic, so go read it already.