The webcomics blog about webcomics

For The Record, He Sent All This Along On Friday, I Just Didn’t Get To It Until Today

First of all, I need to apologize if you posted a comment since Friday’s post went up … a miscreant engaged in a little Grand Spamming¹ and I found 120 pending comments as I opened up the editor and wasn’t too careful with my mass delete. Mea culpa, if you got caught up.

Second of all, we’re starting out the week with a little cross-oceanic news, as Fleen Senior French Correspondent Pierre Lebeaupin, who is always on top of what’s happening in the world of bandes dessinées [web].

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No real focus today:
[Editor’s note: been there.]

  • Maliki has launched their latest crowdfunding campaign; the start, helped by Team Maliki spreading the link in advance, was too explosive (4000 copies in 24 hours) to allow the FFF to be reliable since it would have predicted more than a twofold increase from their previous campaign, but there was little doubt anyway it would be at least as successful as their campaigns always are.
  • LyonBD has launched their non-festival, with plenty of non-programming [PDF] all over Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.
  • At the end of an enjoyable live stream hosted by Natalie Nourigat (part 1, part 2), Boulet dropped that Donjon, the series created by Lewis Trondheim and Joann Sfar for which he has drawn the latest installments would be translated in English and come to the U.S. of A.

    [Editor’s note: !!!]

    We at Fleen will be sure to keep you informed.

  • Speaking of Sfar, he is being sued by the SGDL, a French society of writers, for defamation; yes, the very same society of writers responsible for dispatching aid meant for creators, with Cy wondering at the time why such a private entity would be entrusted with public money. Sfar, as the honorary president of the Professional Creators League was interviewed by Alexandra Bensaid Saturday May the 23rd (replay available here), Sfar segment starting at 1:19:30, if you can understand French), and as we at Fleen understand it the SGDL objects to Sfar denouncing these organisms, such as the SGDL, […] which occasionally get a hold of enormous amounts of money which do not end up going to the creators (all the caveats about both transcribing an audio interview and translating the meaning from French apply).

    The suit has led to quite a backslash, with the Professional Creators League publicly reacting in support of Sfar, and many creators loudly surrendering their SGDL memberships for the same reason. We at Fleen are not in a position to either assess Sfar’s claims nor analyze his legal position, but we regret the use of such tactics by the SGDL, and we think Sfar ought to be able to express himself with few if any restrictions on such a matter of public interest.

  • Finally, we at Fleen think you should be following Kéké for his amazing animations. There is no particular reason for why today we would make this suggestion.

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As always, we at Fleen (US division) thank FSFCPL for his contributions.


Spam of the day:
Anyone Can Learn Piano or Keyboard
I seem to recall a claim along these lines from Planet Of The Apes: The Musical. I love you, Dr Zaius!

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¹ Coincidentally, Grand Spamming is a crime in the universe of Howard Tayler’s Schlock Mercenary, which was the topic of Friday’s post.

It Was Twenty Years Ago Today

That Howard Tayler¹, mild mannered software product manager and former music producer, launched a comic onto the internet. Every day since then has been graced with an update to the continuous story, with pathos and loss, heartstring-tugging, one of the two most loathesome antagonists in all of comics, and uses of duct tape that violate the laws of war.

The art was a bit clunkier, but the Ommmmminous Hummmmmmmm and the casual sociopathy on the part of the title character were there from the very beginning. Unlike some past anniversaries, there’s no oblique reference to the number in the strip today. There was a newspost for yesterday’s strip marking the end of year 20, but still nothing in the strip. He’s got a story to tell and he’s not done telling it, so it’s heads down and all ahead on the work.

If you’re in the mood to support him, there is some 20th anniversary swag, but might I suggest something a little more timeless? Tayler pretty much invented the now-commonplace intersection of webcomics and coin-type medallions, and there are some doozies available². Oh, yeah, and the first 5400 or so strips (comprising fifteen story arcs, or just shy of fifteen years) are available in print, individually, or in the biggest book bundle³ you’ll see this year. And there’s some surprising wisdom to be found in the 70 Maxims Of Maximally Effective Mercenaries.

The strip’s going nowhere, but there will be a break in the story pretty soon, a definite conclusion to What Happened after a carbosilicate amorph decided to enlist with a group of casually-violent-for-pay types. Hopefully, Tayler will take a few weeks, catch his breath, then show us what he’s got cooking next. I suspect that years 21 through infinity are gonna be just as interesting as the 20 we’ve seen so far.


SM20 Countdown for 12 June 2020:
Did … did you miss all that up there?

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¹ Obligatory disclaimer: my evil twin.

² I’m probably up to about 10 of the Circus/Monkeys coin, as I give them to people who are able to cash in favors with me.

³ At 5403 days worth of strip, plus various bonus stories, you’re paying about 4.5 cents a page for full color. That’s a friggin’ bargin.

Guess I’ll Have To Do Programming Posts After All

It looks like a bunch of aspects of San Diego Comic Con are on after all:

Plans for Comic-Con@Home include an online Exhibit Hall complete with everyone’s favorite exhibitors offering promotions, specials, and limited-edition products unique to the celebration. As well, Comic-Con@Home promises exclusive panels and presentations about comics, gaming, television, film, and a wide variety of topics from publishers, studios, and more. As if that weren’t enough, Comic-Con@Home will also have a Masquerade, gaming, and many other activities in which fans can participate from their own homes.

Not a lot of details about how all of this will work, yet. Will exhibitors be linked from an official platform, one that offers both transaction capability but also the ability to interact with a creator? For real, if you could come up with something that lets an attendee produce a verifiable payment, then talk with a creator for five minutes while watching merch get personalized, you’d have something replicating the experience and providing a value-add for so many people who’ve watched their income tank this year¹.

Related question: is there a mechanism that provides for con exclusives, something that gives people a chance at their favorite variant stuff but keeping eBay churners from snapping everything up? It’s not a simple problem, as anybody who’s tried to get a hot concert ticket can attest.

How do you wrangle the cosplay Masquerade and/or the Eisner ceremony with far-flung participants? Will the former, particularly, feel the same without the presence of an adoring crowd? More generally, are there some panels and discussions that will have less cachet if they don’t come with a veneer of I was there, you weren’t²?

On the other hand, the lack of crowds, the lack of overpriced (and frequently terrible) convention center food, the lack of hours-long lines to get into a popular panel, and having to dodge maniacs on electric rental scooters are all positives. And then there’s this:

Although Comic-Con@Home will provide badges for fans to print and wear proudly, all aspects of the initiative are free and there are no limits to how many can attend.

If this is a success, there will be a tremendous pressure to keep some parts of the no-cost, at-home participation in future; there are many more people that want to attend than are able to score passes, after all. It’ll also mean that I could just sit and listen to panels for the first time, rather than try to take notes and pictures for write-ups.

For those interested in blocking out time to attend, Comic-Con@Home will be held on original SDCC 2020 dates, 22-26 July³, although times (and time zone!) have not been announced. If I can figure out how to replicate the experience of having lovely drinks at my favorite speakeasy with my craft cocktail best buds, or hanging out by the fire pits with my friends from #ComicsCamp, I’ll be sure to let you know.

In other news, it’s been about two years since Dante Shepherd wrapped up Surviving The World, but there will never be a day when Shepherd’s real life alter ego, Professor Lucas Landherr, isn’t looking for ways to help others not merely survive, but thrive:

[G]iven the current Black Rights Matter protest, and JKR even further torpedoing her legacy yesterday with her transphobia (happy Pride, by the way), this comic seems like it meets the current moment well enough.

When STW ended, we made a book of the best 300 comics. You can buy the PDF of the book right now, and all sales are going to go to support Black Lives Matter, and foodbanks in need because of the coronavirus. And there’s more. You can also buy all the videos ever made for STW, including many that were not openly shared, and all sales are also going to the same causes.

If you’ve ever wondered what a chemical engineer doing a velociraptor impression looks like, let’s just say it’s enough to make Randall Munroe break into a sweat.


SM20 Countdown for 11 June 2020:
1
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¹ If there’s not such a mechanism, I’d urge creators to start working out something similar for themselves.

² On the other hand, some may run more smoothly without the crowd; I’m thinking here about the annual Best/Worst Manga panel, when the crowd goes full howler monkey when told their favorite it Not Good, Actually.

³ Reminder: if you had badges for SDCC 2020, you can either roll them over for the same days in 2021, or get a refund. Refund requests are good until 1 July, after that your badge will transfer automatically.

Oh, and in case you’ve forgotten, Reed!Pop apparently still thinks that people will congregate in large numbers for EmCity a month later, which … I just … no.

Various, Meet Sundry

Hey, welcome back. Try as I might, I just can’t make the stuff I want to talk about today fit into a theme, so let’s just tuck in and see what we got.

  • If you read my takes on this year’s Eisner nominations (and I promise, I’m going to talk about the Digital Comic/Webcomic nominees), you’ll recall that I was generally happy with the overabundance of great work recognized.

    However.

    I will say, at the remove of nearly a week, that it’s baffling that the nominations entirely failed to recognize two long-running, critically acclaimed and widely beloved series that wrapped up last year. I speak, naturally, of The Unbeatable Squirrel Girl (Ryan North, Erica Henderson, Derek Charm, Rico Renzi, Travis Lanham) and Giant Days (John Allison, Max Sarin, Whitney Cogar, Jim Campbell). Actually, that’s not quite true, as Campbell was nominated for Best Lettering, with Giant Days listed as one of ten titles he worked on. But still — tupping liberty.

    That being said, Allison, Sarin, Cogar, and Campbell¹ kept the band together for Wicked Things (issue #2 due sometime in the future, now that we are gradually making our way into commercial resumption), so the voters will have a chance to make it up next year. Additionally, Allison’s been killing it on the Steeple extended story (wrapped today), with some news of what’s next:

    I have more tales of Tredregyn to tell (“Secret Sentai” and “Showbusiness”), but I’m writing this six weeks in the past (April 29th), so I have no idea where they’ll appear, yet. Maybe the comics industry has come back to life. Maybe we are all living in caves. Hopefully I haven’t caught the covid. Awaiting my fate, I have had no choice to but to begin to draw another exclusive limited web-series event — NEMS — at destroyhistory.com. It begins on Monday June 15th.

    Okay, 1: I have never in my life wanted to read anything based solely on a title as much as Secret Sentai, and B: Allison cognoscenti will recall that Destroy History is the short way to say The Further Adventures Of Shelley Winters In Time (her last adventure involved Hedy Lamarr and her WWII-era invention of spread spectrum coding), so bookmark it now so that you may dig in on Monday.

  • There’s been a great deal of discussion about money in publishing in the past sevenday or so, particularly around the topics of who has it, who is offered it, and why most of seems to go to white people. But an ancillary discussion is being had — and keep in mind it was decided to talk about page rates on 1 June well before the world started down either the COVID suckhole or the Gods Dammit White People, BIPOC Have Had It With Your Shit uprising (2020 edition) — around money in comics and such.

    It’s been pointed out that the racial disparities exist here as elsewhere (in terms of money offered and who gets to be the creators/subjects of stories), but also that comics pays a crapload less than prose does². This is for a whole host of reasons, and even if everything were made equitable (which won’t happen unless people talk about it and share their worth so others know what they can ask for), there is an economic limitation on comics that prose simply doesn’t have.

    Paper. What looks good with words alone, and what looks good with words and pictures have vastly different cost bases. You don’t understand that side of publishing economics and neither do I, but fortunately somebody does, and his name is George. He tried to cut his experience-based knowledge down to tweet length, found it was impossible to do so, and slapped up a four and a half page explainer so that you can understand, too.

    The costs of paper stock don’t make the lowballing, crappy WFH page rates, and racial disparities any more acceptable, but if people are going to fight for better pay — and they should! — having all the relevant info is a necessary first step. If nothing else, it’ll provide a quick intro to the kinds of paper that you don’t want to use on your next self-pub project, no matter how much it’ll save you.


SM20 Countdown for 10 June 2020:
2

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¹ Which sounds like an accounting firm of high repute and moderate prices.

² Exception: prose author that dips their toes into comics; similarly, children’s books pay for shit, unless you are a famous person whose name goes on the cover in big letters, with the actual writer and artist’s names much smaller³.

³ Speaking of, a friend of mine was once offered a total of US$300 as WFH to write/illustrate a 24 page kiddie book so that an extremely rich (hefty fraction of billionaire would be my guess) multi-market celeb (music, fashion, film, modeling) could slap their name on it.

My friend said no, the celeb kept asking, my friend milked it for every possible extremely expensive lunch possible. Respect, and fuck that very rich celeb with the mansion and fancy cars and the three-hundo (which is only half as much as class money) offer without even the benefit of exposure. That’s right, it was a no-credit ghost job.

Sorry, Family Stuff Today

We’ll be back tomorrow.


SM20 Countdown for 9 June 2020:
3

A Bit Of Joy In This Craptacular World

Let us not focus on the reasons we cannot have nice things¹ and instead focus on the nice things that happen sometimes. I am, on this occasion, talking about the second iteration of :01 Books deciding that we needed to talk comics, Comics Relief, and the four talks therein. Editorial note: I didn’t attempt to transcribe the conversations, but where I move from paraphrase to the vicinity of quotation, you’ll find the text in italics.

They were, from the top:

The first three talked process and methods, the last was just three friendly folks killing time with amusing stories, fond reminiscences, and the side effects of having kids mess with your Zoom settings. More on that below.

Importantly, each session started with a statement of solidarity and principles from the panelists; in some cases I believe it was drafted together, in others I think the panelists deferred to the moderator, but all of them acknowledged the current situation and the plain truth that black lives matter. In Siegel’s case, he went so far as to note that if you’re going to move from acknowledging that you benefit from a racist society to becoming actively racist, you’ve got some work to do; he recommended starting with Stamped From The Beginning by Ibrahim X Kendi.

Things that stood out:

  • Ottaviani noted that Astronauts came about when he learned the story of the Mercury 13 and couldn’t fit their story into what he was working on at the time, so he parked it to come back to later. But you can’t have a book with 13 protagonists, and he didn’t want to invent a composite character to stand in for them, so he went looking for an astronaut that wasn’t famous because most people aren’t. The book features three women, but it’s about Mary Cleave because she isn’t famous like Valentina Tereshkova or Sally Ride. That lack of fame (much like Wicks’s choices to have very detailed technology but rather cartoony characters) allows a reader to see themselves in the story.
  • Makers of all stripes have made maker comics; Koch attended culinary school, Myer is a costume-maker and cosplayer since small times, and Coovert has put at least as much thought into the hows and whys of what works in comics as anybody. The key to Maker Comics, Chapman shared, is to have a series of distinct, achievable, build-each-on-the-previous projects for those following along to tackle. Ideally, six to eight of them, with something really familiar to start with, and going deeper from there.
  • Box Brown doesn’t always do documentary comics4 and doesn’t intentionally alternate between books about people (Andre The Giant, Is This Guy For Real?) with books about cultural phenomena (Tetris, Cannabis), its just that sometimes that’s how the story gets into his head. Tetris could just have easily been told about Alexey Pajitnov.

    Brown’s talk with Brill showed how important the working relationship between creator and editor is — it was a revealing look at how they work together, and what the result of that work is like. Brill will not only bring out the best in your work, she’ll find a way to get Mandy Patinkin to blurb your book and to keep your talk going if your internet goes out, as Brown’s did for about five minutes5.

  • Pro tip from LeUyen Pham: check out what your Zoom background looks like before you start the session, lest you find out that your kids have set it and you don’t know it’s a very elaborate painting of a dragon until Clint McElroy compliments you and asks if you did it yourself. For a relaxed conversation with no set agenda, Pham’s frantic attempts to clear the background (in fact, it was one of hers, and it was stunning; McElroy later commented that he missed [her] dragon hat) got things off to an amusing start, which was followed up by some amusing How did we first meet? stories.

    For Pham, it was when Siegel was a lowly, peon designer (that’s an exact quote) at Simon & Schuster, around August of 2001. Siegel’s boss was frantic because an illustrator on a children’s book had completely failed to deliver and there were only a few months left to get art in. Pham’s sample work wasn’t a typical children’s book illo, it was an oil painting and despite the incredible detail in her work, she met the original deadline in November despite the upheavals of 9/11.

    Siegel: Everybody at Simon & Schuster was “Here’s a keeper!”
    Pham: Mark was impressed with my thumbnails and wanted to know if I’d ever want to do comics.

    For McElroy, it was at the :01 SDCC booth, the summer before the first Adventure Zone book came out. I walked up to the booth to introduce myself on the first day and this guy with glasses said “Hey, Buddy, end of the line!” [furious pointing gesture].

    Siegel remembers realizing that they had something really huge on their hands — the McElroy’s were brought out to the con, there wasn’t any swag yet for a book that was a year off, just some postcards, and he figured a few hardcore fans might show up. And then this MOB came to the booth, I didn’t recognize any of the cosplay, and we had to have con security help us wrangle the line which spanned three aisles. We put up tickets for a livecast and 1500 of them sold in four minutes. John Turner Sargent, the CEO of Macmillan, is calling up me looking at pre-orders for a book that’s a year away and asking “What the hell is The Adventure Zone?”

    McElroy remarked on that scheduled signing: We came out of the secret security tunnels in the convention center and saw this huge line that just kept going and said “We feel sorry for whoever’s line that is.” But it kept moving in the direction of the :01 booth, and there were people in Taako hats and … [gestures to Siegel on the screen] and then that night you bought my dinner and I loaded up on appetizers. Success!

    Siegel wanted to come back to the idea of huge, ongoing successes (TAZ, Pham’s collaborations with Shannon Hale, Real Friends and Best Friends), neither of which he saw coming. Every time I try to design a cash cow for :01, it tanks. People can smell it a mile off.

    Pham remarked how her kids are somewhat a barometer for that — they aren’t fans of her work, per se, it’s just what mom does; but towards the end of Real Friends, when young Shannon does something jerky, it affected her older son, who wanted to know why mom couldn’t just change the story to make her nicer. I had to explain what a memoir is. It was when he got really invested in the story that she started to think it might be more than just another book.

    And it all wrapped up with McElroy wanting to pitch Siegel on his cash cow idea: a billionaire cow that travels around spending cash. And y’know, if he partnered with Carey Pietsch on it, I think it just might work.


SM20 Countdown for 8 June 2020:
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¹ In this case, “Nick”, who decided to be a jerk about halfway through the first session and got the chat disabled as a result. I hope you got kicked out, Nick, I hope you got banned from future events, I hope you some day realize how little your inchoate rage at women is regarded by the world. You’re terrible and we’ve all decided to forget you.

² And author; Wilgus’s own graphic novel (Wyeth Yates provides the pictures), The Mars Challenge, comes out next week. How into space is Wilgus? She lays out Tsiolkovsky’s Rocket Equation in story form in chapter two, Gravity Is A Jerk.

³ Who was quick to note that she shares series editing duties with Bethany Bryan.

4 His next, Child Star (due out 30 June), is a fictional story inspired by multiple people who were child stars in the 80s. Brill, his longtime editor, remarked that she is in awe of his facility with awful 80s sitcom dialogue, and putting words in the mouths of assholish people.

5 At just about exactly the time that Brill’s mom was calling her. All of the classic Zoom interruptions happened at the same time.

A Little Normality; I’ll Take It

It took all day to find a story that didn’t make me want to despair, but the Eisner nominating committee came through with this year’s nominations. Let’s talk webcomics and indie comics presence, which we’ve seen spreading way outside the two official (and increasingly nebulous) web-adjacent categories. As they’ve been out for less than an hour as I write this, it’s going to be initial impressions, and we’ll go back and revisit in future as warranted.

First thing I noticed: The web is where you find short comics; the five nominees for Best Short Story are dominated by established web properties (Matt Inman at The Oatmeal, Miriam Libicki at The Nib) and places that include comics, but are general-audience magazines (Mira Jacob in Believer, Emma Hunsinger in The New Yorker). Only one of the nominees is in an actual comic comic, Ebony Flowers (Promising New Talent, 2019 Ignatzen) for Hot Comb, which was all over best of lists for last year and which is my pick to take the category.

Second thing I noticed: The category for Best Single Issue/One-Shot is entirely indie producers, with Zainab Akhtar’s Shortbox taking two of the five (Minotäar, by Lissa Treiman and Sobek by James Stokoe). The others are Coin-Op No. 8: Infatuation, by Peter and Maria Hoey, The Freak, by Matt Lesniewski, and Our Favorite Thing Is My Favorite Thing Is Monsters, where the ubiquitous-in-2019 Emil Ferris told a few last stories about My Favorite Thing Is Monsters. Gotta give this one to Treiman or Stokoe, as those are the two I saw last year and they’re both great.

Third Thing I Noticed: The competition in Best Publication For Kids is going to be fierce. It’s got Raina’s latest, of course, but also last year’s Dog Man by Dav Pilkey (the dude’s a machine), New Kid by Jerry Craft, This Was Our Pact by Ryan Andrews, Akissi: More Tales of Mischief, by Marguerite Abouet and Mathieu Sapin, and The Wolf in Underpants, by Wilfrid Lupano, Mayana Itoïz, and Paul Cauuet. Haven’t seen the last one, but the others are all excellent and I do not envy the judges their task.

Fourth Thing I Noticed: The repeat nominees have been cleaning up earlier awards (particularly the Ignatz last fall), with Hot Comb also nomindated in Best Publication For Teens, alongside Kiss Number 8 (Colleen AF Venable and Ellen T Crenshaw, Laura Dean Keeps Breaking Up With Me (Mariko Tamaki and Rosemary Vallero-O’Connell, Harley Quinn: Breaking Glass, (Tamaki again, and Steve Pugh), and Penny Nichols (MK Reed, Greg Means, and Matt Wiegle). For the record, I absolutely could not choose between Kiss and Laura Dean, both of which I adore. Also, one may note that Venable appears as the model of a character in MK Reed’s The Cute Girl Network because excellent people feed off each other’s creativity.

Fifth Thing I Noticed: Comics types not only feed off each other creatively, they sometimes become a hive mind. Best Humour Publication include Sobek and Minotaär, Death Wins A Goldfish (Brian Rea) and The Way Of The Househusband, Vol 1¹ (Kousuke Oono, translated by Sheldon Drzka), but also two very handsome hardcovers by a couple of dudes that last time I saw them, were throwing Stan Lee impressions at each other at warp speed — David Malki ! (Friends You Can Ride On), and Los Angeles resident Dave Kellett (Anatomy Of Authors). David, Dave, love you guys, but I can’t choose between you. I’ll have to give it to Househusband to preserve our friendships.

Sixth Thing I Noticed: Aside from individual stories at The Nib getting all sorts of nominations all over comics awards for the past several years, the print magazine is starting to get notice; issues 2 through 4 (Matt Bors and about five dozen other people) are collectively nominated for Best Anthology.

Seventh Thing I Noticed: If you put together a few zillion pages of comics in a half dozen years, you’re gonna get really good at it; if you were already really good when you started, you’re going to get amazing. Tillie Walden scored three nominations for the magnificent Are You Listening?, for Best Graphic Album — New, Best Writer/Artist, and Best Lettering. I cannot say enough good things about that book, it’s entirely remarkable. And since we’re here, we should note that Raina, Jacob, and Stokoe are also nominated for Best Writer/Artist. That’s gonna be a tough category.

Eighth Thing I Noticed: Original graphic novels sharpen your chops like nobody’s business. Best Writer includes Tamaki again, alongside Reed and Means.

There’s more, I know I’ve missed stuff but it’s getting late and I need to post this. I also know I haven’t talked about the Digital and Webcomic categories because once again I can’t figure out the distinction, but we’ll come back and do that after I’ve had more time to digest.

As a reminder, all comics industry professionals are eligible to vote on the Eisners; results will be announced in July at a time to be announced.


SM20 Countdown for 4 June 2020:
8

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¹ About the meanest member of the yakuza, who gives it up to keep house for his wife.

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:
9

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

Shutting Up Today

There’s nothing I can say that needs to be said. I’m spending my time, and suggest you spend yours, perusing the work of people who haven’t gotten attention they should have earned and bookmarking it for later.

May I suggest you seek out a Black artist thread, or just trawl through the #DrawingWhileBlack. If you’re pressed for time and looking for a collaborator or artist for hire, there’s a directory featuring more than 50 fine artists, more than 100 painters, more than 40 game designers, more than 100 graphic designers, more than 100 animators, more than 100 comics artists, and more than 400 (!) illustrators.

Or maybe just promote to others the best up-and-coming Black artist you’ve found recently. For me, that would be Dylan B Caleho, who blew my socks off with the mini she had at MoCCA last year, and whose comics work is impeccable. I want a publisher to give her a dump truck full of money to expand Don’t Linger to graphic novel size.

Okay, you’ve got your tasks for today. See you tomorrow.


Spam of the day:
For the next little while, Spam of the day will be replace by the SM20 Countdown. This is the number of days until 12 June 2020, the 20th anniversary of continuous, seven days a week, one big story arc updates at Schlock Mercenary¹.

SM20 Countdown for 2 June 2020:
10

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¹ Obligatory update: Schlock Mercenary creator Howard Tayler is my evil twin. As far as opposite doppelgangers from a parallel dimension², he’s probably the nicest you could hope to have.

² In this case, either Utah, where he has lived his adult life, or Florida, where he was born. Tayler is likely the least disastrous Florida Man in history.

That Was Fast

Karla’s closed her campaign, having blown past her goal. Gotta admit, I thought I’d have until Wednesday until we reached our US$4000 goal, so we are now closing the FFFFFF for the next while. Receipts when I have ’em.

Receipt to the ActBlue combined bail funds. Karla’s followers raised US$2705.62; double that is US$5411.24, but I like round numbers.

Let me be clear, this is not two separte donations, it’s one; the first receipt is a screenshot of the total, and the second an email that details recipients. This cost me more than I’d planned, but that’s okay. And don’t let the end of matching keep you from giving what you can!