The webcomics blog about webcomics

This Is Why I’ll Never Believe RSS Is Dead

New PBF, y’all, and thanks to the magic of RSS, it was waiting there for me at the end of work yesterday.

There’s something about early post-summer that seems to invite the launching of webcomics. Yesterday we noted fourteen years of Wapsi Square¹, and today marks five years of Dumbing of Age, itself a reboot of the Walkyverse, which launched on the same day in nineteen holy cripes ninety-seven and relaunched in reruns on the same day again in the rather recent 2012.

So I guess the early post-summer days are really a David Willis thing, and everybody else is along for the ride. I don’t know what he was thinking when he launched Shortpacked in January, but his obsessive need of symmetry was at least observed in ending that strip on the same January day ten years later. Honestly, between this tendency and his obsession with Batman, he’s very nearly a calendar-themed minor villain. He doesn’t really do anything wrong, but that’s no guarantee he won’t get beaten by a billionaire ninja if there aren’t any murder clowns around.

Oh, wait, one thing that might be wrong from the perspective of his fellow webcomickers: today’s Dumbing of Age shows that Willis now has a comic buffer through 1 January 2016 (112 days from now), so he’s probably in for some stink-eye next time he’s hanging around somebody that’s running late. David Willis, happy double strippaversary, and I declare your Bat-villian name to be: FUTURETOON.

Spam of the day:

Kära företagskund, Du har fått ett nytt internt meddelande. Klicka för att se.
I’m told this means: Dear business customer, You have a new internal message. Click to see. Funny, I don’t remember opening any business accounts in Sweden.

¹ It might stretch the definition of early post-summer, but I may as well note that 1 October will also mark 14 years of Achewood, hiatusy though it be.

A Show, A Book, An Anniversary

Let’s do ’em in reverse order.

  • Paul Taylor has been cranking out Wapsi Square for fourteen — count ’em, fourteen! — years now. The initial slice-of-life story pretty quickly turned to the mildly supernatural, then evolved a full-blown mythology and world-threatening danger tied to the 2012 Mayan Apocalypse that got resolved a good two years before deadline.

    The strip went back to life-slicing but Taylor couldn’t stay away from the weird and he’s introduced a new generation of characters — not humans interacting with a supernatural world, but teen paranormal creatures. That’s about five shifts in focus in fourteen years, and no sign of where it leads next. Happy strippaversary, Wapsi Square.

  • Lucy Knisley does autobio unlike anybody else — she finds a way to chop her life and experiences into discrete stories with beginnings, middles, and ends. Sometimes it’s around a time in life that has a fixed duration (like her travelogues), sometimes it’s around a theme (like her food-centered stories), and now she’ll be telling us about what it was like to get married — the time when distance caused a split from her boyfriend, the realization that they couldn’t be apart, the run-up to the wedding, and what’s happened in the year since. Her work is always a treat, and the cover for Something New has debuted over at Bustle. Check ‘er out, and put in your pre-order now, because this book is mathematically certain to be great.
  • Here we are, some two and a half weeks out from TopatoCon, and the announcements just keep coming.

    TopatoCon will run Saturday and Sunday, 26 and 27 September at Eastworks in Easthampton, Massachusetts. See you there.

Spam of the day:

I am really enjoying the theme/design of your website. Do you ever run into any web browser compatibility problems?

You don’t really care about the answer to that question, given the context of the rest of your comment, but I’ll answer anyway: No, I don’t. Because websites don’t need to be complicated things. They can be just some graphics and text, which has the added benefit of not taking friggin’ forever to load.

¹ Suck it, Moby-Dick.

² And we all now how ad hoc cultures are. The armies that coalesce might build themselves some cardboard fortresses. And if that’s not enough, I hear that the mastermind behind Ultimate Team Cardboard Fortress Battle will be at Eastworks during TopatoCon weekend.

Post-Holiday Swing Reacquisition

Hey, welcome back from the long weekend (those of you the States), or just to a random Tuesday (everybody else). Got some things to recommend to you, in the positive and negative senses.

  • Maritza Campos and Bachan’s Power Nap is a weird, wildly creative, half-hallucinatory romp o’ fun, and they’re presently crowdfunding their second print collection. A bit atypically for webcomics, they’re doing the Power Nap collctions in a thinner, Euro-style presentation rather than the thick, halfway-to-omnibus style you get in American comics (print and web).

    Naturally, it’ll be full color, the better to make all those gorgeous dreamscapes pop. And I would be remiss to not point out that five readers have a chance to make a cameo in the strip, presumably to be killed in some horrible, hilarious fashion. I positively recommend you get in on this while the gettin’s good (the campaign will run for another 36 days, after that no promises you’ll be able to snag a copy).

  • Following up on our earlier story, it appears that the Cartoon Art Museum has nailed down the talent list for this week’s Night of 1000 Sketches, likely the last fundraiser to take place at CAM’s current location in the Mission District of San Francisco.

    Remember, that’s this Thursday, 10 September, from 6:00pm to 9:00pm, with tickets ranging from US$10 to US$100 (the more you pay, the more drinks, sketches, and goodies you get). Tickets are available here, along with a list of the 36 artists who will be sketchin’ their hearts out¹ to benefit CAM’s venue shift. Anybody in the greater Bay Area on Thursday, I recommend this one most positively.

  • I also want to positively recommend that you check out the ongoing blog tour for Ben Hatke’s Little Robot, which will be landing here at Fleen on Monday. In the meantime, check out the other places that are talking about Hatke’s latest (and possibly most personal) children’s book at the blog tour HQ.
  • Know what’s positively hilarious? Watching people at the website of a comics syndicate trying to wrap their brains around the comics of Jon Rosenberg², selections of whose Scenes From A Multiverse started running at GoComics yesterday.

    My favorite was from the individual who described SFAM as, quote, Mediocre newcomer to gocomics [sic], unquote. Moments later the same person flagged as a favorite this Heathcliff comic, and today was puzzled by a Peanuts strip due to not knowing what the word pompous means. Recommend Rosenberg’s comics for the giggles, double-recommend the confused reactions for double-giggles.

  • I promised some negativity, so here we go. I got an email that insisted I had signed up for news from a self-described film production company (I didn’t) that thinks it’s very important for me to tell you about a contest they’re running to design a spaceship for a movie that they say is going to have a Kickstarter, but doesn’t yet. So let me tell you about it.

    The rules tell what they want (broad outlines for the spaceship, deadline, etc), but don’t say boo about rights or what they do with the entries that don’t win. The awards section specifies that the winner will get to do a bunch of stuff:

    – You get an opportunity to have your design included in the TRIBORN universe.
    – You will have an opportunity to work with the production design team as they model and build from your design
    – You will get to design the interior of the cockpit that will be built into a set.
    – You get a special credit in the movie as a concept designer.
    – You will get a one day pass to set in the Los Angeles area during the making of this movie with the opportunity to meet Ricco Ross, plus other cast and crew members. You will see your design in action, get photos of yourself on the set you designed, hang out with cast & crew, and get some other free swag (travel and lodging not provided).

    Anybody want to tell me what’s not included in that list of fabulous prizes? Like maybe compensation (above and beyond the promised free swag) for getting to work with the actual paid people, and getting to do additional design work? They aren’t even promising the bullshit reward of exposure³ because the only exposure they’re offering is a special credit in the end credits of a movie that nobody is ever going to see and which means exactly jack.

    Oh, but they get to share your design on their websites and social media, so the more they get people to draw for free, the more content they have to draw eyeballs to their site (their rules don’t specify you get so much as a link back). So I recommend most heartily that you submit entries to them that consist of a spaceship that resembles the words FUCK YOU, PAY ME.

    I doubt they’re the sort to learn their lesson and resolve to do better, but pointing out how much they suck could at least be amusing.

Spam of the day:

Update Account (Final Notice)
You received this mandatory email service announcement to update you about important changes in services.
Your account gary[at] will be terminated if you don’t respond immediately.

You mean the account that I control will somehow be cut off if I don’t click on your link? Wow, how does that work?

¹ In order to make the name of the event not be a tremendous lie, they will each have to draw approximately 28 sketches, or a bit more than 9 per hour (or one every 6.5 minutes) during the evening. Give an artist a drink ticket and they’ll probably make the sketch 37% awesomer.

² The soulkeeper.

³ Quoting again, as we must, Rich Stevens: People die of exposure.

Before The Holiday Rush

Hey. So I have to travel I-95 — aka Satan’s Own Highway — alter this afternoon, the Friday before a long weekend. This is gonna be brief.

SPX has revealed its programming slate, and it appears to be the usual (i.e.: high on quality, low on quantity). Each day will feature two rooms of programming, one with events on the hour, the other with events on the half hour, from midday on. Highlights include:

Have a heck of a weekend, Statesians. Maybe I’ll see you on Monday, maybe not.

Spam of the day:

Download Bucky Larson: Born to Be a Star Movie.

I wouldn’t watch that shit with your eyes, my friend; I ain’t gonna watch it with mine.

¹ Make comics while queer.

Not Very Much About Webcomics, So Deal

As you may know, the day job is teaching for a software company. It’s a pretty good job, and some days it’s amazing. I told the story earlier today on Twitter, which I will now reproduce (with some formatting and links not possible in the original tweets:

Holy crap, you guys, holy CRAP.

Okay, so I’m talking in class about #TheMartian and one of my students mentions that his father worked for NASA in the 60s.

Recently, dad was sick so student was visiting in the hospital and another old guy was there. Got to talking, introduced himself.

Nice to meet you, student. I’m Fred Haise”. Apollo 13 Fred Haise. Dad worked in friggin’ MCC during Gemini/Apollo.

Testified to Congress about Apollo 1. Sat the EECOM controller’s position. I asked, and apparently he could get me John Aaron’s autograph.

I am talking to the son of a goddamn American hero, holy crap. Day made.

I am floating 15 cm off the floor you guys. Holy crap. This encounter with history is maybe even better than meeting @tweetsoutloud.

So, should I mention the part about how an uncle of mine grew up speaking German in Huntsville, Alabama during the 1940s?

On account of all the neighbors spoke German. On account of how his father and the neighbors all moved to Alabama in 1945 with their boss.

(Wait for it)

Yup, uncle’s dad was part of Werner von Braun’s team. I’m a little more conflicted about that one.

Okay, I don’t ask for much around here (okay, yeah, I ask that people look at cool stuff and maybe kick in to a Kickstarter that I’m supporting because I want it to make goal so I can get my stuff), but I ask for very little that’s about me. For example, last Halloween, I asked for somebody to draw a zombie robot and Brandon Carr did and that was cool.¹

So this is what I’m asking: spend a little time today looking up a few of the many controller and directors that wore the headsets, slung the sliderules, stared at the screens, and made our first, tentative stabs at leaving behind the planet of our birth possible. I’ll start you with some names: John Aaron, Steve Bales, Sy Liebergot, Gerry Griffin, Chris Kraft, Gene Kranz, Glynn Lunney, and there are literally hundreds more, working harder and smarter than anybody’s ever worked before.

We’re losing that generation alongside the astronauts they supported (although a little slower, since the average flight controller was 26 years old² during Apollo, and the directors mostly in their 30s); though next following generations of MCC professionals keep us flying and reaching further, they would be the first to tell you they reach for comets and planets by standing on the shoulders of giants.

Spam of the day:

FDA Cleared Hair Loss Solution

Dude, have you seen me recently? In addition to aspiring to be as smart, capable, and cool as a NASA flight controller, I hope that someday my copious mane of crazy-guy hair will be white and I can do a convincing Einstein impression.

¹ Then again, I also asked on Twitter for somebody to please draw Howard Tayler Swift and nothing so far. I mean, look at him! Now imagine him all mashed up with her and tell me that wouldn’t be hilarious. But I digress.

² Sometimes younger. Steve Bales was 26 when he made the call to Go on the landing of Apollo 11 in the face of program alarms; this was based on the advice of 24 year old Jack Garman, the resident guidance computer expert. Aaron was likewise 24 years old when he saved Apollo 12 from an abort with the legendary call Flight, try SCE to AUX.

It’s Scientific!

  • Randall Munroe is unleashing upon the world his latest Bigger and Better Webcomics Thing; in the past these have been webcomics that were physically huge, or of extreme duration, or sometimes both. Sometimes they were just deep holes where it’s not possible to stop digging.

    Today’s strip is pretty modest, though. At least until he releases the data set:

    The xkcd survey
    This is an anonymous survey. After it’s done, a database of everyone’s responses will be posted.

    There’s no specific reason for any of the questions. The goal is to create an interesting and unusual data set for people to play with. (This is obviously not going to be a real random sample of people, but in the interest of getting cooler data, if you’re sharing this with friends, try sending it to some people who wouldn’t normally see this kind of thing!)

    WARNING: This survey is anonymous, but your answers WILL BE MADE PUBLIC. Depending what you write, it’s possible that someone may be able to identify you by looking at your responses. None of these questions should ask about anything too private, but don’t write anything that you don’t want people to see. If you’re not comfortable answering a question, just skip it.

    I’m taking bets on what the over/under on the number of responses will be … given Munroe’s audience size (couple million), audience engagement levels (high), and the likelihood of his audience to promote the survey on his behalf (like hack webcomics pseduojournalists), I’ma start at 2.73 million responses. Which means for once in my time of doing mathematical calculations on this site, I don’t have to bitch about the sample size being too small¹; it may even be large enough to engage in higher moments of analysis like skew and kurtosis, hooray!

  • Speaking of webcomics and statistics, a comic to teach the idea of data analysis (the result of a grant received by Dante Shepherd to use comics to teach STEM concepts) is up today at Surviving the World. Here’s hoping for more of the science comics to get shared, and for more on data crunching specifically. My favorite part is how I’m pretending that that narrator character is Shepherd as a Muppet. Now when I see him next month at TopatoCon, I’m going to insist that he flail his arms around like Mister The Frog.
  • News from the Erf front today: Erfworld creator Rob Balder announced that artist David Hahn will be leaving after Friday’s update. Balder’s getting to be like Frank Zappa, a relentless creator trying to find collaborators that can execute the thoughts coming out of his brainmeats for the world to experience the way he intended them to. It’s a tough gig, given that he’s got one of the most relentlessly pedantic audiences around:

    Consider the page a little while ago where David missed the fill on Ansom’s decrypted dwagon, and nobody else on the team (there are four people who look at the art) caught the error. Instead of a red eyeball, the page posted with the dwagon having a white eyeball. This led to a discussion in Reactions about whether that was an art mistake or an important clue about the dwagon’s Signamancy.

    Not to mention lacking in certain senses of boundaries:

    I must admit I have greater frustration with your closemouthed management style than I do with the loss of an artist. You have a tendency to keep problems close to the chest and decline to tell your (by all accounts of this thread) very loyal fanbase any negative information until it has escalated to a point where a crisis is happening and you have literally no choice but to divulge information. And even when you do this, it is in the most circumspect fashion, using vague apparently details intended to conceal the breadth of the problems going on, perhaps from some heightened sense of privacy conservation?

    . . .

    These ‘creative differences’ between you and David have clearly been growing over time, to the point where something happened on Monday that was ‘the last straw’. At yet, it’s only now, once you have officially ended your creative relationship, that you inform us as to what is going on. And your plan before this mystery event was evidently to spring a new artist on us after you had found one, and David has moved on.

    . . .

    All of this gives a certain vibe that you mistrust your fanbase. When problems arise, you don’t let them know about it, until you no longer have the option to keep it concealed. Whether this is because you worry that they might leave reflexively if another problem starts showing up, or because you feel that the affairs of your creative activities and interactions with your artist are not our business, you need to open up a bit more if you want this project to succeed. Because it now is, quite literally, our collective business now. ($882 [community support donations] per update?) [emphasis added]

    Apropos of quite a lot, I met Neil Gaiman once. Had dinner with him (in the sense that we sat next to each other at an event, and he was charming). I read everything of his I can lay my hands on and pay good money to do so. And you know what? Neil Gaiman and I are not friends. I am not entitled to any more of him than he is willing to give. If I disapprove of his work or his business affairs or his personal life, my entire remedy — provided I don’t want to be a sociopath about it — is to choose to not read his stuff any longer. That’s it. He is, to paraphrase the man himself, not my bitch.

    And because Rob Balder was too polite to say it to the personquoted above, allow me: Entitled Commenter At Erfword, Rob Balder is not your bitch. Your reading of Erfworld, even your financial support (if in fact you do support it) does not entitle you to the details of Balder’s business relationships, much less obligate him to violate the privacy of others. Get over yourself.

Spam of the day:

Gtyrrell OrdernMedicaments

What a coincidence! I’m in the market for medicaments!

¹ Although the population of said sample will probably skew heavily towards representative of the sort of people that read xkcd.

Cusp Achieved, Welcome to September

If there’s a word to describe today, I’d go with generosity.

  • For starters, although nearly everybody that backed the Kickstarter for Augie and the Green Knight (a book which I encourage author Zach Weinersmith to send copies of to the appropriate people for consideration of the Newbery Medal) has received their copy, and although the book is now generally available to non-backers, there’s still a group of people that might not get a copy that now have an opportunity to do so.

    Namely, readers that rely on libraries for their books:

    As promised, we have 600 books we can ship to libraries in North America! If you are interested, please contact your local library and have them fill out this request form

    Just to be 100% clear, the person filling out the form MUST be a librarian. No exceptions. If you are not a librarian, but think your local library could use a copy, please just ask them to fill out the form.

    Let’s put this in context: 600 copies times US$19.05 (Amazon’s list price for Augie) comes to nearly US$12,000 worth of books that Weinersmith and Breadpig are donating (plus shipping costs, at a approximately US$3.22 if they’re shipping Media Mail, or another US$1932), which is a significant act of generosity. It’s not possible to estimate the value of kids actually reading Augie and dreaming a big bigger.

  • Continuing on, the ubiquitous Jim Zub continues his nonstop crusade to teach people all aspects of the comics business¹ with an outright gift. On the one-year anniversary of his most recent creator-owned series, Wayward, he’s released the full script for Wayward #1 on his site so that aspiring comics writers can read and learn. Even better, they can compare the original script to the outcome, meaning that they’ll learn what changes occur between written page and comics page, and hopefully gain some insights into the process of working with an artist.

    Even betterer, Zub did the same thing in the before times for Skullkickers #1², so you can track his own progress as a creator. Zub’s been a hell of a generous guy, sharing his numbers, his tips and tricks, his encouragement, on his own time, to the benefit of the community at large. Sometimes it gets him incredibly entitled whiny demands for more³; more often (I like to think), it gets him the admiration he so richly deserves. Know what else he deserves? A couple of bucks from you, so be sure to check out the first issue of Figment 2 at your local comic shop tomorrow.

  • Finally, yay to the return of Jeffrey Rowland to comics, at least for a while:

    Shh don’t tell nobody but I put up the first 3 pages of the new MAiS story; will do big hollerings about it Monday.

    That was on Saturday, and page five just went up, and apparently there will be sixteen pages in all. It’s a little sad to see what’s become of Topato and Sheriff Pony, here’s hoping they get their action-spring back.

Spam of the day:

Start earning the degree you need for your future career

Got plenty, you diploma mill hucksters.

¹ That is, to be his competitors.

² Recently finished, and much missed.

³ Here’s a hint, Anonymous asker: insisting that it’s not fair that somebody you purport to admire won’t give you something for free is not the way to inspire somebody to give a shit about you. The fact that Zub was kind enough to explain his rationale — and give you a mechanism to achieve what you’re asking for! — instead of just deleting your stupid question is a testament to his kindness and character.

And yes, as somebody who teaches professionally, I can assure you that there are such things as stupid questions.

On The Cusp Of September

Three things that I want to bring to your attention today. Honestly, no one of them is any less important than another, so let’s just dive in.

  • The Cartoon Art Museum may be closing the doors of its present location in a couple of weeks, but they’re not closing for good. Furthermore, they’re going to engage in their mission of making the cartoon arts available to the widest possible audience until the very last minute. To that end, please note that they have named their cartoonist-in-residence for the (abbreviated) month, and it’s Ben Collison. He’ll be presenting on Thursday, 3 September, from 2:00pm to 5:30pm at CAM on his techniques for making comics with ink and coffee (attention: R Stevens). And now to 12 September, CAM is having a moving sale, with nearly everything in their store’s stock going for 20% – 40% off sticker price. Anybody in San Francisco should drop by 655 Mission Street and browse, or just give them your best regards.
  • This page keeps a weather eye on the New York Times Best Seller List for graphic novels, and notes with approval that the latest iteration of same is still 50% occupied by Raina Telgemeier, but also notes a surprise in the #10 slot. Debuting on the NYTBSL is Gene Luen Yang’s American Born Chinese, which readers of this page may remember was reviewed by Fleen when it debuted nine years ago. It’s unexpected, but that I got to thinking — just as MAUS and Persepolis make reappearances on the list about this time of year every year as school resumes and they become part of the curriculum, it appears that American Born Chinese is becoming part of the canon and being studied.

    Yang’s no stranger to the NYTBSL, but I imagine it’s a great feeling to see his first, most autobiographical work finally recognized. Also, there’s the whole bit where the Times didn’t have a Best Seller List for graphic novels when American Born Chinese was released, as it undoubtedly would have sat on the list for a good long while otherwise. In any event, congrats to Yang for what’s got to be a heartwarming return to the school year, and watch this space for the inevitable news that Secret Coders (due for release in four weeks) has been added to the NYTBSL.

  • This page also keeps an eye on Kickstarter campaigns and the management thereof. I’m pleased to note that on Saturday, the very best writeup of how to plan the financial end of a campaign — the so-called Kickstarter Math — that I’ve ever seen was released to the world. And it’s not for a webcomic, or a comic-comic. Marian Call, singer, songwriter, adventurer, bon vivante, and life partner of the repeatedly-mentioned-on-this-blog Pat Race, has a Kickstart going on right now to release her next album, which is down to the last two days. She’s well over goal and into stretch territory, and a big part of that is the planning that she put into the crowdfunding effort. Go read her post right now if you’ve ever thought about Kickstarting anything, particular the bit about modeling multiple levels of success and running a full set of numbers for each.

    Or possible do that a little later, as it appears that her host is down at the moment, possibly due to the twin loads of people rushing to give her money (she runs a sponsorship program in addition to Kickstarts) and to absorb her wisdom. Oh, and listen to (and buy!) her music, because she’s got a hell of a voice, a great sense of what makes a good song, and can channel everybody from Bowie to the Brothers Chaps.

Spam of the day:

This Test Shows How You’re Going to Die

I already know how I’m going to die. TRUCK.

Considering They’re Mostly More Than A Page In Size, A Pretty Significant Achievement

Case in point, today’s update of Order of the Stick, #1000 in a series of 1000 (so far), is four pages worth of comic. It’s hard to say how long I’ve been reading OotS (I came in somewhere around #197, the infamous evilgasm strip) since Rich Burlew numbers, but does not date, the strips in his archive. Eight years, maybe?

What with the interruptions due to health concerns, drawing-hand injuries, and fulfilling an unreasonably large Kickstarter, it still seems that Burlew manages about 100 strips on average a year (in fits and starts, but let’s play averages for now), or somewhere between 200 and 500 increasingly-complex¹ comics pages per year and that’s nothing to sneeze at.

Not to mention the fact that he’s managed to have an overriding narrative, an overriding metanarrative, and however many major plotlines (I lost count somewhere around 15) weaving in and around each other, with a literal cast of hundreds of supporting players (my favorites: the Katos, followed by The Oracle, and Bloodfeast the Extreme-inator) interacting on one level for those who are up on the various D&D rules editions while still being meaningful for those of us who are not.

So well done, Rich Burlew, thanks for the last 1000 strips, and if you perpetuate the cliffhanger you left us on by shifting strip #1001 to some other plot thread, you’re dead to me.

Spam of the day:

conquer the world with paranoidONSet

I’m a database administrator — paranoia is the least of the personality defects I cultivate to do my job effectively.

¹ Not to mention sophisticated. Yeah, it’s stick figures, but that design decision doesn’t invalidate the fact that Burlew does a lot with lighting, perspective, and especially environment.

Convention, Convention, And A Break From Conventional Wisdom

Ready for some cool stuff? Let’s do this.

  • I’ll confess, when TopatoCon announced that it was shifting venues from the hotel/conference center to Eastworks, I had some trepidation regarding one of the cooler things that was on tap. To quote TopatoCo/Make That Thing/TopatoCon honcho Holly Rowland:

    [T]here will be table service that will bring you beer and chicken fingers.

    But that was in the context of a hotel! Would there be such amenities at Eastworks? Then again, the event schedule involves at least two separate sessions on Saturday that involve booze (one of which, I will be speaking), and now today comes further news:

    Hey! You! Do you like beer? We’re going to be hosting local beer tastings all weekend at the TopatoCon bar! […] Free with admission!

    I don’t have the capability for emoji here on Fleen, but there were no fewer than six emoji of frosty beer mugs in that tweet. And maybe we’ll get table service after all.

  • I’m not sure what’s going on in the November/December timeframe in Austin, Texas, but it appears that the traditional season of Webcomics Rampage is shifting to earlier in the year this year. Dragon’s Lair — comic shop extraordinaire and WR sponsor — has announced that this year’s Webcomics Rampage (the seventh such) will be 16 – 18 October, with 14 confirmed guests so far. I hear that Austin’s really nice in October, and hope that running just a week after New York Comic Con doesn’t keep them from adding another webcomics luminary or two.
  • This page has mentioned in the past the efforts of Katie Lane to help get creative types paid, including classes she’s run on that very topic, on multiple occasions. Today, I’m pleased to see that Lane is expanding her efforts and making it even easier for you to learn the skills you need to not get screwed on your work:

    The Ace Freelancer’s Guide to Getting Paid goes on sale next week!

    Before you follow that link, check out the tweet and the gif embedded therein; Katie Lane wants you to get paid.

    Okay, now click through and sign up for the next class session on how to get paid. If you have a history (and be honest with yourself) of falling into the trap of thinking that you’re overcharging, and how it’s not good to be pushy, and if you’re just patient they’ll surely get around to cutting your check sometime this century — you know, the lies the people who employ freelancers are trying like hell to transform into conventional wisdom — you can sign up for the super-duper version of the class that includes a one-on-one consult.

    Your work has value. Even if you aren’t charging much, you damn well have the right to be paid the amount agreed upon, in the timeframe agreed upon. The sob story being pushed by the people who agreed how much/when to pay you does not change your basic needs (i.e.: food and shelter) and you can cut through the bullshit and get what you are due.

    Like everything else in your career, getting paid is a skill, and investing in developing that skill will reward you for the duration of your working life. Look over the syllabus. Look over your billing history. Look inside yourself. And then do what you gotta do to get paid.

Spam of the day:

Though this is not recommended, you could wish to look around to be able to lenders until you are capable of amass just how much you will need from multiple small loans

Somewhere, Spike is preparing to nail a copy of Poorcraft’s chapter on debt and borrowing to the forehead of the sumbitch that wrote this spam.