Friday, February 27, 2015

More Patreon

I figure I should update the Pateron campaign listings.  Last time, I had 19 comics but several more have been added since.  After last week's article, I really should highlight the current best option for making money.  It is a popularity contest, don't forget that, so if the comic isn't well known, well, it doesn't make any money even with a great Pateron campaign.  That said, I hope my little blog and highlighting their campaigns help them along.

These are ONLY comics I currently read, as I'm sure many of the Non-Reads have their own campaigns.  Go forth and keep these comics updating.

Bug Martini -
Chainsawsuit -
Devil's Panties -
Dumbing of Age -
Girls with Slingshots -
Saturday Morning Breakfast Cereal -
Schlock Mercenary -
Wapsi Square -
Between Failures -
Bohemian Nights -
Broodhollow -
Corridor Realms (Twilight Lady, Subhuman Sanctum) -
Gaia -
Gunnerkrigg Court -
The Adventures of Dr. McNinja -
The Demon Archives -
Blind Springs -
Exiern -
Sandra and Woo -
Commander Kitty -
Dead Winter -
Derelict -
Does Not Play Well with Others -
Little Guardians -
Romantically Apocalyptic -
Sorcery 101 -
Trying Human -
Zebra Girl -
Dresden Codak -

Just a reminder if you are starting a Patreon, make it obvious.  Exiern's was kind of hidden away and I almost missed it.  Also, I haven't gone through these campaigns yet, but Patreon is a monthly thing, so make sure rewards are monthly, not one time or whenever you feel like it.

Next time, um, something.  Until then kiddies.

Friday, February 20, 2015

Web to Print and Print to Web

If you remember the Quasi-Awards return post from the beginning of the year, you may remember seeing me mention Shadowgirls, but not actually link it.  I do make a point of linking comics whenever they are named in an article, unless I'm really rushed (it happens once in a while).  The reason for this incident was that I went to the old link and the comic was gone.

So I did some searching using the holy power of Google, as I usually do, and I found two things.  The first was a string of reviews for a novel named The Shadow Girls, which has nothing to do with the comic.  The second was links to the comic, to be bought, in print form.

This has happened before.  Jeremy is one of my favorite comics, and one of the first to go pure print.  Marsh Rocket (another dead and gone link) did the same.  There is nothing wrong with this, let me be clear.  There is no reason for freeloaders like me to expect a comic archive to remain up forever, especially when the artist is paying for the website to display them.  Still, I think they're missing something important here.

What's missing is that a lot of people don't like to buy something sight unseen.  I imagine they're banking on fans of the comic during it's run to pick it up, but there are only so many of us for many of these comics.  Giving new readers a chance to get their feet wet before paying for the experience seems a much better idea to me.  Faith Erin Hicks did something similar with Friends with Boys, a print comic that was free for a time and I took the opportunity to even review it.

Serenity Rose did something similar when I first read it.  The middle chapters of the story were behind a paywall, but thanks to some clever introductory writing, I barely noticed and it didn't reduce my appreciation of the comic.  Later this restriction was removed and I get to read the rest and was very happy.

Stjepan Sejic, the artist of Sunstone (NSFW) went even further.  One of his print comics, Ravine, failed financially, so he's decided to convert it over to a full blown webcomic.  Yes, eventually I'll review it.  He's even provided copies of Death Vigil, his other series, on his main deviant art page, for free.  I imagine that combined with Sunstone's growing popularity has guided him to this decision, and while he won't make gobs of money on any of those comics, he'll at least make something and people will love it.  And he'll get a lot more commission work, which is growing by the day I swear.

Still, there is another reason for me to be bothered by webcomics going print only.  Back when I started his blog, I did so because I had just lost my very well paying job and I wanted something to do.  But it also made it that I couldn't exactly spend a lot of money on things that weren't necessary to live (the internet survived because of the kindness of others).  So to see these comics, as wonderful as they are, be entirely unreadable without a down payment of some kind is bothersome to me.  How many others out there would love to read Shadowgirls but can't afford the price tag?  I don't know, but I was in that place once and I know I would never had read it if it had been that way from the beginning.  I still probably won't do it due to some frugal streak I was raised with.

I won't deny these artists their desire to make some money off their work, but with things like Patreon and Kickstarter, I would think this kind of thing wouldn't be necessary any more.

Next week, I hope to have something.  Bit of a stretch getting this up between snow storms and work schedules.  Until then kiddies.

Friday, February 13, 2015

Nothing Week

Yeah, I just haven't had the time to finish my next article.  Snow plus work equals no time.  Lovely isn't it?  Next week kiddies.

Friday, February 6, 2015

Not-So-Wild Review: Kiwis By Beat

My list over to the side there is every comic I read over the course of the month.  I recommend any and all of them to one extent or another.  I also use it in case I'm away from my computer as a way to check said comics.  And all of them have gotten a standard review, except one.  Kind of.  Let me tell you about:

Kiwis By Beat!

By "kind of" I mean that there is a review related to it, about Minus.  Even in my follow up though, I mentioned the full site, so it's kind of a review.  The reality is it isn't one comic, it's an anthology of comics, something that has become a growing trend.  Short Stories built itself on the idea, and several email requests I've received have all been some kind of anthology style site.  Kiwis By Beat is probably the first one I've done any official review on, and will likely become the standard for them.

Which also makes a normal, sectioned off Not-So-Wild Review a little more difficult than most.  In fact, much of it stems from one topic that hasn't shown up in any of the other reviews.  So much so there will only be two topics this round because, well, it all comes down to these.


There is something rather unique about the art.  Ryan Armand's style (that's the artist, BTW) is rather distinctive, though I always get this odd feeling I've seen something similar somewhere.  No idea where though.  While a few stories, Minus especially, are in color, the bulk are in black and white, and he takes advantage of the medium in a way few really do, often swapping between positive and negative space as necessary.

Each of the various comics is different too.  Modern Fried Snake is very flat while Monster Story has layers of shading to make it stand out.  The water color look of The Mildly Inconvenient Journey of Pelen Purul is very different from Minus.  Despite all of them sharing a basic, similar character design, each comic is different enough that it could actually be identified from the rest.  Perhaps that's why I keep thinking I've seen it before, because I'm remembering the other comics in the anthology.


If there is one thing that unites all these comics is there's a certain tone to it.  The way it reads, the way it looks, the stories it tells, the characters, all of them share the same tone.  Trying to simply describe it is, well, difficult, if not impossible, but I'll try.

In Modern Fried Snake there's a part of the story where the main character and her friend go to the city.  They see a movie, eat at a strange restaurant, possibly kill a man (never followed up on), and do some shopping.  Eventually they get handed a strange book, which was a book written against The Great Leader whose picture is like something out of Orwell.  For any other comic, this would be the jumping off point for a great adventure, discovering good and evil, etc, etc.  In this comic, they throw the book away and head home.

Nearly every story is like this.  The mundane of life is often on display, rarely is there any great battle or adventure, or if there is it's temporary or part of a bigger point.  Other stories take weird twists, like Vampire Story where most everyone becomes a vampire because they always live in mansions.  Seriously.  The Mildly Inconvenient Journey of Pelen Purul has the narrator desperately trying to convince the reader that Pelen will eventually journey home, when she seems happy where she is, and that's just a few.

And the characters follow suit as a result.  They're nothing amazing (even in Great), and they kind of go with the flow of the tale.  They're different from each other but the tone of their actions and words are almost always the same.  The majority just live rather ordinary lives, and the few who don't really aren't that extraordinary anyway.


It's hard to talk about something like a dozen comics at once, and dropping everything into "tone" might seem a bit lazy but there is a unified tone to the entire thing.  It's very easy to see it as each comic is read.  And I recommend reading them all.  They're quirky, different and fun, all the things I love to see in a comic, and there's a bunch of them here, just waiting to be read.  Minus may have brought me to the site, but everything else keeps me coming back.

Next time, um, we'll see.  I've run out of my buffer, but I still have ideas in the queue, so hopefully something.  No promises.  Until then kiddies.