A little note on Monday’s update

I’ve blogged here about the financial difficulties webcartoonists can land into. Some two years ago, a webcomics reader known as TGIF was one of a small group of people who had been trying to help a webcartoonist get his hands on much-needed equipment, and he had also been discussing the creation of a fund that would give out loans to cartoonists to cover financial emergencies. A way to keep them working without having them be dependent on the unpredictable charity of individuals. Ironically, around that time, TGIF began to suffer from a rare mitochondrial illness. This has rendered him unable to work and has devastated his family’ s finances.

A man who went much further than he had to to help cartoonists as a group now needs help himself. Today, in lieu of a page rate for Yonaka who drew the background for today’s ROCR episode, I’ve made a donation to him, and just this once I’d like to ask you to consider doing the same. Using the button below will send directly to TGIF under his real name.






Original art for sale!

For the first time in many years, possibly ever, I’ve drawn an original page that is a nice-looking work of art in its own right. So I’m flogging it! The comic that the artwork is the original for will run on Monday, April 12, which is when the artwork will go on sale in the Modern Tales Swapmeet. So watch that space!

Museum update

Sorry I haven’t been as frequent in updating Waffle readers about the digital exhibit. So much of my time has been taken up these past weeks by actually putting it together, checking that all materials are complete, designing and building the pages, etc, etc, that I haven’t had the energy at the end of a day to write about it.

However, it is now inching towards completion, and I hope to be able to deliver the first version to the museum on Tuesday or Wednesday. I also hope to shoot some more pictures then. Then in the final week before the museum opens (which will be April 21), I’ll iron out the kinks and upload the final corrections.

Presents for a baby

On Friday, I’ll be on my way to England to assume Godfatherly duties at the baptism of my nephew Kyle. My brother emailed me to remind me that said duties include:

1. Springing for the baby’s baptismal outfit; and
2. Buying him a present.

No problem (I think the unspoken part of the deal is that Kyle will spring for my headstone when I croak so I’ll come out on top) except that being a confirmed non-parent myself, I haven’t got a clue what to buy for a five-month-old baby. I’ve just been to the toy shop, and I’m sure that a giant Tigger plushie would at least make his mother happy (and if I were little, I’d love it), but the kid’s already being brainwashed with Tiggers, Tiggers everywhere, so I’d welcome alternative suggestions.

Also, I’ll need something to wear at the baptism myself. Of course, the baby will be the main attraction, but I don’t want to show up either looking like a bum or upstaging the rest of the family. I’ve inquired after the dress code…

And my brother had emailed me earlier about some items he wanted me to pick up for himself. That at least will be easy…

ROCR schedule change

Just a quick heads-up: due to a combination of crunch time for the museum exhibit (and lemme tell ya, it’s hair-raisin’), teaching work later in the month, and a family matter requiring me to travel to England over the Easter holiday weekend, Rogues of Clwyd-Rhan will appear twice a week throughout the month, on Mondays and Fridays. I’ll be hard-pressed to stick even to that schedule…

However, I’ll try and make something special of these more sporadic updates.

Girly!

A day or so ago I finally bought a subscription to Girlamatic completing my set of Modern Tales anthology site subscriptions. I’m now digging through the archives.

First impressions:
1. A lot of comics have archives consisting of multiple pages, each of which offers only a second or so’s worth of reading. This is annoying and destroys the pacing of these comics. Long, scrolling archive pages, please!
2. Favorite comics so far: Sparkneedle and the ultra-cute Jeepers but both of these were my faves before I subscribed.
3. Currently reading: Lucas and Odessa by the same artist as Sparkneedle and Arcana Jayne – Hair of the Dog by Lisa Jonte and MP Mann. So far, Lucas and Odessa hasn’t impressed me as much as Sparkneedle, which is a staggeringly original creation with an even more staggering consistency of style. Arcana Jayne – HOTD starts out very well, but runs into difficulty sustaining the energy of the beginning. The chopped, paginated display doesn’t help. I’ll probably finish reading it though.

Manley man blogs optimistically.

Joey Manley thinks the difficulty of making money in webcomics is, on the whole, good for webcartoonists.

Money quote:
If making money from web content were easy, if it were simply a matter of applying one perfect strategy to the problem, you and I wouldn’t stand a chance. Disney, AOL/TimeWarner, Rupert Murdoch, whoever — you know, the suits — would have slapped down their x’s and their o’s in every corner of the board, and won the game, years ago. That’s exactly what they were trying to do during the dotcom bubble, doncha know: establish utter domination, as quickly as possible, and as coldly. That’s what they do. This does not mean, by the way, that they are evil. It just means that they are large corporations.

But back to the point: if this game were easy, you and I wouldn’t even be allowed to play.

Potential Myazaki-gasm, or dud?

Viz comics has put out a manga-ized version of Spirited Away consisting simply of stills from the animated cartoon movie edited into a comic with word balloons. I’ve been meaning to buy the DVD but as a reader rather than a viewer, and as a cartoonist who likes to explore still pictures for stealing inspiration, I may enjoy these more in the long run. Or would I? It is co-opted art, and rather steeply priced… are these books worth having?

ROCR progress update

Yesterday evening I drew and colored a ROCR update in just under 4 hours, no thanks to the studio computer having some sort of epileptic seizure. Strange how that never happens with my home system…
I need another hour and a bit for lettering, scaling and spit and polish, but I think I may run it as Friday’s update instead of the one I posted on the blog the other day. That way those of you who are taking the background challenge will have a bit more time (and so will I)… and yes, I know there are some people taking the challenge. I think the original order of the updates works better in the context of the full sequence, but that will be easy to fix in the Modern Tales archives.

Meanwhile, over at Elf Life, Carson has announced an end to negativity, and an end to the crisis he’s been in. Pity, really, because I really had a few choice words to say to the spoiled know-nothings who couldn’t be bothered to find out the whole story and wouldn’t know empathy if it smacked them in the face and then felt their pain fine, upstanding, principled webcartoonists populating the not-really-PvP-forums-anymore forums, but well, I’ll just keep them to myself.
One thing needs to be pointed out, though. In a response to my earlier blog entry about the situation (which I can’t find because there’s something wrong with Carson’s blog archiving), Carson (mildly) criticises me and others for handwringing over his actions. While I’m sure Carson did not in any way mean to lump me in with those webcartoonists who called him names over the decision to pressurize people into buying art, I want to point out for the rest of the world that any handwringing I did was over the fact that he *had* to do this, not over him actually doing it. The fact that all he got out of five years’ hard work *and* moderate success was the threat of another eviction. This threat now seems to have been evaded, thanks largely to Amber Panyko of the Dan and Mab, who deserves large amounts of good karma coming her way.

So that’s it! No more negativity! I’m looking forward to seeing the art I bought, and to getting back to normal.