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All the webcomic fandoms in #Yuletide 2019 October 30, 2019

Posted by Erin Ptah in Fandom.
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Signups are open for this year’s Yuletide, the small-fandom fic exchange, until November 4!

Here’s the full schedule, and here are the instructions for signing up. (If you don’t already have an AO3 account, you’ll need to get one of those first. Some invite links: one, two, three, four.)

The list of eligible fandoms for Yuletide 2019 is absolutely massive, so I pulled out a list of “just the webcomics that are free to read online.” Plus the links for where to read them…

(more…)

It’s a good time to be in comics October 21, 2019

Posted by Erin Ptah in News Roundup.
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Lore Olympus, one of the biggest hits on Webtoon, has been picked up by the Jim Henson Company for development as an animated series.

Webtoon is also teaming up with Crunchyroll to co-produce animated content from the site’s other original webcomics.

From an earlier generation of self-published comics, Jeff Smith’s BONE has been picked up for publication by Netflix. (The series was originally self-published, with Smith driving around the country delivering them to comic shops out of the back of his car, before it got picked up by Scholastic.)

And speaking of Scholastic, their latest graphic novel release by Raina Telgemeier debuted as the #1 book in the US last month. Not the #1 comic — the #1 BOOK.

Sometimes, nice things happen.

Tuesday Works Roundup, 8/13/19 (Jem and the Holograms, Wolf Park, art requests, and more) August 13, 2019

Posted by Erin Ptah in But I'm A Cat Person, Leif & Thorn, Works Roundup.
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But I’m A Cat Person
Ensemble Attack (wallpaper | Cybele, Blake, Reseda, Patrick, Ilsa, Kara Lynn, Poe | worksafe)

Leif & Thorn
Dramatic Rowan (sketch | Rowan | G)
Let’s Have A Drink (art | Stanczia | worksafe)
Magical Holly and Ivy, Unite (art | Holly, Ivy | worksafe)
Sea You Tonight (art | Hyacinth/Hazel | worksafe)

Jem and the Holograms
Blaze It (art | Blaze | worksafe)

General/Miscellaneous
Wind-up bird (reward sketch, worksafe)
Dharma (reward sketch, worksafe)
“Help, I want to make a new webcomic, how do I start?” (helpful blog post)
Ina (exchange art, worksafe)
Cerise (and a spider) (reward art, worksafe)

This Week in But I’m A Cat Person:
The extra-long favorite-character poll!

This Week in Leif & Thorn:
Hyacinth, Hazel, and Vine have heart-to-heart conversations while buying some skulls.

Comics & webcomics, throwbacks & updates May 9, 2019

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Can you maybe contextualize the Homestuck epilogue for someone who has never read Homestuck but is curious what all the hullabaloo is about? ”

Prototype Calvin and Hobbes strips, from the Billy Ireland Cartoon Library and Museum. (He used to be called Marvin!)

Marvin and Hobbes

“Comics and graphic novels bounced back from 2017’s sales slump to have their best year ever in 2018. […] For the first time, however, [comic shops] represent less than half the comcis market, when digital and crowdfunding are factored in.”

The Webcomic Reader Poll Data is here! Find out what your readers actually want to see from your webcomic! And which is better, webtoon or tapas?”

When a series you follow has a scheduled update, but the page isn’t finished yet, would you prefer the artist post a (readable) draft on-schedule and replace it when the finished strip is ready? Or forget the schedule and only post after it’s done?”

A reminder that you can install products from Adobe CS2 for free.

A solemn reminder of how dangerous artistic burnout can be, even when congoers are wonderful: “So many people, who’d never met my brother and didn’t even know his name, tried to save him, acting so quickly and earnestly. The staff and other attendees even formed a barricade to keep the walkways clear so that the paramedics could get to him, and transport him to the ambulance, as quickly as possible.”

Tuesday Works Roundup, 4/16 (Doctor Who, The Muppets, Glee, Sailor Moon, Warrior Cats, more) April 16, 2019

Posted by Erin Ptah in But I'm A Cat Person, Leif & Thorn, Works Roundup.
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But I’m A Cat Person
Forget regret, or life is yours to miss (cover art | Bianca/Emma, Bennett/Cohen, Sparrow, Miranda, Timothy, Jany | worksafe)
Sweater pets (sketch | Kara Lynn, Patrick, Reseda | worksafe)
Revolutionary Being Patrick (cover art | Patrick, Ilsa, Blake | worksafe)

Leif & Thorn
Laurel with her hair down (art | Laurel | worksafe)
Magical Lineup (draft | all the mages | worksafe)
Fancy waltzing (sketch | Leif/Thorn | worksafe)

Culture Shock
Comfortable Sunny (art | Sunny | worksafe)

Doctor Who/The Muppets
The Muppet Solitract (art | Robin | worksafe)

Glee
The Blaine-Sebastian Wedding (art | Blaine/Sebastian | worksafe)

Sailor Moon
Mars and Eureka (art | Rei, Baba Nanako | worksafe)

Warrior Cats
FireSpotted (art | Firestar/Spottedleaf | worksafe)

General/Miscellaneous
Webcomic Woes 28 – Canon responsibilities (comic, G)

This Week in But I’m A Cat Person:
Henriette’s part of the Great Being Rescue may be a little harder than anticipated.

This Week in Leif & Thorn:
Surprisingly tender frenemy bonding with the Agents D.

Just good things. (Nonbinary solidarity, great inventions, cool shadows, and more.) December 23, 2018

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“A 61-year-old person in my sample told me that they lived the vast majority of their life as though they were a gay man and was mistaken often as a drag queen after coming out. They didn’t discover nonbinary until they were in their 50s, and it was a freeing moment of understanding that nothing is wrong. They didn’t have to force themselves into the gay-man or trans-woman box — they could just be them. They described it as transcendent.

Evelyn Berezin, a computer pioneer who emancipated many a frazzled secretary from the shackles of the typewriter nearly a half-century ago by building and marketing the first computerized word processor, died on Saturday in Manhattan. […] Ms. Berezin held nine computer-related patents.”

Motto and his team had enough data to determine that their work was unprecedented in the history of suicide research. In the first two years following hospitalization, the suicide rate of the control group was nearly twice as high as that of the contact group.”

Parallax in action. (Someone put a light on a model train, then drove it around a dark room and filmed the beautiful shadows.)

“The people making these memes obviously have never seen some of the weird ass shit in old-timey photos.” (Contains B&W vintage photography of what is definitely an old-timey fursuit.)

CollegeHumor sketch: the CEO of Tumblr makes the slow-building discovery of what all the content on his site is.

By the way, if you’re on Discord, come take a look at the Comic Tea Party webcomic discussion group! They host regular chats on a variety of comics – and Leif & Thorn is scheduled for January 17.

A few more webcomic discord servers I’m on: SpiderForest Collective, Comicadia, and StArt Faire. (I sure hope all those links are current. Discord is…weird about that.)

“What’s your favorite thing (or things) about webcomics as a medium?” December 7, 2018

Posted by Erin Ptah in Meta.
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…is what umadoshi wanted to know about, so I’m gonna come at it from both sides.

As a reader: my favorite thing is that there’s such a low barrier to entry. I get to read comics by people who would never be accepted by publishers because the content is too niche (which used to include “too gay”, although fortunately that’s changing). Or because the creator doesn’t know the right people, and networking takes stamina/skills, which don’t automatically come with being a good artist.

Or even because the comic is genuinely Not That Great. Sometimes those are fun anyway! And having them online gives the artist the motivation to keep working, and then you can watch them get great in realtime.

The main tradeoff is that the flake-out rate is high, but you’re not immune from that in any medium. (“George R.R. Martin, please write and write faster…”)

And on balance it doesn’t get me down. Definitely not enough to stop me from checking out new strips. I’m just impressed at how many people are dedicated enough to keep them up at all for no money, or for “some money, but it sure doesn’t pay the rent.” (*cough*here is a Patreon*cough*)

As a creator: going back to this line I loved from the ComicLab podcast, “Cartooning has this wonderful ability to let you be a super-performative public isolationist.”

So, listen, sometimes I have your standard “being a famous public performer” daydreams. Like, a song will come up on shuffle and I’ll flash to the idea of me singing it on stage, got the perfect dance routine to go with, the crowd is Swept Up with Amazement and Awe and so on.

But the idea of doing anything like that in reality is horrifying. Crashes up against the problems that I’m not a good singer and don’t have any dance training and hate addressing crowds and get generally nervous about doing things live.

So I make comics — and people still follow along, get engaged, post theories and compliments and so on — but I get to sit behind it, so the art is what people are interacting with, and I never have to get directly involved unless I want to.

You don’t even need to talk to anyone to get started! Sure, there are collaborations and anthologies and application-based collectives, there are specific levels that you need to make connections to enter. But in general? Free webcomic-centric hosting platforms have existed for my entire Internet life. Fill out the automated signup form and you can just go.

(December talking meme.)

It’s that time of year again… December 1, 2018

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…time to go through my Active Webcomic Reading List and clear out (mostly) everything that hasn’t updated since 2017.

If it petered out mid-storyline and there’s a fair chance it might update again someday, it gets punted to a different tracking service, so if any of them revive I’ll find out through checking one page every few months. If it actually came to a planned end (!!), it goes on my Completed Webcomics Reclist.

The depressing takeaway for this year is how many promising sapphic comics (for lack of a better term) have fallen by the wayside. Weird Sisters, Acethexis, Sundaze, Velox, Phoenix Flair…Sylvania isn’t even loading, although I’m hoping that’s a temporary server problem.

On the bright side, congratulations to Zebra Girl for coming to an actual proper finish after 18 years! (There’s an omnibus I’m gonna have to pick up.) And it’s so nice to see 95 Gallons reuploaded in readable form.

Aaaand with that, the list is down from 126 to 106! Not counting the handful I follow on other sites because the ComicRocket listings haven’t worked in ages.

…which sounds like a lot to manage, but most of the archives are either very slow, or very readable. Last week I tore through a year’s worth of Schlock Mercenary in an afternoon. (Role model, tbh.)

(December talking meme)

All the miscellaneous links I’ve been hoarding up through the midterms November 7, 2018

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Trying to actually clear out my to-post pile — from political, technical, and fannish links alike.


Useful:

“Am I really just lazy?: A helpful key to why you are not doing that thing you know you are supposed to be doing.

Many of us are taught to make sure our sites can be used via keyboard. Why is that, and what is it like in practice? Chris Ashton did an experiment to find out.” Great article, prompted me to review my own sites and make some updates.

“At the end of June, through Comic Tea Party, I surveyed webcomic/indie comic readers and gathered data on their reading habits. This included questions about reading frequency and how they interacted with the comics they read. The survey received 188 responses, and today I would like to go through the data and share what we have learned.”


Depressing:

The YouTubers taking this challenge are very young, and they are making fetish content for adults. They just don’t know it.” Creepy. (Article from 2016.)

Bowles knew the sedative was “dripping into her veins” and that at any second she would cede control to a surgeon who had just revealed his intention to do something she’d explicitly asked him not to do. She felt panicked, but her body was unable to move. She recalls saying no twice, repeating that she wanted to be flat.”

Many parents and their kids are becoming more and more immersed in the fandoms surrounding their favorite shows, movies, and books. The below article by guest contributor Sean Z. is an in-depth look at the recent history of fandom and some of the pitfalls we should all be aware of and be discussing with our kids.


Uplifting:

The intersex community is counting on doctors to improve the treatment conditions our community has inherited. We dream of a world in which diverse sex traits are once again seen as natural variations, as they are in some cultures — not problems to be fixed. It can be intimidating to be called upon to rebuild a paradigm. But at least there’s a step-by-step guide.”

So, hey, it seems like George Takei is cool. (And literally did get targeted by Russia-based propaganda networks.)


Miscellaneous:

If Le Guin’s hand-drawn map of the icebound planet Gethen is somewhat obscure, it’s perhaps because it seems to pop up for the first time only in the endpapers of The Hainish Novels & Stories. Published in 2017, the year before the author’s death.”

“The Dutch firm Ecory was commissioned to research the impact of piracy for several months, eventually submitting a 304-page report to the EU in May 2015. […] illegal downloads and streams can actually boost legal sales of games, according to the report. The only negative link the report found was with major blockbuster films.” (So guess what was the only part of the report that got released?)

“Not since the angel Gabriel visited Muhammad in a cave around 610 AD, informing him that he is God’s prophet, has there been a new globally influential religion with hundreds of millions of followers. Though the world’s religions are very dynamic, and major faiths continue to shift and evolve in ritual and doctrine, the world today is dominated by the same four faiths that dominated the globe a millennium ago: Hinduism, Buddhism, Christianity, and Islam. According to a 2012 Pew study, 92 percent of religiously affiliated people around the globe belong to one of these four faiths.” An investigation on some of the cults and mini-religions growing today, and why it’s been so long since one of them made it big.

Monday Works Roundup, 8/27 – webcomics, Sailor Moon, Pokemon, Rainbow Six, Adventure Zone, others August 27, 2018

Posted by Erin Ptah in But I'm A Cat Person, Leif & Thorn.
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But I’m A Cat Person
Sari Kara Lynn (sketch | Kara Lynn | worksafe)
BICP sketchpile 2018 (sketches | various | worksafe)
Monsters in the Shadows (art | Blake, Walker, Ilsa, Patrick, Kara Lynn, Reseda, Poe | worksafe)

Leif & Thorn
Character Expression Meme – Leif (art meme | Leif | worksafe)
Once and Future Queen (stamp | Rhòdon | worksafe)
Prototype in Black (sketch | Woman in Black, Agent D | worksafe)

The Adventure Zone
Taacocest (sketch | Lup/Taako | worksafe)

Angel Moxie/Leif & Thorn/Magical How/Phoenix Flair/Shattered Starlight/Sleepless Domain/XII: Of Magic and Muses
Magical Girls of Webcomics, Unite! (art | Arcturus, Undine, Holly, Riley, Phoenix, Willow, Gabe | worksafe)

Pokemon
My beautiful thief (sketch | Guzma/Lusamine | worksafe)

Rainbow Six
Rainbow Six – IQ (chibi | Monika Weiss | worksafe)

Sailor Moon
Senshi Hairstyle Swaps (sketch | Haruka, Michiru, Makoto, Ami, Minako, Rei | worksafe)

Skin Horse
Project…Saw-Horse? (art | Artie, Nick!Bubbles, Tip, Unity, Sweetheart | worksafe)

General/Miscellaneous
Rainbow Flag Pride Stamp (stamp)
Lesbian flag stamp – base (ditto)

This Week in But I’m A Cat Person:
Look, it’s not every day you get asked to help the mission by stashing a murderous Being in your hotel room.

This Week in Leif & Thorn:
Something’s up with Cedar — but what? Also, Thorn and Kale finally reach each other through the vines.