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“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.)

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

Posted by Erin Ptah in Meta.
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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

Posted by Erin Ptah in News Roundup.
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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.

#WebcomicWednesday: Webcomic fandoms in Yuletide 2017 September 27, 2017

Posted by Erin Ptah in Fandom.
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The tag set for Yuletide 2017, the annual holiday small-fandom fic exchange, is out!

This post filters it down to the webcomics, along with all the available characters to offer/request. Scan it for old favorites that you’ve always wanted to read or write fic for…and as for the ones you’ve never heard of, now is the perfect time to give them a try.

Always Raining Here
Adrian Hlaváček, Carter Brooks, Jason Keller, Maria Wong

Apothecia
Spore Alien, Jessie

Demon of the Underground
Annie, Jasper Samsid, Merritt, Pogo

Digger (Comic)
Jhalm, Digger-of-Unnecessarily-Convoluted-Tunnels, Murai, Shadowchild

Dumbing of Age
Becky MacIntyre, Carla Rutten, Danny Wilcox, Dina Saruyama, Ethan Siegal, Sal Walkerton

An Easy Target
Choi Yule, Ha Kyung Soo

Elsewhere University
Antler Fae, Boy With Frog’s Eyes, Girl With Hollow Back, Stolen Musician

Girl Genius
Axel Higgs, Bangladesh DuPree, Jenka (Girl Genius), Zeetha Daughter of Chump

Gunnerkrigg Court
Antimony Carver, Coyote, Katerina Donlan, Paz Cadena-Blanco, Reynardine, Robot

Hark! A Vagrant
Dr. Sara Josephine Baker, Nemesis, Pirate

How To Be A Werewolf
Elias Ross, Malaya Dysangco Walters, Marisa Salcedo, Vincent Dysangco Walters

Kill Six Billion Demons
Jagganoth, Nyave Anyadis, Allison Ruth, Cio, Incubus, Mottom, White Chain, Zoss

Knights-Errant
Anton, Beppe

Lackadaisy
Atlas May, Dorian “Zib” Zibowski, Elsa Bastion, Ivy Pepper, Mitzi May, Mordecai Heller, Nico Savoy, Serafine Savoy, Viktor Vasko

Lady of the Shard
Acolyte, Old God, Radiant Goddess

Leftover Soup
Carol, Ellen, Lily, Nicole

Leif & Thorn
Agent Delphinium, Matatuhi Kaihanga, Olive Romarin, Patotara Kaihanga, Rowan Muscade, Violet Dupont, Leif of Sønheim, Thorn Estragon

The Less Than Epic Adventures of TJ and Amal
Amal Chakravarthy, TJ Freeman

Long Exposure
Javier Osorio, Jonas Wagner, Mitch Mueller, Scratch Dyer

Monster Pulse
Abel Elizondo, Bina Blum, Nancy, Wanda Lulenski

Namesake
Alice Purcell, Emma Crewe, Selva Chopper, Warrick Chopper

No End
Jenna Reid, Jeremy Edison, Ramona Taylor, Tristan Khouri | Cotton

Oglaf
Orc Captain, Greir, Navaan, Snow Queen, Vanka

The Order of the Stick
Belkar, Bitterleaf Elan, Haley Starshine, Vaarsuvius

Questionable Content
Brun, Clinton Augustus, Elliot, Hannelore “Hanners” Ellicott-Chatham, Pintsize, Shame Orb, Yelling Bird, Bubbles, Faye Whitaker

A Redtail’s Dream
Åsa Skärsholm, Ellu Viitanen, Hannu Viitanen, Jonna Kuikka, Joona Kuikka, Jouko Kuikka, Kielo Miettinen, Kokko, Paju Kinnunen, Riikka Skärsholm, Samuli Tiira, Swan of Tuonela | Tuonelan Joutsen, Ville

Riot Nrrd
Maria Ortiz, Nhi Nguyen, Samantha Jay, Wren Watanabe

Saint For Rent
Jingtian Demort, Kanon, Meilü

Slavonica
Czesia, Luba, Mojmira, Sambor

Sleepless Domain
Kokoro, Tessa Quinn, Undine, Zoe

Small Trolls
Jáhko Hammarström, Veeti Harmonsuo

Stand Still Stay Silent
Agneta, Emil Västerström, Ensi Hotakainen, Lalli Hotakainen, Mikkel Madsen, Onni Hotakainen, Reynir Árnason, Sigrun Eide, Siv Västerström, Tuuri Hotakainen, Kitty

Starfighter
Abel, Cain, Deimos, Praxis

Subnormality
Pink Haired Girl, Sphynx, Zoe Muggs, Ethel

Sunstone
Alan Benson, Allison Carter, Anne, Lisa Williams

Unfather
Kyunghee, Sihyun

Unknown Code
Hammer the Pixel, Kim Bo Gang, Song Ji You, Yoon Phil

Wilde Life
Darcy Flores, Eliza Proctor, Oscar Wilde (Wilde Life), Clifford Norman

Year in Hereafter
Jaakko Ilmarinen, Mikael Lapintaival, Sakari Harmonsuo, Siiri Harmonsuo, Veeti Harmonsuo

Yet Another Fantasy Gamer Comic
Charlotte, Elzear’bith, Gren Razortooth, Lucas Greyfort, Cadugan, Clover Firelight

They took an innocent panda and turned it into an assassin! June 2, 2010

Posted by Erin Ptah in And Shine Heaven Now, Fandom, Personal.
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I keep posting little personal updates on Facebook, but not having anything substantial enough to make an actual post. So let me summarize.

–Graduation! A big deal. Ann Curry’s research!fail has since made Jimmy Fallon, NPR (panel two). I did get the correct diploma, although it looks substantially less expensive than the plaque I got in middle school for being good at math.

–I have since had 3 dreams (and counting) about being back at Wheaton. Apparently my subconscious doesn’t believe they’ve really let me go.

–Last weekend: Balticon! Friday through Monday, a moderately-sized and well-funded sci-fi convention. The artist guest of honor was the guy who does Schlock Mercenary. The food was free, decent (including cereal and bagels as well as cheese, chips, and chocolate, plus a variety of teas), and kept coming. And the panels and programming were delicious.

–Also, the whole family dressed up in homemade costumes from the Red Dwarf episode “Quarantine.” Twitter has a shot of my brother, complete with Mr. Flibble. We got laughs, applause, and multiple requests for photos, especially when all together. Good times.

–I discovered, and became a huge fan of, Better Off Ted. It’s funny and clever and quirky and geeky and the characters are delightful. (A Veronica: I want one.) As it turns out, it was canceled three weeks ago. I object.

–OMGWTFDANCEOFF.

–This weekend: A-Kon! Friday through Sunday, though I fly out to Texas tomorrow. All in the name of promoting the first issue of Emeralds.

–I really need to get my act together and make a classy This Is How To Commission Me page.

–Next week: seventh anniversary of Shine! So, naturally, I’ve blown through almost thirty pages of The Eagle of Hermes over the past week, rather than putting together a Special Commemorative Anniversary Thing. Maybe I can call EoH the Special Commemorative Anniversary Thing.

This Week, 9/1-9/7 September 7, 2008

Posted by Erin Ptah in And Shine Heaven Now, Works Roundup.
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Calvin and Hobbes
Two Kids and a Tiger

Fake News/Doctor Who
Truthiness And Relative Dimensions In Space: How Many Time Lords Does It Take To Change A Light Bulb? two, three (fic, PG)

Fake News
What’s The Harm? (comic, PG-13; locked, join to read)
Laissez Les Bons Temps Rouler (drabble, PG-13)

Hellsing
I Need You To Stay Human (art, worksafe)
It’s That Time (art, worksafe)
HiranoMoe has raws of chapter 94, the second to last.

The Powerpuff Girls
Come Fly With Me (art, worksafe)

Sailor Moon/”I’m a Mac”
Mac, PC, and Mercury (comic, G)

Strangers With Candy
The 28th Amendment Comes To Flatpoint (drabble, PG-13)

Webcomics
ComixTalk Header, September 2008 (massive multiplayer crossover, art, worksafe)

Original
Formal Baalberith (art, worksafe)

Next Week in Shine:
Integra’s still sick . . . and Alucard’s still around.

Y halo thar ComixTalk. September 1, 2008

Posted by Erin Ptah in And Shine Heaven Now, Works Roundup.
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Check out the header image on ComixTalk this month. (Go all the way to the right and click “View the Entire Cover” to see the whole thing.)

The characters, from left to right:

The Professor (Xuanwu), from The Create a Comic Project
Sergio (bottom) and Mell (top), from Li’l Mell and Sergio
Dee, from Little Dee
Kotone, from Tsunami Channel
Gordito, from The Adventures of Dr. McNinja (top)
Joey, from The Dreamland Chronicles (bottom)
Kuro, from Okashina Okashi (top)
Reseda, from And Shine Heaven Now (bottom)

(The artist, in case you hadn’t guessed, is yours truly.)

This Week, 8/11-8/17 August 16, 2008

Posted by Erin Ptah in And Shine Heaven Now, Works Roundup.
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Fake News/Doctor Who
Truthiness And Relative Dimensions In Space: A Thousand Words one, two (fic, PG)

Fake News/Twilight
Newslight (comic, G)

Hellsing
Categra Demands Milk! (art, worksafe)
Vintage: Baalberith, Demontegra, Alucard sketch, Nameless Woman from Order 07 (art, worksafe)
Who Will Bell The Catboy? (art, worksafe)
OVA V trailer! And it’s due out two days before my birthday! Talk about awesome presents.
Otakon ’08 fan sketch (art, worksafe)
Gentlemen, I like fanart. Gentlemen, I love fanart. Gentlemen, I so love fanart.

Marimite
A shiny new Marimite Wiki is live!

R.O.D
I Could Write Books (YomikoxNenene mix, G)

Next Week in Shine:
Integra drinks her tea and starts laying the smackdown, but she’s gotten more than she bargained for. Meanwhile, Alucard tries to pull himself together.

Website Updates!
A ton of new webcomic links are up.
Shine Hell has new download links: OVA IV, Captain’s Story, and the latest Hellsing manga chapters!
The miscellaneous fanworks section has been brought completely up-to-date.

Fun links and fireflies May 28, 2008

Posted by Erin Ptah in News Roundup, Personal.
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I’ve ushered four fireflies out of the house so far this evening. (I sure hope it was four fireflies, rather than one very determined one.) Luckily, they don’t have good enough reflexes to avoid being caught.

News roundup (wow, I’ve been sitting on some of these for a while):

A bunch of studies about language, and specific ways in which it helps you perform. Fun fact: many languages don’t distinguish between “blue” and “green”. Meanwhile, Russian (and Italian) have words for “blue” and “blue” (a distinction that English doesn’t make).

The NYT profiled xkcd. Is that cool or what?

And a recovering blogging junkie lays out her story. Seriously . . . this is pretty heavy stuff. I’m going to be thinking about it for a while.

That said, I’ll end on a note of silly-yet-righteous indignation: Stop Making Movies About My Books, by Dr. Seuss (in the Onion, naturally). I want to smack the author for writing lines that scan so badly; on the other hand, I agree with every word.