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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)

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December Talking Meme November 30, 2018

Posted by Erin Ptah in Meta.
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Pick a day! Give me a topic! I will write at least 100 words about it.

Nabbed from muccamukk.

* * Full list of dates & prompts here! * *

Fun art/comics/fandom links. June 9, 2018

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“Clark Kent is still Clark Kent, no Spanish name for him. However, most superheroes, villains and supporting characters have Spanish names.

How manga characters change and evolve: before-and-after photosets.

I laughed. “Thanks, Sasuke420, I guess not everyone is as serious as I am about the Classic Ships.” Then I turned on the best song, “Spice World,” by the Spice Girls. I saw his eyes go wide as he got my musical reference. He was a keeper.”

(And from FFA: What would your Ready Player One: Girl Edition references be?)

“Among the dozens of works on display in a new show at the Smithsonian’s National Portrait Gallery is one that is possibly the first depiction of a same sex couple—the silhouettes of Sylvia Drake and Charity Bryant of Weybridge, Vermont, entwined in braided human hair that is also shaped into a heart.” (…not sure where they’re getting “first” from, given that there are depictions of same-sex couples going back to ancient Greek pottery, but still.)

“To demonstrate the media’s severe butch-phobia problem, I’ve put together a visual list of 100 ‘girl-meets-girl’ pairings that have something in common…They’re all ‘femme/femme’ pairings (catered to male fantasy and often portrayed as sexually flexible).” (Much as I feel them on the lack of butch characters, I admit I’m pleasantly surprised there was this much canon f/f on TV at all.)

“Drench” is an unfairly addicting point-and-click puzzle game. Reminds me of Minesweeper, but with prettier colors.

“But when worldbuilding fails, it can wreck your whole story, and leave your characters feeling pointless. Here are seven deadly sins of worldbuilding.

Anyone interested in beta-reading ~4500 words of tentacle sex? March 16, 2018

Posted by Erin Ptah in Personal.
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Wrote a prospective submission for this anthology, involving a trans male human and a hermaphroditic tentacled alien. (Also incidental cat people and hungry alien flowers. They’re not involved in the sex part.)

I could use someone to look it over and make sure all the imagery is clear, the sentences make sense, the pacing doesn’t throw you, that kind of thing. Plus any SPAG if you catch it. And any brilliant title ideas if you got ’em.

It’s another Leif & Thorn no-canon-knowledge-needed AU, so it would be especially helpful if you haven’t read the comic. In this case “AU” means incredibly AU, but it still can’t hurt to have someone who comes to it with zero preconceptions whatsoever.

If you’re interested, comment with a Google-Drive-enabled email, and I’ll share the file your way!

Monday Works Roundup, 12/11/17 December 11, 2017

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
Remembering those we’ve lost, 2017 (sketch | Henriette | worksafe)
Pillowed Patrick (sketch | Patrick | worksafe)
BICP Cover Tests (art | Patrick, Bianca, Sparrow | worksafe)

Leif & Thorn
Northern Lights (art | Leif/Thorn | worksafe)
All Downhill From Here (art | Leif, Thorn | worksafe)

Big Hero 6
Hamadacest (sketch | Hiro/Tadashi | worksafe)

Fake News
Galactic Amity (fic! | “Stephen”/aliens, “Stephen”/Jon | NC-17)

Harry Potter
Talk Murder To Me (sketch | Bellatrix/Voldemort | worksafe)
Written? Smitten! (sketch | Ginny/Voldemort | worksafe)
Snarry (sketch | Harry/Snape | worksafe)

Precure(/other magical girl series)
Wild Card (art | Joker, Nanoha, Cure Black, Usagi, Madoka, Sakura | worksafe)

Seraph of the End
Feed me Yuu (sketch | Mikaela/Yuu | worksafe)

This Week in But I’m A Cat Person:
Timothy picks up another ally for the quest of Team Not-Killing-Beings.

This Week in Leif & Thorn:
Leif is safely out of the way, and gets to enjoy a week of wrestling.

#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

“On The Subject of Noncon Fanworks” September 25, 2016

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An excellent essay about darkfic and sexuality (cw: author discusses her own trauma/abuse history). Centered on Sherlock fandom, though the general ideas apply no matter what characters you’re writing about.

I wanted to highlight this part:

If, instead of normalizing the existence of fics that portray noncon and underage, we make these themes taboo, if we pathologize them, if we require noncon works to be kept in a separate archive, if we insist that it be labeled with derogatory terms like “rapefic,” then what will happen is that writers who think that their work has “a bit of dubcon” in it will not tag it as such, in the hopes that it will fly under the radar and they won’t be banished to the leper colony with the filthy rapefic fans. This will have results that neither the responsible creators and consumers of noncon, nor the people who dislike it and categorically oppose it, want: that someone who doesn’t want to see noncon will see it.

I wrote the above paragraph close to a year ago, and my predictions are already coming true. I have seen noncon and underage fanworks being posted without appropriate tags and warnings. Some of these inadequately tagged fics are being posted by the same people who accused me and my fellow gender politics panelists of being rape apologists and pedophiles. The creators of these works defend them as being somehow different than the works the so-called rape apologists create, because they themselves were underage when they drew the fanart or wrote the fic, or because the work features the right” pairing, or the “right” kind of non-consensual situation, or because they don’t “eroticize” the noncon aspect, or because there’s a sufficient amount of comfort to offset the hurt, or for any number of other reasons.

It’s framed as a prediction, and maybe with respect to Sherlock fandom it is, but for fandom in general it’s nothing new. I remember wrestling with the same kind of cognitive dissonance more than a decade ago:

“Okay, I like stories where characters get hurt, but that’s a Bad Thing to enjoy. But I also like the emotional payoff when characters are rescued at the end! So when describing this, I should emphasize the rescue part. Imply that any scenes with pain and suffering are just a necessary evil on the way to the morally-acceptable payoff. Or, hey, maybe don’t mention the suffering at all.”

That mindset not only discourages people from warning for dark story elements, it stifles the general discussion about them, so that even if you want to warn, you can’t pick up the vocabulary to do it well.

I remember one fic of mine — it had a brief sex scene, and it was consensual, just incredibly unhealthy. Potentially very upsetting! And the only warning I put on it was a general sexual-content label. Partly because I was erring on the side of what looked more Morally Pure, but also because it was neither “non-con” nor “sex that is positive and affirming and healthy in every way” — and I didn’t have a handle on how to articulate the situations in between.

Fandom in general should be a place that helps people figure this stuff out, not a place where people get shamed and shouted down for trying.

Anybody want to beta an original short story? September 19, 2016

Posted by Erin Ptah in Leif & Thorn.
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Fantasy hurt/comfort, about 15K words total. Split up over three parts. You’d get them one at a time.

It’s a Leif & Thorn AU that’s supposed to work as a standalone piece, so I’d like someone who hasn’t read the comic to read and comment on how well that holds up. General feedback on SPAG, pacing,  and emotional reactions would be cool too.

Drop a comment if you’re interested!

Using italics for second-language words? September 8, 2014

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What is your opinion about the use of italics for “foreign” words in fiction in general? How do you determine which words to italicize? To what degree it is a stylistic or political choice?”

The article there has a bunch of opinions from pro writers. Fic writers, what do you do?

Me, I’m thinking I’ll keep using italics, and there’s one reason carrying most of the weight: because on the Internet, not all your readers are going to have English as their first language, and ESL fluency levels will vary. If the second language coming up in the fic is one that they speak, great. But if it’s not, they might just end up lost.

Anecdote 1: One time I had on Radio Junior, a kids’ radio/streaming station that broadcasts primarily in French. My brother and I were both taking French in school at the time. The station changed songs, and he said, “You know, I was recognizing some of the words in that last song, but now I’m not getting anything at all.” The new song…was in Italian.

Anecdote 2: Another time I went to the wordreference.com forums seeking help with a word I couldn’t find in any dictionaries. Turned out it was a typo.

So it seems polite to signal “hey, don’t stress about not recognizing this phrase, or not being able to find it on your translation website of choice — it’s a different language from the main text, and there may even be a translation at the end of the chapter.”

Other fannish people, how do you handle this? Especially those of you who regularly read in a second language: what do you prefer?

“So I’m writing this AU in the His Dark Materials universe.” December 5, 2013

Posted by Erin Ptah in Memes.
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Me: So I’m writing this AU in the His Dark Materials universe.

politicette: You can have the use of my copies of the books.

themistoklis: And my PDFs, for easy searching.

Gimli: And my axe.