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Books, extra comics, NSFW bonus art, and behind-the-scenes miscellaney

Books, extra comics, NSFW bonus art, and behind-the-scenes miscellaney published on 2 Comments on Books, extra comics, NSFW bonus art, and behind-the-scenes miscellaney

Updates, in no particular order!

Volume 1

I just realized the top book-post on the front page here is still “the proofs have arrived!” So let’s fix that: the books have arrived!

Volume 1

And check out all the posts from happy backers, who are not my secret sockpuppet army, but Actual Human Beings who have gotten their copies in the actual post.

Order your own copy here. (Or get the ebook here, for all the bonus art but none of the shipping costs.)

I’ve also managed to sell one in an Actual Bookstore. Me and Plushie Niamh celebrated with pie.

Celebratory pie

Remodeling

I retooled my Patreon goals again — now they’re based on the number of backers, not the dollar amount. Which means, even if you aren’t interested in high-end individual perks, you still help push us toward the group goals just by showing up.

Also, used to be I was holding out for a milestone to unlock a 5-page bonus comic about Hyacinth and Hazel, but now I just went ahead and posted it.

Hazel and Hyacinth

(Unfortunately, they don’t kiss yet — but I promise they’re totally cute anyway.)

“Remodeling” was originally drawn as an anthology submission, which is why it’s B&W. It didn’t get accepted…but to be fair, it didn’t get rejected…they just never contacted anyone or updated the site again. Fun times.

It’ll be added to the main Leif & Thorn site, uhhh, eventually. For the foreseeable future, it’s a backer exclusive.

And on that note:

I locked the NSFW stuff 🙁

Gotta be honest, I was never 100% happy about the racy bonus comics being easy-to-find for people who aren’t already fans of the strip.

Which is why they were cordoned off from the main continuity (thanks, Webcomic 5!) and don’t show up in search results.

And now, if I’ve done the configuration right, all the comics like this one should be access-locked:

Kitty roleplay

These are for $5-and-up patrons. If someone just wants to dip into Leif & Thorn After Dark without caring about the rest of the site, I figure that’s a fair price to charge ’em for it.

And if you do care about the rest, you’d probably like the other rewards on Patreon anyway! So maybe this’ll be the final enticement you need to jump on board. (Or you can join for a month, use the time to raid the whole archive of bonuses, and then cancel before the pledge starts recurring. That’s also valid!)

…okay, that’s enough advertising for one post. Have some miscellaneous behind-the-scenes shots, absolutely free.

The Process

Ever wondered what kind of character tag cloud I get when I’m posting new strips? It looks like this:

Tag cloud

Usually it’s very convenient! But I sure wish there was an option to limit it to, say, “most-used characters in the latest 100 strips.” If I have an up-and-coming character who dominates a new storyline, I have to hunt down their tag 50 times in a row, until it stops being overshadowed by people who haven’t appeared in years.

Curious about how I organize reference images? Wonder no longer:

Folders

I have more topic-oriented ones for specific projects (for example, the Leif & Thorn folder has a whole subdirectory of goth fashion). This is just how the general needs…and, occasionally, the personal areas of interest…shake out.

Any interest in the compression settings I use for comics? Well, you’re getting this anyway:

PNG compression

This is a close-up of the Second Anniversary splash image. On the left: no compression (16 million colors). On the right: 256 colors, in a palette created automatically during export.

I’ll be honest, I don’t know any technical details about the “optimized octree” process of color quantization — I just know I like the results.

Dithering is when the exact color from the original art isn’t available in your palette, but the best way to approximate it is by speckling some of your available colors together. Here, it’s most notable in the shadows on the hands.

Too low, and some of the colors will be noticeably distorted; too high, and some of the nice flat areas get speckly in a way that’s distracting. Again, 50% is the level I’ve found that gets results I like.

Finally, are you into graphs of website statistics? I sure hope so, because I’m gonna post one.

Traffic

That’s the Leif & Thorn traffic stats from September and October 2018.

At some point I was trying to figure out “what date does the comic get the most visitors? I should post important things on that date.”

Well, for a comic like BICP it’s easy, traffic is highest on the days that have updates…but it turns out, if you update every day, the results have zero consistency and you might as well just post whenever.

And so I’m scheduling this for Friday! Hope you enjoyed it, whatever day you ended up reading it on.

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