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Geez, I type up that whole thing, and then Patreon goes and backflips anyway.

Geez, I type up that whole thing, and then Patreon goes and backflips anyway. published on No Comments on Geez, I type up that whole thing, and then Patreon goes and backflips anyway.

(Crossposted again.)

The latest Patreon admin post does confirm that there were other motivations for the change than “our users will definitely love this”:

We still have to fix the problems that those changes addressed, but we’re going to fix them in a different way, and we’re going to work with you to come up with the specifics, as we should have done the first time around.

(You know, the first email about this to creators said they had focus-grouped the idea, and that users liked it? Talk about a non-representative sample….)

So, yeah. Maybe we can have happy donors and a non-bankrupt company in the same package after all.

What a week.

…and hey, have I mentioned that I have a short story coming out December 20, that will be available for free to all my patrons? It’ll be a bit more exclusive later, but for the duration of December, everyone who donates as little as $1 is getting 13K words of snowbound cross-cultural hurt-comfort AU. My holiday gift to you.

Some informative links on the Patreon fee change.

Some informative links on the Patreon fee change. published on No Comments on Some informative links on the Patreon fee change.

(Crossposted between here and But I’m A Cat Person.)

If you’re supporting anyone on Patreon, you’ve seen the recent email about a change in the fee structure. And maybe looked at some of the official admin posts about it too. And probably seen a lot of general outrage.

Well, it looks like there may be factors in play here that Patreon isn’t talking about — but you might want to know.

The biggest one is that, under the previous fee setup, Patreon was most likely losing money on all $1 pledges. And all $5 pledges. And, in fact, any pledge lower than $14.29.

So for a creator like me — I’ve never gotten an individual pledge higher than $10. My account has always been losing them money. They’ve been using venture-capitalist dollars to subsidize my work for years now.

Frankly, I’m surprised and grateful they kept that up as long as they did.

The second factor is about legal issues, so it’s not as inflexible as the math, but also not likely to change any time soon. Basically, Patreon’s previous setup arguably put them in a legal category that involved regulations they haven’t been following and fees they haven’t been paying. The new setup definitively puts them not in that category.

No amount of user backlash is going to change any of the above. If Patreon has to choose between “fewer, crankier users, but you actually make a profit” over “everyone stays happy for the next 12 months and then you go bankrupt”…well, what would you do?

I’ve seen some people talk about looking for alternate ways to support their favorite creators, but the details are always vague. Or maybe they’ll mention Paypal. Here’s the problem: I’ve had Paypal for a decade longer than Patreon has even existed. Anyone can click the buttons on my webcomic sites and send me a donation every month, if they feel like it. Guess how many people have felt like it?

Zero. The answer is zero.

And, look, you can turn the question around and get the same thing. If I cancel either of my $1 pledges, the likelihood that I’ll bother to go to the creators’ websites and send them Paypal donations every month is also zero. The technology is there; human nature is not.

I know some patrons are canceling pledges because they can’t afford to keep giving at the same level under the new system. That’s completely legitimate and understandable. You do what you gotta do. No reasonable creator would or should give you grief over it.

But if you’re canceling pledges because you want to put financial pressure on Patreon to switch back to the old system — please know that it doesn’t work that way! Unless you were pledging more than $14.29 per creator, even if they get $0 from you under the new system, that’s still more money than they were making from you before.

I do wish Patreon had rolled this out differently. I wish they had led with “we’ve been subsidizing you out of our own pockets, and we can’t afford to keep it up,” instead of going with “we’re doing this because it will make everyone happier!”, because, uh, that clearly did not land well.

But I’m not mad about the underlying decision. And I’m going to keep using the site, both as a creator and as a patron.

(One more link, for anyone who’s not a patron of mine but would like to be.)

Technical Difficulties: the aftermath

Technical Difficulties: the aftermath published on No Comments on Technical Difficulties: the aftermath

So for the past few months my computer has had a couple of bluescreens and other random errors…culminating in this past Sunday, when it tried to boot and couldn’t even find the hard drive. Not fun.

The good news:
I got a new drive! Solid-state, so it’s faster and more durable. My programs are all reinstalled. Most of my data is safe. It only took four days, and I even had some things in the queue that I could post in the meantime.

The bad news:
It cost $600.

Yyyyeah.

How you can help:

Commission some art. Doable again, now that Photoshop and my scanner are back up and running. Having stuff to work on will even help me get all the settings reconfigured.

Donate through PayPal – if you don’t want any art but still feel like sending money. This is the link that gets you a bonus wallpaper.

Donate through Patreon – you can sign up for a recurring donation, or sign up and then cancel five minutes later to make a one-time payment. Also gets you wallpapers.

Click the “Purchase” link on this art (it’s just the high-res version of the image) as a quick’n’easy way to send money through dA.

– No cash of your own to spare right now? No worries. Link your friends to Leif & Thorn or give a bump to BICP to boost my ad revenue.

Every little bit helps – even $1 or $5 at a time can add up fast. And share this post around! If just 10% of readers chip in a few dollars each, we could have this thing covered by tomorrow.

Spooky comic settings, for #WebcomicChat

Spooky comic settings, for #WebcomicChat published on 3 Comments on Spooky comic settings, for #WebcomicChat

A post I had to illustrate with the stock image of Lady Stanczia and Lord Imri’s eerie mountainside castle. (Last seen in Vampire Hunter Thorn #3.)

Q1: How would you describe the difference between “spooky” and “scary”? Is there one?

“Spooky” is a particular aesthetic, all ominous and Halloween-y. “Scary” is a much broader category. If you narrowly miss being in a car accident, that’s scary, but not spooky. Dark misty forests with no sound except a cold breeze rustling the leaves, on the other hand…those are both spooky and scary.

Q2: What makes a scene or setting spooky to you?

Let me just rec some comics that do spooky really well, and you can work it out backwards from there.

The Last Halloween (ongoing) is full of claustrophobic staging and ominous crosshatching. Along with all the specific pumpkins-and-graveyards type stuff.

Stand Still Stay Silent (ongoing) gets these wonderful eerie effects from detailed art with limited palettes. Check out this shadowy, rain-drenched forest.

Awful Hospital (hiatus) does a great job of combining the gory and horrific with the oppressively mundane.

Serenity Rose (complete) has lots of shadow-filled forests, ornate but falling-apart old houses, and elaborate gothic architecture. Plus stuff in the corner staring at you.

Q3: Are spooky settings limited to specific genres? Why or why not?

If you’re writing something like a lighthearted comedy or a fluffy romance, there’s a limit to how deep you can go into horror territory. But spookiness doesn’t have to be horrific — you can also do the cute-and-fun version. Any genre can be paired with at least some point on the spooky spectrum.

Or, to put it another way: any comic can do a Halloween special.

Q4: What sorts of elements make a scene less spooky?

Bright lighting, pastel palettes, humor.

Spookiness isn’t really something that happens by accident, it’s something you have to actively cultivate. But those are things that can temper it after it’s been cultivated.

Q5: Provide us some examples of your favorite spooky settings!

I did it for other webcomics up in Q2, so here are some from Leif & Thorn:

The dark and deserted-by-order Embassy gardens from Homecoming. And again in Vampire Masquerade, complete with cold blowing winds.

Mata in a deep dark hole — this is one where the spookiness gets tempered by the way he stays relaxed and keeps making jokes.

Stanczia and Imri’s castle from the main continuity. Complete with ominous business deals.

Rec your own favorite spooky comics in the comments!

Send me art prompts: Sweet Affectionate Moments Meme

Send me art prompts: Sweet Affectionate Moments Meme published on 8 Comments on Send me art prompts: Sweet Affectionate Moments Meme

Adapted this from the original on Tumblr.

Send me a NUMBER & PAIRING and I’ll write draw a little something.

KISSES:

1. A Sweet Kiss
2. A Hot Kiss
3. A Tired Kiss
4. A Drunken Kiss
5. A Reunion Kiss
6. A Kiss of Relief
7. A Scared Kiss
8. A First Kiss
9. An Awkward Kiss
10. A Shy Kiss
11. A Morning Kiss
12. A Night Kiss
13. A Sorry Kiss
14. A Sad Kiss
15. A Hope We Don’t Get Caught Kiss
16. A Naughty Kiss

SWEET MOMENTS:

17. A Love Bite
18. Holding Hands
19. Cuddling
20. A Massage
21. A Promise
22. Caught in a Storm
23. Seeking Shelter
24. Slow Dancing
25. Exchanging Letters
26. Tending an injury
27. Accidentally Sleeping In
28. Teaching the other something new
29. Cooking Together
30. Sharing A Bath/Swim
31. Catching the other before they fall
32. Getting Caught in the Act

(Canon & non-canon pairings welcome! Only limit is, no family members for the romantic prompts. Everything else is fair game.)

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