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New Leif & Thorn merch!

New Leif & Thorn merch! published on No Comments on New Leif & Thorn merch!

Hey, does anyone remember that I have a Society6 store?

Because I finally did! At least, enough to add a bunch of new But I’m A Cat Person and Leif & Thorn merchandise.

Click on through to get some new shirts, phone cases, mugs, clocks, and other exciting gear. And if there’s any art I’ve already done that you wish you had on a pillowcase, now would be the time to ask.

Ads and advertising on your comic, for #webcomicchat

Ads and advertising on your comic, for #webcomicchat published on No Comments on Ads and advertising on your comic, for #webcomicchat

An extended versions of last Sunday’s chat, since I didn’t have time to go into all the detail I wanted.

(…mostly because I was in a moving car with spotty Internet access.)

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Q1: Does your webcomic have ads? If not, would you ever consider getting some?

Yes, on both comics, because why not?

This is when some creators talk about Having Pure Motives and Providing The Best Experience. Thing is, as a reader, I’ve never found ads distracting or disruptive on anyone else’s comics. Not to mention, I can’t afford to directly support a ton of artists and writers, so it’s nice to know that at least my presence is doing something good for them.

For people who really can’t put up with ads, even for the sake of supporting indie creators, and haven’t developed the ability to tune them out…there’s always AdBlock.

Continue reading Ads and advertising on your comic, for #webcomicchat

Comments, for #WebcomicChat

Comments, for #WebcomicChat published on No Comments on Comments, for #WebcomicChat

Took a break from remastering BICP chapter 7 this afternoon, to talk about comments at @WebcomicChat.

(I’m also more than halfway through re-uploading And Shine Heaven Now to the new site with comments enabled! Not that I expect to get any, I’m just saying…it’s topical.)


Q1: What are your favorite types of comments to read on a webcomic?

Comments that catch stuff I missed. Especially helpful when there’s a code or puzzle…or a Dramatic Appearance by a character I totally forgot about, so I’m counting on more-avid readers to say “wow, it’s X’s sister we all thought was dead!”

That’s referring to other people’s webcomics, btw. I don’t forget about my own characters. (…usually.)

Continue reading Comments, for #WebcomicChat

Guest Strip Week 2018 – Submissions

Guest Strip Week 2018 – Submissions published on No Comments on Guest Strip Week 2018 – Submissions

There’s a bit of a hole coming up in the Leif & Thorn posting schedule, so I’m opening the floor to guest strips!

Submissions will be open until January 31. If I get at least 7, they’ll be posted the last week of March. I got a few, but not 7, so the filler will be something else.

But it’s not too late — if you have an idea, go ahead and draw it and send it in, whenever you finish! I’ll save them up for a guest week later in the year.

Guidelines:

Format: PNG, GIF, or JPG
Size: up to 825×825 pixels
Rating: up to PG-13 (basically, match the tone of the strip)
Characters: whoever you want!

You can use any AU, explore any era, include any headcanons. When you send them in, include whatever name you want to be credited by. And, if you like, a link to your gallery/blog/fanfiction account/webcomic/Etsy store.

Safest way to get the strips to me is by email (sailorptah at gmail dot com). You can also PM me on Deviantart, or submit them via Tumblr. (If you use Tumblr, send an ask, too, so I can respond and confirm that I received it.)

Happy stripping!

Short story: All Downhill From Here

Short story: All Downhill From Here published on 6 Comments on Short story: All Downhill From Here

Hey, if you like Leif & Thorn, and you like AUs, have I got a thing for you.

All Downhill From Here is 13,000 words of fantasy survival hurt/comfort m/m. A diplomatic conference is derailed by an avalanche, leaving native groundskeeper Leif and visiting knight Thorn buried together in the snow. Romantic tension, divided loyalties, malfunctioning magic, and hungry vampires.

And now it’s out!

Get the illustrated version on Paypal ($1.99):

Or: Get ebook-friendly formats on Smashwords (also $1.99).

Or: Support the artist on Patreon and get it as a reward (as little as $1).

Also, if you pay for it on one site but also want a format from the other site, no need to buy it twice. Just comment here or shoot me an email (sailorptah at yahoo dot com) and I’ll send you a copy.

And if fantasy snowbound hurt/comfort with divided loyalties isn’t your thing, stick around, because there will be other stories to come!

Expanding Beyond Webcomic Communities, for #WebcomicChat

Expanding Beyond Webcomic Communities, for #WebcomicChat published on 2 Comments on Expanding Beyond Webcomic Communities, for #WebcomicChat

I’ve been doing some of these chats realtime because my only answers were Tweet-sized anyway. Figured I’d compile them here for reference, and for ease of reading.

Q1: Do you stick to webcomic communities and services that cater to webcomics for promotion? How is your strategy working out?

Yeah, mostly. I have a constant 1-cent-or-less Project Wonderful campaign, and do intermittent more-expensive one using the best-performing ads. It’s a steady referral source.

A Project Wonderful screenshot — steady exposure, for about $0.83 per week. (The costs are all covered by my own site running ads like this.)

The trick IME is trying lots of different ads, introducing new ones every so often, and then looking at metrics to see which get the higher click rates.

And I make sure both BICP and Leif & Thorn are on resources like the LGBT Webcomics Link List.

Q2: What are some other options outside of webcomic communities for sharing your work?

Think about your genre & build on that. Mine are LGBT-centric, so I’m writing some posts for @LGBTQReads, to put a variety of recs in front of an audience that likes LGBT+ stuff but might not have thought about webcomics before.

(Here’s their Webcomics tag! One reclist is already posted, and there are more in the queue.)

Q3: What things make you nervous about sharing your comics outside of webcomic communities?

Yeah, this. It’s not like webcomic communities are magically nicer or better than the rest of the internet. Or like my strips are somehow inaccessible to a reader who’s never read webcomics before.

This is peak #relatable for all of us, I think.

Q4: What kinds of results have you had when talking to people about your comics outside of the webcomic communities? / Q5: What are resources that you have used outside of the webcomic niche to promote your webcomic?

Really just the stuff mentioned above. And when people IRL see me drawing, I tell them what it’s about, maybe give them the URL of the strip I’m working on.

Invariably, without fail, they say something like “oh, you’re so good, I can’t believe you’re not doing it full-time and making tons of money!”

…yeah, this is how you can tell someone isn’t familiar with webcomics.

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.)

Leif & Thorn calendar! — Volume 1, printing for 2018.

Leif & Thorn calendar! — Volume 1, printing for 2018. published on No Comments on Leif & Thorn calendar! — Volume 1, printing for 2018.

Now available on Deviantart, Leif & Thorn Calendar Vol. 1: At Your Side!

Featuring OTP artwork from the first two years of Leif & Thorn, a cross-cultural bilingual m/m fantasy comedy. One’s a dragonslayer with a magic sword and PTSD; one’s a gardener working off a debt in a country where he doesn’t speak the language. Turns out love knows no borders. (Although it does get sidetracked by poor translation.)

Originally printing for the 2018 calendar year. After that, it updates every July (so if you order after July 2018 you’ll get the calendar for 2019, order after July 2019 you’ll get 2020, and so on).

Some of the art hasn’t even been posted anywhere else yet, so if you buy early enough, you’ll get a sneak preview. Click through to purchase!

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