Volume 4 tier spotlight: Digital-Only Tiers
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So, uh, wow. The extra prep and early promotion I’ve been doing for Leif & Thorn Volume 4 has paid off — 24 hours from launch and we’re 57% funded.
Also, got that Project We Love badge from Kickstarter right out of the gate. Nnnnice.
I thought about trying to make the video exactly 3:00 long, to fit with the Eurovision theme…but decided that was too much work, so I kept it short instead:
Give it a watch! There’s a particular smash-cut that I know is coming, because I put it there, and still it gets me every time.
Most of the campaign page focuses on the drive to print Volume 4: Blazing Stars, because that’s the shiny new thing. But — and this is why the goal is extra-large this year — we’re also doing a whole new print run of Volume 2.
Behold, the Shelf of Backlist:
Now, I have more copies of Volumes 1 and 3, stashed in boxes under a bed. (The narrow space left above them is my cat’s favorite sleepin’ space.)
But for Volume 2, this is basically all that’s left.
It’s…it’s almost like these books are popular or something, you know?
So, hey, if you haven’t backed it already — go check out the Volume 4 campaign. Let’s make the shiny new book, restock the Leif & Thorn backlist, and just generally bring some nice things into the world.
Been a while since I’ve done a roundup of polls, huh? I try to keep the “end of the comments section” poll reasonably fresh, but people are still curious about the results of the older ones.
So here’s a bunch I just closed.
This post doesn’t include the “potential heartsword-quiz questions” polls — I’ll gather them up separately at some point.
For the most part, I’ll leave a poll up until it gets at least 100 votes, then replace it not too long after. Usually they last 2-4 weeks. Here’s one that soared to over 200 votes after being up for just 10 days:
It’s the Fantasy Eurovision book, it’s the one where things keep going up in flames, I will be making so many Fire Saga jokes.
Here’s the new cover! With the earlier 3 lined up below it:
There’s a “making of” post on Patreon, where you can see the entire process from “sketchy pose tests” to “adding the last specks of flame.”
And the Kickstarter has a pre-launch page, where you can get notified when it goes live!
As usual, I’m doing Early Bird rewards — the first 15 backers who pledge over a certain amount get to prompt me for a Leif & Thorn sketch, which goes in the final version of the book. You don’t want to miss out.
A post to showcase the kinds of cool stuff you can get by supporting Leif & Thorn on Patreon.
Note: Almost all the posts are worksafe! There are a handful of 18+ posts, and there’s no way to just mark those posts (it’s a big feature gap on Patreon’s part), so you’ll get generic “this account is 18+” messages on everything. I’ll give you a real warning if I link to anything actually NSFW, don’t worry.
Patrons get exclusive wallpapers, of course — a new one every month, so I get to talk about those regularly. Most months I alternate between BICP and Leif & Thorn.
But Did You Know(TM), there are also…
Any Leif & Thorn strip that gets a lot of rearranging, I might make a post about the process. Like in the “Thorn tells Leif about his dragon injuries” Sunday arc:
There’s also a lot to say about thumbnailing some of the larger Sunday strips.
And about the art and the new coloring techniques used in the Kolpovision party splash panel:
Alt versions of strips, like these from 2020, that were completely finished before I decided to change something:
There’s a group of alts that are all just from Plus Ones. Some storylines are like that.
So many roundups of deleted scenes! I’m not posting the previews for all of them, they’re such a regular thing. Sketches that start with pre-launch stuff from 2015, and sketches and deleted scenes from 2016,and unfinished illustrations from 2017-2018, and sketches plus deleted panels of 2019, and unfinished sketches through the start of 2020…
Most recently, a bunch of deleted scenes and alternate strips came out of Borrowing Trouble:
Backstory! Progress sketches! Notes that might or might not make it to canon, in the final reckoning. Here’s the one about creating Atarangi:
A follow-up on Atarangi in the post revealing Thorn’s new knights, Kokum and Senna.
There’s also this whole post about the Woman in Black.
The one about Kudzu has early design sketches and a bonus strip (it’s not in the online archive, but it will be printed in Volume 4):
The post about Marula got so long…
…that I had to make it a 2-parter.
Other times, a range of bonuses get bundled together. The post with development notes about the Quarantine With The Vampire servants also has deleted scenes of 2020.
Sometimes the architecture needs love too, you know? Which is why there’s a whole post about [finally] creating a consistent floor plan for Tansy and Larch’s house:
And that kinda leads into the post about plotting the end of the Kolpovision party (with bonus notes about Hermosa, Dr. Glazier, and Pascentia).
There’s also a layout post for Hermosa’s medical room — although I didn’t tell readers exactly where it was yet. (I try to keep these posts light on Actual Spoilers.)
Some of the Patreon-exclusive art posts are Fanservice with a capital F. I’m not sharing any of those previews here; have a link to the whole NSFW tag, and (assuming you’re at least 18) enjoy.
Other times the bonus art is just cute.
Some posts aren’t exclusive forever; patrons just get the first look. Like this timelapse of the 2020 Christmas special.
Or this Tamaputian height chart, which patrons got to see back in May. It’ll be on the site…probably in September? But as of this writing, you can’t see it anywhere else:
If you’re really lucky, once in a while, you’ll get some bonus fiction. Like this flashfic about Tiernan’s daily routine. (Maybe I’ll put that in a book one day.)
Sometimes the update is just “check out the Kickstarter that just launched,” but there’s meatier stuff too. In the middle of the Volume 2 Kickstarter, I did a post with behind-the-scenes details of the process.
There’s another about the re-coloring I did in Volume 3.
Patrons also got the Volume 3 cover reveal first.
And since we’re only a few months away (!!) from the launch of Leif & Thorn Volume 4, the next Cover Art Preview is coming up soon. Like, within the next couple of weeks, soon.
If that sounds like the kind of thing you don’t want to miss…new subscribers are always welcome.
Edit, June 22: Wrote a batch of updated mini-profiles, now on the cast page. Currently there are no spoiler-cuts, but the length is a bit longer than Style 2, shorter than Style 3.
…for the main and secondary characters, anyway. Tertiary characters are probably going to get the “half-dozen words, max” treatment. (Anyone more background than that just doesn’t appear on the cast page.)
Also! These descriptions are built into the character tags themselves, so if you follow a tag to get all of a character’s appearances, you’ll see the mini-profile at the top. Is that useful, or what?
Backstory behind the readmore:
There are So Many different components of “accessibility,” no webcomic site built by a single person is going to hit them all. And, well, if you’re using a hosting service like Tapas or Webtoon, you won’t even be able to hit a lot of them.
But if you’re looking for ways to improve — or you aren’t even sure where to start? — here’s a list of some of the things I do. Both here on Leif & Thorn, and on But I’m A Cat Person.
(This is part of the “how do I webcomic?” series, with useful information on all kinds of comicking-related topics.)
Originally written for this Twitter thread; I’ve added/expanded some points here. Also, arranged them in a couple of loose categories…Continue reading Making Your Webcomic Accessible: a grab-bag of tips & tricks
Leif & Thorn is going to have some characters speaking Tamaputian in the next few months. It’s come up before in the comic, but never in long-ish conversations…so I’m thinking, this is the time to get decisive about fonts.
Way back when Mata and Pato first appeared, they got the occasional line of dialogue in Tamaputian, which was typed in Comfortaa. Very plain, not a lot of character…easy to read, but probably hard to distinguish at a glance from some other fonts.
In the Kolpovision storyline, I gave the singers from Tamapoa a few of their own lines in Tamaputian, and typed those in a version of Ænigma Scrawl. Definitely has its own distinct vibe! …Not sure I actually like how it looks in wordier speech bubbles.
So I’m thinking about switching it again. But to what?
This post has tests of half-a-dozen finalists. Click through, scroll around, tell me which one(s) you like best.
Light spoilers, in the sense of “new background characters will exist, here are some of their faces.”Continue reading Font tests for a new(ish) language
Question went up on a discord channel, asking for webcomic recs “that you think has something really standout about them and worth checking out. I’m mainly looking for comics that you feel do a particular thing exceptionally well, particularly with the artwork. Genre doesn’t matter, but please explain why I should read them.”
…so I immediately threw in a bunch, and then figured, hey, these comics deserve more exposure than “transient links in a chat that’ll be washed away once the next conversation happens.”
No special theme to this, just a bunch of comics + a particular thing I think they do well.
Shattered Starlight: mostly greyscale with striking spot-colors, does really good things with texture, makes a world that feels gritty and lived-in while adding some of the stylistic flair of a magical-girl series
Kochab: pretty characters explore a mysterious fantastical setting, all done in delicate lineart and amazing vivid color palettes, with a touch of animation
The Stoop-Gallants: great comic timing, not just in the dialogue + punchlines but in the art + background details (also: lovable characters and an engaging plot)
Shiloh: vivid lighting that really captures every scene’s weather and time of day, detailed and stylish city settings (I’ve saved a bunch of them in my inspiration folder), great with dramatic angles, still don’t know where the plot is going but it sure is fun to look at while I find out
Lady of the Shard: does amazing things with monochrome pixel art — the artist can convey a stunning amount of expressiveness and atmosphere with a minimal amount of lines (also: fun sci-fi story, heartwarming romance)
Apricot Cookie(s)!: cute anime style that perfectly suits all the tropes and references it builds on/gleefully subverts/makes canny self-referential jokes about
Lore Olympus: hardly needs recs since it has literally millions of followers, but here I am anyway, lovely art where the different theme colors for each character are used in a way that enhances the style rather than simplifying it
Bite Me!: wacky historical vampire farce, another one with great comic timing and delightfully expressive characters, I can’t tell how much the art is traditional and how much it’s really crisp digital doing a lovely impression of traditional when it wants to
broken: accidental friendship + rescue from a dystopia, really gets across the eldritch horror with a combination of on-point designs, shifting colors, well-placed animation, and medium-breaking tricks like “this reality shift is so big it overwrote the page layout”
Schlock Mercenary: great job of sci-fi worldbuilding, slowly escalating the problems that are caused just by having to work on a galactic scale, along with the problems caused by the tech to solve the previous problems (also: fun interspecies mostly-lighthearted comedy)
Updates on my ongoing effort to go through the basic Leif & Thorn layout CSS, make light updates, and generally clean it up.
AKA, the long-awaited (?) sequel to February/March’s “making the Leif & Thorn layout more responsive” post.
For readers, the most visible New Thing lately is the fonts. Decided I wanted the “auto-generated/informative/metadata” text to have its own look, instead of being “the fancy title font (Merienda) but smaller” or “the main-text font (Montaga) but more italic.”
So now you’ll see a bunch of Fira Sans. Sans-serif, lightweight, gentle slant. I’m into it.Continue reading Still tinkering with the layout CSS
Never made a full-on post about this on Leif & Thorn, and I should probably put it front-and-center, at least for the next 2 weeks…
With almost 1000 pages, this means I have enough material to keep going for the next few years. It’s the longest buffer BICP’s ever had.Continue reading Did you know there is also news about But I’m A Cat Person?