Tips on organizing your webcomic, for #WebcomicTalk
There’s a new Mastodon account/hashtag prompting creators to talk about their comics!
The last one had a theme of “Structure.” Most of the respondents talked about the structure of things like “plot outlines” and “worldbuilding notes”…I took it more in a direction of “how do you organize your files?”
Read the original answers on Mastodon, or scroll down for a touched-up combo platter of the whole thing!
(This is part of the “how do I webcomic?” series, with useful information on all kinds of comicking-related topics.)Continue reading Tips on organizing your webcomic, for #WebcomicTalk
I asked the Bing Chatbot about its Leif & Thorn headcanons
For a fun time, I decided to ask the new “Bing Search” chatbot what it knows about Leif & Thorn.
It started off by almost directly quoting the “About” page on the site here…then it suggested follow-up questions. I didn’t make up any of the rest of them, just picked from the suggestions.
By the second answer, the bot had made up a whole nonexistent storyline. The rest of the chat was a mix of accurate details and elaborate headcanons. It decides Pascentia and Leif both have ice magic! (I’m 90% sure it thinks Pascentia is Elsa.) It calls Kale a vampire expert who is Leif’s boyfriend and also roommate! It writes multiple paragraphs about the benefits of Thorn and Leif’s psychic soulbond!
Many sentences in these answers have a link to a “citation.” Some of the links back up the text of the sentence. Others are about the right character or theme, but don’t back up the specific detail at all. Still others are wildly off-base.
Y’all, one of the bot’s “sources” for explaining Leif and Thorn’s “magic soulbond” is a financial article about fixed-income bond investing.
The whole thing was extremely funny — so I’m just going to copy-and-paste the full unedited text here.
- The bot is guessing wildly about pronouns, and gets some of them wrong. (It does the same with familial relationships…and nationalities…and species.)
- There’s a line about a character self-harming, and a list of ways in which he does it. That is not canon! Please don’t worry about him on that account.
Continue reading I asked the Bing Chatbot about its Leif & Thorn headcanons
Closed Leif & Thorn polls: website usability and/or market research
It’s close enough to springtime that I’m doing my seasonal switch of the Leif & Thorn site theme, from the polar Northern Lights to the floral Rose Garden! (If you prefer reading in Dark Mode, the buttons in the site menu will switch you back.)
We had a poll about favorite themes a while ago, in which Rose Garden was the winner by a mile:
- Rose Garden 57%, 112 votes112 votes 57%112 votes - 57% of all votes
- Northern Lights 24%, 47 votes47 votes 24%47 votes - 24% of all votes
- Blue Castle 14%, 27 votes27 votes 14%27 votes - 14% of all votes
- Blood Moon 3%, 6 votes6 votes 3%6 votes - 3% of all votes
- Y2K 2%, 3 votes3 votes 2%3 votes - 2% of all votes
And on that note, let’s do a roundup of other site-related (and merch-related) research polls with closed results…Continue reading Closed Leif & Thorn polls: website usability and/or market research
Cheers to all the supporters of Leif & Thorn Volume 5
The surveys are in, the Volume 5: Snow Drops ebook is out, and it’s time to appreciate all the backers who helped bring the comic to print once more!
In spite of a delayed campaign start, and a much lighter advertising blitz than I usually go on, your preorders set a new Leif & Thorn funding record this year. Thank you all for joining the party.Continue reading Cheers to all the supporters of Leif & Thorn Volume 5
Guest Strip Week 2023 – Submissions
It’s been a while since I’ve run any Leif & Thorn guest strips, so I’m opening up submissions once again!
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.
You can use any characters, visit 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.
Format: PNG, GIF, or JPG
Size: up to 825×825 pixels
Rating: up to PG-13 (basically, match the tone of the strip)
Submissions deadline: January 31, 2023
Five Recs: Books to Get Kids Into Webcomics
Turning young readers loose on the whole unfiltered internet is…not always the greatest idea. If there’s a kid in your life that you want to indoctrinate into webcomics, here are a couple family-friendly options to start them with.
If you buy the paperback versions, even better! You get all the fun content of the comics, with no danger of clicking a dodgy banner ad.
The Tea Dragon Society: Soft picture-book-style fantasy about two retired-adventurer husbands, their shop full of cuddly pet-sized dragons, and two girls who make friends there.
The art is enchanting, the friendships are adorable, and the tea dragons will make you want plushies. Multi-Eisner winner, and well-deserved.
Check, Please!: A video-blogging, stress-baking, figure-skating champion finds himself a little out-of-place on…the college hockey team. Lots of wholesome sitcom humor, and cute m/m romance.
In spite of its intense fandom with plenty of adult-content fic, the actual comic here is downright chaste. Which earned it some criticism, perhaps not unfairly (you get a sense the author intended to make it steamier at one point, then pulled back). But it does make the series a good fit for this list.
Cucumber Quest: Two adorable bunny children, living in a fantasy world where every setting has an adorable theme, get sent on a quest to save the world. Using the power of magic, friendship, swordfighting, and catchphrases from their favorite magical-girl shows.
…This series got through several books’ worth of subquests before going on indefinite hiatus, so it’s also a way to introduce young readers to the downsides of webcomics.
Softies: The Earth gets blown up, and young survivor Kay gets swept up by a space-junk collector just in time — she couldn’t hold her breath for much longer.
Charming sci-fi comedy. It’s not clear if we’ll ever find out why the planet exploded. Co-starring some alien pets that will, again, make you want plushies.
Breaking Cat News: Intrepid cat reporters bring you the latest headlines, from all the news that matters to cats!
…Seriously, that’s it, that’s the whole strip. The artist has a perfect eye for capturing Cat Shenanigans, the watercolors give it a classy handcrafted touch, and a good time is had by all.
A cut of Bookshop’s profits goes to local bookstores — you can even pick a specific favorite store to support. If you buy through one of these links, I get a cut as the referrer, so it supports this comic too.
Have a favorite kid-friendly webcomic that isn’t on this list? Got a request for a future rec theme? Drop a comment and share!
Voting for the exclusive Volume 5 mini-print
Time to do the poll for the Leif & Thorn Volume 5 campaign: Which art should I use for the exclusive mini-print that goes in every book?
As usual, don’t worry about the exact sizes — they’re all high-res enough for these prints, and I’ll adjust them to look good at the right dimensions. Just focus on picking your favorite(s).Continue reading Voting for the exclusive Volume 5 mini-print
Launch time for Volume 5: Lockdown Edition
Leif & Thorn Volume 5: Snow Drops is finally available for preorder!
It’s been a chaotic month over here. I hadn’t even finished the project video when I went ahead and launched the campaign. (The video’s up now! If you watch it, turn on the English-language captions — you’ll probably need them.)
The “print a single short run of a new book” cost keeps going up…but we’re still 59% funded in the first 24 hours, so I’m not worried.
ETA: and, 48 hours in, we landed Kickstarter’s Project We Love badge!
Go back the campaign, if you haven’t already — if you missed Volumes 1-4, you can get the whole backlist in a single order — and let’s add some cyan-blue to this lovely palette on your shelves.
(Hat tip to regular backer Strontium for taking this lovely photo!)
Coming in October: Leif & Thorn Volume 5!
The next Leif & Thorn crowdfunding campaign is coming!
We’re launching in October, a little later than usual.
(…It’s a winter-themed book, so I guess we could push it to December, but I’m not waiting that long.)Continue reading Coming in October: Leif & Thorn Volume 5!