If you share links to your comic updates on most social media, they should automatically pull an image to go with the link. Maybe it’s the full comic page! Maybe it’s your website header image. Maybe it’s broken and nothing happens at all.
Which means it’s time to thank all the supporters. We moved to a new platform for this campaign, experimented with a bunch of new things — and smashed our funding goal anyway, because of all these lovely readers who were willing to come along and take the plunge:
As we send off 2023, I thought it might be a good time for one of my periodic “are the chatbots good enough to take all our writing jobs?” check-ins.
The prompt was “Write a “year in review” post about Erin Ptah’s accomplishments in 2023.”
In theory, a piece of software could scan the web, identify my online presence by username + how my accounts link to each other, analyze the content based on timestamps, and come up with an accurate summary of 2023 accomplishments. Entries on the list might include “published over 300 strips of her original comic” (findable by scanning leifandthorn.com), “wrote over 270,000 words of fiction” (findable on AO3), “posted over 150 new art pieces” (DeviantArt), “raised the funds to print a new book” (BackerKit), and “successfully forced her cat to endure a vet visit” (Dreamwidth).
Everything between the pairs of separator lines was written by the bot. Let’s see how it did!
It’s the time loop book! The one where characters break history so hard that the actual panels disintegrate around them! Which leaves me working on how to replicate the “transparent pixels” effect with…a printed paperback cover.
You get all the same bonus content, at a 15% discount from the regular rate. I get the security of a more stable monthly income, fewer transaction fees, and less risk of cards declining. Patreon gets fewer chances to screw up your payment, and therefore less bad press. Everybody wins.
Already a monthly supporter? Follow these steps if you want to switch:
Log in, hover over your profile icon in the top right corner, and select Manage memberships
They’re trying to recover with a store-wide sale. I’ve mentioned their Spring 2023 anthology, Destinations, before — it includes a Leif & Thorn short story, which has not (yet) been published or released anywhere else.
So if you were interested, but never got around to buying it? Now is a great time to pick up the ebook or the paperback.
(Creators got an up-front page rate for their artwork, we don’t get any extra royalties from ongoing sales. So there’s no personal benefit for me if you buy these books now! All the profits go toward helping an indie comics company recover.)
I scored an invite to BackerKit Crowdfunding, a new service from…well, the company I was already using to handle half the work from my campaigns on Kickstarter. So, yeah, we’re crowdfunding Volume 6 directly on BackerKit.
Meanwhile: I have this LLM free trial. (Didn’t ask for it, but it’s here.)
So I tasked it with writing a “funny and engaging” summary for Volume 6.
All the strips that will go in the book are already published on the site. Free and accessible to read. Collected in their own labeled category, even! And every strip is transcribed, in plain, easily-machine-readable text!
This is practically gift-wrapped for a bot to scan all the material, pick out the major character names and a bunch of common recurring phrases, and synthesize a summary that is…generally recognizable? In the right ballpark? A little confused, but it’s got the spirit?
All the text after this cut/separator is generated by the LLM. Let’s see how it did, shall we?