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Cheers to all the supporters of Leif & Thorn Volume 5

Cheers to all the supporters of Leif & Thorn Volume 5 published on No Comments on 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.

Volume 5 cover
Continue reading Cheers to all the supporters of Leif & Thorn Volume 5
Tiernan going sploot, Thorn telling her: Yes, you're a beautiful model

Guest Strip Week 2023 – Submissions

Guest Strip Week 2023 – Submissions published on 1 Comment on 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.

Guidelines:

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

Happy stripping!

Tiernan going sploot, Thorn telling her: Yes, you're a beautiful model

Five Recs: Books to Get Kids Into Webcomics

Five Recs: Books to Get Kids Into Webcomics published on 2 Comments on 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!

Vampire Sunset

Voting for the exclusive Volume 5 mini-print

Voting for the exclusive Volume 5 mini-print published on 3 Comments on 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

Launch time for Volume 5: Lockdown Edition published on 3 Comments on 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!)

Volumes 1-4
Volume 5 project preview

Coming in October: Leif & Thorn Volume 5!

Coming in October: Leif & Thorn Volume 5! published on 2 Comments on 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.)

Pixelated teaser for the cover of Volume 5
Continue reading Coming in October: Leif & Thorn Volume 5!

Five Recs: Gag-A-Day and Slice-Of-Life Webcomics

Five Recs: Gag-A-Day and Slice-Of-Life Webcomics published on No Comments on Five Recs: Gag-A-Day and Slice-Of-Life Webcomics

Doing a short-and-sweet post this month!

No long-running plots to keep track of. No deep character struggles to worry about. Just some fun comics where you can order them on Bookshop, pick them up, read a few strips at a time, then put them down and go to the beach.

A Man And His Cat: Sweet old widower is the only person who wants to adopt the ugliest kitten at the pet shop.

Originally published as a webcomic, before getting so wildly popular that it got licensed by a manga publisher. And it was a good deal.

Hark! A Vagrant: Snappy jokes on whatever topics the artist is into this week, from historical weirdos to Victorian literature.

Even if you’ve never read the comic iself, you’ve almost definitely seen it memed somewhere. Do the phrases “I had fun once. It was awful” or “Ooh, Mr. Darcy” ring a bell? Yeah, that’s this.

Sarah’s Scribbles: Pure unfiltered essence of #relatable.

Cute one-off gags about little everyday moments, like playing with your pets, being on the internet too much, and lying awake thinking about a dumb thing you said in middle school.

Hyperbole and a Half: Another book about relatable slice-of-life millennial struggles. Part of this is personal essays (the funny kind), but it has enough comics that I’m including it anyway.

It’s also another series that you’ve probably seen in memes, even if you’ve never read the original. “Clean ALL THE THINGS” is from this one.

Oglaf: A sequence of mostly-unrelated absurdist gags in an over-the-top fantasy world.

…they are mostly sex gags. Don’t buy this as a gift for a small child. But as long as “a lot of cartoon nudity” doesn’t put you off, you’ll have fun with it.

(And I’ll do “appropriate comics to buy as gifts for a small child” next month.)

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 gag-a-day webcomic that isn’t on this list? Drop a comment and share!

Five Recs: Webcomics with Fantasy/Superhero/Gaming Parody Settings

Five Recs: Webcomics with Fantasy/Superhero/Gaming Parody Settings published on 10 Comments on Five Recs: Webcomics with Fantasy/Superhero/Gaming Parody Settings

It’s Pride Month, which sounds like the perfect time to do a reclist of LGBT+ webcomics, the only problem is…most of the comics I like have LGBT+ characters! It doesn’t exactly narrow things down.

Take this list. All five of these comics have some gay stuff going on, and it’s not even the theme. I just wanted to rec some books about “superhero-type settings, but make them deconstructions.”

Empowered: Sexy superhero sendup. Emp wants to join the Superhomeys, but they won’t vote her in because her powerset is too embarrassing. It’s an almost-invincible alien super-suit! Its one weakness is…bondage.

There’s already canon F/F in the secondary cast, and I’m pretty sure the main characters (our heroine, her supervillain-grunt-for-hire boyfriend, and her hard-drinking ninja BFF) are headed for an M/F/F Emp Has Two Hands situation.

Sleepless Domain: In this city, magical girls are a known thing, with all the worldbuilding (good and bad) that implies.

Teams get merchandise and sponsorship deals! There’s a school with special hours to account for how they’re up all night fighting monsters! Adult ex-magical-girls can become therapists for the next generation! And boy, are they going to need it.

Telling you “which girls start dating” or “which girl is trans” would be spoilery, so let me just say that they’re in there.

Order of the Stick: Adventuring party of stick figures is out to kill the lich, gets wrapped up in a world-saving quest against a monster drawn only as a scribble. They fight with magic, teamwork (sort of), and jabs at D&D’s sillier mechanics. Or, well, jabs at most of D&D’s mechanics.

Main cast mostly gets M/F romances, but the background couples have a good mix. And there’s a whole population of gender-ambiguous elves with gender-ambiguous spouses who have a hard time IDing any other species by gender, which is fun.

Homestuck: Four online friends from around the world log in to play a new game. Turns out it warps reality. Then, after we’re done sending up all kinds of weird and over-complicated video-game mechanics, it destroys the Earth, and the only way for the kids to get a new home planet is to win the game.

Also, the alien troll kids who lost the previous session are alternately helping, pestering, and hate-flirting with them. Awkward.

Strong Female Protagonist: Another superhero send-up, this time with a super-strong invulnerable ex-hero. She’s trying to have a normal college life without being overwhelmed by the lingering trauma of teenage heroics. You can guess how that goes.

The artist is married to ND Stevenson, showrunner of the She-Ra reboot…and if you’ve watched that, let’s just say some of this will hit awfully familiar. (In a good way.) Especially if you’re a Catra fan.

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 parody/deconstruction webcomic that isn’t on this list? Got a request for themes I should rec in future months? Drop a comment and share!

Five Recs: Webcomics with Cool and Elaborate Worldbuilding

Five Recs: Webcomics with Cool and Elaborate Worldbuilding published on 3 Comments on Five Recs: Webcomics with Cool and Elaborate Worldbuilding

Since webcomics aren’t limited by traditional genre categories, marketing demands, or editorial feedback, you can do all kinds of wild things with the worldbuilding. (The only catch is, you have to be able to draw it.)

Here are some comics that take full advantage.

Kill 6 Billion Demons: Sorority sister fights through the demon realm(s) to rescue her boyfriend. She’s not actually that into the boyfriend — in fact, she’ll hook up with a quirky, pointy demon lady along the way — but she’s the only human who even knows where she is, so it’s up to her.

Weird and involved monster/creature designs, absolutely amazing settings. I’ve saved so many pages because things like “long shot of a marketplace built in the stone head of a petrified dead god” make great inspiration.

The Hazards of Love: Queer teen who obviously never watched Madoka Magica makes a deal with a talking cat, gets stuck in a monster dimension, but this one doesn’t fight battles so much as “do housework for an evil shadow deer.” Their girlfriend starts to suspect something is up, but the only other beings in Queens who know what really happened are ghosts, so that’s going to be tough.

Bright World’s aesthetic comes from the Mexican ephemera the artist grew up with, which isn’t a flavor you see in a lot of webcomic settings. The online version is black-and-white — pick up the books to see it in color.

Devil’s Candy: Cute imp student makes a Frankenstein girl for a science project. Hijinks ensue.

No alternate human dimension in this one — it’s just a monster school, with cool goth architecture, fun culture clashes, and cute kids dealing with struggles like “as a mixed-species monster, how do I balance the expectations from both sides of my family?” and “how do I get my designs through this fashion show alive?”

Girl Genius: In a steampunk alternate Europe governed by mad scientists, Agatha learns she has massive talents as the heir to a brilliant family’s legacy, all suppressed for her protection. Until now.

An amazing study in payoffs for long-term setup — someone tries to invite Agatha to England around book 2 or 3, she accepts the invitation around book 20. (Which is when we find out London is a network of submarine domes, run by a giant shapeshifter.)

The Last Halloween: Trick-or-treating is canceled, the monsters are invading. To find out what’s going on (and, hopefully, how to fix it), Mona teams up with some other kids she assumes are just in their costumes already…

Only comic on this list that’s fully set in the Real World, since it explores how that world gets permanently changed. Always suspenseful, sometimes pretty gruesome, usually funny anyway.

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.

This list was made for a request — got any suggestions for more themes I should do in the future? Or recs of your own, for a comic with cool worldbuilding that didn’t show up here? Drop a comment and share!

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