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Call for Leif & Thorn guest strips! Deadline: August 12

Call for Leif & Thorn guest strips! Deadline: August 12 published on No Comments on Call for Leif & Thorn guest strips! Deadline: August 12

Open call for all artists! Leif & Thorn is taking submissions for guest strips!

  • All ideas and art styles welcome
  • Draw your favorite characters, explore any era or any AU, show the world your secret headcanons
  • Only limit on the content is “keep it PG-13”! Basically, no more sex or violence than the regular strip, okay? Otherwise, go wild and have fun with it
  • Format: PNG, GIF, or JPG
  • Size: up to 900 x 900 pixels
  • You can send in multiple pages/strips, if you have an idea that’s too big for just one
  • Submissions deadline: August 12, 2023

(I previously took these a few months ago, and got a couple amazing strips — but I would like enough to fill a whole week! So we’re opening this up again, with the plan to post all the submissions in a row.)

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.

When you send them in, include whatever name you want to be credited by. And if you want me to promote your gallery/blog/fanfiction account/webcomic/Etsy store at the same time, just send me the link!

Roundup of webcomic news (good, gay) and AI news (heavy sigh)

Roundup of webcomic news (good, gay) and AI news (heavy sigh) published on 4 Comments on Roundup of webcomic news (good, gay) and AI news (heavy sigh)

A tournament to find the most obscure/unknown webcomic is running on Tumblr! An incredible place to trawl for putting new comics on To Read list.

1 like = 1 rec for a webcomic with major LGBTQ characters” on Mastodon is falling behind the Tumblr version. Go give it some shares, so I can put all the recs on both sites?

Finally did a big update to the Help, I Want To Start My Own Webcomic Site, How Do I Start guide. Now it has a bunch of references to Toocheke — which I haven’t actually used, so anyone who has, do please comment and tell us about it!

I’ve been invited to the closed beta of Crowdfunding by BackerKit! Not much on my creator profile yet, but more about Leif & Thorn Volume 6 will be there…soonish.

I’ve also been presented with a “fill your site with low-quality SEO-spam glurge articles faster by using an LLM” limited-trial feature. Now I just have to figure out the 20 funniest possible things to use it on.

…and, speaking of LLMs:

Me, queueing a Leif & Thorn where Coco yells at officials for replacing all their human staff with non-field-tested “AI” when lives are at stake, to post on May 8: “This is surely an exaggerated fantasy situation I am inventing as a cautionary tale, and not something that will literally go down IRL in the next 3 weeks.”

The next 3 weeks:

Yyyyyeah.

Did not want that to become a fulfilled prediction! Really hope this doesn’t become a trend. (Both the “putting people’s lives in the hands of chatbots” part, and the “hyperbolic comedy skeeviness coming true” part.)

Pride Month recs are back!

Pride Month recs are back! published on No Comments on Pride Month recs are back!

It’s June again, and you know what that means: time for all the gay webcomics to spend the month hyping each other up.

Here’s my contribution:

1 like on this Mastodon post = 1 rec for a webcomic with major LGBTQ characters!

1 like on this Tumblr post = also 1 rec for a webcomic with major LGBTQ characters!

To keep life simple, I’m giving the same recs, in the same order, on both sites. So far they’re keeping pace with each other — but maybe one will pull ahead? Reblog/share/boost/etc your favorite to keep the links flowing.

Tips on organizing your webcomic, for #WebcomicTalk

Tips on organizing your webcomic, for #WebcomicTalk published on 1 Comment on 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

I asked the Bing Chatbot about its Leif & Thorn headcanons published on 10 Comments on 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.

Content notes:

  1. The bot is guessing wildly about pronouns, and gets some of them wrong. (It does the same with familial relationships…and nationalities…and species.)
  2. 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

Closed Leif & Thorn polls: website usability and/or market research published on No Comments on 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:

Favorite Leif & Thorn site theme?
  • Rose Garden 57%, 112 votes
    112 votes 57%
    112 votes - 57% of all votes
  • Northern Lights 24%, 47 votes
    47 votes 24%
    47 votes - 24% of all votes
  • Blue Castle 14%, 27 votes
    27 votes 14%
    27 votes - 14% of all votes
  • Blood Moon 3%, 6 votes
    6 votes 3%
    6 votes - 3% of all votes
  • Y2K 2%, 3 votes
    3 votes 2%
    3 votes - 2% of all votes
Total Votes: 195
10 December, 2020 - 20 February, 2023
Voting is closed
© Kama

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
Volume 5 cover

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 2 Comments 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

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