1099 Without Trying.

Well, let’s see here. What is there to tell you? I think I’ll hold off on the family drama for a while longer. You don’t really need to know it at this juncture.

I guess I can speak about the comic, although I don’t really have any intention of defending Thomas. People are not good or evil. Some people might swing naturally to one end of the spectrum or the other, but no one is purely evil or good. We are, all of us, flawed. I’ve always tried to give a sense that my cast has real flaws. Ones that I’ve encountered in my life. That said, it may be hard to see someone you like acting in a way you feel is unbecoming. It’s the same thing as a real friend doing something that makes you mad. Time and perspective will fix things.

Thomas has a very adversarial worldview. He’s also a bit of a victim, a narcissist, arrogant, cocky… But these traits are balanced out by kindness, charm, and an ability to step away from himself from time to time. Ed, Thomas, and Reggie have very similar personalities and I’m a little surprised that no one ever picks up on it. Maybe it’s because no one really wants to spend time dissecting this stuff. XD Anyway, with Reggie the narcissism is turned up a bit. He’s less self aware. He doesn’t think as much before he does things. Edward is similar, but is less arrogant. He is probably the most mature of the three if he could just get over being so angry. He actually achieved a significant level of responsibility in a very short time in spite of his temper. He overcame himself. In one way or another all the characters are essentially struggling to do that, in addition to the outside trials they have to face. Anyway, subtle differences make 3 very different seeming personalities.

I’m not going to be able to write a new story section tonight, but I will try to make the next one worthwhile.


I, personally, am NEVER going to stop buying real books.

Print is still the best way to save information for long periods of time.

I dunno. What about engraved stoneslabs, for example? These are pretty tough.

But they are far heavier and require more space. Paper still wins.

Paper is only good for about a decade for paperbacks and two or three for texts. More expensive rag based paper books can last for centuries if treated right. Velum though was the defacto material for all the old tomes – that means scraped and dried skin/hide. [please note that old world people were not as squeamish and more practical than modern pantywaists].
Stone, clay, glass lasts way longer and is not a natural food for the vast majority of life on this planet. It somewhat less prone to accidental damage plus it is fire resistant.
I would think ceramic paper would be the best solution but that stuff is silly expensive still.

Being legally blind, most books have print that is too small to comfortably read as holding it a couple of inches from your face is too troublesome for anything more than chcking the labels during grocery shopping.

Do you magnify the comics or are they big enough to read comfortably?

In the Internet Options, I ticked the Ignore Font Size in the Accessibility section and depending on the site, I zoom anywhere from 150% to 400%.

I also set the window screens to Inverted High Contrast so most of what I see is golden Trebuchet X font on a black blackground as I find white backlit backgrounds harse on the eyes.

I’ll never stop buying real books, either. They tend to look nicer on your bookshelf than a single Kindle lying all lonely.

That said, there’s definitely something to be said about ebooks. Like the fact that it’s a lot easier to carry around a rather long series on a device than in a backpack.

I would love to have a Kindle, if only to try and fit my entire library on a single, portable device. But I’ll never NOT buy books.

I actually went through and reread the series from start to finish the other day, and I noticed I’m starting to like Reggie. I see someone who does most of what he does out of a deep rooted need to be accepted, but on his terms. I’m also kinda seeing a bit of Aspbergers in him, but I’m not sure if that was intentional or not.

With Ed, I notice he’s seen a lot of personal growth, but he needs to keep growing if he wants to get anywhere. I also notice he’s got a lot of regret over not realizing how much his temper was affecting him sooner, and hope he’ll find a way to channel that properly..

For me it comes down to money. If I have it I spend it on tangible items. If I do not have it, I go with what I can afford. Free to read comics, free downloadable to PC reading app novels and short stories and free to watch (with commercials) video on HULU.

I currently have around 1000 sci-fi/fantasy books in both paperback and hardback on my shelves along with about the same number made up of a very eclectic mix of every other genre of reading material both fiction and non-fiction. My pride and joys are a 5th edition Van Nostrand’s Scientific encyclopedia and 9th edition Van Nostrand’s Condensed Chemical Dictionary.

I seem to be cut from the same cloth, less the Hulu.

I have no idea just how many paperbacks I have in total though most are in 1/2 size bankers Boxes [IKEA why you stop making those] plus comic boxes plus boxed games plus texbooks and data books that I really should just get rid of.

Most of my “old Book” collection consists of gaming and textbooks – I have a Trig book from 1800’s Westpoint that has the Pythagorean theorem wrong. XD

It would help to have some back story on Constance and Thomas’s relationship. Like I know that Thomas said he just absolutely hates whoever he breaks up with, but I’m finding it really hard to justify either one of their attitudes.

No matter what anyone tells you, there are always lingering feelings and resentment in breakups.

While I still absolutely LOVE paper books, I will say this:

The entire collected Sherlock Holmes, $3.99

And it lasted me WEEKS, when I’m normally spending between $3-$6 a day (averaged out).

I got the four Sherlock Holmes novels for free on my Kindle. I don’t have the short stories yet, but I didn’t have to pay a cent for the books.


There are a few things to weigh when getting free or pay stuff on your e-reader. The kindle is the only one I can speak about with any experience. Technically, since ACD’s works are now public domain, you should be able to get all of Sherlock Holmes for free – or at least, this has been my experience. However, there are some kindle publishers that aren’t proofing the OCR transfers to digital; you get typos, missing pages, and the like in some of the free versions. So paying for public domain isn’t a terrible thing. When you browse around, don’t be afraid to get familiar with the e-version’s publisher, if it’s possible. Some are more reputable than others; some will make you pay for public domain materials, but it’s because they actually had an editor look over the digital version and make corrections before putting it up for sale.

Books are great in hard copy, but I work security at a plant in the middle of nowhere. I go through at least a book a day and a kindle is a lot easier to haul around. That said, the book industry hasn’t died, just evolved from print.

Quite love reading actual books, ebooks get painful to look at after the second or third hour.

On an unrelated note…

*Ear punches google for still not fixing that malware alert in chrome*

One point mostly tangential to the topic: I love e-readers for books that are out of print. There are several public domain titles that I’d never heard of (because they aren’t test-of-time classics) that have been transferred to electronic format and that I don’t think I’d ever find at a bookstore or in the library. The romance novels of Laura Jean Libby, for example. She was writing dime novels in the 1910-1920’s eras.

A second comment that’s on-point: e-readers have brought self-publishers out of the woodwork. On one hand, it’s great that so many people are taking the plunge and publishing a novel, just as they always wanted to. On the other, GRAMMAR. And STORY EDITING. Self-publishing plays into the more narcissistic side of us, wherein we think every phrase is golden because the accomplishment of writing and getting published is a given (there’s no need for an editor’s approval to get the manuscript through the hoops).

I re-watched the Postman last night (the book is completely different and brilliant, by the way) and noted this problem in the iconic scene with Kevin Costner riding by at a gallop and snatching a letter from little Joe Costner’s upstretched hand. The scene dragged on for probably two minutes and lost all impact because of it. However, Costner (as the director) probably insisted that it stay in because it featured both his child and his brain child.

In re your comment cencerning out-of-print books — oh, yeah! and see my own comment below for suggestions. My thirst for Thorne Smith books is long satisfied. Try www (dot) arthursbookshelf (dot) com for more reader fuel — including old kid stuff.

Also hear, hear! about self-published eBooks! I love to prowl the indie and selfie markets, (e.g., Smashwords) for Fantasy and Science Fiction from new writers. But please, people, at least have a friend whose taste and grammar you trust proof your submissions. Okay, I was an English Major once, but some of these abuses of the language could make a highschool freshman wince. I know most of you are using word processors — learn to use the speling and grammar checkers!

And yes, I’ve beaten Crave up about this, but the fantasy stuff he’s putting on the web is raw first draft, posted as fast as he can type. It’s not a polished end-product he’s asking folks to pay for.

Absolutely. Sorry if any implication was given that I’m criticizing our beloved author/artist! A first draft, and especially one that is put up out of love (and not the love of money) gets all kinds of leeway.

Yeah, I’m pretty much sitting down the hour before these go live and writing off the cuff. XD It’s not too bad for just random junk off the top of my head.

No, and I agree with that, too. I didn’t infer any criticism of our Noble Leader — but I did want to make it clear that he wasn’t to be lumped in with the folks trying to make a buck (or 99ยข, anyway) on the self-publishing market.

I have a tendency to over-write and then over-polish. Which is why my Tanuki piece still hasn’t appeared on Deviant Art.

I’ve mentioned it before, but it seems appropriate to say it again here. I started out with a second generation Sony Reader, graduated to a Barnes & Noble Nook Color (mostly since all my books would transfer — not so on an Amazon Kindle of the era) and finally bought a Toshiba Android tablet. You can find apps for reading any eBook format (okay, if you had a Rocket eBook you’ll have to convert the files with Calibre) but the future is clear.

Many classics are available on Project Gutenberg or Arthur’s Bookshelf in eBook formats (usually ePub) and more free sites appear every month. There is a plethora (did I actually use that word in a webcomic forum?) of pay sites available.

Do I still buy paper books? Absolutely. Coffee table books about cameras, cars and firearms fill the house, with new ones arriving regularly. I prowl the book shops in the local flea market looking for long-out-of-print gems. Schools and libraries in my area hold book sales — they think they’re fund raisers, but they really feed the needs of we digital rebels who still crave (if I might borrow that word) books that are not so much virtual as literal.

Yes, yes, oh yes! I filled my Kindle up with books from Project Gutenberg! Highly recommend it!

I’ll download garbage for free on my ereader as well as public domain classics. Good books I will buy outright. A friend of mine made a point to me– that when you read on a kindle, etc, it’s a lot easier to just put it down because you don’t know where the end of the chapter is. It’s easier to break away. I usually read books in one day. With the ereader I’m more apt to let it germinate for a week or two. The last book I tried reading on it I was eventually like, “Eff this…” and stopped around page 200. I haven’t gone back to it. That drives me insane on a real book and I can’t do it but on an ebook it’s like I’m already ready trash anyway so I don’t care as much.

Hey Crave, I tried to register you as a friend in my Animal Crossing Wild World game, but It asked me for a friend’s name and the name of the town. I just put Crave for your name, but I can’t seem to get past the town name thing. What’s the name of your town?

I want to comment that the longer this goes on, Thoma and Constance remind me a lot of me and my ex. And every new comic just adds to the resemblance. It’s a bit frightening.

Am I the only one that Thomas is being kind of a douche? Even though I don’t know Constance I feel I’m siding with her in this whole discussion. Thomas is being unnecessarily conflictive.

Yeah, he is, but we also know he’s a person who gets satisfaction from acting that way. Makes him more real, to me. I don’t feel the need to side with Constance, though. She might be quieter and more polite in this exchange, but we barely know her; I’m sure she’s got her flaws as well.

I very much enjoy all of your work, and try to read everything weekly. However, this week I had a problem accessing your site.

http://betweenfailures.net/ is listed as a reported attack site by my browser, firefox. It sends me to this link

I don’t know why the site is reported as an attack site; possibly aggressive adware or a hidden spyder.

First of all, use the dot com url. The dot net one is still screwed up from the last wordpress upgrade. Secondly, there has never been malware on the site. Google just doesn’t care about it since the traffic is all directed to the main so they won’t fix it. There’s a whole post about it a few days back. Long story short you can look at the site with no worries.

Yeah I buy books, and CD’s not digital audio data online. I like packaging, sometimes I buy stuff with good package design even if I don’t like the rest, so the digital revolution went by me in this regard.

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