1217 Boy Story.

This side story about Reggie is actually something I wrote with the intention of having someone else draw it, as kind of a special treat, or maybe when I was going to a convention, or something. The problem is that none of the people I approached were interested in doing it. It also kind of fit right in here with this part of the story, so I decided to put it in. I wrote beyond my art capabilities for this thing, since I wasn’t going to have to do it myself originally, so I guess we’ll see how well that works out…

When I started doing the comic everyone made a huge deal out of conventions. Over time I haven’t seen that they are particularly profitable to the people that exhibit at them. On balance anyway. The really big names seem to do okay, but the mid to low level chumps are just throwing money away and not focusing on what they really should be focusing on, which is actually making comics. It’s play time. While I may not be the best I try to present as high a quality product as I am capable of, on a reliable schedule. A big part of success, I have seen, is just showing up on time. There are those who thumb their noses at that, but artistic perfection is not a luxury everyone has. Some of us have to compensate in other ways.

Another thing that was big when I started was making yourself part of the… brand. I guess you would say? Like, getting attention by way of a podcast, or having opinions, vehemently, on the internet. Basically being part of a floor show that helped call attention to your work or, failing that, to yourself. I never had a stable enough net connection at that time, so I could never stream art, or talk to other artists on a podcast. I also don’t have a lot of strong opinions about things. I’m very much one to look at both sides of an argument and as such I rarely draw a line in the sand over things. Even for things I truly loathe, like LICD, I understand that my problems come down mostly to personal taste rather than objective complaints.

I missed podcasting by about 3 years. My friend Justin and I were perfect for that sort of thing BEFORE it was a thing and our partnership dissolved before we could get in on it. I was a prime example of someone who had never done a damn thing, but thought he knew HOW better than anyone else. Basically an insufferable, arrogant, ass. Exactly the kind of person who gets rewarded for terrible behavior these days. Becoming a better person has ruined my chances at talky stardom.

As far as webcomic podcasting goes I was never enough of a gossip to make it work. Don’t get me wrong I LOVE watching drama unfold. It fills me with zealous glee, but I don’t care enough to actually go looking for it. I’m not gonna Scooby-Doo it out so I can be the first person to point and gasp. I want someone to bring that shit TO me. I’m also not a good source for artistic advice, although most webcomic podcasters aren’t either, they just don’t seem to be self aware enough to know better.


It should always be known that Jo references films in every word she speaks.

A great many movies have been made over the years. If you content yourself to quoting individual words, you can generally rest pretty confidently on the assumption that every word you speak has been in a movie at some point, unless you have a fondness for obscure words. Even then, the overall coverage is probably more thorough than you would guess, covering all the “mainstream” obscure words like antidefenestration.

So does this mean that Jo is BF’s version of Susanna Hopkins from Genshiken then?


I don’t know that series of words.

Crazy nerd woman who speaks entirely in references, in a manga (then anime) about Japanese nerds. Resemblances are rather superficial beyond frequent quotes of nerd media and a reputation for eccentricity. Jo’s a much better developed character, really.

I hope we are getting a flashback here.

@Dylan, I got the toy story one, was there another?

Sadly, I usually only get half of what Jo is saying.

I appreciate you making sure the comic comes out on time when you say it will. It ticks me off when one of the biggest names in webcomics decides focusing on the business end an the comic suffers for it only being updated once or twice a week instead of Monday-Friday like it says on the website. To me that’s a big middle finger to the fans who enjoy reading everyday. So kudos to you for keeping hard at work with a project you love. It shows.

Exactly. @Crave gets upset when the system or the network goes pear-shaped. He’s like that über-punctual friend who kind of shames us out of our own slobbish procrastination.

I’m not much of a podcast person even when they were popular. I have a hard time just listening to people have arguments and discussions when I can’t actually chime in and say stuff. It’s like I’m 10 years old all over again and the adults are talking.

If i want to hear people nattering on about nothing, I’ll go talk to my 13 year old sister. I don’t get podcasts either.

Hey — check out the “Three Jaguars” webcomic for more on properly presenting yourself. It’s pretty much all about the marketing/business side of things, but it’s really well done, and the art is great too.

I think you’re too hard on your art skills, but I understand that’s pretty much part and parcel of the artistic temperament.

But yeah, you get major kudos for updating on time, and keeping a coherent story. Thanks!

Showing up on time, as you put it, is the biggest indicator of whether I’ll keep a comic. I read nearly a hundred webcomics, and while I like some comics better than others (BF is at the top <3), I like a lot of variety in my reading. I'll give any comic a chance, but if the updates are sporadic and infrequent, I start having issues following the story and recognizing the characters. That gets the comic pruned from my list.

And don't worry about your art skills not matching up to what you want to do. Pushing yourself is how you grow, and you can bank on the fact that I'll enjoy what you make for this story. I've actually been reading a webcomic for a couple years, where the artist still hasn't figured out how to standardize the characters' faces. So one rendition of the female main looks a lot different than the next. It's not, as far as I can tell, on purpose. That's the only instance of artistic skills detracting from my enjoyment. And even before you went color, you didn't have that problem. So rock on. : )

” I’ve actually been reading a webcomic for a couple years, where the artist still hasn’t figured out how to standardize the characters’ faces.”
And there are some (cough,QC, cough) where there are only a couple of faces and the rest are just variations. Can’t complain too much, the art in XKCD is above my abilities.

The way I look at conventions, they should be about the fans, not making money. You’re not there to make a buck, you’re there to meet people, other artist, your readers or even just to get your name out there.

You are exactly correct, conventions should be fun time.

That is why you try and be their guest or at least be there to do something you like to do at a con – making a few bucks is a bonus really. So go to have fun for you first and foremost and meet people of a like mind. That is what cons are really supposed to be about.
If you are not having fun then there is something wrong.

Never really got into the podcast thing…I guess ’cause talk radio always put me to sleep. Can’t listen to people converse about things (which doesn’t explain why I watch Game Grumps, since often times, it’s more about the talk than the game). The other problem is that some podcasts that I would be interested in are SO LONG, and I don’t feel like taking that time with a podcast.

I was a part of one, though! Felt like I stumbled around in it and didn’t speak up when I was supposed to ‘n other things. Went well enough, I think.

If you wanted to do a podcast you could do it about things like your Flu-Shot rant but I doubt you would enjoy that and I don’t see how it would help the webcomic terribly.

I’m not into podcasts and don’t know too much about them but if forced to come up with an idea for you for one I would think you could do fictional podcasts from the perspectives of one or more of your characters. Some of them probably have strong enough opinions on things even if you don’t. This would do a much better job of creating a “brand” that would feed energy back towards your main product.

Crave, I love this comic that much more because of that Toy Story reference. I’m not much of a movie geek, but when it comes to Disney/Pixar, you bet I catch at least most of it.

Am I a stereotypical teenage/early 20’s girl? Yes. Do I care? Nope.

Crave, I do not really expect you to read this as I am sure reader comments get terribly droll
ie “Woop! Posted first!”
As if anyone cares if they posted first or anybody else cares you were first. I digress, sorry.
Your comic is better than most I have seen and I read it regularly. I know, nobody cares if I do or do not, but your story is sound and realistic and stays on track. That is more than I will say for most web comics I have read. I have no artistic ability or talent so I am not qualified to make any comment on yours. You update regularly and predictably which is a great thing, and your premise is superb. As one who for over fifty years has made a carrier out of making the wrong decision and snatching failure from the jaws of victory I can agree that life is what happens Between Failures.
Keep up the good work.

Those who can, do – those who can’t, become MBAs – those who can’t but still got a university degree on the subject become teachers.

Artists are some of the harshest critics out there, either because of vested interests, inflated egos or most often self flagellation. I have found the most sensible third party critics are those who know something about the subject at hand but without the baggage of having any vested interests in what is being critiqued and having a genuine love of the subject.

Crave – just keep doing what you are doing, as long as you are having fun most of the time doing it.

In a commentary about one of his works (I forget which), Joseph Conrad noted that the critics bitched about the main character’s attitudes and behavior, but they never said that she did not live, and as a writer of fiction, he took that as a win.

Crave, your characters are a pretty live bunch. Thanks for sharing them.

At first, I was going to remark at the irony of your Friday panel being late after stating how your main method of making a place for yourself in the webcomic scene is showing up on time. Then I remembered it’s been storming and I’m wondering if something happened in your area. Can we get a sign of life?

Final thought — and kind of a riff on what @N0083rP00F was saying about artists being the harshest critics, and @Typeminer paraphrasing Conrad; artists (in any medium) are the worst critics, and they tend to be harshest on themselves. Lousy or lazy artists, who can’t support themselves on their craft, tend to become professional critics.

And speaking from experience (working in a number of hospitals over the past 40 years — yeah, I’m that old), Doctors make the worst patients. I believe the same is true of artists who criticize art — their own or others’ — they are the harshest audience.

Reggie used to be.. I find that difficult to believe actually. He seems like the sort that was born and raised like this and now he has to grow out of it.

Wait, Mike doesn’t know Toy Story?

….. HOW!?

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