1372 Wabbits.

The Teen’s sister came to visit for easter. We did various activities such as egg dying. Which they instantly turned around and ate. I feel like there should be some appreciation time, but they wanted them eggs. As far as me goes, I don’t care much for eggs. If they are in something I’m not bothered, but I’m not much for just eating egg based food.

Anyway… I’ve been in contact with some other artists. I’m looking in to having some nice backgrounds drawn for me, since I don’t ever seem to improve over time. Potentially I’d like to hire someone specifically to do backgrounds. So I’m pricing it out to find out how much money I would need per month to do work for hire. As soon as I figure it out I’m going to make a Patreon goal that will pay for that. The idea being that more people would want to read if the comic didn’t look all shitty. And before you all jump in and tell me the art is good, just let me say that I know it’s passable. I just don’t want to accept passable forever. I want this to be something amazing. All these other people are finally starting to show up with this amazing art and I’m going to end up left behind. I don’t want that to happen. There will come a time when mid level guys like me will be pushed aside in favor of people who are highly skilled. And when you see my comic up there with the other Hivework people it’s starting to look really sad. Like I’m the slow cousin of all these people. I was cool back when they were small, but now I’m just being kept around out of loyalty, or pity, or whatever. Anyway when I get some examples to show you I’ll put links up. So far the people I’ve talked to have quoted reasonable seeming prices.

I’m still going to be drawing the bulk of the comic though. And probably will be doing the same thing I have been doing until I reach whatever the goal is going to be. It would be really cool if things looked a bit more like they do in my head. At the very least I wan there to be some establishing images so you guys have an idea of what the space around these characters looks like. Like I said though, it’s just a plan I’m looking into. I wan to put some of the money the patrons pay me back into the comic in a more obvious way. Spend money to make money, right? Also, if you know of some artist who might be looking for some work, and that can approximate my style, or has one that is complimentary to mine, point them my way.

As long as I’m talking about Patreon, I’m going to be doing the next round of avatar pics this comic week, I think. So if you haven’t gotten yours just bear with me. I’ve been rebuilding my buffer. That said, if you get in before I start this next round I’ll ad you to the list. The link, as always, is Nina on the sidebar.


I question her role models. But then again, she’s awesome, so who knows, maybe she’s on to something here.

btw, I have never once pitied you. (well, when you got hospitalized I was concerned. maybe I should change this over to I have never pitied the comic?) If you aspire to greater ideals, so be it, but your comic is the best written and the cast is most memorable to me. I love the lives of these guys, so if you want to liven up the world, go for it. I just don’t think you should believe people are here out of pity or whatever, you have a truly amazing work here, been following it for some years now and I hope to go for many more. I am sure others feel the way, its not some sense of loyalty or pity, I genuinely love and care for these guys now. That’s your work. Be proud of it.

I just want to say that I agree with this wholeheartedly. I have never once pitied your work, nor do I read from loyalty. This comic is one of two that I look forward to every couple days, and I enjoy every post. I appreciate your effort to improve your work. You’re doing great.

Yeah when I first found this webcomic I was just looking around for anything that might interest me, and when I found this comic which, along with the hilarious jokes and character development, got me hooked instantly. And now it’s my favorite webcomic! Never once have I pitied you or your work its incredible!

He’s talking about pity or loyalty from the other Hiveworks comic creators of which he is apparently a part. Not from us fans.

I don’t blame you for not catching that. The only reason I know they exist is because of him. I’d pretty much forgotten them again till he mentioned them again today. Went up and looked through the widget. (usually don’t notice it cause after reading the comic I love to read what Jackie has to say and the widget turns into a blur as my eyes race past!) Recognized a bunch of comics that either had subjects that don’t interest me, that are poorly written compared to BF characters, just became repetitive and boring before I could reach the end of their archive dives or some combination of those.

Exceptions being Goblins which I fell off of when it went on that long hiatus but fully intend to get back to now that I am aware that its up and running once again and Guilded Age.

Goblins has undoubtedly improved its art dramatically but part of that is because of how truly horrendous it was at the beginning. Basically nowhere to go but up (and you hung around waiting because the writing started out fair and kept getting better). Guilded Age is a little harder to call since they had a different artist with a different style though the “new guy” (old guy now really) has done their best to make them similar. But it seems HUGELY unfair to compare them with BF since Guilded Age has two writers and an artist. Heck, at one point Guilded Age had two writers, an artist, and a colorist? I believe so yeah, if they weren’t slightly better in one or another category after several years going with a TEAM like that than BF it would say a LOT more about them than Jackie’s abilities…. Sheesh.

So, to me there’s only 3 things putting Hiveworks on the map and BF is one of them. I actually didn’t find any of them through Hiveworks either… huh…

But if Jackie wants to make his baby the undisputed champion of Hiveworks by luring a gorgeous background artist to it with shiny Patreon monies: I’m OK with that! :D Its his mad money after all. Maybe with the new found power of the artistic duo we will start seeing wildy fantastic dream sequences, waking “imaginationscapes” and what all illustrating what goes on inside the characters minds. I could see a gimmick like that draggin’ in some of those who don’t find excellent character writing to be enough.

Though I don’t know if that will leave him with anything left in the tank for improved drawing gear/programs?

Ever notice how some stories describe characters and locations to the most minute detail, while others will give you a basic location and short, tall and/or hair color? I kind of subscribe to this route, because you’ve already pictured the character and place in your mind. If the subsequent description doesn’t match your mental one it can be bothersome. I do like Crave’s portrayal of his characters (especially Carol, as some might have noticed), but a good story is a good story whether it has stick figures or hyper-realistic CG images. I read this comic every update. I read Sunset Grill once in a while (mainly for Lena).

As far as eggs go, have you tried baked eggs? It’s a style I tried after visiting the Korean saunas. Some of the sauna rooms are so hot that they let bowls of eggs sit in there for a few hours until they are cooked.

We put whole eggs (in shell) in an oven safe bowl and set the oven to the lowest setting (175-190 degrees) at bedtime. The next morning we have nice hot eggs. It’s great in the winter where we shove them in our pockets to keep our hands warm! When they cool, they have a slight smokey flavor to them. Try with a little sriracha or mustard of all things.

Isn’t that basically the same thing as boiling them, more or less? Does it make them different inside?

Same concept different result think of it like the shell is cooking the egg as to where boiling heats the inside and the shell is just holding it in place (or atleast this is how the Korean lady told me back when I was in South Korea) (also takes a lot longer)

Water at the boiling point contains a lot more heat energy than the air in a slow oven. I have never cooked eggs that way, but it makes sense that the reactions will be different when the proteins are denatured more slowly (hours vs. minutes).

Sounds good.

First panel Reggie showcases the hottness that he is. And Maddi is basically the cutest person that has ever existed.

Depending on if age is ACTUALLY an issue, I could always point you to my sister. She’s an incredible artist, and can do multiple styles well. The reason I bring up the age thing is because she is a young teen, so I don’t know if labor laws stretch to art commissions? Who knows. Not me.

And your art is good, you hate on yourself to much you silly pants. I can see how wanting backgrounds would be a thing to aspire for, though.

Learned all of your hunting tricks from Elmer Fudd?
Such as: don’t hunt a bunny, or a black duck, that’s smarter than you? Hm.

Pretty much every artist I know suffers from some version of Impostor Syndrome, the terrible fear that someday “they” will wake up and see you for the shitty artist you are and will no longer love your work and will never like you again and will stop giving you money and you will be forever humiliated and cast out of the guild of artists. (that’s a thing right?) Of course it’s all mostly just your brain hating on you and not actually based on fact. And speaking as a long time reader/lover of your strip I think your shit is fire.

That being said… Some of the best advice I ever got as far as making comics was concerned was to know when your skills are lacking in an area (backgrounds, lettering, marketing, whathaveyou) and collaborate with someone whose skills are not lacking in that area. It’s not just about making a better product (although it is about that) it’s also a great environment to learn in, and gold stars for networking. (which is important no matter how awful it may seem.) When artists refused to collaborate their careers can get stagnant real quick.

Also, avatar pics is a thing? I want a one of those? How do I get a one of those!?

If you become a patron at my Patreon page (The link Nina on the sidebar takes you to.) I’ll draw you an avatar image based on whatever reference pics you send me.

Also also, “your shit is fire” is still something people say right? … it means your good, real good… just in case that wasn’t clear. I re-read that and felt it might be dated slang.

OK, put it like this: Your art is not technically fantastic as such, you’re right about that. And yes, other people have probably done more technical improvement over the years than you have. Sure, we can agree on this; heck, it might look a bit “dated” what with still being very background sparse…

…But just because it’s not the technically best drawn comic doesn’t mean it’s not right to do it your way. See, your art does something very, very, VERY important, which is to bring out the soul, the heart, the personality of your characters. It catches the expressions of them just the way it should do.

Go back and read the comment archive for a while, and you’ll see what I mean: Your most popular comics are almost invariably ones where you make this or that character do a particular expression that just captures what they’re saying (or sometimes what they’re not saying) perfectly, and then some. Brooksie talking about love being the pulsating beat of life, for example; the artwork on that makes that comic, -is- the comic. And in this current storyline, there’s been so many great expressions (especially from Reggie and Evrina) as to send shivers down my spine more than once.

And technically good art is no guarantee of success. Heck, of the webcomics I regularly read, it’s probably only Penny Arcade that really shines in artistry; and while Mike Krahulik’s been great at improving himself; it probably never hurt him to get the fame and money that made it possible for him to get the tools and time he needed for that improvement. The rest of them… Well, they’re good (or I wouldn’t be reading them), but none of the artwork -in itself- sends shivers down my spine, like yours has done many times.

Now, it may be that I’ve misunderstood you a bit, and you were talking entirely about backgrounds and inaminated objects, as opposed to people. Yeah well, inanimate objects are boring things, and far more popular comics than yours have struggled with making proper perspectives of non-human objects (SMBC’s animals often being hideous things, and not on purpouse). Your comic is in any case definitely about the characters, and as long as you focus on them and keep drawing them with so much of their essence, you’re good in my eyes.

Oh, and to clarify:

“The rest of them… Well, they’re good (or I wouldn’t be reading them), but none of the artwork -in itself- sends shivers down my spine, like yours has done many times.”


The comics -as a whole- are good (in my opinion, which is obviously a perfect and infallible one), but the artwork in itself is usually not so much of a reason I read them; sometimes I read them almost (but not quite) in spite of the artwork.

I wouldn’t do it because Order of the Pelt sounds pornographic even discounting the existence of furries.


Deviled Eggs are the best of dishes that are mostly egg but my kind usually are happy to gorge on hard boiled eggs at Easter simply because we never make them the rest of the year so its like this rare treat.

I wish you all the luck finding a background artist that meshes with your style.

I find this comic is more about the writing than the art and would be so even if you were the greatest artist who ever walked the face of the planet. But I’m sure the change might drag in some more viewers. Maybe even more paying ones. Enough to make up for the cash you lost on it? *shrugs* Anythings possible.

My opinion’s not really important since I don’t pay and never will be able to but its the internet so why not?

Thinking of names, like “order of the pelt”:
if you go on Youtube, there are a few people who put PG-rated striptease films to the tune of: Beaver Shot, by the Periscopes. I think that the Periscopes was a 1960s, Scandinavian band.

No, I’m not a total cad, so I’m not embedding those videos, here. ;D

To echo what others have said: Your story-ing is awesome!

I don’t know enough to comment on your art, but it’s never bothered or distracted me. In fact, busy backgrounds can be a big distraction.

Just look at xkcd… that is an awesome webcomic with great writing and an art style that suits it… and it rarely even has a background!

So, if you like the comic better with different backgrounds, hey, you’re the artist. If you’re worried that it’s not “good enough” or “competitive” or whatever… well, to paraphrase Billy Joel: Don’t go changin’ to try to please us. We like you just the way you are!

True story: I went back to the top of the page to look at what background you had for this comic, because I couldn’t remember if it was more or less detailed than QC (another of my top favorites) and was really surprised to see that it was “just” pastel colors. They worked. They really did.

seikueon has the right idea Jackie. The writing behind this comic is the true seller here, not the art. You remain one of the wittiest webcomics I follow, and your characters are marvelous.

I only recently started checking out comics in the Hivework after being linked to one I didn’t really like. I clicked on the banners based on the art, checked tons out, including yours. I got hooked on yours because of the story and dialogue and characters. I like the art and actually think its awesome you use “sprites” for each time a character uses the same expression. I did something similar back in the early 2000s but less effectively.

I tell you this because it’s true. I’ve tried over 100 webcomics lately and only have 7 I’m keeping up with right now. You’re not lacking for story that’s engaging.

That being said, I know better art helps pull people in. I actually think artists shouldn’t be expected to pull everything off, but kudos if they can write and draw an engaging comic. So outsourcing sounds fine to me if it’s something you want to commit to.

I found this comic yesterday. I may have stayed up all night to catch up on the archives.

Similarly, I may have squeed when Tom and Carol got together, and when Jo and Jessica got together.

I hope your archive dive wasn’t too disruptive to your life. Thanks for giving my comic a try.

“I hope your archive dive wasn’t too disruptive to your life.”

Sleep is for the weak.

Sleep is a necessary part of life. That said, if a new webcomic, or piece of webfiction, doesn’t make it hard for me to remember that, then it hasn’t really caught my attention. That’s not to say that I’ve done this for every webcomic and serial I’ve bookmarked but, I confess, I have been sorely tempted.

I’m not back to work until Wednesday. Some things I’d planned aren’t going to be practical but I’ll be fine. Thank you for your concern.

I’ve bookmarked this and I can’t wait to see what happens next..

It’s fun to see the reactions of people who have just discovered the masterpiece that is BF. I found it years ago and have been addicted to it ever since. The character development is great. The stories are engaging. The artwork (Jackie’s self-deprecation aside) is good, although now that he pointed it out, the backgrounds are not anything special. With characters and story this good, though, you don’t even notice the backgrounds most of the time. Keep up the good work Jackie, and if you want to keep improving – well – we expect no less of you since you have shown a consistent commitment to quality.

hate to be the grammar nazi (i love it but that’s a secret) but it’s egg dyeing, Jackie, not egg dying. the latter sounds a little creepy

wow. Hiveworks has a lot more comics than I thought. But not all of them have a lot going on with their backgrounds. I’m a huge fan of Go Get a Roomie and Chloe uses backgrounds sparingly, although when she does do them they’re fucking phenomenal…

I forgot my point for a sec. My point being that I am very aware of the art level of your comic. It’s not great, it’s ok. But I would say the same for Questionable Content, the thing that makes your comic work is the content not the flash. It’s the characters and their lives.

I hope that makes sense.

Check that, Maddie! Everything I know about Southwestern wildlife I learned from watching the Bugs Bunny and Roadrunner Show. People tell me about these critters called ‘Javelinas’ and ‘Pronghorns’, but I think they made them up like the Jackelope, because I never saw them on Warner Brothers.

“So I found this webcomic called Bemoan Flatulence or something like that. The story and the character art was unbelievable, but the backgrounds were so awful it made my head hurt. I read a few pages and had to drop it like a hot anvil.”

Well, nobody else was saying it, and probably for a pretty good reason.

dunno about the rest of you, but i read comics for the characters and story. the art is secondary, just to support the story. take Looking For Group, for instance: i read that comic, and enjoy the story, but because the art is very often so detailed, i sometimes miss important cues in the visual jumble and have to go back and look carefully to figure out what i missed. someone mentioned Goblins already: i love that comic, and i have tremendous empathy for his anxiety and effort to make the art so incredibly detailed, but in some of his fight scenes, i can’t make heads or tails out of what’s happening. Chloe of Go Get A Roomie has a new comic out called Headless Bliss. while GGAR usually has artwork that is fairly, errr, “quiet” (just enough to support the story) with occasional forays into a very fancy dream world (which is quite pretty), her new Headless Bliss is so flowery that i can’t always tell what’s happening. Jackie, your art is beautiful – i wouldn’t change a thing. :-D

Housepets! is another comic that can get quite detailed; I’ll occasionally miss a detail that others point out in the Forum, and there’s always funny alt text. Count Your Sheep is the opposite; there is seldom much in the way of background beyond establishing location, and it’s usually inside the main characters’ house.

And then there’s Girl Genius. The scenery or setting can get so complex, you can’t even find the characters. In all three cases, the story carries it off.

It just hit me that an amazing example of the importance of content over background is Charlie Brown. The backgrounds and art were never anything impressive – but look at what an impact it had! I have no objection to better backgrounds as long as you keep up the quality of the content Jackie.

Wait, you are on Hiveworks? I have had them bookmarked for years, I have never seen your comic listed on the ever growing wall of webcomics. I wonder why I am not seeing yours listed there. I am off to do some investigating.

As an amateur artist I understand the craving to improve your skills, but in this case I’d remind you that Charles Schulz never needed gradient shading, a million color pallet, or perspective back grounds. I’d say he did well enough. As others have already stated, you’ve built a following all by your self when others have come and gone with team effort. Your characters and story were compelling before John’s world went color, your artistry goes beyond the pictures. But if you can find someone else that can bring out what your mind sees, then collaborate away. As an addicted follower, I simply request caution not to fix what might not be broken. Peanuts, The Phantom, Doonesbury, Garfield, The Wizard of Id, all different styles, all classically successful. Be true to yourself, tilt at your own windmills, Damn the torpedoes!

As a long-time fan of this comic, I have to say you are way too hard on yourself. I always check between failures for updates before any of my other comics because its just so well written. For me, the art style isn’t the main focus: it helps when it isn’t distracting, but after a certain point its about the content. You write powerful, witty dialogue that makes me always eager to come back and see what’s new. If you feel you want to improve something, feel free. But for me, the heart of this comic and the driving force is the writing behind it, and that’s something that stands head and shoulders above many of the other webcomics I’ve seen.

I’m not just blowing smoke up your butt, but I like the comic like it is. Your characters are wonderfully drawn, and so vibrant that having detailed backgrounds might just be too much visual noise. As it is, when you do have detailed backgrounds, they… fit. Just my two cents.

But if you like that sort of thing Hati will totally make with the smoke. ;D (not the nasty carcinogen and tar smoke but the good stuff Magic Genies and talking Caterpillars use!)

Sadly, the the “good stuff” is also loaded with carcinogens. I know this from academic research rather than first hand since I’ve never been interested in actually partaking. The main reason you don’t hear about folks getting cancer from smoking dope is that if they smoked as much of that as tobacco smokers take in of their favorite vice, they would be completely non-functional and unable to go out and get more – thus the product inherently limits intake by incapacitating the user.
I prefer a massive dose of reality with occasional doses of this comic to feed my need for fiction (along with the occasional binge reading of a new novel).

Is it just me, or has this comic gone severely downhill as far as artistic quality? The characters are rounder without much details. They almost seem like big blobs bounding around in each frame. Sorry about this comment, but when I look back at the comic about 5 years ago, it is so much more sophisticated.

I’ve been plagued by a series of unfortunate events over these many years that have slowly contributed to steady changes to the process, few of which were for the better, in my opinion. Attempts to solve these problems were hampered by lack of time, money, or what have you. Some of the problems can’t be repaired. I will simply have to survive them until they end, or I do. There’s also the possibility that my artistic growth and your personal tastes have deviated from one another. I couldn’t say. I can however say that you aren’t sorry about your comment. You clearly set out with the intent to harm, having offered nothing constructive in your eloquent critique of my work.

Seeing as how all the comments you make are in this vein I must assume that you are hurting in some way and need someone to lash out at. I’m glad that I could be here for you in that capacity. I’ve been weathering this type of abuse for long enough that it doesn’t really bother me much anymore. Better me than someone starting out, who might not yet have the tools to deal with this sort of thing.

I apologize for not living up to your high standards. Perhaps one day I will attain the sort of skill that will allow me once again into your good graces. For now I can only dream of that far off day when you embrace my work lovingly. This, unfortunately, is not that glorious day… I must return now to carefully crating my bounding blobs for the amusement of people not so refined as yourself.

Pity us, if you can find it in your heart so to do. We are not so wonderful as you…

Some people love to watch it when a “professional” puts down their hecklers with art and skill so much that they can become popular youtube videos.

Maybe this person is such a one and is so impressed with your technique in this area that they have willfully provoked you on multiple occasions hoping to receive the lash of your articulate and oooooh so sharp tongue.

Maybe they read that and experienced such a thrill. The kind that leaves you feeling dirty and low. Ready for the next hit.

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