1628 A Brisk Trot.
Maddison is all about positives and solutions.
I kind of left the comments from Friday last because I didn’t feel like talking about that stuff at the time. First of all, part of my income is still generated by people actually coming to my site. I don’t know how people can do that shit where they turn their adds off if they get a lot of patrons because I find that I still need that income. Maybe when you’re young and healthy you can get by on less, but for me every time something happens it’s thousands of dollars. I need to get a tire for my truck to replace the one that got ruined, but I have to wait because of the fun hospital times, my insurance, and the fucks who rent my c-pap. I actually need a set of tires because they haven’t been replaced in over a decade, but one is about all I can do if pricing is worse than it was back then. Which doesn’t even take in to account the fact that it hasn’t been serviced properly… since I don’t know when. The point is, I can’t not work. Doing this isn’t a choice for me. I’m not physically well enough to do any work but drawing ridiculous nonsense at this point. So I’m going to keep working all the time. I don’t view making the comic as some kind of thing I just fuck around with like so many other artists. I may not be the best, the most successful, or anything, but I fucking come to work every day. The only thing that makes me feel better is being safe in the knowledge that I have content ready for you guys all the time. Especially the ones who pledge money on patreon. The stress of working on this stuff is nothing compared to the stress of having to go back to retail, or something. I have nightmares about that. Literal, terrifying nightmares about being stuck in some new job, with tons of shitty people acting like it’s their god given right to treat employees like trash. That said, I appreciate that you guys want to give me a break. I know you worry about me sincerely.
If you wanted to get enough guest comics for a week off for me that would be very nice, but you won’t. I’ve tried at times when I was desperate and no one has time. They have their own things to do. There is a certain level of quality I’m willing to accept from guest material and what you’ve seen on the occasions I acquired some were the only things that met that criteria. There are very few people who see my audience as desirable these days. There aren’t as many people starting from the dirt like I did. They start out with slick skills and don’t need to shop their content around like used to be common. In any event I appreciate the sentiment. Your support means a lot more to me than to other creators and I try to show it by always being here.
Another thing that got talked about was the SJW status of Jeph Jaques. I know that SJWs can be annoying, but they just want to make things better somehow. They want to help, and sometimes the way they try is misguided, or inelegant. I actually stopped following his twitter because it got to be a bit much even for me, but I think the things he says and does come from a place of real desire to improve the world in the only way he knows how. I’ll give you that the introduction of his trans character was very conveniently timed, but that’s kind of how it works in all media. People chase trends. He did it, David Willis did it, I’m sure there are others, but I only read two comics these days really. Back when I read a lot more they all did the same sorts of things at about the same times. People want to deal with whatever is relevant to the zeitgeist. It was lesbians at one point. You could fucking bank on introducing a lesbian into your story a few years ago, they everyone did it, and then it became saturated and people moved on to the next thing. The way I do stuff doesn’t allow me to jump on those bandwagons, and I actually don’t like doing that anyway. I couldn’t help it with Brooksie. The time was right for my story and that was just the way it had to be, but I did think long and hard about what the backlash might be if people thought I was just following the trend. I feel like I’ve done a good job of staying true to her character and have made Jess a fully realized character too. They aren’t defined by any one trait in themselves. In my opinion Jaques handled Claire as well as could be expected given his style and what have you. The thing is he tried and more people came to his page to see what was up. I didn’t and here I am. I’ll let you decided who the fool is in this scenario. Let’s look at his patreon. 4,500 some odd patrons and an income just shy of 10000 dollars. Let’s look at Willis’s too just for shits and giggles since he also courts the SJW stuff. Just shy of 2000 patron and a little over 5K in support. According to these numbers, daily posting, fairly strong art, and courting relevant social issues is the way to go. Of the various creators out there you would be hard pressed to find one more dedicated and fast as Willis, and although he can be flakey Jaques knows his audience and comes ready to play almost without fail. If you don’t like a little social justicing in your media that’s fine, but of the three of us two are knocking that shit out of the park and one is scraping by.
I’m not going to change my storytelling to court the outrage audience, but I’m also not going to fault people who do and are successful at it. I actually respect Willis and Jaques in many ways. Honestly, I wish I had it in me to do what they do, but I don’t. I was raised in a house where we were taught to look at both sides of conflict in a dispassionate way. It’s why I can’t condemn someone who voted for Trump any more than I can someone who is out protesting his election. I’m capable of stepping back and looking at both sides and it makes it hard for me to paint either as a clear antagonist when I try to tell a story. I sympathize. I mean look at Reggie. I set him up to be a villainous character and then humanized him. He’s still the guy who called Carol fat and has an inflated opinion of himself, but he’s not a monster. He’s just trying to find his way in the world and doesn’t always do so elegantly. No character is perfect. They all do dumb things, get angry when the fault is theirs, and any number of other irrational things. Just like Jaques did when he tried to influence the voting on his social media platform. I’m sure he was genuinely angry and afraid. A lot of people were and still are, but I don’t think they should be judged harshly because they aren’t sure how to deal with the emotions they are feeling. Throwing Social Justice Warrior around as a pejorative is very fashionable now. It’s a label of otherness people use to dehumanize someone a lot of the time. I just don’t see what’s so bad about wanting to help, or make things more fair for everyone.
Anyway I don’t really have a point to go along with all of this other than to say it’s all very complex and humans are generally annoyed by complexity.
Idk but i see this going somewhere
For me personally the offer to take some time off is a rain check-if you need to take a week or so off (while guest strips would be cool it’s not necessary) just say so. You’ll get no guff from me.
If he does that, there will be a dropoff in ad revenue, as explained in his post. He literally needs people to come open the website at least 3 times a week with adblock off to make ends meet. Even that isn’t quite doing it, because he’s struggling with auto repair/maintenance costs.
It’s not a matter of if it will piss off loyal readers, it’s a matter of will it hurt his wallet. It will, so he can’t.
I’m sure he appreciates the sentiment though.
*snrrk* I really like Reggie’s expression, in the last panel.
It seems to say: ” OK, I wonder where she’s going to take this conversation.” Hmm.
I saw it more as a kindly smile. He liked her response and was a little amused.
I just want to know why one date leads to them thinking it will lead to another :p
A long time ago — in the mid-1980s, as if it made any difference — two folks I knew hooked up. She was an Armed Guard I worked with, he was an architectural engineer who specialized in maximizing parking lot efficiency. She was a ditzy blonde who spent a lot of Daddy’s insurance money getting her nose fixed and other minor plastic surgery; he sometimes needed to be reminded to bathe and dress in the morning.
There you have them, the airhead and the egghead.
I ran into them at an indoor Flea Market two Sundays ago. Thirty years on, although they never married, they still live together and the relationship still seems to work.
There’s hope for Maddie and her kind…
Damn Maddie you thirsty.
Wait, QC got _outrage_ for having a trans character? I haven’t been following the social media, but that seems… really sad.
I remember a few years ago, there was lots of Internet hatred toward furries. Did you get any outrage for your furry character? If not, then it seems like the haters don’t intrinsically hate a particular type of character / person, they just hate whatever’s in fashion to hate.
I wonder if QC would have gotten outrage for a trans character in the furry-hating era?
I tend to lurk of the QC message board, and there’s a rule in place over there banning any and all talk of exactly where Claire is in the transitioning process. While I haven’t seen any backlash over her status, there must have been something at some point. There was a bit of backlash when her relationship with Marten took over the strip for multiple months of real time, but that’s a whole other situation.
Personally, my feelings about the whole “situation” with Claire can be summed up rather neatly with one of the guest comics, as opposed to one of Jeph’s.
In an ideal world, it would be a non-issue. It doesn’t matter where she is in the transitioning process. Claire is a she, because she is a she, and that should be the end of it. What she keeps in her pants is her business. But we live in a world full of assholes and douchebags, who feel that they are entitled to information about other people’s genitals for some reason.
Honestly? Who gives a fuck?
Interestingly, that guest strip was the one that annoyed me a bit. The Ted strawman went way past the mild incredulity expressed in the (albeit anonymous) communication quoted at the top. This “How dare you try to understand?” bit is on a par with the attitude I’ve seen occasionally that socially clumsy men should pretty much just go off and die alone rather than risk inconveniencing a woman in any way.
Yeah, because it’s not like that strawman character was based on actual people who were clamoring over each other and yelling at Jeph demanding to know what Claire contained in her pants.
Yeah, she may not be real. However, here’s a shocker for you: there ARE trans people who ARE real. And if you honestly think that trans people in real life don’t get those same kind of questions with twice the frequency and vitriol, then I’m afraid I’m going to have to ask you to step outside sir.
The douchenozzles asking about her plumbing aren’t doing it because they’re legitimately curious about a fictional character in a story they like. They’re doing it to try and dehumanize and/or humiliate trans people as a whole, because these bigoted assholes will use any excuse to espouse their hateful, toxic view of the world.
“If it is different to me, then it is wrong. Time to put on my big-boy boots and STOMP AND STOMP AND STOMP!”
Used to be that emotional/mental issues (such as not feeling comfortable in your own body) were dealt with as such. People cared enough for the person to not confirm their emotional discomfort.
Just putting it out there.
I know it’s not PC, so flame away.
Ooh yeah… there was MASSIVE backlash for a couple of weeks after Claire announcing her trans status. Up to and including DoS attacks on his website. People spouting vitriol on his forums, and his Twitter feed…
A few forum goers, who were transgender, were actually helpful enough to fill in details of trans identity (ZoeB is more or less the authority on gender identity issues, but there are others). Unfortunately, though, there might be some good in the world, but there’s also a shit ton of bad…
I remember the attack because my servers were targeted at the same time as collateral damage. It was on and off for a few days.
It was in that time that he registered with Cloudflare for hosting…
Hey there, I used to support your Patreon and had to quit due to shitty life circumstances. I’m more flush now and would be happy to help you out with your truck. New set of tires, maybe, or funds towards it? No strings attached. Feel free to reach out if you like.
I never turn down support. You are welcome to help out in whatever way suits you best.
I find that whenever people use the term “social justice warrior”, I can’t help but roll my eyes. From what I understand, the term was created as an insult – clearly being used in a context contrary to what it suggests – but many people turned the label into a badge of honor – thereby making the phrase accurate. Much like people saying “literally” to mean the opposite of what it actually means and thereby taking away meaning from the word entirely, I find that “SJW” has almost no meaning at all, because there’s no consensus on it.
Language-related stuff out of the way, I do find that when people accuse comic creators of “being SJWs”, they believe that they’re “pandering”. And when someone accuses someone of “pandering”, it means one of two things:
1. The creator is handling a legitimate issue poorly, or (more likely)…
2. …the accuser is biased against the people being addressed.
I remember the Nostalgia Critic recently mentioning a diverse group that totally WAS pandering: The Burger King Kids Club. We remember KidVid was the cool kid with the cool tech gear and goggles, IQ was the smart kid with the glasses and dorky outfit, Snap was the young photographer who always had her camera, Wheels was… in a wheelchair… And that was it. He didn’t have any other defining characteristics, or at least none that could be gleaned from his appearance like the other characters. Same could be said for Jaws and Lingo, the black and hispanic kids, respectively.
THAT is pandering. When you want to look accepting and diverse, but treat a minority like their minority status IS their personality trait, or that it’s a substitute for a personality trait. When you are all for including minorities, and then don’t take it any further.
I do read QC, and I never found Claire to be pandering. She’s a well-written, fleshed-out character, and her trans status fits neatly into her personality and history. It’s touched upon, and she clearly has some baggage associated with it, but it’s not what DEFINES her.
If you have a better way of including a trans character in a story, I’d love to hear it. That’s not sarcasm; I actually want to hear it. In an era where we find that tv and movies only offer up the “same old, same old” and never offer anything new, I’d say it’s a darn good time to talk about people who have never been talked about before. And it’s important that we don’t shoehorn in these people like they’re the Burger King Kids Club, because it’s not fair to minorities and it’s boring for everyone in general.
But if you don’t want a trans character to be introduced at all… if you find a trans character to be “pandering” just for being trans, then you are confusing “pandering” for “appealing to a demographic that’s not you”.
On the definition of SJW, my own personal observation is that the term is an oxy-moron.
More times than not, those that label themselves SJW end up doing exactly what they accuse others of supposedly doing. That is being intolerant belligerent and forcing their world views onto others. Comply or be targeted. Doesn’t matter if there is truth to their accusations since being accused is more than enough evidence to enable them to attack and destroy their target of ire.
The whole safe space and being triggered thing actually belittles those who truly are in need of one and help with the other.
The latest bit of stupidity was the juror who claimed PTSD from just hearing about the horrible things that were revealed at the trial even though the nature of the trial was open and up front and jurors were allowed to bow out during the selection process.
The same person showed zero empathy for the paramedics, firefighters, police officers and other people on the scene who had to actually deal with the carnage first hand.
Your suggestion for #3 is what I meant by #1.
I do think it was a bit out of the blue… but isn’t that kind of how these things go? If someone revealed that they were trans to you, it probably would be sudden. While Jeph could have hinted that Claire has a secret of some sort, that would have made a bigger deal out of her being trans than he wanted to.
The fact is that being trans – while surprising – is not SUPPOSED to be a shocking moment. While being trans does come with personal issues (dealing with treatments, dealing with transphobic people, etc.), the fact that Jeph didn’t make it a big reveal indicates that he wants being trans to just seem… normal. Like someone revealing to you that they’re Jewish or vegetarian or a cat person.
Her sudden reveal was not meant to focus on her being trans: it was meant to illustrate a newfound level of trust for Marten and the fact that Claire was able to open up about herself. Claire had clearly been a private, all-business person for most of her time in the comic, and this was her finally loosening up and sharing something personal. And by learning at the same time as Marten, we’re able to appreciate this sudden level of emotional openness, as if she’s entrusting this information to us as well.
That is what Jeph was pretty much trying to do. No fanfare, no big thing, but it’s there. Even most of the trans folk on the forums thought it was approximately good. Marten and Claire built up a friendship, through work and then in their personal lives, the moment was peaceful, they were alone to discuss it, and he is a chill enough dude to not make a scene about it.
Many years ago, I dated a trans woman for several months. I remember much of our first meeting – we were attracted right away. I don’t remember when I realized or learned that she was trans.
She probably told me somewhere in that first meeting – she probably said “You know, I’m trans” and I probably said “oh, OK” and then we went back to getting to know each other. But that was apparently not very memorable to me.
I’m sorry, but the social justice bandwagon is just too big for my convictions. And they keep fighting for/against things that aren’t really there or they make a mountain out of a molehill.
Maybe it’s my bitterness.
I was a nerd before nerds were acceptable. I didn’t have any social justice warriors on my side, so I learned social justice comes at knucklepoint, and I literally fought my way out. Several fights, and mutual asswhoopings later, I earned respect from those who bullied me.
Jackie, I appreciate that none of your characters are or need SJWs. I think I’ve stuck with your comic and a couple others because of that. I’m of the opinion that if you need someone to fight for you, you are a weak willed human being and are more vulnerable than you make yourself out to be. Either that or your too stubborn to think you might be wrong, both of which are bad.
Jackie, you’re not alone in rejecting the SJW trends, and I think it’s because sanity does still prevail in our society. The other comic artists I read include LGBTQ characters, but at a level that’s acceptable and not preachy. You seamlessly integrated Jo’s tendencies into the plot without including a page long essay on how making fun of lesbians is bad. Sandra and woo did it too, and others.
I think being preached at because I’m NOT Lgbtq is what gets me.
Nicely stated, both of you, and I agree.
Personally, it doesn’t matter to me what your background is or what you choose to be, if that’s you then that’s fine. The only time I have a problem is when someone tries to force me to change to suit their preferences. I am a law-abiding citizen and I do my best to respect everyone as a fellow human being, but the truth is, like Jackie said, that most people don’t put much, if any, effort into returning the courtesy. Sadly, I don’t see much evidence of “common” courtesy becoming the norm again any time soon.
Depends how literally you mean “need someone to fight for you.”
A couple being gay-bashed or a person being lynched for their skin color could certainly, in that moment, benefit from someone fighting for them. Same as any person being mugged would be happy to see a police car arrive.
Unless you’ve bought into the extreme Heinlein utopia where everyone is armed and powerful and polite, there’s a time and place for fighting for each other.
I want to apologize for not thinking about how ad blockers would affect you and other web comic artists. I had gone to extreme ad blocking because I have been infected with advertising delivered malware way too many times. Now, I think I’ll be okay because I’m blocking flash-based advertising and autostart videos.
In addition to unblocking ads on your site, I’m also unblocking ads on other web comic sites.
Best of luck with straightening out the problems.
Yeah I think you should keep blocking flash and video. Every so often one slips past my ad people and causes trouble.
Hmm, I need to take a closer look at my ad blocker (I use the AdblockPlus extension for Firefox) and see if there’s some way to block flash and video ads but let others through. All I know how to do currently is either block or unblock all ads for any particular website, and I try to unblock for webcomics I read regularly, but I’ve had occasional problems with that. (I had to start blocking ads for one comic again after video ads there started causing my browser to freeze.)
Jackie? You’re comparing. Stop it.
The only time you want to look at a more successful comic is for ideas on how to improve your own. Study QC. What’s Jeph doing that you use to make your comic better? What’s he doing that works for him and won’t work for your comic? What’s Jeph doing with his Patreon that you can steal and do yourself? How do you market your comic better?
Jeph Jaques’ Patreon did not suddenly jump to $10,000 a month because he brought in a trans character. Nor is yours lower because you didn’t.
For all you know Jeph’s twitter feed has alienated more people than it has attracted and reduced his net income (I don’t follow him, I don’t know)
I can say that I support you on Patreon. While I read and enjoy QC, I just never decided to support Jeph and did decide to support you.
I like all three of those comics.
I really appreciate the presence of transfemme characters because representation has been so bad for so long. Part of why I read webcomics and other indie work is because it has better representation than mainstream media, which seems to stick to 10 or 20 of the most common archetypes, and that gets both boring and alienating. And, I’ve met quite a few women who were hurt by lack of representation growing up, and whose situations drastically improved once they saw any representation at all. Suddenly, being themselves was an option.
I … really wish transmasculine characters would start cropping up. Its … okay, I’m really annoyed that there was a wave of transfemme characters, because representation matters, but not of transmasculine characters, because I don’t know why. Maybe stories where men turn into women against their will are supposedly already filling that niche? ~.~ Or, maybe because transmasculine people continue to be invisible. I dunno.
At any rate. I also read your work because representation matters. Trans characters matter, and so do retail worker characters. You provide an important part of my information diet. :)
I really like your treatment of Reggie, and how that treatment differs from a lot of mainstream media. I like that the way he’s pushed people away has resulted in weaker emotional connections between him and the rest of the group (rather than everyone idolising him, which seems to be the media trope). I like that he’s not evil, but he’s also not a jerk with a heart of gold. I like that you’ve humanized him without taking away what made him bothersome to begin with.
I really like your treatment of Thomas and Carol. Also Jolene. I like how you’ve illustrated how their earlier lives have helped organically grow the people they are now. I like the evolution we’ve seen in-comic of them. You’ve hinted that Nina will get more of this at some point, and I really look forward to it, because its gonna be awesome. :)
And, well, … I think on some parts of representation, you’re doing a more solid job that Willis or Jacques. You’re showing Jolene trying to be closeted while still having a relationship, and the stresses that involves. IIRC, Willis’s first trans character just suddenly transitioned without comment. Don’t get me wrong, I love Carla. We just missed all her internal struggle. Years and years later, in the series reboot, we’ve still missed Carla’s internal struggle, but we’re getting bits and pieces of Jocelyne’s. I suspect its something you can do because you have a more streamlined cast, and that comes at a cost of showing fewer kinds of people.
I think there’s a prevailing idea that transwomen are easier to identify with, the same way the “ill girl” trope is more common than the “ill boy” trope. I couldn’t say whether that is true. And some research suggests ( as of ten or so years ago, I haven’t kept upon it) that females transitioning to males have a slightly easier time adjusting than going the other way. So they aren’t seen as “needing” that representation as much. I don’t believe that people are doing that consciously, but we have drag queens and 80s androgyny in our cultural headspace, while I can’t ever remember hearing about a famous drag king and can think of only a few female androgynous famous people. So..transmen are more invisible I’d say, in our society.
I’m sorry if that was gibberish- it’s past my bedtime and I have a cold.
I agree. Transmen are definitely more invisible. And, there does seem to be a “you don’t need representation like I do” story that I’ve heard but I’ve also seen the lack of representation really hurt transmasculine people in the same way as its hurt transfemmine people. At least from where I sit, I think we need representation just as badly, but get less of it.
Its not gibberish. Thank you for your reply. :) I hope your cold gets better.
I read Willis for a while too, but he’s too annoying and chaotic to follow for an extended period of time, so I dropped him some years ago. I’m surprised he’s as popular as that. But hey, whatever their faults, what those two have in common is a knack for capturing, enthusing and growing an audience.
You could try doing the same if you wanted. Up the tempo, up the drama some, write the comic so the reader has to come back, preferably next day (one strip per day), fire up readers with in-jokes and charmingly weird guest characters and long term mysteries. Test out various topics that might hook readers and see. Also, you can’t be wishy-washy. Look at Willis and Jaques, they aren’t wishy-washy. (I tend to prefer the both sides approach myself, but it seldom enthuses readers.)
OK, that description makes it all seem kind of cold and mechanical but a couple of my favorites with this sort of story telling are Skin Horse and Menage a 3. Not sure how they’re doing donation-wise, but they seem reasonably successful.
If you don’t want to pollute the main line of the story, you could do it as spin-offs, like one based on Mike playing D&D while getting more and more oppressive messages from his boss about store profitability (not sure where that one goes, seems a bit angsty), or Evelina finding the DS that Reggie left behind when he visited the furries and she starts playing a very mysterious game of Animal Crossing, or something … much … better.
PS. I don’t mind at all if you keep going the way you do, since I love the comic the way it is, but I got inspired by the topic of growing the audience.
AND it should be in color, AND the daily strip should turn up in all readers facebook feed, via the fb fan page you will set up.
After being a reader from way back on his “Roomies!” days, I was basically chased out of Willis’ comment sections on his current Dumbing of Age comic because I didn’t toe the party line. You have to be full SJW or you’re out (or restrict your posts to stupid Reddit-like puns). I left when I noticed some of my comments weren’t being approved, even the neutral ones. I wrote a final post on the night of Trump’s election (where readers were expressing concern over being put into trans concentration camps or going under forced conversion therapy -_- ), but that one didn’t make it either. Maybe it’s for the best.
Amusingly, it’s turning against him – he had to repeatedly reassure the character Joe (college dudebro who gets laid often, actually a decent person) is “big on consent”, and many are still not convinced and keep insinuating he’s a rapist after he made some comments about drunk girls and parties. I hope he enjoys his new and improved fanbase. :)
I think I read “Roomies!”, then it had a long hiatus and I never learned how it ended, then there was something else in its place about dolls(?), then maybe “Dumbing of Age” … All very confusing. Maybe you had to be on a forum or something to make sense of how things were supposed to fit together.
All of his series kind of follow into each other, including the one about the toy store (Shortpacked). Dumbing of Age is an What If alternate universe where everyone is in college and have normal lives. This also saves him some time on character design, hehe. Well, if Evangelion can do that with the Girlfriend of Steel series, I guess Willis can too.
As usual for Willis’ stuff, it’s an enjoyable read even if it gets a little preachy at times. Just avoid the comments section because it’s like peeking into the darkest depths of Tumblr.
I read both those webcomics, as well as many, many others. I have found that what makes me like a comic is interesting, well thought out, realistic characters, and an interesting story line that results when these characters start interacting with each other and the world they are in. I strongly feel that your comic is as good as, if not better, than both of those comics. Good artwork also helps, but I can overlook that if the story is compelling. You are world class in that category as well, so no issues there. I must admit I am baffled by the discrepancy in the support levels between Willis, Jacques and you. I can only hope that this will improve and your readership grows as word spreads about your comic. I will also do my part by promoting your webcomic more, hopefully that will gain you a few more readers.
I also actively dislike when I feel I am being preached at or the author is pandering to get viewers. That is something I have never felt from either Willis or Jacques (or you, of course), although I will admit that Jacques does have strong opinions on various issues, and is not afraid to express them, however from what I have seen, he keeps them out of his comic (that seems to be reserved for his Twitter feed), so that SJW accusation did confuse me.
I support the comics I like by buying their books and other merchandise, supporting their kickstarters, not using ad blockers when visiting their sites, and telling others about webcomics I think they might like. However, I am coming to the realization that direct support is becoming the dominant economic model, and so I am going to start doing that, once I figure out what my budget is. I can just hope (and strongly encourage) that others who can afford it will also follow suit.
As a regular reader of all three comics, I don’t understand either why those two comics seem more popular than this one, but I think update schedule may have something to do with it. Both DoA and QC update five days a week, whereas Between Failures only goes three times a week. That seems to make a difference to a lot of folks, though I’m not sure why.
For what it’s worth, BF is the only one of the three whose Patreon I contribute to.
yea, I thought of that, but the MWF update schedule is by far the most common update pattern, I don’t know if the daily update was that significant a factor affecting popularity, but you may be right. I have found that the downside of daily updates is compromises in the art quality to meet the schedule, something I don’t think Crave would be willing to consider.
Willis at least gets around that by virtue of having MONTHS of already-drawn comics. Having a buffer is not unusual for webcomics but he takes it to the next level.
I also didn’t feel like either of those two comics were pandering. I … get confused that if people from my communities are represented, then comics get accused of pandering, but if people from other communities are represented, then there aren’t accusations. Its just market segmentation? I’ve been segmented out of mainstream media for a long time, because having any characters like me risked driving off too much of the main audience, and as a result I’m hungry for content, and I will gobble up anything directed at people remotely like me. But, I’m here for the same reason that I’m there – good characters and character interactions.
Which I guess is to say, when a TV show or movie has a bland white male central protagonist, and then they don’t develop him at all or give him any backstory, and he’s just kinda a jerk and everyone falls over to please him, and then they heavily develop every other character … it feels like pandering to me. Why do they even have that protagonist? Please, develop him or cut him. I’m really happy that treatment isn’t given to Thomas or Reggie or Wes and… well, none of the main male cast.
+1 on “daily updates make a huge difference in readership”. I remember my sister saying “oh, I liked wapsi square, but its not daily anymore, so I’m dropping it. Its too hard to keep up on it if its not part of my daily routine”.
It also seems to help to not need to remember the whole story. Between Failures is a tight nit long arc. Questionable Content and Dumbing of Age rarely make back references that go back as far… they feel more episodic? Like newspaper comics of old. Between Failures feels more similar to me to “Bittersweet Candy Bowl” or “Leylines”. Three updates a week, large pages, plot driven in short arcs that depend on previous arcs in longstanding ways, narrower cast with deeper delving into individuals.
… huh. I guess that doesn’t say good things about the human attention span. I think both of those comics also struggle for funding.
By the way, here is the firestarter SJW comment in case you’re curious: /comics1/1626-lifetimes/comment-page-1#comment-1804184
Lawl, when you put it all on a list it does sound kind of terrible, but QC never “felt” very SJW to me. Marten himself notes that he has the weirdest parents in the city. I dunno, I think it lacks that “YEAH WHAT ABOUT IT SHITLORD?” humourless attitude that infects the SJW crowd. I think Jeff is just getting more interested in that stuff so it shows up on his writing, like what happened with El Goonish Shive’s author Dan.
Dan semi-recently started using a female author avatar on the fanmail strips, stating that his gender identity is “not interested in discussing it” when asked about it, but that subject is getting increased importance in the comic. The character Tedd (perverted teenage boy scientist who created the sex-changing gun that kickstarted the story) considers himself genderfluid now. Normally I’d raise an eyebrow but it felt like a natural evolution of the character. He already displayed this behavior on early strips from 10+ years ago, when the concept didn’t even exist (or at least wasn’t a popular fad on the internet).
The comic Menage a 3 also recently introduced a genderfluid girl and a girl with Klinefelter syndrome (probably spelled wrong, female exterior with inner male genitals), but they’re likable and kinda well written so I also them under “look at this cool new concept the author learned about and really wants to use in the story” instead of SJW bait.
Btw, Faye’s criminal underworld storyline might be the best thing that happened to QC in recent times. The robot stuff is way more interesting than having her herpaderping at Dora’s cafe, enough that I can ignore her new “sexy super butch looks” (Dora’s words) that are disturbingly similar to that “so you want to draw a queer character?” meme.
I give Menage a 3 a pass / cuz it’s a bedroom farce.
Also, I would add that QC gives a very, very idealized presentation of all these characters, at least compared to our contemporary life. That’s SJW as I see it. Soft SJW, lol? Even Menage a 3 and satellites has more realistic gay dudes.
It’s idealized, but Jeph lived in a fairly liberal area of the States, and now he’s moved to a possibly more liberal area of Canada. For an American, at least.Homosexuality and whatnot aren’t as big of a deal. And he probably figured that there’s enough “realism” for those populations every day, so a bit of fantasy is a nice break. He does a good exploration of bias and racism with regards to AI, at the least.
Halifax? More liberal, hmm, I have my doubts about that.
Relationships never last on vapid, shallow reasonings like “I think yer cute.”
Well, it’s just a starting point. They’re going out to see if there’s compatibility beyond that, you never know.
Re: your Twitter (because I don’t have or want one, and while I read DoA and QC, I don’t have a dog in the SJW fight):
I too received my Shantae 1/2 Genie Hero code from Kickstarter this week, and am thoroughly enjoying it.
Also, I’m glad for Patreon, because while I can’t buy you a new set of tires (would if I could), It allows me to be able to help in the small way that I can.
I like the new phrase a long mosey, I’m going to use that sometime :-)
Introducing a lesbian/gay/bisexual/transgender character isn’t pandering, or going all SJW, unless you are parading that around like a trophy. Which, if you think about it, is more likely doing harm to the LGBT community than whatever “good” you might think you are doing.
Introduce characters who happen to be LGBT? Yeah, sure, if you like. But don’t make that their defining thing. All people have hopes and dreams, no matter their differences. You are doing well with Jess and Jolene thus far… :)
“It’s all very complex and humans are generally annoyed by complexity.”
Great truth. I always find it hilarious when people talk about how “it was a simpler time” when they were kids. No it flipping was not. You were just to young to know how screwed up the world around you was. There has never been a simple time. The world has never made sense. Let’s just all relax and make the best of life that we can. :)
Thanks for the sideways recommendation. I’m now reading QC.
Y’know what’s adorable?
For all the supposed diversity in the Jacques & Willis universes, they are universally THIN. Without exception. Even Marigold, the designated “ugly chick”, is thin.
I guess that either 1) fat people don’t exist in those worlds, 2) fat people are undeserving of love, friendship or attention in those worlds, or 3) neither of those guys are capable of drawing a realistic range of people.
But, y’know. Yay “diversity”. Except when it actually isn’t…
Billie in DoA is supposedly “chubby.” She believes it and at least one other character has said it. Maybe by cheerleader standards? But honestly I can’t see any difference between her body type and anyone else’s there.
Billie is considered chubby only because everyone else around her is either rail thin or Fabio-muscular. She looks like an average girl.
I’d say #3, at least in QC. If you look back at the early comics, they were making jokes contrasting Faye’s and Dora’s body types when they were both essentially stick figures. Jeff’s art has gotten better over the years, but he still uses a limited range of bodies, with less variation in males than in females, from what I’ve noticed.
As an additional point of interest: one of my fashion illustration professors noted that, when drawing human figures, people tend to keep returning to variations on either their self-image or their ideal self (or the equivalent value of the opposite sex). You have to actively seek out other body types and keep practicing them to get comfortable drawing them, especially when (as on the internet) you’ll take criticism for not portraying them realistically.
Also–It’s hard to find good models for body types outside of the “popular/ideal” range, especially performing everyday (i.e., non-sexualized) activities (OK, less hard today, than just a few years ago, but still…), and candid pictures of clothed people don’t cut it, when you are trying to get the body structure correct. Today, I copied a 10 second clip of two nude women doing pre-swim calisthenics from a Danish TV show, because I had never seen one of the bodies’ type nude (and in motion) before, despite it being a relatively common shape, and one that I see every day. I will have to cut the corpse out of the clip, which will reduce it to less than 4 seconds. :(
I just need to find the equivalent male. Good male models outside of the “popular/ideal” range are even harder to find than female.
Sorry–Jeph, not Jeff.
I like the way she thinks.
I read you comic (and have for many years now) because the characters speak to me, and you stick with the story and the characters without overhauling them completely.
I loved questionable content. The thing that made me stop reading about oh… two years ago? was simply that Martin stopped being Martin. He grew out of being the depressed, angsty guy into a content, uninteresting guy. He also stopped being the main character, as did the other main character (whose name I’m too lazy to look up and can’t remember right now) that at the beginning Martin sort of fell for but didn’t ever really get anywhere with.
The humor is good. The work is top-notch. I simply stopped caring about the story and characters, however, enough to keep reading. Certainly not enough to pop in more than twice a year now :(
So, I hope that means something at least. I check your site every day, regardless of whether you update every day, because I like the story and the characters and you have done both justice.
I think Maddison would get Reggie some lease in certain perspectives on life… And that´s good. He will learn that there´s to it more than intelligence in some areas of life. Go enjoy the life, son.
This doesn´t mean that I don´t think that Alex isn´t suitable. She´s smart, and she hooked him good. But Reggie needs this, somehow. And Maddison gets an A for effort , ha! xD
P.D. I don´t concern myself much with, *ahem*, those social tendencies. Those change waaay too fast to be taken seriously, and like someone has already said, one gets the sensation that most of these are merely a distracting outcry. Too much noise, obfuscating (see that word?) maybe more important, truly basic (universal), things that are really needed.
P.D. II: Don´t get too fused comparing yourself to others, at least regarding webcomics. Simply, work on your comic as you always do. I like your story, I like Thomas, I like Jolene, I like´em, all of them, enough to enter in their lives, understand their woes, and well, damn! I wanna give them fresh beer on my backyard, while the smell of the barbecue fills the air in a sunny weekend day…
Please take beer to your barbecues, or whatever else you like to drink. :D
Ya I know I am little late on this nor posted ages…Reason why people hate Sjws is that fact get these little spoiled wankers who have rainbow hair running around calling themselves a trans and insist on calling four fucking billion different pronouns or your accused being a bigot and misgendering one there millions of stupid made up genders… They insist on the fucking Pc language so far cant say single god damn thing…cant tell a crude joke in private or make fun of gay friend being flammer or him making fun straight friend for being straight…they but in on two friends good ribbing and proceed call ya homophobic or check your white privilage.. yes I have had this happen me as far sjws they are a trend a fad this generation badly aping the hippy movment of the 60s so while your numbers tend now they wont hold..so as far sjws they take their hypocritical asses go fuck themselves.
She’s not joking.
I thought it was weird when everyone said she wasn’t smart.
I thought she was just being literal for kicks.