1981 Marsh Wraith.

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13th birthday

I have a tendency to get these wild ideas in my head that I’m going to do a huge project in moments of extreme positivity. It’s a common trait in people who are bipolar, which I am, although not nearly to the degree I was when I was younger. Usually reality sets in at some point, or the needle swings the other way, & I give up. Between Failures is a rare instance of me not giving up. I don’t know why I was able to stick to this when I could never stick to anything else. Things just aligned in such a way that I was able to slog through the hard times. This will very likely be my most significant contribution to the world, for whatever that’s worth. I know it’s helped some people, & I know some people hate it, & myself, passionately. The ones who have enjoyed it have outnumbered the ones who haven’t so far. There’s a lot of undecideds, so maybe the scales will tip someday.

I was going to try streaming gameplay at one point, but I don’t like the kinds of games that people want to watch being streamed generally. I kind of just want to do my own thing. I’m also not super funny or interesting without someone else to talk to. Or at least I don’t think so. I tend to repeat myself a lot. I also keep weird hours so having a partner would be very hard to make work. At the time I started Nintendo was very anti streaming as well, and I mostly like Nintendo games. I’m not very hardcore. I bought a few things so I could set up video and whatnot, but nothing ever came of it. My hardware is always a little out of date & I’m not very savvy when it comes to that sort of thing anymore.

Since I build with Lego quite a lot I thought maybe I could take video of me doing that, but I’ve never actually taken any video of it. I get very self conscious when I speak out loud to no one. I’m sure everyone must go through that, unless they’re very unaware of themselves. A lot of popular people seem to be like that. The way I talk in the blog may make me seem confident, but I’m actually very shy when I’m uncomfortable and performative actions make me uncomfortable. In text I have time to really choose the exact words I want so I can convey my meaning exactly. Anyway, I’ve seen enough youtube to know that you can do basically anything and someone will watch if you’re even a bit in teresting. I watch a guy just eat expired MREs for hours at a time. It’s just interesting to learn about the history of military rations and to see how long they last. Maybe I could do something chill like that too? I dunno. I never get around to pulling the trigger.

In the end I always prioritize Between Failures because I know it works. Maybe not super well, but well enough, & I’m still in love with my little world. Even though almost nothing happens I’m enthralled by telling these very small stories. I hope I can keep doing it for a very long time to come. The future is always uncertain, but I will allow myself a little bit of hope.

Happy 13th birthday Between Failures.


I have been in Ed’s shoes more than once. I have a buddy that is notorious for party wiping early on in adventures, what worse is he really doesn’t realize he’s doing it. He just gets a little gung-ho and ends up creating encounters that are way over our pay grade.
“Oh, level three is the perfect level for a group of 4 to fight 30+ orks, all with a big hit and dmg buff from the big bad villain”
If he’s reading this I want him to know he’s a bad man.

Jackie, I have followed you on your comic from almost day one. You do this comic exceptionally well. Never undercut your talent in writing and your artistic bent. You have a unique style to both and it is very enjoyable to watch your story unfold. Keep up the good work.

Can’t say I’ve been here since day one, but I can say this is by far one of my favorite webcomics of all time.

Also, I can’t wait to see what kind of epic speechifying Jo comes up with.

Happy birthday! This continues to be one of my favorite comics!

And I really like today’s comic. It’s not funny, but they don’t all have to be funny. Go Brooksie!

Just wanted to add my two-pennyworth to say that Between Failures is fun, inciteful, intriguing and uplifting and it’s one of the things that keeps me going. That is down to you. Maybe this will be your legacy; but maybe there are even better things further down the road. I think there will be. As legacies go, though, it’s pretty darn good.

I stream the games I want to play, whether anyone else wants to watch or not. Sometimes I have a dozen people watching; sometimes, no one at all. I started streaming to force myself to get more comfortable in my own skin… and it’s working, so that’s good enough for me.

I make music. I don’t make the best music; I don’t play an instrument, my voice is terrible and my lungs are shot, but I like the music I make. I spent $35 on distribution so I could get my music on iTunes and Amazon and Spotify. To date, I have earned exactly fourteen dollars and seventeen cents – not even recouping the distro fee – but it is the best $14.17 I have ever earned in my life.

I’m pretty sure I’ll never be a big-time streamer, or a rock star, but that’s not the point. I’m doing the things I want to do, and I’m making progress. I have actual subscribers on Twitch, and two actual albums that have earned actual money, which is more than I would have if I hadn’t forced myself to step outside my comfort zone to do these things. I may not be noticeably wealthier for having done them… but I am stronger for it.

But even more simply than that: I do these things because I want to do them, and is there really any better reason than that for anything?

Happy 13th birthday to Between Failures, and here’s to many more. Now go do something else you want to do… for as long or as little time as you want to do it, for any reason or for no reason at all. <3

What kind of music? If it’s EDM of whatever sort, link plz. Always looking for new tunes. <3

And of course, happy birthday to BF. <3 <3 <3

Is it terrible that I want Brooksie to channel Sir Orrin Neville-Smythe? I will be the first to admit that Flight of Dragons is full on campy 80’s animation with the odd plot pacing issue but it’s FUN campy 80’s and I think that it’d be a fun way of using the roleplay experience to really draw her out of her shell more.

That said I’ve been regularly impressed with the story and character writing throughout the comic’s run and Ed/Nina is something I REALLY want to have work out in the end. Keep up the amazing work and I’m looking forward to what bit of craziness comes at our little work family next.

Blade with whom I have lived, blade with whom I now die, serve right and justice one last time, seek one last heart of evil, still one last life of pain. Cut well, old friend, and then farewell.

I’ve been trying to find Flight of Dragons to play for my son, who is my biggest PC in my D&D game right now. He’s like, “How do dragons fly?” and I so want to go all Peter Dickinson and explain the whole “gas lifts” type of thing to him (but he wouldn’t get the joke because I can’t find a real affordable true DVD of the movie anywhere and I’m not paying iTunes to own a digital download of it).

You both are my heroes for mentioning/quoting the movie.

Happy Birthday to the comic! I guess I’ve been reading for about 10 of those years, at least. I’m older than Jackie but the comic really resonates with my experiences of going to college and working in a small theater chain in the 1980’s.

Go Brooksie!

I know this is only tangentially related, but standard gnomes (forest and rock) are typically 40 to 45lbs and 3 to 4ft tall. Sverfneblin (deep gnomes) are somehow typically 80 to 120lbs and 3 to 3½ ft tall. HOW???
I’m 5’5″ and 221lbs, but even that level of stockiness doesn’t account for deep gnomes being twice to three times heavier than other gnomes. Do they have osteoderms and bones made of something other than calcium hydroxylapatite?

This is one of the many webcomics I read, but it is consistently one of the first I check on my list. If I don’t have much time, I can’t check all my list. I always check BF, cause it’s excellent.

I know i am one of very few voices on the internet telling you how awesome you are, and i am sure there are voices IRL who tell you how terrible you are (we all have those), but please believe that I am sincere when I tell you: I know nothing about you personally, we have never met, but you make ONE AWESOME EXCELLENT INTRIGUING INCITEFUL COMIC.

Keep going. BF is truly wonderful. Good job And well done.

I’ve been reading Between Failures for years now, I honestly don’t remember how I found it. (You were probably rec’d on another webcomic artist’s page or something, that’s what usually happens) And I can honestly say that, while I’ve abandoned other comics that have bored me, and slice of life sort of stuff is not usually my thing, I love this comic a whole hell of a lot. The characters are so engaging, we all have our favourites. But even when you are focusing on characters I’m not as fond of, usually the interactions they are having are intriguing enough to not put me off.

And you, personally, have also had an influence on me! I wanted to make a webcomic for years, but I never settled on an idea and even when I had one I liked I told myself I wasn’t a good enough artist to make the sort of comic I wanted to make and I would wait until some nebulous future-time when I actually felt satisfied with my level of skill (pro-tip: that never happens). So when I saw your posts about how you weren’t satisfied with your skill either, but you persevered anyway, it really inspired me to get a start. I haven’t posted anything yet, but there are actual complete pages, storyboards, and a pretty cool concept (if I do say so myself) all prepped so I can continue. I can’t guarantee I won’t give up again, but I have made it a lot farther than I ever did before. So thank you :)

Happy Birthday, BF! For whatever it’s worth, Jackie, I really appreciate you keeping up the struggle to tell this story, because I enjoy every page, even when it seems like nothing major is happening. Slice of life comics that are worth reading are few and far between in my (probably limited) experience, but this one hits all the right spots. Maybe you’ll never be famous for it, but who wants to be a celebrity? They’re mostly conceited jerks anyway. ;)

Keep on truckin’, Jackie, you’re doing great!

Yours is my favorite webcomic, if it means anything to you. I also find it quite the achievement that you manage to keep it interesting without constantly introducing new characters. Questionable Content does that which is why I think Between Failures has now surpassed it.

That’s very kind of you to say. I try to only add characters when they need to be introduced into the larger narrative, but I can understand why he does that since some of the early characters have no interesting traits to use to tell stories.

I never noticed that till you pointed it out, but hey, that’s right! Which lead me to the idea, that the characters which are most hampered by their characteristics are the ones that offer the most storyline. Hanners and Bubbles have added a lot of input. And the cowboy romance writer? I don’t remember his name.
It’s too early in the morning for this kind of analysis.

13 years already, wow. I think I started in like 09 or 10. I remember late nights in the archives. I was in a very dark place back then and catching the new comic was one of very few things I looked forward to. It’s been a fixture for me ever since:-) Thanks for sticking with it!

I have totally binged the same guy MRE review guy (assuming it’s the same guy)! I love how he calls everything “wholesome”! The fact that someone like that exists out there in the world makes me feel good. What a way to live.

Also happy Bday to Between Failures! I’m somewhat of a web comic junkie and BF isn’t just a great relatable slice of life story, but it has generated some of the most dynamic characters I’ve ever read. And you are hands down the most consistent creator. Thank you for all your hard work! It is something to be very proud of!

Do you have a long-term plan for the plot? Is it written down, even in illegible handwriting and you’ve already deviated from it?

If so, you might leave instructions for someone to release it in case of your untimely death.

(Pretty well all deaths are untimely)

I love your comic. It’s the first one in my bookmarks, and not because of alphabetizing. When I started reading (you had three pages out), I thought, “Hey, I like this premise, let’s see where it goes.”

Still here. Still reading. Keep up the great work.

Belated Happy 13th =P

As for the streaming + LEGO you could do what some builders I follow do
– time lapse the assembly
– dynamic shots for final assembly and field action if necessary
There are so many approaches to this style that you can do what you are comfortable with and still have something engaging while having fun.
– use text to speech. Yeah it’s not the best but a number of non-native speakers and those with speech issues do use it to effect when making videos.
The apps are getting better every day and some are freeware.

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