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I’ve been sitting here for a while trying to make decisions and write a post at the same time.  Multitasking is not a strong suit for me.  I’d be done already if I’d just make a choice and focus.  I’ll just combine the two by writing about what I’m doing, which is looking over places to spend a little advertising money.

Between Failures is extremely hard to sell in a little square.  Even if you manage to get someone here they have to be the type of person who can maintain focus long enough to make it through the archives.  You have to kind of sell things on pretty, and pretty is not the best part of the comic.  Especially early on.  I have never come up with a satisfactorily concise enough way to explain Between Failures anywhere.

I know people well enough to understand that if I try to sell it on the merits of the story I’ll basically be pissing away money.  People will not click on an image of Thomas being angsty about retail.  Well, not in numbers sufficient to make it cost effective.

Right now I’m playing around with targeted advertising.  Sort of.  Like the ad I made specially for Shortpacked that mentions Transformers.  The one running on Wapsi Square right now (at least in the places I’m winning the bid.) features tits.  Carol’s of course, because tits are a major part of that comic’s draw.  There may well be a deep storyline concerning the exploits of people touched by the supernatural, but tits is what got the audience there.  Which is fine.  Just because you’re human, and therefore drawn to sexy things, doesn’t mean you aren’t a multifaceted being with an array of likes and dislikes.  Deep down everyone is perverse.  I learned that working retail too.

Getting people here is one thing, getting them to stay is another.  Mostly I just hope for the best.  Hope that once people get there they won’t feel too betrayed that not every page is a temple of sexy.  Hope that the multifaceted human will win out over the pervert that got them here.

Guess we’ll see…

63 Comments

I get people hooked to your comic with your humor. I’ve mentioned your jokes about pokemon (between Thomas and John early on), Jolene’s Shakespeare reference “Full of sound and fury, signifying nothing,” and the Harry Potter stuff between Ed and Nine. Once I get them to read a few panels they see the little stuff that hilarious. Then they get to the meat of the story and are hooked. I’ve gotten four or five people transformed into regulars.

same with me actually, a friend referred a friend, which reffered a family member, which reffered another friend of a friend, and that friend happened to be my friend who upon which referred this comic to me. I’ve passed it to like 4 or 5 other people too that I know. 2 of which I had to mention tits, and another 2 of which I had to explain retail a bit to them, especially game and video retail.

Well, I did find this site through the Wapsi Square ad, but I’ve been converted to a long time fan anways. One thing that keeps me coming back is the wit that you put into each character without making them all sound the same. Also, the heavier parts of the story were definitely not something that I’d turn away from, so just take some more pride in your work : ).

Part of the problem, I think, is that we humans want to box things up in a nice, easy to label package. Between Failures isn’t that. It isn’t just a workplace comedy. It isn’t just a twenty-somethings drama. It is both those things, but it is more. Hell, even identifying the main character can be frustrating. But I think this is a good thing. We need more hard to define stories out there that have the character, heart, soul, and pacing you have shown.

Hell, I keep identifying myself in each and every character in the comic one way or another, and that in itself is a plus (in my hench-book, at least).

So what is Between Failures? Its life as we know it, and as we don’t.

What are you talking about the main character is Ed, Thomas, Carol, Brooksie, Nina, John, Reggie, and Jessica

I suppose if one were to look at it in light of an ensemble show (re: Soap Operas, Sit-coms, etc…), then you are correct. Hmm, I may later have to chide myself for not thinking of things in this manner, in fact. I suppose my flaw here is that I tend to think in terms of comics, rather than television (movies rather than series, etc…), both of which primarily concern one main character with several supporting characters (or perhaps a second main character more along the lines of the Doctor;s girl of the season). Even so there are exceptions (JLA, Avengers, The Seven Samurai, and crossing into multiple genres the Losers) that really shouldn’t have escaped my attention so easily.

Summation: Thanks. I feel like an idiot now, but thanks for pointing out what should have been much more obvious just the same.

I found both this comic and Nick’s (Treading Ground) on the same day, and not really all that long ago – a month, maybe less? I don’t remember which one led me to which, or how got to them in the first place. Possibly from LICD, possibly from Flaky Pastry. Probably the latter, since that ones linking project wonderful stuff, and LICD doesn’t appear to. Or maybe from somewhere else entirely, who the hell knows? :)

I was hooked on both of them immediately. The artwork on both is intriguing, and the stories on both are interesting and fun too. I probably shouldn’t lump them together, but I do – I often confuse them in my own head, because of the same day discovery thing, and reading the entire archives of both at the same time.

Thinking now about what sort of advert would have drawn _me_ in to this comic (besides boobs. boobs are always great) I can’t help but think of the one panel that astounded, impressed, and simply blew me away from the moment I first read it. Painting the Cobain rainbow. /2008/01/09/203-better-off-dead/

It’s the extremely smart and creative writing that keeps me here, and it’s the panel mentioned above that I show people when trying to get them to read this comic. Take the third panel from that strip, keep only the right hand side speech bubbles, and for me you’ve got yourself the perfect advertisement. Well, perfect, if you want people like me hanging around anyway (please don’t answer that :) All I know is that once in a while you whip out some sort of amazing peice of text, and it’s that that does it for me everytime.

That link on your Facebook has generated as much traffic as most ads. XD I appreciate it.

Bahah! You’re more than welcome :) Facebook is one of those odd things where you think it doesn’t mean a damn thing most of the time, but once in a while it surprises you.

Actually, I’ll rephrase. It doesn’t mean a damn thing ANY of the time, but its still useful. As a traffic source though, I think i’m beginning to see the value…I experimented with linking FB into my blog, and it sorta worked ok, but my blog isn’t exactly something that needs ‘advertising’.

I’ve never had good results with Facebook, but it’s not the kind of social networking site that I really get. Plus my friends aren’t super in to most of the stuff I like anyway.

While fan service is a part of the comic I see it as more of a added bonus to the great story and wonderful characters. It’s sort of like mustard on a hot dog, you can actually have the comic without it but it adds a little spice/flavor. The characters are like the hot dog itself since they’re the “meat” of the comic and the story would be the bun since that’ what the foundation is and what everything else rests on. The comics I have a problem with are the ones that just give me all mustard and no buns or wieners. And yes I meant for that to sound as dirty as it did.

I admit that the sexy drew me to the comic, it’s the story that kept me here. Yes, I am a big fan, no pun intended, of larger ladies and am a fan of Drake Fenwick and Dutch, so you were right down my alley, but the slightly nerdy, realistic slice-of-life comic really sang. I like the characters, even the jerks. Thanks for making it!

I can’t even remember what brought me here in the first place — I think it was the name, perhaps? But the early humor of Thomas showing Ed the lazy, apathetic ropes of working in retail hooked me, down to the ideal form of video game. “Yes,” I decided, “the creator Understands.”

Word of Mouth got me here. I didn’t see an ad for it, but Nick of TreadingGround talked about the fan art of Carol someone did and that drew me here.

Also, if you go for sexy, I think it’d work. Plus, with an image of Jess on the internet, you can make and ad of her now.

How about that image of Jo when she jumped and screamed “Cancer break!” only without the words? That’d get a click from me.

And for the record, despite being a heterosexual male, breasts hold no sway over me. In fact, breasts as large as Carol’s freak me out.

Try using just the panel where Jess is saying “Physics and Biology are being mean to me”. It’s funny – it leaves the reader wondering what she is talking about – it’s slightly nerdy (which attracts a lot of web comic readers) – Jess is cute (another plus) – and if the reader goes to the comic the panel comes from, they get fanservice, conflict, action, and humor. If comic 660 had been my first exposure to BF it would have been enough to hook me. Since I have been following it for several months, it was hilarious icing on a yummy pastry.

I consider this comic “The Redemption of a Retail Van Wilder”.

Or maybe “Office Space” in a box store.

Or a modern take on “Reality Bites”, which should have been much better than it was as a movie.

Regardless, the evolution of Thomas into a person again after his devastating breakup, the evolution of Carol into someone with a personal life, the evolution of Ed into something more than the sum of his (short) parts, it’s all about these incomplete, sometimes broken, people finding each other and finding a way to become whole while navigating in the retail world.

It’s really a universal story, and I think you are doing a wonderful job with it. For instance, I wonder if this is actually the first time Ed has pushed Jessica for something she wanted that he had, simply because THIS particular object was given to him by Thomas. Is Ed seeing his things, and by extension himself, as worthy of protection? Will Thomas and Carol together be able to drag Mike thru to the other side of management respectability? Will Brooksie be recognized for the amazing individual that she is, now that she is slowly coming into her self and starting to use the side effects of her shyness as an asset?

I know I will be here to find out

i found BF on an ad from el goonish shive, which i found from an ad on the wotch, which i found through a link from misfile, which i found from an ad on questionable cont, which i found from megatokyo. that is my story. and i’m stickin to it. but seriously, i have refered a few readers who went through the archives, some liked it some didn’t, but all of them wanted to see carol naked. so let’s get some naked carol up in here!

-shifty eyes-

i’m gonna shut up before i get myself banned.

I really love this comic, I’d put it right up there with Questionable Content. A friend of mine actually posted a link to Jessica’s retreat on facebook. But I bet if you can find other web comic artists with similar type comics, they’d be happy to exchange advertising with you. That seems to be how it goes anyway…

I think you’re right. Links from similar content do work much better. I’m just not a very social butterfly. A few people that have similar works link to me now, and I link back, so there’s a little network forming there.

Fugas’ right, the panel where Jess is saying “Physics and Biology are being mean to me” was the first immage I saw of this comic after I clicked on the ad at Treading ground. And the second I saw it, Imediately went to the start of the comic & didn’t stop reading untill I was all caught up.

On a completely unrelated note. This comic seems to display the kind of glorious randomness that people ususally would only be able to stumble across if they misspelled something on google search. That’s a complement by the way.

I was interested when I read “it’s like the civil war, in my pants” which was sent to me by a girl I had just met and expounding upon my love of webcomics. She showed me that bit of hilarity and I do as I normally do and save it then read it slowly over the course of a couple of days. (the only one I haven’t done that with is LeastICouldDo.com as that one is.. well lots)

It is like I do with most things I like, I force it on people. Sit them down in a chair, strap arms and legs down, tape the eyelids back and make ’em watch someone similar to Clockwork Orange but with minus the rape.

My fiance showed it to me because we both worked in retail and we could relate so very well with the characters. What caught me at first was Thomas explaining which DS games were good for working retail… because I played my DS at work constantly. If I didn’t then I would have killed someone. I loved your artwork in the beginning and still do now that it’s evolved. You have an amazing ability to get expressions just right and all the little details you think of like Jess’s hair tucked into her shirt when she pulls it on really make this interesting to look at as well as interesting to read.

That’s very kind of you to say. Thank you. I think that people stuck in retail are generally happier if they have the option for quality goofing off during dead times. Ideally the customers should be playing the games too so we can get some epic Mario Kart action going. Or maybe I could find another human being that plays Dragon Quest 9. T^T

I don’t even remember what my first exposure to this comic was though i think it might have been when i was randomly looking at the titles of thousands of comics on thewebcomiclist and this title just popped out at me.

I found this Comic way back when you were on Drunk Duck. It was my first time visiting that site and the first link I clicked on was the picture of Carol. I thought “wow what a great site to have this kind of quality comic, I bet there are tons of these”. Unfortunately I was very wrong about that. Very very wrong, however I am grateful that I found one of the good ones right out of the gate. It was kind of like walking into a mine and immediately stubbing your toe on the biggest diamond in it. What some might call serendipity.

found this yesterday. read it through to recent. You’re in the top ten of my saved web comics (timewise, your #29), and you’re reletivly a newcomer.

It’s a good comic. keep up the awesome work.

“Between Failures isn’t that. It isn’t just a workplace comedy. It isn’t just a twenty-somethings drama. It is both those things, but it is more. Hell, even identifying the main character can be frustrating. But I think this is a good thing. We need more hard to define stories out there that have the character, heart, soul, and pacing you have shown.” – Henchman 21 2010/09/10 @ 10:08 am

“It’s the extremely smart and creative writing that keeps me here, and it’s the panel mentioned above that I show people when trying to get them to read this comic. Take the third panel from that strip, keep only the right hand side speech bubbles, and for me you’ve got yourself the perfect advertisement. Well, perfect, if you want people like me hanging around anyway (please don’t answer that :) All I know is that once in a while you whip out some sort of amazing peice of text, and it’s that that does it for me everytime.” – Geoff Appleby 2010/09/10 @ 10:18 am

Shucks, I’m about 2 years late in making a comment here past everyone else, but for what it’s worth, and if you even do get notifications about this at all… I found this comic today (Thursday, April 12th 2012) from another web-comic titled ‘Peter is the Wolf’. Been learning my way around the internet culture of the web-comics community, and my theory so far is that nice independent comics somehow tie in or link towards other nice ones — nice being subjective to my definitions of course.

“I admit that the sexy drew me to the comic, it’s the story that kept me here.” – VenJance 2010/09/10 @ 11:37 am

Have to agree with VenJance — your banner advertising Carol’s sexy from this page: /archives/archive/it-was-an-interesting-night-out did draw me in. The banner link stuck me about 4-5 pages back from that though, when Carol first walks in and reveals her ‘disguise’. I’ve since read all the way up to this panel so far — and I’ve mistakenly clicked ‘Latest’ a few times already… over 300+ pages for me to read before I even get close to your latest page (April 12th 2012), and there’s still all the previous 600+ pages from before this page too.

However, I did want to say that the characters and dialogue, plot/story (where there is one), and even the seemingly ‘random funny’ stuff have definitely appealed to something inside of me. Wish I wasn’t so prone to the sexyness/perverse lure — but I’ve seen enough of that these days to safely realize your comic is going to offer me something much more worthwhile in reading through than just fan-service images of women to appreciate.

Lastly, ever since I started reading from the comic page where Carol enters Thomas’s single-room dwelling, I’ve read every comment that you’ve left below as the creator/author of each new comic page — and there’s something pleasant about them all which somehow gives a more positive image for the comic. The reason I’ll keep on reading from now on will be not only because of the comic and the story your sharing with us about these characters, but also because of what you have to say after each new page — no matter how random it may seem.

Anyways, enough of a stranger ranting on a comic page that’s 2-years old now. You have +1 reader who’ll check back regularly where I can. You also mentioned awhile back about “The Girl Next Door” being a good read if one liked “Between Failures”. Will try to remember have a look at that too thanks to your recommendation.

~ Anonymous

Found the comics on the topwebcomics website. And I don’t regret any moment of having read it (ok, I might be less found of the furry part, but still like it). It’s awesome. I wonder why you’re not higher in the rating

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