Can Electric Sheep Pay Your Bills?

It’s not every day that a webcomic makes a legitimate attempt to go solo. Five years ago we could probably name, off the top of our head, every single webcomic that fully supported their creators. In this day and age that has changed drastically with the number pushing past the 40 mark. For this to happen there are usually three paths to take: advertising, merchandising, and donations. That would be in the order of most common use. Believe it or not most artists start their careers with a donation drive. They get to a point where their committed and number of fans exceeds their spare time and they lay it all on the line with a donation drive.

That’s where Patrick Farley steps in. The creator of Electric Sheep is making his second attempt at webcomics as a full time job. Here’s how he puts it:

This is it, my friends. Like the dog from the Roman poem, I’ve been going around in circles, licking one bone then the other, for long enough. Today, the Equinox of 2010, it’s time for me to exercise my freedom of choice and make the fateful decision once and for all:

Is Electric Sheep going to linger on as my B-game, spare-time, side-project “hobby?” — or am I going to devote myself to it FULL TIME and make it my career, my A-game, my FLOW?

Hint: I would like the answer to be Number 2 🙂

This time around he’s using a tool that’s been popping up more and more. Kickstarter is an online fund-raising platform, focusing on creative projects, which operates on an “all-or-nothing” basis; funds are collected only if the fund-raising goal is met. If and when Farley makes his $6000 goal that will mean there is a sufficient demand for Electric Sheep Comix that Patrick can very likely parlay it into a full-time, self-sustaining career. It will mean Electric Sheep has enough fans to include it among the  Webcomics Professional Elite.


Round-Table Update 4/4/10

For the longest time I’ve been wanting to do this but I was hoping to hire someone because there are just so many feeds to go through. What I’ll be doing are random updates on comics that are reported as self-sufficient. Why? Because we all want to do the same and what better way to figure out how then by studying the ways of those before us?

Clevinger reports there will be a brief delay in How I Killed Your Master pages due to poor planning. Something about needing to write pages before they can be drawn. Don’t know how that’s supposed to move you along the covenant road but it does show we are all victim to the same problems.

Kochalka has some great little paintings in a group show called Small Favors, at Giant Robot in NYC. Oh, and I’ve also got some little paintings in another Giant Robot show, Game Over, in San Francisco.

While recovering from PAX East and their book tour he pointed out two things. First is a disturbing video of the PAX East witch. Second is something that never occurred to me I would ever be interested in. Gabe and Tycho are up for Time Magazine’s 100 most influential people of the year poll.

Turns out WonderCon has been going on all weekend. I really have to keep up with the Convention tour list.

Dave Kellet reports he will be going in on a second printing on Sheldon book two: The Good, The Bad & The Pugly. It’s a wonderful sign of support for the strip, and means there’s a lot of love for Sheldon, out there! For an independent cartoonist like myself, there is no kinder support you can show than picking up a book in the Sheldon Store. It directly relates to the continued good health of the strip and the site.


Silly Daddy Blasts Into Space with Star Chosen Sci-Fi Novel

Star Chosen: A Science Fiction Space Opera for the Whole Family.

It’s a 67,000 word science fiction novel called “Star Chosen.” The book took over five years to write and is a cross between Battlestar Galactica, Narnia, and of course, Silly Daddy. Star Chosen, the 126 page, softcover book retails for $10 US and is available now through Amazon. The book’s back cover description follows:

“Deleting history was just the beginning. Blast off with STAR CHOSEN, a space opera! After war, heartbreak, and the erasure of all history and culture, whose side will you fight on: the Proud… or the Chosen? In a time yet to come, the high-tech Faith War threatens to destroy all religions across the universe. One small yet bold group, known as ‘the Chosen,’ survives, but will they rebuild, or be torn to space dust across a cold universe?”

While the printed book is available through Amazon, the novel is also selling on Chiappetta’s website as an e-Book in all the major e-Reader formats: ePub, Mobi, PDF and even as a TXT file. Star Chosen, the e-Book, sells for $5, and is DRM-free. The book can be loaded onto multiple devices, and can be read on the Kindle, Sony E-Reader, iPhone, iPad, any computer, and any smartphone



Intervention: Your Online Life, In Person. A Convention with Webcomics, Videos, Music, and You – September 10-12 2010 at the Hilton Washington DC.

Intervention is a convention for the independent comics, art, and music creator. The con was started by webcomic creator Onezumi Hartstein and web developer James Harknell. This goal is to bring together different independent creators to party, educate, and appreciate the opportunities the Internet gives to all of us.

Intervention will have awesome geek-related programming and gaming all day and night from Friday through Sunday. There will be one dance party where the audience can assist the DJ in making live music and one NYC-style dance party. In addition to the Artist’s Alley/Vendor Room over 23 webcomic and New Media experts will attend. The con is still being planned. Discussion is being held on the Intervention forum.
If you need more information or you want to schedule an interview with the con chairs, please contact


Noir Et Blanc

With the turn of the decade this year marks the 5+ years that I have been reading webcomics. In that time my list of favorites has grown and shrunk with the amount of free time my life gives me. Although my recent eureka that if I stopped playing facebook games would give me more time I think the list will grow past 7 to 20. We can only hope. Anyways one of those lucky few I’ve kept up with is LICD, if only because Rayne is is secretly based off of my life. So I am forced to find out how the guys render my telepathic communications.

That’s why it is so exciting to hear about the release of the first 127 pages in print form. The book takes these strips done by Trevor completely redrawn by Lar. Starting Friday, March 19th at 12:00 AM EST the long awaited prequel remastered for a new age will be released as LICD: Noir et Blanc. The book itself will be shipping out in early April.

The book will be the same size as the normal LICD collections and be full of commentary. The real differences will be in the lack of color in the interior, a length of only 88 pages and, of course, half the cost. As is par for the course Lar and Ryan will be signing the first 1,000 books sold. So do not delay in ordering come Friday. And naturally, a pre-sale announcement wouldn’t be the same without a look at the cover.

Noir et Blanc: available for sale this Friday, March 19th at 12:00 AM EST.


Guest Artists, Bioware, DRMs, and Winners

For some reason I just don’t like guest artists. Maybe if I explain myself this might make a little more sense. I love webcomics, especially those driven by story arcs, because they allow characters to grow with me as I read through the archives or catch the updates. But it completely destroys my train of thought to have fan pages thrown in the mix that have no input into the comic. There are countless webcomics I have stopped reading because their guest strips ran too long and I had obvious way to skip them.

What spanned this little thought was a forum post that got alerted to me. J Gray of Mysteries of the Arcana is putting out a call for submissions to help promote other comics for two weeks. It is very nice that he’s taking the time to help others and with very little restrictions to what you can send him. I can only hope that he doesn’t through these into the main story line if I go back and try to read through the archives. I say put them on the front page but leave them in their own gallery.

How do you make a grown man squeal like a little child? You have BioWare create their own webcomic and publish through Dark Horse. I don’t know how many others of you out there are like me but anything BioWare is instantly bought by me. Ever since the original KotoR I have been an acolyte and never been disappointed. I can only hope that continues with DragonAge. That being said it also appears there is another webcomic I was unaware of it and it’s time to let my fingers do some research.

I have a vague memory of having seen something from Mr. Colbow before. It was probably for older post similar to what Google decided to alert me on but it looks like he’s created a bit of a stir on the problem with DRMs. For some reason he decided to torture himself and attempted to view DRM protected media at his library and finds out that although everything is free it takes forever to find out that you have no idea how to get it to work.

Yay! The Escapist has announced the winners to their contest. Going through 350 comics, how in the world did they manage to get that many submissions, they narrowed down the field to 18 finalist. Finally the infamous panel of judges duked it out with foam bats until they all got tired, fell to the ground, and peacefully discussed how the winner should be. After an era of minutes passed them by they concluded the winner was Out of Tens. Congrats Decoy Doctorpus!


Molebash, XKCD, Contests, and Surveys

For the entire month of March at Schlegel’s Coffee Shop in downtown Chillicothe, OH is displaying the artwork of Wes Molebash.  The entire run of Max vs. Max strips (from the beginning of the series through February) will be on display. On Saturday, March 13, the Chillicothe Art League hosts a Gallery Stroll through the downtown.  Wes will be there from 6 PM until 9-ish so those who happen to be stalking him will no where to find him.

Would it be possible to comb through the entire archives of XKCD? A couple of years ago I managed to accomplish this but that was without the past 2 years of updates on top. At this point it would take more than a week. That doesn’t stop some people from saying they have read all of them and know which are the best ones. It’s your turn to read through and find out if he got it right.

The Escapist took submissions for a huge contest. Apparently it was so big they secured help from webcomic industry veterans Ryan North, creator of Dinosaur Comics, Brian Clevinger, founder of 8-Bit Theater and Shamus Young, the man behind Stolen Pixels to be judges for the event. The contest submissions were due no later than noon EST on February 28th. Due to the great response, winners will be chosen and posted this week.

Has anyone taken this survey?


iPad, 10 years, and Zampzon!

Back to the normal Inbox size. It really was getting old finding 30+ unread Google alerts. With Brigid finding herself overloaded with other work I looked wide and far to find an additional writer to help bring the wealth of news on manga I know everyone needs. News sites are about complete coverage anyways and the more writers I can get covering absolutely everything webcomic, the better. So if you’re an inspiring writer or an established one looking for a platform to spread your wealth, give me a call and we’ll see if we can work you onto the team.

If you’re reading about webcomic news chances are better than normal you’re using a Mac, and chances are outstanding you know how to use a Mac. Does that mean there’s going to be a revolution in webcomics with the release of the iPad? The general consensus is a big flat no. Comics Alliance did a decent round-up of creators and perhaps my favorite comment came from Ryan North: “All I can say now is that any device that makes webcomics easier to read in bed and on the toilet is one that gets a thumbs up from me.” For me it’s a chance to get a full screen portable machine. The iPhone has been providing that but frankly that tiny screen drives me nuts. Perhaps with the (max)iPad someone will get serious and develop a Photoshop app.

Valentine’s Day Brad Guigar raised a toast to daily comics. His first comic strip, Greystone Inn, debuted Valentine’s Day, 2000, and updated every Monday-Saturday for 5.5 years. The day after it ended in June 2005, Evil Inc began. Both ran in daily newspapers, including the Philadelphia Daily News. Evil Inc appears in front of an estimated 1.5 million newspaper readers a week. Guigar also produces Courting Disaster, and for a year-and-a-half, produced a weekly full-page comic, Phables, that shared stories about life in Philadelphia. Phables earned Guigar a nomination for the Eisner Award in 2007 — the highest honor in comics. His obsession continued with one cartooning book, “The Everything Cartooning Book,” and co-wrote  “How to Make Webcomics”. Editor-in-chief of where you can find the popular podcast, Webcomics Weekly, that he co-hosts. With over 13 print collections and his appearances at conventions across the country it’s surprisingly his wife of 12 years hasn’t divorced him.

Life is so busy for me that it is rare that news of our co-founder Zampzon jumps up and slaps me. Apparently he’s some kind of activist in his home in the lone state and has been featured on the Dallas Art News. In early December they were running a special feature called Webcomics Imitating Art where  webcomic artists use their characters and style to recreate a famous work of art. Instead of the six works they expected they managed to receive nineteen valid entries. This has led to a new guest webcomic artist program where each artist will have 4-5 strips displayed on a per week basis. There are rules of course, but only eight of them. The best one being “Webcomic artists will retain all rights to their work.” Amazing…


Plugging Up The Linkage

Despite plowing through 20 alerts in my last post there are 17 more jumping out at me slapping me in the face. That doesn’t include the 10 personal emails from those of you counting on getting a mention by emailing directly. Don’t worry because I’ll get to them eventually, if only as inspiration for coming up with new scripts.

From Comics Worth Reading we find out that Phil Foglio began online serialization of his graphic adaptation of Robert Asprin’s Another Fine Myth. According to the site, the comic version is “the first professional comics work by both Phil Foglio and inker Tim Sale.”

Vote for your favorite webcomic at The Washington Post. Comic Riffs is asking you what the best webcomic in the past decade after having asked about the best comic. At the moment the voting is being dominated by Penny Arcade and PBF.

Mischief in the Forest is in the final push. They are only $928 away from the goal of $6000 for printing costs.

Haven’t read it yet but apparently we have a comic written by a 5 year old. Don’t know about you but that sounds like comic genius. Take a look at Axe Cop.

How do you get a writer or artist for your comic? You hold a contest of course.

The WebComicList had an awards show this year with nine categories: Best Black and White Art,
Best Colour Art, Best Non-traditional Art, Best Gag-a-day comic, Best New Comic, Best Longform comic, Best Character, Best Writing and of course Best Comic.


Linkage Galore!

Honestly you guys have been creating so much news lately my inbox has exploded. There pieces of it lying everywhere and picking it back up is such a daunting task I’ve been putting it off for week. I guess that’s what I get for trying to enjoy my holidays and going on vacation. So despite how much I hate doing this I’m going to have present the news quickly without vetting it.

Ethan Young of Tails was interviewed by fandomania. Kelly goes through the usual questions of getting an introduction and finding out what he likes best about his comic. There’s also the usual question about switching from self-publishing to being a webcomic.

Amazing new find in Doctor Popular. He’s started a fantastic new project around creating 3D comics without using glasses. It’s a slow and cumbersome project but the results show a lot of promise. I wonder if he could make the movement much smaller and speed it up faster than 24 fps?

The Washington Post is holding a vote on the The Best Comic of the Decade. Apparently Girl Genius told their readers and they now hold nearly half the total votes.

Catch an interview with the fantastic creator of Skin Deep, Kory Bingaman. It has the usual questions about who are you and what is the process behind creating the strip.

The comic DAR: A Super Girly Top Secret Comic Diary comes to an end. After six years and the real world intruding Erika Moen decided to end the diary and move on to other projects. Don’t despair as she closes out with style.

Girl Genius wins the BF award for best comic of 2009.

Officially the most random place to find information about webcomics. Amy Cook has decided to post a list of the best online comics in different categories and it’s kind of all over the place.

Harvest of Time wins best gaming related comic at Joystiq.

The more and more common occurrence of a webcomic landing on the black & white has blessed Squid Row. On Jan 4th it began it’s first run.

Webcomic Overlook gives us a review of SuperFogeys. Still one of the more entertaining superhero strips I’ve ever read.