Page 34

May 22, 2014

Sam gets some things off her chest.

Phew, just about managed to get this one done in time, despite various pitfalls including spending a cumulative three days getting the drivers on the new tablet working.

Big shout to a few people who were unbelievably helpful and kind while I was having tablet issues!

Kaarina Makowski actually offered to send me an Intuos 3 for free, at least until it became clear that it probably wasn’t going to run with my current system set-up. One of the nicest things anyone has offered to do for me! Wasthatamelon on tumblr offered to personally help me troubleshoot the ridiculous driver issues I was having with the new tablet, which was terribly good of her even though I managed to track down the problem myself eventually.

Several other people on tumblr provided loads of help in recommending good tablets, going as far as taking photos for me and providing personal experience. And of course, everyone who donated! You guys are all amazing. Thank you!

Long blog post, but

    please keep reading!

One final thing is that I’m considering setting up a Patreon campaign for Red Moon Rising, and I could do with some reader feedback on the matter.

For those of you not aware, Patreon is a service somewhat similar to Kickstarter, except that instead of pledging once to fund a time-limited project, you would be pledging a small amount of money to RMR per comic page. In essence you would be sponsoring the comic. There’s a pretty good run down of it over here.

The main goal is to replace the site’s ad income with reader donations, because the ads are ugly, they slow down the site, and are occasionally a security risk to boot. I hate having advertising on here, and would dearly love to completely remove it.

So right now what I’m wondering is this: what kind of extra content would you like to see in exchange for pledging money like this? I have a few things in mind like chapter PDFs, wallpapers, stuff like the soundtrack when it comes out, possibly art livestreams if I can get my connection to co-operate. But mainly I’m looking for ideas at the moment! What would interest you?

23 Comments

Never accept the job of bearing bad news :O

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Oh, and in terms of Patreon:
I’m not sure about pledging, yet.
However what I always find interesting are alternative versions of pages.
By that I mean ideas that you had to regrettably scrap while creating a page.
For example these alternatives could have different composition, unusual style or just wacky humour.
For this page I could clearly picture the Captain ripping of the envoys head :)

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I definitely have a lot of scrapped compositions for pages, I normally go through several iterations of the thumbnail before settling on something I’m happy with. This page in particular was quite tricky because of all of the dialogue, so I had to plan it out beat by beat in order to make sure everything was going to fit and flow on the page. Here’s the notes file I made while working on it last week: notes!

It’s basically got the dialogue and actions broken down so I can place them on the page, plus I use it to get some pre-sketching done for the panels themselves. This one also has a bunch of sketches I did while trying to get used to the new tablet, so there’s some bonus character stuff in there too. I also ended up condensing the first two panels outlined down to one, saved some space!

Normally I don’t post this kind of thing anywhere (I kind of just assume no one is that fussed about it) but it’s the sort of thing I would probably chuck up on a patron-only activity stream.

As for outtakes… if there was a demand. :) I don’t really have any finished alternative versions of pages, though. Following through different iterations to completion would take forever. Normally I settle my ideas in the sketching phase.

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Hmm now that I think about the suggested wallpapers…
That would be a beautiful thing to have on my desktop indeed.
So there’s definitely interest for that, too.

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I love Captain Ost-Navarre, she’s a feisty one. She seems to have a healthy amount of sense of self-preservation paired with high intelligence. I only disliked that she tried to kill my favorite grouch with that blast, but that fight was epic. No wonder, since Adrianna is pure feistiness herself!

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Yes! Give him hell captain!

I’m kind of torn about Patreon. Oo I like the idea of it, but I’d really rather send a chunk of money for a specific tangible reward. Is that weird??? lol. If you really think it would help, then wallpapers would be a good incentive or maybe a once a month web-chat / lifestream while you’re drawing or a sketch card a month for higher contributors.

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That’s not weird at all! The content I’m planning to produce for Patreon is also stuff I’m intending to sell individually for those who would rather outright buy something than pledge an ongoing amount. As someone who’s on a rather flimsy and inconsistent income, I totally understand. Plus there a million and one other financial drains out there, so I’m hardly expecting all of my readers to start chipping in.

Honestly, the idea behind the Patreon is to receive support primarily to keep producing the pages. Kind of like “if you like what I’m doing and can spare a small bit of cash to keep it going” it can subsidise the comic to keep it free and consistent for everyone. The rewards are like… a thank you for that, rather than a straight up transaction.

So yeah! If you don’t fancy making an ongoing commitment like that, totally feel free to pass on it. You might have to wait on it a bit, but stuff like wallpapers and pdfs of the chapters will be for sale in a more conventional manner eventually!

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Glad you don’t think it’s weird, lol! Didn’t want to come across as a stick-in-the-mud, lol! Can certainly afford to donate, but I think what’s makes me hesitant about Patreon is: Am I really helping?? It’s easy to see in a Kickstarter campaign, but how easy is it to see in a Patreons campaign?? Am I being knit-picky now?? lol! Thanks, Kyethn for listening and letting me hash this out! :D There’s another webcomic creator I follow who’s doing this & it’s been bugging me why I couldn’t figure out my reluctance to help her out. Oo

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Not at all! Quite frankly, this is your money and I don’t want to take it if you’re not sure about spending it. I mean, you earned it, you shouldn’t feel weird about spending it as you choose!

As for whether you’re really helping, I would lean towards yes. I am biased though, haha. From what I can tell, the cut Patreon would take of your donation is some where in the region of 4-10%, the rest would go to me. Initially it would be used to replace the income from advertising as I said, so that would be the main visible benefit at first.

If the campaign can surpass that I’ll be able to spend more time on the comic and less on other paying work, so there could be more page updates per week. Right now I’m spending the equivalent of a part time job’s worth of hours maintaining the comic, so it would be nice to see some return from that. I love making the comic, and if I could monetise it to the point where it’s all I’m doing… well, I would be, to put it mildly, utterly thrilled.

Essentially it’s going towards living expenses for myself, so I can eat food and such while producing the comic. I guess you only have my word that I’m not spending it on hookers and blow, but I like to think five years of free updates goes some way to proving credibility.

Plus, the idea here is to accumulate a bunch of small donations. So I guess it’s that cheesy old idea that every dollar helps, but it’s as true as ever. I think if something like 20% of my readers pledged a dollar per page I could be doing this full time.

All that said, please don’t feel obliged to throw money my way or even explain why you don’t want to donate. I consume a lot of free media online which I don’t contribute at all to, so I think expecting 100% of my readers to subsidise RMR would be ridiculously naive and hypocritical.

All in all, thank you for reading. :) This kind of thoughtful interaction is all I really wanted when I started the comic, not a big pile of cash. Boy, am I in the wrong job if I wanted a big pile of cash, haha.

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LOL. That’s why you have readers who have big piles of cash to throw at you! :D Or at least a few of us do! And thank you (again!) for chatting with me about this! Your explanation has helped a lot with my decision. I’m in a position where I can help, so if you do decide to do the Patreon, count me in. :D

I also enjoy the opportunity to connect & get to know some of the authors of my favorite webcomics.

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Haha! Just don’t throw it too hard, my reflexes are terrible. Anyway, that’s very decent of you, thank you. :) I’m always happy to have a chat as I said, the comic wouldn’t be very much if no one was reading it! All of you guys have been very good to me, active in the comments and kind when things weren’t going well. I feel very lucky.

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I would definitely heavily consider sponsoring this comic once I find a real job. Pretty much anything you’ve listed would be nice, but just being able to read this comic would honestly be a good reward.

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I’d definitely subscribe. I’ve been reading RMR for years and still love it.

The main things I’d like to see are quite prosaic I’m afraid! With most things I’m into, I’m always mainly interested with “canonical” things, rather than extras, so, I guess, more frequent updates and character and related art. Not that I wouldn’t take anything else ;). I’d wear an RMR tee too…

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I think we have a lot in common! My focus mainly is on stuff exactly like that, I would rather produce more pages than anything else, and a lot of the extras would probably be along the lines of concept art to inform the comic.

I’d love to do more in-depth studies relating to Dakaia especially right now, since a lot of this arc is going to take place there, and more considered character designs similar to the process I went through for the new characters(Ezius, Jasper, Radek) in the last couple of chapters.

I feel like that’s the kind of “extra” work that can only help to inform the canon of the comic. And as for merch… well, one thing at a time, I guess. :) Cheers for the feedback, Rob.

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Sounds good! I’d like to say it all boils down to unfolding the story, but the art is pretty important as well, obviously…

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I see the art as a medium for unfolding the story. Comics are a visual medium, after all! In that sense it’s extremely important, but as a storytelling tool rather than an end in itself, if that makes sense.

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I’m not into donation incentives but downloadable files containing a bunch of old pages would be convenient.
Do offer CBR instead of or in addition to PDF though.

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