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Various Centers of Attention

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All right, so I’ve given this a monumental amount of thought, and I’ve decided to change the font I use for the comic.

I almost switched over a while ago, because I was reading blogs by professional comic letterers, and chatting with them as time allowed, and reading guides and tutorials on the topic, and learned that I’d been doing a piss-poor job of making the reading of our comic easy and fun. I think the archive shows a really strong tend toward improvement as time goes on, too.

I love the Chinacat font, and the owner was kind enough to let me use it for free. It had the aesthetic I wanted, and I still really like the way it looks. But it wasn’t designed with comic strips in mind, and ultimately, I just can’t use a lower-case font anymore now that I know what leading is and now that I know a little bit about the rules for making a speech balloon. So I’m switching over the one of Blambot’s wonderful fonts (Unmasked) and will be using that indefinitely. It’s an attractive all-caps font that will allow me to better control the shape of my dialogue balloons, and my hope is that the change won’t be so jarring as to make people look at this comic and the comics to come and go, “Gosh, something’s off here…”

This will be especially strange for the Spanish Translation, because I basically use that to practice my lettering (Hey, Max, we miss you buddy!) and they’ll start looking really, really different in terms of lettering as they start to catch up with the English strip. Again, though, my hope is that this will be an improvement.

Hi Res version on Patreon! (free!)

What You Get from Patreon

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I’m drumming up ways to give value to people who support us on Patreon, and access to sketches at the $1 per month pledge feels like a bit of a limp effort because there’s ultimately no access to new content there. I want to beef up what our $1 subscription folk get. So far, there’s only one person doing this, but we like him and it’d be nice if he got his money’s worth.

I’ve added a $3 tier, and I’m pretty excited about what I’m doing with it.

Context: I got a fantastic rejection from Tor.com today. Those of you who aren’t into the arcana of the publishing world might wonder how a rejection can be fantastic, and that’s okay. Have a peek:

Dear Mr. Klick,

Thanks so much for submitting to Tor.com, and for your patience while we evaluated your story. Unfortunately, I’m afraid that “Introductions” isn’t quite right for us.

The writing is fantastic, and we liked the partnership between the characters, and the way the power dynamic between them changed throughout the story. Our reservations lie mostly in the structure: the supernatural elements only come in in the last quarter of the story and have nothing (that we could perceive) to do with what came before. So we must regretfully hand this back and wish you the best of luck placing it elsewhere.

Please send us more of your stories in the future.

That feels pretty good to read. They’re industry titans, and they really like my writing. That won’t pay the water bill, but it certainly does pay the ego. Rejection is still a binary, however, and my story needs a home. Its been rejected a few places, and honestly, my desire to submit to markets wanes every time I get a “thanks, but no thanks,” so the truth is that I haven’t shopped this story around very much and I don’t want to anymore.

A younger me would have gone back and screwed with the structure to get the dark fantasy element to die into the characters’ relationships back in the beginning. But that wasn’t the goal of the story; the goal was to write a subversion of certain colonialist tropes and to have some Lovecraft on the side. (It’s perfectly fine that this story isn’t for Tor, by the way. They publish excellent stuff, but they also know what they want and are entitled to that, so if you’re feeling bad about my getting a rejection–don’t. Tor.com is great; go read some of their stuff. It’s free and generally awesome.)

As far as the story’s goals go, it’s complete. There are things I could tweak infinitely, and I could send them to magazines over and over again infinitely, crossing my fingers that someone out there will pay me one cent a word. That’s not art. And it’s not what being a writer is about.

So I’m going to give subscribers on Patreon access to my fiction as I edit and release it. Again this is at the $3 support level, but here’s the kicker: the stories are all going to be DRM free PDFs, and I encourage anyone who is a subscriber and gets access to the stories to share them around as much as they want.

Without further ado, then, this is the first story up on Patreon. I’ve edited it one last time since Tor.com read it, and I gave it a better title: Flowers in the Pyramid.