Page proofs and slipcase blanks arrived this morning. Hey, look what I can build!
Book 11 (Massively Parallel) and the 6-11 slipcase (Munitions Canister 2) are go for printing along with a re-print of the 1-5 slipcase (Munitions Canister 1.) This means we’re about to spend five digits of dollars on printing, and that digit in the 10,000’s place is not a one, and might not get to be a two.
On a related note, pre-orders for Book 11, both slipcases, and the 2015 calendar will all open on October 15th (Patreon supporters will be able to pre-order starting on October 13th.)
Here’s a quick comparison between drafts of my GenCon 2014 banners. On the left, the banner I thought was the final one. On the right, the one that we used after I let the design “bake” in my brain a bit.
Can you see the difference? The big change was swapping XDM and SHADOWS BENEATH. For branding purposes, the original layout made it look like SHADOWS BENEATH was a Schlock cover. With XDM running interference, though, SHADOWS BENEATH gets to be its own thing.
I also changed the text effect on my name. The wavy effect was cool, but on a fabric banner it will make people thing the banner is hanging badly. The slight arch with the forward lean (the one on the left) will look much better, especially since people will be looking up at that spot.
This project killed an entire day, and that final tweak was made during three hours I could have spent writing. But I needed to make the tweak, and I didn’t know what exactly it was until I started nudging things around.
I’ve been waffling on this for some time now, and I think I’ve finally reached a decision. This site (howardtayler.com) will not have discussions enabled when it goes live.
I love a good discussion. I like social networks, and I love being part of a community. But being part of a community where I’m the moderator, and the central focus is a lot of work. Aaaand maybe not all that healthy.
I’ve also found that it slurps up a lot of my time. Perhaps this is my ego speaking, but I think people would probably rather I spent time writing words and drawing pictures than reading comments and flushing spam-traps.
It’s a tough decision, though. I’ve been making art online for almost fifteen years now, and for that whole time I’ve been fostering communities and discussions. It’s going to be hard to let that go.
I blogged about the final round of the easily-spoofed Washington Post poll, and I made a mistake. I mentioned that it was easily spoofed.
This was not meant as encouragement to spoof, but apparently it was taken as such. For this I am sorry.
You see, when I blogged at 9:15pm local time, Schlock Mercenary had around 120 votes. Three hours later Schlock had 211,000. That, for those who are interested in this sort of thing, is more unique IP addresses than hit my own website in the course of an entire month. I don’t for one minute believe that more than 1,000 of those votes are legitimate. And by curious coincidence, during the one minute for which I’m not believing, about another 1,000 votes arrived.
I’m embarrassed and saddened. It’s much more fun to mock an easy-to-rig popularity contest when it’s not one of your own fans doing the rigging. You see, now if tens of thousands of Penny Arcade fans visit the poll (and they will) they will associate “Schlock Mercenary” with dishonesty.
Whoever you are, mister or missus Inappropriate Expressor of Enthusiasm, you are damaging my name with your antics. Worse still, you are making all of the smart, discerning, tastefully dressed, and bewitchingly attractive Schlock Mercenary fans look dingy and disreputable.