GPF News Archive

First Post Previous Post Next Post Latest Post February 23, 2010


Greetings, all. Once again, it's been forever and a day (at least... maybe it's actually been a couple weeks... once you get beyond forever it's hard to keep track) since the last News post. Ugh. Since that last post, Book #5 launched, I dropped off both Twitter and Facebook and subsequently rejoined, several major holidays as well as physical seasons came and went, and the Mid-Atlantic portion of the United States (where I live) has suffered one of the craziest winters on record. Wow. Has it really been that long? Yikes. Now I feel even worse than I did before....

Well, suffice it to say that a lot has happened and I've really be lax in updating the News with... well, newsworthy stuff. It's time to break the silence again, as there are a number of things I need to update you guys on.

Book #5 Now Available: The subject there says it all. Book #5, $ which spoon /usr/bin/which: no spoon in $PATH, is now available in the Moonbase Press Store. I won't rehash everything that was in the previous News post, so if you want the skinny on what's in it, how much it costs, and what our potential plans for future books might be, check out that post or the GPF Books subsite. Hopefully we'll have some updated information about future books very soon. And in case it wasn't obvious enough, there's a big green link in the sidebar on virtually every page of the site, so if you forget to follow any of the links here, hopefully that one won't be too hard to miss.

Updates on Social Media Stuff: I didn't realize this had gone so long without a proper announcement, but after rereading the last post I realized that I never announced the major changes to our social media presence. To make a very long, complicated, and embarrassing story short, I made a major social faux pas during the vacation alluded to in the previous News item, and as penance I completely removed myself from my two primary social media outlets, Facebook and Twitter. After a period of detox, I eventually made my way back to both platforms. Fortunately, GPF's Facebook Fan page survived the purge intact and suffered only a dry spell with no updates. If you are a Facebook user, we encourage you to become of a fan of the strip there to get interesting updates, engage in discussion with other fans, and generally show support for the comic. Who knows... maybe we'll even push out a few special bonus stuff, just to our FB fans....

Sadly, my old Twitter account was not so lucky. When you delete an account with Twitter, you really delete it and the old user name is apparently locked forever and can never be used again. The same also apparently goes for the e-mail address you signed up with; fortunately, I control all the mail aliases for the domain, so setting up new forwarding addresses isn't a big deal. If you were following me at the old "jeffdarlington" account and have been wondering why it's been silent for the past several months, the new account is "gpfjeff". As before, it's fairly random, occasionally personal, also occasionally funny, and always the fastest way for me to disseminate time-critical information about the comic. We no longer tweet comic updates, mostly because GPF updates so regularly that it's more of an annoyance than anything else, but we do tweet News and blog posts since those are far less frequent. The "Jeff on Twitter" block on the GPF front page was updated some time ago to the new account and continues to refresh approximately every 15 minutes, just in case you want to follow along without bothering with setting up a Twitter account.

2010 Convention Update: Unfortunately, I also have to report that my application for guest status at Dragon*Con has been rejected again this year. Therefore I won't be heading down to Atlanta, GA in September. This is the second year in a row that my application has been rejected, and of course no formal reason has been provided. (Based on information I've been given from various D*C volunteers I have my strong suspicions as to what the real reason might be, but as the formal rejection contains no explanation these remain suspicions only.)

I can't begin to describe how discouraging and frustrating this has been. Dragon*Con has always been good to me in the past; they were my first con, the con I've attended the most often, one of the shows that has shown me the most professional courtesy and respect, and one of the few "big" cons that seemed open to webcartoonists. That is apparently no longer the case. It would be one thing if they would provide a reason, some explanation as to why I was rejected; any sort of feedback would provide us with clues on areas in which we can improve. Of course, it's much easier to send out bulk rejection form letters than it is to improve guest relations. My frustrations are compounded by the fact that I know other webcomics that most likely have smaller levels of readership and certainly do not have GPF's venerable longevity or voluminous archive have gotten in, and that I've heard horror stories of how little respect other webcartoonists have received while exhibiting in recent years.

With respect to Dragon*Con, I don't know what I'm going to do going forward. I'm not so petty or unprofessional as to ask anyone to boycott the show. I certainly would not condone anyone sending hate mail or flames to them, as such negative correspondence is useless and a complete waste of time for everyone involved. However, if you're a fan of both GPF and Dragon*Con and would like to make a difference, a polite letter to their guest selection committee expressing your disappointment would certainly be appreciated. (If you have not and likely will not attend the show, please don't bother; it would be improper to complain about a decision you have no personal investment in.) At this point, I don't know if I'll even bother with applying in 2011; I'm so discouraged by this outcome that it seems futile to try again, but something inside me says I should give them a third strike before calling an out. I guess we'll see what the future holds.

Of course, I'm not sure exactly how this will affect any other potential convention appearances this year. As with last year, my hope was to use Dragon*Con as a launching point to get back into the convention circuit; we've got a new book to plug, we're more profitable than ever, and we've got more comics in our archive than some webcomic "networks" have in their entire associations. But Dragon*Con always held a special place in our hearts: it was relatively easy and cheap to get to, cost relatively little to attend, and was large enough to give us a really good presence and exposure. Many smaller cons cannot afford to offer any sort of concessions and often don't have a large enough attendance to merit the costs involved. To most bigger cons, we're just another random small publisher to get shoved in with the rest of the cattle in the No Man's Land of small press exhibits.

My wife is urging me to push for Comic-Con International in San Diego, CA, July 22-25. I would love to return to San Diego; I haven't been to there since 2007, or to Comic-Con since 2005. It's definitely bigger than Dragon*Con and it certainly packs a lot more in the same number of days. The real problem there is cost; while I doubt there will be a problem getting a (free) professional pass, the cost to travel across country is really prohibitive. In the past, we relied heavily on Keenspot to provide table space and ship merchandise for us; now that we're on our own, it's a lot harder come up with the cash to ship our meager wares just to share a tiny half table with who knows who in the small press area. I'll start investigating this as an option for this year, but there's a good chance that, even if do go, I'd likely be wandering aimlessly like any other attendee rather than sitting behind a stationary booth. Any GPF gatherings will be 100% informal. I'll try to keep you updated on whatever I decide.

With respect to smaller local conventions: I know I complained about them above, but I have always been and will always try to remain open to invitations from any show that would like to have us. We've been to a number of smaller shows over the years—Technicon, Genericon, Trinoc*coN, UberCon—and we've always had a blast. We've been invited to many more but sadly we've had to turn them down due to time or cost constraints. That said, we're always honored to be invited and we've never taken down our statement of willingness to attend if invited. If you have a small con and you'd like to consider us, we'd be thrilled to hear about it. Please bear in mind, of course, that the sooner you approach us, the more likely we'll be able to fit you into our schedule. Also note that the closer you are to the Mid-Atlantic region of the U.S., the more likely we'll be able to attend.

Algernon's Dilemma Archive CD Now Available: Finally, I feel absolutely terrible for not announcing this sooner, but for those of you who enjoyed last year's "Things Former, Things Present" guest stint by Jim Alexander, I am extremely proud to announce that we now offer a copy of Jim's entire Algernon's Dilemma archive on CD-ROM in the GPF Store. This is the same offline archive Jim has offered privately to fans for several years, with the exception of a few minor tweaks and bug fixes and a new high-res label printed directly on the disc. It includes the entire Algernon's Dilemma archive from start to finish, plus tons of bonus material captured from Jim's site over the years before it went offline. All profits from the sale of these discs go directly to Jim; we here at GPF only keep about $1 USD for material costs plus any shipping costs required. So if you'd like to learn more about the strange new characters in that story or just want to monetarily show Jim some support for his years of hard work, please follow the link above and give the disc a look.

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