GPF News Archive

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The following news item stems from way back before we started keeping the News Archive (January 2004) and was resurrected from the Wayback Machine by showler from the forums. Because of its age, many of the links may no longer have relevance, but we thought it would be interesting to include it here in the Archive for nostalgia's sake. Also note that there may well have been many news items between this one and the items archived around it, but these are lost to history. At any rate, this provides an interesting glimpse back at the comic and the site, providing us a snapshot of what the comic was like "back in the day" before many of you first discovered it.

Still Yet Another Quick Update: Ack, more Quick Updates piling up again. Sorry. I'll try and get a full news update soon. But right now I just want to announce that the Comic-Con 2002 Report Slide Show is officially online with over 50 awesome pictures from the con floor. Sorry it's late; read the regular con report page for the reasons. The full con report is forth-coming, I promise. Hopefully, I'll have it up before Dragon*Con 2002... GULP!

Yet Another Quick Update: Hey, gang. We're back from California, and aside from a mild case of jet lag, we're A-OK. I apologize for not updating the Comic-Con report over the weekend; I tried repeatedly to log into my ISP's travel dial-up numbers (tried 10 or 12 different ones) and could never log in. I kept getting "invalid username and password" errors. However, I've already done a lot of work on the con report, so it should be ready sometime in the next few days. I let you know as soon as it's ready.

Now we get to start gearing up for Dragon*Con... whoo, boy... :)

Another Quick Update: Hey, gang! Comic-Con International 2002 is this weekend, so we're really busy here behind-the-scenes at GPF. We're packing and planning and pretty much running around like chickens with our heads cut off. With that in mind, please bear with me if I'm a little slow responding to e-mail this week. We'll be bringing our laptop with us, but with the con schedule as hectic as it is, we might not have a chance to respond. However, we are planning on making nightly updates on our Comic-Con report page (linked above), so make sure to check it often for updates. (Even those not attending can join in the fun "virtually.") There's lots of kewl stuff up there already, so make sure to check it thoroughly for information about what we'll be up to while there.

[L33T #4 Cover]

That said, I'd like to finally announce one of the spiffy things we'll be launching this weekend. As some of you already know, Keenspot has launched its own line of comic books, including a title called L33T: Comics for Gamers. Well, after much poking and prodding, Keenspot finally got me involved, so issue #4 of L33T will include a three-page Fooker & Fred story in which our favorite pair must face the return of the Brotherhood of the Twisted Pair. The comic also sports a full-color GPF-themed cover, which you can see to the left. The comic will be available for order online after the con, but we'll have the actual books in our grubby little paws this weekend. (I'll announce here when pre-orders become available online.) We'll also have special surprise gifts for Faulties who purchase this comic (among other things) at the con, so make sure to swing by the Keenspot and Plan Nine booths this weekend.

That's all I've got for now. Again, please excuse any e-mail delays and keep watching the Comic-Con report page, as it will probably be updated daily between today and next Monday. See you guys at the con!

Quick Update: Just wanted to give everyone a quick update on the Fred plush doll situation. I know a number of you have been asking lately, and the reason I've been so quiet on the situation is I've been in the dark as much as you have. Fortunately, I've just heard some info that I can pass it on to you, as promised. Unfortunately, it's not very good.

We were hoping to have the Fred dolls ready to sell at Comic-Con next month, which is rapidly approaching. Unfortunately, the toy company has been a bit unreliable and not very communicative with us. Keenspot has been hounding them for some time, and when we finally got a response, it was disappointing. While the first prototype was near perfect, the second prototype was abysmal and nowhere near what we wanted. (To give you an idea, they changed Fred from what you see in the pictures at the link above into a green coiled snake-like thing. I'm not sure these folks know exactly what a slime mold is.) This means the dolls will not be available at Comic-Con, nor will they be shipped to our pre-order folks any time soon. However, pre-orders are still being honored and taken, and there's a good chance Keenspot will be taking pre-orders at the con itself.

On the brighter side, Keenspot will be selling a special GPF-related item at Comic-Con that will be a big surprise. Subscribers to GPF Premium can find out what it is by checking the Rumor Mill; we'll be announcing it officially to everyone else in the near future. Stay tuned!

Howdy, gang. As you can tell from yesterday's strip, things are starting to move quickly in regards to Surreptitious Machinations. We are entering the big final chapter, where everything comes to a head, and only one side can be victorious. Will it be our beloved, reunited GPF gang, or will it be Trudy and her diabolical schemes? Trust me, gang... now we're getting to the really good part. If you're traveling anywhere in the next several weeks, I hope and pray you've got a 'Net connection handy so you won't miss the action!

That said, I do have one thing to ask you to keep in mind as you read Chapter Eight. Because of the detail and level of action in this chapter, things may appear to move forward much slower than before. Hopefully, there will be so many things going on at once that I'll keep you glued to your monitor, but there are some sequences that may take several days to play out. Just bear with me... I'm a trained professional, and I know what I'm doing. ;)

That said, there's a number of things to tell you about this week. First up, I'd like to give you a little word of warning that sometime in the next few months, GPF and the rest of Keenspot will be moving to yet another different server. With luck, the move will be completely transparent to you, especially since it will be a slower move and in smaller increments this time. The move will help Keenspot significantly reduce its bandwidth bills and hopefully bring you even better service than before. I'll let you know when the move takes place or if any problems arise.

Secondly, I'd like to remind everyone that GPF Premium has officially launched and is in full swing. I won't give you the full shpeil here (click the link for that), but we do have lot of extra goodies available only for subscribers of Keenspot PREMIUM. One such goodie is a new T-shirt design, now available for subscribers to order. Eventually, the design will be moved to the regular GPF Store, but right now only subscribers can reach the order form. There are also some special regularly updated features, such as a look at my sketchbook, currently updating twice a week.

Of course, with any new service, there's bound to be some bugs. As some of you have already noticed, we are having difficulties with certain Web browsers and PREMIUM. In particular, Netscape 4.x and MSIE 6.x are giving us problems. Fortunately for users of MSIE 6, the solution is rather easy; Keenspot has put together this FAQ to help you work around the problem that keeps you from enabling PREMIUM in that browser. Netscape 4.x, on the other hand, has some serious JavaScript flaws that PREMIUM is choking on. While we're diligently working on the problem, it might be a good idea to try using a different browser to access PREMIUM functions. While they aren't officially supported, I've used both Opera 5 and Mozilla 1.0 for both Windows and Linux without problems.

And lastly, if you hadn't already noticed it, the official countdown has begun towards Comic-Con 2002 on the main page. The days are quickly ticking away, and we're already starting to prepare. As we did last year, we've put together a preview report at the link above, where you can find out what the deal is with where and when I'll be, what events I'm planning to attend, and what you can come to expect from me, Keenspot, and Plan Nine during the con. The preview report will update as frequently as I can get more information, so you might want to check it pretty often if you're planning to attend yourself. And, as always, we plan to update the page during the con itself with pictures and notes from each day.

And since we're on the topic, there's also a preview report in place for Dragon*Con 2002, filled with the same sort of info as the Comic-Con report. If you're planning to attend either con, these pages will be invaluable to in finding out what's going on with us. And we also have two threads going on the message board, one for Comic-Con and one for Dragon*Con, so Faulties can discuss con matters en masse.

Well, that's about it for this week. I'll leave you with still yet another week of...

The "Surreptitious Machinations" Mini-FAQ

(We've retained this in the hopes that some folks will actually read it this time. If you really want to help me out but have a burning question about the current story line, please read this section first. If it doesn't answer your question, then write me and I'll try to get back to you.)

Since this seems to happen every few months (each time we enter a really dramatic or emotional period of the story), I ought to make this a semi-permanent thing. Please take a moment to look over these questions and their answers. Hopefully, they will set a lot of people's fears to rest and give you a better understanding of what's going on with the current story line and with the strip in general.

This story is so bleak and grim! Are you ending the strip?
No. If nothing else, the current story line has inspired me with more ideas than I've had in the previous year. I have enough material piling up now to ensure at least another two, three, or four years, so don't panic... GPF isn't going anywhere.
But it's so depressing! Why don't you go back to the technical jokes and humor? BRING BACK THE FUNNY!

As stated many, many, many times before, the current story line contains many necessary resolutions to the many unresolved plot lines from the previous three years. Also stated many times, GPF is and always has been about the characters and their relationships, which more often that not is funny to us, but can also be exciting, action-packed, dramatic, and even heartbreaking. To not do this story would be for me to deny the creative vision of the comic, something that I've been working on since the very beginning. Characters and plot lines are my writing strengths; if all you want are technical jokes, I can suggest several other comics that do that much better than I can.

My usual advice to people who have trouble reading the story is to step away for a while and come back later. Try reading an entire chapter at a time, where the story is more cohesive, makes more sense, and you don't have the torture of several depressing strips for days in a row.

Okay then... so when is the torture going to end?
As stated at the beginning, the current story will last an entire year. Currently, we're just barely approaching the half-way mark, so there's a lot more story left to go. If there is any consolation, we're currently at the deepest "low point" in the story... while I won't say things necessarily get better from here, I will say it becomes more mysterious, exciting, and action-packed. Some of the serious plot twists are just around corner, so things will definitely be picking up in the next few chapters.

I think that covers most of the complaints and questions I've received lately. Believe it or not, despite such grave questions, it's been mixed with about the same amount of high praise and excitement from others, so I don't want everyone thinking I'm getting beaten up here. :) Just remember that serious questions and constructive comments are extremely helpful; destructive criticism doesn't help either one of us, and usually doesn't get a reply.

There. I've wasted enough of your time today. Here's the usual extras:

  • Keenspot PREMIUM Subscribers: Download my dramatic reading of last year's hit poem, How Trudy Stole Christmas, from the warpKEEN After Hours section! This MP3 file is a must-hear for all Faulties, especially Trudy fans, and is only available to PREMIUM subscribers. If you don't have Keenspot PREMIUM, click the link above and sign up today! (Or, you can still buy the Plan Nine Publishing Christmas Annual 2000, where the poem first appeared. It's still for sale!)
  • The GPF Tip Jar is now online, by popular demand. If you feel the need to tip the ol' artist, you can now do so through PayPal or Amazon.Com. This service is completely voluntary and without obligation.
  • Plan Nine Publishing has started up an announcement-only mailing list for regular customers curious about when their favorite books are coming out. The list is completely private, so no need to worry about spam or talkative posters. There's also the possibility of special sales available only to subscribers of the list. If you're interested, follow this link to find out how to sign up.
  • Don't forget that all three of our GPF books are out there, selling like hotcakes, at Plan Nine. Portable funnies without batteries... what better way is there to share GPF with friends and family? Order today! And don't forget about the brand new Blue Screen of Death Pack, with all three books for $29.95 USD. That's almost $6 USD off if you bought the books individually!
  • As always, feel free to let me know what you think of the site and the strip either through the GPF Message Boards, our IRC channel, the unofficial Majordomo mailing list, or drop me a line.

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