GPF News Archive

First Post Previous Post Next Post Latest Post March 24, 2003


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.

Quick Update: Just a quick FYI, gang: Frietag the Order Troll over at Plan Nine has informed me that their secret stash of GPF books are starting to run low, and that most likely that will mean they'll run out before the next shipment arrives from the printers. What that means for you is that while they will still accept and process your orders, there might be a delay before they're able to ship it. Don't want to discourage anyone from ordering, of course, but we wanted to let you know so you won't get discouraged.

Also, a little update on my situation below: For the past couple weeks (and this week too), I've been staying in a hotel in Charlotte, NC, to keep having that nasty four-hour commute each day to work. On the plus side, that means I'm getting more sleep, doing a better job at work, and also getting more time to work on comics there in my room. However, this also means I'm away from my wife and cats, which is making me lonely during the week. E-mail and forum responses are still spotty at best; I'm still getting and reading your messages, but the rules I set below still apply. Just keep that in mind if you're still waiting for a response from me.

Greetings, gang. I'm deeply sorry for my online absence lately. As anyone who's tried to contact me lately through e-mail or the forums knows, I've been (as Elmer Fudd would say) "verwy, verwy quwiet." The truth is I've been checking my e-mail at least daily, and I try each day to swing by the forums and keep up with the topics, but I haven't had time to respond to anything. Right now, I'm only regularly responding to close friends, family, and job-related e-mails, and even there I have a backlog of things to reply to. Getting messages to isn't much of a problem at the moment... it's getting replies from me that's tricky.

Here's a quick run-down of what's going on: As I mentioned, I'm now in on a temporary contract assignment with a major reinsurance company in Charlotte, NC. While I can't comment on the project, I can say it's pretty intense and has a very tight schedule. This means I'm pulling 50-hour work weeks at the moment and work is non-stop from the minute I arrive until the minute I leave. On top of this, the commute from Burlington to Charlotte is about two hours one way, which means each weekday is basically a 14-hour day. (For any of my new coworkers or colleagues out there that might be reading this, don't think I complaining; I'm just stating some facts to support what comes next.) I literally get up, shower, eat breakfast, have about 30 minutes to read my morning comics and e-mails (while shaving, brushing my teeth, etc.), drive to Charlotte, worth ten hours, drive back, and go straight to bed. If that ain't busy, I don't know what is. :)

What this boils down to is a new temporary e-mail and forum policy from me. By all means, please keep sending me your questions, comments, flames, and gushing adorations. (Yep, I get 'em all.) I still make every effort to read them all, but don't expect an immediate response. Here's how I'll be handling things until further notice:

  • If your message is a simple fan letter with no important questions or other pressing information that requires my response (i.e., you caught a typo in a strip, you're looking to do an interview, etc.), then you probably shouldn't expect a response at all. Rest assured that I've received your message and read it, but I've got to trim my e-mail time somewhere, and that's the only fair way I can see to do it. You have my thanks in advance for any praise or constructive comments you make.
  • If you do have a question or other important info, please be very patient as it may take me until the weekend to actually get a chance to respond. I have a good sized backlog in this bucket already, so I'll try to respond when I can.
  • Really important things should probably be prefixed with something like "IMPORTANT:" in the subject line. This should be limited to things like a typo in today's comic or things of an immediate nature. See the next bullet for exceptions. Misuse of this little flag will probably get your e-mail address permanently added to my "spam" filters.
  • If you're having technical problems with the site, you can save a ton of time by going directly to "help{AT}" (substituting the appropriate symbol for "{AT}") instead of writing me first. If the help system is down, try e-mailing another Keenspot cartoonist and asking them to forward the message to the Keen Tech Crew. Follow the same procedure if you'd like to report a pop-up ad; I can't do anything more there besides forward your complaint to someone else, so if you don't want your report languishing in my inbox for eternity, please forward it to another Keenspotter.
  • As always, destructive criticism and "flames" will be promptly ignored. If you have a complaint about the strip, formulate it in a constructive, helpful manner and I'll file it with the other questions to be responded to. Your constructive criticism deserves my response, and you'll get one... eventually.

Now, I can probably guess at what question popped into your mind while reading my work situation explanation above: "How is all this work stuff going to affect the comic?" At this point, I'm not really sure. My original assignment was until March 31st, but I've since been extended to April 15th. Last week I wasn't able to work on the comic at all, and this week I've only done the physical drawing and haven't had time to do the digital half. There's a strong possibility that I won't have time to work on the comic at all during this current work assignment; if I do find time, I won't be nearly as prolific as in the past. The good news is that I still have my buffer, which extends well into April, so I can guarantee regular comics until then. Hopefully, I'll be able to fit some comicking time on the weekends and all I'll lose are a few weeks from that buffer. The worst case is I won't have time to do any comicking at all and the buffer will run out; if that happens, I'll make sure to have something on the site for you each day, whether they'll be unfinished comics (which I'll go back and finish later), text scripts, guest art, or something. I'm not about to give up on this little site, so I promise there'll be something here. (Although I'll apologize in advance to any PREMIUM subscribers if a sketch or five from our exclusive stuff gets used as filler.)

Gee, can anything good come out of this news item? Why, yes, it can. First of all, I'd like announce that some of our books have been picked up by the source of all geekiness, ThinkGeek.Com. Right now, they only have Books #2 and #3 listed, as well as BOFH #3 (which I illustrated), but they should be carrying Book #1 before long. While we still encourage folks to order our books directly from the publisher, Plan Nine (as we get a higher percentage of the royalties), this gives us exposure in another hip geek market that we didn't have access to before. (The only other comic they carry books for is User Friendly, so they're obviously pretty exclusive.) You can find our books in the Books :: Techie Humor section.

I'd also like to announce that we've had a major breakthrough with the Fred plush doll. I don't have the details in front of me at the moment, nor do I want to give out any information prematurely, but I will say we have things pretty close to finalized and we should be able to make the actual order soon. If that happens, we should have the finished dolls this summer, possibly in time for Comic-Con. The trick will be that we need to get more folks to pre-order to ensure a profit. In this case, what we'll probably do is offer some sort of special bonus to the first 200 or 250 people to pre-order (which will include everyone who already has ordered), which may be anything from free issues of Keenspot comic books to even a hand-numbered and signed exclusive GPF print. (I'm pulling for the last one.) I promise I'll give a more extensive update as soon as I can.

That's about it for this time, gang. I'd like to especially thank The Nightstar Zoo for giving us a temporary forum while the main was down, and also thank our valiant Keen Tech Crew for their hard work in getting the regular forums back online. I'll try to keep everyone posted on the work/comic/messaging situation. But let's wrap things up by leaving you with the usual extras:

  • 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 $6 USD off if you bought the books individually! Also don't forget that foreign readers can buy our books through Plan Nine Canada and Plan Nine Europe at a significant savings on shipping and customs!
  • Also also don't forget to check out L33T: Comics for Gamers #4, which includes a three-page Fooker & Fred story in which our favorite pair must face the return of the Brotherhood of the Twisted Pair. The comic also sports a full-color GPF-themed cover, and is currently available at a comic shop near you or through Keenspot's online store, Keen$wag.
  • 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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