GPF News Archive

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Greetings, everyone! It's been another three months since my last News post, so I wanted to fill you guys in one how things are going here on the GPF Ranch. My last post was made on a somewhat ominous note, so I didn't want to leave you guys hanging any longer. I have some news that's good, some news that's bad, and some news that's just a bit wild, as in "I must be out of my mind posting this". You'll see what I mean in a bit.

Update on the Darlington Family Move: If you haven't read the previous News post, you really should. No, really. There's a lot of important information in it. But for you "TL;DR" types, here's the gist: I was pretty much forced to change day jobs between April and July, putting me in a new city. This required an eventual move which, while certainly inconvenient, wasn't nearly as drastic as the one that interrupted To Thine Own Self... back in 2006-2007. I warned everyone of the potential of comic production delays as we worked out our new living arrangements.

Now for the update: We are technically still not permanently settled. We literally searched for a new house for about five months or so with no real success. It's certainly not like we didn't try; we made bids on four separate houses, all of which fell through at one point or another, and there were several other houses we planned to bid on that were snatched up before we had a chance to sign any paperwork. During at least two of those months, we lived out of several hotels, commuting from our old house on Sunday evening and driving back Friday night, mostly so our son could attend the awesome new school he's enrolled in at our new location. While that sort of nomadic lifestyle works for some people, it doesn't work well for a family of three busy with work and school, and it certainly didn't sit well with us. We eventually decided to take a break from the house hunting and are now renting a townhouse high up on the hill overlooking town, with an awesome view down either side of the river valley. (As autumn ramps up here in the Appalachian Mountains, that view is going to get even prettier. Trust me.)

By the miracle of technology, somehow during all of this I was able to keep up with the comic. A lot has changed since the harrowing days of To Thine Own Self.... Back then I was still drawing the line art for the comic on paper, requiring me to spend precious time at an art desk that was either 200+ miles away or folded up in storage and thus unusable. These days my production process is entirely digital, so I'm able to work on the comic anywhere I can get power and an Internet connection, although the battery on my current laptop/tablet hybrid makes that first requirement less important and I can always cue my uploads in batches for the second. I spent a lot of nights in those hotel rooms staying up late while my wife and son slept, but I kept things going and didn't lose a day from my buffer. Yay, me! I haven't been able to do as much work on the site as I've wanted to (or on a few secret Premium projects like I'd hoped), but at least the comic itself has continued, which is the core of why you guys keep stopping by.

We still have a lot of work to do in the house hunt, but with our current rental situation we have more free time in the mornings and evenings and we're not hemorrhaging money nearly as badly as we were in the hotel. This will also hopefully give me some time to catch up on side projects for the comic, including the next little gem....

New Premium Feature: GPF Read-Ahead Access: I hinted about this once or twice on social media, but I think it's finally ready for its big reveal. I'm both excited and terrified to announce this, as it's a new Premium feature that I've thought about literally for years (I thought about implementing this while still at Keenspot but couldn't come up with feasible solution) but it's also something that could be somewhat divisive between the Premium "haves" and the non-subscribing "have nots".

GPF Premium: Read-Ahead Access is a new page under the Premium hub that allows subscribers to read the next week of comics in advance of the main site. Note that this is a "rolling week", so it will always show all available comics in the queue that will be released in the next seven days, even if GPF eventually returns to daily updates (i.e. seven days per week). So if you visit the page on a Wednesday, it will show you all available comics from Thursday through to the following Wednesday. This includes the under-the-strip reference links and, if available, pre-posted Author's Notes (although you'll need to turn that option on in your Site Options in order to see them). I've had this quietly running as part of the daily update scripts for some time now and it seems to be pretty stable, but my on-again, off-again development for it has made me hesitant to release it until now.

Of course, as someone's wise old dead uncle once said, "With great power comes great responsibility." There is always the potential for abuse with something like this, whether it be as innocent as accidental spoiler comments in a Forum post or on social media, or as malicious as a subscriber copying advance comics and posting them elsewhere online. As such, I ask that all our Premium subscribers be on their best behavior and use discretion when it comes to sharing information about future comics. If I learn of any abuse of the Read-Ahead Access page, I'll bring it down immediately and suspend the account of the offending subscriber. Don't be that guy who ruins the fun for everyone else.

Premium subscribers can find the link to the Read-Ahead Access page on the Premium hub index after they have logged into the Account Manager and enabled GPF Premium in their browser. If you are not currently a Premium subscriber, we'd love to invite you to create an account today. If you're a former subscriber whose account has lapsed, we'd love to have you back; you can reactivate your account by logging into the Account Manager to begin the renewal process.

GPF's New Snail-Mail Address: One last thing: Due to the aforementioned move, GPF now has a new postal address. Not that we tend to get a lot of snail-mail, but it does happen once or twice in a blue moon. You can find the new address, as well as other methods of reaching us, on the Contact Us page.

That's all for now, folks. For more timely updates, check out the social media links in the sidebar or on our Contact Us page.

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