I’ve mentioned before that Exiern is built on some really shaky coding that we are still trying to update/migrate around to give us a better working – and looking – website. This has meant downage in the past, and in some cases delays in page posting. Traditionally I’ve been really bad about creating redundancies, emergency communication plans, or other ways to keep readers updated. Shan and I are working on changing that, and you can follow Exiern three different ways now.
First is our Patreon page, which is probably the best and first place you’ll find updates. Not only will new weekly pages always post there, but it is where I will first make any important announcements to everyone if Exiern.com goes down.
In regards to more traditional social media, Shan has helped revive our Twitter account. I recommend following that, as I will also be trying to post more there. We’ll both be working on improving our social media presence. And since it is a push service important announcements will also go there when needed.
Finally, if you want what will primarily be a blast from the past each month, we have a Tumblr. Currently it will be used primarily to give old storylines more exposure, but we could see more stuff go there in the future as we flesh out a better online plan.
And as always, thanks for reading on the dusty old website!
So, I managed to talk Scott into turning over the keys for Exiern to me for a couple of weeks over the holiday period. However, he’ll still be overseeing the posting of images to make sure things go up when they’re supposed to reduce the risk of unfortunate accidents as much as possible. A reminder who I am again, long after Scott had taken over the job Drowemos was doing, I took on something at least approximating what Scott once did.
That’s right, it’s just like the Sith. There’s at least two people (except for when there wasn’t). Also … well, where I’m a low rent version of Kylo Ren (never mind Darth Vader), Scott still has the real power where anything of importance is concerned (I’m not writing any of the ongoing story in any way for starters).
The jury’s still out on whether he can shoot lightning bolts from his hands so best to play things on the safe side. After all, I’m barely strong enough to write a strongly worded objection, never mind being able to drop him down an elevator shaft as a measure of last resort. Just kidding, Scott as a boss is OK (obviously just a joke Scott … please don’t hurt me).
However, that doesn’t mean there isn’t an avenue to make your voice heard. Don’t forget to use the opportunity of the comments section during this time to write anything from critiques about the story so far to suggestions about anything to do with the story going forward or behind the scenes production issues among other things.
It’s basically going to be like a rolling suggestion box where you don’t have to worry about derailing any discussion of the story. For all intents and purposes, open threads within reason for the next couple of weeks. Lots of forward planning is in motion as we speak and as much input from as many sources as possible is wanted for the years ahead to make things as good as possible.
Scott is waiting to hear from as many of us as possible including people who’ve either not commented for a long time but are still reading or long-term readers who’ve never commented. As many comments as possible from as many different viewpoints as possible are wanted because hopefully there’s many years to go yet and of course, Scott wants to make the story as good as possible for us, the audience. All help forthcoming is very welcome and much appreciated.
The posting schedule of new pages and images for the holidays is:
25th December 2017: A very special Christmas themed page. Especially topical for today of all days.
28th December 2017: A thank you to a very important contributor for their efforts in the last year or so.
30th December 2017: A thank you to another very important contributor for their efforts in the last year or so.
1st January 2018: A New Year’s Day page marking both a new phase of the Exiern story and production behind the scenes.
2nd January 2018: Which starts with a new page here …
4th January 2018: … and keeps going here. Complete with a surprise guest appearance!
9th January 2018: Back to the regular story and artist every Tuesday from here for the foreseeable future from here! One day, we hope for more than one page a week but … uh … we can’t see when that’s going to be yet.
We’re working on it. We’re working on it right now!
So, Patreon is NOT going to be changing its fees. I’d been working with other creators and reading up all in hopes I could post something of merit and insight about it and the switch didn’t happen. So I’ll say a big THANK YOU to everyone who has stuck around our Patreon despite the threat.
And, of course, THANK YOU to everyone who has been supporting EXIERN in any fashion! Antipus and I have been hard at work getting new pages ready for 2018. We’re going to have a lot of “fun” with Typh and Alicia right when we get back, and then we’re off on what I think will be EXIERN’s biggest adventure so far. I’ve already seen Antipus capture new characters and Typh, Peonie, and Phi’s new home for the next storyline and I am simply stoked.
Part of the reason the upcoming pages look so good is that ever since Drowemos decided his own art didn’t meet his expectations of the comic EXIERN has paid artists to realize Typh and his fellow adventurers. At one time, when we were twice a week, EXIERN cost $1,200 a month with the previous artists. Now we pay Antipus $700 a month for EXIERN’s weekly pages.
This is why reader support is so important. Every NPR station around me is doing fundraising now about how they couldn’t be on the air like they are without listener support. And that is the same with EXIERN – it’s only through reader donations that we can keep this going with the type of quality it has had. And this budget is only going to get tighter for me as I and my wife move forward in an adoption process. I want to keep EXIERN at the high levels we all expect it to be at, but I also need to keep a roof over our heads and food in our mouths.
This is why Patreon support is so important to EXIERN. I try to make sure Patrons get rewards each month, whether that is DARK REFLECTIONS when the creative process aligns, NEESE, or the PURPLE TIGRESS comic I’ve been posting to fill the gaps. Your support is not taken for granted. I appreciate it so much, and am so thankful for the support from every one of you.
So, as we go into 2018, I need to ask; what can I do to make Patreon a more rewarding service for all readers? What are the type of rewards you want? What can I do to better realize that? Is there something I’m missing that would appeal to more readers?
What can I do better?
New voting incentives this December for both Exiern and Exiern: Dark Reflections over at Top Webcomics.
Vote here to see the event least likely to ever happen in Exiern:
… but a bit less unlikely in Dark Reflections given what we know about over there. Vote here for the variant image.
In my defence for making these in the first place a while back, Scott was probably being an extra responsible adult at the time and doing vital real world stuff involved in making a living and even hence having less time to humour me than usual.
So, being very bored while coincidentally reading up on some history at the time … well one thing led to another and since for various reasons, I haven’t had the opportunity to commission any other voting incentive material for December like usual, here we are.
First, if you are unfamiliar, the Pediatric Brain Tumor Foundation is the world’s largest nonprofit solely dedicated to the pediatric brain tumor community. My wife and her fellow PBTF peeps serve the more than 28,000 children and teens in the United States who are living with a brain tumor diagnosis. My wife does their marketing, some of which I have directly lifted and re-purposed here.
The PBTF offers free educational resources about brain tumors, a toolkit for newly diagnosed families, college scholarships and much more. Their nationwide events include Ride for Kids motorcycle charity events, Starry Night walk/runs, and Vs. Cancer fundraisers. Recently they also launched The Imaginary Friends Society, a series of 20 animated short films cast with characters inspired by the imaginations of kids themselves. These imaginary friends explain a wide range of complicated cancer topics in a way that kids can understand. Because the more they understand about their treatment, the less scary it will be. The videos are amazing and should be seen. One was done by Titmouse, who have done some of my favorite cartoon series.
Anyway, your generosity can help cure the deadliest pediatric cancer and help families navigate their child’s brain tumor diagnosis. If you donate on Nov. 28th you can make an even BIGGER impact. Starting at 8am ET on Giving Tuesday, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation will match up to $2 million of funds raised for U.S. nonprofits via Facebook. All fees will also be waived by Facebook that day.
p.s. One of the most beautiful IFS videos: