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Automating social-media preview images for your webcomic

Automating social-media preview images for your webcomic published on No Comments on Automating social-media preview images for your webcomic

A tip I wrote up for a recent @WebcomicTalk discussion on Mastodon, figured I’d share it here.

(This is part of the “how do I webcomic?” series, with useful information on all kinds of comicking-related topics.)

If you share links to your comic updates on most social media, they should automatically pull an image to go with the link. Maybe it’s the full comic page! Maybe it’s your website header image. Maybe it’s broken and nothing happens at all.

I use the Open Graph and Twitter Card Tags plugin to make sure that, not only do mine work, they look nice.

Continue reading Automating social-media preview images for your webcomic
Volume 6 cover mockup

Special thanks to the supporters of Leif & Thorn Volume 6

Special thanks to the supporters of Leif & Thorn Volume 6 published on 1 Comment on Special thanks to the supporters of Leif & Thorn Volume 6

After spending what feels like years in a “work in progress” time loop, the ebook of Volume 6: Forget Me Not has broken through to the day where it gets released!

Which means it’s time to thank all the supporters. We moved to a new platform for this campaign, experimented with a bunch of new things — and smashed our funding goal anyway, because of all these lovely readers who were willing to come along and take the plunge:

Volume 6 cover mockup

Become Meguca

Alienea
Meredith
Clara D
Jonnie Irvine

Edge of Tomorrow

Andrew Webster
Fir J.A. McGrevy-Gilmore
Mom and Dad Ptah
Lex Chimervera
BashMeNot
Albert Cua
KendallPB
Mikko Rasa
Naomi Butcher
yamiangie
Eva S.
Triss

Groundhog Day

Beth Culp
paralianBlue
Sydney Savoy
Eric T. Sorlien
Kai
Xanthipe
Liz the Lucky
Hela
VICTORIA CONNER
Tim Sauke
Simone Pietro Spinozzi
Sid D.
Jamie
Cathy Green
Sailor-Cresselia
Lori Forrester
Jacob Magnusson
Izzy “Strontium“ Hall
Meghan McCusker
Knut Åge Hofseth
Kristina P
Kaldra
Nikki W.
Kailynn Ayers
Katherine R
John H. Bookwalter Jr.
Steph
Dinglehopper
Ada Kerman
Thyme
Lenora Rose
Piquk
mara

Deja Vu

Sue
Lielac
Zaza D
Robin Hill
ThoBu
Joce K.
Jay Lofstead
Joann K
Jens Bejer Pedersen
Susan Wilson
Sas
Craig Hackl
QuailFence
Matthias

I had a bot write me a Year In Review post. Let’s see how it did

I had a bot write me a Year In Review post. Let’s see how it did published on 1 Comment on I had a bot write me a Year In Review post. Let’s see how it did

As we send off 2023, I thought it might be a good time for one of my periodic “are the chatbots good enough to take all our writing jobs?” check-ins.

The prompt was “Write a “year in review” post about Erin Ptah’s accomplishments in 2023.”

In theory, a piece of software could scan the web, identify my online presence by username + how my accounts link to each other, analyze the content based on timestamps, and come up with an accurate summary of 2023 accomplishments. Entries on the list might include “published over 300 strips of her original comic” (findable by scanning leifandthorn.com), “wrote over 270,000 words of fiction” (findable on AO3), “posted over 150 new art pieces” (DeviantArt), “raised the funds to print a new book” (BackerKit), and “successfully forced her cat to endure a vet visit” (Dreamwidth).

Everything between the pairs of separator lines was written by the bot. Let’s see how it did!

Continue reading I had a bot write me a Year In Review post. Let’s see how it did

Translating Volume 6’s transparency effects to print

Translating Volume 6’s transparency effects to print published on 15 Comments on Translating Volume 6’s transparency effects to print

With the printing of Leif & Thorn Volume 6 funded, I’ve been getting the book files ready to go. (If you missed the campaign, you can still get books through the official BackerKit preorder store! It puts all the order info in the same place, making it that much easier for me to fulfill.)

Volume 6 is the one where, for plot reasons, a bunch of the comic images have effects that do not work in paperback.

So I thought I would share some of the alternate ideas I’m looking at for the print version, and ask which ones y’all like best.

Spoilers for Volume 6 ahead! If you’re not caught up with the strip online, don’t read ahead here.

Continue reading Translating Volume 6’s transparency effects to print

Voting for the exclusive Volume 6 mini-print

Voting for the exclusive Volume 6 mini-print published on No Comments on Voting for the exclusive Volume 6 mini-print

The Leif & Thorn Volume 6 campaign is live, which means it’s poll time! Which art should I use for the exclusive mini-print that goes in every book?

As always, don’t worry about the exact sizes — they’re all high-res enough for these prints, and I’ll adjust them to look good at the right dimensions. Just focus on picking your favorite(s).

Continue reading Voting for the exclusive Volume 6 mini-print

Volume 6: Forget Me Not (Double) Cover Reveal

Volume 6: Forget Me Not (Double) Cover Reveal published on 9 Comments on Volume 6: Forget Me Not (Double) Cover Reveal

It’s the time loop book! The one where characters break history so hard that the actual panels disintegrate around them! Which leaves me working on how to replicate the “transparent pixels” effect with…a printed paperback cover.

This started with a “mini mockups where I tinker with layout possibilities” post on Patreon.

And it’s ended up with these two basic variants:

I tried a couple different versions of the “cracks in reality” effect, ending up with this sharp zigzag effect for the edges. Couldn’t get the more detailed, rough-edged version I used in the strip to look good.

Maybe I’ll see if I can work out a “torn paper edges” effect before the actual printing? Maybe not. (Any updates about this, I’ll post directly on the Volume 6 crowdfunding campaign.)

As for the basic color scheme, though — that could go either way!

Which one do you like better, readers? Light mode, or dark mode?

Now available for Patreon supporters: Annual memberships

Now available for Patreon supporters: Annual memberships published on No Comments on Now available for Patreon supporters: Annual memberships

Readers can now choose to support Leif & Thorn on Patreon on a yearly basis, instead of month-to-month!

You get all the same bonus content, at a 15% discount from the regular rate. I get the security of a more stable monthly income, fewer transaction fees, and less risk of cards declining. Patreon gets fewer chances to screw up your payment, and therefore less bad press. Everybody wins.

Already a monthly supporter? Follow these steps if you want to switch:

  1. Log in, hover over your profile icon in the top right corner, and select Manage  memberships
  2. From your Active Memberships page, click Edit next to the membership you want to change
  3. Select the Annual option (if available) on the checkout page
  4. Click the Update button. You’ll be charged upfront for the discounted price

Just joining us? When you sign up on my Patreon page, there’s a “Pay annually” toggle above the list of tiers. Click it to see the savings.

Any other questions? Check out this help center article, they probably have the answers.

Oneshi Press got grifted, so their comics are all on sale

Oneshi Press got grifted, so their comics are all on sale published on No Comments on Oneshi Press got grifted, so their comics are all on sale

Small comics publisher Oneshi Press recently got hit with a “tricked into giving a real refund for a fake payment” scam. They gave a play-by-play of how it worked in their newsletter — it’s worth a read, especially if you haven’t heard of this one before, and/or if you take high-price commissions!

They’re trying to recover with a store-wide sale. I’ve mentioned their Spring 2023 anthology, Destinations, before — it includes a Leif & Thorn short story, which has not (yet) been published or released anywhere else.

So if you were interested, but never got around to buying it? Now is a great time to pick up the ebook or the paperback.

Paperback copy of the Destinations anthology

(Creators got an up-front page rate for their artwork, we don’t get any extra royalties from ongoing sales. So there’s no personal benefit for me if you buy these books now! All the profits go toward helping an indie comics company recover.)

AI of the Storm/Still Evolving: original plot outline

AI of the Storm/Still Evolving: original plot outline published on No Comments on AI of the Storm/Still Evolving: original plot outline
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Volume 6 promo banner

I had an LLM write a summary for the next Leif & Thorn book, let’s see how accurate it is

I had an LLM write a summary for the next Leif & Thorn book, let’s see how accurate it is published on 6 Comments on I had an LLM write a summary for the next Leif & Thorn book, let’s see how accurate it is

But first, a recap: We’re gearing up to make the next Leif & Thorn book!

I scored an invite to BackerKit Crowdfunding, a new service from…well, the company I was already using to handle half the work from my campaigns on Kickstarter. So, yeah, we’re crowdfunding Volume 6 directly on BackerKit.

It’s still a few months out, but can you give us a boost by signing up to get notified when it launches?

Volume 6 promo banner

Meanwhile: I have this LLM free trial. (Didn’t ask for it, but it’s here.)

So I tasked it with writing a “funny and engaging” summary for Volume 6.

All the strips that will go in the book are already published on the site. Free and accessible to read. Collected in their own labeled category, even! And every strip is transcribed, in plain, easily-machine-readable text!

This is practically gift-wrapped for a bot to scan all the material, pick out the major character names and a bunch of common recurring phrases, and synthesize a summary that is…generally recognizable? In the right ballpark? A little confused, but it’s got the spirit?

And yet.

All the text after this cut/separator is generated by the LLM. Let’s see how it did, shall we?

Continue reading I had an LLM write a summary for the next Leif & Thorn book, let’s see how accurate it is

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