I get enough of that on DA.
95% of the notes I get of all the notes I get here are from some cat I never heard of and they ask, basically, "can you draw me something for free" ?
I talked about the difficulties of being an NSFW artist here and wrote a follow-up here.
In neither of those rants did I bother to mention my problems with Tumblr. Mainly because I had already left Tumblr a long while ago. The reasons I left weren't "policy" related. I joined Tumblr because I was told hundreds of people would share my work throughout the community. Yay!!
Instead, two, maybe three people consistently shared my work. Dozens, sometimes hundreds of people hit "like". Which, as a struggling artist, did me no good. What most people on Tumblr did share was the work of already established artists who didn't need any more publicity.
People are talking about starting some kind of alternative to Tumblr that will accept NSFW art. Good luck but how are you going to monetize it when it is the payment processors (PayPal, the major credit card companies) who are the real reason behind the NSFW crackdown?
If you're gonna create an alternative to Tumblr or any social media platform, ditch the "like" button. Make people either share other people's work or don't.
Share or share not. There is no "like".
Forget about it!
One thing about Stan is that he beat the drum for comics back in the 60's and 70's when no one else would.
I'm old enough to remember when working in comics was sort of an embarrassment. It wasn't a profession you bragged about working in. You told people you wrote comics but you were only doing it til you sold your first screenplay. Or you drew comics but only til you got that sweet Madison Avenue job in commercial illustration. Yet Stan Lee told anyone who would listen (college crowds, light night talkshow hosts, gameshow hosts, etc) about Marvel Comics, how great his artists were, how great his readers were. And he put up with the customary jokes from tv personalities who only really brought him on to belittle him and scoff at anyone who read comics (all in good fun, of course). We still have smarmy comedians who feel comics are stupid (Bill Maher, anyone?) but a lot fewer than in the 70's.
Being a NSFW artist of any kind is lovely in 2018.
Lately I've been wondering if, story-wise, Angela should even bother keeping her Blonde Marvel identity a secret. Years ago, I came up with the (not terribly thought out) idea that the reason no one recognizes that Angela Zaftig and the Blonde Marvel are strikingly similar is because of some kind of device embedded in her costume that makes people just misremember what the Blonde Marvel looks like. The device would emit some kind of radio frequency (or something science-y) that temporarily affected the brain's ability to recall what the Blonde Marvel looked like. Sort of like the concept of face-blindness, only on a temporary and oddly specific basis. But what about photos and news footage? Over the years there would be dozens of newspaper and magazine photos, tv interviews with and news camera footage of the Blonde Marvel. My brilliant face-forgetting device doesn't wouldn't keep people from recognizing Angela from print and video images.
Maybe donning a pair of glasses and styling your hair a different way is the better solution afterall.
That's IF he decides to deliver at all. How many times have you been home waiting for a package that didn't come, and when you checked with FedEx, the driver listed you as "no one at residence" or "facility closed".
UPS, on the other hand, I almost never have a problem with.
Apologies to James M. Cain.
Well, not really annual. The last time I bitched and moaned about how tough it is to be an adult cartoonist was a couple of years ago. Get your tiny violins ready. Here I go again:
PayPal still has a rule against selling erotic or X-rated works of art via their services. You can sell physical artwork or physical adult magazines but not digital material. Many people do use PayPal for adult commissions for example and they’ve never had a problem. But it’s a dangerous game. Know that all it takes is one “disgruntled” or dissatisfied customer who wants to report you. PayPal will seize the funds in your account for no less than six months. I got in trouble with PayPal once for putting one of their buttons on my website, blondemarvel.com. Turns out it’s against their rules to have a PayPal button on an adult website. My account was suspended for six months (they allowed me to withdraw the funds I had) and to tell the truth it was never really un-suspended. But I know of two artists who had their accounts suspended and they weren’t allowed to touch their money for six months.
I’ve sold a handful of adult comics via Drive-Thru. They are a great service. At least they allow X-rated comics, for which I’m grateful. I’ve made a bunch of money with them but I could have made more if my comic wasn’t X-rated. If your comic is X-rated, Drive-Thru kind of puts it out of reach of their casual consumer. It’s not included in casual browsing. It’s not included in some promotional campaigns.
Scenario: Let’s say I want you to check out my comic. On my website I provide a link to where my comic is sold on Drive-Thru. If my comic was a plain old everyday PG rated book, the link would take you directly to the page where my comic is sold on Drive-Thru. You can preview it and decide if you do or don’t want to buy it. If you do, then naturally you have to open an account, give your email address, and so forth. But, because my comic is X-rated, Drive-Thru won’t allow the link to go directly to the page where my comic is sold. Instead you are asked to give your information and affirm you are an adult. Then they will allow you to see my comic. This is ass backwards. Who wants to sign up to a website just to preview a comic they may or may not buy? I’ve sold comics on Drive-Thru but mostly to people who were already members of the site.
Project Wonderful: This is moot because I don’t use them anymore and don’t even know if they are still relevant in this age of AdBlock. But when I did use them, they were very bitchy about advertising adult comics. Not at first, but gradually they became more skittish about it. But what really got my goat was that a lot of cartoonists who were making adult comics themselves would not allow advertising from other adult cartoonists. As a website owner, you had to manually “opt in” to allow adult advertisers and many just failed to do so. It was frustrating to see a comic that was R or X rated that would be perfect to place an ad, only to find out that they didn’t allow adult ads. And by “adult ads” I don’t mean that the ads were explicit or raunchy but that the ad linked to an adult website. I had to write people individually and ask why they didn’t allow adult ads on their adult website and most were unaware that they had to opt in. Usually they would opt in and allow me to advertise. There were still one or two cartoonists who, inexplicably, did not want any adult ads on their adult website. Whatever. So, yes, I did manage to get my ads placed on most of the websites I wanted. Then Project Wonderful made some kind of change to their rules or algorithm. Big improvements. All new features. Remember all those people I wrote individually? Project Wonderful reset their preferences back to default, meaning they would once again have to opt in to allow adult ads. I stopped using their service.
Update: Just announced June 11th Project Wonderful is shutting down.
New digital comics service on the block similar to Drive-Thru. They had a similar policy in that my comics were not featured along with other comics because they were X-rated. I mentioned it would be nice if this policy were changed and to my surprise, it was. Also, they allow me to link directly to the page where my comics are sold. Potential customers are not re-directed to a sign-up page.
I’ve sold a handful of comics thru Lulu but I can’t really recommend them. They are a good service but they aren’t exactly the place where people go browsing and shopping for comics. As a publisher, a lot of your sales comes from people discovering your comic via just browsing and looking around and having your book featured in campaigns. People don’t come to Lulu to browse for comics, unfortunately. I remember for a long time Lulu was steadfastly against publishing adult comics. Then they allowed it. Then they were against it again. Now they are okay with it but I still wouldn’t recommend them.
I have no problems with Patreon (except that I wish I had more Patrons, ha ha) but I include them in order to point out the hypocrisy of PayPal. As an individual adult cartoonist, I can’t legitimately do business via PayPal because of their rules against selling digital erotic works. Yet Patreon uses PayPal to pay all of their adult content providers, from cartoonists to porn stars. Same thing with Drive-Thru, actually. The money I make at Drive-Thru is paid to me via PayPal. I understand that early on, PayPal did have a problem with Patreon providing adult content but funny how the almighty dollar solves all sorts of problems.
I published an erotic prose novel with them. I had no problem with them in that regard. I noticed they also sell digital comics. They do not allow adult comics. You can publish X-rated prose with them (in fact, they are famous for their porn prose novels with suggestive covers and titillating titles) but they are too good to publish X-rated comics. Not mad at Smashwords, just pointing out the kinds of things I’ve had to wrap my mind around.
They publish print on demand physical comics. Unless your comic is x rated. I believe they allow some nudity but no explicit sex. I’m not all that interested in physical media anyway. I remember when the idea of publishing my own physical comics and having them sold in comic stores and newsstands was paramount in my mind. It was a pipe dream because of the cost, the logistics and, of course, the prejudice most American printers have against adult comics.
I have not tried to sell anything on Gumroad mainly because when I first checked them out, they wrote they would not publish anything adult (they struck me as rather religious, so that made sense). I’ve since been told that yes, you can sell adult stuff on Gumroad. I know people who have. But I imagine Gumroad would be like Lulu, a place where folks aren’t shopping for comics. There are places like Drive-Thru and comixcentral where people are already there shopping for comics and then there are places like Lulu and Gumroad, where you have to take them there and hope for the best.
Comixology and Amazon:
Funny story about Amazon. I once had an Amazon button on my website. One of those deals where, if you purchase something from Amazon via my website, I’d make a few cents off the sale. After a while they wrote to say they did not allow this service on adult websites. I made a whopping 6 cents tho! As far as publishing comics via Comixology or Amazon, I’d rather not go through the hoops and the review process at the moment. Maybe later.
Well, overall, things aren’t as bad as they were back when I first started (Bush administration. Look it up). Back then there were almost no options for an adult cartoonist (unless you were somehow already internet famous or European). You could give your art away for free on sites like DA, no problem. But try to make money. Want to run an adult website? The credit card companies didn’t want to mess with you (still don’t). Want to sell commissions? PayPal didn’t want to mess with you (still don’t). Want to print a book? Printers didn’t want to mess with you (still don’t). Every avenue seemed closed.
Now there are a number of different options to make money. There are still roadblocks but you just go around them. Although I disagree with some of their policies, I’m glad Drive-Thru was brave enough to sell adult comics when they launched their service. They sure didn’t have to. I’m glad Patreon negotiated a way for adult content providers to use PayPal as a way to receive money. I’m glad Lulu and Gumroad were flexible and changed their corporate minds about not publishing digital smut. I’m glad all the other companies even though I’ve had mixed levels of success with them. Oh, and thank you, Al Gore, for inventing the Internet.
Lastly, I’m not as in love with the idea of exclusively being an adult cartoonist anyway. A long time ago, as I was facing obstacle after obstacle, I thought about just doing PG rated comics. I saw people putting out by-the-numbers Marvel comics rip-offs and they didn’t get hassled. It’s just I was too stubborn and didn’t want to feel like I’d given in to “The Man.” Now, having finally had some success selling erotic comics and commissions, I guess I no longer feel the need to “take a stand” against corporate hypocrisy. I can go ahead and make PG rated, by-the-numbers Marvel rip-offs without feeling like I capitulated. And then turn around and make an X-rated version and feel pretty sure that I could find places to sell both.
Artist Wanted-Prefer anime style
Seeking Artist- Need someone who can draw my OC in an anime style.
Artist Needed/ Paid Gig/ Must draw anime style
Looking for Artist(s) - Anime or Manga artist preferred
Artist Needed- Different styles considered but anime most preferred
Portrait Artist Wanted- I want to commision someone to draw a realistic portrait of my wife and I but in anime style
Desperately Seeking Artists--Looking for artists who don't draw like DarrellSan-PM me*
*I made the last one up
I see that a lot of readers think it was Harold that's been keeping Blonde Marvel from fucking everything that moves, lol, when in actuality it's been that darn writer! More than anyone else I'm the one guilty of putting a lot of restrictions on Blonde Marvel as far as when, where, why she will have sex. It's me most of all who's responsible for not letting her get her groove on. When I set out to do a Blonde Marvel story I seem to have all these built in restrictions...
- I don't want her to be raped (well sometimes but not without putting up a helluva fight)
- I don't want her to just meet some guy and bam jump in bed with him a page later
- I don't want her to seem like a recurring sex victim (like the characters at superheroine central)
- Or a ditzy, dumb blonde
- Then again, I don't mind if she is hypnotized, tricked, blackmailed or magically compelled to have sex (it ain't her fault, lol!!)
- And I don't necesarilly want her to have sex in every story. Most, but not every. Just fight crime (while being sexy).
- On top of that (there's more???), I had wanted each story to have all the typical elements of a Marvel or DC comic: plot, characterization, motive, supporting characters, action, humor, and on and on....
That's a lot of restrictions just to start off, and that of course impacts how popular she is (or isn't). I really believed (and still do) that if I was able to do the comic on a regular basis I could have made it work. Eventually there would be so many stories that there would be a story for everyone. People who were impatient for her to have sex already would have their stories. People who wanted more plot-centerd stories would have their stories. But in reality, I could only do the stories when I had a spare moment, a page here a page there, with some stories taking months, sometimes a year or more to finish (and it got worse when I went back to school a couple years ago). I confess that I was hoping Patreon would help free up some time so that I could do Blonde Marvel more. Like most artists, I'd like to make enough money from Patreon or something similar to just get up in the morning and draw comics until the end of the day. There'd be so much Blonde Marvel you'd get sick of her, lol.
About good old Harold. Harold was never meant to get in the way of her sexual adventures, I just thought having her be married added to the "spice" of the stories. I confess that I find x-rated comics, novels and porn where the heroine is older and married more stimulating than stories about single guy/single girl hookups. I've read a bunch of "one off" adult comics about MILFs who have an affair but there aren't many recurring characters. There's Velamma www.velamma.com/ for one, who, although a morally upright wife and mother, just keeps getting into sexual adventures she hadn't planned on. And there's Mrs. Hani and Mrs. Keegan from Duke's Harcore Honey's www.dukeshardcorehoneys.com/el… but not much else.
And I think that even without Harold, it would have been pretty much the same. She could have more sex but probably wouldn't, given all the aforementioned restrictions. The fact that, unlike other sexy characters, there is someone that Angela cares about and has to hide her indiscretions from, I felt, made the stories a touch sexier. Few if any sexy x-rated or r-rated superheroines are married (or have kids, or are over the age of 20) and I wanted BM to be all those things that the other's weren't. Problem is, because of my limited time and my desire to "get on with things", Harold and other supporting characters keep getting their parts left on the cutting room floor. Which is what got me thinking a couple weeks ago...what is the point, really, of having Harold, Cassandra etc., if no one's seen or heard from them since the Bush administration, lol!? I should either get rid of the characters or re-commit to using them.
I can't say what will happen going forward b/c more than anything time is my enemy. My output has dwindled since I started back at school and this semester has been the worst. I wrote everyone on Patreon week before last about how I just experienced a rare weekend where I had absolutely no schoolwork to do. I had no test to study for (I had just taken three) no project to work on, no essay to write, nothing!!! But instead of drawing I think I spent the weekend catching up on sleep, lol.
I am keeping the doors open to Angela being single/divorced. And the restrictions I had placed on her sexual adventures were never set in stone, they were just guidelines, sorta kinda, from which I approached each story. Where the story actually took me from there was anyone's guess. And of course I hold Susan's opinion about the character in high regard as she has always been a major supporter of my work, and a patron before there was Patreon. And I hold other reader and fan opinions in high regard as well. I hear all the time about people who love the character and I feel guilty because I haven't done much to earn that love, I don't think. Especially this past two years. My output has been so spotty and sparse.
Looking back, it had always been my intention to create other characters besides Blonde Marvel who would star in their own comics and those characters would be far more promiscuous and sexually free-er. All of the characters would have gotten their freak on but Blonde Marvel would have just been the more "conservative" of the bunch (but still sexually active). But outside of a few test drawings, that plan hasn't yet materialized. Again, free time and the lack of it. If they let me draw at school or at work, I'd be all over it!
The reason I have time to write this long blathering entry is b/c today is the beginning of the so-called Thanksgiving break. So called b/c there won't be much of a break. I'll be sitting at the Thanksgiving table, eating with one hand and working on a group report on Database Administration with the other. But no point in complaining (further). You do what you gotta do to get that diploma. I'm giving myself a day off to do what I want. I may even get to draw something.
Probably will be the last page for awhile. I enjoyed having some "free" time to draw this past weekend--no tests, no papers, no homework--I was all caught up--- !! But it looks like it's right back to the old grind from here on, at least til the end of the semester. What kills me is that when I used to watch sitcoms and movies about people in college. They had all this fuckin free time! They hey got to go on dates, go to parties, solve murder mysteries, fight the town's "no dancing" ordinance...and now that I'm in school I don't have time for any of that shit. I barely have a few hours a week to draw. Damn you Hollywood! I believed your lies!!
Well, hopefully it'll all pay off.
--Sean Brown. www.quora.com/What-is-the-most…
Confession: One reason I'll probably never get voted into the Porn Comic Hall of Fame is that my comics don't start off with two people meeting each other in the first panel and fucking each other by panel three. Me, when I do a story I tend to introduce the characters, then delve into their backgrounds, then reveal their character flaws and motivations, then I introduce some kind of plot complication and on and on and by this time either the reader has bailed on me or I've lost interest myself, lol.
So what I wanna do is a series of stories called Freeky Tales, where there's no lengthy plot build-up and we more or less get right to the "action." Yes, I still hope to one day win a Pulitzer prize for best porn comic but for the time being I'm focusing on these shorter, leaner vignettes. The first one being "The Glory Hole" which begins here:
Warning: Adults only (Explicit sex, bad language and questionable fashion sense).