I believe that cartoonists, artists, and writers should be paid for the good works they put out into the world. Unfortunately this is not always the case. In the world of web comic cartoonists we can safely say that no one — except for a rare handful — gets paid adequately for the content they produce and make available to everyone. The mentality is, Why should I pay for something that’s free? Although that’s a fair way to treat it I think people should pay for content that’s free when they begin to attach a certain value to that content. If the reader sees the content as something good that has significant merit, then it goes without saying that the reader is placing some amount of value on that content. It follows that something of value can be given a fair price. I know what you’re thinking — Oh no, she’s going to start charging people to read her web comic! Don’t worry, that’s not what I’m after. I’m not going to block my site to people who can’t afford to pay. Comic strips have always been an affordable everyman’s art, and I would never put my comic above that. I will, however, do everything within reason to get compensated for something I believe people have come to trust as good and worthwhile entertainment. Would you agree with me on that?
If you don’t agree with me on that point, and don’t like my web comic, then stop reading this — it doesn’t apply to you. This message is for readers who really enjoy reading “Velia, Dear” and are dying to find out how this current story ends. Yes, there is an ending — I just haven’t written it. If you’re caught up on the story you’ll see that the ending can go two opposite ways — Velia can say NO to the “Bracemaker” and let her ma wither and die, leaving Velia a mass of guilt and nerves. Or, Velia may say YES to the “Bracemaker” and… Whoa, I don’t know. Anyway, think about this: What would you give to participate in the ending of the story, and have some influence on what our Velia decides to do?
Here’s my proposal — I’m going to let you decide how the story ends. You can vote YES or NO to Dr. Tesla’s Bracemaker with a donation of any amount in the tip jar. (Write “Yes” or “No” in the comment section of your Paypal transaction.) You may vote as many times as you like, but votes without a tip in the tip jar will not be counted. The vote that wins will be the one with the most amount of money. (For instance, if there’s a ga-zillion dollars raised toward the YES vote, and only a zillion for the NO vote, then the YES vote wins.)
I will write and draw the ending of the story when there is an accumulated amount of $2,000 in the tip jar. I’m not under any delusions here — I’m well aware that “Velia,Dear” is not hugely popular, and therefore there’s an excellent chance the donations will never reach that amount. Or else, there’s a chance it’ll take a century to raise it. For this I’ve thought it necessary to add a deadline for voting: The goal of $2,000 must be reached by Wednesday March 14th, or the present story will be left as is.
Ask yourself what the last couple of years of enjoyable entertainment is worth. 10 bucks? 20? 50? A kick in the pants?
(As for the future of “Velia,Dear”, it will no longer be a strip that updates 3 times per week. My sights are set on taking it one step further — I want to write stories featuring Vel, and ma and the whole cast, just like the 4 1/2 page comic you see up there right now. So, yes, there is more “Velia,Dear” to come!)
Now I’ll leave you to think about my proposal. I’m okay with not ending the story. The question is, are you?
Tomorrow’s installment of “Velia, Dear” will have a brand new format. I’ve made this change for two reasons. Number one — owing to the fact that the strip has undergone some changes since it was launched (mainly that it has become a story-oriented continuity strip rather than a newspaper style gag strip) I’ve had to discard the 4-panel strip format to a comic story format — which is far more accommodating to telling stories.
Number two, I’ve made the decision to begin a new round for “Velia, Dear.” This new phase will be more in tune with telling different stories and vignettes, running the pages in a comics format, as I’ve mentioned. This will mean that you, the reader, will get to read fully completed “Velia, Dear” stories of up to 3 or 4 pages in one reading, rather than 3 days per week, spread out over months.
So, yes, the thrice-weekly updates have ended, and a new way of presenting “Velia, Dear” is about to begin. I’m really excited about this, and hope you will be too.
Hey, everyone, I just wanted to let you know about an interview I did with Sean Kleefeld at MTVGeek. Sean and I discussed all things “Velia, Dear” including how the web comic differs with “Tina’s Groove”, “Six Chix” and my gag cartoons. We talked about process, and all that nitty gritty stuff that I know the geek in you loves. (If you don’t have a geek inside you, then I suggest you go out and find one because being a geek is fun.) Anyway, here’s the link: MTV Geek Interview…. thanks for taking a look!