politics and HO

Postby The JAM on Tue Dec 05, 2006 7:20 pm

Oddly enough, I posted my suggestions which are quite similar to Skull's, but there was no feedback from either Ralph nor from anyone here...
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Postby Canis_lupus on Tue Dec 05, 2006 7:21 pm

blah. i guess i read it too many times and missed it. thx. its been fixed
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Postby Tom Mazanec on Tue Dec 05, 2006 8:10 pm

JAM, I liked your suggestions. Sorry it took so long to compliment you. I would like regularity, but prefer frequency. I would rather have two TotQ a week when Ralph gets around to it than one every Saturday (or whenever). YMMV. The cards earn money... paid a twenty once myself. But putting in a separate folder makes sense. Maybe one of you could put up a poll listing all the ideas and we could vote (can you allow multiple votes?).
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Postby Skull on Tue Dec 05, 2006 9:11 pm

Madmoonie wrote:Skull, if you are that desperate to change things, try something other whining and complaining. Petitions or polling might work. And if they don't, well, tough muffins. Personally, I like the way things are and am in no hurry to change it. But I might be the only, ask around and find out.


Whom shall I petition. Whom shall I poll?

This board is full of acolytes, sycophants and some known by lesser terms. A bakers' dozen or more have suggested that perhaps Onions might be better suited to Mr. Hayes' LiveJournal, or have expressed a growing disinterest in the gift cards and other non-comic filler.

Several, besides myself, have suggested various minor or not-so-minor changes that would not only make for a better read for us, but would help draw in additional readers.

All of which Mr. Hayes has either ignored; or discarded as impossible or unworkable, or by some disquieting twist of reason, somehow against his faith or beliefs.

You may tolerate the status quo but it's clear that others here do not, and it should be abundantly clear that Mr. Hayes himself cannot. After all, these strips, ostensibly his sole source of income, bring in so little he could not even afford base living expenses.

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Postby The JAM on Tue Dec 05, 2006 9:22 pm

Thanks, Tom.

So how about it, Ralphie? From one brother in the faith to another, if any or all of my suggestions are impractical for you, could you please tell us why? As difficult as this might seem to you, some of us here actively want to help you.
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Postby Skull on Tue Dec 05, 2006 9:36 pm

Tom Mazanec wrote:I would like regularity, but prefer frequency. I would rather have two TotQ a week when Ralph gets around to it than one every Saturday (or whenever).


The problem is, you're not getting two. When I stopped reading, I counted: Starting at the beginning of September, Mr. Hayes had updated Questor nineteen times in ten weeks, or not quite two a week. But fully half of those updates are gift cards or Onions filler. Meaning, of course, there was on average only one actual update per week.

Worse, those updates came scattered all over the calendar. Some on Sunday, some on Monday, some on Thursday, then two in a row, then none for a week, then another on a Wednesday...

That does nothing to entice the new reader, and discourages existing readers. Neither is what you want for a business.

The cards earn money...


I understand that. And no one is suggesting Mr. Hayes drop them entirely. However, for that $20, he interrupts all three strips, often for days at a stretch, with filler that means essentially nothing to anyone but those to whom the 'card' was addressed.

Again, that almost certainly dissuades new readers, and discourages existing ones. It also interrupts the flow of the archives, an important key in keeping new readers.

One must consider which would be better from a business standpoint: $20 once, here and now, or the possibility of twenty new readers, who in the future might buy five or ten books or CDs?

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Postby BrockthePaine on Tue Dec 05, 2006 9:41 pm

I really don't understand why everyone complains so much; your howling is merely convincing him even more that posting the HO is more necessary.
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Postby Skull on Tue Dec 05, 2006 9:57 pm

And what does Onions have to do with the business of making Questor profitable?

I'm attempting to tell Mr. Hayes that his actions are running contrary to his expressed desire to earn a living wage with his comics.

He, and now you, are twisting that into some sort of religious persecution.

And that is why he will continue to fail.

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Postby BrockthePaine on Tue Dec 05, 2006 10:58 pm

Skull wrote:And what does Onions have to do with the business of making Questor profitable?

I'm attempting to tell Mr. Hayes that his actions are running contrary to his expressed desire to earn a living wage with his comics.

He, and now you, are twisting that into some sort of religious persecution.

And that is why he will continue to fail.

~fin.

I twisted that into some sort of perceived pursecution? Oh dear. Help, help, I'm being oppressed! :roll: </sarcasm>

I think you have me mistaken for somebody else, though. I don't care if Hard Onions stays or goes; in any case it's not my decision. In short, I am completely apathetic on where it ought to go. What does annoy me is its propensity to bring in trolls who start little hissy-fits about the issue. Honest gentlemanly debate is one thing, and I don't mind it; but a lot of the recent arguing has been about as civil as a Neonazi convention being scheduled next door to the NAACP board meeting. And before you get bent out of shape thinking I'm talking about you, Skull, I'm not.

*Lapses back into apathy towards the arguements*
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“To preserve liberty, it is essential that the whole body of the people always possess arms and be taught alike, especially when young, how to use them.” - Richard Henry Lee
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Postby Skull on Wed Dec 06, 2006 12:02 am

BrockthePaine wrote:What does annoy me is its propensity to bring in trolls who start little hissy-fits about the issue.


Sort of like attacking and insulting a fellow webcomic artist merely for holding a different political opinion than yours?

Just trying to clarify the situation, you understand.

Honest gentlemanly debate is one thing, and I don't mind it; but a lot of the recent arguing has been about as civil as a Neonazi convention being scheduled next door to the NAACP board meeting.


Sort of like the "discussion" that takes place in Mr. Hayes LiveJournal? Where people that don't hold the same views as he, are routinely and regularly called "sick" and "depraved" and called "liars" and "scumbags"?

Again, just checking to see if we're on the same page.

And before you get bent out of shape thinking I'm talking about you, Skull, I'm not.


I'm rather unconcerned if you are. What concerns me is that more people would rather attack me for being, shall we say, brusque, or other posters for having the temerity to hold an opinion any less extreme than Mr. Hayes', than actually discuss the issue at hand.

I am no expert, but I believe I have offered sound advice. No one has tried to tell me why that advice is unworkable, or offer a modified/workable option. Instead I'm offered to be shown the door, thank you and good night and don't call us, we'll call you.

Boiling away the fluff and nonsense, we're left with a few inescapable facts:

One, Mr. Hayes sole source of income is these three comic strips.

Two, unless Mr. Hayes is lying to us about leaving his apartment and moving back in with his father, it's very clear that the income from said comics is insufficient as a living wage.

Any argument so far? Do I have any of these facts wrong?

Three, there are webcomics out there that do, in fact, make a full time living wage for their authors. In several cases that wage is even extravagant, in others, though, it's only workable with careful management, hard work, and thoughtful planning.

Four, we can compare common feature of those successful comics, and come up with an idea of what to do, and what not to do.

And five, we can compare those common ideas with Mr. Hayes' works, see where his system is lacking, and suggest changes.

Again, any arguments so far? Do I have any of this wrong?

Those changes that have been suggested do NOT require a change to the strip itself, the content or story; they do NOT require Mr. Hayes to stop writing or posting Onions, or to tone down the rhetoric in his LiveJournal. They do not require him to change or suppress his faith or alter his beliefs.

The suggestions are predominantly one of simple mechanics, of scheduling, and of organization. None of them require him to rewrite large portions of any of the websites, or to make significant changes in the appearance or operations.

And since Mr. Hayes seems uninterested in even discussing any of them, let alone actually trying any, what conclusion are we left with? Apathy? Not from the venom seen in his LJ. Lack of the necessary skill? He clearly has at least some of the skill, and has been offered help on at least two occasions that I've seen.

All I can think of after that is an obstinate "how dare he dictate how to run my comic!" mindset. I'm an outsider, I don't kowtow to him, I don't kiss up, I don't agree with much, if anything, he has to say (despite also being a gun-owning Conservative.) So therefore Mr. Hayes simply dismisses those suggestions, and will probably continue to drudge along as he is, because, you know, that'll show me...

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Postby Tom Mazanec on Wed Dec 06, 2006 6:17 am

This is Ralph's forum, concerning his strip. He has the right to control them. But he would rather be right than smart. I will just take my TotQ crumbs when I can get them, keep my part of the challenge if Ralph averages two TotQ a week till the 2007 CD, and try to come up with other ideas for how he can make money (I read antispam programs are starting to use optical character recognition on images that contain the spam message in my paper today. Still hope to get my Longscript's Journal in LD before TOO long :-) ).
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Postby BrockthePaine on Wed Dec 06, 2006 6:38 am

Skull wrote:Two, unless Mr. Hayes is lying to us about leaving his apartment and moving back in with his father, it's very clear that the income from said comics is insufficient as a living wage.

Ah, yes and no. He's living there momentarily as he's building a house on some property he's got. I don't know what kind of living he makes off the comics, as that's NoMB.
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Postby Tom Mazanec on Wed Dec 06, 2006 6:48 am

IIRC, it is a mobile home (easier to go to conventions, don't you know. And considering the facts that A) he does not live too far from me and B) EVERY CD I have ordered from him has had to be resent due to being lost in the mail, he just might hand-deliver the 2007 CD).
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Postby BrockthePaine on Wed Dec 06, 2006 7:08 am

Tom Mazanec wrote:IIRC, it is a mobile home (easier to go to conventions, don't you know).

Not now. That was the original plan, though.
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Postby Deckard Canine on Wed Dec 06, 2006 9:38 am

Skull, I hope you haven't left just yet, because I have a question:

Skull wrote:there are webcomics out there that do, in fact, make a full time living wage for their authors. In several cases that wage is even extravagant


Would you name some, please? I had thought that the most profitable webcomics merely helped to make ends meet. The most popular ones I know of are like that.
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Postby RHJunior on Wed Dec 06, 2006 11:06 am

Madmoonie wrote:You know, Skull, if you find RH's comics, LJ, and views so extraordinarily offensive....why are you still here?



It's a phenomenon known as "irritainment."



No, we are not talking about critics. A critic only eats at a restaurant or watches a movie or listens to a band only ONCE, render their opinions, and move on. Nor are we talking about satirists or pundits, who rant and vent upon the vexations of politics, popular culture, or day to day life.

No, we are talking about people who go out, find something they allegedly HATE, and then exert every ounce of effort they have making a pointless nuisance of themselves.

You see, for people such as Skull, it's not enough that they do not enjoy something; they must make it so that noone else can enjoy it either, for their incessant complaining. They aren't happy unless they have something to whine about, and a place to do the whining where it will irritate the rest of the audience.

These are the sort of slope-browed ingrates who never attend a broadway show without a rotten tomato in their pocket, nor stop at a street performance or public speech save to heckle the speaker. They go to the same greasy spoon every day, and even though they suffer heartburn and indigestion all day as a consequence, rather than eating someplace else they keep coming there-- and expend their limited cerebral energy griping that the service is slow, the coffee is cold, the food is awful <I>and in such small portions.....</i>

These people would go to a movie theatre, chew the chair gum, and then complain to management about the flavor.
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Postby Rbos on Wed Dec 06, 2006 11:11 am

Then there are people who read your comic, but put up with the crap because TotQ is genuinely a good comic, and would genuinely prefer that you leave the overt politicizing out of it. C.S. Lewis had it right; the story comes first, the Christianizing comes second. Your ministry will go better if you don't try to wave your cock around while you do it.
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Postby Rbos on Wed Dec 06, 2006 11:18 am

Tom Mazanec wrote:I read antispam programs are starting to use optical character recognition on images that contain the spam message in my paper today.).


yep, that's been going around. I hacked together a script to do that just the other day, in fact. :) works pretty well, adds information for the statistical filters to latch on to.
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Postby Tom Mazanec on Wed Dec 06, 2006 11:26 am

Can you replace the characters with another font you downloaded (like Lovecraft's Diary)?
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Postby Rbos on Wed Dec 06, 2006 11:34 am

Tom Mazanec wrote:Can you replace the characters with another font you downloaded (like Lovecraft's Diary)?


Sadly, yes, and this is just another new front opened up in the ongoing jihad between spammers and sysadmins. Making images un-OCRable is a pretty big part of it.

However, due to the way statistical filters work, it's not as important as you might think. OCR'ing will pull out gibberish from a lot of images, but very often, it will be similar gibberish. Which means, gibberish that's seen before will be recognized again in future.

So I'm cautiously optimistic about this catching a goodly percentage. As always, though, there are no _solutions_ to fighting spam, there are only alleviations. A problem like this has to be attacked with a 'drain the swamp' method, and as long as it's profitable to spam, spammers will thrive.
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