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Fanfic

The PSD for this strip is available on Patreon. And speaking of Patreon... Shotgun Shuffle will be splitting into two strips in the coming weeks. I talked at length with Jessica about this months back, and the second comic will be something exclusive to Patreon subscribers at the $2+ monthly pledge level. It will be two posts a week, Tuesday/Thursday. The second series will take over all the Plot B story arcs I've seeded throughout the comic so far. The quicker I can get producing these, the more I can post, so both can move at the same pace (albeit differing time frames.) There will be a cliffhanger with Friday's post (easy to guess what) that will pick up immediately via the Patreon page on Tuesday the 16th, while the normal comic (this site) will pick back up with Ellie's story. This is a tactic I'm only going to use sparingly, since I don't want to irk more casual readers, or those unable to donate at this time. The Patreon comic will continue with Pumpkin, answer the is-she-isn't-she question, pair her with an unlikely candidate, and eventually move on to some other elements of their universe. Both stories do intertwine, with each affecting the other (without hindering either story) so obviously if you're a megafan of Shotgun Shuffle, I'd suggest getting the expansion pak for $2 a month. :D Now originally, and hopefully to no one's dismay, I offered one additional comic per month at the $25.00 and up range. I actually had some partially done , but the issue I found with them (or with myself) was they were comics that were cut from the original storyline. They were trashed to begin with since I felt they weren't worth slowing down the story. So you could consider them the equivalent of a "Deleted scene" on a DVD. You watch it, and you pretty much see why it wasn't in the movie. That, and seeing each one by itself (which is supposed to have a place within the story) made them look like random thoughts and each one required a "This comic would have gone HERE" description. So in lieu of something I felt would ultimately look disjointed once a month, I'm giving you six comics that follow their own story. I just waited until the current plot permitted a good branching-off point.

203 thoughts on “Fanfic

        1. There she is, Miss Spammerica
          There she is, your ideal
          With so many readers she took the First by storm
          With her all-Spammerican face and form

    1. The answer to any question in which Jeffrey Combs can be an answer must be answered with Jeffrey Combs, unless it can be answered instead by “Brad Dourif,” “Lance Henriksen” or “William H. Macy.” Then there are options.

      1. Well ah, you see. The true purpose was to honor a school in Texas. However, since the inception of atomic warfare in the Peloponesian Wars of Ancient Gorham; the aglets representation were to mean that a man is ready for reproduction through transcendence and the forbidden dances that combined Stove Top stuffing with Rice-a-roni.

        Common man just think that they are there to pay homage to a web comic. So, what do you think about that there, Frasier?

  1. I don’t wanna have to “pledge” just to read a web comic, mostly because patreon, kickstarter, etc irritate the hell out of me, but I think I’m gonna have to anyway. I really like this comic and I like Pumpkin way more than I like Ellie. We shall see.

      1. I think saying I was gonna “have to” anyway was a poor choice of words on my part. I meant it more as a personal choice than as something I’ve no say over. To me Pumpkin’s side comics aren’t bonus material, they’re part of the comic I’ve been reading that’s now being siphoned off for profit. This is coming out way more antagonistic than I’m meaning it to, and I apologize for that, I’m not good at talking to people. Anyway, you have your reasons for doing this and that’s fine, I myself am not upset about it. If you were charging some ridiculous amount, sure, but $2 or so a month is nothing, and I think it’ll be worth it. The point I was trying to make before, and failed, was that while I don’t like spending money, and that I dislike the use of sites like patreon, that I’ll most likely pledge anyway because of how much I like the comic and Pumpkin’s character.

        1. I got so berated with emails pre-Patreon as to why in the world I didn’t utilize it to make my own comic money. Biggest reason I didn’t and stuck strictly with ads that weren’t making me anything more than $20 a month, was because I whole-heatedly DID NOT want readers to pay for the comic. I wanted it to be free for everyone.

        2. I could definitely see a Pumpkin spin-off comic working, though. She’s an extremely likeable character. I suspected you yourself were a Pumpkin fan when you made her the highest tier donor level. What would you call it, though? I could see “Pumpkin Pride” (alliteration + callback) or something related to her entrepreneurship like “Pumpkin Productions” as a name.

        3. I’m glad you wanted it free for everyone and for the most part it is free. But those of us that contribute do so because we want to. If you had ever taken a stand of “hey! you want this pay for it!” well, I would have dropped you quick. But we all know the realities of the world. You tried to keep it supported by ads, but that didn’t work out so here we are. And I imagine those that can’t contribute understand patreon support members might get an extra thank you with supplemental content. Shotgun Shuffle is one of only two webcomics I support. The other being “Girl Genius” I always buy the hardcover volumes when they come out. so take that as a hint – make a book if you can! Print it and they will come!!

        4. It still is free. None of us have to pay a dime to see Shotgun Shuffle. Those of us who give through Patreon are volunteers who have taken it upon ourselves to help provide you with the resources you need to be able to keep it free. If you don’t like the idea of giving donors bonus content because it makes non-donors into second-class readers, that’s totally ok with me. I would be happy if the only thank-you I ever got for pledging support was just saying “thank you.”

    1. What’s not to like about crowdfunding? A bunch of people who all want something pool resources together to make it happen. Sounds like a pretty good thing to me!

      Or is it specifically Patreon and Kickstarter that irritate the hell out of you, and if so may I ask why?

      1. The reason my dislike for such websites started is kind of silly really, but it doesn’t take much to irritate me. It’s a problem, yes, but anyway. I got real tired of seeing a lot of the webcomics I read delay their comic for weeks just because they were doing crap with sites like Kickstarter. I know it’s selfish of me, but I am who I am. Beyond that I can’t help but view those types of sites being used by people begging for money for one reason or another. I know some people have good reasons for using them, like Rusche, but my lack of faith in people doesn’t allow me to see the majority of users as having honorable intentions, so to speak. Perhaps it’s just ignorance on my part leading me to feel this way, but I’m also stubborn so I don’t see that changing. If I’ve been loyally reading a lot comics for a very long time only to have a bunch of them start changing things or neglecting their comic just so they can try and make money off of what they’re neglecting, when for years they’ve been making their comic just fine without, then it’s going to get annoying. If you want something from your readers, taking away the reason you even exist to them is not a good way of going about it. So yeah, I don’t have a good impression of crowdfunding.

        1. I’ve seen some of the delays for Kickstarter, but those delays are generally working for things that they’re going to sell anyway in their store. For example, Wonderella isn’t updating at the moment due to the author having a successful Kickstarter for a new book. His reason for stopping updates is that he wants to get that book done before year’s end. If he didn’t do Kickstarter, then he’d either piece the book together at a much, much slower pace (while saving up for up-front printing costs, presumably), or he’d still have to take a similar break. I saw another couple of webcomics that did a pre-order thing instead of Kickstarter and they had near-identical delays.

          I do think sometimes authors have issues from Kickstarter due to things like not putting a limit on how many signed copies of books they offer, or other things along those lines, that wouldn’t otherwise come up, but generally it seems like things that would come up anyway. I’ve also heard a lot of Kickstarter campaigns end up losing money from offering too much in rewards compared to what they’re getting in.

          On the other hand, I can understand having a strong opinion inertia, as I can have that myself at times. Not assuming this will change your mind, but thought I’d mention the data point.

        2. Yeah like I said, it could just be ignorance on my part. I don’t delve into what’s going on with people’s kickstarters because the only thing I’m interested in is their comic. If maybe it had been only a couple of comics being delayed in a decent time period instead of seeing “Kickstarter” pop up in their delay messages again and again, and now the rising “Patreon,” perhaps my opinion would of been different. It is what it is though, as long as the comic is good and the length between updates doesn’t get to something ridiculous like a month or so, I’ll keep coming back for more. Unfortunately though there have been some comics I’ve dropped for such reasons, oh well.

  2. Someone’s dubious arguments are about to come bite her on the ass. Lying to your new BFF so soon? That’s predatory.

  3. Am I the only one who finds the line “Nobody touches Robin but Batman” both creepy as hell, and maybe a little telling?

      1. That’s why we made it so campy. Isn’t that right old chum?
        *click*
        Heavens to Murgatroid, even
        *click*
        This week on sports beat
        *click*
        One of these days Alice. One of these days, pow, biff, bam, right in the kisser.

    1. Seemed like tossing in a well worn joke/meme to me. Like a 6 panel comic with the background of a factory of blue British police boxes on an assembly line and Dr Who (whichever is the author’s favorite) peeks out of one in panel 5.

  4. But you don’t HAVE a $2+ pledge level. You’ve got $1+ and $3+. One can pledge any amount, of course, but that is not one of the listed levels. Is $2 a typo, or will one be added?

      1. I like the pun, but I love the (to borrow a TV tropes term) genius bonus of making cosmetics out of a villain who was turned into a shapeshifting monster by cosmetics.

  5. That’s…kind of irritating to hear (about the patreon exclusive comics) actually. We’ve all been looking forward to those b-arcs for a while. 2 bucks isn’t a lot, I know, but it still colors the opinion of it. There’s a ton of lurkers that read you that this totally shuts out.

    1. As one of those lurkers, I understand how you feel. I also understand the situation Rusche is in – there are limited things he can offer those that are supporting him that he doesn’t also supply to the rest, and this provides an incentive.

      So he provides extra to those that provide for him… not as fun for the non-providers, but much more fair nonetheless

      1. Frankly, I don’t see a viable alternative for him to transition to a 5-day/week schedule. With that amount of work, I can only assume he’s trying to go “all in” as a full time comic, meaning he needs to be able to derive his rent, utilities, insurance, etc. from his work.

        Considering that Rusche is still keeping to his 3/week commitment for free, I’d say his plan is more than fair. Lord knows, plenty of other web comics use the same business model. TBH other than a warm-fuzzy for helping out an artist I enjoy, bonus strips are far more of an incentive to me than pretty much anything other than raffling off artwork commissions.

      2. The problem I have with these ‘extra comics’ is that they do intertwine with the main arc and do flesh out things he’d talked about long before patreon became a thing. IMO, patreon incentives should be extra (if at all), as completely separate entities. Maybe a non-canon or comic spinoff, for example (if he wanted to actually draw the comic they are making together that’d be a good example). Wallpapers, etc are other good bonuses. I will end up paying the 2 bucks (which like a fee now) – I’m just saying that it colors my view, a little. It feels a little “freemium” or ‘strongly suggested dlc’, if you will. Like games where yes, you can pay nothing and still get a good game – but really, if you don’t pay, you don’t get to enjoy the whole thing like those that do.

        1. I’m sure there’ll be several commenters pointing out relevant bits from the Patreon-only arcs in comics where they come up. It’ll be a little disjointed, but from the stance of hearing the whole story, a person should be able to manage that by reading the comments.

          Additionally there’s the wiki that we’ve kinda’ forgotten about and not been updating. Assuming that some of us get back to that, I’d imagine pertinent bits would find themselves there too (just look at some of the sister pages as they currently are).

    2. Well don’t be too dismayed, I’m considering the Patreon comics eventually making their way to the main site (by being inserted into the archive where they’d belong via storyline.) This would have to come after a full segment of story is concluded and a fair amount of time (think a year more or less) has passed to be fair to the Patreons. It could even be something I hold over to be added to print books.

      As I said above:
      “This is a tactic I’m only going to use sparingly, since I don’t want to irk more casual readers, or those unable to donate at this time.”

      No one understands more than me not to hurt or impede fan loyalty. But that also applies to the Patreon supporters. They need incentive, and also not to have their incentive turned over to the public immediately.

      1. If you plan on releasing books (rusche plz 10/10 would buy :D) then that’s usually where/when the patreon comics show up – once the book is released, slap ’em onto the archives and into the book format.

        I definitely understand the need for incentives to patreon. I just think canon storyline comics isn’t the way to go. It’s your comic, obviously, and we’ll support you regardless – just offering my perspective here. Your comic is the only one I have thrown/will throw money at. This sort of thing is definitely a good incentive, it just doesn’t feel like the “right” way of going about it, in my gut.

        1. Well if you want to know the whole story, which Jessica can attest to, the current Pumpkin storyline was ALL supposed to be on Patreon (even though it predates it, we were looking at a different type of subscription service back then that ended up not working out.) This was every comic from the convention plot that didn’t include Ellie. So the final fantasy fight, cosplay friends, Batwoman, Damien/Kat, Rosemary-mom-stealth, etc were all intended solely for that. Since the former subscription service fell through, I included those comics into the flow of the regular story, and now with Patreon up and running, I’m in a position to separate the two stories.

          So I understand how you feel, as long as you understand I basically gave you most of that for free (in my backwards way of thinking,) plus its hard from a business standpoint to not give those comics a jumping off point without treading on anything Plot B related. Otherwise, where’s the intrigue?

        2. Yep I attest that is exactly how it happened. My fault the others subscription service fell through but Patreon turned out to be much easier to set up and maintain.

        3. If you have a tech support contact at Patreon, could you mention to them that their login page is using an SSL cert that has the same public key they had from Heartbleed and they appear to be allowing (possibly requiring?) SSLv3 as well.

          Netcraft toolbar for Firefox displays the warnings and additional bits of info to remedy if they’re not clear from a quick description.

        4. Damn heartbleed. That and the equivalent of a room of monkeys (foreign hackers) with computers, names and a randomly sprouting digital thesaurus can tale about a month to hack a credit card. Or at least, they used to. It’s why I want the lowest number of people handling the money between me and Chris.

        5. Best solution for that in the US is to have multiple credit cards due to federal law limiting consumer liability to $50 (so most banks cut it to $0 for marketing anyway). From what I’ve heard maximal credit rating is from 3 or 4 cards. I have one that I use for gas, groceries, and other everyday expenses, another that I use exclusively for online purchases or credit purchases in shady locations I don’t particularly trust. Then I just check my statements before I pay each month. Realistically, someone could steal my card info and get away with a few extra gas or grocery purchases if at a place I frequent and I’d end up paying it. However I’d notice things out of my normal routine or big charges on that one. For the low volume cards, I’d notice ANYTHING extra. It works pretty well.

          The thing you have to remember is that computer science is the engineering equivalent of math. When you talk about breaking most other engineering discipline’s work, you need the tools of the trade. You need next to nothing to break things in computer science, and probably already have sufficient equipment anyway. With the Internet connecting everything and a thriving black market for illicit activities, that just makes it entirely too easy. So it’s going to just continue to be a fact of life for us. Even if we did allow ourselves to be restricted past 1984 levels, I still doubt it would be possible to stop it all.

          But, I’ll freely admit I miss the days when viruses were written by teenagers as their particular form of vandalism compared to these days where there’s such a massive amount of criminal and espionage behind everything adding a huge profit motive. Back then you could say, “Well, it’s clean because it’s not causing the problem the 13 year old thought was funny to cause you.” Now it’s more, “Well I don’t see THAT one any more, which might mean it’s gone or got an update to hide, and there are probably a LOT of other ones still there that’re deliberately keeping quiet. Am I certain my system that I’m using from my house to look up info on is clean…not entirely if I’m going to be honest…”

        6. Don’t know if they have those in the US as well. But my general distrust into online purchases has led me to using a prepaid credit card. The problem with it is that I have a rather low limit of I think 2’500 bucks a year I can put on it. But you can still get more of them if that’s not enough. Also, there’s at least two different providers around here.
          Now, fees are similar to your standard credit card. You’ll obviously end up paying more of them if you use the card in stores or at an atm. But for internet purchases, it’s more or less the same as with a standard one.
          And here comes the big advantage: Since I never load more than about a hundred bucks on it unless I’m about to use it within the next two hours, the amount that could be stolen remains rather low. And should I notice that someone did in fact get my information and steal what he could, I’ll just give the card back and get a new one. Costs me a visit to the next kiosk and 40 bucks, that’s it. At worst, it’s a bit annoying to me. But nothing that would endanger me financially or prove to be long-term problem.

        7. @Lukkai – As I understand it, the US law requiring a $50 limit in liability for credit cards isn’t the norm across the world, so that definitely changes matters. Here using a credit card is relatively safe as long as you pay attention to your bill. Since the banks are on the hook for the cost of the fraud, they’ve put a good amount of money into detecting and stopping it. A friend with a Discover card has his account set to text him every time a transaction goes through (it’s apparently an easy option on their web banking) so we’ll go grab lunch and he’ll be a couple steps from the cashier and his phone will beep with the notification.

          In the US using a debit card (including debit as credit) is potentially hideously unsafe. Pre-paid credit cards are ok, but have a few problems. Biggest one I’m aware of is they tend to have terms about monthly fees so you’re going to be paying for them, where credit cards are generally free. Big advantage they have is privacy, and they’re what I’d use if I wanted to do something with a credit card anonymously (I can walk into the store I get groceries at and buy one with cash, which I did once before making a failed attempt at online dating because I wanted that slightly more difficult for marketers to associate with all the rest of the data they creepily gather about me).

        8. Yeah, we don’t really have that safety when it comes to liability. So it actually can happen that you’ll have to pay if you can’t prove fraud. Usually will have to, as a matter of fact (though an insurance might kick in there).
          As for the pre-paid: I have a yearly fee of about the same amount as most credit cards do. Cards without a yearly fee are rather uncommon actually. I guess it’s basically the bank paying the fee for you to get you as a customer in these cases.

          Paying patreon with a prepaid should not really be a problem as long as you always keep the necessary amount on it. So you’ll just have to keep on eye on your balance. It’s what I plan to do at the moment, as a matter of fact.

        9. @Lukkai – Yeah, every country ends up picking different combinations of places to add protections and leave them off to get something workable/appropriate. We have less consumer protections in other places (privacy is an obvious one, additionally some of the things the US considers enforceable with contracts of adhesion [such as EULAs] are laughable in many other countries). Makes for different “best choice” answers at times, but otherwise I generally assume it’s a wash if you know both and a disadvantage for someone used to one set that moves to a place with another.

        10. Order of the Stick is fairly long-running, well-known webcomic, and it does stuff like this, too. In addition to the online stuff, there are 2 prequel books, and the dead-tree-printed of the internet stuff has (so I’ve heard) extra minicomics in to, too.
          And now there are Kickstarter-backer only comics as well (albeit one-shot, not ongoing).

          Most of the stuff you find about about isn’t VITAL to understanding the main plot, but it does add some very crucial details that greatly enhance the main story. The only way to find out this extra stuff is to either buy the book (in physical copy only) or illegally download a torrent PDF of the books. Most people like to support the comic anyway, and if you really want the info someone will usually be happy to tell you what you missed, but it’s basically the same sort of thing you’re proposing to do here, and it has worked out alright for that comic.

        11. Order of the stick. you should be looking to them for your model. I think the reason a lot of readers, myself included are feeling like being told that some of the content isn’t going to be free is a slap to the face is because of how your going about it and what your selling us. your selling resolution that your readers have been craving, and I think that is why it is bringing up shades of videogame dlc that is extremely underhanded (EA and ME3 anyone?) and freemium content. here is the first half of the story, but if you want the satisfaction of conclusion pay up for that quest tree.

          When you first said that you were going to be doing another comic for the patreon, my guess was that it was going to be like tales of the black freighter except with pumpkins webcomic. Shes a child, so you could put a bit less into the art to give yourself some room to breath in the style you have set, and it could have deeper meaning and show the slowly devolving relationship between her and cat in a different and fascinating way.

          But if you don’t want to go to that path LOOK TO ORDER OF THE STICK. Even long long long before patreon they were making a webcomic, and supplemental material they were getting paid directly for. Perhaps due to the format they were being published, in a geeky magazine, they decided to have each comic be a oneshot. you didn’t need to know the characters, the story before, or how it continued on forward to “get” each panel. because of this, you could enjoy the suplemental material, but once you found out about it you didn’t NEED to hunt them all down, you simply WANTED to.

          And I think that is the big problem here, I feel like I NEED to pay to continue reading the comic, and not delighted by a DESIRE to pay when I thought it was going to be like tales of the black freighter.With the promise of comics fitting into where they should have in the story in a year I and many like me who have also never commented in the past but been avid readers since near day one will probably just leave with a bookmark on friday and come back in a year or two to binge out on the story with all the resolution we desire, though I suppose since you don’t rely on ad revenue at all anymore were just the leetches and you don’t care if we leave.

        12. “slap to the face”
          “underhanded”
          “I suppose since you don’t rely on ad revenue at all anymore were just the leetches and you don’t care if we leave.”

          Well that’s certainly a lot of animosity over two bucks. You seem to be drawing some false conclusions concerning my intentions with this comic. I don’t talk about my personal life because I honestly don’t find it fascinating, or pertinent to the story. For the purposes of your comment, perhaps you’d like some background. Since you’ve been reading since almost day 1, you probably remember around 4 years ago Shotgun Shuffle took a year and half hiatus. I didn’t post anything. I couldn’t seeing as this was difficult living out of my car at a highway rest area. It was never the same rest area either. I’d have a great selection of postcards from all the states if these stops sold merchandise (See Patreon for locations.) I had an ex that absconded with my kids prior to this multiple states away, committing to me she’d established a place for all of us, and a place I had visited and confirmed beforehand. I gave up my 70K job with HHGregg (which I worked up to from cashier,) threw my belongings in storage, and planned to start over. This promise was reneged upon when I arrived. Occasionally I’d find a floor to sleep on with a coworker while traveling around for work, and fighting a divorce and child custody in another part of the country. In the meantime I had my storage locker looted and my bank account drained.
          I eventually won my kids. But I lost everything else in my life. Savings, wife, respect, good name, credit, about 50 pounds… Everything. I’ll probably die early from the ungodly anxiety and stress I went through. The last real thing I owned was my car, which just blew up last January. Where I live now, near my only immediate family, my distribution experience doesn’t amount to jack, and I lost my last local job because my son was chronically ill, and I missed too much work. Didn’t qualify for FMLA. I’ve been unsuccessful in finding a job for almost a year now. January 4th will be my unemployment anniversary. Whenever I wasn’t busy unimpressing potential employers (since having a sick kid is job-cancer,) I put every amount of effort I could into a resurrected dream: This comic. I threw every last possible effort into this comic trying to make hay out of it. Unfortunately ad revenue for the site was around $20 a month at BEST. That was my income. $20 a month from ads. Most months it was less. The sheer amount of effort and time was taking away from finding more work. Work that physically paid me something. I can’t clothe my kids or myself on good will or “Nice art today.” I wish I could, but I can’t.

          I decided I’d have to focus 100% of my efforts on employment, so I announced I’d be shutting down the site. Due to reader influence, effort, and support, I’M MAKING AN INCOME!!! I’m making money! For the first time in almost a year! My readers and God have brought me back from the brink. So what can I do to reward this? Or fuel this? How can I as your humble artist make a living off my craft? Slapping my readers in the face? Being underhanded? Only caring about the readers who pay me? Considering the ones who are unable to support the lavish lifestyle I’m living “leeches” and being unconcerned if they stay or leave?

          My answer to you is no. Not at all. Not hardly, not ever, and not in a million years.

          My answer is to double my efforts, post more a week, constantly improve the art, and certainly not to feel guilty about trying to survive. I’m 32 years old. My job prospects in this backwater area are flipping burgers and pushing carts. I put up with a lot. I have put up with a lot, and in this world, I will continue to put up with a lot. What I won’t listen to however, with all possible respect to your opinion, is being labeled an unsympathetic, underhanded and callous creator. This site maintains the real story. Patreon is the overflow. Patreon is the excess. Patreon is the reward for these folks preventing me from rummaging through piggybanks for quarters so I can buy food.

          Each comic takes 12-16 hours to make, and this is #335. You do the math. That’s all been for free. I have lost WEEKS of sleep bringing you this comic for free. You’re essentially saying the thousand upon thousands of hours I’ve spent on that and the continuing thousands of hours on future free site-comics plus additional material on Patreon isn’t worth $2.00. So much so, you’re willing to boycott the site for a year in protest. I am trying SO UNBELIEVABLE HARD to make something from nothing, and you’re insinuating it’s worthless. Or you just want to pick and chose what parts I’m allowed to make money from.

          The site story is and always will be the priority. Patreon is not where all conclusions go to be concluded. This is ONE time I’ll feature part of the story on both sites. It’s marketing. It’s marketing for my Patreon. “Hey guys, if you like what you’re reading, please pledge $2.00 cause I like shoes with soles on the bottom!” The free comic is the one that matters most. Still Plot A. I’m not punishing unpaying readers with blocking their visible conclusion to the story. I am however, offering the beginning of this story for free to everyone. I’m offering a compelling lead-in to the Patreon comics. All of it in an effort to provide for myself and my family. I’m sorry, but I don’t like living in abject poverty! Just because I make comics doesn’t make me different from you or anyone else. Don’t get some impression I’m pulling a Mr. Burns and I’m going to evilly yank each story out from under your feet. If you want to really know how I feel about what I’m doing, imagine your child is sent home with a bag of free groceries from school because they think you’re going hungry at home and have put your kid on the “poor/homeless” list. Now take that emotion, and read a comment from a reader saying how you’re using underhanded/greedy tactics and don’t give a damn about them.

          If I have readers who are only here to satisfy their curiosity over a fictional 15 year old’s sexuality, and NO OTHER ASPECT of the story, they’d quit reading regardless.

          Sorry if any of my response sounds terse or argumentative. It’s not meant to. Those are hard things for me to talk about and not ones I disclose to everyone. I also refrain from comments they may come across as combative or defensive. I fully understand where you’re coming from and respect your position. Please understand mine. :)

        13. Rusche, I wasn’t reading yet four years ago. Going through the archives I didn’t notice the 1.5 year gap between comic Turnover and comic Took You Long Enough. Glad you made it through.

          @Smazz – I can’t speak for Rusche, but I can say something for myself and the way I was raised. My parents were very nearly dirt poor at some points growing up (my brother tells me that I told him not to ask for anything for Christmas one yet, though I don’t remember that). My mom’s parents were always very well off and so I never actually lacked for anything I truly needed. However, I do remember from a young age watching my mom fight her mother and father to get the check at a restaurant so she could pay instead of them. It was very nearly no holds barred as long as it wasn’t too noticeable from other tables. I grew up internalizing that and I to this day I still step away from accepting much of anything from anyone if I can help it, even a sandwich or a beer unless I brought significantly more than I take. That’d be very difficult in an artistic trade for me, especially one that I got started out with for free (and happily I’m in a technical trade instead). To accept money from people for something that I’d been giving for free I would have a strong desire to offer something in return, and something they’d value. All Rusche did here was show the first part of the first something extra on the main site, so that everyone, Patreon or not, could see the value he was trying to offer. I can see disagreeing with that particular advertising tactic, but if he hadn’t put on the main site, you’d be just as out for the story you’d be missing with the only difference being not knowing what you’re missing.

          As a final point, if you look elsewhere in this page’s comments, Rusche has stated that he intends to put the Patreon only comics in the archive after enough time has passed that the Patreon supporters can feel that they’ve gotten a good value but then to allow non-Patreon readers to see them as well. I won’t say that the Patreon-only comic didn’t get a knee-jerk negative reaction from me (even though I started on the Patreon back when it started), but as I thought about it I relaxed because I want Rusche to be able to be able to make a decent living in a way that allows maximal time for him producing more comics.

        14. This is my first comment, I’ve been lurking for some time now. At first I had reservations about having patreon exclusive story arc strips, although I have been intending to pledge since you put up the link. I think it just felt wrong to me on principle. After reading this comment I realize that I wasn’t appreciating how much I have gotten at your own expense. My husband tried to start a web comic that became too much to juggle with our lives and he had to stop. I’m happy life is starting to look up for you and that I still get to enjoy this awesome comic. I’ve just happily pledged to support the only current web comic that I care about.

          Thank you for every thing you do.

        15. I’m very sorry if my comment made you feel that I had animosity, or that I genuinely intended to boycott or insight boycotting. I’m a very pessimistic person by nature, and I was more trying to play devils advocate rather then expressing anger. I wanted to speak for the unspeaking masses, and judging from the responses to your response, I feel that even if I might have hurt you a little it insighted good. I do remember the hiatus, and I remember almost leaving a comment on your Deviant art about it when you announced the shutdown this time. The slap to the face sources of animosity you list I picked directly from other peoples comments to you, because it’s clearly many peoples opinions, and the last was just, a dark statement of mine. I’m sorry but I hate that you removed ads. it makes me feel like I’m a leetch, I love sidebar adds on webcomics especially when they introduce me to new budding webcomics. finally, underhanded was used to describe ME3’s on disk dlc ending, or another good underhanded gaming example, bravely default and microtransactions.

          Now, PLEASE understand that I’m not trying to insinuate what you do is worthless, or that you shouldn’t be able to make money off it, in fact, if anyone here is a leech it’s me, I’m literally a camwhore, but that is besides the point. All I was trying to do was speak for those who would lurk till Friday then quietly wander off into the night all offended and principles held high.

          Speaking soley for myself now because I feel I need to despite the…. indescribable discomfort it causes me, I respect you. I only want to see you succeed. I only want to see this site retain readership. I didn’t want to write that, but I felt it all needed to be said to get you to truly speak out. I hope you don’t hate me for it.

        16. Of course I don’t hate you for it. The whole purpose of my comment was to show how much I care and appreciate my readers. I don’t want ANY readers to have hurt feelings or feel that they’re being taken advantage of. I don’t want anyone upset with me or my work. That’s unfortunately un-possible. I’m just doing as much as I can for you and everyone else who also reads for free, and those that support. I can’t give everyone everything, because then everyone will be happy but me, the one making the whole thing.

          You’re comment just came across as one that needed a response. I know some will assume or obfuscate what’s in my heart over my actions, and they’ve been leaving similar comments of frustration, but I promise I’m far from having malicious intent. I have numerous reasons for splitting the story that don’t even revolve around pledges. Honestly, the comic’s grown large enough it almost NEEDS to branch to get through the story. This way I can also tell it twice as fast. :D

        17. Thank you for that, It did need response, that was the whole reason my friend pressed me to post it. I’m a physically disabled freak who is horrible at communication, so I write, endlessly, trying to understand the thoughts of others. She’s also a fan and is actually planning to get herself your patreon comic for christmas, and we were talking about them so I showed her, and she said that you needed to see that. She helped me make it more… human, we also became friends over the order of the stick, and I threw in that last sentence at the last second without any editing.

          Guhh, continuing to try and explain myself and apologize and… This is why I hate talking as myself. Acting is so much easier >.<

        18. I’m not looking for you to apologize or anything like that, so don’t feel obligated. You’ve stated your concerns and I responded with 1 or 2 sentences (certainly not 8 paragraphs or anything silly like that.)

          The only thing I take issue with is that fact you’ve been reading so long and never commented earlier than now. haha

        19. Putting the previous chapter’s Patreon-only comics for the previous chapter after something like comic 10 of the next chapter would seem like it would work reasonably well.

  6. Oh, and by the way, the idea that Batgirl and the Question could ever defeat Clayface alone is an idea so far-fetched it may have come directly out of Stan Lee.

        1. And she picked up a fan fic and kissed someone, thusly becoming a heroine with a vapid, ignorant person who eats pies.

  7. With Pumpkin collaborating with Kat on the fanfic I’m going to say she willing let Kat in. With that, she is partially to blame for the coming “All Hell is Gonna Break Loose” scenario that is about to unfold in the next few days. Woo be to the child who has disobeyed her mother’s decree. And woo be to the interloper who has managed to wriggle her way into said child’s home.

    1. Yeah, I’m happy so many readers have so much faith in Pumpkin being an obedient teenager. But she is still that. A teenager. She already pulled one over on Ellie leaving the convention with Kat before even notifying her sister.

      1. Wait I thought she talked to Ellie about that before hand. Or did ellie say no in that convo and she conveniently forgot? I still want to know how kat talked her way in there!? ARRRRGGGGG!

        1. I think haha’s saying s/he thought Pumpkin spoke to Ellie prior to leaving the convention. If I recall correctly, she called Ellie when she was halfway home.

        2. Well my post was really two questions. One about the conversation with Ellie and also one about how Kat talked her way in there. Which I would still really like to know about. Pumpkin seemed so definite about that.

        3. Pumpkin seems to be getting her alibi ready in case Kat did come over so she could perhaps poor one over on her mother. Is Pumpkin playing both sides of this issue to get the fan fiction done?

        4. I don’t see any alibi other than her being tied up at gunpoint or laying unconscious with a tranquilizer dart in her neck holding much weight with Rosemary.

      2. There’s a difference between ignoring your older sister versus your mom, however my faith in Pumpkin was less on the obedience side and more on the assuming greater powers of observation and seeing Katrina a bit more clearly.

      1. Yes, Woe…not Woo, which goes with Hoo for Woo Hoo!!!! Not always observant in the morning…or afternoons or evenings. Okay, spelling and grammar aren’t my thing. It’s not my fault. I grew up in the south and attended public schools. :-(

        1. Bah, I was just having fun with the slip-up. Your post takes on a whole new tone as “woo” but surprisingly has the same end result. ;)

  8. First off, I feel like I have to say “I TOLD EVERYONE THAT KAT WAS A PREDATORY BEE-YOTCH AND I WAS F#|<ING RIGHT!" Not that anyone was arguing with me very much but I do like being able to say I was right anyway.

    Secondly, I am certainly hoping that Pumpkin turns on Kat if/when her mom tells her that Kat kicked Bubbles and Ashliiii to the curb.

    Thirdly, I was going wait until after the holidays to patreon but I may no longer have any choice in the matter…

      1. Oh, good. I was going to ask that question, but didn’t want to cut in on the Patreon flow of money. I’m not really excited about a recurring credit card charge. I *could* buy a pre-paid credit card, I suppose, if Patreon accepts those.

        1. I could see Rusche being willing to release a digital purchase for the Patreon arcs as they finish for people preferring not to have a recurring charge. I’m sure he’d want to have that in larger lumps and not do it twice a week as that’d be a pain and would overwhelm profit in transaction fees, so it wouldn’t be immediate, but would offer it before the year later or whatever he chooses for putting back in archives.

        2. Batch payments are the way to do that, and also take into account the question of those fees versus Patreon’s cut or the cut of any other store if putting them up that way. Question is how Rusche & Jessica plan to implement the side comic, are they going to put up a login-only section to this site, post them on Patreon activity feed, something else? For the first method they could take payments to unlock an account for a time, but if they do Patreon activity feed then probably something like putting up finished plot B arcs in digital form on GumRoad or something similar would be most feasible, which would also be much more of a delay until you got the story. So much depends on implementation details we won’t know yet.

  9. Reading the Pumpkin/Kat plotline, I feel like the obnoxious movie goer that yells “aww hell, no, girl, don’t go in there!” at the screen in the middle of a horror movie.

    1. Yup. I kind of thought Pumpkin would cheat by keeping Kat on the porch or something. “She didn’t come IN the house.”

      1. My grandmother told me about my cousin. He’d eat 95% of something that’s normally a treat, then when someone asks, “did you eat all of these cookies (or something)?” He’d say, “no. I didn’t eat all of the cookies.”

  10. This was hilarious. Between the Robin joke and the pun/genius bonus for Clay-Belline I was cracking up over here. It does leave the question open to if Pumplin gave Clayface Tarra-Os as a shot at Terra or because she’s using Tarra as a standard of beauty.
    .
    Also, I was commenting earlier in about what to call a Pumpkin spin-off (if you’d gone ahead with it). I think I’ve settled on “Tactical Pixie-Cut” as my suggestion.

      1. Oh, no, I was referencing an earlier conversation when you mentioned thinking of making these Pumpkin comics Patreon-only because they were supplemental. I went off on a short tangent about going even further down that route by making a named spin-off.

  11. You got to name the spin off and it has to be an awful pun. Even if the spin-off is short run. How about ‘The Pumpkin Patch’? Someone come up with a theme song…

  12. Totally waiting on Kat to open the door again and have the terrifying glare of Rosemary Buckingham staring right back at her XD

    1. I’m seeing Pumpkin opening the door and Rosemary holding her finger to her lips in a SHHH gesture as a possibility too.

  13. So just a quick question will we not even see how Pumpkin’s mom resolves this/how much trouble pumpkin is in without paying?
    Cause sure keep all the strips regarding Pumpkin’s sexuality, and stuff about this fanfic for payers only that’s fine. But I feel you should at least allow one comic for your readers to at least know is pumpkin on a shirt leash in her house, rebelling, everything ok, etc. I mean you’ve had us on this arc for awhile now, and I like some closure on it other then, it looks like she’s in deep trouble. It feels like reading any of this arc has been pointless if that’s the case.

    1. I’m guessing that if nothing else it’d come out in a conversation with Ellie. I’m sure whatever Pumpkin’s punishment will be, it’ll seriously cut into her preferred passtimes.

    2. You’re assuming I haven’t thought of the story from the readers of Shotgunshuffle.com-only, which I have, and it will be referenced later in the main site story. Also, don’t limit what matters in what you’ve read to “Is Pumpkin gay or not?” That is far from the only significance to future plots.

      1. No I’m not assuming. The way you worded it made it sound like the issue would not be furthered addressed. Hence the question. As for what matters, I was just stating the big question that most are expecting to have answered from this arc.

        1. It might be best to wait until Rusche has done whatever it is he’s doing and then critique it. I’ve seen a few reader comments that were completely off-base from what he said, and I also saw a couple comments from Rusche that made me aware I also had misconceptions.
          .
          Given all the subjectivity, my suggestion is wait until Monday to pass judgment on the split. Then we’ll all know what he did instead of be interpreting what we think he announced he would do.

        2. It’ll take a bit longer than Monday to have info on what he plans to do & how. Personally I think it’ll take a few comics into the next Plot B arc to have a good idea of what the final plan is.

          Only thing I have in the back of my mind to be upset about is if the planned method requires a Facebook account for login because signing up for Facebook is something I won’t do. However I suspect he’ll post them on Patreon the way he’s been posting the Photoshop files for some drawings, so it shouldn’t be an issue.

        3. On Monday we’ll actually have seen what he decided to do in action for the first time, rather than speculating on what it will have been. Reactions will probably be closer to reality, in other words, having been anchored to something other than the inference of words.

  14. Aaaand you got some money outta me, ’cause I want Pumpkin adventures. I was planning on pledging anyway, I just kept procrastinating because I don’t like the hassle of creating an account and, wow, I shouldn’t have been because that only took like 10 seconds.

  15. Don’t feel bad about spinning Pumpkin’s story line off to Patreon (if you even do — I’m just guessing here). There’s nothing wrong with supporting yourself, even to a small degree, with your art. The idea that art should be free, while nice for the consumers of said art, doesn’t necessarily help the producers of that art in the long run. Artists gotta eat, pay the rent, pay for servers, and so on. I don’t begrudge you this split, especially since you are 1) not asking for a ridiculous amount*, and 2) not blatantly monetizing your entire site/output.

    We tend to have a strange cultural attitude towards artists. For some reason, it’s assumed by many that artists should produce their work for free, or “exposure” (whatever that is), or the like, while everyone else works to, you know, make money and earn a living. There’s nothing wrong with wanting to be paid for your work, whether that work be digging ditches, writing code, running an office, or creating a comic. I think we sometimes forget that in this age of so much free content.

    * = I say this realizing not everyone has $2 they can drop on a web comic every month; but when you’re asking that much for ~ 8 extra strips/month that aren’t central to the main story, I think the amount is arguably reasonable overall.

  16. Sad face. I am not a fan of this new direction Shotgun Shuffle is taking… It feels like users are being offered pre-order bonuses or premium content, which in the gaming industry has always struck me as a very underhanded move. Yours is the only webcomic I’ve ever given money to, but this doesn’t feel right to me. I’ve patiently waited more than a year for another Quinn arc, and now (if I’ve interpreted the comments correctly) I’m only going to see more of the her-and-Eagan stuff if I pay money for it. Sure, it’s only two dollars. Netflix is only $8, comic books are only $3, buying an upgrade in Clash of Clans is only $4, a weekly beer is only $5… Shotgun Shuffle becomes another expense now. Small, sure, but definitely real. I tell people about this comic whenever I can, but now there’s always going to be that disclaimer of “don’t get too interested in the storyline for X, it only resolves in the premium content for paid subscribers.”

    This alienates casual readers in such a dramatic way. Sure, you’ll probably be fine. You’ll maintain your core readership, the dedicated fans will happily pay and the people like myself will begrudgingly sign up. You’ll be able to support your art with it. The “pay-to-win” model works, no doubt about it. It just feels… I don’t know, “businessy.” Like something EA would do.

    In the end, it’s you’re art, and to ask you to continue giving it away for free is an incredibly entitled move on my part. Do what’s best for you. Just thought I’d voice my feelings.

    1. Not sure I take kindly to comparing Chris to EA. Unlike EA, he is providing most of his content for free, and charging an optional, bare minimum for a small portion of extra content so that he can keep the website afloat.

      1. That’s the thing, though. It’s not extra content. If the Quinn storyline is being continued there and not here, that’s content that I’ve been waiting for for a long time. Resolution I’ve been craving. It’s canon, and time exclusive. If these were new storyline a about established characters that you have to pay for, that’s extra content. Finishing storylines that we’ve ready started on, though, that’s what I take issue with. To ask people to pay for something that they’ve been given the first half of for free is kind of a hard pill to swallow.

        As I said, it is his art and I would begrudge him none of the success that this would bring him. If he can bump it up to five comics a week for a measly $2 a month, I’ll gladly pay for it.

        1. My understanding was that it’s the Pumpkin storyline that’s getting its final comic (for this arc) on Patreon. The main storyline with Ellie and Quinn is resuming next week.

        2. I’ve been waiting for the fast food crew storyline that we were told would be coming up a long time ago. I get the feeling it will be a secondary arc in these comics, too, so I feel you. It’s definitely not ‘extra content’ to me.

        3. Well the only other Fast Food storylines I have would be a possible Hooter’s parody (but that’s been done to death and my ex is a Hooter’s girl so meh) and the Drive-In story, which I already seeded Ashliii appling at, and Bubbles currently works.

        4. I interpreted that as asking about major plot arc III, which you stated branched at the comic Ratches where Ellie’s laying on her couch talking to Tommy on her new phone leading to much talk about fan service and gravitational coefficients in the comments as I recall.

          You’d stated that the third arc would go at roughly the same time and KK would be a (not sure if the) main character in that. I don’t know that you specifically stated that much of the rest of the O’Jack’s crew would be in that or not.

        5. You are right, “entitled” is the word for everyone who is taking the line that you are. I understand how nice it is to keep getting something for free that you enjoy and want to see BUT IF you recall, Chris was going to have to shut down Shotgunshuffle entirely because he was drowning, until a readers’ campaign convinced him to try Patreon. So everything that he posts for free is not just for free, it’s bonus material compared to the nada we were all going to get, and something everyone gets thanks to the Patreons. Seems like a bloody good deal to me.

        6. From the statement that this main page is going back to Ellie’s story and that we’ll be seeing a lot of Quinn soon, I suspect you’ll see Quinn here next week (or maybe the week after).

          Additionally, in a comment above Rusche said he’d put the Patreon comics on this site after some period so the Patreon supporters feel like they got value for their money but to allow everyone to see the whole story eventually (as in putting them up when printing a dead tree version, maybe a year later, etc).

          It also sounds like he’s doing this as a replacement for some form of periodic extra comic otherwise that he was going to do at a higher tier, and that would be 14 people at the time of this writing, as opposed to the 85 it is now. Also he dropped the one tier down a dollar for this (used to be $1, $3, $5, $10, $25, $50, & $100; now $3 is a $2). Part of his reason for not doing the other plan he stated was that the finished product wouldn’t have come out as well.

    2. I will write up a more complete commentary, later. For the moment, I will say that this is part of the changing economics of comics.

  17. For those who are contemplating forming an anti-Kat mob and rioting don’t forget to stop by for your complimentary torches and frankenstein rakes. Can’t form a mob and riot without your torches and frankenstein rakes!

      1. Reminds me of the Jim Gaffigin bit.
        “Things are starting to get ugly…”
        Ugly person – “Guess that won’t impact me.”

    1. Merry. I’m sick of kangaroo courts, mob rules, and riots fueled by emotions running amok in the face of forensic science.
      I’ll just stick my for our and let Kat trip into either Rosemary’s or Ginger’s or Ellie’s chest face first each time she leaves the house.

  18. Random theory: Kat went to the dad behind Rosemary’s back and talked him into hiring her as a babysitter, since Pumpkin apparently can’t be trusted alone.

    Immediately shooting down my own theory: that would require her to talk to A) a stranger she’s not criticizing B) a parent C) a man.

    1. Kat talking herself into babysitting would actually increase the creep factor of the situation.

      “Come, on, you know you want me alone with your child. Come oooooooon…….”

  19. And just because I like pouring gasoline on everything, lighting a match and watching the ensuing hijinks I offer this.

    In his above post where Chris discusses Pumpkin’s imminent pairing with an “unlikely candidate” he linked to the comic “Batwoman” in the archive. Why? At first I didn’t put too much thought into it, assuming it was done because that was one of the earlier concrete examples of Pumpkins “Is she or isn’t she” orientation being openly discussed but… why not “Odds Are” where it was discussed for the very first time? Is there something more specific in the comic “Batwoman” that Chris is hinting at? Is Chris doing subtle foreshadowing that the “unlikely candidate” is in that particular comic? If so there are only three people appearing in that comic (not counting the off panel cashier and PA announcer.) Ellie and Anise are Pumpkins sisters so can be taken out of the running, that leaves Quinn. Boy would that be unlikely.

    *tosses the match and runs*

    1. Pfft. Obviously he was talking about Soviet cartoon salesman. Is mentorship. Not romantic entanglement with someone so young. Nyet, nyet.

    2. It would explain a lot of Quinn’s comments, questions, hints, flirts, and otherwise sexy dressing. She’s the one that, out of the blue, asked about one sister that might, ya know, not be into boys, maybe. Then gave all the other sisters “the vibe”. Her sudden domestic streak, as they shopped together.

      And the fact that she is also in the know about certain bat personages. Curiouser and curiouser.

  20. What’s this I hear? An artist trying to make a living from his work?! Scandalous!!

    Artists should have to work 40 hours a week like the rest of us so that they have rightfully earned the privilege of entertaining us with their doodles and whatnot. Anything else is an abdication of the American Way! If God wanted artists to have money, he would have given them trust funds.

    The idea that I should have to part with 7 cents a day to view content that rightfully belongs to me as part of Internet Law is insulting and unacceptable! Do you want me to completely defund my latte budget? If so, you are woefully informed as to the extent of my Starbucks patronage. It will take another dozen webcomics before you even start to touch the cost of my flavor shots, so get to work, you shiftless Commie!

        1. Ah, that was directed at Thor. I was basically saying, “You’re preaching the truth, please continue.” as a joke.

  21. And now she’s flat out lying to Pumpkin about who was at the door? Man, how much more of a punching-bag character can she be?

    Also, Rusche, I just want to clarify that my Patreon pledge has always been to keep the comic alive, not so you can double up on comics. By all means do what you want, just… please don’t take on more than you can handle right now.

      1. Thirded. I want this to last for the long haul.

        And I’ll happily pay $2/month to get it, although I’d prefer an option for pay for a year’s worth at once.

  22. You know, I’d like to say Pumpkin is smarter than this, but this is the same girl who let Ellie write an essay for her instead of doing her own work.

    That being said, Kat is supposed to be more of an adult, and is seriously creeping me out.

    1. I gave Pumpkin more credit as well. Still, I think she’ll wise up when Ashliii texts her about not being a Mormon recruiter. I’d also love to know what Kat said she was to Pumpkin when Ashlii and Bubbles were sent off for only being “friends”.

      1. To be honest, I gave Kat more credit, unless she’s planning on making the move for whatever is all she actually wants from Pumpkin pretty much immediately, I don’t see how she could fail to believe Pumpkin won’t hear from Ashliii & Bubbles next school day in class at the very latest. Extremely clumsy lie that can’t stand long on its own.

        1. I get the feeling that Kat is not really thinking the whole thing through. And just about her current and immediate wants. And that she’ll always get them, because she’s who she is and woe to whomever tries to stand in her way.

        2. I can see the selfishness and the impulse control problems with Kat, but I’d thought she was engaging higher reasoning functions a bit more in terms of planning her…well whatever it is she’s trying to do. On the other hand, we’ve certainly had plenty of evidence that she doesn’t react well to curveballs and comes out verbally swinging when challenged.

  23. My obligatory complaint about the Patreon comics is that now I’m going to have to remember my Patreon password.

      1. You recall correctly. I found it and I had set a decent one since it takes credit card info (decent for me is >12 characters with all four character classes and not used for anything else).

        I did consider writing it on a post-it and putting it on my monitor with a childish grin on my face, though.

        1. You don’t use PasswordSafe (or similar software)? I’m shocked. Well, not really shocked, just more like “Oh, well okay.”

          Still, I don’t worry about keeping track of all my many online passwords. I just click “I forgot my password” whenever I need to log in.

        2. I use PasswordSafe at work due to the need to share passwords with others (I keep several based on those groupings), but actually at home I don’t. Combination of reasons. One is my tendency to hop from one computer or OS to another and not have any common storage (I don’t leave multiple systems up and on the network at the same time), so syncing would be irritating. Second is that I didn’t like the Linux clients I found last time I looked (~3-5 years ago). Final one is that I consider that even with more irritating than most would tolerate personal computer security practices, I still figure it’s a 50/50 if any given OS I have is owned, so I prefer to keep such things in a non-electronic format (and that’s where I found my Patreon password, I’d mainly forgotten that I hadn’t used one of my common insecure passwords for it when I tried logging in a couple of weeks ago).

    1. Zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzssssnorrrrrrrrrrt.

      *smeck, smeck*

      Mr. Blue can hardly lift his head, reducing his ability to maintain open eye lids. So, he plops his head back down, and after three hours, he can maybe fall asleep. . .

  24. After a few hours of digestion, I’ve decided that I fully support this new direction. Rusche, you absolutely deserve to be paid for your work. The fact that I was complaining was selfish and entitled. I will sign up for your Patreon immediately, and I’m super stoked to see where this comic is going.

  25. Huh. I was reading yesterday’s comments and something just occurred to me. According to Rusche all of the sisters are variants of Ellie but I was specifically thinking about how Pumpkin is Kid Ellie and Tarragon is Super Ellie. This means Pumpkin is potentially Kid Super Ellie.
    .
    Of all the family members, the only ones who know the fusion dance, summon things, or have an iron in every money fire are Pumpkin and Tarra. It makes me wonder if Pumpkin will serve as a means of explaining where/why Ellie’s life veered off the road to success and fell into Slacker Gulch.

    1. He said that at one point, but he said at another that sisters 4-6 were a repeat of 1-3 with an extra serving of flaws and 7 is the bonus. There’s also the 7 sisters to 7 sins mapping.

      I suspect both of those methods of looking at things are depending on the question you’re asking/answer you’re looking for. So I suspect there are others as well that will come out at random other times.

      1. Indeed. At this point, I feel we should put on our monocles before continuing this high-brow discussion. (pause) There we go. Good sir, while it is true he mapped them to the Seven Deadly Sins and as Success/Failure Pairs with each other (with Pumpkin as the exception), in addition to each sister being a Variant Of Ellie, but at present I only see this storyline as possibly going into the Variant thing.
        .
        Though my question to you is, do you share my belief Pumpkin (as Kid Ellie) might be used to show where Ellie went off the rails to become Tarra (Super Ellie) at some point?

  26. I’m hoping that the whole Kat thing is going to eventually serve as an object lesson to us to not judge before knowing the whole story, and that all the creepiness we’re perceiving is going to be explained as harmless, lest we begin painting almost everyone the sisters engage with as creepy or damaged in some way. (exaggeration, granted, but….)

    Also, adore this comic and Rusche’s efforts.

    1. With that said, the most recent behavior, major judgment error on Kat’s part if she’s just lying out of lack of confidence or something else. Creep-o-meter definitely spiking, just HOPING she’s not going to turn out to be a total, irredeemable creepazoid.

    2. She’ll turn out to be a cautionary tale on making judgements of someone based on their ever escalating sketchy behavior just like Alex did.

    3. Well, we could’ve had that, but I don’t think it’s going to be. As evidence, I site the following comment by Rusche (from comic Every Effort – 12 Nov 2014, comment posted by Rusche at November 12, 2014, 4:39 pm and linked in reply to this message):

      [begin quote]
      I’ve been withholding spoiling the story with elaborating on character motivations..but its not about “enjoying herself.” Pumpkin is to Kat what Ellie is to Danny. Tactics and expected results are the difference.

      Neither Danny nor Kat, who I consider quasi-love interests, concern themselves with who either of their counterparts ‘are’ but are more interested in who or what they desire them to be. Kat’s tactic is to be influential.
      [end quote]

      From that, I’m just not seeing this being a, “You’ve misjudged Kat” experience.

  27. Chris, thank you. I just wanted to say that. I get so much joy from your comic, and if I wasn’t a less than minimum wage waiter, I would totally be all over your patreon. You could also try kickstarting an art book or use lulu.com so people could order hard copy editions. Anyway, just wanted to say thanks and I love the comic.

    1. A lot of webcomic artists seem to use GumRoad for digital editions of their work. I’ve got 8-10 in my account there, all were free as Kickstarter rewards that are also sold on the site for people who weren’t part of the Kickstarter. Can’t say it’s a great site, but I can say at least three other webcomic authors all are using it.

    1. Someone also known as Pat in comments before the Black Friday arc (and a few after), who used to like to modify his avatar based on what he was saying.

        1. @Mr. Blue: You’re the girls?! If I read that right, I tip my hat to your sock puppetry, good sir.

        2. For future people reading comments, I don’t think that’s the case. I believe Rusche stated that they were coming from 7 different IPs and just appeared to coordinate in real life. Also the one that posts as Ginger was definitely a different commenter that used to comment more often.

  28. I so need to make up a gravatar (or whatever) account so I can remember how I’m posting from time to time. This is “Second Post” from a bit further up. My inconsistency is consistent.

    Rusche, your comic brings a moment of zen pleasure in the middle of hectic, stress-laden days… except when it’s not updated ;)

    1. My browser remembers what I type into non-password/non-credit card fields, so I recall what I put last time using that. Also if you allow the site to store cookies it’ll keep it (I allow session cookies, so only my first post of a browsing session has it unfilled).

  29. Just want to say one more thing about the Patreon discussions above. I think what everyone who is objecting to the new direction might be missing is this: This is Rusche we’re talking about. I know folks may have had bad experiences with big companies employing the pay as you go concept, but it’s not about the concept, it’s about the person/people executing it. This is the guy who spends HOURS and HOURS on each panel of art for the enjoyment of his readers. If there’s anyone I trust to walk the fine line of what to charge for and what not to, it’s him. Because I know he’ll make the decision with his readers foremost in his mind.

    1. Well thanks. I remember your first few posts on the site were quite critical of my work/story direction. Now youre all having my back about it. You’ve become the Vegeta of my comments section.

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