Money for Nothing

So we did Family Movie Night last night. I gave the kids the option: Alita Battle Angel or Pikachu Pet Detective. I bought both Blu-rays. The kids overwhelmingly picked Detective Pikachu. 4 out of 4 votes to watch this movie. Claire bailed in the first 15 minutes after saying "Why is the opening CG so bad?" and "This is actual dialogue?"  I, too, faded into the background like Homer in so many bushes. We occasionally checked in and finger gunned the kids while they watched. "Hey! Family time!" before morphing into the floor all T-1000 style. I didn't feel overly guilty since we did stuff all day. And, you know.. I watched the first couple of seasons of the anime way tf back when it came out, but damn was I struggling for this to hold my attention. Claire does a much easier job of that given the option. So yeah, just let them watch and have fun together. Plenty to do tomorrow. So before bed (movie long over) I asked the kids how they liked it. Both us parents missed the climax and ending... and overall narrative or plot. 4 out of 4 kids... Ages 5, 10, 11, and 12.. All hated it. No really. Did not like it AT ALL. Pokemon's key demo here. I had instant flashbacks to when Toys R Us was closing. Me, Lily and Jack were all hopping aisles in a bustling liquidation. Jack is jumping rows ahead of me.  Darts in one aisle and right back out. Me: "What was down there?" Jackson: "Just stupid Star Wars crap." This coming from a kid obsessed with Star Wars pre-sequel-trilogy. So, I plead ignorance, and in no way want to instigate strife in the comments within the fanbase, but what went wrong with this movie? I really don't want to bother viewing it on my own at this point, so I'll just ask those that saw it. And to reiterate: all my kids love Pokemon. They have the games, cards, and toys. Jack even let out a magnitude 3.5 "OOOOOOOH!!!" when he opened the disc case to find a Pokemon card inside, and claiming it for himself. Where did they miss the mark on this? How is Hollywood taking guaranteed bankable franchises and completely failing to capture their own built-in demos? Are they just taking these fanbases for granted? These are LITTLE kids, and they hated this movie.  Comments were:  "It was sooooooo boring." "It didn't make sense" "They didn't explain the toxic gas thing" (I guess they lost the plot?) "I didn't like the main guy" "It wasn't funny. The jokes were dumb." "They kept jumping back and forth between Pikachu and the main guy. I didn't know what was going on." "It was really stupid." I mean like, WOW. These kids are acting like they were treated like idiots by the producers and writers of this movie. And that could be the case. I don't know. Me and Claire talked about it and I theorized it's the cheapness of Hollywood with paying decent writers for ACTUALLY well written scripts. We're all just pay pigs, so any ol' schlock will do. Just slap the label on it and the dumb masses will pay regardless. (Kind of like how my son feels about the new fat-Thor and girl-Thor. He watches these announcements on Youtube and he is visibly frustrated at what they're doing to his beloved character. "Do they think I want to see that? It sounds STUPID! THOR is THOR. He's not whatever!" Like, hey guys.. it's not just some sticker to slap on anything and expect money.) It seems like fanbases are either disposable or flat taken for granted. And it sucks when you see legacy franchises completely incapable of capturing the current generation, or, in some cases, so willing to shelve them for phantom fanbases they don't even know they can capture to begin with. Feel free to disagree. You can totally enjoy the direction of these movies, but I'm not influencing my kids, and they are royally checking out on their own. None of the girls like the super hero movies anymore, and my son said he does not want to see the new stuff. Thor needs to be god-like, Hulk needs to SMASH, etc, etc. They also have no interest in the Disney remakes, and they all think the new Star Wars is boring. *shrug* You guys tell me. Anyone experiencing the same?

197 thoughts on “Money for Nothing

  1. Poor little sheepshagging eggschaser.
    Wonder if his coach had a bet on him getting hurt?

    And I prefer to think the Blake creature, instead of hovering as he moves, is actually jumping like in those old Chinese vampire movies.

  2. You know I don’t mind the slow updates. The art is amazing and every single comic looks incredible. But I am also someone who just comes and checks out this comic for free. The only money I donate comes from the ad revenue. So I am not one to complain. But the Patrons? The people who give money to get updates? I weep for them. Because even when we get an update on the time frame it is almost never accurate. Days mean weeks and weeks mean months when it comes to SS updates. I’ll keep checking in and supporting the art but damn if this isn’t the most incosistantly updated web series in the entirety of the ones I read.

    1. What concerns me is what happens when the Patrons get fed up and bolt.

      The Patrons were what brought this back from near-death last time; if there are no Patrons, there’s nothing to stop this comic’s death. Again.

      1. I like what the Goblins comic does on this line; they get paid per comic page rather than monthly. So the slow updates aren’t as big a deal.

        1. The problem with that, is they can then churn out lots of updates and really mess with people’s donations.

          I’m a patron to this comic, but I can say, it was by page, I’d likely not be a patreon, as then I could just as easily be paying 20 dollars for what is less content than a normal comic book.

  3. Yeah, I gotta say Rusche, I was a patron, I love your work. But no updates for over a month? I don’t mean a new comic page, you’ve obviously had a lot going on with the ex-wife and the move, but just a message to say that the comic isn’t dead would be appreciated. Maybe even just a patron-only post with some line work or something. Just anything. I’m afraid I can’t keep giving you my $10 per month for nothing. I’m still going to check for updates, still going to whitelist this page on AdBlock, but giving away my money is just something I’m not in a financial situation to do. I hope everything is okay for you

    1. Agreed, Bravo Chief. I’m in the same boat; paid a couple times to access the Patreon-only stuff, and dropped when there was nothing for over two months. I pay a mere $5/mo. to support another comic artist (Bea R. of “InSecurity”) who is diligent enough to put out a daily (posted on GoComics and WebToons), PLUS offer additional artwork several times a month. In her case, the return FAR outweighs the investment, and I get the feeling she’s more the exception than the rule for most Patreon artists.
      As for Shotgun Shuffle… I, like yourself, will occasionally check for updates, but I can’t in good faith throw money at this without any reasonable return on investment. That’s the whole point of being a Patron; and frankly I respectfully agree with you, Yawn and the others. People donate in good-faith that they will get a reasonable amount of artwork and updates in return for the money they invest in the comic, as promised. That’s the deal. Obviously Rusche is going through a lot, but one must realistically ask the rhetorical question: at what point does it become an excuse and a crutch to not produce anything for an extended period of time, over and over again? I’m sorry, but frankly, it does wear thin after a while.

    2. I just dropped my support. I hope it gets more consistent now that his home life is more stable, and I’ll support again at some point in the future

    3. his new “wife” is just as useless and lazy. expect more of this, nothing is gonna change and itll only get worse.

  4. I got flamed both times I brought up the lack of basic courtesy,
    in not giving us any high sign when things were getting in the way of updates.
    As always, great art, interesting arcs; but disregard for the community enamored of the thing.

    If it resumes, great, even if we have to wade through a big TMI apologia of intervening horrors.

    1. You got flamed because your demands for basic courtesy showed no understanding of courtesy. Saying stuff like “You need” when actually the author doesn’t need to do shit on your say so. On top of that your persistent belief that just because something is posted you have to read it.

      If you don’t want to wade through a TMI just don’t fucking read it like a normal person. It should have taken half a sentence for you to determine you weren’t interested. The reasonable action would be to quit reading. Not read all of it and then scream, make demands and complain that not all content was relevant to your interests. If you choose to read something that you don’t care about that decision is on you, not the person who wrote it.

  5. It’s only been a month.

    We know the family is moving, and we know the kids have trauma.

    If you can’t remember that a human family is behind the screen on your phone/monitor, you probably shouldn’t be on the internet.

    One month is nothing, please take care, Author/Artist Family.

    1. You’re right.

      Doesn’t mean those who are patrons, want to keep giving, without any return.

      The Patreon acs for instance, haven’t been monthly, but the charges have.

      Maybe you should remember, they likely have their own family they can spend that money on, that does give a return.

    2. Sorry but that doesn’t excuse the artist. He can ignore me since I’m not a patron. That’s cool as he owes me nothing.

      But he has people paying him to maintain this comic. He has a duty to them to keep up with a schedule or at minimum communicate if there is a problem or going to be a delay.

      1. As one of the original patrons that is still contributing, I’ll slightly disagree with you. He doesn’t have a duty to us so much as these dry spells will slowly erode our number, as it has been doing for a while now (I think someone else said he’s down around $700 from his high water mark).

        To the commenter below I’ll also mention that this is, actually, a free comic, which happens to be supported by patrons who originally joined to keep the free part of the comic up and running. Rusche added the plot B arcs to be released there first as a way of giving something back to Patreon supporters, a bunch of us were ready to join to make sure his server costs were paid to keep the comic up with no extra over there.

    3. I agree with the responses. If this was a free comic, yes he’d have absolutely no responsibility to his fans. But its not, he has a patreon which does give him a responsibility to his patreons who give him their hard earned money to draw a comic. You think a real job would just let him take a month off? Hell no, they’d fire you in a heart beat. I understand if he has to take off, but its really shitty if he doesn’t at least return everyone’s money for his lack of posting. If he accepts the money but doesn’t post anything, then that’s pretty messed up. That being said, I’m not a patreon, so he has no responsibility to me. So I dont personally have any stake in this. But if I was a patreon, I’d be pretty pissed off to see that payment with no reward

    4. trauma lol hes moving his kids in with another unstable woman who has no assets and lives off her parents any trauma those kids have is because of his anger issues and ire only gonna get worse because of claire’s inability to raise children she doesnt even pay attention to her own kids

  6. I’ve got no criticism to offer, man. Chris, I hope you’re alright. I hope your family is hanging in there and that no one is in crisis or ill. Deal with all that’s on your plate, keep being your family’s Rock of Gibraltar. Everything else can wait, but kids don’t keep.

    Walk in Beauty

  7. Day “I-lost-Count”

    my first comment on this comic – been around for quite some time now (18 Months ?) – loved it so far and checking basically every evening for updates. i’m used to authors to take their time or having personal issues – family and stuff – but man ….. Pumpkins Birthday is going on since MAY 28th! I want MOOOOOOOAR :)

    1. Oh great, another one. If I don’t get to this one, Mr. Blue’s gonna turn my eyes into a watch fob again. At least we’ve got good health insurance on this job, and…

      Uh oh, was that last part out loud? Hopefully no one heard me.

      Anyway! You’re new here! I can tell because you just admitted it. So that means we can welcome you to the Shotgun Shuffle comments section with a complimentary gift basket!

      …the big thing here though is not to get your hopes up. We’re kind of on a shoestring here, so the basket isn’t as good as what it once was.

      So…what do we have? Umm…oh. Oooooooh boy. Well, better than nothing!

      We have half a bag of teriyaki-flavored beef jerky, a slightly-used cat ear headband–you wouldn’t believe the fight getting this away from Mr. Blue–and a coupon for one free breakfast buffet at Earl’s Lunch ‘n’ Lube, where the food is almost as greasy as the floor.

      Please, enjoy, and welcome to the Shotgun Shuffle comments section, where there’s always something new! Something, anyway.

      1. For the gift basket I can pitch in 974 pieces of a 980 piece puzzle (three quarters of the box picture included), the female half of a headphone extension cable, and a somewhat squishy watch fob mR. Blue sent me one time.

  8. Fairly certain I’ve waited much longer than this for updates at least once. And the quality is good enough that I don’t mind waiting a bit longer. Family and personal matters always take first priority, which I perfectly understand.

    1. Sure, I hope he gets his family stuff squared away. And I’ve also waited longer in the past, but this time is it. The title of this comic is apropos – I’ve been a patron since lat 2015. I seem to recall his patreon at 2500 at one point, it’s still at 1700. Tens of thousands of dollars a year for sporadic updates, no updates, excuses, and unfulfilled promises.

      I like the art, I like the humor, but this was the straw.

    2. I do hope that nothing tragic has happened to prevent him letting us know what’s up. I do understand why people are complaining, though. My issue with the lack of content this time is that he usually gives us some indication of what’s going on somewhere between here or social media. It lets us know that he’ll be okay and that things will eventually start back up again, even if he tends to underestimate how long it will take. I don’t remember him ever going more than a month without at least an update that something’s going on again that’s preventing new content. I know we had a way longer wait after one of those updates (I think it was something near 3 months once?), but we knew it was a thing because he’d already told us.

      I’m also one of the ones who stopped supporting on Patreon. I had been at the middle tier for something like two years or more and had to lower it due to my own financial situation. I ended it completely when I realized that we’re not even getting excuses anymore for the lack of content here or on Patreon. For a bit, he was at least giving patrons content even when it wasn’t happening on the main site, but it’s been months now of nothing over there. When he’d at least give us notice that something had gone south in his life, that was enough to appease me, but now we’re getting no word, no content, just silence.

      1. Honestly, blasting the personal stuff the kids went through was a bad idea. As lawyers lap that type of shit up for cases like this.

        1. True. I, personally, don’t necessarily want/need details. I’m happy with a “life is getting in the way, and I think it’ll be better in about a month” or similar versus silence. How much detail he wants to give is up to him. I’d just like any kind of update.

  9. I’ve been a patron for 57 months apparently, which works out to just shy of 5 years. I took a break from it when he stopped updating for multiple months. I’m a patron not for the side comics (but those are nice) but for the main comic. If the main comic doesn’t update though…well I’m not cancelling quite yet. Obviously he has a very hectic IRL situation, which of course his kids are more important than drawing.

    But I don’t know if he has another job. If he doesn’t, I worry that his lack of updates will lead to less patreons, effectively leaving him jobless. As another comment or said, a normal job wouldn’t stand him being gone a whole month on the regular.

    We miss you Rusche, hope everything is okay at home. And I hope soon you’ll be able to get into a schedule that works for you and your viewership!

  10. By now, it would seem likely that something has gone south for Rusche IRL. If he were not in a real mess, he would still at least be checking his site and this traffic on occasion. And he would be stepping in to preserve his audience. Outside of his consummate toon artistry, the readership is his major asset. It continues to confound me that someone with his talent has been so heedless of the common courtesies. Most readers would take any one-liner from him indicating he’s still active, and will catch the strip up to date later on. Patreon? That’s sagging, and will collapse on him at some point. Something has to have him upside down and backwards right now.

  11. I’m starting to think some badness happened with the baby momma, baby mommas boyfriend, or the kids and our esteemed host is possibly incarcerated….

    1. Possible but unlikely. If Rusche himself were somehow indisposed, Hot Female Fan surely would have tipped us off. If they’d temporarily had to relocate for the sake of a trial of some kind, again, either should have had a few spare moments to fill us in.

      1. I just wish he’d give some update, so that I can quit worrying whether he’s alive or dead.

        I’ve had authors just… DIE in the middle of a story, or decide that maybe they don’t have a story worth completing, after all.. or maybe there was a death in the family. Maybe their kid is sick and you’re a total bitch for asking how they’re doing after a month or two.

        You just don’t know; but I can’t say that I’ll donate to Rusch’s Patreon; I see how frustrated his Patrons are. They don’t like being left hanging, either… IRL strings you along too much already, people don’t need story-tellers who leave their audiences hanging.

        You’ve baited the line and set the hook; at least reel it in, or cut the line and say “no mas.”

      2. I just wish he’d give some update, so that I can quit worrying whether he’s alive or dead.

        I’ve had authors just… DIE in the middle of a story, or decide that maybe they don’t have a story worth completing, after all.. or maybe there was a death in the family. Maybe their kid is sick and you’re a total bitch for asking how they’re doing after a month or two.

        You just don’t know; but I can’t say that I’ll donate to Rusch’s Patreon; I see how frustrated his Patrons are. They don’t like being left hanging, either… IRL strings you along too much already, people don’t need story-tellers who leave their audiences hanging.

        You’ve baited the line and set the hook; at least reel it in, or cut the line and say “no mas.”

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