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I'm still plugging away at Patreon's second comic for this week, and it's a beast to color, so it may be creeping into the a.m. by the time I get it finalized. Just FYI. I'm also pushing my art giveaways to Monday cause I wanted to talk about something else that came up.
I want to tell you a little story, about how Shotgun Shuffle readers helped someone in need.
Some of you probably saw on Wednesday I posted about having issues with Patreon uploading my content. That's been resolved, but while I was waiting to hear back, I searched "patreon" on Twitter to see if anyone else was having the same issues as me. It's always good to verify whether or not it's a wide spread issue, or because I'm a moron. It was a little of column A, little of column B.
In that search, I checked out a few folks Patreon pages just to see what kind of art they were creating, and by strategic happenstance, I came across Ginny.
So I continue to scroll down to see what kind of digital art she's trying to make it's like KABLAMMMMM
And that's from someone wanting to go to school to become a professional artist. If you go into art school with that amount of talent, God only knows what you'd come out with. Her stuff would be melting people's faces off by graduation.
She didn't have a large amount of pledgers, and I felt very compelled for various reasons to donate to her monthly. I want to be very very very clear about this, because from this point on, anything and everything I able to do for her, includes my readers. Without you, my fanbase that supports me, I'd feel like I was floundering right beside her. If you've ever supported me through donations, or on patreon, or just by reading and increasing my pageviews when I had ads... you made it possible to help Ginny. If you've ever commented or emailed me to encourage or push me to continue this comic, or otherwise brighten my day, you made it possible.
Without all of you, I wouldn't still be doing this comic. You guys get every ounce of credit for helping Ginny through this difficult time. I just found her. I read her story, and made her family. The same respect, and kindness, and empathy you all showed me through some of the worst years of my life, is exactly what Ginny needed and needs right now. As I've said before, I believe everything happens for a reason. There's a reason I searched patreon on Wednesday, and out of probably tens of thousands of tweets, somehow stumbled on some old tweet she made. I don't even think the tweet I saw was in any way NEW or current.
So I donated to Ginny and asked her to email me. I said I'd love to make my readers aware of her talent. She told me she'd have no choice but to refund my donation, and actually asked me to discontinue my pledge. At this point, I'm pretty confused. Like, no way. I'm helping you! Fry is holding up his dollar bills. You're getting it. Turns out she wasn't able to fulfill her Patreon's rewards of even work on any new art in general, because her tablet blew up. She was at a point where a sketch and a WalMart scanner were her only means of bringing her art to you. She went from "Green Dragon Holy Crap Goodness with a tablet," to pencil and an all-in-one. Now I can't speak personally for Ginny, and I say this with all respect, but in our initial conversations she sounded pretty depressed. Completely defeated and out of options. With an assploded tablet, and the continuing medical expenses of her son, her art career was over.
Now, if there's one thing my readers have taught me, other than how kickass and suportive they are, its that around here, we don't take TECHNICAL DIFFICULTIES or hardware issues as an excuse, now do we? Since Wednesday, you the readers, took it to the next level. Through some quick legwork (me in AL and her in CA) Ginny got this within 24 hours:
Needless to say, she couldn't believe it. She couldn't understand why I would do this. Why I would help a total stranger to the extent I did. This is what I emailed her back:
I'm a single parent of two. Wife didn't want to be married anymore or have the responsibility. Immediately after, my son became chronically ill. It was only a matter of days calling out of work before they'd finally sit me down in the office and fire me for attendance. I had been doing my comic for years prior to this, for free in my spare time. Between all this I got really depressed and disheartened. Which is doubly difficult trying to be a parent. You want to be happy for your kids, especially if one is sick all the time. I told my comic audience why I was discontinuing my comic and focusing solely on my child/finding a decent paying job. I just couldn't be distracted by it anymore. I'd have to give up on 5 years of work and time I'd put into it. I, kid you not, got 100+ emails and easily 500 comments on my site from people I never talked to about how much my comic meant to them and made their lives better. Helped on rough days, stuff like that. I was overwhelmed. Especially when asked to launch a Patreon. I was being pledged money before my readers even had a page to send it to.
In a last ditch effort I did, and I went from practically zero income a month to what my page is at now. My readers pretty much told me, "You already have a job." And my lifes gotten better everyday.
Why am I doing this? Because where you are right now.. I've been.
The same generosity, and compassion, and caring my readers invested in me, is going to help you. What you do will go on to help someone else. I won't bludgeon you with my beliefs or anything. Just know God felt your frustration. He hasn't forsaken you or your talent, or your happiness. You are loved. :D
There are no strings attached. Only mandatory friendship. haha
That's about 5% of our emails together, but she's well aware I am giving you guys all the credit. I know I'm chronically late, I have one of those one-thing-after-another lives, and even when I try to keep my word all the time, I falter. But don't ever EVER think I take any of you for granted. Every comment you guys post I read. Every email you send. Every suggestion. Everything. And that same goodwill relationship I try to have with each and every one of you I can get to... just got channeled to Ginny. So feel good.
I know times are tight, and wages are stagnant. But if any of you can help Ginny continue her dream and the support of her son, please venture over to her page and give it a look. She's family now.