Things are a little quiet now that San Diego Comic-Con is over, but have no fear, we still have plenty of comics-related news for you. First up, a couple of stories about just how hard it can be for the folks who make comics to also make a buck:
On Wednesday, content subscription platform Patreon, which is widely used by comics artists (and people who want to be comics artists) to help pay the bills, experienced an usually-large number of declined payments, with some creators seeing all but a fraction of their pledges declined.
Look, Patreon is about half of my monthly income, so stuff like what's happening today is really bad. I'm in a good month financially(it's right after SDCC and gallery payments), so I can weather this fine, but Patreon has got to stop screwing with creators like this. pic.twitter.com/rXlo9EBKhv
— shing yin khor (@sawdustbear) August 2, 2018
Initially, Patreon seemed to blame the situation on users who needed to update their payment methods:
Hi everyone, as you know we're noticing an unexpectedly high number of payment declines. We're sorry for the frustration this has caused and we're doing all we can to help creators get paid by working with our payment partners and continuing to retry payments. More info below. pic.twitter.com/KI0sXGcQHc
— Patreon (@Patreon) August 2, 2018
The real problem? Turns out that as part of “creat[ing] a stable and global platform,” Patreon had changed its card payment processor to one in the UK without telling anyone, causing many banks to see this month’s charges are potentially fraudulent. This comes a mere eight months after the last Patreon payment fiasco.
Even when they can get paid, though, creators often have to deal with the exorbitant costs of everything, including, it seems, conference WiFi. WiFi is often dicey (at best) at conventions, and it’s not uncommon for vendors to be charged significantly for access. (Note: WiFi prices are often set by the convention centers or hotels where cons are held, not by the cons themselves.) The latest example of a supersized price for con WiFi is Flame Con, which bills itself as “the world’s largest queer comic con.”
For creators already investing a significant amount of money in the table fee, a place to stay, and meals, another $100 for WiFi—which many vendors need to reliably process credit and debit card payments—might be too much to ask for.
In industry news, publisher Lion Forge Comics announced they had hired Andrew E.C. Gaska as senior development editor, a new position that will focus on creating new comics properties, developing existing properties for media adaptation, and working with comics creative teams to ensure coherence across platforms. Gaska previously worked as a freelance creative consultant for 20th Century Fox, where he worked on the Alien, Predator, and Planet of the Apes franchises, as well as Rockstar Games, where he worked on the Grand Theft Auto series.
Some other things worth checking out:
Motor Crush (Image Comics), by Brenden Fletcher, Cameron Stewart, and Babs Tarr, will be taking a hiatus after the second arc, and will be going straight-to-trade for the third arc.
DC Comics pulled its upcoming Shazam!: The Monster Society of Evil Deluxe Edition hardcover because of racist content in the Golden Age issues to be collected.
CNN profiled the owner of the first standalone comic shop in Dubai.
Hillary Chute wrote about Ben Passmore’s Your Black Friend (and more!) for the New York Times Sunday Book Review.
Anna Peppard at The Walrus profiled what went into creating an Inuk superhero for Marvel’s Champions.