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September 17, 2007

Today's Comic
S*P 1937

September 17, 2007

First off, let's talk RSS feed: S*P has a new RSS Feed. It went up September 4th. If you subscribed to the RSS prior, feel free to try this one instead. It's not based off the LJ Syndication and, for me at least, works better (I had a problem with old entries just vainishing).

Second, I'm finally at the end of the grabbags. FINALLY! If you're in the U.S. and don't receive yours by next Monday, the RWW store and we'll fix the problem. Also I finally got the "Love is Stupid" shirts in - but oddly, THAT'S ALL I GOT. I'm going to be investigating that today (which is just what I wanted to be doing). Anyway, back to the Random Art Grabbag Sale - wow. I've never had people that interested in merch before. I wasn't prepared for it - but it was a nice surprise. Hopefully you'll all be as kind when I retake the S*P store a week from today.

Oh, yes - a reminder. The S*P Store is coming back "in house" next week. There will be a link in the store to the old Warehouse23 store until they sell everything off - and I'm not repeating most of the designs they've had (although some, like the Rippy shirt, will return) - so if you see something you want, get it. You may not get another shot. I'm looking at probably just combining RWW's store with the S*P store - and later, MM and S*P 1937's (if they do merch). WE SHALL SEE!

Oh, yeah. S*P 1937.

So, I'm a little shocked. Usually, anytime I do something that isn't S*P, I get the usual, "I don't like it when you do something that isn't your main comic so stop" emails. Actually, they're usually more inflamatory than that but I digress. Instead, everyone seems at least curious. If you don't know what I'm talking about, allow me to explain: while Josh (who'll return tomorrow to ad duty) was "inactive" for his move, I decided I didn't want a big "for rent" ad up for a few weeks up - so instead I started a comic about Davan's namesake (first mentioned in the "Namesake" storyline) and his grandfather. The first strip went up on September 7th - and it's updated every day since, usually at midnight (although I REALLY needed sleep yesterday so it updated at around 6pm ET when I finally woke up - sorry about that). The 1937 strip for the day is in the sidebar spot, and therefore on every page so you've no excuse NOT to find it. Also, there's a "previous" and "First" button above and below that strip so you can see what you missed and there's a 1937 listing in the archive.

Those who have noticed (a surprising number of you, at that) have given me kind input and asked I consider keeping it. It's usually a pretty fast strip to do. As you can see there's no real photoshopping - I do it all in just pencil and ink. The average 1937 strip takes me an hour to an hour and a half from start to finish. So, I've considered it and, for now, yes - it's going to remain an ongoing feature on S*P, but under the following terms:
  • I have to keep enjoying doing it (which I'm not too worried about)
  • it will only last about three to four years.

  • So, here's the problem that sort of arises: that's an ad spot. That's a MAJOR revenue generator for me. My readers, historically, haven't been the biggest merch buyers (but here's hoping the grabbag sale was a sign of that having changed) so by putting a comic there instead of an ad, that cuts into a lot of my earnings. So this is what I've decided.

    First off, all purchased sidebar ads will be honored - there will be no strip for those days. But after the last of those is purchased, no more sidebar ad on S*P for the foreseeable future (unless my "big plan" falls through horribly). Instead, we'll be selling sponsorship positions, like in old radio dramas.

    The sponsor position for 1937 will be a panel at the front of every S*P 1937 comic. The panel will be 160 pixels wide, and 229 pixels tall - just like the panels of the comic itself. It must also be black and white to greyscale, to match the comic. Since the panel will be IN the comic itself, that means the final panel will be a non-animated GIF - this means no more Flash or animated ads in the sidebar.

    However, the entire comic will be an active clickable link to that sponsor's site - so, the day of the sponsorship there will be an active, clickable link to their site on every public page of S*P. Unlike the sidebar of the past, however, the comic's place in the archives will also be a permanent, clickable link.

    So by sponsoring a strip, you are purchasing a permanent link for anyone who reads the comics online to find.

    Oh, and yeah, custom-made sponsorship panels can be arranged for a price to be figured - and yes, S*P and S*P 1937 characters can appear in said panels as long as they're acting "in character." The ads rules will apply as normal.

    S*P 1937 will also have its own site in the future where the comic will be horizantal, not vertical - the site being, more or less, a mirror for the "Old" strips. The sponsorship panel will be there are well, and again, each strip will be a permanent link to that sponsor.

    The price will remain $75 a day - but for that you're getting a permanent link on two sites.

    Should your ad's address change, you get two free URL changes - so if three years down the road someone scalps your domain, we'll redirect to your new home.

    This is something we're going to test. Hopefully, it'll work out well. If not I'll have to figure something out. I'm glad everyone's liking having a comic in the sidebar, and this seems like the best way to keep everyone happy and my bills paid.

    Oh, two MORE things (sorry, I'm long-winded but you should be used to that): thanks to S*P reader Megs for inspiring the sponsorship ad idea - it is GREATLY appreciated. Also, the "backup site" is most likely an inevitability in the near future - let's face it, I like to randomly go longer than four panels in S*P and I'll probably want to do it for the new comic... when that happens, there will be a link button on the bottom of the strip on this site that'll take you to the rest of the strip. I can't really have 12 panels running down this page. It just seems... unwieldly. But I can do somethin' in the archives. WHEEE! -R

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