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sohmer

Questions & Answers

Dec 11, 2013

First and foremost, a huge massive thank you to everyone who participated, supported and pledged to the Kickstarter. It means a great deal to us knowing you want these things as much as we do.

At the end of the day, we weren’t successful, for various reasons, none of which detract from the fact that we gave it our all.

I’m sure you all have some questions about what this means, and how this affects certain things and I’ll try to address them all.

LFG: Volume 6

We are returning to our regular way of handling book launches, and the pre-order for LFG: Volume 6 is underway right now. Lar and I will be signing the first 1,000 books sold, so I’d advise against delay.

Books will be shipping out early January.

lfg-vol6preorder-blogpost

Dick in a Hat

Same as the book, we’re doing a pre-order right now, with the hats shipping out early January as well.

Trust me when I tell you these hats are fantastic.

lfg-richardhat-blogpost

Note: Both the book and the hats are en route to us now via boat from China. Should you have any control over the weather, try to give them clear waters.

LFG: The Animated Series/ LFG: Movie

The big question of course, is where does this leave development on the animated series and/or the movie?

Unfortunately, both are going on hold for the foreseeable future. As a company, Blind Ferret is going to focus our larger projects (animation, video games, etc) on other properties and brands.

I hope to revisit this in the future, but for now, as far as LFG goes, we’ll be focusing on the comic itself and related merchandise.

If things go well, my hope is to at least be able to start producing more animated/musical shorts within a couple of years.

NPC

January 3rd, 2014 is when we’ll be launching NPC. But what is it? And why will it mean you’ll be coming to the site twice as often as you do now?

That it?

I think I covered it all, but if there’s anything else you have a question about, I’ll be running around in the comments section for the next little while answering what I can.

As always folks, we thank you hugely for your support.

-Because I Can.



  • safyrejet

    I just placed my preorder for the book. I really would have preferred to see the KS fund, sorry it didn’t make it.

  • Simbosan

    Sorry you didn’t make it, I am in a deeply broke state at the moment or I would have added my support.

  • Fengor

    Did you guys reset the accounts for the shop or something? My old one doesn’t seem to work anymore, and it wouldn’t send me a password reset. I ended up having to make a new one under the same e-mail. (which I figured it wouldn’t let me do if my old account were still around) Just a bit confused, but I’ll be putting my pre-order for volume six in shortly anyway.

  • Tommaso Piani

    I pledged support for kickstarter (25dollar pledge), and unluckly, couldn’t support on the previous kickstarter. Maybe, you’re aiming too high. I’d still love to see an animated series. But maybe, you should try to do just one pilot episode, with a much more affordable kickstarter end. And maybe you should make the kickstarter after the holydays, so tha much people will have more money to spend around (on the typical target of this comic i presume).

    • Dvulture

      All that money was just for a pilot episode, they intended to use to shop around people interested in producing the series. It costs what it costs. The support isn’t there (and as many people pointed out, even if the support was there, they choose the worst time to do it).

      There are fans that are very satisfied with LFG and can and want to support further projects, there are fans that are very satisfied with LFC and can’t or don’t want to support other stuff. And there are people (myself included), that used to like this a lot and hopes that will get better again, but right now don’t really like the comic.

      For these big kickstarters to suceed at the bare minimum level, they would need the commitment of the entire readership and no comic gets that. So whatever project they may want in the future, it will probably need to be something that can be done around 80k-100k tops.

  • http://www.livingwithinsanity.com/index David herbert

    I said this back in the beginning, but the reason I didn’t donate was because the current quality of LFG made me sceptical as to how quality the animated series would be. And honestly, it’d be pretty easy to fix them. You’re probably not going to take my advice, but I think these would help people be more excited about LFG

    1. Abandon the current chapter format. The 28 page chapters, 4 chapters per book layout you currently have worked fine for when you were printing individual issues. However, you’re no longer doing that and you seem to be throwing yourself off. Both volume 5 and 7 had points in the middle that would have been better suited to the ending of a book. So instead, why not just make every chapter as long as it needs to be, even if that length is 10 pages? You could just add another chapter to the book. Fantasy writers don’t have strict page counts, and you have fluctuated in the past, so why not just abandon the format?

    2. Hire a temporary artist to get to three pages per week. This is nothing against Lar, I like his art, but he’s just one man and long form comics just suffer under a two-per-week schedule unless they’re like the old pages. You did talk about going to three-per-week back in the day, so what you could do for volume eight is hire another artist to take over and bring up the update schedule. Meanwhile, Lar gets to work on volume nine at his normal pace so you have a large buffer and can continue the schedule when he starts again. This would also help sales as you’d be able to release the printed volume nine before the pages come online, thereby giving readers incentive to buy the book in order to find out what happens sooner.

    3. Focus away from Cale and Richard for a while. You have a large world to explore, but keep it centred on these two. You could have a story set in Legara where we see the new king gain power and establish whether he’s a threat to Kethenecia or not. Or, go to Kethenecia and see how the various races are living together. Now you may say you’d rather not, but there’s a solution for that too.

    4. Hire a temporary writer for a chapter or two. Stepping away from the project for a little while may help you recharge your batteries creatively and allow you to come up with new ideas you hadn’t considered before. Also, a second writer could reveal possibilities you didn’t think of. And imagine the hype of a well known comic writer coming in to spruce things up.

    • safyrejet

      Ouch. He’s stated here (and possible other times before) that he and Lar are telling the stories they want to tell. Suggesting an alternate writer or artist seems like a kick in the pants. They’re the writer and artist. These are their characters and story. Aren’t we all just along for the ride? Sure fan input can have it’s value but I think it’s rather presumptuous to tell someone how to create their story. That seems to be something I see so many “fans” do to webcomic creators.

      I know you’re offering your suggestions to improve the comic from your perspective. I think maybe my perspective on the comic just doesn’t agree with yours. I don’t see a problem with the story telling or pace or chapter format. I’m not trying to attack your perspective. Just trying to understand some of what makes fans respond to webcomics the way they often do: telling artists or writers how something should be written or what should happen next in the story.

    • Paul Alexander

      Regarding your point number 3, what do you think the NPC project is going to be?

  • John

    Sohmer I know you are defensive. This comic is your creation and you are entitled to defend yourself but please take some of the constructive criticism posted here. You have an amazing comic with so much potential that could go so very far.
    Please take the time and help it along. I read the last couple comics and it feels like a return to the good old days in a sense. There is story and punch line and it feels like you are getting in track. The comic has been on a bad track but you are trying to save this work and I applaud you. I read lfg avidly and think you are a genius.
    With that in mind. Please read some of the comments and think about changes. To be perfectly honest the last year has just seen too much on your plate and I think you need a step back. I love BF entertainment and all you do but lfg is your roots at becoming legitimate as a comic company it seems to me. I would love to see it nurtured and blossomed into something even more amazing than it is now.
    If you put the effort in and turn this around. I could see the money flowing into a kick starter in a tidal wave this summer or fall. I wish you well sohmer and really hope you read this.

    • http://www.the-gutters.com sohmer

      Hey John, I try not to be defensive, but when I see assumptions that people are stating as fact, or outright falsehoods, I do feel the need to correct them. I believe that anyone would do the same.

      As for the comic being on a bad track, well, Lar and I are telling the stories we want to tell. That won’t ever change, and if it does, that’s the day we stop making comics.

      • John

        That’s fine sohmer. You have an amazing work here and you have every right to be defensive. I am not saying your comic is terrible. These last few days I loved the storyline and the smaller jokes rather than whole pages dedicated to one single joke. In my opinion you are getting back on track with everything you do. Just please take to heart what I and others have said. I think you need moderation with your big jokes. Have them from time to time but tell your amazing story.

        Lfg has been there for me in some pretty bad times and I truly want to see it do well. I think you can pull it off. Just give it some thought. Talk to your fans. And most of all. Grow. You have done so much and come so far. I can’t wait to see how far you truly go.

        P.S. I think an lfg pilot would be good. But build up hype. Do some ads about lfg. Make another short. And at the end of the short say lfg pilot coming??? Only with your help. Then launch your kick starter. I would surely donate. Especially if it was in the summer or fall. Just not during the holidays.

  • martijnhoekstra

    “If things go well, my hope is to at least be able to start producing more animated/musical shorts within a couple of years.” Yay! I’ll love this!

  • Fred

    This has been bugging me. Is that a hat for the dick or is it just
    called “Dick Hat”? Man, the way you play with someone’s head is
    fantastic! Loving it!

    • TawaruNemori

      richard=dick, so Richard hat it is :P

  • Wesley Foxx

    “As a company, Blind Ferret is going to focus our larger projects (animation, video games, etc) on other properties and brands.”

    I still don’t feel like people are looking for these big projects, to be quite honest.

    “as LFG goes, we’ll be focusing on the comic itself and related merchandise.”

    This, however, I think will make people much happier, and I know personally its what I’ve been asking for when I’ve made my comments regarding the kickstarters and whatnot.

    • http://www.the-gutters.com sohmer

      I disagree there, though maybe not for LFG. Elsewhere, we’re looking pretty good.

  • http://www.the-gutters.com sohmer

    Didn’t end up doing that much in Paypal at all. Maybe 1k?

  • Telcarin

    So… One day. You lasted a whole day. People keep saying over and over that: 1. You’ve got too much on your plate. 2. You’ve gone somewhat batshit crazy with the amount of crowdfunding you’ve requested in the last year. 3. Right before Christmas is a terrible terrible time to initiate these sorts of projects. And yet you last less than 24 hours after this latest kickstarter failure before you start a new crowdfunding project to fund an entirely new comic…? Sigh. Just le sigh.

    • http://www.the-gutters.com sohmer

      How is it anyone’s business what I do with my time, or how does anyone know how much I have on my plate? Do you work in my office? Do you know what I do on a daily basis? Do you know the support I have?

      Have I missed a single update in 7 years of LFG?

      I love what I do, love to create. No intention of ever stopping, or ever stopping to try new things.

  • Telcarin

    You’re right, Ryan. I have no clue about you do in your office or on a daily basis. But I do get a general impression on the support you have, and what you have on your plate, because you tend to bring everything you do to crowdfunding before you work on it nowadays. To each their own I suppose, but I only meant for my comment to show that I am personally exhausted with the new projects you bring out and that there doesn’t seem to be a moment where you’re not asking for money. You’re a business, I know. And you need money to function. But it is just a personal suggestion that you focus on LICD and LFG for a while to show your fans that you still care about these comics as I feel they have been neglected lately. LFG more than LICD, but maybe that’s just my personal feeling.

    Anyway, not sure what the point of having these comments open is if you’re just going to delete the comments that disagree with you. And my previous post was far from the most inflammatory post I’ve seen up here.

    And just as a last little comment, I have supported you and your ventures greatly in the past; shopping on your store, supporting your kickstarters, etc. But your tantrums make me less inclined to do that in the future… Treat your fans better, my friend.

    • http://www.the-gutters.com sohmer

      Nobody deleted your post, man. It states on my screen that it was ‘user deleted’. Why would I delete something then respond to it?

      You assume that we bring everything we’re doing to crowdfunding, when that isn’t even remotely the case, which I’ve stated numerous times. This isn’t me having a tantrum, this is me explaining things, providing you with facts so that you won’t make uninformed comments.

      Both LICD and LFG are not ignored, nor have they been neglected even slightly.

      LICD is updated 7 days a week, with never a missed update, a television pilot we’re shopping around, books that come out regularly as well as related merch. The blog is updated on average of 5-10 times per month. The facebook and reddit pages are updated daily.

      LFG is updated twice a week, with never a missed update. Facebook is updated daily, a new book comes out each year and I constantly engage readers on this very page. I wrote an LFG novel that is due to be published in 2014 by 47 North.

      Both sites are monitored 24/7 on the Blind Ferret Network, to assure no downtime, at the same time our ad ops monitor all the banner advertising to ensure no harmful or offensive ads get through to you.

      In the last year, we finished an animated short and attempted to fund a video game and a television pilot.

      Does that in any way sound like neglect to you?

      If that wasn’t enough, on January 3rd, we’ll be launching something new on the site, which will double the weekly content of LFG. For free.

      Please, don’t tell me my focus is not on LICD or LFG. If I’m guilty of anything, it’s that I want to do more with them.

      And please, don’t tell me I don’t treat my fans well. I treat them the best that I know how, by continuously and reliably delivering them new content constantly.

      Over the last year, we went to Kickstarter 4 times, I believe. Over the last year, we launched Virga, The First Blade, Doom Soon, Kapshen and Garden of Steven. We developed another 8 properties that will be launching in 2014. We developed and began production on ‘Bear’ animated shorts. We attended 10 conventions. We rebuilt our entire IT infrastructure.

      And that’s barely the tip.

      Yes, we launched 4 Kickstarters, in order to test ideas out that we weren’t sure would work. Yes, we launched another 20 or so projects that we were sure about.

      To your assumption that we use crowdfunding for every single project we do, you couldn’t be more wrong. We’re using it try new things, to create more content, for you.

      And even without it, the other 95% of our projects are going forward, to do more. To create more.

      • John

        This seems a bit angry on your behalf sohmer. However I want to say. You have amazing fans that support you so much because you have an amazing comic. You have expanded so very much and I am personally proud to see you grow from a small comic to big business. Bravo! You have done very well and should be applauded.

        Two points I want to make that I think need made.

        First. Everyone always complains about how you don’t do enough. I think you should do like the business I work at. At the end of each year do a video of just you. Explain everything you have done and talk to your readers everywhere. Talk about where you want to go. Do some teasers of what is to come. It could be a five minute video of you just sitting and talking. But I think it would calm your fans and make you look like a stand up guy. Also you would never have to defend yourself if anyone asks why can’t you do more. Just say. Look at the video.

        Second. This is the first I have heard of an increase in lfg content in any way or form. This should be a huge banner on your site saying. Guess what $&@holes. We did it! I am now counting down to January 3rd eagerly to see what is coming. Even just a picture a week titled meanwhile, or elsewhere. And a funny photo would be good by me.

        For years you have entertained me and I want to see you grow. I own just about all of the lfg books and continue to support you. I really want to see you do well. Please take the idea of the video to heart. I think it would really reach out to your fans and make you look really good.

        I wish you the best this holiday season

    • Ted

      Not too long ago I had my Disqus account hacked and deleted. It started with a few posts deleted (on sites other than this one, and posts like “thank you” or “Good job” nothing even close to objectionable) then the entire account went away.
      I’d suggest changing your password just to be safe.

  • Ecthaelion

    I would have loved to fund more than I did, but you guys picked the worst possible time for a crowd fund. X-mas and the month after are probably the worst time to try and pull money from a group of people already spending extra to play Santa for the families. I gave up $40 but would love to have popped my wallet for more. I hope to see you guys try again in the future for both the game and anime/movie.

    • Ecthaelion

      I would like to point out that I still bought a Dick hat. One way or another that hat will be mine!

  • Turnsole

    It feels kind of bad to see anything LFG fail, and part of me wants to jump in with commentary about why I think it did. This probably stems from the fact that I’ve been reading this comic a long time and feel like I’m involved and want to fix something that didn’t work out. But I’m not a content producer, and you don’t need any business criticism from me. So instead…

    I just want to chime in and say that I really enjoy your comic and appreciate the work you’ve put into it, and look forward to reading every single page in 2014. Thank you! You have given me many free lols. My friends and I have enjoyed quoting you for years, and I for one anticipate much more enjoyment to come, from the comic itself that first brought me here and that you’ve never failed to keep up with. If you decide to try more things out on KS, I’ll jump in like I always do, mostly out of loyalty because honestly all I really care about are the comics, but if you never touch KS or animation again then whatever. I’ll still be enjoying the comics, just like always, because they’re fantastic.

    Keep up the good work.

  • fattyu

    Can we please have a pic of dick in a hat with fwoosh? I cant decide which to order before seeing the options. And only one pic on the shop.

  • Chris Maciel

    What a bunch of Dick Heads