Category Archives: Article

Freeland Friday: Quality, Speed and Readership

Lately I’ve been thinking about quality. Or rather, quality as it sits in relation to speed, production realities, and reader perception.
I’m thinking about it now in particular for a few reasons.

Firstly, I’m currently working on the early issues of my first indie monthly comic, with all the attendant scheduling and process adjustments, and financial concerns, that entails.

Secondly, while in this frame of mind, I’ve been reading a few indie monthlies that have been huge successes. Titles that are amazing, popular, and which I have great respect for, so I hope this doesn’t read as sour grapes or anything. But as I’ve been reading, I’ve found myself caught up frequently on art niggles. Small things, but things I can’t help but notice – backgrounds or limbs that look sloppy rather than sketchy, copy-pasted panels where it’s clearly for time rather than a humorous or uncanny repetitive effect. So on and so forth. Part of me feels it’s snotty of me to let them bother me. But they do take me out of the story, and more importantly they relate to all the things about quality and schedules and readers that I’m thinking about right now. Because these are huge hits. Readers are obviously not as bothered by these things as I am. And given that, do they matter?

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Freelance (not quite) Friday – VATMOSS updates

As we approach EU-VAT-Reg-Day (Jan 1), here are some updates. A lot has happened since my first VATMOSS post (which you can read here if you need a bit of background on what this is about. If you sell digital content online, this concerns you).

I will be getting things off Gumroad, etc, before New Years, and know what a lot of fantastic individual creators,  small presses, and small businesses of different sorts will be calling curtain, and that is a horrible, backwards thing.

I’ll update a few categories here: Campaign updates; International; Third-Party Platforms; and Emailing Files.

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Freelance Friday – VATMOSS

Okay! So big, important post today, targeted at UK freelancers who sell digital products, about new VAT regulations that apply to you (and other EU freelancers: this discussion regards EU-wide legislation, so any changes or thresholds are agreed in Brussels will, as far as I can tell, affect you too – you may wish to skip to Updates/What to Do Section). There’s already been a lot of incredibly valuable information, thoughts and action posted around HMRC’s new VAT changes, but I thought I’d try and collect as much good info as I could in one place, in case it’s helpful.

*Disclaimer – as always, I remind you that I am not a lawyer, and nothing I say should be considered legal advice. I’ll leave that to your lawyer and HMRC.

This is all to the best of my understanding – if you spot any errors or old information in here, please do let me know!

This’ll be quite a long post, with a bit on what VATMOSS is, what our options are, selling through third parties, Kickstarter/Patreon and donations, updates/things to do, and useful links.

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Freelance Friday – On Being Cheeky

Woah, what is this, two FF’s in a row?!

Recently I was at a coffee shop, where I ordered a coffee and a piece of delicious-looking cake, which I gazed longingly at when it was brought to the table, grabbed a forkful, and….it was awful. So, unusually for me, I plucked up the nerve to take it back to the counter, and they traded it for me, while I mentioned how sorry I was for the bother probably 20 times, and then struggled to enjoy the much-nicer replacement cake and my coffee because I was so embarrassed. And it reminded me that I’d been wanting to write this!

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Freelance Friday – Nose-to-the-Grindstone Times

Hey everyone! Gosh it’s been ages. Largely because I tend to want FF posts to be lovely things, illustrated and with time taken over them…but when time’s not there, I think I’d rather post what I can instead of leaving this series so untended! So I’ll try and do more miniposts 🙂 So, onwards!

Over the last couple of months, I’ve had a period of serious over-working.

I’m generally a big proponent of balance. I don’t think the way our work culture glamourises over-work, makes it into a virtue, is at all healthy. And I’m hoping to take some time off drawing-work at the end of this year to spend some time on business planning and examining my working and scheduling methods to help avoid it more in future. But, even then – and I may be wrong in this – I kind of think there’ll probably always be those times, now and then. Those times where you have to take extra work. Those times when you need the extra income. Those times when you get screwed over by clients’ schedules. Those times aren’t sustainable, and aren’t something to take as the norm. But those times happen…

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Freelance Friday: Collaboration Agreement Documents

Happy Friday!

Today I’ve just been tidying up my template collaboration agreement to send over to someone, and though others might find it useful, so today will be a document post.

This is for cases where work is not being commissioned – rather I’m developing a creator-owned project with a colleague. Even when working with friends, it’s a) just good practice to always have an agreement, and b) discussing it makes sure you’re both on the same page about what the project is, what you’ll be doing with it, and various ‘what-if’s, right off the bat.

Disclaimer: As always, this is based purely on personal experiences and approaches, and should not be considered as business advice, legal or otherwise. Any use you make of posts on this blog are entirely at your own risk.

My document pasted in after the cut. Please feel free to add anything that’s missing in the comments, so we can all pool our resources!

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Freelance Friday – In Praise of Personal Projects

Hi all! Today’s a bit of a quicky post, as I’m only just starting to shake off this flu (let’s hope that’s my quota for the season O.o).

What I did manage to get done in my flu-ridden haze was set up a new blog for a personal side project – a series of magical girls illustrations – which you can find here!

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Freelance Friday 13: Applying for Opportunities

Happy Friday! After a couple of weeks of practical posts, we’re back to something a little more article-y, though as with the last couple, this one is courtesy of things I’m thinking about this week.

I’ve started my research and planning to apply for a grant for a project, after lots of back-and-forth dithering over which avenue would best be tried first. And of course, who knows if I’ll get it. So I thought I’d write a post today about weighing the opportunities and risks of the things we apply for.


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Writing Wednesday: Intro Post

Hi everyone,

I’ve been thinking of starting up another post series in addition to the Freelance Friday posts, focussing on writing. I’m not sure how long it will be, and it may not be weekly like the FF ones, but hopefully I’ll be able to offer something that’s helpful or thought-provoking now and then, or even just links to good blogs and resources I’ve come across.

For ages I’ve been meaning to get a blog series up for comic writers looking to work with artists, so this’ll be the place for that, and other writing and story ponderings. If there’s anything you’d particularly like to see covered in the working-with-artists series, let me know!

I’ll also try and regularly make a quick note of what I’ve been reading, more in a recommendations vein than any sort of reviews, because there’s so much good stuff out there to celebrate! They won’t include a lot of info on the books, as there’s plenty of that elsewhere – just what’s having a good impact on me that week and what it’s been making me think about. To start that off, this week’s Read/Recommend:

Holly Black’s The Coldest Girl in Coldtown. This book is a stunner, gorgeously written and with a truly fantastic main character with a ton of agency.

It also got me thinking about setting. I’m not really into the kind of worldbuilding that involves encyclopedias worth of info and becomes an end in itself, but I do realize the resonance a setting can have, and I realized that the reason Coldtown felt so rich as a setting boiled down for me to the fact that there were clearly other stories to be told. It felt like you could pick a random inhabitant of the place and they would have an interesting story of their own. I know showing the tip, implying the iceberg is hardly anything new, but the thought phrased itself in my head in a way that I hadn’t really thought of it before, and that’s always a good thing. Letting settings become and feel like places where there are other stories than the one that’s being told.