Snapscan at Free Comic Book Day!

Hey guys. Especially you, locals!

To make things easier for you on Free Comic Book Day, we’ve registered for Snapscan. This enables us to take credit card payments without having to rent a card machine at ridiculous costs.

How it works: You need to download the Snapscan app to your smartphone and add your credit card details (quick and painless). We’ll have a QR code for you to scan. You scan the code, and it will bring you to a page where you can enter the amount due. Then, just hit “pay.” And there you go! Card payment made!

We hope you’ll find this facility useful! There are ATMs on site as well, if all else fails.

Snapscan supports VISA and Mastercard.
More about the app here:

http://www.snapscanapp.com/

Update schedule until Free Comic Book Day

More specifically, the lack of one!

Things have been really busy at Ben’s work and since I can’t do much without the lines, our updates tend to fall behind. We HAVE to finish Chapter 3 before the end of April otherwise we won’t be able to print it for Free Comic Book Day. So that will definitely happen. But our current working hours aren’t very conducive to a regular update schedule. We’ll still upload them as we finish but it probably won’t be on Wednesdays. We might get a week gap where we can do two pages, or we might not be able to do pages at all until close to deadline time. We’ll see.

There’s still page 28, 29 and 30 to do, and the epilogue. After that we’ll probably take a short break so our cover artist can finish up the cover for Chapter 4. Exciting! :D We’ll have some guest comics and/or filler content for you though, no worries.

Besides the new comics, we are also working on some shiny new prints to sell at FCBD. You may have seen two of them already in the gallery – Reka With a Peal Earring and Cottonstarry Night. We’re planning to make a few more fine arts tribute pics like that. We might even sell them online if they do well at FCBD.

Thank you guys as always for your support and understanding, and most of all for reading our comic! :D

Danelle

Fiddling over for now

Okay, now every page in the archives, including special pages like holiday cards and covers, should be displaying at the correct resolution. That took a long time to do, especially considering we just redid them a week or two ago, and had to do it all over again today. +_+

You might notice that the earlier pages are cropped a bit strangely now. This is because when we started drawing Cottonstar, Ben was using artboards set to the American standard B paper sizes, and we use A sizes. This includes printing. It’s far, far cheaper for us to print at A5 than at B4, as that is not a standard size here and would require extra cutting, etc. So we’ve decided to switch over to A paper ratios for everything, including uploads. The newer pages look much nicer this way and we’re quite pleased at how things are looking on the site now.

Also, we’ve added a section on the homepage with links to our cover artists. Go and check out their work! :)

Thanks again for your patience throughout all the site adjusting and link breaking!

<3 Danelle

Fiddling with the site again

Hey guys. We’re busy editing stuff on the back end of the site again, so it’s possible that for a while things will display funny or be broken. Please bear with us and let us know if you spot any bugs! Thanks :)

Danelle

Comics pimpage

We have added a section on the home page called “Comics we read.” It contains a combined list of my and Ben’s favourite comics online. They’re definitely worth checking out if you are looking for some more quality reading material. We’ll probably keep adding to the list as we have LOADS of comics we love, but for now, enjoy the ones that are already up.

Pageviews, birthdays and METAL

Ladies and gents, yesterday we hit an all-time high of 5,381 views. Thank you! It was a great birthday gift for Ben, who happened to have his yesterday. :D

As such, we went out for the obligatory snacks and drinks with friends, and missed most of our evening’s drawing time. We’re going to try and finish the inks and tones tonight so that I can flat and paint in the rest tomorrow, and do the uploading. We’re going to push hard to get it done on time because Ben will be leaving tomorrow for RAMFEST! Aw yiss. The lineup is pretty good, featuring among other Trivium and Killswitch Engage, and of course some of amazingly talented local bands like Infanteria, aKing, Foto Na Dans*, Taxi ViolenceMr Cat & the Jackal and Gangs of Ballet. You can check out the full lineup here.

We could only afford one ticket so only Ben is going but I shall stay behind and complete the page, play games (possibly Prop Hunt? hmm) and have some wine. I actually took quite long typing this blog post because I got distracted listening to a bunch of cool music. But the gist of it is that the page will be late and Cape Town will be ROCKING THE EFF OUT come the weekend. Listen to those bands I linked, they’re awesome.

Have fun and stay safe!

Danelle <3

 

*Interestingly enough the title of the song we linked to translates to “The Flood.”

Fiddling done (mostly!)

Okay, all the pages have been reuploaded and should be displaying correctly now, except the odd inbetween pages like our birthday announcements and christmas cards – those I’ll attend to tomorrow (it’s after 3am here).

Because the new display size is a different size format to our other pages, the cropping on some of the pages may look a little strange, but mostly it won’t make much of a difference.

New features on the site, as you will notice, include prettier social media icons, and widgets for our Patreon site, as well as a widget for topwebcomics, where you can vote for Cottonstar to feature among the top 100 webcomics on the interwebs.

We’ve also added an FAQ section. We’re still working on the informative video that will help explain how to pronounce the cast’s names, but the footage we have so far is pretty good. And by good I mean hilarious. To us.

If there’s anything broken on the new site, please let us know! You can mention it here or via our contact details on our About page.

Thanks so much to our coder John Murray who is just amazing <3

Thanks also to YOU for reading our comic! While we were fiddling with the site, we exceeded 1000 daily pageviews, something which has never happened to us before! So, thank you. :)

Busy fiddling with site code

Hey guys! We mentioned sometime ago that we’d be revamping the site a bit. That’s what’s going on right now. If things look a little weird, that’s why – we’re fiddling with the layout and code and stuff. The pages will be slightly fuzzy until we reupload them all (sorry about that), as they’re going to be a bit bigger from now on.

Thanks for your patience!

Danelle & Ben

Funding contains “fun”… it must be fun right? Maybe?

Yo guys! Recently we’ve started working a bit harder at getting our comic out there. This means that we’ve started placing some ads on webcomics listing sites, as well as engaging with Project Wonderful. Hence, we’re starting to depend more on online donations!

If you could contribute via our Patreon page on a per-content basis, or even just directly through the donate button on the site, we’d be super super grateful! No obligation of course, Cottonstar will always be free to read and it’s not likely that we’d put any ads on the site. We are however feeling the pinch thanks to putting our content on other sites.

Every cent helps, so don’t be afraid that your donations would be insignificant! We’re really grateful for whatever you decide to give!

In the meantime, here is a photo of a dachshund.


Thanks :D
Ben & Danelle

Onwards, to 2014!

If you’re reading this, it means you’ve managed to survive the 2013 holiday season successfully. CONGRATULATIONS! Here is your prize… it is… a blog post. (Audience: “Awww boooo!”)

Yes, enough about 2013 though. Let’s talk about 2014.

FIRST UP

A few things about our update schedule, or lack thereof. We love Cottonstar, we love it very very much. It is our child. We love working on it and we love seeing it come to life, and we love to present it to you fine folks to read and enjoy. We never miss an update just because we went “eh, too much effort.” When we miss updates, it is because of one of the following reasons:

1. Ben and/or I had to work overtime, and needed sleep more than we needed to update on time. This happens far too often and we do what we can to prevent it as far as possible, but sometimes we just can’t help it. Sleep is vital to your health in a plethora of aspects, so it’s important that you get enough of it. It took us several years of being stubborn idiots to figure out that lack of sleep = more hours to work, but less productive use of time, while enough sleep = less hours to work but having WAY more constructive energy. So, while we do burn the midnight oil on occasion, we have our limits. All-nighters kill you physically and emotionally.*

2. Paying freelance projects eat up our comic-drawing time. This one is a sad necessity also. We’re really struggling financially and we take whatever freelance projects we can get our hands on just to stay afloat. Which brings us back to point 1. Hopefully soon things will get better, but until then, paying work just has to come first.

3. Technical problems…as is the case currently while I write this journal. Yep, among everything else in our house breaking and my car being broken into, my PC’s motherboard went belly-up. We were actually properly on schedule and then my machine started switching itself off without warning. I knew it meant trouble.  I took it over to a friend’s place, with the aim to clean it out and format… and then once we’d cleaned it out, it didn’t even stay on for longer than 3 seconds. RIP motherboard (2011-2014). So. Off to the repair centre it went. We’re still waiting to hear back from them. Other technical difficulties include computer crashes, corrupt file data, broken internet, and any of the other things the universe thought prudent to expose us to that day.

4. Familial obligations. They are unavoidable, like taxes. We love our families and sometimes we have to do what we gotta do for them.

Whenever we know we’re going to miss an update, we make a post about it on our facebook page, which you can find here. We also tweet about it on occasion (we’re @TheCottonStar on twitter) but we find most of our readers actively use facebook, so it’s easiest to announce things on there. If you are not a facebook user, please leave us a comment below to let us know what we can do to make things more accessible to you!

Right, now that the depressing stuff is out of the way, we’d like to announce that we have created a Patreon page for Cottonstar! Patreon is like kickstarter, but there are no funding goals or time limits.

Taken from the Patreon FAQ:

“Patreon lets fans become patrons of their favorite artists and creators. Unlike other fundraising services that raise for a single big event, Patreon is for creators who create a stream of smaller works, like YouTube musicians, bloggers, web comics, etc.”

We figured, why not? So if you’re feeling really generous, you can find our Patreon page here. And I’ll repeat what I’ve said before: Cottonstar will always be free to read online! This is in no way us turning the page into a paid service. It’s literally just in case people feel like donating. You can donate any amount you like, even $1, and you can also set a budget in case you’re worried about spending too much. For more info and better explanations, visit the Patreon site.

To everyone who has donated or will donate: THANK YOU. You’re awesome.

Also, May is coming up… and you know what that means, right? FREE COMIC BOOK DAY. We are so excited but also so stressed! It means we have to somehow complete and print Chapter 3 before then. We’re trying to speed up production and we have NO IDEA how we’re going to fund the printing as yet, but by golly we’re going to try. In the meantime, familiarise yourself with our most excellent hosts, Readers DenThe best part for you non-Capetonians? They have an extensive online shop and really good prices!

Okay, this turned into a really long journal. Sorry! The tl;dr version is we don’t miss updates if we can help it at all and that Free Comic Book Day is getting us super excited.

Have a great 2014, and as always, thanks for reading! :D

-Danelle

 

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*Yes, it can literally kill you, especially if you pair it with energy drinks. Your endocrine system burns itself out and you can suffer heart failure, among a whole plethora of other awful things.