Hey everyone, I'm still kicking and spent the evening get the "ticks" off my dog... which is to say, I was cleaning off malware off the Ralf the Destroyer site with the help of the plugin "Anti-malware and Brute Force Security" by Eli, for Wordpress. I haven't really done much to the site all year (aside from switching to Comic Easel) since I've been working full time picking things up and putting them down. So I'm trying to freshen the site up a bit, it's long overdue. The changes will likely be small, like some of the fonts are hard to read and spacing is off... I am working on it. I got my old plugins working again and adjusted the main menu. I haven't figured out how to get the archive list/thumbs back up, but it is on the list. Please let me know if the malware plugin missed something (though, it looks good so far), just be sure you clean out your browser cache so you're not loading an old (infected) version. Of course the reason for doing this is to get back to posting new strips again. I hate leaving Ralf in such a painful position... or at least the same one for so long... as I know how that feels. Anyway, just to let everyone know the site isn't completely stale or abandoned. Thanks for checking in!
Archive for News and Secrets
The story of creating this story is a tale in of itself. Suffice to say, it's been a while since my last update and I need to address that. I've been trying to get "Ralf" into newspapers since his inception in 2004 (over a decade now) and it has taken from me a great deal of time and effort. When I designed the comic, it was designed as though it were my full time job (because that was my goal) and I wanted to achieve that level of quality. I have in this process spoken with syndicate editors and cartoon professionals. Nearly everyone has had great things to say about "Ralf the Destroyer", sadly, everyone agrees that the process is long and "I shouldn't quit my day job". I often quipped, "But I don't have a day job". This became a rather heavy stone to push over the last few years. I suppose people just assume if the art looks professional the artist must be doing really well. So, after a particularly soul draining bout of whatever bug hit me in May, I decided to go out and get a (non-art related) full time job, still keep up with my weekend job, try to finish up a few freelance jobs and not neglect my family at the same time. That's a lot of time, so, I want to thank those of you who have stuck with Ralf the Destroyer and encouraged me and the work through comments and sharing on various social media. In particular, those who have supported me financially either through one time donations or via Patreon have my gratitude since you're generosity really did help us get through some tough winters and really did help keep the lights on. All of this is to say, I've been super busy and exhausted most days with little energy to devote to new content. But! I have NOT given up on Ralf! I just may have to wait until my summer (weekend) job is over in the Fall to properly resume updates and reassert my presence as a cartoonist. I still hope that I can make Ralf full time at some point and that you (the readers) can bare with me until then. As always, thank you for reading and for your continued support. Scott
So, here's what has been going on... I have been working with the good folks at the Ink Bottle Syndicate to get Ralf the Destroyer into newspapers. This has turned out to be an epic project (by epic, I mean it's taken many years). My hope is that 2015 will be the year Ralf gets out of the "gate" because... I really need the strip to turn the corner on making an income and I truly believe it can really take off if it can see newsprint. The Washington Post Writer's Group has developed an App that will create a customized comics page for online newspapers. They were looking for material and Ralf the Destroyer was high on the list of choices. This would be a paying gig, but significantly less than physical newspapers. Many online papers have a print version as well so one could lead to the other. I am still in waiting as to when it will actually begin to publish. Either of these situations would have been monumental tasks to initiate, alone, but they were in parallel and required color content as well. I'm told "color sells", often and repeatedly. Fortunately, I've been unemployed since Christmas! <-- That would be sarcasm. However, the upside for readers (old and new) would be that many strips online are being replaced with color. It's not fancy George Sellas color... it's just plain newspaper color, but color none-the-less and I will be adding more as I go. So be sure to go back and check 'em out. Even though I'm dreadful with social media, I will be ramping up my Facebook Fan Page posts a bit more by posting the color strips and an occasional post card. Those of you who follow me on Facebook please do me a "solid", if you see something you like, "like it" but, also share it. "Share"s get Ralf in front of people who have yet to discover his story, it helps tremendously. If you're feeling really ambitious, supportive and want to bring joy to my heart, be sure to visit my Patreon page and consider being a patron of the arts, because every little bit really does count for a lot. Thanks for reading and your continued support, Scott Lincoln
I apologize for not posting sooner after announcing I was ill. As of a few days ago I was past the bug that was going around and cleared out my lungs. On top of that there are several pretty big news items that may be coming to a head in February (that I'm dying to announce but can not at this time) and I had to commit considerable resources to ensure their timely flourishion. As a result, Ralf the Destroyer's buffer of new strips was depleted. I am in the process of trying to build that buffer of new material back up so I can ensure more timely Ralf the Destroyer updates in February and into the future. If you follow me on Facebook or Twitter you know that I have been adding Sunday strips that were missing from the archives. Why is that important? "Why", indeed...? Lastly, I haven't really plugged my Patreon page in a while because I don't like being a pest. However, January through March are particularly hard months for me and my family financially. If you've thought about contributing, but haven't yet, even the smallest contributions can make a considerable difference.
The holidays and the newest flu have caught up with me, so I've been short on the updates the last couple weeks. I haven't forgotten, I just took some of the holiday time to catch up with family, color strips, fill in missing Sunday strips, and build seventeen frames so that I can begin showing some of my original comic strip art at libraries in my area. I am also hoping to have the website updated in the not too distant future. The regular update schedule will return, but a number of crucial things piled up at the end of the year, so please bare with me. Thank you for your continued support, Scott Lincoln
I have set up a Patreon page with the higher goal of updating the comic on a daily schedule. Patreon lets fans support their favorite creators by becoming patrons. Unlike other fundraising services, which raise for a single big event, Patreon is for creators who create a stream of smaller works, like webcomics. So to reflect this, the donations reoccur as monthly pledges but, are significantly smaller in amount. A pledge of only $1, $5 or $10 a month is not obtrusive, yet with enough people, could make daily updates possible! It's NOT paying for the comic, the comic still updates for free (as it has been). Just think, if the internet is a digital marketplace, then webcomics are the street artists. Street artists offer their work for free and tipping them says you appreciate the work and helps to insure more and continued creativity in the world. Simply, you would be helping me reach goals to make the comic more often which means a better reading experience for you! I am still working on the Patreon introduction video at this time, however, I have set up a Patreon page. Some of you have been generous enough to send Paypal donations but that Patreon seems to have a little better focus. If you have any experience with Patreon, I welcome any advice or suggestions and, of course, anyone who wants to support Ralf the Destroyer is most welcome to do so there, just click the logo or one of the other links. Again, I want to say a "Thank you" to Joe and Jeff who have each helped to sponsor different convention trips (which is no small feat). I also want to thank those who have made Paypal donations (which were timely and a great help when I needed it) and those who sent the gift of art supplies. Even if you are not in a position to make a financial pledge on Patreon, you can have a huge impact on the success of the strip in a few other ways. First is by buying and sharing the Ralf the Destroyer softcover books. I am so thankful for all the positive reviews and comments I have received. Why not buy one for a friend? Some of the other ways cost you nothing but a little time. Please do share and post any strips (via social media) that struck a cord or you or you thought were particularly nice to look at. Get the word out, if you liked the books leave a positive review on Amazon, Tweet, Tumble and share it on Facebook. The hardest part about doing a comic is getting the word out. Thank you all for your continued support!
I'm sure there are many readers who are wondering why the updates have slowed down as of late. I do want readers to know that my resolve in Ralf the Destroyer remains, but much has occurred to slow me down and the reasons are not capricious. I often suspect that when many people see my art, they assume that because I produce high quality art and have a professional presence, I must be making a comfortable living. I would like to believe that too, but in the past it has not been so. For the most recent two years I have been working a low paying, third shift job (2am - 9am) that I took because our 96 Ford Taurus reached the end of it's life expectancy and it was the only job in walking distance (20min). Even though I had taken different freelance jobs, very often the amount of work I put into them was superseding the income I required week to week. Up to this time I had maintained my update schedule of three days for the comic strip but had to cut it back to once a week because I only had a few hours in the afternoon to do it and freelance work before eating and getting into bed by 5pm. Later, I managed to find a cheap car and re-procure my summer job as a caricature artist at a local theme park, which pays significantly better. While good news, my schedule has recently looked like this: wake up at 1am, get to work at 2am, work on my feet until 9am, go home change, drive for an hour, work at the park from 11am to 5-8pm, drive home for an hour, eat, go to bed by 7-9pm, lay in bed with my eyes open until 8pm-10pm, sleep until 1am, repeat... This schedule was depleting the reserves of any energy I had left. While one might be inclined to imagine creative energy is always relaxing and fun, the truth is... it can be, but requires enormous amounts of mental a physical resources. This is why my online presence has been sporadic at best as of late. The good news! I recently received some very encouraging feedback about Ralf the Destroyer and potentially another feature! I can not disclose much at this time, but either or both would be a game changer for us. To this end I am focusing on the day job, returning to a normal sleep schedule, formatting Ralf book 3 for Pittsburgh, preparing for what could be a monumental shift by years end or the beginning of next, and trying to finish up some long standing freelance jobs. Hopefully, this will steady the update schedule now and lead back to updating Ralf the Destroyer three days a week. All this to say, although the internet is home to many abandoned webcomics, Ralf the Destroyer is not one of them! Though Ralf may disappear from the corporeal plain from time to time, he will always return to finish the mission and face his conscience. Thank you for reading and your continued support!
I apologize for not getting an update up this week. After managing to work two winters on third shift, coming home and working another day shift without getting sick, I finally caught something that knocked me down. Updates will resume next week on Wednesday.
Although I announced this on our Facebook page, Ralf the Destroyer made into the "Best Webcomics to Follow in 2014" list over at the website "The 100 Best Graphic Novels". This site's goal is to help old and new graphic novel fans to find something to new to read. Currently, listing the top 100 graphic novels of all time as a good starting point. There are also weekly reviews and recommendations based on what the author reading at the time. The article I was asked about being included in was "The Best Webcomics to Follow in 2014" and I am honored to be a part of it. The author listed a series of favored webcomics, gives a brief summery and reasons they believe they are worth following and finishes up with a few Q&As to get to know the comic authors a bit. They had some very positive and insightful things to say about Ralf the Destroyer (which is reason enough for me to check it out) but also a host of other great webcomics as well as some very acute recommendations and synopsis on graphic novels worth reading. I encourage you to go check it out and leave a comment or two.