True Magic » Welcome!
Thanks again to everyone who is supporting True Magic on Patreon. That additional income is making all the difference: The goals of "paying rent" and "maintaining a decent comic schedule" are beginning to coexist peacefully (instead of causing the scheduling equivalent of a matter/antimatter explosion, like before). This is wonderful. Thank you so much for making it possible. ♥
I still need to keep up with ongoing freelance work in order to pay the bills, and it's taking every bit of time and energy I can spare to stay current on everything. If you're waiting on art or email from me, please be patient. I'm chipping away at all the backlogs as fast as I can. (That just isn't very fast right now.) Rest assured, I'm doing my best!
If you'd like to help me reduce my work load (and double the time I can spend on True Magic), please consider spreading the word about TM's Patreon campaign. We're halfway to the funding goal! Once we reach it, full-time comic updates can ensue. (We're already doing better than the once-or-twice-per-month schedule of last year. This makes me very happy, and I hope you're all enjoying the improved pace as well.)
Thanks for reading!
...And while you're here, how about checking out the Spark of the Day?
The Adventures of Wiglaf and Mordred
Villain meets hero. Villain tries to lose hero. Hero becomes villain's best friend, whether villain likes it or not -- and that's just the beginning. It's a fun and light-hearted adventure, with an increasingly complex and intriguing story. Go see!
Posted by Aja at 8:08 AM
Hey, guys! My birthday was on the 16th, and I've been doing a lot of thinking. If you enjoy the comic, I hope you'll take the time to read this.
First of all, I want to say a huge thank you to all the people who have supported and encouraged me while I've worked on the True Magic comic over the past ten years. (Ten years!)
I know it's been slow going at times -- your patience and continued interest have been truly remarkable. I appreciate every one of you who shares the comic with your friends, comes by to visit on the forum, or even keeps checking in for new updates. You all rock most comprehensively. ♥
These last ten years represent thousands of hours of planning and work, as well as countless hours of self-directed study and practice, to produce the True Magic comic -- all in the midst of intense (and almost unrelenting) financial stress and uncertainty.
Just before Christmas, two things happened:
1. My best client had to cut back to half our usual amount of work. (There went half of February's rent.)
2. My co-author's consulting business took a nosedive. (There went the other half.)
This was a huge wake-up call for me. We've struggled for so long that apparently we needed a prod to remind us how ridiculous the situation really was:
| $0 in savings -- for over ten years?|
Cutting expenses to the bone -- and still having weeks when we can't buy food?
Leaving the heat off in the middle of winter to save on electricity?
Feeling guilty about buying a $4 frozen pizza for my birthday?
White-knuckling through every month, as we work and wonder: Can we can make the rent THIS time?
|This latest crisis is all the more frustrating (and a bigger kick in the pants than usual), because a solution that could easily be covering all our expenses right now is practically within reach.|
(More about that in a minute!)
All things considered, I have to ask: What the heck am I doing? Something has to change.
What I have been doing is working for individual clients, while struggling to update the comic often enough to keep readers happy. And it has become painfully obvious that I've been putting my financial eggs in too few baskets -- relying on only one or two modest sources of revenue each month.
My clients are wonderful people, making amazing things, and I love working with each one of them. The problem is that I am only one person, and I can only give adequate attention to one or two extra projects at a time. That means that if one client has a financial stumble, half my income goes away. (Two of my best clients in the past had to quit suddenly because of health issues. It can happen!)
It's time to take some pressure off my clients (who have their own financial challenges) and put serious effort into developing an additional revenue source -- the project that has always been closest to my heart -- the project I've been struggling to make time for all these past ten years.
I'm feeling more than a little scared, writing this post. (That's the insidious thing about hardship: After you've failed for a while, you start to believe that you don't deserve success.) But I know I'll kick myself if I don't make the effort. So, here goes...
|It's time to start creating True Magic full-time.|
And I'm asking for your help to let that happen.
"Wait, what?" you say. "Is that realistic?"
Up until a few months ago, maybe not! But now? Yes, it is -- now that we've found Patreon.
Patreon makes "crowd funding" available to individual writers and artists -- somewhat like Kickstarter on a smaller scale. It allows fans to pledge whatever amount they are comfortable with (from $1 on up) for each new piece of content. Everybody wins: The audience gets more new content, and the artist earns enough to live, by making more of what their fans want.
A total of $400 per new page (assuming a rate of one page per week) would pay 100% of my bills and allow me to treat True Magic as my full-time job. This is more than just possible -- it's a pretty modest goal.
If enough loyal readers pledge to contribute even a dollar (the cost of, say... a pack of gum?), it can make all the difference in keeping a roof over our heads, food on the table, and new pages of True Magic appearing right here every week.
To the handful of people who are already supporting True Magic on Patreon: I can't thank you enough! This month's Patreon payment is literally the only reason we have food and power right now. (How great is that? A few "pack of gum" contributions turned into several weeks' worth of rice and electricity!)
So thank you, thank you, thank you for helping us to get this far. ♥
As for getting the rest of the way there...
Are there 400 people on the internet who'd be willing to pledge $1 for True Magic if they knew it existed? I'd like to think so. According to my web stats, if even a fraction of True Magic's current readers make a small pledge on Patreon, I'll be able to stop struggling to eat and start making a lot more free entertainment for everyone. (I'll be able to actually DRAW the story I've spent all these years writing.)
Patreon also provides greater financial stability. Since contributions are distributed over a larger number of people, it isn't disastrous if an individual contributor needs to cut back. (400 people pledging $1 every week is a lot more secure than one person paying $400.)
And so, I have a birthday wish:
I wish for this to be the last time that I ever need to ask you guys for help.
We're so close to making that happen!
And there are some special perks in the works for those who pledge early -- as you can see on my updated Patreon page.
So, where are we now?
Rent is coming up fast, and we're hoping that some of you are willing to help in the short term so that we can get through the next few weeks. (Patreon only pays monthly, a week or more after rent is due.)
I'm keeping commissions open, and working as fast as I can to finish the artwork already in the queue.
I'm also offering gift art for everyone who donates $20 or more. If you donate, please feel free to request a gift sketch in one of these styles (one or two characters each):
If you've been reading for a while, you may be tired of the intermittent donation requests. Trust me -- no one is more fed up with this than I am! It has been downright miserable for me every time I've had to ask my readers for help. Clearly it's time for positive changes!
I'm asking for a tiny bit of ongoing help now, so that I never have to beg for a major rescue like this again. You guys come to True Magic for fun and adventure, and I want to fix this darn issue so that these news posts can be as much fun as the comic!
If you can pledge even one dollar on Patreon, that will help so much! It will help to put a long-term solution in place, and will also put food on the table in February (and beyond). You can pledge via PayPal, or directly using a credit or debit card (processed securely with Stripe).
Lastly, I've mentioned this elsewhere, but Patreon has a wonderful structure that takes the pressure off everyone, so I'll briefly summarize it here:
You only ever pay AFTER new content is posted.
So if the comic has few or no updates in a month, you pay little or nothing.
You can set a monthly spending limit.
So even if the comic updates ten times in one month, you can choose to cover only the first few pages.
Patreon always asks your permission before charging.
So even if you've been a patron all month, browsing the rewards, seeing the early comic pages... if something comes up and you have to back out, you still have the option to pay nothing.
In short: You're never obligated, and you're never committed. This isn't about billing a subscription for the comic. (True Magic will always be free!) It's about making it easy, fun and rewarding to support the comic in whatever capacity is comfortable for you.
And if you feel that you can't afford even an occasional dollar to be a patron, don't worry -- I know exactly how that feels. But I still ask you: What CAN you do to help?
If you like True Magic, would you take a few minutes to share this information with someone who might enjoy the comic? Maybe even someone who would use their contacts to help spread the word?
True Magic is not just a hobby or a side project for me. Creating stories like this (fully illustrated and free for the entire world to read) is what I want to do with my life. It's what I've BEEN doing -- for over a decade now -- as much and as often as I can possibly afford. I think I've proved by now that I'm willing and able to stick with this.
It's so ironic: If I had been able to post pages once or twice per week for the last few years, True Magic would have been a successful and self-supporting comic by now -- no question about it.
A webcomic needs to update often if it's ever going to pay the bills -- and I need to be able to pay the bills before I can afford the time for frequent updates. I need your help to work my way out of this Catch-22!
If you enjoy my work, please help me stay alive while I do it.
|♥ Please support True Magic on Patreon! ♥|
Thank you for reading! I want to make so much more good stuff for you guys!
P.S. Page 209 is up!
Posted by Aja at 6:00 PM
|True Magic #0215||100%||(Done!)|
|True Magic #0216||100%||(Patreon!)|
|True Magic #0217||10%||(thumbnailing)|
|Joyful Flight for Aleena||5%||(sketching)|
|Chibi Family Portrait for Brandon||5%||(sketching)|
|Boy in the Desert for Elliot||0%||(reserved)|
|Caelan and Mako for Lisa||0%||(pending)|
|Hawkeye for Krista||100%||(Done!)|
|Dire Weasel for Dale||0%||(pending)|
|Miria and Sabenn for Catherine||5%||(sketching)|
|Siobhan and Roisin for Brian||0%||(pending)|
|Hrulash and Garekhen for Zela||0%||(pending)|
|Belle Leighn for Brian||0%||(pending)|
|Chibi Chrono and Marle for Zachary||0%||(pending)|
|Chibi Windblade for Liliy||100%||(Done!)|
|Chibi Demon and Wolf for Lisa||0%||(pending)|
|Chibi Lνadan and Cerberus for Anna||0%||(pending)|
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