This is a comic I did not want to have to draw, and a post I did not want to have to write. But here we are. You guys have been a great audience for almost seventeen years now, and without your support I never would have had this career. But I’ve reached a point where I can’t rely on the income I make from the strip to cover all of my expenses.
These are not crazy expenses. I’m not an extravagant person. I don’t go out, I don’t buy lots of jewelry or yachts. My major concerns are paying for my kids’ day care, my mortgage and my car payments.
Way back in Olden Times, many artists could rely on support from a patron; someone with mad ducats who would pay the bills so the artist could concentrate on making art. In that spirit, the good people at Patreon have introduced a tool that allows artists to crowdsource the patronage model. Rather than depending on a single individual to do the heavy lifting, it allows lots of people to each contribute a small amount.
There are a lot of SFAM readers. Between the people who read the strip on the website and through various social media outlets, there are probably somewhere in the neighborhood of 35,000 daily readers. If every one of those readers contributed just a dollar a month, my financial troubles would be a thing of the past.
I’m not asking for that, though. I know even a dollar a month is a difficult thing to ask for from many of you, and that’s okay. But if you enjoy SFAM and you’d like to see it continue, please consider becoming one of those dollar-a-month patrons. If only 2,000 of you pitch in a buck each month, that (in addition to my merchandise sales and ad revenue) will be enough to create that cushion of stability I need to keep things going. If 4,000 of you contribute, I’ll even be able to increase my comics output.
Patreon’s tools allow you to set a patronage level for each piece of published content. They also allow you to set a maximum monthly donation so you’re not overcharged if I make a whole lot of comics one month. I suggest you set the maximum donation to the same amount as your monthly patronage level. That way, you won’t be charged per comic — just one time a month at a small, predictable level.
Patreon also allows me to give small rewards to patrons at different contribution levels. Current rewards include custom haikus, sketches, original art, access to occasional comic-drawing streams and Google hangouts and more. As a patron, you’ll also have access to any bonus content I create, like extra comics, wallpapers, illustrations and such. I’ll add more rewards and reward levels as I think ’em up.
But the real reward here is more comics for you, every month. I want to keep making them for you. I want to keep drawing. In a very real way, you guys are my collective employer. All I’m asking for is continued employment and a living wage. If you can help out with that, you will have my eternal gratitude.
No matter how this plays out, I want to thank all of you for your incredible support over the last seventeen years and for letting me do this thing that I love for so long. It has been a true honor.
If you have any thoughts or concerns, please email me or tweet at me and I’ll do my best to address them.