Update and Ping

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paarfi
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Update and Ping

Post by paarfi » Thu Aug 12, 2021 12:14 pm

Two things for the forum folk here who might not hang on out on the MT Twitch/Discord/Twitter.

Fred had been driving a bus as a temp for the last several months, working a lot of overtime which interfered with comic time. That paid off though a few weeks ago when he landed a fulltime position driving the bus. That now comes with health insurance, which is a big deal for Fred and family given their history of health problems.

Fred just got his new schedule, and he'll be driving 2nd shift on weekdays, with what should be a lot less overtime. A more regular schedule should make his life easier, and he feels should lead to more regular work on the comic and such. So this is good news.

Also, if you hadn't seen, Ping has rebooted her old twitter account and is posting no context megatokyo pictures twice a day. If that sounds like your kind of thing, you can follow her account here:
https://twitter.com/SEVS44936
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Re: Update and Ping

Post by Yl33 D4 N00b » Sat Aug 14, 2021 11:37 am

That's good news! Insurance is important, especially in this day and age.

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Re: Update and Ping

Post by GouryG » Sat Aug 14, 2021 12:51 pm

That's good news to hear. Now that things are going to be more stable, Fred will be able to get his head in a better place and be able to relax more while drawing.
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Tsukai
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Re: Update and Ping

Post by Tsukai » Sun Aug 15, 2021 4:32 am

Hail to the bus driver, bus-driver-man.

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Re: Update and Ping

Post by IrwinFletcher » Wed Aug 18, 2021 1:53 am

EIGHT comics since January 1st???

Dude, just give it up and go full blown into Patreon porn commissions like the guy who used to do VG Cats has done.

I

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Re: Update and Ping

Post by Rapierman » Wed Aug 18, 2021 2:11 am

Excellent news re: Permanent job! That should be a lot less to worry about.

Re: PIng's Twitter account: It would also be amusing if it were actually interactive. I know: Wishful thinking on my part....

....but a person can dream.
irwinFletcher wrote:Dude, just give it up and go full blown into Patreon porn commissions like the guy who used to do VG Cats has done.
I'm afraid his current occupation would make that extremely prohibitive at the moment.
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Re: Update and Ping

Post by infidel » Wed Sep 01, 2021 11:45 pm

Awesome, thank you for the update.

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Re: Update and Ping

Post by Genshie » Thu Sep 02, 2021 11:15 pm

This place may seem dead but I will never forget this being like a second home to me. Congrats to Fred! Life is tough as it is. God bless!

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Re: Update and Ping

Post by Orriens » Mon Nov 01, 2021 3:07 am

IrwinFletcher wrote:
Wed Aug 18, 2021 1:53 am
[...] go full blown into Patreon porn commissions like the guy who used to do VG Cats has done.

I
:lol: :lol: you are serious? That guy is doing that now?

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Re: Update and Ping

Post by MoneyMan » Sun Nov 07, 2021 4:19 pm

Why did I feel the need to fact-check that?

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Re: Update and Ping

Post by DrunkenSailor » Mon Nov 08, 2021 5:44 pm

The only problem with the bus driving gig I can see was Fred's missing the opportunity for the perfect Stan Lee style cameo. When Megumi was delayed by the TPCD in picking up Kimi and Piro from the hospital, instead of racing past them, she should of just looked ahead and said "Never mind, they're taking the bus." Que Fred picking up Piro and dead Miho playing Kimiko in his bus. Popping over hills like Steve McQeen's Mustang in the movie "Bullet" and drifting around corners of narrow Tokyo streets. he could lose the cops and drop our heroes off at the hotel.

"Exact change, please."

Oh well, it was pretty good the way it was.

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Re: Update and Ping

Post by IrwinFletcher » Mon Nov 29, 2021 8:40 pm

DrunkenSailor wrote:
Mon Nov 08, 2021 5:44 pm
The only problem with the bus driving gig I can see was Fred's missing the opportunity for the perfect Stan Lee style cameo.
Going by his Twitter, it also apparently permanently screwed up his shoulder to the point that it's incredibly painful to draw anymore.

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Re: Update and Ping

Post by tambo » Fri Dec 24, 2021 4:15 pm

Looks like 2021 will have yielded 11 pages (#1589-#1599).

For comparison:

* 2020: 23 pages (#1566-#1588) and 14 pages of TTDP

* 2019: 21 pages (#1545-#1565)

* 2018: 41 pages (#1505-#1545)

I'm expressing no opinions (other than best wishes for Fred's shoulder recovery). Just observing some facts.

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Re: Update and Ping

Post by paarfi » Fri Dec 24, 2021 4:44 pm

It has been a struggle, and Fred isn't happy with it. He has the next week off, so he's hoping to get some MT stuff done. His bus driving schedule for next year has him off work at like 9pm rather than 3am, so we'll see if that helps. He struggled some with the late nights. He'd also been doing a good bit of overtime because the pandemic left them short on drivers and such, which is hopefully going to lessen. He certainly sounds tired of it, so I expect he won't be volunteering. He's also struggled some with balancing work and family. time. He's always valued the flexibility of the comic work, and being able to do family stuff around it. But when you're working a full-time job (especially with overtime), there isn't as much time to go around. Flexing isn't enough anymore, and comic time competes more directly with family time. So that's hard, and he hasn't managed it in a way that makes him happy yet. Hopefully the new bus schedule helps some. I guess we'll see.
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Re: Update and Ping

Post by tambo » Sun Dec 26, 2021 12:04 am

Yeah, that makes sense. I presume that some of us work on hobbyist / passion projects, and that they must take a back seat to non-optional responsibilities: work, family, health, other projects, etc. - in addition to the totally normal variability of inspiration and personal satisfaction. It happens. Life goes on.

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Re: Update and Ping

Post by mistersaxon » Tue Dec 28, 2021 4:36 am

The comic is not a hobby, it's a paid gig though, in a sense. The idea was the Patreon support would allow him to spend more time drawing and I guess that isn't working out?
Yea, verily: Who is that, running on the steppes! It is Sax, clutching buzzsaw hand extensions! He howls homicidally:
"I'm seriously going to pound you into the fast lane!!!"

Oh, yeah, I wrote Ping some backstory once.

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Re: Update and Ping

Post by paarfi » Tue Dec 28, 2021 7:12 am

mistersaxon wrote:
Tue Dec 28, 2021 4:36 am
The idea was the Patreon support would allow him to spend more time drawing and I guess that isn't working out?
It did for a while. The patreon isn't enough by itself, but combined with Sarah having a decent job it was enough for them to get by, and that made a real difference. But then the pandemic hit, and Sarah lost her job. Fred took up the bus driving part time to help fill that gap. Sarah hadn't had any luck finding a decent new job, so when the opportunity came along for Fred to upgrade to a better paying fulltime bus job with health insurance, he jumped at it.

He thought he could continue to do the comic while working fulltime, but so far it hasn't worked out very well. Some of that isn't his fault. He dislocated his drawing shoulder twice. He got pretty sick. The bus job was supposed to give him a couple months off over teh summer, but that didn't happen because of a shortage of drivers due to pandemic. But life things happen -- he has no buffer anymore, and it's the comic that has suffered.

He's really down about it. He wavers between being frustrated and depressed over not being able to comic and saying he should just drop the whole comic and close the patreon because he can't do it well enough anymore. He has the week off between xmas and new years, but at least so far there's been a lot of stream time without a lot of actual progress on the comic, which is what often happens when he gets depressed.

So things are better for them financially, but it's not going well for the comic. If things continue like this, it might be better if Fred mentally downgrades it to a hobby or passion project, like tambo describes it. That might at least relieve some of the pressure Fred puts on himself, and patreon supporters could re-evaluate their support on that basis. I don't think Fred's ready to do that yet thought. He says that the comic is important to him and he needs that creative outlet to be happy. So we'll see.
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Re: Update and Ping

Post by GouryG » Wed Dec 29, 2021 12:45 pm

It wouldn't be the first time that the comic had to take a break due to real world things taking precedence. Those of us who have been around for a while will remember that Fred one time took nearly a year hiatus due to real life issues. If Fred needs to take another break or scale things back to sort out his personal life, so be it. Those of us who have been supporting him all these years will understand.
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Re: Update and Ping

Post by Ningen 2 » Fri Dec 31, 2021 10:41 am

For a backgrounder on school bus driving, you might want to check out this article from 538.
Image Ningen pity unfortunate individual.

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Re: Update and Ping

Post by paarfi » Fri Dec 31, 2021 11:03 am

Ningen 2 wrote:
Fri Dec 31, 2021 10:41 am
For a backgrounder on school bus driving
The part-time job that Fred had earlier was a traditional school bus. The fulltime bus driving job he has now is for the university, so a bit different.
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Re: Update and Ping

Post by paarfi » Fri Dec 31, 2021 12:26 pm

Also, Fred says that with his new work schedule, his plan is for 9am-1pm M-F to be draw and MT time. I hope that helps and gets things moving along better. We'll see.
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Re: Update and Ping

Post by cidjen » Sat Jan 01, 2022 3:54 am

Hope Fred's old laptop will work for him...

Happy New Year and only positive...ly thinking people all around, for 411 ;)
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Re: Update and Ping

Post by mistersaxon » Sun Jan 02, 2022 5:14 am

paarfi wrote:
Tue Dec 28, 2021 7:12 am
mistersaxon wrote:
Tue Dec 28, 2021 4:36 am
The idea was the Patreon support would allow him to spend more time drawing and I guess that isn't working out?
It did for a while. The patreon isn't enough by itself, but combined with Sarah having a decent job it was enough for them to get by, and that made a real difference. [...] If things continue like this, it might be better if Fred mentally downgrades it to a hobby or passion project, like tambo describes it. That might at least relieve some of the pressure Fred puts on himself, and patreon supporters could re-evaluate their support on that basis. I don't think Fred's ready to do that yet thought. He says that the comic is important to him and he needs that creative outlet to be happy. So we'll see.
The trouble is that the comic needs to generate interest for the Patreon and not the other way around really - bit of a chicken/egg situation I suppose...

... but Happy New Year and all that - 2022 has a very low bar to get over to be a better year than several recent ones :)
Yea, verily: Who is that, running on the steppes! It is Sax, clutching buzzsaw hand extensions! He howls homicidally:
"I'm seriously going to pound you into the fast lane!!!"

Oh, yeah, I wrote Ping some backstory once.

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