How frequently do your webcomics update?
The Young Protectors updates once a week on Saturdays. When donations reach $400, an additional “bonus” page is posted the following Wednesday, making two pages for that week.
Artifice is now complete, so it no longer updates. You can read the entire comic starting here. And you can purchase the nice, glossy 8.5″ x 11″ graphic novel paperback on Amazon.com (and even a Kindle edition with a groovy Panel View feature which you can borrow for free if you have a Kindle device and sign up for a free Amazon Prime membership 30-day trial).
What direction should I read your comics?
I write English-language comics and follow English-language conventions. You should read left-to-right, top-to-bottom.
I don’t speak English. Help!
No problem. Your fellow readers have created translations of some of the pages in their native language. Just click on the “Available Transcripts” drop-down menu underneath each comic page to see if there is a translation for your language.
(And are you fluent in both English and another language? Would you like to help your fellow readers by submitting translations? Email me and I’ll set you up with an account.)
I have a fan-sub website and would like to put your pages on my site and translate them into my language. Is that OK?
No. I’m very flattered that you would want to put that amount of work into one of my comics, but for now, I only want the pages of my comic hosted on my site. If you’d really like to help make these comics more accessible to non-English speakers, please consider submitting translations to the “Available Translations” drop-down menu. (See the previous question.)
What’s the easiest way to navigate through the pages of this comic?
Well, you can of course use one of the Archive pages. But there are also a bunch of easy-to-remember keyboard commands that work on all the comic pages:
- Left Arrow: Previous Page
- Right Arrow: Next Page
- Shift + Left Arrow: First Page
- Shift + Right Arrow: Last Page
- Shift + Down Arrow: Random Page
Do you have a comment moderation policy?
My comments keep landing in “moderation.” But it looks like other commenters are able to post immediately. What am I missing?
That means you probably haven’t confirmed your email address with Disqus yet. I don’t allow completely anonymous comments on this site and having a confirmed email address is the option that Disqus currently offers to accommodate that. If you could take a moment and confirm your email address with Disqus, I’d really appreciate it. I sometimes am too busy to go through the moderation cue and your comment might languish there for a long time…
Are your comics appropriate for children?
No. While they are not “adult content”, my comics deal with mature romantic and erotic themes and have scenes of very tense action and violence. In terms of content, think The Wire on HBO.
Are your comics just for gay people?
Nope. I write with straight, bisexual and gay people in mind. While I think that those who enjoy guy-on-guy romance will especially enjoy a comic like Artifice, it’s a sci-fi story first and is meant for both women and men to enjoy. Same for my superhero webcomic The Young Protectors.
(Want a more thorough response? Check out my blog post Why call Artifice a “gay sci-fi webcomic”?)
But you call your comics “yaoi”. That means there’s going to be lots and lots of explicit sex, right?
Actually, no. I’m telling grown-up stories for other grown-ups—and that will include some erotic scenes—but this isn’t porn. In terms of MPAA movie ratings, some of it is “R” rated, a couple pages even “hard-R”, but not X. If you’re looking for that here, you’re going to be disappointed. But if you’re looking for an entertaining genre story for adults with strong characters and a compelling, thought-provoking plot, then I think you’re going to really enjoy Artifice and The Young Protectors.
(For explicit guy-on-guy sex in a sci-fi webcomic, I’d actually recommend the excellent Starfighter by the wonderful Hamlet Machine who helped me bunches when I asked for advice about starting a webcomic. Teahouse, while not sci-fi, also has gorgeous art, an imaginative world and the hot guy sex. Both are very much worth your time.)
I just saw you posted an additional page on Wednesday. How do these “bonus pages” work?
“Bonus pages” were a suggestion from a reader in the comments of Artifice as a way to show my gratitude for reader donations. Here’s the deal: no matter what, whether I get any donations or not, The Young Protectors updates for free every Saturday. Those are the “regular updates”. But, on every comic page, you’ll find a widget right above the comments with a nice, yellow PayPal button and a green bar above it. Folks who’d like to support what I’m doing here can use that button to make a donation of any amount to this comic using their credit card through PayPal. And as a special thank you for reader donations, when that green bar hits $400, I will post an additional page of The Young Protectors the following Wednesday—a “bonus page”—which will mean there will be two pages of The Young Protectors posted that week!
It seems like you hit the $400 bonus page donation target for The Young Protectors pretty much every week. Dude, you must be rich!
Heh, no. This can be tough for non-artists to understand, but my artists are working professionals and I pay them a professional rate for their excellent work. Even hitting the target every week doesn’t cover the art costs of creating the two pages for that week (the regular update and the bonus), let alone pay me anything.
But I certainly don’t want to minimize how awesome this amazing support is! I know full-well this level of support is truly extraordinary and I am deeply, deeply grateful for how generous our readers are. I’m just a regular guy with a mostly regular day-job (I’m a freelance video editor) and the continual support of our amazing readership actually allows me to afford to work with such incredibly talented artists. Those bonus page donations make it possible for me to create these comics with the quality I’ve always dreamed of having. And someday, I do hope to make my living doing just this and the reader support certainly does make that feel more realistic.
Do you create new content specifically for the bonus pages?
Nope. Our art process takes significant time and thus the scripts for The Young Protectors are written out long in advance. And when I’m writing my scripts, I assume that no bonus pages will happen (I never take my readers’ amazing generosity for granted). The truth is, I write these stories with the intention from the beginning that they’ll eventually be collected in book form, so my pacing is based on what I think will work best when the story is read all at once. Adding in additional pages to “stretch things out” doesn’t make sense for that.
Every page you see in this comic is one I feel is essential to this character-focused story. All the bonus pages mean is that I post the next page in line early and so, instead of the pages being released once-a-week, those same pages are released on a twice-a-week schedule.
Do you have any advice for other writers thinking of creating their own webcomics?
Sure! Check out
Also, you might want to check out some of the earlier articles I wrote on my old blog:
And some of the current things about writing I’m posting on my Tumblr:
I hear that you had a couple Kickstarter campaigns to bring your comics to print and they did pretty well. I’m thinking of maybe creating a Kickstarter campaign for my own project. Do you have any advice?
Definitely. Check out
Other comics let me bookmark a “Most Current Page” link. How do I do that here?
Alas, you cannot. My webcomic software doesn’t allow me to have a bookmarkable “current page” link. But there are some good solutions you can try depending on your reading style:
- if you like to read a few pages before the current update to get a “running start”, you can bookmark the Archives page
- if you want a quick way to get to just the current page, you can bookmark the first page and then hit Shift + Right Arrow on your keyboard when that page loads—that keyboard command will take you to the most current page (and that’s what I do)
- or you can simply use one of the subscription methods I offer which will send you a link to the most current page whenever I update
(Or, if you’re a total geek like I am, you can use Keyboard Maestro to automatically create a new tab in your browser, enter in the URL and load the front page of The Young Protectors and then key in “Shift-Right-Arrow” itself—and have the whole thing triggered by a single keyboard command. Because that’s just how I roll…)
Can we do a link exchange?
My Links page is just for comics that I think my readers will enjoy and that I myself follow regularly, so I don’t do link exchanges. But I do check the websites of incoming links and I have actually started to follow new webcomics that way (and then included them on my Links page).
How do I add bold, italics and all that other stuff when entering comments?
I’m using the Disqus commenting system and they take advantage of all the standard HTML tags—like this:
This is how you <b>bold</b>.
This is how you bold.
This is how you create <i>italics</i>.
This is how you create italics.
For more options, check out Disqus’ HTML tag page.
Whoa! Only part of the comic page loaded—the rest is cut off! What gives?
I’m using a caching plugin which makes the pages load a lot faster, especially when looking over comic pages you’ve loaded in your browser before. (Try it! Go back to some pages you’ve already read; they should just pop up.) The downside is, every now and then your browser can get confused and only part of the page loads.
The solution is simple, though—just reload the page. You can use your browser menu to View-Reload or just simply key in Control-R (or Command-R for Macs). That usually fixes it on the first try; pretty much always on the second try.
Whoa! I know you posted a new page a few minutes ago but the “Next” button hasn’t appeared yet on the previous page. Your site must be totally broken, right?!
Heh. No. Again, it’s your browser’s caching which typically takes about 15 minutes to refresh on its own. You can wait the 15 minutes, you can find the link to the latest page on the Archives page or, if not seeing the Next button at the bottom of the now penultimate page is really wigging you out, you can just clear your browser’s cache and refresh the page.
What’s your policy on fan-fiction and fan-art?
I am very flattered by the thought of someone being so into my characters, story or world that they would take the time to create fan-art or fan-fiction. In fact, I’m very much for it! I just have a few rules, so that everyone’s hard work is honored and it doesn’t hurt me financially or keep me from telling the stories I want to tell.
- Credit and a link to this site must always be included with the fan-art or fan-fiction and must be clearly visible to those who see or read your work. (A watermark on the art similar to what I add to my comic pages would be lovely.)
- for The Young Protectors fan-fiction that credit should read:
Original The Young Protectors stories and characters by Alex Woolfson. © 2013 Alex Woolfson. All Rights Reserved. http://webcomics.yaoi911.com/
- for The Young Protectors fan-art that credit should read:
Original The Young Protectors stories and characters by Alex Woolfson. Original The Young Protectors character art and pencils by Adam DeKraker. Original The Young Protectors colors by Veronica Gandini. © 2013 Alex Woolfson. All Rights Reserved. http://webcomics.yaoi911.com/
- for Artifice fan-fiction that credit should read:
Original Artifice stories and characters by Alex Woolfson. © 2013 Alex Woolfson. All Rights Reserved. http://webcomics.yaoi911.com/
- for Artifice fan-art that credit should read:
Original Artifice stories and characters by Alex Woolfson. Original Artifice character art by Winona Nelson. © 2013 Alex Woolfson. All Rights Reserved. http://webcomics.yaoi911.com/
- if possible, the link should be “live”, meaning it should be clickable and link back to this site
- No money should exchange hands. The art should not be placed on T-shirts or any other merchandise. It absolutely has to be non-commercial.
- If you would be unhappy in any way by my using any of your ideas in one of my future comics or stories or would expect to receive any compensation if I did so (you won’t), you shouldn’t create fan work for them. Period.
Even though I plot out my comics years in advance, you hear scary stories about fans suing creators for “copying” their ideas. While I would almost certainly win any legal battle in such a case, even the thought of it totally bums me out.
I relinquish none of the rights to my characters, stories or worlds. So if you would be unhappy in any way by my using any of your ideas in one of my comics or would expect to receive compensation for your efforts, you shouldn’t create fan work for them. It’s just that simple. (Instead, you should create your own original work, which I highly encourage! It’s tons of fun!)
- I might post your fan art up on this site.
If I love it. And it’s not too porny. And you give me permission and a way to credit you.
I’m not promising I will. But IMHO, the world needs to see more awesome guy-on-guy art, so I’d love to share the stuff that really moves me.
How should I let you know I’ve created awesome fan-work?
The best way to let me know about your fan-work would be to email me with a link or to post a link to it on my Facebook page. I’m likely to see that first and it’s a great way to share it with other fans of Artifice.
Or you can just let me know in the comments on the latest webcomic page. I’m sure to see it there too.