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July 15, 2011 6:29 AM   Subscribe

Tarol Hunt, author of webcomic Goblins, was recently informed that the house he and his family rent had been allowed to fall into foreclosure by its owners, forcing him to make a choice: raise thousands of dollars to buy the home, or be evicted. On July 10th, Thunt appealed to his fans as a last resort: Raise $30,000 by August 20th, as part of his Tempts Fate spin-off, and Tempts Fate will survive the most fiendish, dangerous adventure he's ever faced. His fans raised the money in four days.
posted by Silverdragonanon (35 comments total) 5 users marked this as a favorite

 
My friend has the same problem.

He doesn't draw a comic.
posted by symbioid at 6:36 AM on July 15, 2011 [24 favorites]


yeah, it's a same-old re-hash of cyber begging ...
posted by k5.user at 6:44 AM on July 15, 2011


Maybe I would feel happy about this fortunate turn of events if Goblins weren't among the most hackish, gratuitously violent and irredeemably bad comics in the history of the Internet.
posted by overeducated_alligator at 6:45 AM on July 15, 2011 [1 favorite]


I always feel squicky about this kind of story. Yes, it's fantastic that fans will rally around an artist in times of need, but somehow attributing their donations to a piece of work which they'd pay fair market value for at any other time seems disingenuous.

If we paid everybody according to their needs, wouldn't books be labeled with the life problems of the authors?
posted by xingcat at 6:48 AM on July 15, 2011 [3 favorites]


This is nice when it is proper; but the person that came to mind first was the "Saved by the Bell" bozo or a UN Owen type thing.

How large of a house was he living in?
posted by buzzman at 6:49 AM on July 15, 2011


If we paid everybody according to their needs, wouldn't books be labeled with the life problems of the authors?

If you donate $30000 to me, you can read about it in my upcoming book, The Unemployed Alcoholic Video-Game Addict.
posted by BeerFilter at 6:52 AM on July 15, 2011 [24 favorites]


Just to be different: I like Goblins and I don't see anything wrong with him making extra money when he needs it. Also, it's not really begging if the fans get something out of it. Here is a better link to the current Tempts Fate that explains what donors are getting. (at the bottom)
posted by Bonzai at 6:56 AM on July 15, 2011


I think it's more interesting than cyber-begging because donations seem to be his core way to make a living doing comics. The whole premise of the Tempts Fate spinoff is a sort of ransom business model, where it only continues if fans meet the donations goals. I'm guessing Hunt would have had an extremely difficult time trying to break into the offline comics world, but there are enough people online who want to keep seeing his work that he can make it a full-time job without having to use any of the offline comics business models. More and more it seems like artists are figuring out that the best way to make money from their work is to get fans to finance their projects directly rather than relying on a publisher to finance it in exchange for the rights to sell it.
posted by burnmp3s at 7:00 AM on July 15, 2011 [2 favorites]


Here is a better link to the current Tempts Fate that explains what donors are getting. (at the bottom)

I was certain that I linked to that one, but I wasn't sure if all those links were working correctly for everyone else. Cheers for that, Bonzai.
posted by Silverdragonanon at 7:01 AM on July 15, 2011


Is he going to use the $30K +++ to do a down payment and stop renting?
posted by buzzman at 7:04 AM on July 15, 2011


Is he going to use the $30K +++ to do a down payment and stop renting?

I believe so - his intention was to use it, as well as everything else he could scrimp and save, to make a down-payment on the house so it would then belong to them.
posted by Silverdragonanon at 7:09 AM on July 15, 2011 [1 favorite]


I've always wondered about this in the US. In South Africa (and other countries with a Roman Dutch law basis) a lease takes precedence over a sale, so if you buy a house with a tenant who still has 6 months to go on his lease you can't kick him out, you're just the new landlord till the lease ends.
posted by PenDevil at 7:13 AM on July 15, 2011


I like comics, and I'm usually sympathetic to stories of creative people in tough financial situations, but this post is really not that great - a link to the Wikipedia article on Goblins? And there's not even a mention of the comic on the wiki page? Plus About.com?

I've never heard of this comic before, and I'd really like to see some examples of this guy's work that you think are outstanding, rather than his twitter feed, because from the one page that was posted, it looks like.. uh. something I'm not into.
posted by dubold at 7:17 AM on July 15, 2011


Surely it beats begging for money without creating anything?
posted by foursentences at 7:26 AM on July 15, 2011


In South Africa (and other countries with a Roman Dutch law basis) a lease takes precedence over a sale, so if you buy a house with a tenant who still has 6 months to go on his lease you can't kick him out, you're just the new landlord till the lease ends.

Alas, not so in the USA -- tenants have comparatively few rights to other countries. But hey, IF you're scrappy, you can always peel the copper wiring out of the walls before you're evicted!
posted by Think_Long at 7:29 AM on July 15, 2011 [2 favorites]




I like comics, and I'm usually sympathetic to stories of creative people in tough financial situations, but this post is really not that great - a link to the Wikipedia article on Goblins? And there's not even a mention of the comic on the wiki page? Plus About.com?

Damn. I messed up the links, after all. I apologize, and I've flagged the post to have it deleted on that basis - thanks for letting me know.

It's my second post, and I hoped it'd be something reasonably cool to share. I'll chalk the error (and misjudgement in how it'd be received) up to learning. If you'd like to learn more about the comic, though, please check out these links:

Wiki (The correct version!)
Fan Wiki (It's fan-made, so bear with the patchyness)
Tropes (There's a few, and links to pivotal moments in the comic, but beware spoilers)
posted by Silverdragonanon at 7:29 AM on July 15, 2011 [1 favorite]


I don't think it's a bad post. A couple of botched links, but the mods can fix it without deletion. I've never heard of this web comic, so that's cool, and it's a little human interest -- better than a lot of other fpps in my opinion.
posted by Think_Long at 7:33 AM on July 15, 2011


[Fixed the blown Wikipedia link, carry on.]
posted by cortex at 7:38 AM on July 15, 2011


Alas, not so in the USA -- tenants have comparatively few rights to other countries. But hey, IF you're scrappy, you can always peel the copper wiring out of the walls before you're evicted!

I actually don't think this is true unless there is a specific clause in the lease that allows its termination upon sale.
posted by lalex at 7:38 AM on July 15, 2011


I walked into this FPP hating the idea, but walked out enjoying/mulling over the explicit ransom model. Hmm...
posted by adamdschneider at 7:43 AM on July 15, 2011 [1 favorite]


I agree with burnmp3s - cyberbegging is generally posting your plight and hoping random people will help you out. This is comic artist/author with a following, who has posted a challenge of sorts, that could shape a story. How is that different from a Kickstarter project? Because it's for a down payment instead of supporting a band going on tour or a photographer printing a book?
posted by filthy light thief at 7:44 AM on July 15, 2011 [1 favorite]


It must be said that Tempts Fate has not yet died. 10 times.

Still, I think you may have some difficulty finding a real-world application for the explicit ransom model. It doesn't usually work out as well for actual people...
posted by Silverdragonanon at 7:45 AM on July 15, 2011


The explicit ransom business model was perfected in January 1973.
posted by FAMOUS MONSTER at 7:47 AM on July 15, 2011 [4 favorites]


...instead of supporting a band going on tour...

That's basically how I see it. I am friends with some band people on Facebook and I will get the occcasional "hey guys help us tour in Europe!" post. Begging is an end-all activity: they ask, you give, that's it. This, on the other hand, is just distributed patronage: "if you can, help me keep that thing I do that you enjoy."
posted by griphus at 8:03 AM on July 15, 2011


I still think it's odd that this is a valid way of making money.

Good for him, whoever he is (I have not heard of him whatsoever), but it's not exactly a reliable way to make consistent bank.
posted by jenfullmoon at 8:18 AM on July 15, 2011


I'll chalk the error (and misjudgement in how it'd be received) up to learning.

Thanks for those links; after a bit of poking around I found this. It's funny 'cause it's true!
posted by dubold at 8:19 AM on July 15, 2011


In some states the lease has always taken prescedence over a foreclosure. Wasn't a federal law passed a few years ago that that true throughout the country?
posted by The Lamplighter at 8:35 AM on July 15, 2011


If Phil Foglio wasn't dead, he'd sue the brakes off of this guy.

Wait a sec, Phil's not dead?
posted by Sphinx at 8:55 AM on July 15, 2011


Regarding the precedence of lease over foreclosure: per the artist's blog he could only remain in the house until the lease was up.

This makes sense - in the case of sale or foreclosure the lease usually transfers to the new owners, but the new owners are under no obligation to renew the lease after it expires.
posted by m@f at 10:41 AM on July 15, 2011


Sphinx: Phil Foglio isn't dead, and if you haven't been following him for the past decade, you should start right now.

Also, I was really glad to see this play out the way it did.
posted by honeydew at 10:42 AM on July 15, 2011


Huh. Tempts Fate is a really nice spin on the "monthly donation goal" schtick that a ton of web comics do. If I can get myself to the point where I have a buffer on my current project, I think I'll see if I can adapt the idea to my own themes.
posted by egypturnash at 10:57 AM on July 15, 2011


Record my vote in the category of "not a fan of the work, but see no problem with the cyber-begging."

He asked for cash. He was up-front about why he wanted it, what he planned to do with it, and what contributors could expect in return. Those who gave did so of their own free will, having had ample opportunity to understand that which was up. No fraud, no coercion.

Arguably, poor taste and bad manners, but if so (and in my eye that's a big "if") hardly the most egregious example on this 'net of ours.

So maybe there are, in your opinion, better places to spend money. Worthier causes. So what? There are also far worse uses to which people put a whole lot more money. Can you justifiably kvetch about a B-list webcomic getting thirty large for a suitable habitat to dwell in, when there are people out there spending many times that every second on stuff like professional sports and softcore vampire porn and light beer? In cans?

How can you waste perfectly good outrage on this (he says, shaking his tiny fist above the keyboard) when there are unperturbed children in Africa?
posted by sourcequench at 11:02 AM on July 15, 2011 [1 favorite]


A sea of free, infinitely reproducible content is a tough place to earn a reliable living in, so I'm glad to he had fostered enough of a community around his work that he could go to it in a time of need. He's not pretending to have cancer and bugging complete strangers.
posted by bonobothegreat at 11:22 AM on July 15, 2011


I've been cyber begging for years, my total take to date is roughly USD30. I must not have pressing enough problems.

My bag will be empty in 4 days. Emergency let's raise $500 for a brand new bag for Meatbomb!
posted by Meatbomb at 7:40 PM on July 15, 2011 [1 favorite]


What about option C - "move house"? He was already renting, why not rent somewhere else?

I actually don't see the crisis, other than the hassle of moving, which is something everyone who rents has to deal with.

Would his fans have stumped up all the cash if he had to move because the owner was just selling the house?

Nice to have generous fans though.
posted by His thoughts were red thoughts at 10:19 PM on July 15, 2011


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