This one makes me cry. This was the comic that the trolls killed.
Let’s get the primarily out of the way. The artwork on Sarah Finn was created by Eduardo Herrera (http://eyadan.deviantart.com/). And my god look at that art. I nearly fell out of my chair when I got the first page when i got the first page back from Eduardo. I have dealt with a number of great artist in making webcomics but my god.
No to say Eduardo is the best artist out of all the ones I work with. He is in the top of the field but, this really comes down to a matter of taste. I just really love Eduardo’s style. It has a Bruce Timm flare but with a sort of sharper line feel to it. This is the art I would be making if I was talented enough.
So what happened to this comic? Well let me first get into what this comic was about. As most of you know I used to make the Comic Exiern (http://www.exiern.com). Two years ago it was making enough money for me to start thinking about spinoff comics. My first stab at that was Dark Reflections (http://darkreflections.exiern.com) which was basically me going to my dark place and looking at the Exiern world if the badguy had won. The comic was very well received but I had problems with the artists that eventually forced me to shut it down.
Still TG story with a harder more psychological edge seemed to be very popular and I though that I might be able to make a go of things with a new story and taking lessons learned on how to handle artists from Dark Reflections. I played around with the idea of a sci fi Exiern, or a modern X-files type Exiern but the idea that really gelled for me was a Noir setting. Originally I started out with a Noir version of the main Exiern character but the more I thought about it the more the comic became it’s own thing. So Sarah Finn was born. A supernatural Noir with a TG aspect.
It was going to have nudity and even sex but on my terms. It would be story driven. With Exiern I had to throw in the random fan service at regular interval just to keep the revenues up. I was not happy with that but it was a necessary part of the economics. Sarah Finn would be funded by Exiern’s surplus so I could have more freedom to go to dark places and use sex as a storytelling tool not a funding stream.
And then Eduardo signed on and I got really pumped. Eduardo cranked out 5 beautiful pages and I prepared to launch the new site…
And the Eduardo got hit by a bus. Literally. He was on his bike and a bus hit him. He was up in the hospital for a month. But I was not discouraged I just delayed the launch waiting till he got better.
Then Eduardo got a real job. Not surprising given his talent in fact the first thing I though when I saw his art was “no way I am holding on to him for long”. But I was not discouraged I would just fine another artist I had a good start to go from.
And then the troll hit me.
This troll was clever and instead of spewing venom on some messageboard, filed an obscenity complaint with Paypal against Exiern. Paypal, who has a general policy of “do what you want as long as you don’t embarrass us”, came down on me like a ton of brick locking me out of the system. Eventually I was to recover, to an extent. The funding from Exiern was still quite suppressed by about 25% and I was put on super secret probation with paypal where I have an account but it’s on the condition that I never make any waves again.
And most importantly I was broken. I didn’t have the excess cash to make Sarah Finn anymore, at not at least to get an artist of Eduardo’s caliber, and even if I did I was sick of this. As I said I was never comfortable putting nudity into a comic to begin with. This was just to much of a fight to take on my self for something I didn’t quite believe in. If I made Sarah Finn I would have to deal with more of these asses come at me because I show the unmentionables bit that God says is sinful. The troll that started this attack was without a doubt pure scum trying to impose their will on others. But in the end they won… Sort of.
Because here is the thing. If the troll was trying to stop nudity and sex on the internet… well they would have had more luck emptying the ocean with a thimble. If it was an attack on LGBT friendly websites, Exiern is so on the edge of that field it would have no effect. If it was an attack on a comic that had “objectification” in it. A) I agree with that general goal if not the method and was trying to move toward it myself before the attack. B) They ended up killing the comic that was taking a more measured approach and was part of my strategy to get some “better” storytelling into play. Exiern is still alive and kicking pinups and all.
The only way you could really say the troll “won” is if the goal was to attack me personally. To break my spirit and ruin my life for a while for no other reason but to impose suffering on a random stranger. If that was the goal, congratulation troll you have succeeded at being a colossal dick.
Sarah Finn was one of my better works if I do say so myself. But with no way to pay for it and no artist to work on it I have had don’t have a real path to bring the comic to life.
Still nothing is every really dead. If you like the next 5 pages let me know and I will look into using some of newer funding tools like kickstarter to get the comic made.