i am the one who blogs

The Tumblr of Laura Hudson.

I like comics, video games, progressive politics, karaoke, and cats.

Also available on Twitter.



Ask me anything  
Reblogged from iamdavidbrothers

franzferdinand2 said: Since SDCC and harassment are in the news again, did anything ever come out of your harassment complaints from last year?

iamdavidbrothers:

Man I got an email that told me they take harassment very seriously and that I shoulda followed an unspoken rule so as to avoid their goons running up on me three deep like I stole something in the booth where I was working.

But I only got that email because I sent another one six months after I sent the original report like “can a brothers at least get a ‘we hear you, but sorry hoss, we can’t do anything about it also who cares’ instead of all this silence?”

Maybe those email addresses were just dead for the latter half of 2013?? weird, you’d think SDCC could spring for some working email servers or a gmail forwarding service or something

I’m Laura Hudson. I’m 33 years old, I’ve been reading comics since I was 12 and working in comics—or writing about them professionally—for over seven years. I was the Senior Editor of Comic Foundry magazine, founder and editor-in-chief of the website ComicsAlliance, a Senior Editor at WIRED and currently a full-time writer about entertainment and culture (including comics, of course).
Like a lot of women, I’ve dealt with my fair share of harassment and weirdness in comics, including being treated like I wasn’t welcome or wasn’t really a fan. There are a lot of mistaken (read: bullshit) perceptions about what a “real” comics fan looks like, and they need to be shredded, crushed, lit on fire, and shot into space, Planet Hulk style. Want to know what a “real” fan looks like? There are plenty on the We Are Comics tumblr, and I’m one of them.
Comic books haven’t always done a good job of representing the world—not the people who love them or the people who could. We need more comics whose characters—and creators—look a lot more like the people on We Are Comics. And that’s why it exists: to make the true diversity of comics visible rather than invisible. To show us that the narrow, prejudiced idea of the “real” fan is the fakest thing of all.
Want to take part? Check out the tumblr and add your voice, your picture, your story with the tag #i am comics.

I’m Laura Hudson. I’m 33 years old, I’ve been reading comics since I was 12 and working in comics—or writing about them professionally—for over seven years. I was the Senior Editor of Comic Foundry magazine, founder and editor-in-chief of the website ComicsAlliance, a Senior Editor at WIRED and currently a full-time writer about entertainment and culture (including comics, of course).

Like a lot of women, I’ve dealt with my fair share of harassment and weirdness in comics, including being treated like I wasn’t welcome or wasn’t really a fan. There are a lot of mistaken (read: bullshit) perceptions about what a “real” comics fan looks like, and they need to be shredded, crushed, lit on fire, and shot into space, Planet Hulk style. Want to know what a “real” fan looks like? There are plenty on the We Are Comics tumblr, and I’m one of them.

Comic books haven’t always done a good job of representing the world—not the people who love them or the people who could. We need more comics whose characters—and creators—look a lot more like the people on We Are Comics. And that’s why it exists: to make the true diversity of comics visible rather than invisible. To show us that the narrow, prejudiced idea of the “real” fan is the fakest thing of all.

Want to take part? Check out the tumblr and add your voice, your picture, your story with the tag #i am comics.

Reblogged from chrisroberson

The Zelda-Style Game Where You Hack the Source Code With Your Sword (And Its Female Hero)

image

Over at WIRED, I wrote about the new game Hack n’ Slash, a Legend of Zelda style game where you use your sword to hack the source code itself. It’s a really clever concept, but the game has something else that Zelda never had, despite its name: a female protagonist. This didn’t make it in the article, but I really enjoyed this discussion with creator Brandon Dillon about why he made his main character an elven girl named Alice, in part because it is super, super adorable.

Dillon: We follow that convention that when you’re creating the game you can type in any name you want to, but Alice is the canonical name in the same way that Link is.

Laura: Why Alice?

Dillon: Do you want the embarrassing reason? The embarrassing reason is that my fiancee and I have talked a lot about baby names—what those names would mean to us, and convey aspirationally and what we hope our children would find important. We both love Alice in Wonderland and the curiosity that character possesses, the cleverness and bravery in the face of the the universe’s essential weirdness. When I was trying to figure out the name for the main character I had this thought—our first girl name choice is Alice and our first boy name choice is Charlie. Charlie’s going to have plenty of heroes to look at in video games, but Alice isn’t going to have as many because there aren’t as many female leads in games. I have this opportunity because I’m writing this character and creating her personality, which has a lot of those things that I find personally valuable and are an important part of my worldview: not taking things at face value, being independent, having a skeptical eye towards the things you experience, cleverness as a virtue. All of that is baked into the nature of the character’s personality by the nature of what she’s doing over the course of the game. I just like the idea of someday having a girl that can play this game that her dad made and have that communicated to her.”

Reblogged from prismcess
The Game of Thrones exhibit at SXSW reveals the true identity of the Yellow King: STANNIS BARATHEON

The Game of Thrones exhibit at SXSW reveals the true identity of the Yellow King: STANNIS BARATHEON

Reblogged from projectunbreakable

projectunbreakable:

nine photographs portraying quotes said to sexual assault survivors by police officers, attorneys, and other authority figures

more info about project unbreakable here

original tumblr here

previously: nine photographs portraying quotes said to sexual assault survivors by their friends/family

Reblogged from meniloveat5280
fakegeekguys:

deantrippe:

jackscoresby:

16bitmick:

sevenpoints:

weregays:

daunt:

This guy obviously isn’t a real geek, does he even play video games?
These overly sexual hot boys, they just want attention.

go back to the garage and fix my car

no you’ll probably fuck up the car let’s start with making me a sandwich

Fucking tease


fake geek guys like this are why women don’t believe me when i say i like comics and videogames

This guy obviously isn’t a real geek, does he even play video games? Overly sexual hot boys, they just want attention.v #FakeGeekGuys

fakegeekguys:

deantrippe:

jackscoresby:

16bitmick:

sevenpoints:

weregays:

daunt:

This guy obviously isn’t a real geek, does he even play video games?

These overly sexual hot boys, they just want attention.

go back to the garage and fix my car

no you’ll probably fuck up the car let’s start with making me a sandwich

Fucking tease

fake geek guys like this are why women don’t believe me when i say i like comics and videogames

This guy obviously isn’t a real geek, does he even play video games? Overly sexual hot boys, they just want attention.v #FakeGeekGuys

(via fakenerdguys)

Reblogged from mixtapecomics
mixtapecomics:

After a discussion last week with several of my cartoonist peers (and at the behest of Steve Bissette): I want to talk about image theft and uncredited content on social media. I’m only going to speak from personal experience (and only about the one image posted above) but I hope that this example will show the disservice this causes to any artist whose artwork is edited and reposted without credit.
[Disclaimer: I post all my work online for free. I want people to read, enjoy, and share my work. I have no problem with people reposting my work if it’s credited and unaltered. (That way new readers can find their way to my site to read more.) My problem is when people edit out the URL and copyright information to repost the images as their own for fun or profit.]
Below, I’ve listed the sites where my comic was posted and how many times it was viewed on / shared from each of those sites. (The following list was composed from the first ten pages of Google.) Let’s take a look at the life of this comic over the last 11 months. 
On January 23 (2013) I posted the comic on my journal comic website, Intentionally Left Blank, and on my corresponding art Tumblr (where it currently has 5,442 notes). The same day, it was posted (intact, with the original URL and copyright) to Reddit. (There, credited, it has received 50,535 views.)The Reddit post alone was exciting but on January 24, someone posted an edited version of the image (with the URL and copyright removed) to 9GAG. That uncredited posting has been voted on 29,629 times and shared on Facebook 22,517 times. That uncredited image caught on and spread like wildfire:
January 25: LOLchamp (39 comments. Views unknown.)January 26: WeHeartIt. (With the 9GAG ad at the bottom. Views unknown.)January 26: Random Overload (2 Facebook likes. Views unknown).January 26: CatMoji (41 reactions. Views unknown.)January 26: The Meta Picture (1,800+ Facebook likes. 6,000+ Pintrest shares)
February 5: damnLOL. (929 Facebook shares. Views unknown.)February 7: LOLhappens. (1,400+ Facebook shares.)February ?: LOLmaze (121 shares)February ?: LOLzbook (37 likes and 37 shares).On March 25, I was lucky and this comic was featured in a Buzzfeed post “36 Illustrated Truths About Cats.” The comic was featured alongside work by a 35 other artists who I admire and aspire to be. (Exciting!)Buzzfeed was able to trace the uncredited image back to me and listed a source link to my main website but still posted the uncredited version of the image. The post currently has 6,000+ Facebook shares, 14,000+ Facebook likes, and 727 Tweets. Ever the optimist, I’ll count those numbers in the “credited views” column.The problem with Buzzfeed posting the uncredited image and only listing the source underneath was: people began to save their favourite comics from the article and repost them in their personal blogs without credit. (13, 3, and 60 Facebook likes, respectfully.) I’m mentioning this not to target Buzzfeed or the individuals reposting, but to show the importance of leaving the credits in the original image.March 30: FunnyStuff247. (47,588 views.)March 31: LOLcoaster. (1 Facebook like. Views unknown.) April 5: ROFLzone. (1,200+ Facebook shares. Views unknown.)April 26: LOLwall. (70 Facebook likes. Views unknown.)
July 23: The uncredited image was chopped into four smaller pieces and posted on the Tumblr of TheAmericanKid, where he sourced it to FunnyStuff247. (124,786 notes and featured in #Animals on Tumblr.)
Aug 21: Eng-Jokes.com. (87,818 views and 41,400+ Facebook shares.)
Oct 2: MemeCenter. (284 Facebook likes. Views unknown.)Oct 5: FunnyJunk. (3,327 views.)Oct 10: LikeaLaugh. (1,486 views.)
Nov 20: Quickmeme. (280,090 Facebook shares. Views unknown.)Nov 20: JustMemes. (6 Facebook shares.)
There were 14 other sites which listed uncredited versions of the image within the first 10 pages of Google, but they were personal blogs so I’m not going to include them here.
One additional website I haven’t mentioned was Cheezburger, who originally posted the uncredited version of comic on January 23; but later modified it to the credited image after I contacted them. They didn’t contact me when they made the change but the image currently has 2,912 votes and 4,700 Facebook shares. Let’s be optimistic and count those as credited views and shares. 
That brings us up to the current views and shares of the comic. Now let’s do some math.
I’ve removed the comments and reactions (because they could already be accounted for in views). I’ve left in votes, however, because some sites list votes instead of views.
Taking into consideration that Tumblr notes are made up of both likes and reblogs, let’s be conservative and say the Tumblr notes are twice as high as they should be. (That every single person that has viewed the image on Tumblr has liked the image and reblogged it.) Dividing the Tumblr notes in half, that leaves us with:
Posts using the credited image:2,912 votes2,721 Tumblr notes50,535 views727 Tweets0 Pintrest shares14,000 Facebook likes10,700 Facebook shares
Posts using the uncredited image:29,629 votes62,393 Tumblr notes140,219 views0 Tweets6,000 Pintrest shares2,085 Facebook likes347,984 Facebook shares
Adding those up and treating them all like views (assuming that every shared post was viewed once):
The original (unaltered, credited/sourced) version of the comic has been viewed 81,595 times.
The edited, uncredited/unsourced version of the comic has been viewed 588,310 times. (That’s over half a million views. Seven times more than the original, credited version.)
What does that mean for me as a creator? On the positive side, I created something that people found relatable and enjoyable. I succeeded at that thing I try to do. But, given the lack of credit, it also means that 88% of 669,905 people that read this comic had no chance of finding their way back to my website.
This was a successful comic. I want to be able to call this exposure a success. But those numbers are heartbreaking.
Morally, just the idea of taking someone’s work and removing the URL and copyright info to repost it is reprehensible. You are cutting the creator out of the creation. But worse yet, sites like 9GAG are profiting off the uncredited images that they’re posting.
9GAG is currently ranked #299 in the world according to Alexa rankings. As of April of this year, their estimated net worth was around $9.8 million, generating nearly $13,415 every day in ad revenue.
As a creator of content that they use on their site: I see none of that. And I have no chance of seeing any kind of revenue since readers can’t find their way back to my site from an uncredited image. 
I don’t want to sound bitter. The money isn’t the point. But this is a thing that’s happening. This isn’t just happening to me. It’s actively happening to the greater art community as a whole. (Especially the comics community. Recent artists effected by altered artwork/theft off the top of my head: Liz Prince, Luke Healy, Nation of Amanda, Melanie Gillman, etc.) Our work is being stolen and profited off of. Right this second.
I do my best to see the positive in these events but the very least I can do as a creator is stand up in this small moment and say “This is mine. I made this.”
Something need to be done by the community as a whole: by the readers as well as the creators. We need to start crediting our content/sources and reporting those who don’t. Sites like 9GAG need to be held accountable for their theft of work. If you see something that’s stolen: say something to the original poster, report the post, or contact the creator of the artwork.
If you have an image you’d like to post but don’t know the source: reverse Google image search it. Figure out where it came from before you post. If you like it enough to share it, it means there’s probably more where that came from.

mixtapecomics:

After a discussion last week with several of my cartoonist peers (and at the behest of Steve Bissette): I want to talk about image theft and uncredited content on social media. I’m only going to speak from personal experience (and only about the one image posted above) but I hope that this example will show the disservice this causes to any artist whose artwork is edited and reposted without credit.

[Disclaimer: I post all my work online for free. I want people to read, enjoy, and share my work. I have no problem with people reposting my work if it’s credited and unaltered. (That way new readers can find their way to my site to read more.) My problem is when people edit out the URL and copyright information to repost the images as their own for fun or profit.]

Below, I’ve listed the sites where my comic was posted and how many times it was viewed on / shared from each of those sites. (The following list was composed from the first ten pages of Google.) Let’s take a look at the life of this comic over the last 11 months.
 

On January 23 (2013) I posted the comic on my journal comic website, Intentionally Left Blank, and on my corresponding art Tumblr (where it currently has 5,442 notes). The same day, it was posted (intact, with the original URL and copyright) to Reddit. (There, credited, it has received 50,535 views.)

The Reddit post alone was exciting but on January 24, someone posted an edited version of the image (with the URL and copyright removed) to 9GAG. That uncredited posting has been voted on 29,629 times and shared on Facebook 22,517 times. That uncredited image caught on and spread like wildfire:

January 25: LOLchamp (39 comments. Views unknown.)
January 26: WeHeartIt. (With the 9GAG ad at the bottom. Views unknown.)
January 26: Random Overload (2 Facebook likes. Views unknown).
January 26: CatMoji (41 reactions. Views unknown.)
January 26: The Meta Picture (1,800+ Facebook likes. 6,000+ Pintrest shares)

February 5: damnLOL. (929 Facebook shares. Views unknown.)
February 7: LOLhappens. (1,400+ Facebook shares.)
February ?: LOLmaze (121 shares)
February ?: LOLzbook (37 likes and 37 shares).

On March 25, I was lucky and this comic was featured in a Buzzfeed post 36 Illustrated Truths About Cats.” The comic was featured alongside work by a 35 other artists who I admire and aspire to be. (Exciting!)

Buzzfeed was able to trace the uncredited image back to me and listed a source link to my main website but still posted the uncredited version of the image. The post currently has 6,000+ Facebook shares, 14,000+ Facebook likes, and 727 Tweets. Ever the optimist, I’ll count those numbers in the “credited views” column.

The problem with Buzzfeed posting the uncredited image and only listing the source underneath was: people began to save their favourite comics from the article and repost them in their personal blogs without credit. (13, 3, and 60 Facebook likes, respectfully.) I’m mentioning this not to target Buzzfeed or the individuals reposting, but to show the importance of leaving the credits in the original image.

March 30: FunnyStuff247. (47,588 views.)
March 31: LOLcoaster. (1 Facebook like. Views unknown.) 

April 5: ROFLzone. (1,200+ Facebook shares. Views unknown.)
April 26: LOLwall. (70 Facebook likes. Views unknown.)

July 23: The uncredited image was chopped into four smaller pieces and posted on the Tumblr of TheAmericanKid, where he sourced it to FunnyStuff247. (124,786 notes and featured in #Animals on Tumblr.)

Aug 21: Eng-Jokes.com. (87,818 views and 41,400+ Facebook shares.)

Oct 2: MemeCenter. (284 Facebook likes. Views unknown.)
Oct 5: FunnyJunk. (3,327 views.)
Oct 10: LikeaLaugh. (1,486 views.)

Nov 20: Quickmeme(280,090 Facebook shares. Views unknown.)
Nov 20: JustMemes. (6 Facebook shares.)

There were 14 other sites which listed uncredited versions of the image within the first 10 pages of Google, but they were personal blogs so I’m not going to include them here.

One additional website I haven’t mentioned was Cheezburger, who originally posted the uncredited version of comic on January 23; but later modified it to the credited image after I contacted them. They didn’t contact me when they made the change but the image currently has 2,912 votes and 4,700 Facebook shares. Let’s be optimistic and count those as credited views and shares.
 

That brings us up to the current views and shares of the comic. Now let’s do some math.

I’ve removed the comments and reactions (because they could already be accounted for in views). I’ve left in votes, however, because some sites list votes instead of views.

Taking into consideration that Tumblr notes are made up of both likes and reblogs, let’s be conservative and say the Tumblr notes are twice as high as they should be. (That every single person that has viewed the image on Tumblr has liked the image and reblogged it.) Dividing the Tumblr notes in half, that leaves us with:

Posts using the credited image:
2,912 votes
2,721 Tumblr notes
50,535 views
727 Tweets
0 Pintrest shares
14,000 Facebook likes
10,700 Facebook shares

Posts using the uncredited image:
29,629 votes
62,393 Tumblr notes
140,219 views
0 Tweets
6,000 Pintrest shares
2,085 Facebook likes
347,984 Facebook shares

Adding those up and treating them all like views (assuming that every shared post was viewed once):

The original (unaltered, credited/sourced) version of the comic has been viewed 81,595 times.

The edited, uncredited/unsourced version of the comic has been viewed 588,310 times. (That’s over half a million views. Seven times more than the original, credited version.)

What does that mean for me as a creator? On the positive side, I created something that people found relatable and enjoyable. I succeeded at that thing I try to do. But, given the lack of credit, it also means that 88% of 669,905 people that read this comic had no chance of finding their way back to my website.

This was a successful comic. I want to be able to call this exposure a success. But those numbers are heartbreaking.

Morally, just the idea of taking someone’s work and removing the URL and copyright info to repost it is reprehensible. You are cutting the creator out of the creation. But worse yet, sites like 9GAG are profiting off the uncredited images that they’re posting.

9GAG is currently ranked #299 in the world according to Alexa rankings. As of April of this year, their estimated net worth was around $9.8 million, generating nearly $13,415 every day in ad revenue.

As a creator of content that they use on their site: I see none of that. And I have no chance of seeing any kind of revenue since readers can’t find their way back to my site from an uncredited image.
 

I don’t want to sound bitter. The money isn’t the point. But this is a thing that’s happening. This isn’t just happening to me. It’s actively happening to the greater art community as a whole. (Especially the comics community. Recent artists effected by altered artwork/theft off the top of my head: Liz Prince, Luke Healy, Nation of Amanda, Melanie Gillman, etc.) Our work is being stolen and profited off of. Right this second.

I do my best to see the positive in these events but the very least I can do as a creator is stand up in this small moment and say “This is mine. I made this.”

Something need to be done by the community as a whole: by the readers as well as the creators. We need to start crediting our content/sources and reporting those who don’t. Sites like 9GAG need to be held accountable for their theft of work. If you see something that’s stolen: say something to the original poster, report the post, or contact the creator of the artwork.

If you have an image you’d like to post but don’t know the source: reverse Google image search it. Figure out where it came from before you post. If you like it enough to share it, it means there’s probably more where that came from.

Sexual Harassment in Comics: Next Steps

As the chorus of women speaking out about sexual harassment in comics grows louder and louder, one of the most frequent – and heartening – responses I’ve heard from men is that they’re concerned about this issue and want to do more, but don’t know exactly where to start.

Rachel Edidin and I are working on a collection of tips and resources for men who want to step up – both in comics and in the broader world. It’s important to remember that harassment isn’t a single, monolithic situation; it can take many forms, depending on who’s being harassed, who’s doing the harassing, where they are, and what their relationship is. And since there’s no one-size-fits-all situation, there’s no one-size-fits-all answer, either. In order to address the problem, you don’t need a single tool; you need an entire toolkit of potential responses. That’s why we’d like to hear from you as well about what works — and what’s missing.

Women: What sort of things would you like to see the men around you do to help address harassment? What sorts of support and intervention and have been the most successful, and in what sorts of situations? What would you like men to avoid doing – both in general and as allies?

Men: What has been useful and successful for you in terms of addressing harassment and the sexism in comics culture with other men, in terms of intervention, commentary, support, and external conversation and action? What have you found most effective when dealing with harassers who are both strangers and acquaintances?

Feel free to send me your responses here as “questions” on Tumblr – if you’d prefer not to have your comments credited to you just let me know, and anonymous responses are welcome as well. (You can reach out on Twitter too.) Thanks again for wanting to help make comics a more welcoming community for everyone.