Non-Profit Corporations were made for Publishing A.K.A. Just trying to change the system as we know it.

Making Of / 17 June 2020


So, for those not familiar with my posts, I've been mulling over the idea of going non-profit, public domain with my solo dev game and comics studio.

I know I just lost a ton of people with that sentence. That's fine.

Don't think I haven't heard it from plenty of people already. "But what if it's successful? Won't you be giving up a ton of royalty money? Won't you be mad if someone uses your characters and makes a million dollars and gives you nothing?"

There are both short and long answers to these questions.

SHORT: Great. Yes and No.

LONG:

But what if it's successful? - Great, I hope that the ideas and themes I've created spread and inspire others to do the same.

Won't you be giving up a ton of royalty money? - Yes, and I'm fine with it. Because if someone can do a better job or crate a more inspiring idea with my pre-existing characters, than so be it. All the power to them. As a solo dev it is beyond exhausting and time consuming to defend and enforce traditional copyrights. Besides I'd still own the copyright to my work and stories and I don't need to acknowledge or consider work by others as cannon to my storytelling universe. Anyone can make a story with any character, but not from my approach or perspective. No one can recreate your perspective but you. With all the corruption that is apparent in all levels of our institutions and legal system, I don't want to feed that toxic legal system by giving my money to government bodies in registration fees or lawyers with legal fees. 

Won't you be mad if someone uses your characters and makes a million dollars and gives you nothing? - Nope, and the current system in the mainstream already does that to creators anyway. Look at Garry Friedrich and Mike Ploog. They created Ghost Rider. When Marvel made the first Ghost Rider movie, the creators asked for royalties. In response, Marvel sued them into oblivion for daring to presume that they should stand up for themselves. Their only "crime" was selling original Ghost Rider art at conventions, the character they created. Marvel was happy to let them do that even though they contractually owned the character, that is until they spoke up and Marvel used the legal system to ruin and silence them. If you want to be successful and work with a big company you have to give ownership of your characters away anyway, with no promise of a share of what that character may make in the future. So how is it really that different? It's not just an issue in the comics or entertainment world, but in the business and work world in general. Employees are expected to sacrifice their own ideas, health, well-being and anything else for the good of an employer that is totally indifferent toward their existence, if not outright contemptful of anyone who suggests things should be done differently. If I create a character under public domain/creative commons and someone is inspired by that character to make a movie, cartoon, comic, game, anything else, I'm no worse off than if I worked with a large publisher and more likely to be able to enforce the most minimum of recognition, a simple credit that says that I created that character. And if someone can take my idea and build on it, make it better and use it to inspire more people then they have my utmost respect. And if they make a piece of crap, they make a piece of crap. It doesn't reflect on me. I can always make something with the character myself that I feel is of quality.


I'm tired of my hard work and money going to support a system that disrespects and screws the average working class person. I'm also tired of hearing people complain about that system, but not willing to do anything to fix or change it, if it means that they have to lift a finger or speak up for themselves. There are a lot of people who bellyache about our society, but consistently have to come up with a problem for every solution suggested. I don't want to be that person either.

So in the spirit of setting an example I've really been doing some hard thinking and research. I feel like the best possible way to make change is to make my publishing efforts public domain, low cost and non-profit. It would remove a lot of the constraints and bullshit that has to be dealt with in the traditional system. The more I think about it the more I think any publishing venture, especially news media, should be non-profit, removing advertising and sponsor bias and allowing an organization to provide an affordable product that respects the customer and creator. With such a system it is also realistically viable to properly reimburse the creator for their work instead of looking for every opportunity to snatch money and credit from them.

I truly feel that the only way that we will ever have honest, unbiased media coverage and world news is under such a non-profit system.

The real question is; will people support it? A lot of skeptics will say "no". I'm willing to try anyway because I 'm willing to take the risk if it gives me a chance to not be bent over by larger companies all the time. These mega-corporations can fight larger legal battles with the resources that they amass off of other people's backs. Will the public support it? Should it be a grass roots campaign? Should I run a kickstarter to raise the funds for registration, along with raising awareness and support?

Would you support a non-profit/not-for-profit publisher of games and comics? One that made their characters available for you to use in your own games and comics?

Let me know and share thoughts and opinions at https://mgagnon81.artstation.com/contact I may share some of the responses, so please state in your message if it is okay to read in a video or post in an article, etc. 

Looking forward to hearing people's thoughts. 

Regards,

Mike Gagnon

All Day Breakfast Productions

May have to move this

General / 26 May 2020

The artstation blog system is a horribly programmed mess with no discoverability or "friendliness" with other apps and crawlers. I may have to move this blog back to wordpress, which sucks, because it looks like I can't import these blog entries over there. Of course. 

Even Pros Make Mistakes (Yes, I'm the guy who almost released a game with no exit button)

Making Of / 25 March 2020

In this ramped up age of corona virus gloom, I want to talk about something that too many professionals avoid talking about, for fear that some grungy online troll will rise from the magical tarpits of the internets and proclaim them a fraud. In this scenario, the author always assumes that the masses within earshot will suddenly agree and hoist said creative person on their own petard, roasting them as a fraud, feeding the deeply hidden imposter syndrome that nearly all creative people have. And so, professionals who make mistakes hide them, cover them up or willfully forget them. 

A dreary existence of anxiety if we're being honest. Especially when you consider the reality that most of those online bystanders that the author thinks will side with the aforementioned tar troll, are actually not going to tear themselves away from their own facebook, Instagram or tiktok accounts to care or even register that they took any notice.

Real people make mistakes, and creative professionals are no exception. 

No matter how hard you try to seem superhuman and invulnerable, you are human, and that public judgement monster only lives and breaths an existence in your own head. 

That's right. You've been fearing a figment of your own imagination.

We all have this deep seated insecurity that to admit our errors is to expose our fraud to the world. It's not. We think if we point out a mistake, everyone will gossip and talk online and that soon the negative publicity on social media will shut our business down. 

It won't. Telling people that you made a mistake will not ruin your brand or professional image.

Getting caught hiding a mistake or denying it when you know it to be true, that is what will ruin your image. 

Admitting a mistake though? Being the first to tell the world you made it? It won't make your business any less profitable or legitimate. It won't lose you any customers. In fact, owning your mistakes, being up front about them or telling people about them can build a more solid and trustworthy reputation and even earn new customers and followers. 

Admitting mistakes and talking about them has created some of my best articles and advice threads.

Take this article for example. I told you right up front what my mistake was and it got your attention. There's a good chance that most people who read this are going to be new to my work, because I don't have a huge fan base following my work. Just being honest. And that's okay. I'm still a professional making my living in the entertainment industry. I confess that, yeah I could have more fans and that irks me, but I also value my creative output and would rather write this article and then move on to the next instead of traveling the internet like some kind of content vagabond, begging for people to read my content in the hopes of a measly fraction of a cent form a content host or the less than 10% of readers who might one day buy something from me online. 

Yes, in confess I hate having to get people to pay attention to me. But I'm also creative. 

That's why the title of this article is 100% honest and is totally clickbait free.

Yes, I am the guy who almost released a video game with no exit button. 

As I mentioned, I work in entertainment, part of which is creating video games. 

I've been working on my own personal project called Gassy Man, and was ready to launch a free demo edition on my website this week. 

As you may, or may not, have guessed, Gassy Man is the tale of a man who greatly resembles me and flies through the air under the power of his own farts as he saves humanity from alien invaders. Obvs.

Anywho, I was all set to upload the demo this week and let people test it themselves online when I noticed an embarrassing and glaring error. There were no exit buttons, anywhere. None of the menus, none of the game over screens. nothing. Once you started playing the game you could never leave. Even if you hit the "esc" key. The only thing you could do was re-try over and over. 

Super embarrassing and completely dashed my hope of release this week. Though it's only Wednesday, and the problem has been corrected. The build for Windows 10 has been exported and tested, but the browser version to play online still has a bug. When you beat the game the screen turns black and freezes instead of re-loading the main menu and even if you clear the cashe. The browser version of the file never reloads or replays from the beginning once you've beaten the game. 

Looks like I'm going to have to crush some updated books and forums on Unity before I can release this, as I have at least one more mistake to fix. 

As ever and always,

Mike

Where am I going with this?

Making Of / 12 March 2020

In case you are curious, I'm ultimately hoping to use my ideas to create a non-profit or not-for-profit entertainment publisher. I want to use my ideas to create low and no cost entertainment for people without the sleazy business profiteering part that often comes with entertainment. Along the way I'd like to put a few bucks in the pockets of friends and colleagues who I feel haven't been shown the respect that they deserve from the industry by hiring them to do covers, game art pinups etc. I'd also like to support comics veterans served by groups such as the Hero Initiative. I want to produce fun, uncensored work that people can enjoy and sometimes raise awareness of important issues. 



Reddit is a mystery wrapped in an enigma.

Work In Progress / 12 March 2020

Just trying to maintain my own reddit page to chat with people about comics and games and it never works right. I'm able to post links, but not text posts on my own reddit. A student suggested clearing cache and history, which worked for 1 post, then same problem again and now clearing cache doesn't help. I just want things to work right and not drive me insane in the process. 

Just a reminder

Work In Progress / 11 March 2020


ALIVEBook sneak peek

Work In Progress / 11 March 2020


Looking for some feedback on my website

Work In Progress / 09 March 2020

So, as you may know, I try to avoid outside influences when it comes to my creative work. Otherwise, I wouldn't create masterpieces like this: 


Okay, masterpiece may be an embellishment, but all kidding aside, what would help make this website better and more interesting? I've already begun researching uncensored, non-commercial, non-partisan platforms to move the content to, which will happen over time, but what else. Should there be more merch? Do you want to be able to play games? More blog stuff?


I'm thinking about doing a Twitch stream that would have recurring features such as peaks inside my work method, and fun things like me trying to sing songs suggested by viewers and reviews of comics and digital game assets. What else? Should I start a reddit?

Share your thoughts with me directly on the contact page

Looking for charities and open source online communities to support

General / 09 March 2020


So here's the deal. I don't want my life or creative work to revolve around dollars. I don't think anybody does. I want to sell my work at a fair price, even share some of it for free. The work that I do sell, I want to go towards helping people and improving the world, so I want to donate some of the proceeds from my sales to deserving charities. This is where you, the reader comes in. Got any ideas? Know a group that fits that bill? Let me know on the contact page.

Beyond that, I don't want to use supporting charities to support myself. Modern business has become so greasy that I want no part of it. So no, I won't be putting out a press release every time I donate a portion of sales to worthwhile charities. I might post it here without any big fanfare, just to update the real fans and followers and let them know how the money they choose to spend entertaining themselves with my content also supports worthwhile causes. 

I'm not super keen to support charities where 80 cents of every dollar goes to administration and salaries either. I'd like to support as many real worthwhile and honest charities as possible. 

I also don't care to continue supporting social media and promotional or crowdfunding channels that suppress people and censor content. If anyone out there know of open source and ethically run social media and web platforms please let me know and I will review them. If I find them to be morally and ethically equitable, I will shift my content and posts over to those places as time in my schedule allows. Looking for alternatives to facebook, artstation, patreon, etc. So please let me know, I'm all ears, really, If you know of the kinds of places and services I'm describing or think you might know, just drop me a line here. Maybe I'll post a shout out in thanks or something!

As always,

Mike

Online Art Censorship Marches Forward, Unchecked

Article / 04 March 2020

Well I got an e-mail this morning that does not bode well for my continued presence on artstation. One of my works, not containing nudity, has been deemed offensive and removed from the print store. First, here is the e-mail that I received:



And here is my response:


And for reference, here is a shot of the image in question:


I would love to have someone explain to me if they even understand the context of this painting and what reasons they find it offensive. Do they understand whether it is anti-religious OR anti-commercialism?

Either way, this kind of shit is nonsense and becoming too prevalent. As much as I hate wasting my creative time on complete website rebuilds, I'll be doing it soon, as I won't stay on artstation or any forum that is going to bow to such ridiculous complaints. 

I will always be on formats and platforms that don't censor and suppress art and expression. I'll be doing the research and appreciate anyone who forwards me info on platforms that allow freedom of expression. 

I don't want to support suppression and censorship. I don't want to build my own platform. I want to make art. If a free expression platform on social media, art, news anything doesn't exist I will create it. I don't want to, but I will if I have to. I'd prefer to support existing platforms that allow creative freedom, so I'm open to recommendations from anyone who has any.

After all of the trouble getting Trumpocalypse Now out and available to readers and gamers, I just have no tolerance or patience for this type of narrow-minded knee-jerk pettiness any more. 

-Mike