Smack Jeeves Format Change

About a year ago, our host site of Smack Jeeves was sold to a company known as NHN Global (I think, it doesn't matter) looking to expand into the webcomic hosting field. Since that time, NHN has seemed to be quite hands-off, we didn't hear much of them and the site continued to operate just fine. Though there were many that warned of unnamed catastrophe ahead at the hands of NHN, I had no worries and no complaints.

A few days ago, we learned that NHN is reformatting Smack Jeeves to a product resembling other webcomic sites such as Tapas and Webtoons. If you're not familiar with them, they are more geared toward mobile readership, and as a result their sites are very streamlined and generic. Blank pages, limited features, no customization. You can look around the page where you're reading this and see, even if it hasn't been obvious, there is a lot of customization on the Pictures of You site. Backgrounds, banners, logos, navigation images, off-site links, and so on.

As of Dec 2, all of that will be gone.

On top of that, they're instituting some kind of “coin” system that is puzzling to me, but as I understand it will be some kind of internal payment system not dissimilar to buying tickets to go on rides at an amusement park. Readers pay money for coins, readers give coins to authors, authors cash in coins for less than readers pay for them. I don't entirely know how it works, but I'm an old enough person that I'm just going to go ahead and say Fuck That.

I'm pretty devastated by this. I worked hard crafting this site. It's not complex, but it's mine, it reflects an aesthetic I feel complimentary to the comic. I like the way it looks, I like the atmosphere it gives. As an artist, that's something that's important to me. On Dec 3rd, the site is just going to be a lifeless sheet with a comic page slapped on it. Added, there won't be any way for me to link our store or Patreon, which are the ways people can support us.

In some ways, it's lucky that this is happening near the end of our run and we don't have to live with it for long. Moreso, though, it makes it difficult and pointless to move the comic to another site with the design I want and function that makes it worthwhile. It also casts a pall on the final two months of the series, ending it with this nonsense. There's really nothing I can do about it.

The comic will (I hope) still be readable. The same URL will bring people to the comic, the new pages will post and nobody should have to miss the ending. I will take a moment to suggest it would be pretty great if everyone wanted to throw us a few dollars on Patreon to read the end of the series there, and maybe just support the very hard work I've put into this comic.

I'll have more to say soon about the end of Pictures of You and the future of it and my upcoming projects, but I thought I should let everyone know what's happening. The entire Smack Jeeves site will be down on Dec 2, and there will be no new page posted that day. You can read more about NHN's reformatting here:
posted by Gibson Twist @ November 21st, 2019, 5:26 pm  |  2 comments

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Randomcommenter (Guest), November 21st, 2019, 8:14 pm

Well crap As Shakespear didn't say, "verily, this doth sucketh".
So sorry for to hear, for you and for us - I love the site in all its glory as it is now.
I want to be sure: will the RSS still work? That's how I get notice of updates.
I've been injured and off work for the last 3 months; hopefully I'll have an income again before too long, and then I will definitely do the patreon thing that I've been "meaning to" forever. POY has been a second home for a long time; I love these folks like they're flesh and blood friends, and it's worth it to me to support something that's enriched my life.
Thank you Gibson; you done something awesome and I hope you realize just how much.

Kevin_Redcrow, November 21st, 2019, 8:43 pm

It seems to be how media, services, and "happenings" evolve.

A thing starts out unique and cool and builds a following.

It gets bigger as more people find out about it. Fresh ideas and embellishments happen.

Then the profit motive creeps in, but the thing is still cool and unique.

More people find out and the thing starts to get regimented and less personal. It's not so hip anymore, but the normals start crawling in through the windows, thinking how hip they are with this thing.

The thing gets bought out, streamlined, homogenized, censured.

Examples: Starbucks, independent radio, independent tv, the internet, Burning Man.

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