We’re Back, Why We Were Gone, and What The Hell is Up With Patreon…

Sorry we’ve been gone a few weeks. Things here at Minions Studio just reached a stage of maximum chaos. We’re slowly moving things into the new building, and this has resulted in a five-way version of one of those little sliding tile puzzles, where moving a tile opens up a space into which you can slide another tile, and try to make a picture. But in this case we’re moving STUFF, mostly large storage crates, between five locations (our house, my separate office where Minions at Work has until now been staged and shot, the second floor of our new building, and two off-site storage units.

A lot of things moving are Minions at Work figures, sets pieces, costumes, and props, or parts and materials intended to make new versions of those things. The goal is to get all this stuff in the new building, sorted into clearly labeled crates and boxes, and put on shelves where I can easily find whatever I need to stage a new cartoon shoot.

We’re a LONG way from that, and we had just reached a point where it seemed like everything had moved and I couldn’t find ANYTHING I needed. I had a good idea for a new cartoon, but it involved recreating the set for Minion No. 1’s ratty apartment, which we’ve seen a couple times before. But a key prop for that set is his old TV with rabbit ear antenna, and I couldn’t find it! So, I dived into old photography and came up with yet another cartoon. But after running it past Mrs. Minion Master, I decided not to run it. (At least as a regular comic, you can see it below.) She thought, and I agree, that while it may be funny (or not, you decide) it simply wasn’t a “Minions at Work” joke. There was nothing fundamental to the Minions/Overlords concept, or to any of our established characters, in it. The joke could have been done with most any random TV sitcom character and not have changed a bit. It just didn’t FEEL right.

Anyway, we’re back, and it feels like we’re past the tipping point. I’ll be months sorting and organizing stuff, but I’m finding stuff I’ve been looking for, literally, for YEARS, and No. 1’s TV showed up, and the long job of sorting has at least begun. I’m back to shooting new material (including this week’s comic, and a new one I’m putting together for issue one of “Pulphouse Fiction Magazine” (and as, currently anyway, an added exclusive for Patreon supporters at a dollar or more per month, the rest of you will have to wait at least a year for these).

By the way, I’ve just become aware of the changing fee-structure at Patreon, and I’m not happy about it. Apparently they’re taking away the processing fees on my end, but charging individual contributors a “processing fee” plus a percentage on THEIR end. What it means is, to donate a buck a month to me, it will end up costing you $1.37 cents, which sucks, and I can’t cut things below the dollar minimum to move the expense back to my end.

Look, it hasn’t happened yet, and with all the uproar, perhaps they will modify their plan. But I’m looking around for alternatives, as I’d like to build contributions into at least a small cash stream to support the comic, which takes a lot of time and expense to do. Kickstarter is working to set up their own Patreon alternative called “Drip,” and while it’s up for testing, they adding new users on an invitation-only business. I’ve signed up for the list, and hoping it will go wide soon. I don’t know what the terms are, but I hope they’ll be better. In the mean while, I’m looking around to see what more I can do for supporters. I’ve been meaning to start offering some of my previously published fiction with Minions at Work connections, like my short stories “The Last Back Yard Defender,” and “Gordie Culligan vs. Dr. Longbeach and the HVAC of Doom.” Time to put that on the front burner.

Anyway, I’ll keep you informed as the situation develops. I understand if you don’t want to us Patreon any more once they kick in new fees, and I’ll do what I can to find something better. If you’d like to contribute directly, my Paypal address is jstevenyork@gmail.com, but that doesn’t let me provide you with early access, stories, exclusive cartoons, or other goodies. Like I said, working on it.

Oh, and here’s that rejected cartoon I promised!

Your Minion Master