The Adventures of Captain Quailhttp://www.captainquail.comA webcomic about birds in space. Every Tuesday and Fridayen-usTue, 07 Oct 2014 07:01:47 +0000Captain Quail 120 - Setting Sail <img src= alt=></img> <p><p><a href="">So. It has come to this.</a></p><p>We have one hundred and twenty comics under our belt. That's more than a year of publishing comics twice a week, without fail. They weren't always the comic we wanted to publish, but since about September of last year our readers could come to this site every Tuesday and Friday and expect to see something. As corny as it's going to sound, I'm immensely proud of what we've accomplished. We're starting to get some true fans, and some genuine notoriety, and that's amazing to watch.&nbsp;</p><p>But we've come to the point where we need to take a break. We had two conferences scheduled for September/October, and we realized that we were just too stressed to attend. We saw that we wouldn't have the energy that the cons deserved. This led us to realize that the combination of working full-time plus publishing the comic twice a week was a bit much for us to handle at the moment.</p><p>So we're taking some time off. I very much hope we'll be back, and you can be rest assured we'll make a splash when we do, but we need some time to work on other projects, recharge the batteries, and refill the tanks of inspiration that keep us going at this.&nbsp;</p><p>Producing content on the internet is rough. The choices seem to be languishing in obscurity or drowning in criticism, or, if you're very, very lucky, having a large base of dedicated fans who can drown out the noise of the nay-sayers.</p><p>Today's comic marks the end of Episode 4. I don't think The Adventures of Captain Quail as a whole is ending, but the format is probably going to change. I think it's interesting that <a href="">Nimona</a>, a truly excellent work with hundreds (if not thousands) of fans is ending at the same time as we're hitting the pause button. I don't suggest these two things are related, just that it's an interesting coincidence. Nimona was one of the first comics we reviewed in our Webcomic O' the Week, and even though she didn't need our press, I'm still very happy we featured her.&nbsp;</p><p>To our readers and fans, I'll say this: We're going to be making some decisions over the next week(s) about what we do with this comic next. This is the first time we've done any of this, so we'll happily take suggestions. I'd love for a discussion to happen in the comments, and it would be great to hear from some of our readers who have been lurkers up until now. What do you like about Captain Quail? How did you discover it? What could we be doing better? What should we do more of?&nbsp;</p><p>Thank you for sticking with us thus far, and we hope to see you in the next round.</p><p>Philip</p><p>P.S. If you don't feel comfortable commenting, you could always reach out on twitter. Or heck, email me (</p></p>Tue, 07 Oct 2014 07:01:47 +0000 Quail Stand-In. Nevermore. <img src= alt=></img> <p><p>This is a comic. There are many like, but this one is posted by us today.</p><p>I'm a great fan of Edgar Allen Poe. I'm also a bit of a fan of John Cusack. The intersection here is that once upon a time I went to see <a href="">The Raven</a>. Partially because I thought it was going to be like the TV show Castle, but with Edgar Allen Poe, partially because I like John Cusack, and mostly because one of my very best friends helped with the music for the film. It wasn't quite as much like Castle as I hoped, but I remember the music being good.</p><p>And that's all I've got for tonight. I hope you all have a great weekend.&nbsp;</p><p>Hey, APE is this weekend. If you're in the Bay Area, you should go! We will not be tabling, unfortunately, but I'm sure you'll have a great time.</p><p>Thanks,</p><p>Philip</p></p>Fri, 03 Oct 2014 07:01:36 +0000 Quail 119 - Gabriel's Choice <img src= alt=></img> <p><p>We are a collection of choices. Some of the choices are not ours, most of the choices are ones we make. These choices sum up to be out personality, expressed through our actions.</p><p>A series of choices have led me to be really, really tired today, so this is going to be one really short post. I’d normally chastise myself here, but I’m ok with it for two reasons.&nbsp;</p><p>1) Friday’s post was pretty long, took a fair bit out of me, and I’m still dealing with the aftereffects of some of the responses to the post I received.</p><p>2) There’s a good chance I’ll be doing a longer post Friday.&nbsp;</p><p>3) These posts get written on Mondays, and sometimes Mondays are just rough, you know?&nbsp;</p><p>I’m not very good at counting reasons, it seems.&nbsp;</p><p>I hope all of you have a truly fantastic week, and we’ll see you Friday.</p><p>Thanks,</p><p>Philip</p> </p>Tue, 30 Sep 2014 07:01:59 +0000 Quail 118 - The Next Phase <img src= alt=></img> <p><p>Hey there boppers.&nbsp;</p><p>This is going to be a bit of a ramble. We’re going to have a conversation, only I’m going to do all the talking. (Not entirely true - you’re welcome to talk back to me in the comments. I guess I’m just going to be doing most of the talking upfront.)</p><p>I had a Webcomic O’ the Week that I was already to promote here, but I’m not going to promote it today, and here’s why. If you’re been following this comic (and why wouldn’t you?!) and been following our twitter (see above parenthetical) you’ve observed that I try and do a bit of research about the creator(s) of a comic before I post it here and on our twitter. I like complimenting creators by name, and hopefully giving their twitter a little boost. When I tried to do this research on the site the comic was hosted on, I discovered that the site (which doubles as the author’s portfolio) was quite possibly the worst site I have used this week. Links that aren’t actually links, and therefore can’t be right-clicked. Twitter and facebook icons that go to the facebook and twitter pages of the hosting provider the artist is using, rather than the artist. The comic is displayed in this weird gallery thing, and I was genuinely surprised to see the site wasn’t made in flash - that’s what we’re talking here.&nbsp;</p><p>Hopefully you see why I’m not posting that comic, after the web design critique I gave it above. I’ll probably post it in the future, possibly after begging the artist to let us make their site more usable. But, as you can tell from the above, I was filled with righteous web-developer fury. For some reason, I immediately thought of this <a href="">article about burritos</a>. Please, for all that is good, go read that article all the way down to the end. If you’re not falling over laughing, we’re probably not going to be friends. Sorry. I wanted to link to that piece, as a funny parable of the kind of hipster fury I was feeling, when I noticed the author linked to another piece at the bottom. A piece admonishing people on the internet to take a good hard look at themselves before leaving <a href="">negative comments on the internet</a>.&nbsp;</p><p>To put it mildly, that article made me “check myself before I riggedy-wrecked myself.” I realized that if I was just ragging on the site I describe above, I was being just the worst. I may have bought myself a tiny bit of goodwill by not actually naming or linking the site, but I’m still kind of being a jerk for the sake of being not-that-funny. (Not as funny as the burrito article, which my God you should go read again.)</p><p>So here’s my plea, and my suggestion for improvement: If you’re going to put something online, please make sure every part of it not just works, and not just works in a way that looks cool, but works in a way that will make your visitors happy. They’ll be more likely to link to your work, and not spend way too many words describing why they aren’t. If you’re unsure about how to make your site better, there are people who will help! Some will help for free, just because they want more cool stuff in the world. Get ahold of me and I’ll get you connected.</p><p>Thanks for reading this ramble, forgive me for being a jerk, and come back next week for more thrilling adventures of Captain Quail!</p><p>Philip<br></p></p>Fri, 26 Sep 2014 07:01:28 +0000 Quail 117 - New Arrivals <img src= alt=></img> <p><p>I have a really terrible habit, that I think I share with a lot of people. I'm terrible at finishing. I'm great at starting projects, at getting myself or others really excited about revving up, but sustaining that level of enthusiasm is tricky, to say the least.</p><p>I feel like I share this trait with quite a few people, especially people who want to be creative. I feel validated in thinking this by the sheer amount of 'advice to creative people' posts whose tl; dr: is "Just finish it!" I've gained some success by taking the similar-yet-not-the-same advice of building success through systems rather than goals. Want to be a better writer? Don't set a goal of writing a novel, build a habit of writing some every day. The same probably goes for drawing, or coding, or photography, or anything that takes effort and skill.&nbsp;</p><p>I've been trying to be more active on my blog, as well as practicing writing for 15 minutes every morning. Yesterday I started a blog post on XOXO, and almost fell into the trap of letting it lie in the draft state too long. This habit of finishing-and-not-starting can actually cause a fractal of started-and-unfinished projects, and the habit I'm trying to build of writing every day pushed me to actually finish the post and put it out into the world. You can click through to my further thoughts on <a href="">XOXO 2014</a>.&nbsp;</p><p>I would be curious if any of our readers have overcome the Unfinished Habit, and what they used to do so. Maybe it'll work for us.</p><p>Thanks,</p><p>Philip</p> </p>Tue, 23 Sep 2014 07:01:08 +0000