March 3, 2015

Fiat Lux

We borrowed a sun lamp for a couple weeks. It's been a serious game changer.
(If you want to read what Squeak is all about, it updates weekly at RealmsofRyan.com!)


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I'm hard at work on the material for the bonus content volume of Master of Survival, which I have cleverly named The Third Degree! In addition to a handful of pages either still undrawn or hiding away in a folder, I've also scripted what seems to be a six-page epilogue comic, which may or may not turn out to actually be six pages long, but it won't be shorter.

In order for me to draw this and have it ready in time for Comic Invasion Berlin 2015, updates here will be kept to about two per month until the end of April. Speaking of CIB15, you should totally drop by. It will be epic.

I'm also researching a few options in terms of supporting this blog while my Patreon is on hold (see this post). More on that as it unfolds. In the meantime, I've just spent a buttload of money on plane tickets to Lyon and London (again!!), in case you want to throw some money in the Traveling Tip Jar on the sidebar!

February 10, 2015

S.A.D. (again)


[ Death Cab For Cutie - Black Sun ]

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A heads-up on #EUVAT / #VATMOSS / #VATMESS


Update on 13/2/2015: Gumroad have announced that they will be complying with the new rules and will collect and pay VAT to the EU on sales made through their platform. I will therefore be putting my PDFs back up soon. Patreon have also indicated on Twitter that they are aware of the problem caused by the new regulations, and say they are working hard on finding a solution. To me, this indicates that there is a great possibility that things can turn around at least in some areas, and hopefully sooner than later.

For reasons related to a new EU-wide tax law on digital products, I've ended my Patreon campaign. Plans to make any money off digital versions of my personal work are for the most part suspended indefinitely (update 13/2/2015: PDFs will be available again on Gumroad soon, so there's that).

Since January 1, 2015, for any one person in another EU country who pays money for my digital content, I would need to collect, analyse and store two pieces of evidence that they live there, collect VAT according to one of 75 different applicable rates in the EU and file quarterly VAT returns on what could sometimes literally be enough to treat myself to an extra döner.

There's a reason why people like me benefit from a VAT threshold in Germany, but this law renders that threshold void the minute a fan in Paris pays for my digital comics. I don't have the means to handle the admin involved when that happens, so I'm not going to let it happen. There is an exemption for income generated through third-party sites like Patreon, but Patreon currently do not have a solution implemented (though they say they are working on it) and I'm not interested in accruing income that might make me liable for collecting and documenting VAT on a corporate scale.

To sum things up, a whole swath of my 2015 plans have been scrapped because the EU missed the memo that microbusinesses aren't staffed like Amazon. It's the kind of setback you don't want to see happen when you're an independent creator. Ever.

To get more information on what this new law means for creators selling digital products to consumers in the EU, including digital downloads of music, books and video, go here. To help me cover the noticeable loss in income, you can commission artwork from me here and buy comics and original art from me here. To sign the petition demanding an EU-wide exemption for small businesses and sole traders, go here.

The system designed by this legislation is unsustainable for freelancers like myself and there will come a time when lawmakers must reckon with the damage. Until then, as much as it kills me to hit a brick wall like this on my projects, I'd rather play it safe and back out.

As you were.

(Updated Feb. 13, 2015 concerning Gumroad and Patreon.)

January 27, 2015

5 Jahre




I moved to Berlin five years ago today. I'm very happy that I stuck around.