Regular readers might remember our recent Laughing Squid Debacle, in which we were presented with a $308 bill from our webhosts after hotlinking of our “Sick” comic blew up our bandwidth past all sanity. Well, our readers came to our rescue with extreme prejudice, erasing the entire sum of our debt in just one day!

And then, the next day, we get another email from Laughing Squid — it turns out that the Earnest Plea we’d written them, begging not to charge us (& offering, we thought, a couple trenchant reasons for it too), did not fall on deaf ears. Against our wildest, most jaundiced expectations, they did in fact decide to waive our entire overcharge bill (and rewrite a section of their terms of service to address the flaw i brought to their attention).

Haha, WHOOPS. Well: 1. Yay; but also 2. We sure as hell weren’t expecting that! And so 3. It appears we have had a (successful) fundraiser for nothing.

After a couple days of cursing/celebrating our ability to present email arguments so salient/pit-enducing that they can alter the very flow of capital, we were forced to address the obvious question: What do we do with all this money? You beautiful people just gave us no small amount of your earnings for a reason, and now suddenly, the Invisible Hand of the internet market has wisked that reason away ex post facto. Clearly, this is an ethical quandary of a caliber unlike any the Playhouse has yet faced, and might even lend truth to Adam Smith’s dictum, “mo’ money, mo’ problems.”

The good news is, figuring out what to do with extra cash is about the best problem we here at the GP could dream up. Our first impulse, of course, is to just give it all back. However, like any usurer worth their cloak of baby skin, paypal tacks fees onto every transaction, so returning your $12 digital donation would basically amount to you giving free money to a corporation — which strikes us as a bit tragic, considering this wasn’t either of our intentions — however, if you donated money and would like it returned, we’re more than happy to oblige.

There are other options as well: such as parlaying your donation toward another noble cause relevant to keeping Gabby’s Playhouse’s comics up & running. For example, our ride to&from the Small Press Expo might have just unexpectedly fallen through, and since this comics event is only a couple weeks away, we’re looking at a choice between a full-retail Dirty Dog ticket, and Just Staying In Ohio. Choosing Option 1 could alone quite easily dispatch with over half of our donation-box!

For the other half, we had all sorts of ideas — art supplies, a backup external drive, printing t-shirts, making some sort of puppet show, paying our federal income taxes. We even thought about buying a bus ticket to some terrifying out-of-the-way place, renting a room for a couple days & drawing a comic about the (probably painfully boring) results.

Or, we could just stow it in a special jar for the next time this website has a financial crisis.

What we’d like to make clear is that, since Laughing Squid doesn’t want their pound of e-flesh after all (and props to them for that), we still consider this bailout fund your money, in a way. If you have any bright ideas for how we should earmark these assets, please let us know in the comments!

But first, here’s a Picture (for sale in the Store):

OH! And we promised we’d put “Sick” up on the Playhouse if it was still standing after last week, and have been working hard to do so — but it turns out this thing is so huge that it requires some special attention just so it doesn’t tank our site again. We even tried making a tumblr for it, but the max image size was way too small. If anyone has any suggestions about how one might go about putting a comic that huge up on the website without Chaos ensuing, we’d love to hear about it.