Hello everyone. We here at the Playhouse must indulge in a rare episode of Complete And Desperate Earnestness.

So there’s this webcomic we’ve been drawing over the past year — some of you might know it as “Sick.” For a while we were posting it in episodes on this website. That is, until we realized that the traffic to our site was high enough to draw down bills of up to $200 a month from our pay-per-byte webhost, NearlyFreeSpeech.net.

So we switched to Laughing Squid, a host which came well-recommended, & offered a nice cheap plan with a decent ceiling — 25 gigs of bandwidth a month for just $8. In the switch, due to our incompetence, we lost our old database, which contained every line of text and every pixel of art from every Playhouse post ever made. Oh well, at least we were saving money now. Playhouse 2.0 rose from the wreckage. We’ve done alright for ourselves, selling the odd watercolor and book. A month later, everything seemed to be coasting along pretty smoothly.

Then last week, we get an email. It is from the nice people at Laughing Squid, and they seem very interested in talking with us. It seems that, in the single month since we’d started using their hosting service, our website had gone a tiiiiiiiny bit over their usage limit — about, oh, 1600% over. It turned out that, this whole time we thought we were running a modest little vanity website, we were actually the kingpins of a vast entertainment empire, doling out 1,727 GB worth of bandwidth to viewers all over the internet — just a scant 1,702 GB over Laughing Squid’s allotted 25.

Oops.

We couldn’t figure out how this could be so, as, according to our “Google Analytics,” we were only attracting a humble trickle of eyeballs to our website. The culprit, as the web-savvier among you have already guessed, is the dread Hotlink. It turns out that people were reposting the Living Hell out of “Sick,” and using our server space to do it.

Now, considering that “Sick” isn’t even posted on our website, & you could only read it if you knew its secret, special url, this was incredibly flattering. The problem is, we thought we were just giving it away for free. The reality is more like: we were bankrupting ourselves right off the internet just to show people some comics.

While we may know a thing or two about art, it turns out that we here at Gabby’s Playhouse don’t know a single solitary speck of a thing about business — or websites, for that matter. We got the bill from Laughing Squid today:

$308.16. For one month of webhosting.

Now, we’re not sure how big this figure looks to you — but to jobless, broke, artist-cliché us, it’s what we might call Pretty Effing Big.

If we had scuttled ourselves across these rocks of financial ruin through sheer idiocy or sloth, we would just keep it to ourselves & suck it up. But in this case, we thought we’d try a fascinating economics experiment!

Oh denizens of the Internet: we all know that “information wants to be free.” But whom would it rather be free for? Us — or You?

Perhaps as a way of proving our title as Worst Businesspeople Of All Time, we will now evoke the honor of an anonymous public as a means of acquiring financial gain! IF YOU, dear reader — or anyone you might know — especially the millionaires — have enjoyed, at any time, been affected or entertained by the consumption of “Sick” or any other of our comics — if they have moved you to tears, to laughter, to rage, to a quiet contemplation of the fragile complexity of this weird-ass Universe — if you have felt at all enriched, or altered, or pleasantly disturbed — if you think they’re at all worth it — would you consider donating a bit of stupid, useless cash our way? The amount, from $0.00 to the entire GDP of California — is entirely up to you. Literally, and honestly, ANY amount would be revered & considered sacred. No matter how little you toss in our hat, we’re guaranteed to still feel unworthy. We hate to beg, and we know how it is these days for all y’all out there in this New (non-)Economy. But we just couldn’t resist asking, because the idea of this website going bankrupt & disappearing due to the comics we put up on it being too popular is just be too painfully, hilariously, stupidly ironic to bear.

[UPDATE: BUTTON REDACTED, GOAL REACHED, FUNDRAISING WAS A SUCCESS! THANK YOU! SEE HERE]

As a reward for all of you, if this website makes it through it’s latest financial Waterloo, we will put up
all available episodes of “Sick” in our “webcomics” section, so you not longer have to go sneaking around the black market to get your fix. (A finished version of it all will also be published by Secret Arces early next year!) We are also completely enthusiastic about sending free copies of our books to donors who throw down considerably weighty amounts.

[UPDATE: BUTTON REDACTED, GOAL REACHED, FUNDRAISING WAS A SUCCESS! THANK YOU! SEE HERE]

And remember: money is the root of all evil — the sooner you get it off your hands, the better!

[UPDATE: BUTTON REDACTED, GOAL REACHED, FUNDRAISING WAS A SUCCESS! THANK YOU! SEE HERE]

Seriously though, thanks for anything. We promise one day we’ll figure out a way to keep out of the gutter with our comics.

PPS: Laughing Squid has actually been extremely helpful in getting us immune to hotlinking, & streamlining our stupid clunky site in general. We even got to interact with Actual Real Humans during this meltdown. So they are clearly not Evil.

UPDATE, 8/24: We took down the paypal buttons because you people are so beautiful you pooled together enough $$ to pay our huge Laughing Squid bill in just one day! Thank you extremely much. See here for more info on what wonderful people you are.