Patrick Farley vows to return to webcomics

Hurrah! Patrick Farley, creator of the genius abandonware webcomic Electric Sheep, is back on the job and promising to continue the series. But first he needs to raise $6,000 on Kickstarter to take the time off to work on it.

Electric_Sheep Reloaded (Thanks, Dawn!)


  1. Why does he need to take time off to work on it? Why not just start working on it in his spare time, start creating revenue via advertising and merchandise (books, shirts, etc.) and commissions until he can quit his day job? I’m sure the fine people at would be somewhat skeptical of the “need” to raise six grand prior to restarting a webcomic.

    1. “Why not just start working on it in his spare time?”

      Because quite a number of people, especially creative people, don’t have “spare” time. There is the time they’re doing somethign valuable, and the time they’re recovering from doing it. And what the hell, who doesn’t want to be rewarded for their work?

      If you have a lot of time that you have trouble filling, that’s gre–no, that’s actually a little sad. Try starting a web comic! It’s a fantastic way to take up a whole lot of your time.

      Count me as one of the Very Excited people who will be pledging money.

      1. +1 Insightful to Zadaz.

        You can do a 3-panel gag strip 2-3 times a week in your spare time. But doing full-color comics that occasionally take your breath away is a full-time job; there’s a certain amount of inertia that needs to be overcome to get going, then maintained. If your vision demands “graphic novel” rather than “serialized strip” (and aren’t all the guys strippers, not novelists?), doing it in your spare time is nigh-impossible.

        I know this intimately; I’m making the same shift from “has a day job, does comics in her spare time” to “works full-time on her awesome labor of love”. My comic is mostly being funded by my grandmother having sat on a lot of money and dying last year, instead of my fanbase.

  2. At one point (decades of Internet time ago) I went in and read every single thing on his site. Genius is an overused word, but perhaps “prodigy”? It’s brilliant. The Jain’s Death haunts me.

    1. Oh my god! I’ve been looking for The Guy I Almost Was for years, ever since his original site went down. About 40% of the images are missing from the cache. Thanks for the link, Stefan! This is one of my favorite stories on the Internet.

  3. I noticed that he seems to have purged some lesser comics like “Rush Limbaugh Eats Everything” from the table of contents.

    1. Might be more a case of “hasn’t been restored from backup.” For a long time Electric Sheep wasn’t up. The original domain lapsed.

      The utterly brilliant alternate-Afghan-war story “Spiders” is incomplete. Parts 1 and 2 aren’t available, bummer!

  4. He’s brilliant!!!

    Please consider supporting him:-)

    We’ve consumed his stuff for “Free” for years.

    Aren’t we tired of “Big Media” running the show? This is why, we pay what we are “Forced” to pay for, gripe about it, but then “Steal” it (downloads, etc.) and therefore justify it’s value.

    ALL entertainment, be it Muzik, Theater, Art, Storytelling is at essence a form of “Busking”. The real “Crime” of the music industry, or rather one of their worst, is that while yes if you “Steal” an artist’s recording you give them nothing, but rather if you buy their $18.99 CD they get paid, maybe, 5 cents.

    So, if you toss $1 into the hat of a guy playing a flute on the street corner, you pay them far more than most “Professional” acts. That’s how much the “Industry” takes.

    What we should do is make a personal “Entertainment Budget” and spend it by direct contribution/purchases to stuff we like personally. Even in this recession, there’s lots of room for independent acts to crawl up the wreckage of the music industry. And the music/media industry is collapsing, we can vote it down with our dollars.

    I’m sending Patrick some money, and I implore all of you that even remotely like his comics to do so also. How many things do we give up to save money versus 10 years ago? Well, we can afford a dollar or so every now and then to things we like.

    If he makes it, he’ll help pave the way for a lot of other acts. Comics, musicians, etc. None of them “Mega Stars” but plenty of acts that do their own thing and have enough of a “Niche Audience” they can either quit their jobs or supplement their income substantially by it. And we won’t have any “CEO” that scalps us and bankrupts them for his for real “Gold plated swimming pool” not to mention forces his ‘slaves’ to make “Bland Tedium” to sell as most and offend as least possible.

  5. OMGYAY thank you Mr. Farley!

    10 years ago you were on Scott McCloud’s buzz list and your work is what got me really, really into webcomics.

    Gush gush gush!

  6. Since he’s aiming for for the “Thousand True Fans” model and he asked for donations under $25, I donated $12 to represent one of the “three thousand awesome fans who are willing to donate a dollar a month”.

    Hopefully getting Boinged will be the promo boost this project needs to get over the line.

  7. Such fine, beautiful news!

    Welcome back, Mr. Farley. We’ve missed your particular brand of genius around these parts.

    A toast to the future success of your latest venture — all the best!

    (And to all of you who *aren’t* Mr. Farley … get your sorry asses over to Kickstarter and pony up. Ain’t every day you get such a simple opportunity to make the world a more awesome place!)

  8. I’ll throw him a few bucks if it means I can find out what happens at the end of Electric Sheep!

  9. A small price to pay to see A Jain’s Death again. That really should be it’s own stand-alone book.

  10. I’m glad to see this turning up in a high-traffic venue and I hope he succeeds. Although I appreciate the principle behind it I wish that his kickstarter page didn’t lean quite so heavily on small donations… if you tell people 2 bucks is all that’s required they are a lot less likely to stop and think whether they might be up for a bit more. I still feel like the biggest barrier to this sort of thing is not the price (a high percentage of us will shell out 40 or 50 dollars for one meal out without a second thought) but all the signing up and setting up payment etc.

    I wonder if the lowball request might even be counterproductive (“that’s a lot of work to give just two dollars… if I don’t give it won’t make THAT much difference”). Still, more power to him, I’d really like to see what he manages with full-time production over a few months.

    He’s produced a lot of solid material on the “day job” model and I think he merits 5, 10 or 20 if you get a kick out of his freely available archive. My small but sincere pledge is justified in my mind easily by the 3 times I’ve read the excellent “The Guy I Almost Was” alone.

    1. The deal with the small donations, s’far as I can tell:

      This Kickstarter effort is in part a survey.

      Farley wants to get an idea of how many willing-to-pay long-term supporters there are out there.

  11. first Mondo and now this? It’s like Christmas. I couldn’t be happier to hear that Patrick is planning the return of e-sheep.

  12. Others I’d like to see again:

    Saturnalia: A parody of Jack Chick tracts that’s also a sweet tribute to pagan religion.

    Brother Dolphin: Satire about an uplifted dolphin seeking vengeance on its human captors. I sent the link to David Brin, who liked it enough to make a donation.

    The Pearl: This was a draft, really. A script with some illustrations. An angry denunciation of the idea of suicide-bomber martyrdom, set in the Islamic afterlife. From what I recall, Farley pulled it because Wingers assumed from it that he was intolerant as they were.

    And the first parts of Spiders!

  13. I liked his stuff fine, and contributed on the first go-round. But I decline to pay up front twice. Fool me once …

  14. Chip in a couple of bucks as your good deed for the day. The Karma will reward you in (brilliant) Comix. It is a very worthy project.

  15. There’s just two weeks left to make this e-sheep kickstarter work.

    If you want to throw in your two bucks, do it soon!

    (Although, the whole Kickstarter site seems to be down right now.)

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