After the post announcing my broken tablet and my forced hiatus, I received an outpouring of positive messages, some even urging me to put up a donation link. Awhile back, I once had a donation link buried on the bottom of the website (using the image above). I felt odd asking for tips so the link didn’t remain there long. All I really wanted was to tell a story, and the whole idea of making money off of this never really crossed my mind. This is another reason why I’ve been hesitant to place ads on my site. (That, and the whole ad thing seemed more trouble than it was worth). I also don’t have the amount of traffic needed to make an income from ads. My readers are spread out between my main site and my mirror sites, and that’s perfectly fine with me. It was never about the hits my site received, it’s about the story I wanted to tell.

A bit of history: Before I started MONSTER SOUP, I had been focusing my time on writing novels and nearly stopped drawing altogether. I had an old Intuos2 that I would dust off from time to time and work on small illustrations–nothing spectacular. It wasn’t until a good friend of mine started her webcomic that gave me the confidence to start my own. She asked me to draw a prequel chapter to her comic, a project that allowed me to get my feet wet. I had already been kicking around the idea for MONSTER SOUP by this time, and without that small project, I’m almost certain my comic would never have happened. So there I was, dusty, old Intuos2 in hand, an ambitious story to share, and now the confidence to dive into this crazy webcomic journey. Not long into working on page after page, my carpal tunnel began to interfere with my ability to work for more than 15-30 minutes. I noticed that I rarely had this problem when drawing on paper, so maybe it was the confined area I work with on my tablet. I then began my search for a solution. This led me to the Cintiq. Artists who have complained about carpal tunnel issues said that the Cintiq elevated almost all of their symptoms, and some have also stated that their productivity increased, something I’ve also been striving for. But at the hefty price tag that comes with the Cintiq, I knew that owning one would never happen to me. I then turned my sights to the cheaper alternatives out there. The Yiynova MSP19U was gaining some strong buzz, though its downside to me was the limited viewing angles (same with the Monoprice 19″ pen display). And with my comic being in color, I wanted a nice display. So I continued to wait. By this time, my Intuos2 began showing its age. The pen was messing up and the tablet seemed sluggish, even after updating the drivers. I had no money for a new one at the time, but my father swooped in and bought me a Bamboo Connect. With the carpal tunnel issues getting worse, I continued my search for a tablet monitor. I even had my eye on Bosto’s new 22HD, but after lurking around their Facebook page and scouring any review I could find, the product seemed to be more trouble than it was worth. With Bosto marked off my list, I went back to Yiynova, this time looking at their new MVP22U(V2). It still had its flaws, with its poor font rendering and units known to go bad not long after installation. And this is where I’ve been hoovering; a Yiynova MVP22U(V2) or a kidney-selling Cintiq 22HD. I know which one I would ultimately love to have, but that’s not going to happen anytime soon. Now with the Bamboo broken, I saw myself waiting until February or March (tax return) before I could afford a replacement. Then came the suggestion of donations. This had thinking… if there were enough donations, added with what I can save on my end, then a tablet monitor may be within my reach. I doubt I’ll be able to pull a Cintiq-rabbit out of my hat, but a Yiynova is the second best choice.

To those who donate: Unlike a Kickstater or any typical crowdfunded venture, I can’t offer much in rewards. I do, however, want to add a “Supporters” section to the site, listing all of those who have supported me with donations. I will contact you via email and ask for the name you wish to use, and if you have a website, I can add that as well. If you want to remain anonymous, I will also honor your request. I would like to keep the “Supporters” page up-to-date as the donations come in, and I will update this post with the current amount as each donation comes in.

Even if you can’t donate, feel free to spread the word through Twitter, Facebook, or any other signal-boosting way you have at your disposal. Anyone who knows me, knows I’m terrible at advertising and rely more on word-of-mouth than anything else.

Any which way you feel like helping me, thank you!

Current Amount: $2,500.27 (Goal reached!)

Update 1: A little over a week ago I put up this page for those wanting to help me get back to work. Never did I imagine the support I have seen in this short amount of time. From the start, many sent me messages expressing how much they love this comic and want to see it continue. Also with these messages, some encouraged me to aim for the Cintiq and not to settle on the second best. With the amount rising, others began to encourage me to go for the Touch version of the Cintiq 22HD. When I started this donations page, the Cintiq 22HD Touch wasn’t even on my radar, heck, even the thought of owning a regular Cintiq 22HD was still a dream to me. And if this were like a Kickstarter campaign, the Cintiq 22HD Touch would be my “stretch goal.” Regardless, I’m numb, speechless, and swimming in a sea of crazy-happy emotions right now, and the thought of getting back to work is just as exciting to me. As for when I can order the Cintiq; I will be moving next week, and once things settle down (get my address changed and internet turned on), I’ll be placing my order. Until then, I’ll leave the donation link up. I know of a few more who still wanted to help. Though I have said it many times throughout this past week and a half, it bears repeating; Thank you!

Update 2: The moving date was pushed back a week, and since I’m within striking distance of the Cintiq 22HD Touch, I’m looking at the upcoming tax return to close that gap. I’m not sure when that will be, but it may be sometime in February. I haven’t been pushing the donation thing that hard these days (because you all have given me more than I ever expected), and asking for that final push didn’t feel right. I’ll update this page again when I have more information.

Update 3: The goal has been reached! Once everything is transferred over from PayPal (3-4 days), I’ll be placing my order.

Update 4: The Cintiq 22HD Touch was ordered on Tuesday and is scheduled to arrive Friday!

Update 5: It’s here!!!! (Photos coming soon!)