Girls With Slingshots is a wonderful webcomic that my friends recommended to me not all that long ago. So, it was with great shock and horror this past Friday that I went to get my weekday fix of the series and there was, to my horror, a malware warning. It took a little bit to learn the whole story, but apparently GWS was not the only strip hit. As Danielle Corsetto explaiend:
Last Friday, an extremely bored and/or unimaginative individual decided to break into the Blind Ferret server (where GWS and many other webcomics are hosted) and drop a deuce into our code. That malware notice that you’re seeing when you visit www.girlswithslingshots.com was completely valid on Friday (and possibly a little bit of Saturday). After Saturday, our tech guy at BF took down the server to avoid any more potential damage.
I sincerely apologize to anyone whose computer was affected by this virus! This attack affected all of the websites hosted by Blind Ferret last week, and was completely out of our hands.
The series has been wonderful for me since it features not one, but two, technically, lesbian couples. Well, the second one is a bit complicated. It also features a gay man who is, well, rather flamboyant (but I get a feeling he actually enjoys camping it up [speaking as someone who ‘lives’ through her characters, to a writer, a character can be very real]).
The site itself is now back up and running in a minimalistic fashion so that we can read the strip and hopefully GWS will not have too many readers abandon the strip. It is a wonderful strip, incidentally. I have loved the entire run of the strip, which too me some while to read.
I just wish I could remember the characters’ names.
Danielle also stated that:
The BF team worked all weekend (during their Labour Day holiday, even) to work on the problem, and are continuing to clear the server of any more problems before we go live again. In the meantime, myself and several other creators have redirected our URLs to temporary sites to host our most current comics.
Given that I’ve been where they all are now, I also want to thank the BF team for their work. Danielle also wrote:
For now, we’re going to keep GWS here at the temporary Tumblr site, which is actually quite nice for a temporary home! If you’d like to enjoy Something*Positive strips as well, Randy was kind enough to combine our newest strips together at http://corsettoandmilholland.tumblr.com/.
Our hero, Mike the Tech Guy, has been working since Friday (yes, over Labour Day weekend) to get our servers back up, but it may take a couple of days to get everything back to normal.
But what of the future? An incident like this can hurt a site horrible, especially if it’s not a big one. Rebuilding one’s readership takes time. Danielle noted some grim news:
Mind if I vent for a moment?
I’m really concerned about how this incident will affect GWS. I’m mentally preparing for this to bring about an end to the strip, because I’m a worst-case-scenario kind of person. I don’t know how our ad network will react to being eliminated for a week throughout all of the properties on our entire server (though I do know I’ll be losing at least a week’s worth of income).
In the past, skipping one or two updates has lost me literally thousands of readers, permanently. I can’t even imagine how many readers I’ll lose after this debacle. I’m very grateful to those of you who have contacted me, because it sounds like you’ll be sticking around after the dust settles! But my traffic and my income are probably going to plummet, and there’s little I can do about it for the time being.
That said, I’ll have to get creative in order to regain the readership I had prior to this week. I’ve never advertised for or promoted GWS, so it’ll be a new experience for me! But I think it’ll help, however slowly.
I’ll also be asking for a lot of help from you guys. I meet a lot of readers who feel like they owe me something for making the strip available for free, but really, spreading the word and sharing GWS with your friends is basically the nicest and most wonderful gift you can give me! Once our ads are secured again, rebuilding site traffic will be a priority. (Most of my income is based on ad sales, which means really, I owe YOU guys for reading the strip for free, because you’re helping me continue to make a living off the webcomic! It’s a wonderfully symbiotic relationship. )
Anyway, I’m trying to stay positive, but boy, does anyone know a janitor with a broom the size the entire Internet, because this is gonna require a lot of clean-up!
Thanks for letting me vent; I’ve been trying to keep my worries to myself – I’m entertaining a guest who’s visiting for his birthday, & I don’t wanna be a huge ball of WAAAHHs for him – so I hope you don’t mind my paragraph o’ worry here.
I, for one, do not want this LGBT positive comic strip to go away. So, I am reaching out to my readers, and to anyone reading this, to not only give GWS a chance to get back on its feet, but to read it anew if you haven’t already and keep supporting this wonderful strip. Like it or not, it is hard to find comic strips that are able to address the issues facing the entire QUILTBAG Community as a whole with not only humor, but with honesty.
After all, how does a mostly straight woman end up in a technically lesbian relationship with an asexual woman cope? What about a woman who breaks up with her boyfriend not because he won’t commit to marriage- but she won’t? Why is it that only some people can hear the talking Scottish cactus?
I have often expressed my dismay at the fact that most lesbians out there seem to be, well, kind of portrayed as being nothing about sex, GWS has been wonderful in portraying lesbians as being, well, about romance and connection too. And while I enjoy a good sex farce as much as the next person, it is wonderful to sit down and read a strip that is about the silliness involved in human life.
I can’t wait for the full site to be back up again, but for now, you can read Girls With Slingshots here at its normal site as well as a few other places to keep abreast of the knowledge of what’s going on. I’ll also run another news item when the site is back up and running at full.