Frequently Asked Questions

I'm John Lotshaw, and I draw comics.

Specifcally, I draw Accidental Centaurs, which I first released to the world on January 15, 2002. Since then, things have come a long, long way, but that's just the beginning. Big things are planned for Accidental Centaurs, and I hope that you'll be a part of what's to come!

Probably the best way to explain what's going on is to ask a few common questions and give you some direct answers.

THE STRIP
Q: What is Accidental Centaurs?
A: Accidental Centaurs is the story of Sam and Alex, who after the catastrophic and energetic disassembly of the prototype teleporter they were working on (it blew up), find themselves in another dimension and transformed into creatures of legend. While the vehicle for their transmogrification may be accidental, the purpose behind it was not. Their arrival is fulfillment of a ten-millennia old prophecy. In order to help them fulfill the rest of the prophecies, the higher beings that oversee this universe have provided as an assistant Idlennhassar the Great—"Lenny" to his friends—a djinn who seems to think he's paying off karma at a vastly accelerated rate.

Q: What is the story so far?
A: Accidental Centaurs is organized into "years", which will correspond to time spent in the other dimension by Alex and Sam. Think of them as "seasons" on a television series.

So far, we've only done Year One, which comprises seven stories. They have been presented in (mostly) chronological order. Here is a list of the stories, in the proper order story chronology order:
  1. "Accidents Happen" — Alex and Sam arrive in their home after a teleporter accident. They discover their transformation and meet Lenny, who may or may not be what he seems.
  2. "Sorry, Right Number" — Shortly after surviving their arrival, Alex and Sam find a relic of an earlier technological civilization. With the ability to alter the physical reality around them, the device proves to be more trouble than it's worth.
  3. "Accidental Unicorn" — A paradox creates a reality storm, which transforms Sam into a wild, almost animalistic creature. Alex must find a way to restore her before her mind is completely lost. But where did that paradox come from in the first place?
  4. "Pointing Hooves" — Incessant bickering between Alex and Sam takes a dangerous turn as they wander into a still active magical minefield left over from the Last Great War. Can they survive the mines without killing each other first?
  5. "Dictating the Course" — When the inhabitants of a town are suddenly compelled to abandon their settlement in the middle of the night, the survivors—Alex, Sam and former co-worker (who arrived from their future via the now-working teleporter)—set off to find the townsfolk and the recently?stolen ring that controls Lenny. They end up stumbling onto a grisly scheme to alleviate a food shortage.
  6. "Lair of the Insectaurs" — When Sam is compelled to wonder into the desert in the middle of the night, Alex and Lenny find themselves embroiled in a centuries-old cycle of slavery and parasitism. However, a secret of Lenny's is revealed which might just rip a hole in the space/time continuum and pull the entire multiverse into a massive black hole.
  7. "Negative Spaces" — This is the current story. It will begin for Patreon members on December 1st and for the general public on December 15. The story follows the "evil" clone of Sam that was created in "Accidents Happen" and takes place at the same time as "Lair of the Insectaurs".

Q: I've heard about something called Plain Brown Wrapper and the Naughty Bits? What is that?
A: Sounds like a rock band, doesn't it? Like Huey Lewis and the News...

Seriously, "Plain Brown Wrapper" and "Naughty Bits" are brand names I use, along with "Alternate Centaurs", for adult-themed content set in the universe of Accidental Centaurs. These comics are completely optional and do not impact on the primary, PG-rated continuity of the main strip.

That being said, some of the strips are canon, but only insofar as I consider them to be event that happen to the prime Alex and Sam. These stories will be branded with the Accidental Centaurs logo. However, they won't have story content that impacts the strip's story arcs. They're completely optional.

"Plain Brown Wrapper" and "Naughty Bits" tales that are branded with the "Alternate Centaurs" logo are complete flights of fancy, not unlike the old "imaginary stories" and "What if---?" comics that DC and Marvel used to do. 

Q: Why do you do adult material?
A: Simple answer: because it sells.

Look, if I had more readers and thus more monetization opportunities, I wouldn't do the adult stuff. It's not that I'm a prude, but I'd rather be remembered for the mainstream stuff than the Naughty Bits. 

That being said, I will probably need to do adult material for the foreseeable future. It's too lucrative a monetization route for  Accidental Centaurs for me to turn down right now. However, it is not accessible via Patreon. This Patreon campaign is for the all-ages version of Accidental Centaurs, which I try to keep rated PG in terms of language and content. (For those of you not familiar with the movie rating system in the United States, "PG" or "Parental Guidance Suggested" means basically a few mild expletives, some violence and no nudity.)

ACCIDENTAL CENTAURS AND PATREON
Q: What is Patreon?
A: Really? I mean, really?!

*sigh*

Wikipedia says:
Patreon, based in San Francisco, is a crowdfunding platform created by musician Jack Conte and developer Sam Yam. It allows artists to obtain funding from patrons on a recurring basis or per artwork. It is popular with YouTube content creators, musicians and webcomic artists and has been featured in Forbes, Time and Billboard magazines.
John says:
It's the website you're reading this on. If I have to explain this one...
Everyone else says:
John needs to get more sleep. He's awfully cranky...
Q: How does Patreon work in relation to Accidental Centaurs?
A: Patreon allows a content creator to reach out to the audience for funding and support. A creator (viz, me) can set up various levels of support and offer increasing rewards for said support. Patreon handles the collection of the pledges and helps the creator manage the distribution of the premiums. Accidental Centaurs is being set up on a per-post basis, so when I update the strip, I get paid. If I don't update, no bacon for John. This incentivizes me to produce, and the kind souls who've pledged don't feel gypped if there's a three-month hiatus!

Q: I have to give my credit card? Is it safe?
A: Patreon uses Strip for credit card processing. Stripe's system doesn't store actual credit card numbers, but uses a tokenized system to record the transactions. Your information can't be derived from the token because... well... math. I'm not a cryptoanalyist, nor am I anything near a mathematician, but Stripe's system seems pretty secure. Just know that neither Patreon nor myself have your credit card number. And neither will the bad guys (at least not from here).

Q: Wasn't there a data breach at Patreon recently? Is my information safe?
A: In October of 2015, it was announced that hackers had breached Patreon's security and stolen files with passwords, emails and some billing addresses. No credit cards were stolen (see the previous question... Patreon doesn't store them) and other sensitive information is encrypted.

Patreon has, as any responsible company would do in this circumstance, reinforced their data security in the weake of the breach. An unfortunate truth about life in the 21st Century is that hackers will attack any computer they think has information they believe may be of value on it. It doesn't matter if that computer belongs to me, you, Patreon, Apple, Microsoft or Uncle Sam. All data is a target, equally across all servers.

So, is your data safe on Patreon? It's as safe as it is on any other server out there in Internetland. Which, in the grand scheme of things, is pretty safe. It's just that data safely stored on responsibly maintained servers doesn't make headlines, right?

Q: What are the pledge levels for Accidental Centaurs and how does this work?
A: The official pledge levels are posted on this page below this FAQ.

Welcome to 2018! (or, "I'm Not Dead Yet!")

Hey, gang! How the heck are ya?

I know I promised an update, and I know I promised it in July and here we are in January of the next frakkin' year. Well, better late than never, eh?

First, as some may know, I am no longer working with Nancy cartoonist Guy Gilchrist. The reason is a very long story that I really don't want to rehash here, but it also means that a project that was very near and dear to my heart, the Nancy spinoff entitled Random Acts of Nancy is no longer being done. The strips updating on GoComics are repeats.

As we barrel forward into the new year, I'm going to be doing more video projects, including some live draws, similar to "The Nightly Draw" that I was doing for a while. It won't be nightly, but I do plan to get back to doing that once I get some equipment issues sorted out.

As for Accidental Centaurs, it is being updated, albeit at a slower pace than I'd like. The new story, "The Seven Centauri" is being sent to Patreon members as the pages update. When the story is complete, it will be made available to the general public. I do hope to pick up the pace in 2018.

If you'd like to see that story unfold, you can see it by becoming a patron via Patreon if you click here and join today! Only $5 gets you access to the new story!

I realize that 2017 wasn't a very good year for Accidental Centaurs. Here's hoping that 2018 is the start of a brighter future for our favorite oatmunchers!

Posted on January 9, 2018 6:23 pm PST