The collective has become a hive-like laboratory for testing new ideas. “The cool thing is that the blog lifts the veil between the creator and the creative,” Haspiel says.
Feedback from fans often influences the direction of an artist’s work. “It’s much easier to push yourself when you have the feedback online,” says Cook, “because it provides the immediacy.”
Bertozzi has two graphic novels on the blog: “Persimmon Cup,” a comic that was intended for kids until fellow ACT-I-VATORS razzed him about its sexualized symbolism, and “Pecan Sandy,” a story about a naughty cookie. “What’s so great about the blog is the reaction. For years I’ve done comics where it’s been page after page of toil and you don’t get any response,” Bertozzi says. “Maybe you show it to your friends and you get a little bit of reaction, but here you have strangers writing to you.”
The story also includes an image gallery.