I'd like to actually address this seeing as how my post was used in this reply.
I highly doubt Michael or any of the staff are out to "get" the creators who aren't contracted. The harsh reality of it is that they're obviously going to advertise the creators that are contracted because these are the ones that are making money FOR Tapas. And as Tapastic gets bigger and bigger, it's harder for the staff to reach out to these smaller comics like they did in the past (I remember back in the days when Michael could keep up with the website with a reading list and even regularly comment on comics and such, but as the website and the brand has grown, obviously they're going to be held up with other things and not be able to be as community oriented as before).
My biggest issue with it is how it's now too much. I didn't mind it as much before when it was on the app, but I did sometimes find it annoying to always be seeing the "DOWNLOAD THE APP" banner on the front page along with series getting promoted via the Comic banner that you could only read on the add, among other things. Still, I could tolerate it. Now that the desktop site is virtually a copy-pasta of the app, it's just more "DOWNLOAD THE APP DOWNLOAD THE APP READ THE PAID COMICS" while the free platform comics struggle to stay afloat with very minimal exposure. That's why I rarely use the app - because there's just no way to find anything that ISN'T pay-to-read (and as I said already, I really don't like a lot of the comics that are available through it. Many of them are the same "style" and it's just not my taste IMO). That's not necessarily an "attack" on indie creators who aren't contracted, it just hasn't struck a very good balance between the two and once again the app and the "pay to read" functions for comics that are only contracted with Tapastic are pushing everything else out of the way.
Remember when we had the Support function that was available for everybody? I want to see that come back, or something similar. At the very least, see the locked episodes become available for more people to utilize in a more customizable way without having to be contracted (because that is NOT something to depend on getting, and by the looks of it, Tapastic has a very, VERY specific market, typically Korean-made drama webtoons and American gag strips). Yeah, it's still pay to read, but it's still OPTIONAL. Much like how people do it on Patreon (myself included) with the Support system back in the day it was like "hey, read this update 3 days early if you pledge $1/month!" It wasn't stuck behind a paywall forever. Hell, even Webtoons doesn't pay wall block their stuff (but... I mean, I don't know how they're even sustainable so... that's not really a fair comparison. I literally have no idea how they manage to stay afloat or how they even make money lol)
**It should also be noted that Michael is the Editor-in-Chief for Tapas. While this isn't certainly a small position, he's definitely not the only one who determines how Tapas should be built and utilized. So like... don't blame him lol there's probably only so much he's actually allowed to say. Businesses can't be completely transparent, unfortunately, otherwise they'd never get anything done lol
EDIT because I feel this is SUPER IMPORTANT FOR YOU TO SEE, STAFF. SERIOUSLY. I don't care if you reply really, I just need you to see it and know that it's been said.
The front page of Tapas, if I've counted it fairly, has 13 divided sections dedicated to Premium and "popular enough to be Premium" series. Books, Premium comics, collection comics (all of which typically are premium), and just random banners you're showing off for the books and paid comics. Thirteen. THIRTEEN. Thirteen individual rows of premium app content that you have to pass by to get to Trending/Popular.
THIS IS TOO MUCH TAPAS.
Even for the app this is a lot to scroll through! There has to be some way to condense those thirteen rows into ten, even 5-7. Again, I get that you want to show these series off, I get that you want to make money and use the most advertising space you can, but if that's the case, I reiterate - why even have the desktop version in the first place? Why even update it to make it look more like the app? Why not scrap the free posting platform altogether and just make it a VIP invite-only place like Hiveworks/the Featured section of Webtoons? Because that really feels like where it's headed right now lol
At thirteen rows, it's not even a "free series can't get exposure" issue, it becomes a "WHAT THE HELL IS GOING ON WITH ANYTHING HERE" issue. It's so, so messy, and as I've said tons of times already, it basically looks like you took the app and plopped it onto the desktop site, which just doesn't work for a webpage design. It's too much. Please. Please dial it back. I'd love to see it for the sake of creators like myself and the people I work here with, but if you have to find a way to justify it for the sake of "business", even just for the sake of the website design, because right now, it's looking more cluttered than my medicine cabinet x_x
The team is super busy as it is and michael and the team sooorta need to sleep and it's currently 8 PM so like, their work day is undoubtedly done lol give them the typical 3-5 business days at the minimum