Posts Tagged ‘Art’
Crossposting from SpiltInk.org
Hello friends, it’s been hectic as I’ve been focusing on Dracula and trying to get Revolver Four out asap, and getting the final batch of Dream Life books out the door? Taking too long, not helped by nasty cold bug last month. Back at it now, playing catchup… sooo late late late.
The only upside of being sick is I got a lot of writing done, including a workable draft of the Patreon page text I’d been meaning to attempt to write since signing up in the summer. Important bit of business as it’s planned to be a key aspect of the market presentation of Revolver Four. The issues will still be available as individual downloads, but with #4 I wanted to offer subscriptions of some kind, and then had a better idea.
It was a good call. Just a few days in I’m already up to $30 pledged a month from my first three patrons! I look at this as a slow and steady thing, that does not need huge numbers to work. So that’s an inspiring nice early start for me. Already time to thank some Patrons!
One wished to be anonymous. Thanks very much for your patronage. Shannon Becker. A long time fan from back in the days of Saint Sinner [she had proof!]. And Ian Hodgkinson! One of my Dracula Kickstarter backers in fact! Thanks for the faith in me Ian!
Thanks to all of you! :)
I have one in the works. But no pitch video so far. I noticed a number of comics related patreon pages without them and doing fine. So not rushing that. I am doing a regular patreon podcast, and the 3rd episode is mostly a discussion of the campaign, you can listen to that here.
Here’s pitch text!
Welcome to The Spilt Ink Patreon!
Hi. My name is Max, aka Salgood Sam. An artist and storyteller. For the last 20 years I’ve primarily made comics and drawn for a living. I also sometimes work as a Designer, Editor and part-time Art Teacher.
I’m developing a patreon clip for my youtube channel, but for the moment I’m just going to post a trailer for my latest book. Dream Life | a late coming of age, above. For the significance of that, read ahead to“The First Goal is $350 monthly”. And for an audio version of some of this, I’ve posted a launch episode of the podcast! I explain in text below and in the podcast what I’m hoping to accomplish.
For those of you new to it, Patreon lets you support creative types like me via a pay-what-you-can sliding scale financial considerations–You can change or cancel your pledge at any time.
A lot of the content I’m posting is already free to read or watch online.
Check out the activity blog to see what I’ve been up to over the past year I’ve been posting content to it pretty frequently and plan to keep the Patreon blog here, current with content I post across the web from Youtube clips, webcomics, sketchbooks, tutorials, my fathers photos and words, to blogging & blogging! I keep busy.
The very short pitch is I’m looking for patrons from as little as $2 monthly, to as much as you feel comfortable pledging! You can even pledge less than $2 if you just want to help out at a minimum with a monthly tip. I’ve set up a range of rewards to accommodate a lot of possibilities. All limited in availability to keep fulfilment from swamping or profit from obscuring the core goals of making and publishing great comics and other creations! And if enough of you choose to support my work in this manner, everyone will get to read all of it, digitally for free!
Ok, here’s a slightly longer version.
Over the last couple of decades I’ve financed my personal projects* via grants, investing portions of my freelancing income, selling a decent number of books and art now and then. And in the last few years crowdfunding has become a serious factor with three modestly successful endeavors so far. More than 20 years and I’m still learning, especially since I’ve been pursuing self publishing more.
*I should note, my personal projects don’t JUST include comics, though most of it is comics or comics related now!
I’ve also been experimenting with formats, webcomics and other digital modes, attempting to move with the changing market and find what suits me best. A diverse range of platforms seem to be the road to go, but what’s missing still is a bit more stability and a simple way to get my content to readers without paying too much of my two bits in fees. I could get a lot more done I think if I could just simply resolve that set of problems. It’s in that hope that enough of you choose to pitch in a cup of coffee’s worth a month on this page, and make it happen!
A few years back I started working on re-booting Spilt Ink–a boutique self-publishing imprint first launched back in 2002 for websites and small press zines and active ever since–as a more focused, dedicated venture to publish my own serialized solo anthology Revolver Quarterly, and possibly all my future books!
Why Revolver Quarterly? I think a print ready, digital anthology series is best suited to my style of comics. It’s a format and strategy I’m passionate about. And Patreon seems a practical and appealing alternative to traditional subscription models, and includes a viable distribution platform for patrons as well.
If you dig it and want to help keep it all happening,
pledging $2 monthly will make you my Patron!
Only $24 a year!
[All prices on Patreon are in $US dollars.]
I have two Phases of Goals planned.
For the minimum pledge Patrons will get digital subscriptions to Revolver Quarterly, and be members of The Spilt Ink Patrons club! The club will grow to be an extended suite of digital & print ready publications. Not just my own comics, but also publications related to the websites sequentialpulp.ca, theitalianmachine.spiltink.org, and dd.salgoodsam.com. From the start it will include Revolver Quarterly Vol One, Two & Three, and Therefore, Repent! And free to read online already is Sequential Pulp Vol One, Two & Three. I hope you stick around for coming issues of Revolver and more, but out of the gates you’ll have 260 pages of comics waiting for you to read!
The First Goal is $350 monthly! When we reach it, my newest graphic novel Dream Life | a late coming of age will be added to the library of books patrons can download anytime!
The Second Goal is $650 monthly, and if we achieve it, along with getting more comics done faster thanks to seriously taking care of most of my expenses, I’ll make the 20 min patreon podcast bi-weekly.
The Third Goal is $950 per month, and I’ll be so happy when this happens I’ll throw a Comix Jam Party! You’ll all be invited virtually.
WE REACH THE 1250K MONTHLY GOAL!
At which time, Revolver and the ENTIRE Spilt Ink digital line,
will go PBS, or if you rather, Open Media!!
100% digitally free!
It will take just 625 generous patrons
$2 a month to unlock this goal.
Obviously the main reason for charging for my work is simply to make a living – it is already how i do it generally as a freelancer. But doing it on my own terms and just for my own projects is what Spilt Ink is all about. And my experience with books like Sea of Red, Therefore, Repent! & now Dream Life, Is that I think i have at least that many potential fans and readers out there? Maybe…
Fingers crossed. I think people enjoy the idea of helping make cool things happen and introducing others to something we like by making it easy to get at.
I’ve never really liked adding adds to my sites to try to make it all pay for itself. We tried it on Sequential for a while but were never happy with the results either financially or aesthetically. So I don’t take that seriously as an option. It’s a lot of work, a whole job, getting The Right advertisers and managing that. And it looks so much better without all that noise on my sites.
A lot of the culture of the web is built around the idea of open media. And at the same time, my experience from crowdfunding is there are also lots of people who are willing to put a couple of dollars on something they like. A tool to address that dynamic is exactly what Conte and company have built here with Patreon I hope, which is potentially pretty amazing.
If my Patron base can become a viable solution to earning a living, you’ll make it easy to give it all away online so everyone can enjoy it with you!
I’ll still be selling print copies of things, after all I like paper and getting to sign books! But I’ll be more than happy if this works In the long run and a large portion of my readers are digital. You could help make that happen by pledging and joining The Spilt Ink Patrons club.
The Patrons blog includes exclusive video & blog posts, zines of comic jams, live drawing sessions, sketches, and deals on material goods I sell on my site. Premium rewards Include postcards, physical copies of mybooks, handmade things? Art lessons, original art & commissions!
There’s more info here about
the planned contents
of Revolver Quarterly,
check out the rewards
and goals, and thanks for
I own none of that, if you dig it go buy their music!
Links to things mentioned!
That last is of course my personal site, there’s a lot of work up in there. Animation design work is documented in this set of galleries. I only mention one job on the episode but then thought better of listing it all off. You can find pretty much everything here.
The EN MASSE mural work is documented here
Jed Alexander asked the first Questions!
Past two episodes of the podcast are here
Here’s some photos of the work in progress! Think that was the most standing i’ve done in a while. Been some time since I worked on a mural or painted. This time was three days, two full and a half wrapping up the work. Your legs get a good workout!
Also was nice to get to know the other artists a little bit. Would love to work with them again. Reminded me of the old monthly jams. It all came out really amazing & fun to do. When you’re up close to it it’s hard to say, but after the drop sheets came away, it all looked pretty great. I can see why Ruppert loves doing this work so much. The whole crew were pros.
For me it was nice to make it through the whole thing physically well. I’ve worked on something with them three times now.
First jumping in for a few hours during Henge, the En Masse project @Nuit Blanche 2011, which happened to be the night before I went under the knife for cancer! That was good for the mind and I knew I wanted to do it again.
And I did a year later as part of a huge team that worked together on a room at the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts. That time unfortunately I was wrecked from a severe bout of gastro and probably the onset of diabetes. It was hard to even hold my arm up for long! Ug.
This time? My stamina held out pretty well! All three days. Yay! And 48 hours later nothing to terrible has happened so it’s officially not a jinx.
Oh and I’ve confirmed I was using stupid brushes before, having picked up a proper set this time. So much better. Loved laying in the big lines with a freestyle paddle brush! Makes me want to prime something. And remember i’ve got a couple unfinished things hidden away…
Must stay on things with Dracula, just working on a new page now. But for sure up for doing it again too.
Hey, by the way. There’s a Patreon campaign for Spilt Ink in the way.
I have a floor plan now! Here’s how to find me @ FanExpo 2014!
When you enter the main hall of the South building, after going down all those elevators as I recall, the artists are all in the far left side of the room. And I’m in the back row against the far wall, at P6B. It’s behind the artist ally. Just after the Raid Row and around the bend. I’m bringing prints and original art with me to sell, and some of my books, mostly just Dream Life | a late coming of age. I may have a few Revolver‘s with me but not many. I am going to have an offer to take an order of a bundle of them from me direct if my square works — need to look into that — and i’ll ship them to you no cost! I’ll be there Friday and Saturday for sure, Sunday if those two go well. Watch my twitter feed for updates! Cheers! See you there PS: you can still make sketch request reservations still, I take Paypal!
Hey so I’m a guest at Fan Expo this year! Learned a bit last minute, hence the late announcement.
I’m going to be at table P6B, Friday Aug 29th, Saturday the 30th, and if things go well Sunday the 31st.
I’ll be presenting mostly Dream Life, the late notice means I don’t have time to re-stock Revolver Three for the show. I might have a few but to keep things simple I’ll focus on the new Graphic Novel. I will have my prints though, and art!
I usually get a hand full of sketch requests at the show, so I thought i’d also put out there the option to pre-reserve up to 8 sketches.
It’s a good option for you as I tend to do better work at home in my studio too. Contact me if you would like to commission a convention sketch. I’m charging $40 for each.
Also you can pre-buy some of my art here, purchase here on the site and we’ll arrange for you to pick up the work at the show.
I’ve been pretty active on the new Spilt Ink blog, and generally trying to be regular about updating. The old home site is overdue for a catch-up though!
First I want to remind everyone, I have a lot of art up for sale, and take requests as well.
Generally always interested in selling it but right now it would be especially helpful, so check it out and if you order something, I’ll throw in a copy of my comic Revolver vol 3 with a sketch and thank you! In most instances shipping is included in the price, for sure in the US, EU and Canada.
Also, if you don’t have ALL my books already, why not?! You can order them here from Spilt Ink!
Speaking of my books…
Posted on spilt ink originally: There’s a listicle by Alison Lang called “How to Crowdfund a Graphic Novel (without Losing Your Mind and Alienating People)” [pg 22], that came out of a nice long chat I had with Alison the week of TCAF 2014 about fundraising for Dracula and Dream life.
I was expecting that, but was pleased to find a review of Dream Life in my comp copy as well!
Joel W. Vaughan gave me some high praise with the understandable caveat that being a ‘book one’, it really needs it’s mate to conclude and deliver on any promise. Something I fully intend to do.
“This latest work by the legendary Montreal-based artist Salgood Sam has been called “neo-realist,” but it might be more accurately referred to as “honest.” It follows the seemingly unrelated lives of five young adults in contemporary Canada, detailing everything from call-centres to drug-smugglers. It’s a stellar graphic novel…”
Read the full review in Broken Pencil #64!
As a way to partake in Throwback Thursdays and promote my fathers work, i’ve started posting weekly new photos of his. Right now it’s a series of shots from the The Toronto Pop Festival! The first two posts feature shots of Chuck Berry, Sly & the Family Stone, Tiny Tim, Ronny Hawkins, and a 17-year-old Jeanne Beker!
Sketchbooks with Salgood Sam
Posted on Dynamic Drawing originally:
I’ve been recording tours through old sketchbooks for my students recently,
I’ve posted two so far, and probably will make about ten in the end. Here’s the first!
I’m in the midst of inking between every spare moment right now.
Want to get the next Revolver out to early subscribers in September!
Here’s a look at the pages in progress, don’t peek if you don’t want spoilers!
Read Dracula Son of the Dragon in Revolver!
Crossposted from SpiltInk:
Here’s some Inking on Dracula! : Currently in production at Spilt Ink, for the next issue of Revolver Quarterly.
The current main feature, my collaboration with Mark Sable, “Dracula Son of the Dragon” is on my desk. Mark needs an update from me for our Kickstarter backers, so here’s the news of the moment: I’m aiming to get 15 to 23 pages done for this next installment, along with a short 10 page entry for A Bastards Tale. I’m giving myself about 60 days to do that. Most the Dracula art is penciled and ready to ink as of this post, so this feels pretty comfortably doable.
On the left here is a new take on the Seal of the Order of the Dragon. Based on historical examples, but not by any means Orthodox. Been making my Dragon’s more serpent like for one thing. Doing a lot of research for the era but also taking liberties for dramatic value & my own amusement.
Speaking of amusement, Revolver is going to host quite a contrasting set of narratives for the next 3 issues! A fictional coming of age for the historic Vlad Tepes, and a memoir of my own childhood, raised by bikers and artists. As the kids say, LOL! Byzantine vampire fantasy, and a child’s memory of the ’70s has been making for some wonderful visual research work.
I’m enjoying it. Exactly what I started the Revolver series to do. [the first instalments of both are available now in Revolver 3]. It’s a challenge, but i’m much happier working on different things over the course of a year, than a singular project for one or more.
As I mentioned, Right this second I’m inking Dracula stuff, and twice a week I teach. My Dynamic Drawing course, and filling in for my comrade Kelly Tindall for his Making Comics class.
I record what I do sometimes at the desk, and post it to youtube to share with students in a drawing class I teach. This clip is one of those done earlier this week.
Starts with a look through an old suitcase I used to use at zine fairs as a display stand for my books, that i’ve now stuffed with all the zines i’ve collected over the years that I still like and keep.
Thinking i’m going to start having Jam parties at my house, and I might bring it out for those for fun. Maybe take it to events in the future. :) A traveling zine library.
Then I get into some inking panel borders and one of the drawings. My hand gets in the way a lot, sorry about that. used the wrong camera angle.
The current proposed Spilt Ink publishing schedule for the rest of this year looks something like this:
Revolver 4 in September; Revolver 5 in December; And Vol.6 by the end of February 2015.
That will bring us to the end of the first arc of the first Dracula story line! Three more novellas like it are planned in the future, so be assured the Voivode of Wallachia will return to Revolver. But that first book/arc will then be collected and released to the Kickstarter backers who financed the production.
Plans are not final but it’s probable a version of the first book will then be made publicly available too, likely via Digital formats.
For Revolver Quarterly Vol.7: Nothing more to say publicly about the story that will follow Dracula in vol 7. But I will say i’ve been itching for a while, to do some Sci Fi. A Bastards Tale will probably continue for several more issues as well.
And I plan to bring back The Rise and Fall of it all again as well at some point–first seen as a short in Vol.1. Dream Life book two will also probably start being developed around then. But I don’t really expect to return to the story until late 2015 at the soonest. When I do, it will also be serialized in Revolver as well.
Still feel like I’m playing catch up after the trip to NY last month, closed out the first leg of the Dream Life tour.
I had some slow weeks after recovering from a pretty intense cold I picked up on the road. We were having a heatwave too, that didn’t help. And here in Montreal a lot of people went on the traditional summer “workers vacation” so not much was getting done outside my studio.
I just heard back from Lounak earlier today that the first batch of books I left with them–that were waiting on a passport renewal. and then the drivers vacation–will now head out this Wednesday! Yay. Was getting worried there.
Good news. Going to want to see the invoice from them for this batch, but this means the next batch should head out soon as well. I have classes to teach mid week, but probably next monday i’ll plan to make a run up to Lounak.
Though it would be nice to sell more books to help wrap up the last bit of shipping! unfortunately due to NY having been a bust when it came to sales at the shows – both cons there in June were super DEAD I found. Sold about 3 copies of Dream Life between them along with a few other bits and bobs. Most the other folks I talked to at both had the same story too pretty much. Bombs.
I ended up coming away $200 in the hole rather than with the average $500 profit that had come from many of the other shows/weekends on the tour. New York, Ottawa, and the second weekend in Toronto were all poor sales wise, but with NY being the worst especially, when you factored in the much more expensive tables and travel! I still came out in the black for the other two duds with just a few books sold, but not NY.
That was not good for the budget. It could have been worse — I was able to sell two thirds of the books I had on me to local retailers for decent wholesale rates sunday and monday before coming back. Covered most the losses and bumped the store listings for Dream life nicely in the process too! So I was happy about that. But fiscally it hurt my plan a bit. The shipping budget it just about $400 now, so coming out of NY -$200, not cool.
Covering the latest short fall will be doable, it’s not huge. As it turned out last week I learned I’d be covering for my friend and co-teacher at Syn Studio, Kelly Tindall. Doing a semester of his comics class as well as my regular semester of Dynamic Drawing.
The hours for that, selling some more books locally, and some freelance work in the works, i’ll be able to work it all out. But yeah, selling a LOT more books would be great for that and, just, in general.
It was over all good on the road, but online there’s been little pick up. I’d like to do more to get things going. Been writing retailers, have a few orders in the works. Also have some requests for books in town too at shops. Also been entertaining finding a way to set up in downtown Cafe’s, to sell the book during festival season?
I’m offering a summer reading sale right now, for the US editions. Need to get the word out more in general though!
[reminder kickstarter backers are getting signed first Launch Editions, printed on premium paper in Montreal. The books sold now from my site are the US editions, POD copies printed on good but coarser paper in the US, from CreateSpace.]
I’ve been reluctant to ask before everyone got their copy, but I’d really appreciate any help you can give me spreading the word about the sale, [ 0 shipping for physical copies and 10% off digital ] and generally sharing stuff about the book. To that end….
In other related news I had a chance finally to do some over due web work.
I moved my comics news blog Sequential to a new server, and back on the old one got my publishing imprint Spilt Ink’s home site up and running after years of just having a placeholder there. It’s pretty focused on selling my books, including Dream Life.
Thoses of you who’ve gotten your copies, I’d love to collect your reactions to Dream Life, to post on the site. Even if they are relatively short I’d appreciate it!
Also tell your favorite comic book or book retailer about it too! I can supply books to most places on the glob via the CreateSpace system!
Also the book is on Amazon, ComiXology, & Goodreads. If you can rate it there as well it would be a HUGE help boosting it’s visibility! Please help me pop it up the ranks?
And lastly, do you do a podcast or write for blogs? Chat me up about appearing on your show or check out the Footnotes section of Spilt Ink, and then write me some interesting questions? Some past interviews and reviews for my books can be found here on thepress page.
Ok, that’s the big ask for today.
Be my Street Team?
Thanks a lot!
I couldn’t have done this without you all!
Dream Life a late coming of age.
Read it in the parc under a tree!
Life is connections and causes
you never see coming.
“I couldn’t put this down. Seriously. It’s a keeper.
Salgood Sam has one of the most interesting,
unique voices in comics today.” – Mark Waid
$18 LAUNCH SALE!
For a limited time, buy the book
directly from me via my site store,
& pay no shipping!
Or use Coupon Code “SPILTINK10”
to get 10% off Downloads from my site!
#Graphicnovels, #newbooks, #Artbooks, #comics, #sale
103 backers, $3,908 pledged over the initial $3,000 goal. $1092 to go to reach the next stretch goal! Pondering practical things I can do and asking for help…
Made a little clip calling for a hand getting the word out for the stretch goals. I might put up some more art, and I’m pondering if it makes sense to set up some specific retailer rewards now. But in general I think mostly what this needs is more eyes! I’m doing my bit to get those, and I’m asking for your help in that too.
I’ve got a good number of books left before we hit the caps, lots of art, and several affordable digital options including one that for just $10 gets you Dream Life, five issues of Revolver, and SadOcensSpaceBears’ Dream of a dark Dream in mp3 format! And that lets me print two copies of my book AND you’ll get all your files within a week of the end of the drive!
Why go for the stretch goals? well the 3k lets me print 200 copies and visit about 6 retailers along the Windsor to Montreal transit corridor. That’s great, but a modest launch. Already we’re looking at improving that, here’s what the goals represent.
$5000 = 500 books, and the tour goes to Ottawa, Quebec city, out to the east coast to make one or more stops there. Maybe even able to jump across the border a little to upstate NY and Vermont. Pop over to Detroit when I’m in Windsor.
$10000 = 1000 books, maybe a few more as they start to get a lot cheaper to print. And i can entertain taking the tour west of the great lakes, ideally all the way out to British Columbia! Possibly to Seattle, and other major american cities like New York City, Chicago?
This is a little speculative, I’m still working out the details but I travel on the cheap so at least some of that is doable if I can find retailers and accommodations to accommodate. I wish I drove, being a city boy and conscientious objector to fossil fuels most of the time I’ve never learned and get around via bike and mass transit. But it would be handy right about now. I will make due though.
So all to say, i’m very happy we passed the all or nothing line, but I want to do this right. And we’ve got the time left to get there. And we’ve gotten this far with really, not a hell of a lot of people when you think about it? 103 now, at this rate we could reach 10k it with probably 300 or so backers. So backers pass the word! Lets get more people on board!
Thanks for your pledges and support and all the things, l love you all to bits. Here are some relevant links: My twitter. The Facebook page for Dream Life a late coming of age, The official site, though it’s in a bit bare bones at the moment. The free preview on Issuu, embeddable and sharable.
Now here’s me butchering the only song I know all the words too, because I had a typo in one of the reward tiers promising a singing event.
Someone suggested this might be scaring off people!
har har! :)
It’s alive! I just launched a new 28 day kickstarter to finance my new Graphic Novel,
the long awaited Dream Life | a late coming of age.
I had it up as a web comic for a long time as part of the TX comics group, it earned me a Webcomics Creator nomination in the Joe Shuster Awards a couple times –
For the new book launch, I have a 61 page preview for download or viewing via Issue.
The old pages have been edited and such, so I’ve taken them down on the main site but you can still read them here on Facebook and here on Google+. I kind of like the full screen experience on those pages better anyway.
Thanks to everyone who left comments on the old posts, it was really nice having some kind of feedback when i was posting them that way. It ended up being ill paced I think to the format, so I was not surprised it seldom got a lot of traffic, but some days a good 50 to a 100 people would come and read the whole story! And some of you left very encouraging and flattening notes. You guys helped me keep feeling positive about this project through many darker days and hopeful what I was doing would find a wider audience. Also thanks to Larry Cruz who helped me come up with a great way to describe the narrative style I’ve been trying to develop with this story. I’ll be continuing to use this for some time I expect! :)
“Dream Life is one of those weird comics … It’s more like an orchestral piece, only you allow the artwork, rather than the music, to buffet you through the emotional highs and lows of each movement.”
[link] – Larry Cruz – One Punch Reviews – 4 out of 5
I’m working on getting up a gallery of art that will be on offer as a reward to post in the next day or so. Already two of my 90’s era pages are taken! Encouraging.
I’m going to be working on the two covers so i can get dummies of each version of the book made soon, the limited run of 90 books for the Indiegogo backers, and the Launch edition for TCAF and beyond.
I’m going to be contacting some other shops including those that have stocked Revolver in the past, but right from the start I can say it will be available at The Beguiling, The Dragon, and Strange Adventures.
But that said I really hope I can entice to get the books direct from me via this kickstarter! You can get a full sweet of all three issues of Revolver, and Dream Life for just $50 and help get a nice handful of copies made for the big launch! The same set of books, and a couple more issues of Revolver, AND a downloadable copy of a really cool album [more to come in a separate post about that shortly!], are also on offer as a grand digital option!
So close to getting so many things done, I kind of feel like there’s a brick about to fall on my head or something!
Just being dramatic but after all the hurdles getting this stuff done. Still some big one’s left to go too…
Got the last of these scanned a couple days ago, inking them by now. The rest of the book is done. These six wordless pages go in the middle, to help give PJ some room to breath as a character. She has one of the most intense narratives in the book. I’m hopping this will help put some of the pieces in place. Looking, here, think it works.
Have to get them done tout de suite! Inked and tones. Also got edits in from Mark for Dracula and the rest of revolver three. Some writing and curating to do too for the backers edition of Dream Life. Get some new quotes. Boy it’s all going to be tight! But once the art’s in the bag i can start some big wheels rolling. [Time shifted post].
I started off the last post mentioning how Facebook’s new pay to be seen model is working against the site being as useful to me as much as it had been before, and noticing how I’ve been neglecting this space too long.
With books coming in the spring and everything, I’m going to try to get back into posting here more regularly. Maybe even like this, transitioning a lot of my activity from social networks blogging to here about all and sundry that interests or provokes me.
It seemed almost like a message when I saw this “How Much Time Have You Wasted on Facebook?” app from TIME.com. I plugged in an estimate of my daily average here out of curiosity, it took a while to do its thing. lol. I use it to promote my work often so not “wasted” I feel, but the app says 108 DAYS, 7 HOURS, & 33 MINUTES Since Sep 15, 2011. And I’ve posted 10,865 things to my feed in that time? Does that include my other four fan pages there ? Rough estimates that makes about 10 to 11 posts a day av. Sounds about right anyway.
I’ve been reluctant in the past to post “off topic” on my own site so much, keeping it mostly about work. But I think I’ll try diversifying things now. So here’s some stuff that I’ve noticed or had thoughts about in the last two days, and some work.
While I’m to my knowledge Ashkenazim on both sides of my family, and considered a full blooded Jew under Jewish law. I am also an atheist who was raised outside of the temple entirely. Never had any indoctrination at all.
I’ve always felt an outsider everywhere, and it started in part from realizing when I was a kid that Jewish tradition suggested that my being raised like that meant that to some, I’m a gôy. In the original Hebrew it means a Jew ignorant of the Jewish religion, as well as a non-Jew. So potentially that’s me.To some orthodox minds anyway. I would point out I’m not ignorant, having read about my heritage and been present some family events of a religious nature and enjoyed them for their social merits.
In the past and often today, many Jews like to think of themselves as above or immune to racism. But that’s hardly the case. No one is. And a lot of traditional doctrine, like that bit I just mentioned, always rubbed me the wrong way for its intrinsic race based nationalism. To my mind racism=nationalism=racism and I loath both, you know? And I see both as artifacts of culture, not real in any material way other than the way we deal with the idea of them.
A Israeli friend of mine recently lamented that if we were in 1800’s France, he would be supporting Herzl and I’d be opposing the movement. It’s possible, assuming I had the same philosophical leanings. I can understand the Jewish quest for homeland at that time. But If my mind was the same as today, I’d reject his racially driven world view. Though at that time it was pretty much most of the worlds world view. But If I had my modern mind, I’d be fighting the illusion of Race at home in Europe, rather than promoting a colonial idea that what involve the displacement of another ethnic group in order to make us feel safer–but in the end putting us in greater peril I think.
I have been wondering about the details of his side of this story. I was around for the news when it first came around and recalled it being much less cut and dry than the recent tweets and backlash made it seem. Glad someone kept their notes. I’m well convinced Woody is
a hard person to deal with or be involved with. No strike that, is really quite ethically compromised given who Soon Yi was when he started his affair. But It’s always felt a bit fishy the way Mia Farrow handled all that as well. Since posting this Dylan has now had her say, and i’m inclined to support her as a victim. But there is also the problematic nature of memory and vague nature of a lot of the incidents he’s accused of. But I don’t think she’s lying. In any case, bloody messy business.
Check out this clip here of him doing some of his magic. This is really deeply zoomed in. Crazy details. It’s been ages since i tried Scratch-board techniques. Not since high school i think. Sam Agro said “Like a creepy Franklin Booth“. Agreed. gorgeous!
Scientists watch glowing molecules form memories in real-time!
A few days ago i saw a cool report about how scientists had worked out a way to watch molecules involved in the forming of memories! Cool in of itself, and I was reminded of it again, upon seeing another post of that cornball Dr. Emoto rice test from a FB friend with the comment “If you think your thoughts have no influence on the physical world, think again!“
Along with commenting on that posting, it inspired me to post about the breakthrough in active brain imaging along with this thought: For those that wish to promote the idea that our inner thoughts have a real impact in the outer world around us. I use inner and outer here pointedly. Because really, that’s a false dichotomy propagated by the way we perceive thoughts vs the physical. Good old Descartian dualism that seeks to elevate humanity and life by saying there is something other, special, about us that definitely separates us from the rest of the stuff and beasts and holds the promise of immortality for many.
Well, here’s my thoughts. Our thoughts have influence on the physical world in two ways. One*, when they lead to actions. Ok, obvious maybe but worth pointing out. Most of the time, even if you are unaware of how, this is what is going on. Two**, they are in fact properties of the physical world–of your neurons. They were never separate from the physical world in the first place. If you thought so, you were misled, like most of us at one time or another. To that end, look at this…and think about how as you do, it’s happening in your own skull as you form a memory of it.
** Having a thought causes other neurons to respond and all kinds of interesting brain chemistry to happen. They are not nonphysical things. Imagining them as something that happens in another place/space/without forms, this is a popular but unfounded idea. * A lot of the new age meme about the impact of our thoughts attributes the consequences of subtle behavioral interactions and body language to the supernatural. It is unlikely that you never show any of your negative or positive feeling on your face, stance, or the way you interact with others. Depending on how observant and sensitive people are to that they might know you feel in general terms good or bad about them, or they may just have a gut feeling about it. But one way or another most of the time they will pick up on something even if only subconsciously. So, intentional or not, a lot of your thoughts lead to actions, including pointed inaction and intentions even unconscious ones. And all that has an impact.
Well written. Resonates with my own thoughts witnessing how age anxieties mess with the minds of most women I’ve known. It gets to guys too but not nearly as intensely. Also this struck me due to the fact I once witnessed a few older female comic creators whose work I admired, go from trying to armor themselves over their mixed feelings of being seen as elder ladies, not getting noticed as much, and being catty about Molly who one of them had sat next to at a show. She did not approve of the 20 something Molly’s penchant for corsets and bustiers.
Personally I’ve always been of the mind to, and encouraged my partners to try to age gracefully. Fit as we can manage, into whatever decrepitude inevitable entropy has in store. My hair has several silver strands now. I like them. They have been earned.
U.S. Government and Top Mexican Drug Cartel Exposed as Partners:
*Sigh. premise for the next HBO series?
Speaking of HBO crime stories, I have been most impressed by True Detective. Very tightly written so far. And the cast is killing it. More please.
Ok, lets get into the work….
Dream Life pencils | I like making unexpected places pretty.
Right now I’m “penciling” my the final few pages for Dream Life book one. It was supposed to be done a year ago, but last Feb I had some test and found out I’m Diabetic. At the time i said little, I was not sure what it would mean or how it would impact anything other than my penchant for surgery coffee and energy drinks was going to have to come to an end. It runs in the family, so not a total shock. It had me worried for a bit but I responded to meds well, and between diet and an increasing amount of exercise I’ve been doing really well with controlling my levels.
At the time though, I was about to enter crunch time on Dream Life and I realized something I was trying as a short cut for doing the tones wasn’t cutting it and I’d have to do some of them over – and that there were things I wanted to fix with the story that I’d only just noticed in the last round of edits. I only had under 20 pages of 160 left to work on, many mostly done even. But in the time left, and with the news about my health, a hard bird to make it for TCAF 2013 was out. Not unless I wanted to risk some serious health problems. At 42 [now 43] and having dodged a bullet with cancer, I’m not screwing around with that for anything. So I put off Dream Life of a bit while I got other commitments done, and got healthier. And this month I’m wrapping up that last bit of the book finally. I have to say, I do like me some delayed gratification.
One of the bits of new work I’m doing is a scene I’ve had in mind a long time. It’s a long scene that exploits place and a lot of public art to tell a story about a person. Posted to the right here is a page from a scene of PJ walking through the city having just arrived, reconnecting with the town and internally resolving some heavy stuff from earlier in the book. On the left is the bottom later page from the end of the same sequence. I’m working in red felt tip pen here. For pencils I use many different things, whatever my mood calls for. Sometimes it’s even pencil!
This panel background, the one with the trees painted upside down on the overpass structure, is from photo reference I took of public art on the Gardiner Expressway in about 2008 or so. Rodney Graham‘s Tree Portraits wrapped around the pillars beneath the Gardiner Expressway, creating an inverted forest within a concrete jungle. . The last location in this scene is set in a nearby space inspired from some other public art too. Found near the Toronto Music Garden, in the Spadina Quay Wetlands. I changed it to suit the story with PJ, from what looks like a small factory building to a house.
A lot of Dream Life is set is a semi fictional version of Toronto. In that I am basing it on real places but take liberties liberally to suit my storytelling desires. As I was walking the route from my script for this scene, taking location shots for reference. Passing through his inverted forest seemed perfect. it echoes the earlier scene that happens in a forest under trees, and just generally evokes a lot of appropriate things about PJ in this moment. Been looking forward to drawing it since I was there taking the ref shot in 2008. Originally had planed to used it much later in the story. Part that would not fit in this first book. But after realizing I was going to have to break the story up to get it done and publish it, I felt PJ’s narrative was weak as is. So I found a way to bring this forward, and in a way make it far better and more meaningful as well, I hope.
The sudden passing of a kind stranger.
I was going to leave it at that for this post. Plenty NO? And I felt unsure if this was something I had any business posting about here. But then looking over the post not mentioning this in my journal entry from the last two days seemed far to conspicuous.
See the thing is I didn’t really know Debra. From the sounds of it I wish I’d known her better. Only met her a few times in her capacity as a volunteer at events and at Kevin’s shop once I think, or maybe twice. Through the years I’ve gotten to know Kevin Boyd well professionally but didn’t have much knowledge of his personal life. I only recently learned of Debra after he opened his comic shop I think. And probably a lot of what I did know of her came from Facebook. So far I had learned she was involved along with some other mutual friends in Toronto’s comics scene, as a lawyer, volunteer, and shutter bug. And one of the core founders of a regular saturday night ladies night at the lounge. Always active it seems, she posted a reminder for their gathering saturday, and then took a nap and never woke up.
It was almost totally random seeming. Young and very vial person many people I know knew suddenly was no longer there. Word today was SUDEP, Sudden Unexpected Death in Epilepsy. I’m informed by Kevin that no one really knows what it is, what happens. Just that it does. 50.000 times a year on average! I had no idea.
As the publisher for Sequential I posted her death notice for our site and asked a friend of hers, Rachel Richey who recently joined the team to pen a personal remembrance we’ll be putting up in a day or so. The shock-wave of regret and condolences after Kevin posted of her death on Facebook January 26th has been a little epic. The impact of her enthusiasm disposition and volunteering extended well outside of the Toronto Comics scene, online and via all those who had met her at events.
Reading some of my other friends and Kevin’s laments of her sudden passing, It’s certainly made me ponder mortality and life more than a few times over the last two days, and think I missed something not having spent more time around her.
An official final posting was put up on her profile, it read…
Debra Jane Shelly, aged 39 (April 23, 1974-January 25, 2014)
Our precious Debra passed peacefully in her sleep on Saturday afternoon from an epileptic seizure. Debbie will be forever remembered as a genuine and kind soul with unparalleled wit and a spectacular smile. She was the adored daughter of Scott and Susan Shelly of Oakville, ON. Debra was the loving partner of Kevin A. Boyd. She was the world’s most cherished older sister to Karrie Shelly Singer (Dave), Cristie Shelly Schultz (Mark) and Greg Shelly (Laura Waters). Debbie was a doting aunt to Caleb, Noah, Liam, Ana, Sidney, Kaitlyn, Michael and Lauren. We will miss her dearly….
[redacted ceremony info as i don’t think it’s really for the public as much]
Debbie was a ray of light in all of our lives- please feel free to come dressed in your most cheerful colors in tribute to our sunny girl. In lieu of flowers, donations are appreciated to Epilepsy Toronto in Debbie’s honor here.
Vol three of the series will feature my first autobio work, and Dracula Son of the Dragon with Mark Sable!
So right this second I’m constructively procrastinating a bit before starting in on the last 6 pages of Dream Life. Check out some glimpses of that on Instagram here. The FB page could use more likes too. The last six are a final, all new scene I decided to add after a proofing of the book. And then it’s actually done. O_o
Looking ahead there’s going to be a lot I have to do still!
I start a new session of my Dynamic Drawing class as well, teaching once a week. Looking forward to it but an added challenge. Meanwhile I’ve got some back mater to curate and write for the backers edition for the indiegogo drive. Cover for that is already mostly done, and the template for the Launch edition. I’ve also got Revolver vol 3 completed, it’s going through final proofing and edits. I think I may rewrite the forward once again. But a lot of stuff is getting, done. It’s a nice big pile. Scary too sometimes.
The plan is to have them all printed and present at TCAF. A launch proper for Dream Life my latest graphic novel, along with a full suite of self published Salgood Sam, with Revolver one to three. Financing all that, definitely a challenge on the current income. Scratch that, probably not on.
I’m thinking I’m going to try the killer app that is a kickstarter style drive as pre-sale and focus point of a big promotional effort to get word out about the books. Have some number crunching to do and a lot of planning. Some quality time with a calendar too. Probably have to do it in two months time latest! So while getting the packaging wrapped up and teaching! Hah. Ok, this will be fun. Hey anyone tells you self publishing is no trouble…punch them.
No not really, i’m not into violence. But kinda…
So no call to action for that just yet, but expect one. In the mean time, I would like to encourage to you pick up the first two Revolvers. And now to show off a little of the art from both Dream Life, and Revolver Three. Please share this with people, help raise the flag?
Dream Life has been a really,
really long running labour of love.
The story of five friends. Dreams, drugs, & denial all failing to weather the arc of life unscathed. Each coming to terms with lives peter panned, and in danger of going off the rails.
It’s received some recognition as a web comic, and support from both grants and crowdfunding! Damn I feel like I really milked a luck goat on this one. It is in fact, not even the whole book I had in mind. So I really hope people like it, so I can make the second half, or two-thirds almost I suspect! That would be wonderful.
The Launch edition will be a 161 pages of story, B&W, 8″x10″ trade paperback. My longest work to date, and most significant solo effort. Not necessarily important to anyone else but me, but I’m pretty pleased with that. :)
This spread comes from a scene in the later half I really like. It’s a work of contemporary fiction, with healthy doses of magic realism, & influenced by cinematic neorealism. There’s a Pulp Fiction inspired subplot, and several interwoven storylines. I hope it to be an engrossing and lush reading experience.
I’m so glad I drew Rob Ford into this shot a year ago or so, very fitting.
Revolver is an ongoing personal anthology series. I’m currently offering it in both print and digital modes from my site here. The first two issues are already live, and the third as I said is in the can.
So far Revolver has been a critical success, but slow seller, in part because there is only one me and I still have to spend most of my time drawing. Not to beat a dead horse but that’s something you could help with big time! Find me on twitter here, and RT about the books!
Revolver Three is going to be an exciting one for me, as it contains two all new stories, drawn mostly in just the last half a year.
I’m starting a new series of short works to collect, caled A Bastard’s Tale. Here on the left is a page from that. They run together but are meant to work as short stories too. Tailored to the anthology series format. It’s a memoir, about my father Lionel, and growing up in a counter culture.
My first attempt at something this intensely personal, and frankly scares the shit out of me eh? Hah. But I feel like having thought about it for a long time, I’ve finally found a way into how I would enjoy sharing some aspects of that story. I was thinking of it at first as JUST a book just about Lionel, my father. But I realized in the end my way into that story was via my POV, so that would be an honest way to do it and it provided me with a good starting point finally. Often a big hurdle, that first step. A Bastard’s Tale is going to be fun as I have a more open pallet in terms boundaries on my drawing styles and techniques.
The bulk of the third vol of Revolver will be given over to something else, completely different…
Dracula Son of the Dragon
In early 2013 Mark Sable and I had a successful Kickstarter to finance the production of the artwork for a new story, Dracula Son of the Dragon. A 60+ page novella, first in a series of 4, that i’m serializing in B&W in Revolver in quarters as I complete it. Part historical fiction, part horror fantasy, chronicling Vlad the Impaler’s transformation into the vampire Dracula.
Revolver Vol Three marks the launch of the series with the first installment. Backers for the Dracula Kickstarter are digital subscribers for the most part, who get an early bird link for their digital subscriptions. So i’m really keen for them to all get their first look at what their support helped get done. That’s 300+ subscribers already! The final colour printed collection of Dracula Son of the Dragon is going to be late, but at least it will appear in some form at TCAF 2014 in Revolver three!
While the two projects are very different, there is also an interesting synergy between the these installments of both, featuring a young boys relationship with his father. Unplanned but cool. There’s also an assortment of pin ups and comic jams again, I really tried to curate an enjoyable reading experience. I want Revolver to be the best of me. Something I can hold up with unqualified pride of craft.
I included an informal query about the digital subscription when we started collecting info from backers, and so far i’m very pleased with the number of thumbs up! So thanks for that, and your amazing support!
So that’s what’s up with my comics and stuff! A lot eh? Tell me about it. And tell your friends too OK?
Like Dracula and Dream Life on Facebook, buy a digital or print copy of Revolver, and then review it!
Read the first 100+ page preview of Dream Life and then share it with your friends, with word of it’s pending release! I can’t do this stuff for long without you, the readers.
Thanks and cheers!
I’ll try to post more often.
The RSA animates helped to popularize this style of presentation, I’ve just started experimenting with the approach and enjoy it quite a bit.
It’s ideal for communicating ideas clearly for just about any client, and viewers seem to enjoy watching cartoon art drawn on camera even just for its own sake!
I can provide full services from development of the script to final posting and hosting on Youtube or other video sites.
Contact me about rates for your next viral video project.
Music is “Instrumental“, by Sinphonic from Man Vs Himself 
Used with thanks to the talented George Westerholm and co.
Very soon i’ll be announcing
a kickstarter campaign for an upcoming project!
One of the fun aspects of it for me will be designing the hand made limited editions of the books, working with a couple of local artisan binders, Soundless Soliloquy and No Bar Code Press.
So far the broad strokes of the packaging are roughed out. Dimensions page count and cover materials. But I still have a lot of the details to handle.
I also have to come up with the packaging of Dream Life backers of my indiegogo campaign will get to very soon. That one is a trade paperback but I want to make it something visually fun and special. Pretty much have it done in my head but there are always things that come up in execution.
All this came to mind when some friends posted the following set of playful book designs on FB.
More about packaging than binding mind you, they are each a kind of absurdist literal take on the stories they wrap. The oldest is a very rare asbestos bound first edition of Stephen King’s Firestarter. Published by Phantasia Press in 1980 it originally sold for $300 each. 25 of 26 copies exist, with one ironically being lost in a fire. Recently one went on the market for $18,000! It’s quite handsome, and probably safe but still i’d probably keep it bagged just to be sure.
Equally playful and clever is this upcoming edition of 1984 from penguin, with a cover design by David Pearson. The title and author’s name are redacted with black foil!
You can still make them out, so the cover is practical as well. Making it function in a commercial context and I suspect will lead browsers even take closer notice in the effort to make out what it says. Not just being an illustration of the subject the story it contains, as a curiosity I think it’s the kind of functional design that scares the money often, but like a whisper entices you to lean in closer for a better look. Congratulations to David for being able to get that one through. It’s the kind of design that you would probably not want on a new book trying to make a mark. But for a classic like 1984, having this version is worth the bragging points probably of getting a new copy.
And the perfect book end to the asbestos bound King book, is this copy of Ray Bradbury’s Fahrenheit 451, with striking paper along its spine and its own match! Kind of asking for it but all the same, witty. From what I can tell this one is just a concept design done by Elizabeth Perez for The Austin Creative Department. But I bet it would sell as a limited run collector’s edition if they took it to market.
All three are fun incarnations of the same kind of design principles. The sort I had planned to apply to the next book. Dracula: son of the dragon.
Thanks to Zack Smith, Vinnie Bartilucci & Hans Curtis for posting these on FB and making me aware of them.
[PreS: sorry you early birds if you got surprised by the auto-play, fixed now.]
Hah, that would be just my luck, as i’m finally getting half a hang of promoting myself publishing ventures at something approaching the pace it seems to take to get anyone to take your seriously online or noticed in the torrents of updates, the game would go and change from under my feet.
Being buddhistly inclined I liked a lot of what he had to say about applying mindfulness to your work in the digital sphere. I do try to do just that as much as my mind will allow. Also think I spotted some impracticalities too. Share Jim’s concern about the narrowing of focus and echo chamber effect [something he mentioned in passing in the interview].
We will see. Agree enthusiastically with the sentiment of it, as a card carrying member of the old slow action movement I’d far rather quality of interactions trump update cycles.
Over time I do think they count more. But when you’re still one of many, and growing numbers of creators trying to raise awareness of our work, and have as eclectic a reader base it seems I have, I’m not sure how much liberty I have to choose to overly narrow band broadcast. I feel like on the edges of your media domain you need to have fairly fast moving streams to match the pace of the rest of the web, to draw in readers to your core presentation. I don’t post on the blog here rapidly. No way I could keep up with a even once daily rate that Warren thinks of as a lower gear, while maintaining a good level of quality of content, and keep on top of my artwork. Beyond the usual challenges of content creation being dyslexic makes the process of writing and proofing laborious.
But Facebook, my pages, and twitter, G+ to a degree too, I can post small bits of thought or just promote other people’s stuff – something I agree with Dean Haspiel about being a important and valuable role to play, not just as being a community builder but also being someone anyone cares to pay attention too as well. Rather than someone who only talks about themselves?
I suspect some aspects of the slow web Warren and Jeffrey talk about is in part the privileged cruising gear of those who’ve established themselves. For those that describes It makes a lot of sense to economize your efforts.
At this point I follow the feed-back, post more where I find I get responses and less where I don’t.
Never was all in for twitter, it’s always been a semi-automated branch of my blogs. Don’t have a phone attached to my hip so it was never practical for me and too much of a distraction from the drawing table.
For the moment I get far more attention to my work on Facebook than anywhere else. My computer is seldom far from me so when I brake to pace around, grab a coffee, or set up a show to half watch, I often check in and poke around, like or share something, post a bit of work i’m in the midst of.
I tried promoting a couple of posts on Facebook recently connected with RevolveЯ. They got a lot more views but I remain unconvinced if it helped all that much. I did notice that you have to watch it with that, need to look closely at how the options are laid out for you when you set up a promoted post. Seems like a default was to keep promoting and charging after the budget I had set was spent. Not sure what to make of that but I was not pleased to find I was getting charged again without first being asked. As is too often the case it feels like communicating is not FBs strong suit. Incidentally it’s been amusing to watch as twice as many people who’ve added me as a contact in the past 6 months, did so in the last week on Flickr post instagram TOS fiasco. All good, welcome to all. I was never on instagram so works for me.
Speaking of attention…
Having a hard time getting some key comics news sites to pick up my press for RevolveЯ. Others have, but a few of the key players are being tough nuts to crack. Another round of press needs to be done, hoping I can get more traction in the new year. Wondering if I rubbed some the wrong way along the line or something? For sure not really being part of the convention circuit has not helped. Last show I did was TCAF, and that just as a civilian. Ran into one former editor I once worked with who now blogs, it was kind of awkward, as is to happen at these hectic things, but has not replied to an email since?
Be nice to go to more shows and have more fluid relations with the comics diaspora at large, have a chance to build solid friendships in person. But my lack of funds aside, when am I supposed to make time for that and still draw my books, and do all the other shit we have to do ourselves these days eh? Would love to, but we have to have a successful book first. For that we need the book we have to get coverage so people know it’s there to order or buy. A dog and tail game.
Best is if the word gets out more virally, and becomes something the diaspora can’t ignore. If you’re reading this, do us a favor and check out the book if you have not already, mention it to a few someones, share it blog it and if you’d like to review it contact me about that, be glad to oblige. I have lots of visitors and followers these days but outside a core group not enough sharing what they find to get that fantastic fractal spreading pattern going yet. Needs more cowbell!
On the other hand and not to seem to only gripe, I have had some nice windfalls!
Most recently I managed to get invited onto the CBC show to do some local color run after this great doc, Graphic Chicken Soup for the Graphic Soul, by David Gutnick. Thanks to David and Maria Turner, my boss at carte blache both for putting my name in for that. I’m on with an old acquaintance, Simon Bossé, in a piece called Growing up graphic. Our parents get all the blame.
Making it a more entertaining experience than planned I got nailed by the flu about 6 hours before the interview, vomiting all over the place very suddenly and sending my poor Ange into a cleaning frenzy. Managed to clear out the pipes and get it together to do it all over the phone, thanks to some nice editing, I even sound totally coherent.
Growing up graphic: CINQ A SIX | Dec 22, 2012 | 10:36 © CBC 2012
So that’s me for the year probably. Couple more retailers on board and some new distribution channels about to come online for RevolveЯ. I’m running behind on RevolveЯ Two right now due to last minute editorial decisions on my part, and the feeling like the slow moving soft launch is progressing well, but has not reached the sweet spot for the next Minimum Effective Dose. The next book dropping and it’s associated press releases, to help crank the series forward. Taking the time to color a story and add another to make it all that much cooler, less ignorable, and put it out in January instead of this month as I had planned originally.
Keep your eyes open for a kickstarter project from me and Mark Sable too in the new year.
As work on Dream Life book one gets done i’ll be jumping directly onto a story we have planned.
Happy Holiday and a grand old new year all!
Was invited to write up some books for Robot 6’s regular piece, “What Are You Reading?”.
Decided to cover some books by friends that I had just read for awards or had been picking through over the summer. I don’t apologize for being biased.
‘Tale of Sand‘, ‘Suddenly Something Happened‘, & ‘Traumstadtdenken‘.
Multi-award winning Art and Adaptation by Royal Academy heavyweight Ramón Pérez.
Award winning packaging by Eric Skillman.
Ramón’s a friend, and it’s been inspiring to watch him become deservedly highly sought after. It may be laying it on a little thick calling this book one for the ages, but I just did. I will have no choice but to cop to being bias. But I’m confident you will agree.
A year or so ago it was while loitering around the Toronto studio he shares with the rest of the Academy gang that I first saw pages from this rather brazenly epic realization of a reputedly esoteric rich early script, by one of my all time heroes. The Muppet Man. Mr Fraggle. When he said what the spreads he was inking were for, I think I cursed under my breath for an extended period.
You could already see this was a gorgeous project. Leaning over Ramón’s shoulder when he’s working tends to be routinely rewarding, but all the more so in this case.
Reading the book myself this summer finally was an almost-unadulterated pleasure. I was initially thrown by the strange lettering phenomenon associated with old Melrose Mernly [his friends call him Sven]. But after it reoccurred a couple of times I got it, and recognized it for the bit of fun inventive surrealism it is, an echo of Henson’s own penchant for psychedelic audio phenomenon.
This book is filled with playful formalistic inventions that for me put it on par with Asterios Polyp and the like. I think many are fairly novel, but despite and often because of it, all still a fabulously smoothly reading, rolling, kinetic comic.
A race meant to take 10 minutes to Eagle Mountain takes a wrong turn into a maylay of chaos.
The large wordless sections can be pored over, but I encourage you to read it all at least once, in only the time it takes to get the story point and move on.
The ease at which you can register what has been drawn narrative wise is remarkable. Storytelling as sharp as you will find here, for a story so surreal is an impressive accomplishment. Ramon makes it look easy. I also happen to know it was completed in an impressively short time, too.
This is a jealousy inducing book. His discipline is always impressive, and it’s on full display here. What it brings to a quite recognizably worthy bit of the Henson legacy is worth every cent and minute.
You must read.
by Jimmy Beaulieu.
Translated by Kerryann Cochrane
Jimmy Beaulieu is the founder of Quebec publishing house Mécanique Générale, and an autobiographical cartoonist with a penchant for romantic angst. This was how I first encountered him.
I think it was at a Comic Jam hosted by Rupert Bottenberg, or a BD festival perhaps. He’s an extremely likable geeky guy who loves pop music, pop art and sexy ladies unabashedly. A fastidious editor and designer and easy maker of many friends.
He and a group of said friends were publishing great inventive self-published B&W comics when I first moved to Montreal. Several were even wordless so I could enjoy them without issue. I really loved checking out their latest stuff, and was always frustrated by my hopelessly poor language skills when it came to reading Jimmy’s auto bio work.
BDANG is a sub imprint of Conundrum Press, a small but prolific Canadian publishing house. Under it publisher and author Andy Brown is translating and publishing several French books
In 2010 one of them was the collection and translation of two of Jimmy’s extended works, Quelques Pelures and Le Moral des Troupes [winner of the 2005 Prix de l’Espoir Québécois], They document his life between the late ‘90s and early ‘00s. Additional pages were added to the collection, and Jimmy played with parts of the text of the second part to try to round out the story and smooth out his sophomore spots.
I’ve read it in fits, it’s got scope! Coming in at an impressive 250 pages of comics. It’s hard to read in a sitting, but perfect I think for browsing through on transit or keeping by the throne.
Jimmy adopted early an easy, fast, light-handed style of art, well-suited to a personal journal comic. It evolves visibly over the body of work, going from pleasantly naive to deceptively skillful. He often apologizes for his drawing, but I find it enjoyably expressive and his girls are adorable! Being so often the subject of his attention, this pays off for an appreciative reader. He captures people’s pantomime well. The tones and textures lend themselves to a gauzy soft focused nostalgic story about the coming of age of a shy cartoonist from Quebec City who slowly falls in love with Montreal, and moons over hot cupid-like young mothers and full-figured redheads.
There are many small gems, like one of the short, newer epilogues to act one. An entry titled ‘rocket man’ where Jim shares an internal monologue about waiting for his employer at a book fair in Autumn of 2000. Withdrawing from caffeine and suffering a night of poor sleep, on a day he marks as his 2977th of celibacy! Oh dear. He talks about the city landscape while imagining Mecha Kaiju destroying a Montreal industrial park, then that the underwear models on the billboards are there to distract him from the urban destruction. It’s subtle in execution and quite poignant.
I think one great target audience for this collection would be young adult and romance readers looking for sprawling, ranting, romantic, sometimes silly stories of transplantation. Finding love in lots of the wrong places, but finally one right. Feeling inadequate. Facing death for the first time. Raging over pop culture and ranting about popular culture. And being in love with the making of comics. I also know for a fact at least one American comics editor has confessed to having used this book to seduce a girlfriend.
Jimmy has matured a lot since this early work. You’ll find a lovely recent example of his work in Carré Rouge, a romantic fictional story set around the recent protests in Montreal, published in multiple languages online.
But this early material is still quite charming.
By Rupert Bottenberg
Rupert and I first met at a comics jam in Montreal in the ‘90s when i worked at Marvel and was chafing at constraints. Another cartoonist friend and I were talking during a NY convention, and he gave me a zine of Rupert’s, saying I should meet him. This is also when I first heard about Comic Jams, spectacular incarnations of which Rupert hosted in a svengali fashion at the time.
You may have noticed a trend in my book selections? Yes, well, it’s what I’ve been reading of late. Catching up on the work of many friends.
The title Traumstadtdenken is a German neologism, meaning “Dream-City-Thinking.” A reference to a painting by Paul Klee, “Traumstadt,” that had a significant impact on Rupert.
The book is a collection of comix, drawings and odds ’n’ ends spanning 10 years stitched together with bits of connective symbolically narrative sequences. My one complaint is that the packaging of the book seems to have been been poorly proofed, with the margin’s feeling too close cropped on some pages for my comfort.
It’s informative to know he also paints highly designed abstract art, collects and fabricates pop art sculptures and toys, and recently has been globe-hopping as a founding member of the breakout art collective EN MASSE which i’ve had the honor of being a guest member of.
Whatever he is drawing on–in a comic, on a wall or canvas–his rendering is always superbly skilled and highly graphically attractive. This book is filled with perfect cartoony chiaroscuro pages that often invite you to project your own meaning or interpretations. Rupert has always been a fan of wordless art that can be read by anyone. Several sequences here are examples of that. He provides rich symbolic visuals that suggest lots of ideas, and are just really fun to look at. There is no attempt to present an over-arching story here, page numbers are consciously dropped. There are times where narrative is very strong, a story can be found with ease. Is even clearly intended. But where words appear, it’s usually to cloud the issue and add new silly twists to things.
When I first saw his work I fell in love with his lines. We’ve shared an appreciation for improvisational doodling and abstraction. I hope more people can discover his work as I have. This collection is an excellent place to start.
You should also check out his webcomic with author Claude Lalumière, Lost Myths.
I don’t get asked to do it as often as i like,
so i’m going to talk about book design a bit now and then…
Don’t get me wrong,
I like both of these.
Was going to post about Anti-NMDA receptor encephalitis on my personal Facebook profile this morning, a fascinating and scary recently diagnosed illness. But then noticed this looking up details and thought it a good opportunity to mention something i’ve observed before.
This is a great example of a lack of innovation in book design, and as a designer the value adopting habits to help both your work, and the items you are designing stand out.
So you have two titles, of very similar wording, in this case about two very different things.
One was just released November 13, 2012. One published in 2010. It seems to me a basic best practice would be to research the tittle, and see if something like it exists already, and not repeat any design notes if one does, if you can help it. Make sure one book is distinct from the other with a similar tittle? So, no red band with B&W images for Susannah should have been a no brainer…ahem. Sorry.
I suspect that didn’t happen here. Not identical of course, but so close. A bit too close branding wise and so easy to avoid with a simple google search on the part of whomever was putting the packaging together for Susannah Cahalan’s book.
Given the older book also owns the URL one would likely look up for promoting Susannah’s new book, it’s hard to imagine you would not have seen this coming either, as a publisher or author or someone on the decision making chain. So I have to wonder if it was a case of just not caring. Or maybe they did, and decided to try to get a lift from people looking for a popular self help book? I don’t know but it gives me an excuse to mention; you get a commission to do a cover? Search the title and subject and be aware of what has gone before.
Something to think about the next time you’re asked to work on a job.
Ok, with that, i did just listen to Susannah talk about her ordeal, and it’s fascinating stuff, possibly the origins of many cases believed to have been possession in the past. Listen to her talk about it here and try not to get paranoid the next time your hand feels numb.
Just because a thing has not been explained, does not mean it never will be. As a skeptic that was one of the things I came away thinking about after listening to this. A newly named disease humans have probably suffered from since there were humans, and before most likely. Anti-NMDA receptor encephalitis. In the past too many were probably diagnosed as mad, or possessed. 80+% of known cases have been women, and before 2002 no one new about it at all.
Brain on Fire: My Month of Madness & Brains on Fire: Igniting Powerful, Sustainable, Word of Mouth Movements
http://www.brainsonfirebook.com/ – http://www.susannahcahalan.com/
And last, I like design so much,
I publish my own comic to get an excuse to do it.
Ok, maybe an exaggeration, might be the comics i’m more hyped about.
But it is one of the perks of putting out my own books…
I decided to upgrade
my portfolio plugin
and update the site
There were a few kinks but it’s all good now. It’s sweet.
Tablet users should look for and check out the full-screen option! It’s in the menu.
Used it to curate smaller illustration and design sets,
and added some old monsters I drew for a game.
Also created a proper abbreviated comic art samples page, for clients who don’t want
to wade through the full individual book sets.
Rich Johnston noticed on Bleeding cool that I had this GR2099 story up
at the same time so i’ve been getting a lot of hits from 2099 fans.
So let me point out a few of the other new, old pages of mine I posted.
Along with the unpublished Ghost Rider 2099 stories, “Horrorshow” & “Daddy Dearest“,
there’s an unpublished Ravage 2099 story up, sorry lost the script and the name.
A 10 page Spiderman 2099 story
called “Behind the Eight Ball“, published in Unlimited 2099.
A short Morbius The Living Vampire story
called “Drainage System”
that i’ve had on Flickr
for a while.
And I also have put up my previously unpublished art
from Raven Chronicles 13: Leader of the Pack!
Written by Scott K. Andrews.
My co creator on “Daddy Dearest“.
And last I’ve put up a set of three of the pages
I did for my first tryout for a job at one of the big two,
sample pages on Sandman for Karen Burger.
Zines Zines Zines
Used to make them all the time. Still do now and then. Thought I’d build an online archive of them here. before their was quark or page maker, there was paper. I always made past-up plates to print them from, just like Mr. Marsh taught us at Wexford. So makes it fairly easy to make nice digital masters.
Started this a while back but have to digitize quite a a few of them still.
Will add more to this in the future. But here’s a sketch book zine and a couple of pdf copies of old illustrated Lit zines i published way way back in the day.
A sketchbook journal I kept on a trip to Montreal in 1996. The cover shows one of the first proto-appearances of my pen name. This is a short time after I first worked for Marvel and walked away from it. I was working at Nelvana and trying to work out what sort of comics or whatever i wanted to make, and recovering from a busy summer of breakups. And a lot of people watching. I’ve cut some embarrassing early attempts at writing, but most of it’s there still. The fire damage is intentional. I really liked working with fire. Been awhile since I torched any pages in my sketchbooks but I love the shapes it makes and the smoky pasterns. I’d use it to somewhat spontaneously alter the shape of the image area and improvise with it. Lot more in another big book from around and after that year.
Grab the popular CDisplay reader here for the CBR version.
Also if you just re-write the .cbr for .zip you can pull the jpg files out of the archive.
A lit zine I illustrated, designed and published with my buddy Jonathan Sugarman [J.F.Sugerman].
The PDF of 2 features both the alternate covers for the issue, and the conclusion to J.F.Sugerman’s futurists gonzo dystopian play Drowning.
We published it in two parts. A third issue was in the works, but it never reached fruition.