This episode of the podcast I take a question from Andrew J. Hawthorn, who asked about “Narrative techniques or figurative tricks you can only do in comics?”
Tricky question to answer with JUST words. I’ll give it my best go but for sure this podcast will have a youtube version shortly, with some visual aids. And check out the description texts here for links below. Right off the top, you’ll find page Page 89 of Dream Life, “The roots of violence” on the left, and “A last dinner”, page 68. Both typifying two very different approaches to unconventional page layouts, structurally, and thematically. But each applying the kind of non linear collagen like sequences that do away with conventional panels altogether.
As always, you can become a patron of the arts and subscribe here! Great news, the Patreon campaign has gone over $100 a month! Very encouraging to hit that mark at two months! I’ve just cleaned up the page a bit and set up a custom video playlist of my best stuff for the first page on patreon.
Thanks again to Andrew Walsh & Troy Carlson, my newest patrons, along with Michelle Darwin, Emil Underbjerg, Tim Moerman, Ian Hodgkinson, & Shannon Becker! Plus, two secretive souls who will take no public thanks, but have it most assuredly. Merci beaucoup to you all!
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.
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.
WORKING TOWARDS $1250 MONTHLY.
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 atleast 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
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.
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.
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!
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!
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.
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.
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].
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, mypages, 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!
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.
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.
On Facebook i just had a interaction typical of many online about, and over the IPad. Funny that i’d have an opinion about an IPad given i don’t even use a mac. But I do.
So pardon this wordy ramble.
I’m optimistic. Not converted per say, but i recognize the Ipad’s significance. There’s no denying it presents a viable way out for big segments of the print media. Not to be what they were maybe, but to be something? As a comic artist looking to improve the way i can get my work out there, i see a lot of potential in these things. And from the list of things not allowed…
…well unless i want to make porn i don’t see that affecting me too badly. I don’t really care to make porn no.
I can see how it chafes if you do, but we’re not talking about the entire digital market here. More like one outlet store chain? And I doubt the device is perfect at all. For a breakdown of the IPads flaws far more informed than i could offer, i like the thoroughness of Cory’s at boingboing – and he links to some others worth looking at as well.
Many users are going to love it just the same – but if you’re root, a creator or maker, you’re going to want more. I do.
Those with the spare $ for a IPad as a casual device will get one anyway – heck the thing can last 10+ hours on a charge and do VIOP, kicks my old N800 all to hell and that was pretty nice. If i have the spare change in the future i’m there. But it’s not going to work for everyone all the time. And i don’t think that’s their idea. That might be what YOU wanted, but not Steve. Xeni Jardin’s first blush reaction to it shows how something like this was always a great idea with a waiting and ready market. It’s clear this thing is a Win for them, and i think for me too as a comic artist and illustrator. And I think it’s going to be a perfect brick for wedging the door open on digital media devices with the same kind of practical form factor.
A market leader, a trend setter, but the long run owner of the game?
Someone finally getting the hardware this right though, is going to make the future brighter for this kind of machine. And that’s going to make any free market or speech concerns mute as more and more of these devices come into play. Eventually someone has always matched a mac with an open platform if not in market shares. It’s only a mater of time.
If you really want to push the issue of market or speech, then do it in the community and the court, and even use the device to make a statement. But don’t expect a device and it’s support infrastructure to be the root of liberalizing culture. People do that, not machines. If i draw an X rated comic in print today, i have to deal with the same things app makers are, in brick and mortar retailers all the time. And customs! I don’t hear extreme examples in the stories about Apple’s shop and if that’s all i had to contend with, i think it’s quite possible to manage a new booming market for magazines and comics there. Not saying don’t critique Steve, he does read Penthouse it seems. But lets keep it in perspective?
I don’t want shops to stop being able to have a say about what they sell on their own shelves for the sake of free speech, be they made of mater or pixels. That’s just trading intolerances.
Not even a question of capitalism to me. The change that means anything, is that of the cultural standards that inform the consumers who influence retailers.
The best way there is not in their face, but through the back door, via content they will listen to.
So i think the IStore is overblown as a censorship threat – They just reflect the middle moral ground of the american market – There lays the problem, not at apple.
And really I don’t expect to see vibrators and blow up dolls at Toys’R’us either. Or less extreme – a larger mens section in a women’s clothing store. Not going to happen is it? It’s not practical.
Apple may be chasing the largest market there is, but it’s not the whole market is it? And so? Just leaves what, 90% of what dominates the internet open to being exploited still? This is bad how? For who? And that i can go somewhere digitally and not have to wade through stuff like this? I like brick in mortar shops like that i have to say. Bit less crass is not always so bad you know. Not my favorite part of the internet exactly. Not the worst, but hey.
Hardware wise, i think the Ipad is a case of low hanging fruit, and they were able to pick it first with the usual apple flair. The touch screen tech and limitations in thinking regarding interface were holding tablets back the last 10 years – geeks loved keyboards, Gates only just flipped on the question – but since before Star Trek sleek slate computers have always been a dream desire. And because of that this has been one of the more thoroughly explored format ideas. We’ve had our model T and a few more since. The larger hybrid tablet laptops and IPhone have both explored the possibilities here more than tentatively. So while the reality of it may be a little mind blowing, it’s not quite something all together new.
The control Apple exerts over it is pretty fragile too. More of an evelitonay influence than a regime. The Iphone OS being the system means not just a built in sweet of apps from the smaller cousins ready to go out of the gates.
More than a few companies are cracking the technical problems of battery life, leaner OS’s, and touch based interfaces with different approaches. Others with less interest in tightly controlling content, or even having a ‘store’ will be the rest of the market in the long run – Apple itself is bound to come up with a souped up pad running OS X, the HP Slate specs and price point almost guaranties it. Why leave that part of their less casual market completely unexplored?
The IPad looks to me like a fantastic dynamic proof of concept you can own today – sounds like a sales pitch don’t it?
But i have to roll my eye’s when the drama gets overplayed. Some rather intense arguing going on about it from what I’ve seen. From the Coming of the Tablet to dark talk of Fascism and Monopoly, like they have already cornered and own the market or something? The market is still just being invented here – I think they are still just one player with fairly modest goals in terms of what they want this device and it’s a 1.0 for them.
It’s a cheep stripped down version of what’s to come, that has a pretty secure income stream built in – and that IS something people have been wanting. It looks like it does what it said it would do really really well. Most people will be able to afford to take one for granted.
But i’d put money on Cory being right. That the real fun is going to be the open format versions of what follows. Where we will really see what tablets can do. Simply because that is where the experimentation is naturally going to be.
That the IPad is such a ‘perfect’ performing little bastard will make the game all the more fun. Like the left needed Bush, geeks need IBM and Apple’s to retaliate and one-up against. Working so well, the first thing hardcore users will see are all the things it might do, once cracked. :)
Apple will likely continue to be good at offering luxury goods to people who don’t really care much about or want to know how it operates unless that = simply. I’m not being condescending, many believe in and pursue push button convenience and the freedom to conform. I don’t think it’s that they are incapable of more. No. Being lazy is a state of mind, not of nature. I’ve been lazy and so have you. Question is just how lazy and when. And then Apple has you covered in the modernist clean inoffensive style of the minimal. The slickest of cutting edge recycled electronic goods. For now, for that game – they are the Kings of it – all hail apple.
Whatever, I converted to a home built PC in the 90’s and never looked back yet. :P
But as a content provider, when it comes to a broadly commercially viable comics market, taking root ‘online’ POST collector era that will support a salary? In a post pirate bay world? it’s a good platform to start with i’m going to bet.
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So I just want to say, when we depicted the end times in Therefore Repent, i didn’t mean to say i belive in it! Nooooo, not even a little. We were taking the piss. But these crazy guys!! Fuck!!! Holy crap, you can’t write it this bad. Check out the patch. Man.
But they could not outrun Rachel Maddow. Nice. If there were a god that would mean he watches her.
Good old Michigan. Don’t you guys play in our rain dear games. Not unless you got some antlers.
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Found this on you tube about a project by a local artist i know. Emily Rose Michaud & company built it in the winter. Miss Janet made this excellent 6 min doc about the day Emily and a team of volunteers set it up together over the course of one very cold day. The Garden lived on, you can keep up with their progress here. It’s pretty damn cool.
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Been taking it easy but for me that still means making art most of the time. Made first dent in the rock that is the next project, feeling pretty good about that. So, This is PG 1 of my next book.
This is full bleed art, the book will be 8.5″x10″, i think B&W. It was done with Pebeo encre de chine ink, Pelikan White Gouache, and a cheep #2 brush. Kind of sick of pens for a bit right now – what i used mostly to draw the last 154 pages of art. This is slow, but it’s were im at right now so…
I was inspired for the this sequence in the book by two sets of photos, one recent pictures taken of the sun, the other of deep sea life around volcanic vents. The set will run for 4 pages contrasting the two settings then move into a dream sequence.
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Radical Transparency has been one of those ideas that’s wandered about in the back of my head for a long time, and i remain pretty conflicted about the idea.
On one hand I have lived a portion of my life online for going on 14 yrs now.
Computer camp to Bulletin boards to email to the web I was not much more than a dabbler till around 99, but from then on it’s been a significant part of my carrier as a artist to use this forum as the primary way of getting my work out into the world.
In part it’s also why I’ve had a not so secret identity – a bit of a joke with myself and a bit of a shield for the ego to make dealing with the ups and downs of self-promoting a bit more manageable.
I’ve fumbled around the balance of public and privet and tend it seems to favour privacy in my own life.
At first this was a consequence of minimizing my self-conscious embarrassment over the obvious side effects of being dyslexic – even with the red lines, revealed & reviled still look at times the same to me.
But over time I’ve also had to discover where my comfort zone for being any kind of public personality lay.
I’ve had missteps and resolved a lot of questions for myself about this, and it remains an issue that captures my wandering attentions frequently.
I’ve also watched as people around me have revealed themselves via the net, to varying degrees, with all kinds of unexpected and not always good consequences.
Objectively – and there fore abstractly – I have come to prefer the ideal of Radical Transparency in our civic lives without question.
From Nature Fourth round of IPCC pins down blame for global warming
In what may be the most eagerly awaited weather forecast of all time, the International Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) today released its most recent assessment of the state of climate change around the world.
The report, a consensus document put together by 600 scientists and agreed by representatives of 113 countries, predicts continued warming of 0.2 ℃ per decade for the coming few decades.
Over the twenty-first century it predicts a range of 1.1-2.9 ℃ warming in a scenario with low emissions of greenhouse gases, and 2.4-6.4 ℃ in a high-emissions scenario. The warming is expected to be greatest over land and in the north, and the chance of heat-waves increasing in frequency is greater than 90%.
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Actually I would not be surprised if Clive will talk to Warren for a piece like this if he gets onto the ways cyber punk fiction has forecasted these trends and clashes between secrecy and freedom of information on the net.