This is the fifth episode of my regular podcast project. The plan is to keep them short, and topics will be partly whatever i’m thinking about, partly requests from listeners. Mostly about making and reading comics for now but not exclusively.
Music in opening is a mix up of Nasa Space sounds, over Sadoceanspacebear. A bit of Diggin’ On Comix by Dr. John closes out the show. Performed by Mac Rebenault, Richard Crooks, Wilbur Bascomb and Steve Burgin
I had a chat with a fellow cartoonist on NYE, thought i’d do a short distillation of some of my thoughts from that here.
Also welcome and thanks to my newest Patron, an old friend, Tim Moerman! :D Tim and I go way back to the old days of The Monthly Montreal Comix Jam!
Thanks again to all my patrons, get a few more notes and check out the patreon here!
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.
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!
The main piece is on the inside of the main work area, the lobby is on the other side of it, with entrances on each end.
From the POV of the main wall, THIS is the right entrance wing to main wall. Very cool.
The staff seemed to enjoy the show as well. kept to themselves a fair bit, but clearly pretty excited by it. Folks taking their bike in to the room they have set aside for them will see this first thing every morning. — with Rupert Bottenberg, Raphaele Bard, Tyler K. Rauman and Mc Baldassari.
From the POV of the main wall, THIS is the left entrance wing to main wall. I did my version of old school Guilala coming in the door. Was my first bit of graph, as the others called it I think. Gave him Gigan mandibles, because.
From what I saw most people who don't bike or work in the front offices, will see this when they show up for work. — with Rupert Bottenberg and Tyler K. Rauman.
Media center wall. Vegetable head fueled workers have their tentacles in all the things.... — with Raphaele Bard, Tyler K. Rauman and Mc Baldassari.
And back in the Ad dept wall we left a cyber wolf hunting rabbits.. — with Rupert Bottenberg, Raphaele Bard and Mc Baldassari.
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.
UPDATE: I have my table number now, I’m going to be at booth 2738! And look for the school I teach Dynamic Drawing at, Syn Studio, at table 2629 in Artist Alley. The floor plan is here on the Con’s site, and posted bellow is one with our spots highlighted!
Good news for Dream Life, we moved a nice chunk of books at the show in Toronto, including adding three new retailers to our distribution efforts! Hope to match that in Montreal at least in part. I have some home court advantage maybe, so that might help? Any rate, It’ll be primarily Dream Life, and prints on hand. Thinking about making some coupon code/gift cards for my digital comics? We’ll see if i can spare it the brain cells in the next few days.
If you want to buy some art from me, check out this page and order in advance, to pick up from me at the show? I’ll have some art there as well for sale. And if you’d like to pre-order a copy of my book to pick up at the show, buy it via this link and in the special instruction, mention you’ll be at the show, between now and the 12th, and i’ll make sure to have one ready for you there! I’ll be doing personalized portraits in the copies at request.
I’ll be up for doing commissions too, if you’d like to reserve one in advance the limit will be 4 done before the show! Contact me about the details.
I mentioned that I was able to utilize the closing hours of FanExpo, to present Dream Life to a few retailers in the Toronto area and persuade them to stock a hand full of copies of the first [Launch] editions! Here’s the list of my new good friends. :) Thanks for taking a chance on my book guys!
The venerable and recently reborn Silver Snail! Had a nice brief face to face with George about doing things in store in the near future. This would be fantastic. And with the copies he took from me that means i’m stocked at both stores now, assuming Ottawa still has one left.
The guys at Gotham Central in Mississauga seem really enthusiastic about supporting Canadian creators! Got a lot of interests I intend to follow up talking with them about, and they took 4 copies from me for their shelves.
For independent distribution, via a one man operation done when I have time over the summer, so too bad! A solid start anyway, in a long game.
So, i’ll see you at the Montreal Comic Con? Watch my twitter for the announcement of my table number, and i’ll be around the Syn Studio table as well at some point, and they will know where to find me too.
Steven Gilbert with his personalized copy of my book! Thanks Steven!
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.
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…”
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!
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! :)
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 Revolverone 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.
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?
So I’m most faltered and glad to read this paragraph. Making sure the books hold together well as a whole is a priority for me so glad to hear it reads that way.
Though muted and limited in palette, the art demonstrates a level of skill many comic artists can only aspire to. Perspectives are juxtaposed Escher-like adding to the alter-reality quality of each individual story as well as the collection generally. Revolver One feels like a cohesive whole.
Thank you very kindly. It’s funny also to me to realize that at 42 now, when I drew those I was thinking about men my current age often.
“The fictions unfold surreally. “Each day he awakes to another dream-like day,” reveals the narrator of “Pin City”. But these are not dreams of optimism; there is little joy to be found either in the text or the art work. What these stories do offer, however, is a looking glass to contemporary North American society where predominantly men above a certain age are caught up in a kind of hinterland between what they imagine life should offer and what the reality of their existence is.”
Yep that’s a pretty strong theme in that collection. I’d like to think that it can be read even more broadly. Not just about men. But that’s certainly true about most of them. I always saw Helpless as being more about the narrators life but the elderly man in that story is quite central. Misplaced was also co authored with the same writer and we reveled in making the child gender ambiguous and watching to see how the bias falls out. But regardless of that aspect universally I’d agree expectations and anxieties and displacement are the crux of those stories, one of the things I wanted to try to talk about. Nice to see it coming out on the other end. I’m still surprised as the first time the lack of Joy is such a strong impression. She’s not the first to note that. But then I suppose this might be a question of perspective? Hmm, wonder what that says about mine eh? Well we’ll have to make sure there’s some fun stuff in future issues, just not to be totally depressing! I think Misplaced and Wildthings are pretty upbeat though. But check this bit out…
One feature of the layout that really surprised and delighted me, as a reader and aspiring comic artist, is Douglas’ use of tangents to create intense dialogue between the external landscape of the city and the inner or psychological landscape of the protagonist.
What Revolver One demonstrates is that there’s more than one way of looking at something. We can observe society from a distance, objectively, but unless we put ourselves in the position of the protagonist in any of these fictions, we may end up trapped in not so much a dream world as a reality behind glass, unable to escape.
I have a authors profile on good reads here, if you add me there i’ll send you a discount code for my digital books!
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.
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.
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.
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.
By Jim Munroe and Salgood Sam,
Idea & Design Works Llc/NMK list price: $14.99
This post-Rapture graphic novel would make an excellent stocking stuffer for your favorite disturbed teen, along with black lipstick and a wee nipple ring. Lovebirds Mummy and Raven negotiate the ins and outs of a creepy apocalyptic world in which dogs talk and demonic mutations abound. You might have to don an unattractive bird mask as a reminder of what happened to you during the Rapture. Warning: the feminist figure Lilith takes a hit, as do lesbians, angels and former presidents, but this action-packed narrative is sure to entertain any youth who wears a trench coat to school. Sam Salgood’s imaginative art puts an edgy twist on this world of disaffected youth.
I don’t want to give away too much for those who have not read the book, but do want to comment on this – “Warning: the feminist figure Lilith takes a hit, as do lesbians, angels and former presidents, ” Takes a hit? We didn’t favour anyone as good or bad by secondary traits, but lesbians are not as a group “hit”, and Lilith is more of an amoral anti-not sure what you’d call her-Oz? Not specifically a “feminist figure” in the imagining. Empowered hot witch or something like that yes but…we’re kind of on her side, even if she does scare the crap out of us!:D
The idea for us was to make a counter point book to the B&W moralities of the Left Behind series, and also just liked the idea of treating the Rapture as a Sci-fi genre.
I should also mention, there’s a sequel! ‘Sword of My Mouth’. Jim worked with my friend Shannon Gerard on that, came out last year. Also a good book to get you through the Tribulations. :D
SA: Do you think the future of comics lies in digital media? SS: I don’t think it’s the whole future, but I do think it’s a big part of it. The internet proper is a great entry point for new talent to stretch their legs, get feed back, and learn if they care to. And for more experienced creators it’s a good place to prove something publishers are normally wary of taking a risk on, like unconventional and maybe demanding approaches to pacing and plot. And building an initial interest in a project.
Also, I’ve solely promoted my work online as a comic artist and illustrator, since 1998 or so. And I’d say about 80% of my income has come from inquiries via that.
Then with the new incoming ‘App’ market we have something that may well offer a viable alternative to periodicals, and the problems of overhead and distribution the direct market is struggling with. It’s got a built in monetary stream so that solves that issue, and the new tablets, e-readers and net-books offer an increasingly comfortable reading form factor. Too early to say anything definitive about it but it’s looking pretty viable. Any problems with it I see are more questions of execution and problem solving, than innate obstacles. —>
And as editor at carte blanche I have a shop talk blog post today, catching non-comics readers up with the evolution of the medium over the last 10 years, and adressing the nomenclature of comics, sequential art, graphic novels and graphic fiction.
What I still think of as comics has been going through a time of great change and growth.
When I decided to dedicate most of my time to making them in high school, it was in part because I was being kicked out, and comics were something you didn’t need a degree in. In truth, there were no degrees to be had in comics. If you wanted to learn more about the medium, you studied art, writing, and film, and extrapolated from these different media. If you achieved a professional level of skill there was little worry about competition; I landed my first paying jobs at Marvel after just one serious attempt to get work in the early 1990s.
While I was developing my own skills out on the edges of the scene in the late 1980s, the then lone journal of comics, inventively titled The Comics Journal, called for our bastard medium to be taken seriously by critics, and urged creators to take what they did seriously in order to bring the standards of their work up to where they might merit that attention. —>
To answer one critique/question, “Sometimes, though, his focus on the imagery can be detrimental. I felt key details (like character names) were unnecessarily banished to the margins of the blog post. Shouldn’t this information be incorporated in the comic somehow?” – Yes, it just has not happened yet.
This is a totally fair point. As a web comic with one page a week going up, the pacing is slow enough i felt it was a good idea to add some notes. But the story was plotted for a book, where you would get to later pages where people address each other by name in a natural context as fast as you feel inclined to read the pages. It crossed my mind this could be a problem online, but I didn’t want to add cheats to the art itself, hence the notes.
I’d also say it’s actually a very story intense comic but the way i’m building it up, and with what has been posted so far, i can totally see how it would seem the story is secondary at this stage. Hopefully El Santo stays tuned long enough to see it come together. Muchas gracias for the attention Señor!
For some great tips on where to find the best comics on the web go check out his site.
This is the first of a two parter, Kevin tells me the second will go up in the new year. In this part we covered mostly stuff i’m working on now, Dream Life, the rise and fall of it all, etc. We had a rambling talk via google chat, hoping some of the other stuff gets used in part two in the new year….
KD: Dream Life deals extensively with realms of the subconscious, a fact that is reflected in your fluid, shifting, often surreal approach to its art. Where did you pick up this interest in exploring the latent and manifest elements of the human psyche?
SS: It probably had something to do with my upbringing. Carl Jung was a huge interest of my father’s, and to quote one source, he was a ‘legendary acid dealer’, so the whole ‘consciousness-twisting’ thing was a pretty big part of my landscape growing up. My father died when I was really young, and there’s a whole host of ideas that he was really into that I was sort of indoctrinated in before having a chance to be conscious of that. Later in life when I started reading up on this stuff myself, it was kind of weird recognizing the stuff I read from my Dad talking about it when I was a kid.
Dream life continues afoot. Or no, it’s in the air. well, whatever, :)
There was a rewarding surge in traffic when the latest page dropped. Need to get the last few dream sequence pages uploaded tonight. I posted a clip of script that was cut out along with page 16 today.
Just completed a total renovation and conversion of Sequential to a word press site. Came out well i think. Lot of new functions possible now, Bryan Dave and I have been throwing round a lot of ideas. Need to catch up with TCAF things but so far everything seems to be coming together.
This is the Atom feed for my work diary. This feed is published from my web site at www.salgoodsam.com
Not as cool: IDW strangely sent out a horrible pdf to use for the preview! Huh? Rats, they make my hand lettered text look like MUD! Mentioned this to the PR folks at IDW when i saw the pdf myself but….hmmmm…hurrrm…hum.
Well, not to gripe to much or look the gift horse in the tonsils, here’s the preview page, but read the one’s i posted here below, ok? Images link to lage files on flickr that will open in a new window. Also you can use this full screen slide show, which includes all the other art I’ve posted from the book so far. These versions of the pages are from before final proof readings so some typo’s may be included.
There was an awful truck accident and problems with customs that’s resulting in delays in shipping, but it is on it’s way. Ask you’re local Brick and Mortar shop about it, or order online.
My story “Honolulu Lorie’s” was suposed to be in #3 but along with a whole lot of stuff got bumped back to 4 when they realized they had over sold the seats. Some awkward moments there when i found out and i’ve been sitting on my hands till now to make sure it was for sure going to be in this one – “cut due to too much goodness” is generally not quite the message editors probably want to send if you like a story. But bygones, all’s good now, and i’m excited to see how my baby looks in print and the company it’ll be keeping. The Popgun series is damn impressive, very proud to have something in one now.
If you liked that proses post by Ben you’ll maybe want to look at this Flickr set for Lorie’s, documenting the creation of the art for the story. The script was first written in a bar years ago in the mid 90’s on a napkin hanging out with some drunken scumbags and dear friends. Funny because i don’t drink but they could never tell they say.
Sadly i can’t get to LA for the launch party at Meltdown, but if you’re in the area you can keep up with the news about that probably here on DJ’s site.
POPGUN is back with another eclectic collection of established fan favorite creators and rising stars coming together for a new edition of the Harvey Award-winning graphic mix tape! From high-octane action to heart-tugging drama to laugh-out-loud comedy, this collection has comics you’ll love: over 500 full color pages of them!
featuring JOCK, JEFFERY BROWN, ERIK LARSEN, TOM SCIOLI, JM KEN NIIMURA, FRANK STOCKTON, JESSICA FINK, SALGOOD SAM, MATTEO SCALERA, CHRIS MORENO, MARK ANDREW SMITH, DEREK MCCULLOCH, JEREMY TINDER, ELIZABETH GENCO and more! edited by D.J. KIRKBRIDE, ANTHONY WU & ADAM P. KNAVE cover BEN TEMPLESMITH FEBRUARY 10 512 PAGES / FC $29.99
This is the Atom feed for my work diary. This feed is published from my web site at www.salgoodsam.com