Hey all! Happy New year! It’s been awhile since I sent out one of these. I’ve had a lot of going on and kept just putting writing newsletters off. What have I been doing? Well for one, I put the finishing touches on Woman in the Woods and Other North American Stories. That kickstarter finished out at the most funded comic anthology on twitter! HUZZAH!
And didn’t have too long to celebrate, I jumped into helping run another Iron Circus Kickstarter, Real Hero Shit by Kendra Wells! I edited Real Hero Shit all last year. It’s out in February and is a fun time all around. I even did a drawing of the main character Eugene.
Then shortly after Real Hero Shit launched on kickstarter I got a job at the publisher Seven Seas! So getting the hang of things in the manga editing process took up most of my November and December. I’m super glad because I really got to rethink how my comics are making money. This is gonna give me some flexibility and time to think about a new direction.
Why a new direction?
Well, cons still aren’t back in the full swing. I don’t have a lot of faith in things bouncing back in 2022. I went to Rose City Comic Con and Emerald City Comic Con in 2021. Both were okay but not in full force, also Emerald City was right when the Omicron variant first got reported. I don’t think things will bounce back by July 2022 (which is when San Diego Comic Con, my next con is scheduled)
The other thing is Kickstarter is pivoting to blockchain. Why are they doing this? Well, seems like they don’t even know. Their statement on it was a lot of buzzwords and not a lot of content. Then their follow up to clarification was… more buzzwords and some “our blockchain is different, we swear.” Now if you are someone who doesn’t live on the internet like I do and therefore don’t know what blockchain is, here is a youtube video that does a nice job explaining it.
The short version is it is a way of coding that uses a shit ton of power. The environmental impact is too much for me and a lot of other comic artists to ignore. Part of Kickstarter’s “clarification” is them saying they are gonna use a blockchain that offsets their carbon footprint, but said blockchain is self reporting.
I mentioned a lot of other comic artists are taking this stance, as are a bunch of indie tabletop game developers. Also several of Kickstarter’s staff have quit over this. But Kickstarter is still going full steam ahead. I’ll be super surprised if they change things up. It’s frustrating because they have been so good until now and they don’t really seem to have a plan. I need to look into more crowdfunding options. Currently, I am looking into Indiegogo and Zoop. Indiegogo is more established but a lot of scammers have used it in the past, so I don’t know. Zoop is newer and takes a bigger cut, but it handles fulfillment and is comics only. So like maybe they will adjust to specific comic needs quicker? I don’t know.
I’m now gonna take this moment to post a general reminder to anyone who wants to start a webcomic in the future, please make your own website. Make sure people know about, otherwise your hard work can be wrecked by a corporation’s whim. Use all the tools, social media, whatever online that you can, but a hub/website you control is important to building something that can weather the ever changing internet.
With all these shake ups, are you wondering how you can help support me in the meantime? Well, here is my Amazon author page. Please review my books on there. It does help them sell better and get recommended to other people.
Yes, I know Amazon is also bad for the environment. But even if you don’t use Amazon or try to avoid it, you can still leave a review.
Meanwhile, I’m restructuring what I’m gonna be doing with my website, patreon, and online presence. Where am I doing that? Well…
I’m gonna try to be more active on twitter again. In mid-2019, I was super burnt out on twitter. I’m not even talking about discourse or shitty people getting into fights with me on twitter. Just the act of trying to post on it regularly, to think of what to say, and stay active, I found it exhausting. Like I wasn’t burnt out on anything else, just twitter (and well other social medias). If you follow me on twitter, you might have noticed I only posted that my site updated. Those are all auto-posts from my website. After about 2 and ½ years, I think I’m ready to at least try to post stuff on there again. And I’ve got a few experiments to see if I can figure out a way to use it without getting burnt out.
I’m also gonna try to post more on instagram and my facebook page too. But those are a lower priority. Facebook because it hides posts from like 2/3s of the people that like the page unless I give them money. Instragram because my account there is newer and building something up from scratch is harder than just getting older things running again.
I’m also gonna be streaming more art. Jose Pimienta and I had a good time streaming on Wednesdays, but we are gonna move it to the evening rather than at lunchtime. I figured that it would be easier to do editing work in the morning, and then art after dinner. Since they went well, I’m also gonna be streaming on Tuesday evenings with Alina Pete. Both of those streams will start at 8pm standard time. Keeping both of these going is gonna help me balance doing art and editing.
Bones and I are also gonna get back to streaming video games again. It’s gonna be a mix of Rimworld, Crusader Kings, and Don’t Starve Together. We’ll announce which before streaming each Thursday. To get back into the groove we streamed some Rimworld on Christmas and New Years Eve. I installed the Forgotten Realms mod. It adds a bunch of races from dnd into the game, so we gave playing as the Illithid squid monsters. You can give it a watch here and here.
As for projects coming in 2022, I got a lot of plans and hope I can get some off the ground. So here are some pitches I’m working on (these are all working titles):
Next The City Between will start soon. Murky Water is gonna wrap up in mid-2022. I have a couple ideas for the next story. Two are about half way written. I’m having my Patreon backers vote on which is next. I am also gonna think about if I want to do an omnibus of City Between books. But that’s on the back burner since cons aren’t back in full force and I’m not using Kickstarter anymore.
You are the Chosen One is gonna keep going on my Patreon. I’m gonna take a break before starting Chapter 3 because I need to do some concept art. Also, Patreon isn’t really the best place to read something serialized. So I’m talking to Kevin, the guy who built my website, about making a password protected archive on my site. I want it to be easier for folks to catch up.
Blue Moon is a YA horror/romance about a non-binary teen in a small town who gets drawn to a mysterious drifter passing through town. I’m writing it and Meredith McClarren is drawing it. I got the pitch packet mostly made, but gotta tweak it a little to clarify some stuff.
As Time Goes By is a middle grade story about a town stuck in the late 50s. A modern preteen and their family pass through. Said preteen befriends a queer local preteen and the two of them try to help local kid escape the time trapped magic town. This one doesn’t have an artist and I still need to clear up some stuff. But once Blue Moon is ready to get pitch around I’m gonna focus on cleaning this one up. I’m trying to go for a Brigadon meets Pleasantville vibe.
Eat the Witch is an adult graphic black comedy about werewolves eating the rich. Kinda. Basically, it uses magic as a metaphor for inherited wealth. So the werewolves are focused on fight (and eating) a group of spellcasters based in a country club. This one I want to write and draw. I’ve posted some character designs on instragram about this. Right now I’m mostly reading some political theory nonfiction books as research. That way I can clean up the parts in the story that are currently vague and make sure it’s reinforcing the metaphor I’m aiming from. This one will probably be a while I do anything public with it. I also don’t really know where I’d send this out as a pitch.
I think that is everything. Hope you all have a good new year! Thanks for your support. Please support my patreon if you can.