Goals for the year 2016 vs 2017

Hey so last year on my patreon I did behind the scene business posts that didn’t do well behind a pay wall so I’m posting them publicly now.

The first post was a break down of where my money comes from and my goals for the year. So I’m gonna go over that post from last year and talk about if I achieved those goals and then compare them to how I did in 2017.

Here’s my money break down for 2016:

Here is the break down for 2017:


In 2016 most of my money came from selling at conventions. It was like 1/3 of my income because I go to so many of them and do my best to make them profitable. I do between 10-15 a year. But travel is very tiring so I’ve been trying to not be as reliant on cons. As you can see from the 2017 graph, I didn’t really succeed at that. It’s partly because on average my conventions were more profitable in 2017 compared to 2016 and it was also partly because my other goals didn’t work out so well. So for 2018, I still wanna push the other categories and make that pie piece smaller while still making more or the same.


So freelance is maybe a misnomer for this category. This is really just money from companies. So for 2016 that is a guest comics for Harrow County, my Misfits of Avalon advance, and the Buffy the High School Years books I wrote. I was trying to grow that but it didn’t work out so well. One of the work for hire gigs I had got canceled part way through. But I did get a pitch picked up and contract signed in 2017, just the advance didn’t hit my bank account until this week. So next year that will be a bigger piece for sure. I might not have gotten it bigger in 2017 but I successful planted good seeds for 2018.

Ad Money/Comixology

These two categories are what I have the least control over.

Comixology, I’m honestly pretty happy with. I think they are doing a good job. It take me like a day to upload a new comic and then I can leave it be. So it’s a passive paycheck that doesn’t take much effort to put up. I once tried another comic reading on tablet system but I had to be the one to selection each panel. So it was too much effort for a system that isn’t as popular and makes less money. I ended up quitting that one.

It was nice to see growth there in 2017 because I didn’t do much other than just put up what is new. So I donno if my new store is successfully getting people from my site to them or if [Super]Natural Attraction being digital exclusive gave me more attention. But I got a few comics on the best selling submit section.

Ads have always been frustrating and been going downhill both in terms of quality and payout. Ads are down in 2017 compared to 2016 which I’m not surprised by. Sorcery 101 begin down and then Misfits of Avalon ending removed the two big draws to my website on a regular basis. So impression which are all ads care about are down. That combined with ads steady march downward made this not a good year for my ads. There isn’t much I can do about it.

Patreon/My Store

So both my patreon and my store were the two area’s I wanted to push more in 2017.

I had my big site redesign early last year. A big part of that was to try and get people to visit my store more. My store sales was tweeked a few times before 2017 in the hopes of getting more sales. There has been some success. But the new design gave me the biggest push sales wise. So that’s good.

Patreon is probably the biggest failure of 2017. I switched from charging people once a week to charging once a month in the hopes that would get more people to sign up for the patreon. But I just ended up making about 1/4 the money each month. And the higher level rewards, (like the level that included this original post) never ended up getting a bit. I also tried some streams where I would do sketch requests and while people backed at that level they never made requests and I had trouble getting motivated to do them. It was very frustrating and for 2018, I’m gonna just keep it simple as in you can read certain things early but nothing were I have to do more work there. Because I would like to work smarter not harder. And if I’m not someone suited to running a very active patreon successfully, I’d rather put that effort into something else.

A Year in Review 2017

Hi everyone,

So it’s the end of the year. I have been looking back over the year to make my goals for next year. Last year I posted my goals on Patreon for the highest backer level. It’s a level that no one ever backed at. I don’t know if the price was too high or just general lack of interest. But I liked writing those posts so as long as I have time, I think I’ll start posted some edited versions of them free on my site each month. Before I started doing that I thought I’d post a public behind the scenes wrap up.

2017 was rough and exhausting. That’s true for a lot of people.

I tried to stick to my professional and personal goals anyway. I also tried a few experiments to see how things would work out.

Last year, I had a few business/income related goals. I wanted to focus on building my Patreon, my newsletter, and my store. I wanted to get rid of ads and do less cons. Ads are ugly and hard to track down bad ones. Cons I want to do less of because they are exhausting to me. I don’t think I’ve ever got creative burn out but I definitely get hussle/promo burn out. It’s been taking me longer and longer to recover from cons. So anywhere that I can get money which isn’t from cons if great.

A lot of my site redesign was to push those things.

My newletter is I think the most successful of those goals. I got a good few hundred folks signing up from my website and a bunch of folks signing up after my kickstarter. Next year I’m gonna try to focus on making it better. I few people asked for highlights from the blog here as well as promo. But I’m still taking suggestions if anyone wants to leave them in the comic. Right now it’s just promo but if I don’t have promo that month I end up not knowing what to write.

The shop getting pushed more, I think it did better than last year but I haven’t crunched the numbers yet.

Patreon didn’t go very well this year. I wanted to get more patrons there to mostly get rid of ads. I ended up making less money on patreon than before. I used to charge weekly and thought switching to monthly would help get more people on board, but I never ended up attracting enough people to make up for the difference. I tired a few different things like business posts like this one, sketch requests, and streams. At first I was posting my early comics in a big PDF but then was told more frequent posts get peoples attention more. I also tried to post more art on there. None of those really enticed people to jump on. I don’t know if people just don’t like my stuff. If I’m just not cut out for promoting a long term thing rather just doing a focused push for one big project. Either way I’m feeling pretty discouraged and after last weeks debacle with the fee change is leaving me kinda sour on Patreon. In 2018 I’m gonna try to focus on other stuff that might pay off more.

I was looking for more work from publishers and companies in 2017 too. Or more working smarter not harder with companies. That didn’t pay off in 2017 but it get me some cool stuff lined up for 2018.

But for now it looks like I’m gonna still be hitting up 10 or more cons a year.

On the somewhat creative goal and somewhat personal, I spent a lot of of this year making sure I kept up with my comic reading. It can be easy to not keep up with reading new comics and know what is out there when you are busy trying to make comics. I buy most of my comics at conventions but I got an ipad pro to be a portable digital drawing tool so I’ve been reading a lot of manga on that. But here’s some high stuff I really enjoyed and will probably write about on my blog over the coarse of next year. I read them this year but they didn’t all come out this year. The webcomics I’m just gonna link cause they are free to read but I usually just read the print collections when it comes to webcomics. So when I say I read them this year I mean the print collection.

  • Wilde Life by Pascalle Lepas 
  • Agents of the Realm by Mildred Louis
  • The Meek by Der-shing Helmer
  • Feywinds by Nicole Chartrand
  • Check Please by Ngozi Ukazu
  • O Human Star by Blue Delliquanti
  • A Silent Voice by Yoshitoki Ōima which is about a guy trying to get forgiveness from the deaf girl he bullied in elementary school. It’s very intense and grips with complicated questions about who gets forgiven and who decides who gets that forgiveness.
  • Monstress by Marijorie liu and  Sana Takeda. It’s a fantasy epic that is set in a matriarchal setting where magical humanoid creatures and sorceresses are at war. The main character is trying to learn more about an elder god type thing that has taken over her arm. It’s gorgeous and complicated and female focused. This might be my favorite comic right now.
  • Fun Family by Ben Frisch. I picked this up because I went to college which Ben. Fun Family is a fictional behind the scenes of Family Circus. It kinda odd but I liked it because it explores how a simple wholesome comic like Family Circus can be comforting when your home life is falling apart.
  • Dragon Ball by Akira Toriyama. I don’t got to tell you all what Dragon Ball is about. But I read it for the first time and really liked it. I had only seen the anime before this. It was interesting to see the source material. I thought it was a lot of fun.
  • Parasyte by Hitoshi Iwaki. Most anime fans know about this one too but again I read it this year. For you none anime fans alien parasites take over human hosts and replace their heads. The main character gets his hand taken over instead and he has to work with the parasite to hide from both humans and parasites. It’s an interesting mix of body horror and exploring morality.
  • My Hero Academia by Kohei Horikoshi. It’s about a superhero school in world where more people have superpowers and being a superhero is partly being a celebrity and partly a government job.
  • Space Battle Lunch Time by Natalie Riess. It’s about a cooking reality tv show in space. I was a lot of fun and very cute. It does a good job of having multiple rounds of cooking contests without getting repetitive. The main character is super charming.
  • Moonlighters by Katie Schenkel and Cal Moray. An all ages comic about werewolves doing magical odd jobs on their college campus.
  • Soupy Leave Home by Cecil Castellucci and Jose Pimenta. I picked this up because I introduced Cecil and Jose to each other. Their book is really good. It’s about a girl who disguises herself as a boy so she can run away to ride the rails as a hobo during the great depression. It’s bitter sweet and does an excellent job showing the relationship build between Soupy and her mentor on the rails.

I also liked Castoffs by MK Reed, Brain Smith, and Molly Ostertag and Letters for Lucardo by Noora Heikkilä but those both are only at volume 1 and I feel like the stuff that I’ll really want to talk about will probably happen in volume 2. My reading list is organized shortest to longest and so some have been on there for awhile. For 2018 far it’s:

  • As the Crow Flies by Melanie Gilman
  • Not Drunk Enough by Tess Stone
  • The Fifth Beatle by Vivek Tiwary, Kyle Baker, and Andrew C. Robinson
  • Vattu vol 2 by Evan Dahm
  • The Last Halloween by Abby Howard
  • East of West year 2 by Jonathan Hichman and Nick Dragotta
  • Drive by Dave Kellet
  • The Less than Epic Adventures of TJ and Amal by EK Weaver
  • I Am Hero by Shinsuke Sato

If you all got recommendations I’m open to em. I think it’s important to read comic if you want to improve. So while I am gearing up for my next big project I wanted to make sure knew what was out there. I have been writing about them on Patreon but I’m gonna start posting them publicly. Writing about the stuff I like is just to help me articulate what I’m looking for in stories and be more deliberate in the future. I’m intentionally not reading Marvel and DC though. So if you suggest stuff from them I’ll probably pass.

And then here are more general personal goals and experiments.

I got really unhealthy while working on Misfits of Avalon because juggling two comics isn’t super smart when when has a hard deadline. There were a few months while working on it where I basically drank ALL THE REDBULL to finish on time. I also gained 20 lbs while working on it. So a lot of 2017 was me trying to undo the damage caused by overworking.

I don’t pay a lot of attention to my weight and mostly noticed because I got faced with the choice of lose weight or buy new clothes. Excising takes more work but is cheaper. So I started biking 3 times a week and used the biking version of couch to 5k to improve. I mostly stuck with it because MK Reed was my biking buddy. We fell off a few times when con season got hectic. Then because of con season I tried to think of something that is easier to do while away. So in October after all my cons were done I gave jogging a try. I wanted to die and my throat was closing up. I couldn’t finish even half of what couch to 5k tells you to do the first day. I thought maybe I’d improve. But after no improvement for a month I went to the doctor. Turns out my lungs are all fucked up and I just didn’t know it because that was how I always breathed. Doctor gave me an inhaler which helped with running so now I can completely the first day of the program, but my none running breathing is still not as good as it should be. So I just got a different inhaler that is supposed to help with that. Otherwise I might have some expensive medical tests coming up. So fingers crossed that everything is fine.

I also tried to do some push ups at the beginning of the year. I started by doing them off my counter and then moved lower to the arm rest of my couch. But I was apparently doing them wrong so I never successfully got to doing push ups off the floor. Building muscle strength might be something I need more help with than cardio.

And while running sucks honestly the hardest thing to do was fix how bad my caffeine addiction got. I mentioned above that I drank a lot of Redbull when Misfit of Avalon deadlines got tight. Well, when I went to C2E2 last year, the time it took me to wake up, go to the airport, fly to Chicago, and get to where I was staying gave me a withdrawal headache. So less than 24 hours. I still had 2-3 months of work to do on Misfits but I made a self note that this is a problem I needed to deal with once finished. So I turned in my pages that June. Then I quit caffeine cold turkey because I’m very bad at cutting back on things. It was a miserable two weeks. But by the time SDCC rolled around I could get through a con day with only one cup (as opposed to like 6 cups).

So for health stuff in 2018, I’m gonna try to keep up the jogging and biking. Figure out what is up with my lungs. And try to get help on the upper body strength that I am lacking.