Gonna Live Stream on Wednesdays

This is crossposted with my newsletter 

Hello all! I hope you are safe and healthy. 

This month I’ve been playing catch up on things that fell to the wayside because of the pandemic. I’m also figuring out what to do since all the cons are canceled for the year. Well, not all of them just yet but San Diego Comic Con was canceled. So I think it’s just a matter of time until ECCC’s rescheduled date and all the August cons are canceled. Then probably the September ones too. So I’m rethinking what to do with the rest of the year. 

I mentioned last month that I was planning to kickstarter Murky Water (next The City Between book) in September. But I’m debating on if that is a good idea. Partly because I got a lot on my plate. Right now I have:

  • 3 different Cautionary Fable books in various stages of editing
  •  some freelance editing jobs for Iron Circus Comics
  • I’m starting drawing You are the Chosen One
  • I need to color and letter a book I’m doing with my pal Jose Pimienta called Stars Hide Your Fire
  • I’m drawing Murky Water
  • Cleaning up a pitch package to send to publishers for an untitled sci fi book
  • Several commissions like this one.   

The idea was to do Murky Water first so I would have a new book in 2021. But with all the 2020 cons canceled, that means most shows never saw The Dead Deception. It is probably safe to skip having a new book in 2021. Also, when I started The City Between, I was doing two experiments business wise. Basically, all of them have been print only first, then gone up online. The idea was if someone was impatient for an update they could buy the book or PDF. It mostly worked, but I think at the expense of my patreon. I handicapped one of the easier patreon rewards a webcomic can do, reading pages early. Anyone who was only backing to get pages early, probably just bought the book. That, plus it being safe to not have a new book, and my workload being kinda heavy means now is a good time to switch back to web first. But I’ll decide closer to the end of the year.   

But speaking of Jose Pimienta and our book Stars Hide Your Fire, him and I have decided to start streaming weekly on twitch. We will be around Wednesday at noon PST. We did our first two already. The first is mostly a sound test and isn’t much to share, but the second I’m drawing the commission I showed part of above while Jose and I talk about tv, anime, and musicals. Twitch is set to save them for about two weeks before they get deleted. If people really like them, we’ll start saving them to Youtube. 

One of the things we talked about is Love Never Dies. It’s a musical and a sequel to Phantom of the Opera. Each weekend Andrew Llyod Webber is posting a different one of his musicals free on youtube for just the weekend. Last weekend was Love Never Dies. The plot is the Phantom survived and escaped the mob at the end of Phantom. He started a very successful freak show on Coney Island. Now it’s 10 years later and the Phantom wants to show Christine how cool and awesome he is now and that she should have stayed with him. It is kinda a trainwreck. And was written right after Andrew Llyod Webber got divorced from the actress who originally played Christine in Phantom. I watched it in sync with a few friends while we were all in a discord chat. It was the quarantine version of getting drunk and watching a bad movie together.    

After watching that very bad musical, I decided to watch a musical I heard was good. That is The Death Note Musical. This is a musical I had already heard the soundtrack to because my good friend Molly told me about it a few years ago. I recently learned it’s on youtube. The Death Note musical has a fun development backstory. Molly told me about it because I rather like the Jekyll and Hyde Musical. The composer of the Jekyll and Hyde musical was hired to write a Death Note Musical even though he didn’t speak Japanese and didn’t know anything about Death Note. So he wrote the whole musical in English, recorded a concept album, then sent that to Japan to be translated into Japanese before it was performed. Anyway, both the concept album and the musical are on youtube. The above picture is a shot to show off how they show people’s lifespans on stage. An effect I thought was cool.  

 Other than watching a bunch of musicals, I’ve been relistening to the audiobooks of the October Daye series by Seanan McGuire. If you are unfamiliar, October Daye is a half-fairy detective who works on fairy crimes. It’s got an awesome cast of characters and puts a lot of thought into how folklore would interact/clash with the modern world. I highly recommend this series as well as anything written by Seanan McGuire.

 That about sums up my month. I want to end by once again thanking everything for backing my Patreon right now. With cons continuously getting canceled money has been tight, but I’m doing okay mostly because of your support and orders in the store. 

Thank You for the Support Last Month

This is crossposted from my newsletter 

Firstly, I want to give a big thank you to everyone who backed my patreon or bought something from my store in March. Emerald City Comic was canceled roughly a week after I sent out my last newsletter and you all helped soften the blow of losing that income. Things are rough for a lot of people, so I do super appreciate you all helping me out. More and more cons are getting canceled, so I would appreciate it if ya’ll stuck around. But I understand if you can’t.

Because of the new patrons, my patreon made one of its goals. Right now, pencil versions of each finished page get posted a couple of days after the finished version. I also just added a new patreon reward level though. I was gonna add it in June. But an influx of new folks and few backing  more than the current higher level ($5 a month) made me decide to launch it early. So as of now folks who back at $10 a month will get to be in crowd scenes. This is a reward that won’t happen every month, but when I have a street scene or need some background people, I’ll check to see who is a backer at that level. Right now, the next thing I’m gonna draw is Murky Water, the next book for The City Between. 

Speaking of which, I finished scripting Murky Water and started to thumbnail it. Have look!

It’s a little longer than other City Between books. I was originally gonna kickstart it in June, but now I’m thinking September is a safer bet. Maybe I’ll do it in August. But not enough of it will be done in June for me to feel good about hitting go. Right now my work is still mostly management related stuff. Like I’m prepping Cautionary Fables and Fairytales: Oceania for its Iron Circus version to come out and I’m working on the beginning parts of organizing Cautionary Fables and Fairytales: North America. Oceania is getting rereleased next year and then North America is slated for the year after. It’s a lot of answering emails and organizing stuff. 

Once that is all set, I have some commission to do for folks that asked about them last month. If you are also interested, I charge $75 for a black and white character drawing. Add $25 per extra character. Backgrounds are extra and will depend on how complicated they are. I like drawing backgrounds, they just take a long time. And for color the price basically gets doubled. 

So once editing and commissions are all set, I’m gonna move on the drawing Murky Water. Once it’s all penciled, then I’ll start making the kickstarter. Which is why the outlook is looking like September. 

Besides stressing out about money and working on editing and writing, I did a couple of new things. My pal Alison Wilgus has been making mini podcasts on her patreon. She interviewed me about werewolves and had me explain why werewolves are great. You can give it a listen here. The short answer is they are the proletariat of urban fantasy creatures. 

Speaking of werewolves being the proletariat, I rewatched The Order on Netflix. If you have not seen The Order, it’s about werewolves eating the rich. Well, not really. But that’s kinda what it’s about. Basically in it, there is a secret society of magic users called Order of the Blue Rose that recruits people via ivy league schools. It’s very Skull and Bones vibe to it. Main character wants to join for revenge reasons. One of the high up members of this society did something to his mom which isn’t explained in detail until late in the show. While on his revenge mission he is recruited by a secret group of werewolves that have been fighting the Order of the Blue Rose for basically forever. Since the magic users are very Skull and Bones mixed with the Illuminati, werewolf mission statement comes very close to basically being “eat the rich”. Just the magic rich. It’s not a good show per say. But it’s clumsily dealing with some interesting themes and worldbuilding. The last couple of episodes were a lot better than the rest of the season, so I hope that means season 2 will be legit good rather than clumsy but interesting. 

Also on the wolf front, I recommended Beastars last month. The anime got put on Netflix shortly after I got caught up on the manga and sent out my newsletter. I am basically obsessed with it now and have told multiple friends to watch it just so I could talk about it with them. This led to Jay Edidin replying to my text with “I will watch this vore romance cartoon. Because I love you.” It is very very good. Here is the opening credits. It has some very cool stop motion animation
 

More wolves (sorta), I also got Animal Crossing. So like every cartoonist on twitter I’ve been building myself a nice island. My mission for the island is to fill it with wolves. The island is called Awooo. Also, I’m very good at fishing in the game. Not so good at catching bugs. 

Like last month, my Patreon is going to bills because all the conventions are getting canceled. 

I’ll be at ECCC in theory

Crossposted from my newsletter.

Hey all, I’ll be at Emerald City Comic Con in a couple of weeks. At least I will if the show doesn’t get canceled. In case you don’t know what is going on, several publishers and artists have already backed out of ECCC because of the coronavirus. I’m still going because I’m low risk for catching it and for me it’s go or don’t pay any of my bills the next few months.

Those of you who read my old year in summary posts would know that con sales are over half my income. And ECCC is about a 1/3 of that half. Last year was a very bad year for me finically, so this winter I’ve been taking some none art work to help me get out of the bad money situation I was in. It’s why I haven’t been posting much new concept art for the past couple of months (well that and depression from it being winter.) I thought I was getting ahead on things but that was under the assumption I would be making a large chunk of money at ECCC. I need it to basically pay my all my bills for April and May. Because that’s what it has done every year I’ve gone. 

So I’m obviously worried and stressed out about the fact that it might be canceled or even just have a very poor attendance. I’m not saying folks show risk their health to go. Obviously if you are feeling sick or have a bad immune system, stay home. But at this time I would like to encourage everyone reading this to please consider backing my patreon or buying something from my store. Did you know I have an original art lottery? For $30 I’ll send you a random page from one of my comics. I don’t think my patreon and online store could cover no ECCC but they will at least give me a little bit more time to try to get some money from else where. So again. Please help me out. 

And if Emerald City happens, I’ll be at table 208. I’ll have hand sanitizer and a lot of comics to for sale.

Anyway, on to a happier topic. C2E2 was fun. I stayed at Spike Trotman’s house and spent the evenings cuddled up with her dog, Lucy. She is adorable and a sweetie. 

I tabled with Molly Muldoon. The Field Museum had plush wolves for sale, so I bought one to display our Can I Pet Your Werewolf book. That little guy is pictured above. He’s super soft. A lot of people came up to our table to pet him. Our table topics during the show were Death Note the Musical, mostly letting people know there is indeed a Death Note Musical, explaining My Hero Academia to Blue Delliquanti, the movie Birds of Prey, and what it’s like to wrap up a long term project. 

This past month I’ve mostly been working to get ahead on money like I mentioned earlier. Not really anytime to draw. My free time mostly went to cleaning up a pitch I want to send out soon. It needs a couple of pages of sample art though, so this is more a maybe will pay off in 6 months thing rather than a it will help me now thing. 

I read two new mangas this month, curtesy of my public library. One is Way of the House Husband. It’s about a former yakuza who is now the house husband to his career woman wife. It’s very charming and funny, but is more a series of gags rather than having an on going plot. 

The other manga I read is Beastars. Beastars is a manga I was vaguely aware of. It was on my to read list but wasn’t a high priority. But then I watched Jack Saint’s video about it and made it the top on my reading list. That basic plot is it’s about a wolf boy who has feelings/a crush on a rabbit girl. However, his crush on his is also mixed up with the fact that he wants to eat her as well. It’s was weirder than I expected and I really like it. Really anything else I’d say about it would just be quoting Jack Saint’s video. So just watch it for more details. 

Anyway, my patreon this month is going to bills and what not. Again, please back it. 

Thats it for this month. Thanks for reading and your support. 

Con Season Starts Again

This is crossposted with my newsletter. 

Hey all! At the end of this month (Feb 28-Mar 1st), I’m going to be in Chicago at C2E2. I’m in artist alley with my pal Molly Muldoon. We are table S-5 which is right smack in the middle. 

In the meantime, I’m still working on Murky Water the next book for The City Between. I’m about 2/3rds the way through. I was hoping to be done by now but I got swamped with a loose ends on the business side of things, doing some editing for Iron Circus Comics, and was sick for a week. So I’m gonna keep working on it for the next few weeks and finish it before cons start up. Also, Spike, Amanda, and I did a lot of recording to try and build a buffer for Dirty Old Ladies.

Speaking of me editing for Iron Circus Comics, the main thing I’ve been working on is a book by Abby Howard titled The Crossroads at Midnight. It’s a collection of short horror stories and REALLY FUCKING good.  It’s getting kickstarted in about a month, so keep an eye out for it. 

My reading this month has mostly been more of Silver Spoon and Love is War. I haven’t read much new stuff because of being busy. 

My patreon dollars this month are still going to the new office chair.  This should be enough to get it. Just in time for me to spend a long time sitting in it while drawing. 

And to wrap up here are things folks might have missed this:

Thank you all for your support this month. Take care. 

Happy New Year

This is crossposted from my newsletter

Hi all! I hope you all had a good new year’s eve. 

My plan for the new year is to keep working on You are the Chosen One’s concept art. But writing wise I’m switching to focusing The City Between‘s next story. It’s called Murky Water and is another story about Maria and Connor. I’m about half way done so, it looks like I can finish the first draft this month. 

With the end of the year, my buddy Kevin and I tweaked my website a little. Mostly small changes. Like now if you click the art tag on the blog you can see the art in the posts, not just the title of the post. My instagram is now linked on the social media buttons instead of tumblr. I also moved everything from sorcery101.net over to kelmcdonald.com. It’s something I’ve been meaning to do since Sorcery 101 wrapped up, but I held off because the company I was using for ads approves domain names and I would have to reapply after the move. 

This month I read a whole bunch of Vineland Saga. It’s historical fiction following a boy from Iceland named Thorfinn. He is a member of a band of vikings during the raise of King Canute. It talks a lot about the cycles of violence continues and is glorified. It was super engrossing and I went through the first 5 volumes in one day. 

I also rewatched Bojack Horseman on Netflix. Bojack Horseman is probably my favorite current show and and since it’s wrapping up I wanted to watch it for the millionth time. It’s a mix of funny and depressing that really hits me. Frequently, when a show is about depression and abuse, if it’s constantly serious I find it dull and unrealistic or just exhausting. So I like it when humor is mixed, especially the puny visual gags of Bojack helps ease the tension. I also like the way the show has Bojack be a shitty person. While it is sympathetic to the terrible up bring he had, at the same time it doesn’t excuse his behavior. One of my favorite scenes is when Bojack is told it’s not enough to say sorry and feel bad after he does something shitty thing. He has to stop doing shitty things. I could probably write pages and pages about Bojack Horseman the show. If I do it, I’ll save it for when the show wraps up. Until then I’ll just leave you with this quote which I kept in mind while trying to get in better shape.

Anyway, my patreon this month is having money go to getting a new office chair. I’ve had the same office chair for about 10 years. It’s still comfortable, but it’s padding is coming out of the seat cushion. Lately I’ve been putting my feet on a stool under my desk to keep my feet up while working. So I found one I like that has a built in foot rest. 

As for stuff on my website that folks might have missed. There isn’t a lot because December/Christmas time makes me depressed. So I’ll just post them all next month.