I’ll Be at Emerald City This Weekend

Crossposted from my newsletter.

Hey everyone! Hope you had a good February. I’ll be at Emerald City Comic Con this weekend! Cautionary Fables and Fairytales will be at table 20815! There is a nice map up top (I took Kory Bing’s image of our booth because I didn’t have time to make my own.)

Emerald City is the big thing this month. But Failure to Launch is still crowdfunding! It goes until March 9th. Me, Spike, and Amanda will do a special Iron Circus Geekshow to close it out. That will be Thursday March 9th, at 6pm PST. Grab it while you still can!

My discord is still doing the full moon movie will be March 7th at 5pm PST. We will be watching the movie Cursed (2005). It’s not a good movie but it is a fun movie. Anyone who wants to join, is free to sign up for my discord and join us.

As always I’ll be streaming art on Twitch. My schedule is currently the following:

Last month I was a guest on War Rocket Ajax. I was promoing Shards of Reflection and the Fame and Misfortune live reading. But really we mostly talked about videogames.

I also did a live reading on twitch of Fame and Misfortune. It was fun and I want to do more live readings. But it turned out my mic was broken. So I’m gonna redo it. You can give the first try a listen, but it will get auto-deleted in about a week.

I got a bad sinus infection last week. So I haven’t really had time to work on Blue Moon. It’s getting to the point where I think I might have to put You are the Chosen One on break again. I don’t want to, but right now it’s the comic that takes the most time (mostly because it’s in color). I’m gonna see how much I get done this month when it comes to Blue Moon. Then I’ll decide. If it goes on break, it will be after the current chapter is done posting (in July).

Getting sick really threw off my exercising. I’ll get back to it after Emerald City. Kinda a double whammy of sickness and then con to mess up the routine. It’s a shame because I was getting used to/forming a habit until I got sick.  But sick meant I watched more stuff. Last month this section was kinda long. Maybe I should post these on my blog more frequently and just link to those posts? Anyway here’s what I watched and read:

  • Posthumous Education (book 8 in The Utterly Uniteresting and Unadventurous Tales of Fred the Vampire Accountant) by Drew Hayes – The vampire accountant series is one I always grab as soon as it comes out. It stood out to me because most urban fantasy books are about magic cops or magic detectives. The series as a whole are episodic short stories and I like that they are mostly small stake conflicts. Like this volume the main character is teaching a business class at a supernatural college. The first story is about him trying to convince students how important learning basic contract knowledge is, not just for dealing with humans but also the fae and really any supernatural that makes deals. The series as a whole has bit about how higher ups abuse these legal tricks to control the inexperienced. I’m definitely gonna keep up with the series because small scale stories like this are harder to find.
  • Woke – This is a hulu show that is loosely based off the K Chronicles by Keith Knight. I didn’t know much going in and wanted to see how Keith’s work was turned into a TV show. I ended up really enjoying it. The first season is about what an artist’s responsibility to the world. Like if you have an audience, how much do you have to use it for talking about important topics vs using it for escapism? And then how does commerce tight into an artists work. It was very funny and clever. It also uses Keith Knight’s hand letterer for all the captions, text messages, and another another thing that needs a pop up label. It gave the show a unique look that helps tie it more to the comic it is based off of.
  • Baby Driver – Another thing with a unique look was Baby Driver. I like Edgar Wright movies but never got around to see Baby Driver until now. Basically, when it came out I was only interested in it because Edgar Wright was the director. Like everything I heard about it made me think that it might not be for me. And my instincts were right. While Baby Driver was a very pretty/stylish movie, the story and characters kinda fell flat for me. I might revisit it if I want to mimic it’s specific look in an illustration, but for now it just made me want to rewatch Hot Fuzz.
  • Puss in Boots: Last Wish – To continue the line of stuff that is stylish and looks interesting, Puss in Boots: Last Wish is much better than it has any right to be. I mostly saw it because everyone was telling me it was much better than you’d expect. That is 100% true. The usually Shrek style was dropped in favor of something that is more stylized like Into the Spiderverse. The whole cast is after a fallen star they can make a wish on is the main driver of the story. That’s a simple plot that allows for a lot of cool action and slapstick humor. So they can put the new style to good use. Then since the plot is so simple, there is also room for the characters to grow and change. Which means, unlike Baby Driver, you have a very strong sense of who everyone is and why they are involved in the story. Maybe I like it so much because I had low expectations, but it was very surprising in how good it is.
  • The Banshees of Inisherin – My favorite stories are ones that are funny and sad at the same time. The Banshees of Inisherin is just that. I think it’s also a great example of how you can make something that seems small feel like the most important thing in the world. If you don’t know, it’s about two men in a small Irish town that have been friends for years. The starting incident is one telling the other he doesn’t want to be friends anymore. The other can’t accept that. I like that while you watch these two men argue about whether or not they should be friends there is an underlying heart and sadness that isn’t spelt out. The man who doesn’t want to be friends says the other man is dull and he is wasting his life listening to the other guy. So he is clearly wrestling with how short his time is on earth. And for all his desire to do something “important” with his life, he is spending a lot of it arguing with this former friend now. And the other guy is so upset that he is bringing his donkey into his house. The donkey is making a mess of his house but it’s something for him to cuddle while depressed and lonely. Both situations are a combo of sad and funny. This is a movie I’ll probably think a lot a bit and will revisit.
  • Aggretsuko Season 5 – I have some mixed feelings about Aggretsuko’s last season. I really liked the first 3 seasons, but the more the show pushed Retsuko and Haida as a couple the more I lost interest. So season 4 and now season 5 giving him more scene time made me lose interest in him. It seems like a shift to try and justify him as a love interest. Also Haida’s brief bit of being homeless felt like something the show wasn’t prepared to properly address. Like the show wasn’t to be sympathetic, but gives reasons for why the homeless characters are “stuck” that way. So it wants to be sympathetic while blaming the homeless for their situation. And then that story line is kinda tossed aside for Retsuko to run for office. I like Retsuko running for office, but didn’t really like that she was strong armed into it. She has been repeated pushed into important plots each season. I wish the last season changed that. It would have been a nice way to end a series of her being so passive. Like the whole show has been realizing her unhappiness with the system and seeing others also unhappy under it. I would have liked her to make an active choice to try and change the system. And then maybe tie the homeless plot line into that more. As is, the two plot lines don’t mesh with each other super well.

I’ve also been listening to the podcast Mangasplaining. It reviews manga and guides people through a wide variety of series. It makes me want read more manga. But only so much time is in the day. Either way, there might be more manga in these write ups. I at the very least should reread Akira (it’s been like 15 years). 

Thanks as always for your support this month. Have a good one everyone.

Failure to Launch Crowdfund is Launching!

Crossposted with my newsletter. Sign up here.

Hi everyone. Hope you all had a good January. Lots of things coming up this month!

Firstly, as the title says Failure to Launch’s crowdfunding has gone live. Failure to Launch is a light-hearted, educational tour of (so far!) unrealized technological and societal advances promised in years past, but which never came to be. What could have been, but wasn’t. It tells the tales of planned utopias in space, wild inventions, attempts to improve society, robot pets, and predictions of armageddon! History is often written by the winners, but this time join us in spotlighting those who didn’t let failure stop their dreams. I edited it and drew a story. My story is titled Paradise Within the Reach of All Men. It’s written by Ryan North and io9 posted a sample!

Later toward the end of the month, I’m doing a live reading of Fame and Misfortune. It will be Saturday February 25th at noon PST on my twitch. Some friends will be playing different roles. Then I’ll answer some reader questions after the reading. Post any questions you got to this public patreon post.  

Also while not in February, it’s early enough in March that I wanted to mention it now. March 2nd-5th I’ll be at Emerald City Comic Con. They haven’t sent a map yet, but I’ll try to post it in March’s newsletter. 

The full moon was yesterday, so I didn’t get this out in time. But we watched Wolf Children. The next few moon is March 6/7. I’ll probably do the movie on March 7th since I’ll be driving back from ECCC on the 6th. Either way please join the discord so you don’t miss the next full moon movie night.

As always I’ll be streaming art on Twitch. My schedule is currently the following:

  • Tuesday 8pm-10pm PST
  • Wednesday 8pm-10pm PST
  • Thursday 6pm-9pm PST (during the Iron Circus Geekshow)

As for last month, what you might have missed is You are the Chosen One is back to updating on Patreon. I posted a PDF catch up for folks, because I know Patreon isn’t great for catching up on reading comics. 

Also, The City Between has a new storyline starting. It’s up early on my Patreon, but will start posting on my website this month. 

This past month I did my best to work on Meredith McClarren and I’s graphic novel Blue Moon. I’m behind on writing it because I’ve been a little buried with editorial work for Iron Circus and Seven Seas. A lot of my free time this month will go to trying to finish that one up. 

On the editorial front, I’m putting the finishing touches on Failure to Launch. I’m also getting the ball rolling on a new anthology about committing crimes. It’s called Perfect Crime Party. That will be fun to get the ball rolling on. At Seven Seas I’m editing the manga for one of my favorite recent animes, Life of an Ordinary Guy reincarnated as a Fantasy Knockout. It’s a very funny parody of fantasy books and romantic comedies. I recommend checking it out the anime or the manga once it’s out. 

Staying on top of all that and exercising every morning has been pretty rough. But it’s getting easier. I had trouble sticking with it after SDCC and ECCC being so close together last year. So doing Emerald City Comic Con will be the test on if I can stick with it. I’ve mostly been watching stuff while on the treadmill. 

Here’s stuff I watched and read this month

  • My Love Mix Up vol 6 by Wataru Hinekure and Aruko – I mentioned this in my newsletter a year ago. But My Love Mix Up is one of my favorite regular reads. It’s very cute. The bisexual main character starts the series with trying to figure out his feelings for two crushes (one guy and one girl). Now that it’s been going on awhile the series has moved on to the main character navigating dating another guy. I like it because the character conflicts are mostly about them figuring out their own feelings rather than miscommunication. I find people needing that time and space to sort out their feelings and thoughts really appealing. Like the love interest is dating the main character and hasn’t had a crush or feelings for anyone before. He sometimes comes off as detached or disinterested in they relationship. So compared to the heart on his sleeve main character, the conflict doesn’t need miscommunication. Because if someone needs time and space, that’s a conflict that can only be resolved with said space and time. 
  • The Night Eaters by Marjorie Liu and Sana Takeda –  I picked this up because I like Monstress by the same creative team. The art is beautiful just like Monstress. Currently, I think I prefer Monstress because that hit the ground running. But The Night Eaters was mostly setting things up for the series. The main characters are twins that don’t understand their immigrant mother. They have a good dynamic and I like their back and forth as they learn their family’s supernatural secrets. I’m gonna grab volume 2 and maybe now that groundwork is laid it will really knock volume 2 out of the park. 
  • Lost in the Moment and Found by Seanan McGuire – This is the newest volume of The Wayward Children Series. If you don’t know it, the series follows kids that had a portal fantasy adventure and came back. Mostly the kids are called to their respective fantasy worlds because those worlds fix the kid better. I always like this series and end up grabbing the book the day it comes out. This one follows a girl who ends up in an in-between world which is where lost things magically end up. It is better for her because her home life has gone to hell and it’s a sanctuary for her. She doesn’t realize what she is giving up to stay though. It has some good thoughts and observations about how people treat children. All the Wayward Children protagonists have rough home life, but this one starts especially rough. 
  • Guillermo del Toro’s Pinocchio – I loved this version of Pinocchio. I always like Del Toro’s designs and the stop motion animation was lovely. I especially liked the design for Death. 
  • Watership Down Mini Series – I also watched the Watership Down Mini Series that came out a few years ago. While the acting was good, I think it feel for the trap that happens a lot with cg animation. They rabbits look too realistic and that kinda robs them of personality. The visuals didn’t really sell the horror of the book or the old 2nd movie. 
  • First Kill – This and the next thing on this list made me think about how quickly netflix cancels stuff extremely quickly. If you aren’t familiar with it, First Kill is the teen lesbain vampire romance series they put out last summer and quickly canceled. It follows a vampire and a vampire hunter who fall for each other while their families are fighting one another. It is EXTREMELY bad and not in a fun way. The whole show is very poorly thought out and seems slapped together. While it wants you to think Romeo and Juliet with the two leads, it is established that after being bit a human becomes devoted to a vampire. So one member of those pair has their freewill compromised. It is then brushed aside. And the vampire girl doesn’t want to kill, but is told she has to. Why? Well, she just has to. We see other vampires feed from willing donors and not kill them, but it’s never established why she can’t just do that. The vampire also has to keep keep the fact that she is a vampire secret but then it turns out the whole world already knows about vampires. I could go on, but all the examples of what’s wrong can be summed up as a lack of thought being put in to anything. And at the end of the day it’s also boring. I can only imagine how frustrating it would be to think you were getting gay version of Buffy or True Blood and instead getting this. 
  • That 90s Show – I watched a lot of That 70s Show as a teen. And I’ve been watching a youtuber named Jose do retrospectives of different sitcoms. After watching the That 70s Show one, I decided to check out That 90s Show. Overall, That 90s Show is just okay. I think the new teen actors have a decent chemistry, are unique, and their jokes are funny. But they don’t really have time to explore/find their feet. Way too much time is spent on cameos for the cast of That 70s Show. The set up for the show is that Donna and Eric’s daughter Leia is spending the summer with her grandparents Red and Kitty. So Donna and Eric being in the first episode as well as Red and Kitty all fit in the show fine. But the problem comes up when it turns out the single mom next door is dating Fez and her landlord is the guy Fez had a rivalry with. So now instead of sticking with the teen main characters, we are spending all this time rehashing Fez’s joke from That 70s Show. And when Leia likes a boy with the last name Kelso, both Jackie and Micheal invade Kitty and Red’s kitchen to repeat their usual fight. Something like this happens once per episode. And it’s a shame because I think the teen characters holding their own would have better served the show. It left me wondering what season 2 would be like, but since it’s on Netflix it will most likely never get that chance. 

Watching all those sitcom retrospectives and listening to the Always Sunny Podcast (the crew of always sunny are rewatching their old episodes). It made me think about how sitcoms usually don’t find their feet until season 2. Nearly all the shows we think of as changing the landscape of television had poor ratings the first season. Sitcoms rarely have complicated premises and live or die on the chemistry of their cast. And you don’t know what does and doesn’t work until you actually make a couple of episodes. While dramas/dramadies are also in a rough place in a landscape where things either take off immediately or get canceled, seems like sitcoms are getting get the worst of this cancel happy time period we are currently in. 

That’s just something that’s been on my mind lately, especially when shows I really like such as Inside Job have ended up on the chopping block. 

Thanks everyone! Have a good month and thanks again for your support. I’m gonna start doing an art round up after each newsletter. So enjoy and have a good one. 

Happy New Year Everyone!

Crossposted with my newsletter.  

Hey everyone! Happy New Year!

 Last year, I was focusing on restructuring some stuff. Last year, I shifted how I interacted with the internet and social media. I did successfully keep up with this newsletter each month, (which I didn’t keep up with in previous years. Now that I’ve stuck with it, I realized it was a bit rambly and disorganized. It made me get a little stuck now and then. So I made these little section breaks/headers. I think it will also allow you all to job to whatever parts of the newletter interest you the most.

Jumping into the New Year, I’m happy to announce that You are the Chosen One will be returning to updates on my Patreon. Since Patreon is not very good at letting people read comics, I’m posting some PDFs of each chapter. Then people can read them in one go. So now is a good time to jump on and catch up with You are the Chosen One. Please back my patreon!

This months discord movie night is gonna be Jan 6th at 5pm PST. We will be watching Ginger Snaps. So if you wanna pop in to watch some teen girl werewolves pop on in!

As always I’ll be streaming art on Twitch. My schedule is currently the following:

  • Tuesday 8pm-10pm PST
  • Wednesday 8pm-10pm PST
  • Thursday 6pm-9pm PST (during the Iron Circus Geekshow)

Beside reworking the ordering on my newsletter. I’m figuring out the new social media landscape. In a couple of past newsletters I mentioned hiring help posting on social media sites. Twitter still being in the middle of imploding really pushed me to work on that and follow through on it. So if you’ve noticed my tumblr or facebook has been more active, that’s why. Now that my new assistant and I have decent system for the bigger more established sites, we are gonna work on a system for newer ones like Cohost, Pillowfort, and mastadon.

Anyway, here’s where you can find me:

Once that social media stuff is sorted, I’m gonna start working on cleaning up my twitch. I need to sit down and add some features like a bot that autoposts in the chat some links. Maybe make a little pngtuber icon.

Meanwhile, I’m prepping the final bits and pieces of Failure to Launch, the anthology I’m editing for Iron Circus. The crowdfund goes live next month, so there is a lot of tiny things that need to get sorted before things go live. But the book is great! I’m excited for people to see it.

Also, I recently watched and enjoyed my pal Abby Howard stream her indie game Scarlet Hollow. She got some folks to read all the characters with her and her partner while playing.

It got me thinking that would be fun to do a live reading of my City Between comics. So I’ve been organizing some friends to read different characters in Fame and Misfortune. I haven’t set a date yet, but after reading it, I’ll answer reader questions. Please post any readers you have on this public patreon post. Next newletter I’ll have a date the stream is happening, and I’ll post it on youtube after. 

In the mean time, I posted this last year but reviews for books do help them do better on various sites algorithm. So if you have a moment give some reviews to my books on Amazon or on Goodreads.

Other plans for this month are to try to build some habits that will help me with my new year’s resolutions. Like I wanted to get back into exercising regularly. I fell off it half way through the year. The only stuck with it about once a week. So I gotta get back on the work out horse.

I also still have a shelf of graphic novels I’ve bought but haven’t read yet. So I’m gonna try to do one a day, or at least one a week. I’ll post about my favorites here.

I mentioned last month that I was mostly drawing. So it was a fairly chill December (ba-dum-tish). But if you might have missed me and Spike streaming on Christmas. We ended up raising $300 for NARAL and had fun playing some Rimworld. 

Also, just today it was announce Woman in the Woods is finalist for the Cybils Awards! It’s up for best Middle Grade Graphic Novel.

Also, question for you all:

  • Do you like the order these are all in?
  • I was also thinking about putting each months City Between pages and an art around up at the end of each month’s newletter. Would that be something you’d all be interested in? Or would it make the newletter have too much scrolling.

Thanks for all your support!

Getting Shit Done!

Hey hey folks!

November was mostly work focused and December will be too. This month in my discord we’re gonna watch an indie werewolf movie called Wolf of Snow Hollow. I was told it had a dry sense of humor but I haven’t seen it yet. If it interests you, pop into my discord on December 7th at 5pm PST.

Last month I finished Murky Water. It’s all done! I’m getting the whole thing proofread now. Then I’ll repost all the old pages with the typos fixed. There is still a paper shortage so I don’t know if I’m gonna print it right away. Like it would be nice to have a new book for conventions but Cautionary Fables South America will be out next year. So it might be better to hold off with it’s crowdfund until next year.

Another thing I finished is my Failure to Launch comic. Patreon backers have been seeing the pencils posted on Fridays, but I finished coloring and lettering it last weekend. It’s written by Ryan North and will appear in the anthology Failure to Launch: a Tour of Ill-Fated Futures. I’m the editor on the book and it’s gonna be a great book. It’s a light-hearted education collection of inventions and world plans that didn’t get to become reality. Some are because they were based on bad science (like my story is about a man who didn’t account for friction or physics in general) but others fell apart because of corporate greed or government interference. I especially like a story written by Harry “Hbomberguy” Brewis about the first attempt at making a union. That’s gonna crowdfund in February. I’ll make sure to let you all know when it’s up.

While doing all this work I watched a lot of TV. So much it’s a little hard to remember it all. The big stand out is probably Interview with the Vampire. While different from the books, the changes the show made really improved the source material. I especially think the show aging Claudia up a little was a good decision. Her being turned so young in the book and movie does some interesting stuff, it doesn’t quite fit with the series as a whole. Her being older lets her run off of a bit on her own and grow into someone away from Louis and Lestate in a way that she couldn’t in the source material. It makes her interesting and nuanced as a character for the show.

And the actress playing her knocks it out of the park. All the actors in the show do. I also like the reporter being older while interviewing Louis and pushing back on him in the interview more. The whole show is just really well put together. I highly recommend it. 

Since I wrapped up a lot last month, this month I’m jumping back into You are the Chosen One. So that will be back as my patreon exclusive comic next month. I’ll post pfds of the previous chapters before I start things up again. I’m sure some folks have forgotten what’s happened since the couple of month break. 

I’m also getting ready to jump into the next The City Between story. It’s titled Shards of Reflection. I’m gonna try to experiment a little with the storytelling because the main character is an unreliable narrator. It will be interesting to see how things go and I hope I can pull it off. 

And I’m really living up to the cartoon of me spinning plates on the Iron Circus Geekshow. Because this month I also need to try and finish up the graphic novel I’ve been writing, Blue Moon. That’s the werewolf YA book I’m doing with Meredith McClaren. The script is due at the end of December. Or at least the first draft is. But it’s kinda fallen to the side while working on everything else.

I’ll be doing my usual streaming this month on Twitch. With so much going on, sometimes it’s hard to focus. So those two hour streams Tues, Wed, and Thurs really help me get at least my drawing done. One streaming thing that Spike and I are planning is on Christmas day we are gonna stream rimworld. During it we’ll be raising money for charity (but haven’t picked one yet). But it will be on both the Iron Circus Youtube as well as my twitch. We are gonna start at Noon Central and 10am PST. So join us if you don’t have Christmas plans. 

Also, since twitter is exploding I figured I should list all my social medias. You can follow me at these places.

Have a good one! Thanks for your support!

Spooky Season is Here!

This is crossposted with my newsletter.

Happy October all! It’s a good time to watch some werewolf movies. Because of that, the discord I launched last month is going to host a werewolf movie hang each Saturday. Feel free to join! Here’s the list of movies we are watching:

  • Wolfwalkers on October 8th at 2pm PST
  • Brotherhood of the Wolf on October 15th 5pm PST
  • Werewolves Within on October 22nd 2pm PST
  • When Animals Dream on October 29th 2pm PST

I people like it, I’m gonna do a werewolf movie every full moon. This past Saturday, the discord watched American Werewolf in London. It’s overall considered the best werewolf movie and it definitely earns that title. It had been awhile since I last watched it. I feel like I always forget how much humor is American Werewolf. It really helps break the tension on some of the more intense horror bits. There are also a lot of good tiny details that add to the general feeling of isolation the main character is feeling  while being far from home. 

Other than hosting a movies on my discord, I’m mostly gonna have my nose to the grindstone. I’m gonna finish Murky Water this month. I got the script for the next City Between finished. But I got to think up a title for it. It’s going to be a little bit more experimental and will be about a vampire. I want to establish some stuff about how vampires work in The City Between but also push my art/storytelling abilities. 

Speaking of pushing storytelling and art, I recently watched The Tragedy of Macbeth (the one from 2021). And I’m glad I did. Joel Coen directed it and he clearly took the fact that folks are familiar with Macbeth as an opportunity to push the artistic look of the movie. Most of the sets are kinda sparse and completely white. So when strong light sources are used, almost every frame because a very striking visual. 

It’s got me really inspired and I want to go through and save some shots to use as reference for black and white art. 

I’m also working on my story with Ryan North for Iron Circus’s Failure to Launch Anthology. Since I’m the editor on that one, I’m working on a script for the book’s promo video. There is a lot of great stuff in this book. It’s a exciting that folks will get to see it soon. 

That’s all for this month. Other than the movie hangs in discord things are kinda business as usual, drawing comics for my site and patreon, edit some manga, streaming on twitch, and trying to find time to reorganize things. 

Thanks everyone for your support! You all have a good month.