New Year! New Stuff!

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.

Cautionary Fables North American Closing Soon

This is copy pasted from my newsletter 

Happy September all! 

Like I mentioned last month, Cautionary Fables and Fairy Tales North American is currently kickstarting. It launched August 23rd and it has been doing great! Its on track to be not just be the most successful Cautionary Fables book but the most successful Iron Circus book kickstarter. There is a week left to grab is. 

Also Jose Pimienta and I are gonna be at Rose City Comic Con this weekend. We’ll be at table C03 in Artist Alley. Con is requiring vaccination proof and wearing masks. So if you got both those, stop by and say hi. Gotta dust off the con equipment. I’m kinda nervous but the lack of cons have been really rough so I 

In other news I’m still trying to push my patreon more. I posted a question asking about what would make people give it more support. Several people mentioned they don’t really care about rewards and would give more than a dollar a month but $5 a month is too much. So I made a couple of extra levels for that more generalize support. Reading You are the Chosen One is still at $1 because per page that makes it about the same cost as a monthly comic. If enough people are interested in some of the stuff I listed in the post, I might start doing some more text posts for $2 or $3 backers. 

In the mean time, I’ve been working on some pitches to send out to publishers. One is paranormal romance/mixed with horror. Another is about a town stuck in the 50s and a teen trying to escape. And one is about werewolves fighting a country club full of wizards. I’m gonna try to find an agent or a publisher for these. 

Anyway, thanks for reading and your support! Stay safe and healthy.

Remodels and Repairs this month

Hey all! Hope you are all doing well and surviving. 

Last month my book Stars Hide Your Fire successfully kickstarted! So hooray! If you missed the kickstarter, the book will be out in the fall and I’ll be sure to let you all know here. In the meantime, here is Jose and I doing a reading from it and answering some questions. 

In other news, You are the Chosen One started it’s second chapter recently. If you’re unfamiliar with You are the Chosen One, 23 kids get the same prophecy dreaming telling them they are chosen to stop a dark power. Since the second chapter started up recently, now is a good time to back my patreon and catch up with the comic. It updates every Friday for anyone who subscribes for at least a $1. Chapter 2’s covers is the main image of this month’s newsletter. 

In May, I mostly focused on editing the next Cautionary Fables and Fairytales. It is almost done and will kickstart this July. The new volume will be focusing on North America and all the artists knocked it out of the park. Kate and I and our guest editor for the volume Alina Pete are building the kickstarter this month. 

Speaking of stuff I’m working on this month:

So, if I were to, say, do a book podcast/twitch show with my pal @kellhound, who would be into that? Because that may be happening…— Molly Muldoon (@passingfair) June 3, 2021

My pal Molly Muldoon and I are gonna do a podcast/twitch show together. It’s called Trading Paperbacks. The premiss is I pick a book series she hasn’t read and she picks a series I haven’t read. We go through both series together and discuss them. We are gonna record them live on Twitch every other Thursday at 7pm PST. It will air on both my twitch and Molly’s. The first episode is going to review the Rivers of London by Ben Aaronovitch. We start June 24th. Episode 2 is gonna be The Selection by Kiera Cass on July 8th. So stop by it you and read along with us!

The rest of this month I’m gonna focus on making assets for my twitch, new images for my twitter, and a copy of other internet icons over all. My work set up is a little limited at the moment because be my laptop is currently getting repaired. It should be fixed soon but the repair bill is $400. So um, please back my patreon or buy something from my store!

Thanks everyone! I’ll check in with you next month. 

Winter Sale Starts Today!

Hey all! Newsletter is a little late because I distracted by the election and just hitting refresh repeatedly on the results. But the delay also meant I got info about holiday shipping from White Squirrel (who handles fulfillment of my store.)

My winter/holiday sale is now up and running! Everything in my store is 15% off with the coupon code “gifts.” If you want one of something from my store before Christmas you need to order before December 2nd. Myself and pretty much every freelance artist I know was hit hard by covid closing all the cons. So please order from either myself or other indie artists this holiday season. 

I’ve been continuing to finish Stars Hide Your Fire. It’s mostly done and ready for Iron Circus to send out for reviews. Joe and I are pretty pumped of it. We hope folks like it because we worked hard on it. 

Last month, I mentioned getting into Crusader Kings 3. I’m pretty busy with work and haven’t had a lot of time to play it on my own but still wanted to explore it. To make time to play but also not go over board (when I play a videogame I tend to play it for the whole day/night), I am keeping to a playing schedule. Bones Leopard and I have been streaming playing Crusader Kings 3 on twitch every Thrusday from 7-10pm. We are then saving them to Youtube. Come relax with us on Thrusday evenings if you want to see us attempt to rule the Medieval world. We are playing a campaign start where the goal is to spread a matriarchy government through out Africa. The above picture is the character we played the longest so far. Despite having leprosy, she ruled for 35 years and conquered several neighbors. 

If videogames aren’t your thing, Joe and I are still streaming Wednesday morning/afternoons. On stream I focusing on You are the Chosen One now. That’s about 20 pages in now. If you haven’t started reading yet, nows a good time to back my patreon and catch up. Like I said above this year has been tough and every little bit helps. Backing for just a dollar lets you give You are the Chosen One and Stars Hide Your Fire a read. 

This month Spike, Amanda, and I have still been keeping up with our podcast Dirty Old Ladies. This month we did an episode called “Show and Tell” which is us talking about comics we have enjoyed lately. I talk about Love is War and Beastars. Both of which I’ve talked about here. Our other episode for the month is “Hindsight is 2020” where we talk about mistakes we have made in the past/stuff we would have done differently. The big one for me is I saved the first 400 pages of Sorcery 101 a size too small to print, so I had to redraw them before putting out those giant books I eventually released. Ya know these ones. 

As for some stuff I’ve been enjoying besides Crusader Kings 3, Amanda and I have been watching Yashahime together (remotely). It’s a sequel to Inuyasha and watching this show together feels very comforting. The plot is basically Sesshomaru has two daughters and they team up with Inuyasha and Kagome’s daughter to fight a demon lord that is messing with time. Inuyasha’s daughter is kinda a disaster person that is delightful to watch. 

And for the non-anime inclined folks I also enjoyed the Haunting of Hill House on Netflix. I watched it and the Haunting of Bly Manor. I enjoyed both, but Bly Manor seems less focused than Hill House so I preferred that one. Hill House uses the ghost story as a metaphor for childhood trauma that works rather well. They are both worth checking out. 

That’s all for this month. Thanks everyone for your support each month! Enjoy your November. 

New Comics launching on Patreon

Hey all! Last month I talked about how The City Between being print first leaves my Patreon at a disadvantage when it comes to rewards. Well as both a thank you to the folks who have supported me while all the cons are canceled and in an attempt to try new rewards, I’ll be  posting two new comics on my Patreon. They will both be for anyone that backs my patreon. 

The picture above is from the first page of Stars Hide Your Fire. Andrea and Darra are friends with different views of the future. Darra is anxious about what the adult world has in store, while Andrea sees it as an escape from their mundane little town. But the hunt for a rumored ghost pulls them towards opposite ends of a supernatural conflict that’s been unfolding for 100 years.

I mentioned it last month. I wrote it, Jose Pimienta drew it, I colored it, and lettered it. It comes out from Iron Circus Comics in 2021. Until it’s released, I’ll be posting a page each Monday. This means only the first half will go on Patreon. This comic is also what Jose and I work on while streaming each Wednesday.

The other book I’ll be posting on Patreon will be a more long term feature. I’m finally starting You are the Chosen One. Some of you might remember the concept art I posted the beginning of this year and some of last year. You are the Chosen One follows 23 kids who are given the same prophecy dream telling them that they are the chosen one. 

Pages will go up every Friday. They will be for Patreon backers only, until my patreon reaches $1200 a month. Then it will start posting my website and the patreon version will just be however many pages ahead. The milestone after that is I’ll update The City Between or You are the Chosen One faster. 

Those two comics are where most of my focus has been the past month. That and I finished up some commissions. In June, I got edits on a commission, a freelance gig, and then the rest of the month I’m just continuing work on these. 

I am also happy to announce that Dirty Old Ladies, my podcast with Spike Trotman and Amanda Lafrenais, is back to updating. A new episode about unions went up today. We have a decent buffer, so it should regularly update every other Wednesday from now on. 

As for stuff I’m watching, reading, and enjoying, mostly it’s been new volumes of comics I’ve already talked about. I got myself a new volume of Beastars and Vineland Saga. Beastars is starting to get into world building more. I think it’s doing a good job of teasing out background info for the world, then circling back to it once it’s important. 

That’s it for this month. Everyone thanks for your support. Please stay safe.