The Week of DOOOOOOOM!

So, last week was rather pathetic. Monday, nothing. Tuesday, nothing. Wednesday through Friday, the bare minimum amount of work.

This week, on Monday, I got three pages storyboarded. I was pumped. We were finally picking up speed.

Tuesday I had to help my brother make hay all day. No problem. I’ll just spend all of Wednesday working on the comic.

Wednesday, the tent housing all my belongings blew away in a strong wind, leaving my stuff out in the elements. I spent the whole day trying to recover everything, all of Thursday making more hay, and Friday recovering.

So we went from six pages in a week to three. Not good.

I need to re-evaluate my workflow and goals and bring them in line with reality. I have a couple of thoughts on this, but they are going to wait while I develop them.

Monday update

Last week the goal was two pages (e.g. one two-page spread) per day, Monday through Friday.

I only got six instead of the intended ten.

This week, same goal. I want to do twice that, two spreads per day, and I may attempt it on certain days, but I have to stack hay for my brother and get some of the moving in done, so I’m leaving the bar where it is.

Here’s today’s pages.

If you want to see the rest of the storyboards, I’ll be putting them on my SubscribeStar on Friday.

Looking at it, I don’t think a subscription service is necessarily the best way to do this. I will be debating over the course of the week whether I should adjust it, or what. The real idea behind the SubscribeStar, though is not to get the comic early or see behind the scenes… it’s so people who want me to make kids books can help me out with that. The Behind the Scenes bits are just there because why not?

Anyway, ONWARD!

The path ahead

In my last post, I went over the tests that have led me to a new workflow. I also said I needed to move to another state.

Well, I’ve moved. It’s time to start up my production machine.

Patreon is having some legal issues, and while I feel like they are liable to survive the immediate kerfuffle, their handling of it does not bode well for a long and salutary future. Fortunately, migrating my Patreon audience to SucribeStar is easy: I don’t have one yet.

My SubscribeStar is not set up fully yet. That’s what we’re doing right here right now, and we’re kicking it off with a preview of the comic book I’m working on.

go on

Gearing up for Hat Trick 2

I was forced to replace my laptop recently, and I took it as an opportunity to test out Clip Studio Paint, as I already have a license for it.

Clip Studio, for those who don’t know, used to be Manga Studio. It is a Japanese program designed for making comic books. I tried to use it to make Alphabeasts, but alas, it does not make PDFs without A) the Japanese version (which I don’t have) and B) a paid plugin for said Japanese version.

But drawing and making comic books is what it’s made for, right?

Well, it works. I like the sleek, smooth lines the inking tools give. I like how buttery and fluid the paint feels. I was very frustrated by the hotkeys and workflow, but that’s to be expected when using a new program. To a degree, you can customize it, and to a degree, you just have to learn it.

Okay, and…

And so what we have learned applies to our lives today…

Jump the Shark and the Pirate Princess is out!

Get it on Amazon!

Each book is an experiment. I am building and refining my hypothesis of how to make fun awesome stuff every day, and testing that hypothesis with each release. So let’s find out what I’ve learned so far, eh?

Continue reading “And so what we have learned applies to our lives today…”

Wildly Imperfect

Today I attempted three times to record a video of me reading Hat Trick. Why? Because parents ought to know what’s in the book before they blithely hand it over to their children. Hat Trick has violence and gore, which I think children’s books ought to have, at least more than they currently do. More problematically, the hero lies and steals and seeks vigilante justice, and I offer zero commentary in the story as to whether this is right or wrong because Hat Trick is not an attempt to fortify young souls with virtue; it is an attempt to tell a fun story.

There is also religion and black magic in it, so some parents might be concerned about that. They have a right to know and decide for themselves, even if I think the stories are perfectly fine for young children.

The upshot is, I read the story three times. Each time, the video was spoiled. The first time by tons of glaringly obvious errors in the text which I had to stop and correct. The second and third times by my child, my child whom I love, bursting in and commenting.

Even were I not reluctant to bandy about my kid on the internet, and I am deeply reluctant to do so, Youtube and I have different ideas on what is appropriate for children, and so releasing the video would be just begging to be deplatformed.

But I was able to make multiple corrections to a wildly imperfect draft.

For some reason, certain errors in every book I write remain invisible to me before I place a book on sale. Once it is absolutely certain, however, that the erroneous work will make its way into the hands of paying customers, the errors bubble up out of the text and dance like evil little happy goblins.

I really ought to reserve the services of an editor. I wonder whether Brian Niemeier will offer me a discount for work that is less than a thousand words long. I wonder how I could get the stories to him in a format that permits him to easily work with it, but also interleaves the story and pictures in a sensible way. I wonder whether an editor would even break the curse, or if my manifold errors will elude the eye until publishing time regardless of precaution.

Corrections have been made and are awaiting approval by Amazon. If you want the wildly imperfect version in hopes that it’s a rare, first edition, grab it here. Otherwise, wait three days and then grab it.

Learning on the go.

I am embarrassed that I tried (briefly) to market myself as a cover artist.

Thanks to Niemeier having a nice talk with David Stewart on nostalgia, I was introduced to David Stewart.

Thanks to David Stewart, I was introduced to some flaws in my cover art. Namely, I’m trying to make art rather than an ad.

Here’s the Hat Trick 1 cover before Stewart and after Stewart:

Changes:

  • New font! Old font says “romance”, new font says “fantasy.” Hat Trick is fantasy, not romance. For the most part.
  • Made the title bigger. Now you can read it on the Amazon Thumbnail!
  • Moved the picture to make room for the title. From now on, I have to remember that the top third to half of the frame is reserved for that title.
  • Small color balance tweaks to make it more cohesive.

With time, I would redo the picture to make it play better with the cover design, but onward and upward!