Anti-Virus

Homer gets the Osaka Flu

No, I don’t have an antivirus; I’m just anti-virus. More on that in a moment.

First, a quick update and a small clarification on my last post about reverting to pursuing comics as a hobby instead of a business. I do still intend to create, publish, and sell comics, make convention appearances, and so on. However, my approach is now “because I want to,” instead of “because I want to make this my career someday.” If that still happens by some wild stroke of luck, or if I can pivot back in that direction in the future, great. But, for now, I do have to abandon things like business strategy, timely and crafted social media posts to maximize reach, and trying (and failing) to monetize everything I do. Those are the things that stressed me out, the things I don’t currently have the capacity to manage. The things that make comics not fun.

Go on….

Hard Reset

From Amazing Spider-Man #50. Image credit: Marvel Comics

I almost posted a very different blog about my 2020 plans and expectations, but I had something of a revelation today concerning my approach to creativity:

It’s not working.

It made the original blog mostly irrelevant, but there are a couple of key points that will sneak their way into this one, too.

My wife noticed that I have been upset a lot, lately. Stressed. Short-tempered. I can barely hold it together for five minutes with our daughter before I lose patience. She said that I seem miserable and wanted to know what I needed to make things better.

Go on….

Cape Comic Con 2019 Memories and Momentum

Cape Comic Con 2019 Banner

I’m back after my annual March and April blog sabbatical, that period of time in which I almost never post any no good blogs. The reason? Well, other than creative angst and/or spreading myself too thin? Cape Comic Con preparation, of course! Cape Comic Con took place April 26-28, and as always, it was a wild weekend. During the three or four months leading up to the convention, a lot of work goes into not only getting myself ready for the show, but also helping with convention planning, organizing, and marketing.

Go on….

No Time? No Problem!

For the next five minutes, Apu is going to party like it's on sale for $19.99

This is the post every blogger has made at least once. It’s the inevitable “I don’t have time to blog about my original topic, so I’m going to blog about not having time to blog” post. Unfortunately, both blogging (well, my original post, anyway) and comics took a backseat to some of the more important things in life this week—family time, personal health and responsibility, some weedeating I kept running out of time to finish, and so on.

When I get busy and don’t have time to work on passion projects, I have often felt like a failure. I used to build this nonsensical bubble, encompassing a certain amount of time, that I couldn’t see past. For instance, let’s say it’s the weekend. I decide I’m going to do a bunch of creative work and be super-productive. I build my bubble around that goal, not taking into account my chores, or family time, grocery-shopping, errand-running, or that get-together that’s been on the calendar for weeks that I knew was coming. When all is said and done, the weekend is over, and no creative work got done in my all-important bubble. I was crushed. I would obsess over how I maybe could have done things differently to squeeze in more time. And, since I often couldn’t see past the bubble, I sometimes even worried that I was running out of time in my life to get things done. All because I didn’t get the work done I wanted to do in a period of time that couldn’t realistically accommodate it, anyway.

Go on….

How to Make Comics The Big Skink Way!

How to Draw!

I’ve spent the last couple of weeks telling you about these crazy comics that I make. But, I haven’t told you how I do it. How does a comic develop from that fuzzy idea I had at 2 a.m., stumbling around in the dark, looking for the bathroom, to a finished product on somebody’s bookshelf or in their Facebook feed? Read on. Despite the impostor syndrome creeping its way into the corners of my subconscious as I write this, I would like to believe I have done enough work to be able to tell you a thing or two about my creative process and why it works for me.

The most important thing to remember is that this is a guide, not a set of rules. Everybody works in their own way, and only certain methods and tools work for certain people. No matter your passion, develop a system that plays to your strengths.

Go on….

10 Years Later, My Creations Haven’t Come to Life and Killed Me, Yet

Screenshot from Comix Zone on Sega Genesis

I started listening to a new podcast called ComicLab, in which comics professionals Brad Guigar and Dave Kellett (and sometimes a guest) sit down and talk about making comics and making a living from comics. It’s something of a spiritual successor to an old podcast I used to listen to called Webcomics Weekly, which also starred Guigar and Kellett, along with Scott Kurtz and Kris Straub. Unfortunately, Webcomics Weekly petered out some years back. However, it was one of the driving forces behind me resuming work on Mike and the Ninja at the beginning of 2008, after a hiatus of more than a year. Not only did I get a lot of useful and funny information from the podcast, it also inspired me to just sit down and work. I wanted to make comics, but that can’t happen without a lot of work, and it took me a long time to realize and fully appreciate the amount (and sometimes complexity) of work involved. Webcomics Weekly came at almost the perfect time, the first episode landing maybe two or three months before I decided to put serious effort into Mike and the Ninja, once and for all. Listening and re-listening to those episodes kept me going during those first fragile months of tackling a long-term project, and gave me the motivation to press onward.

Go on….

Six Legs, No Heart Progress Report, Part Deux

Six Legs, No Heart Cover

Here’s an announcement I’ve been hoping to make for quite some time now.

Six Legs, No Heart is finished! We sent it off to the printers a couple of weeks ago, so barring any extreme unforeseen complications, it will be ready and available at Cape Comic Con, April 21-23!

Go on….