Hey! You! What are you doing Saturday? Seeing the Dark Knight Rises? That's cool I guess, but what you SHOULD do is go to Rob-Con at Viking Hall!
Yes my friends, go to the Tri-Cities biggest comic convention and feast upon the thousands of comics and toys and stuff that will be there! Meet some zombies, check out the Batmobile! And then come by my table and BUY MY STUFF.
I'm debuting Burst Reach 2 there, packed with comix greatness:
As well as the collected Distinguished Gentlemen and Exciting Tales! strips, the first Burst Reach, AND chapter 1 of Other Sleep!
I'll be doing sketches for stupidly cheap, too! Here's the flyer I made for my table:
You see that? For under 10 bucks you can buy ALL FOUR of my books! There's no reason NOT to! Unless you just don't like comics in which case, why are you even here?
Seriously guys, I'm stoked for this. That show I did in Gray, back in April? That was weak. Free Comic Book Day was fun, but it's nothing compared to Rob-Con. This is gonna be BIG.
Also I'll be dressed really nice, which doesn't happen often. You don't wanna miss that!
Besides, you don't HAVE to see the new Batman on opening weekend you know. That's when all the crazy crowds are out, who wants to deal with that crap? COME TO ROB-CON.
Lollipop Chainsaw is the one game I was really looking forward to this year, and it did not disappoint.
I WAS a little concerned at first. Suda51’s games seem to be getting increasingly dumbed down as they become more slick, when you look at how Grasshopper has progressed from developing the insanely dense and obtuse Killer7 to…a game about a cheerleader who fights zombies with a chainsaw. And yeah, it is a little disappointing that these games aren’t quite as thought-provoking, unpolished, and…maybe insane isn’t quite the word, but what I’m trying to get at is while the narrative for Flower, Sun and Rain will have you ripping your hair out in confusion (if the gameplay itself hasn’t caused an aneurysm), Shadows of the Damned is just about shooting demons in Hell to get your woman back, not a whole lot to think about there.
So yeah, a little part of me wishes Suda51 would throw out another game with a story that requires a lot of research to grasp and gameplay that can be just plain inconvenient, but at the same time? Lollipop Chainsaw is just so much damn fun, even if it is rather shallow.
Here’s the big thing about it that appeals to me: this game is like a tribute to the bizarre splattergore films that guys like Yoshihiro Nishimura have been cranking out over the past few years. Specifically, I’m reminded of Vampire Girl Vs Frankenstein girl, but the flying zombies in the game (propelled through the air by blood spurting from their leg stumps) HAVE to be influenced by the final showdown in Tokyo Gore Police. James Gunn, director of Slither and writer of the Dawn of the Dead Remake, is in on it too, and you can see his fingerprints all over it in the dialogue and the silly references that the game throws out.
That’s another thing I love. This game is HILARIOUS. Juliet is so vapid and takes this localized zombie apocalypse all in stride, while her severed head boyfriend Nick gets all the best lines as he freaks out and questions what the fuck’s going on. The zombies themselves say some great shit too. I can’t get over this one fat zombie who declares “they’re selling popsicles for fifty cents!” And, for some dumb reason, I always laugh at the football player zombie who shouts “ten hut, ten butt fuck!” It’s crude and oh so juvenile in so many ways, and I think that’s one of the reasons I love it.
You could beat the game in about 4 hours if you just run through it, yes, but I take no issue with this. Between work, making art and comics, and the other stuff I do, I’m cool with playing a game that’s not going to take me 50+ hours to beat or whatever. I can jump in, play a level or two, and I’m good. And I can’t stop replaying certain levels of the game either. I mean, I was gearing up to write this review, and instead decided to go replay the 3rd stage. That’s how much I enjoy this game. Yes, it’s a little repetitive since all you’re doing is hacking up zombies and occasionally playing a minigame of Zombie Basketball or something, but trust me, it’s FUN.
The soundtrack goes a long way too. In fact, I’m fairly sure it easily ranks among my top five favorite videogame soundtracks ever. Akira Yamaoka ROCKS THE FUCK OUT in a way I haven’t heard since his work on Contra: Shattered Soldier, which is also in my top 5 faves. Here’s my favorite track from the game’s prologue stage:
There’s also a lot of great rockabilly and bone-crushing metal. You have the option of picking any five tracks (you unlock more as you progress, of course) to make a playlist to listen to while playing, which is a huge plus to me. And, since this game is published by Warner Brothers, there’s a lot of licensed music thrown in too. Every time you use your Sparkle Power (one hit kills + invincibility), “Hey Mickey” starts playing. I think this is the first time I HAVEN’T outright hated that song. Another stage has you slaughtering zombies on a rooftop to “Pac Man Fever.” Of course, not all of the licensed music is great. Not even Lollipop Chainsaw can get me to enjoy Skrillex or Five Finger Death Punch.
Also? The boss battle tracks are all scored by Jimmy Urine of Mindless Self Indulgence, who also voices the first boss, Zed. He does a FANTASTIC job of it, too.
People knock the game a bit because the graphics aren’t too great, but that’s a charming thing to me. I have never played a Grasshopper game with mindblowing visuals, and I’d kind of like to keep it that way, it suits the punk band influence that Suda51 comes from. Still, I’m so happy that this game is so goddamn colorful. They use a great comic book aesthetic for everything too. I’ve always loved the visual aesthetics that Grasshopper has used in their games, so this is definitely no exception. The game has also received criticism for having a ridiculously sexualized protagonist, but that doesn’t bug me. Juliet is a cartoon character, and it’s hard to get upset over her appearance when she’s just so damn bubbly and kind of badass. No one really comments on her appearance or threatens to rape her or anything like that, and past the opening cinematic, it’s not like the camera is always up her skirt or down her cleavage. If anyone’s truly being objectified, it’s Nick, LITERALLY. I think this whole thing is just Suda51 poking fun at and satirizing gaming trends with no real overall statement about uh, feminism or anything. And that’s unfortunate, but it’s not really a problem either. Actually, Jonathan Holmes did a great post on Destructoid where he interviewed Jessica Nigri as Juliet and wrote quite a bit about the central ideas of objectification in the game. Give it a read.
Okay, I’m well over 1000 words so let’s wrap this up: Lollipop Chainsaw is AWESOME. Go play it. Or not! It’s up to you! This is just how I feel about it, you may think differently.
Regardless, you gotta admit, with the way the gaming industry is these days, we should be thankful there are still dudes like Suda51 who do things differently. That man is my hero. RESPECT.
It feels so good to be back in action, doing comic stuff. I mentioned that stupid slump I was in, right? I went into detail about it over on the Other Sleep blog shortly before I got chapter 3 online and...oh crap, I never announced that over here, did I?
That's right! A week or two before I went to HeroesCon I put chapter 3 online! GO READ IT NOW. Or um, wait until you're done reading this post, at least?
Ahem. Anyways. Yes, I was in a slump, and the trip to HeroesCon really helped to pull me out of it, inspire me, and get me back on my feet and making comics for YOUR enjoyment. I confess that chapter 4 of Other Sleep is going to be late, BUT I've got other things coming down the pipeline! For instance, I am PRINTING chapter 1 of Other Sleep for Rob-Con! I'm polishing things off and figuring out what to do for the back 4 pages, inside cover, and back cover, but I'll be putting the order out for it soon. And oh hey, what's this?
GASP! Is that what I think it is? YES. It's the logo for Burst Reach 2, which I've been slaving away at all this week! I'll be getting it finished up and printed this weekend, then I'll be bringing them with me to Rob-Con next month on the 21st! I'll be doing it the same way I did the first one last year, printing it myself, getting copies made, and folding and stapling them myself. Had I mentioned that I purchased a long reach stapler one night earlier this year on a night that I couldn't sleep? Well, I did.
Yes, I'm taking two different approaches in getting two different books printed and put together. Other Sleep is a full-color comic, and it's my real professional effort, so going through a professional printer to get it right is easily the best option. On the other hand, Burst Reach is a lo-fi minicomic anthology that's MEANT to be cheap and handmade like a punk zine or those pamphlets that crazy street preachers occasionally hand out.
(quick aside: I was once handed a Bible on campus at ETSU, and in exchange I gave the guy a copy of Burst Reach. Fair trade?)
Another reason I'm making Burst Reach 2 in that fashion is influence from my friend Sterlin, whose Pizza Flag Books you should be familiar with if you've been on this site for a while. Last week before I left for Heroes, a Nashville all-girl punk band called Heavy Cream put on a free show downtown, which was put together by Sterlin. It made me happy to see when I got there that he had a table set up selling copies not only of his own Museum For Dead Clowns zine, but Eye Alive vol. 1 (I FINALLY GOT A COPY), a NEW zine of his own called Irony & Whine, and a zine by another friend called Tune Out. I greedily snatched these up. He's also been selling copies of Burst Reach for me. It's just...man, zines are just the coolest things ever, you know?
OH. And I did this poster for that very show:
It makes me happy knowing that they sold out there. Sterlin did a pretty sweet poster too, which also sold out.
Um...now I forgot what I was talking about? Yeah, Burst Reach is my punk comix zine thing, while Other Sleep is a little more high-quality. But I still love both and I'm putting all I've got into them.
And have no fears, that Distinguished Gentlemen/Exciting Tales! collection is progressing as well! And I'll be doing a cover for Eye Alive vol. 2 for Sterlin and contributing to the guts of the book too. I don't think I'll be doing a new comic this go around, but I still want to do something cool...You'll see.
Aaaaannnnnd I think that's it for now. BACK TO MAKING COMICS.
So HeroesCon was this weekend, and I teamed up with a couple of friends and went down to Charlotte for three days of comics and crowds and other fun stuff.
Things worked out so damn conveniently for us. I had originally wanted a hotel downtown, close to the convention center, but we opted instead for a significantly cheaper LaQuinta Inn by the airport. Friday and Saturday, we were shuttled for free from the hotel to the lightrail station and rode the train straight to the con. Maybe it wasn't much quicker, but it was certainly cheaper and more interesting, especially the guy who drove us back to the hotel from the station talking about extra terrestrial intelligence and stuff.
I got. So much. Stuff. And I met so many artists whose work I've enjoyed over the years. I'm not even sure where to begin, man.
Out of my rather large list of people I wanted to see, Geof Darrow was absolutely one of the top five. He was the first person I looked for on the show floor after a quick stop by Becky Cloonan's table, which I had just happened to notice while on the way. I bought a Godzilla print from him, got my copy of Hard Boiled signed, and talked to him about Bojangles, KFC, and the weird orgy that was taking place at the beginning of the comic. The next day, he did a panel with Don Rosa, and I asked him about any future plans for the Shaolin Cowboy. Awesomely, there's an old-school pulp magazine called the Shaolin Cowboy Adventures that'll be coming out this year! YES! He also kept rambling about some weird Japanese manga about an island of vampires that make people piss themselves and stuff. I love that man to death.
The two coolest artists I met over the weekend were Michel Fiffe and Paul Maybury. Both of these guys were a part of the LiveJournal comics group Act-I-Vate years ago, which I was a pretty big fan of. Funny thing was, it wasn't until I saw them there and started talking to them that I realized how big of a part that group and their work played in my comics sensibilities. Both of them were incredibly nice, and I bought more from them than I did from any of the other guys.
I also met James Harren, whose recent work on BPRD and Abe Sapien has been mind-blowingly awesome. I freaked out looking through the original pages of the Long Death, and when I told him I wished I had brought one of his books to sign, he generously pulled out a Mignola variant issue of BPRD, signed it, and handed it to me for free.
Other folks I met: Becky Cloonan, Ben Templesmith, Matt Fraction, Jonathan Hickman, Ryan Bodenheim, Mike Mignola himself, Bill Sienkiewicz, Toby Cypress, Nathan Fox, Robbi Rodriguez, and probably some other guys I've embarrassingly forgotten. I gave most of them copies of Burst Reach too. I was afraid that some of them would turn me down or just shove it aside, but quite a number of them seemed really gracious and interested in what I was doing.
Meeting these artists, giving them my own book, and looking at their own work and seeing what all they've accomplished was so amazing and invigorating. These past few weeks I've been in this stupid slump, so down on my own work and struggling to maintain some kind of motivation to continue working on Other Sleep, and this con was absolutely the kick in the ass that I needed. Now I'm just absolutely pumped to start working on more stuff.
The panel with Dustin Harbin and Scott Campbell was incredible. Only 5 or 6 people showed up for it, so we all sat right up front, making for a rather "intimate" panel that was a blast. It was absolutely the best panel I attended that weekend.
Our hotel was dog-friendly, and Saturday night there were a number of the beasts and their lazy owners hanging around the pool, which was kind of weird. The hot tub wasn't terribly hot or even remotely bubbly, so all in all it was a little surreal and a little mundane. Still, can't complain too much, we paid just over 50 bucks each between the three of us for two nights there.
Stan Lee was there, and I caught a little glimpse of him from a distance. I think Trey and David got some blurry, distant photos of him. He wasn't looking too great, but apparently at his Sunday panel he actually RAN up to the stage and can still really work a crowd, so maybe he was just...conserving his energy?
I saw wayyyyyy too many Harley Quinns, Deadpools, and guys in Captain America shield shirts. The cosplay all around wasn't much to be amazed at. I got molested by a Tusken Raider at the 501st booth immediately after walking into the con on Friday, and kept stumbling upon a pretty amazing Silk Spectre. I think Dr. McNinja was there Saturday, which was badass, and he was walking around with Axe Cop too! I also bumped into a guy carrying Tom Servo around, and kicked myself for not getting a picture. There were two large t-shirt booths set up, and they seemed to be getting a lot of business, but the only shirts I bought were from Michel Fiffe (the one pictured above) and Paul Maybury.
We saw some TV show in the hotel room with Betty White and a bunch of other elderly folks called Off Their Rockers. It was a prank show that was...honestly kind of awesome, but pretty terrible at the same time.
Hm. I think that's it. I'm still really sore and tired from all the damn walking we did, so I'm gonna go relax and go through the insane number of comics I bought, yeah? I definitely plan on going next year, and might even try to get a table for myself. I just don't know if I can stand up to some of the awesome talent there...
...Oh crap, I gotta prepare for next month's Rob-Con!
I’ve seen Prometheus twice, which is more than most people will probably bother with it sadly, and I have to say I have never been so blown away and yet so frustrated by a movie in quite some time. The first time was pretty difficult for me, so many little things were getting on my nerves, mostly regarding the characters and their behavior, but after thinking on it, reading other people’s thoughts online, and watching it again, I have to say things made a bit more sense and didn’t get on my nerves nearly as much.
So here, in no particular order, are some of my spoiler-heavy thoughts on the movie.
The dome with the face on it is from one of HR Giger’s unused concepts from Jodorowsky’s 1970’s attempt at filming Dune. That put a huge smile on my face.
The spacesuits: I want one. I think they look exactly like something Enki Bilal would design, though comparisons to Wally Wood’s EC comics work are also apt. Sean Witzke pointed out their similarities to the suits from Planet of the Vampires, which I also greatly enjoy. Really, practically everything about the design work of the movie and even the way Ridley Scott shot it just screams Heavy Metal to me. I seriously wish more sci fi films looked this good.
I’m really glad they managed to bring out the same creepy, uncomfortable rape-y vibe from the original Alien. It’s not quite as heavily laden with phallic symbols and vaginal openings, but it’s still there.
The pacing is interesting. The first bulk of the movie is just discovery and awe, then BAM, dudes start getting killed, weird shit starts happening all at once, and the pace just jacks up and it turns into a relentless beast of a movie. That bothered the hell out of me the first time I watched it, but now I enjoy it for switching gears like that, just outright fucking with audience expectations in a way.
The black goo: I like the theory that the way it works depends on who’s exposed to it. The Engineer at the beginning of the movie is ripped apart at a molecular level in order to create life on…whatever planet that was. It’s a similar situation with Holloway, I think, only it’s not as quick because he only ingested a single drop of it. Both had good intentions. Fifeld turns into a monster because…well, I guess because he’s kind of a douche. As for all those Engineer corpses…I’m still not sure.
A few bits are straight out of 2001: the hanging spacesuits, David saying “I know we’ve had our differences,” and the way zombie-Fifeld was bashing people to death and running around the way the apes did.
Once you realize that Vickers is Weyland’s daughter, everything she was doing up to that point in the movie makes sense. She wants her father dead so she can inherit everything, and she despises David because Weyland views him as the superior “sibling.” Having David call her “mum” I think is a part of that, something to deal with an inferiority complex she has. She’s also impatient about leaving the planet because she doesn’t want them to find anything that could prove her father right and ruin her chances of taking over. The medical pod is calibrated only for men because it actually belongs to Weyland. This illustrates that he’s a selfish bastard (he probably used it simply to keep himself alive for so long), and is also evidence that Vickers wants what her father has, all for herself.
David’s motives are never clear, and I don’t think they’re supposed to be. What you’re supposed to notice is the simple fact that a damn robot even has an agenda and feelings of his own. He despises Weyland and Vickers ("doesn't everyone want to kill their parents?"), the way they consider themselves superior to him, and he dislikes Holloway for the same reasons. It’s not like he knew Holloway would get Shaw pregnant or anything, he was just curious as to what the black goo does to a human being and picked him as the guinea pig. Finding out that Shaw was pregnant with some wicked creature has little to do with any plan he might’ve had, I think he’s just happy that he himself indirectly created life, something that only gods or other living beings should be able to do. I’m starting to think he might have a god complex or something, based on his belief that he’s better than humanity, and that’s possibly what drives him to behave the way he does.
I wonder just how much this film connects with Lawrence of Arabia, aside from it being David’s favorite film. I think the key to figuring out David’s motivations might have something to do with that film, especially that line that he repeats: “the trick is not minding that it hurts.”
I loved the music. I mean, well, I wouldn’t buy the soundtrack and listen to it, but it feels so much more old fashioned than what a traditional film score is these days. It’s no Jerry Goldsmith, no, but it reminds me so much of older movies in a good way.
The ending: Am I really the only one who realized that the giant squid thing was some kind of proto-facehugger? I mean, everyone online just calls it a squid or Cthulhu or something, but I’ve never seen anyone point out that it LOOKS JUST LIKE A FACEHUGGER. Except, you know, big.
I’m hoping for an even better director’s cut when it comes out on DVD, with loads of special features. I really think it’s this generation’s Blade Runner, and a really big director’s cut would support that a lot, considering Ridley Scott’s track record and the fact that he’s mentioned in interviews all of this stuff that was cut out of the movie…
(wasn't even a damn line in the movie)
When I was a little kid, I always enjoyed shutting my eyes, like really tight, and watching the…I still don’t know what it’s called. The after-effects of light? The weird colored shapes that play across your eyelids. I would watch them slowly diminish, thinking they were germs or something. I distinctly remember one time, playing hide and seek in a classroom in elementary school, and my head was resting against a wall, eyes shut tight, and as I was counting, I was watching these…they looked like islands, and the way they moved across my eyelids made it seem like I was flying.
Then, years later, in the ninth grade I saw 2001 for the first time. Well, not all of it. I was flipping channels and I caught the word “INTERMISSION” on TCM, and I stopped, transfixed by that Futura font and the haunting music. I didn’t take my eyes off the TV until the end of the movie, and when it was over, I felt changed.
It was the Star Gate sequence in particular, the dazzling lights, that ever-present haunting music with the pitch steadily rising, the blink-and-you-miss-it frozen shots of Dave as it appears that his mind is SHATTERING, just like mine was while watching. And then you see those solarized landscapes, all blues and greens and oranges. The camera passing over canyons and valleys…and islands.
It’s like deja fucking vu. But I have no memory of ever seeing the movie before. It’s weird.
And it still gets to me to this day. I mean, I’m always hypnotized by Kubrick’s films, but 2001 is possibly the closest I’ll ever get to doing mind-altering drugs, more so than anything David Lynch or Alejandro Jodorowsky could ever shoot. And once it hits Jupiter and Beyond the Infinite, I can’t blink, I can’t breathe, my hands are always pulled up to my chest, gripping my shirt tightly.
I usually never think to mention the movie whenever I’m listing my favorite films, sci fi or otherwise, and I’m not sure why, because there isn’t any other movie out there that makes me feel the way 2001 does…
I have been busy. I'm nearly finished drawing chapter 3 of Other Sleep, and I'm deep into flatting/coloring it as well. I've got someone interested in me doing some drawings for a thing they're writing, I'm doing a flyer for a local show, and I've got to plan a photoshoot for a friend. STUFF IS HAPPENING.
Not to mention those collections I keep putting off on working on, and planning that trip to Heroes Con next summer.
I'm afraid I don't have anything terribly new to show you guys right now. HOWEVER. That comic I did at the end of 2011, Zimmik Looks For Love in a Barren Land, is finally online and you can go read it in the comics gallery. I was waiting until my friend printed the anthology book that it was for. Here's the first page:
Lots of weird semi-emo stuff and nudity in this one, yeah.
Oh, and here's a quick thing I threw together last week as a bit of a test/experiment:
That's it. Back to work.
I've been really stupidly busy lately.
First off, I've been trying to work my ass off on completing chapter 2 of Other Sleep, but, well, other life-related things keep getting in the way. I'm nearly done coloring it, and after that all I'll lack is the lettering. It should be up here in the next few days, I promise.
I had that comic show in Gray, TN a few weeks back, and it was slow, not really the greatest experience ever, but not too bad either. Sold a few sketches and some comics and met the other two artists who were pretty nice guys.
I'm still working on that print collection for the Distinguished Gentlemen and Exciting Tales strips. Here's the wrap-around cover for it, though I may make a few changes to it before it's done:
Then my birthday happened last weekend. All I really asked for from my family was a proper drawing table, because drawing on a flat desk so much at work and on the floor or on my bed at home was starting to do some damage. Turns out we had one in the basement for years upon years with old computer stuff sitting on it. I cleaned it up and dragged it upstairs and now I got a pretty righteous setup that I sadly haven't gotten to use nearly as much as I'd like to:
I love it.
This week was my best friend David's birthday, and we went and saw the Avengers. I REALLY didn't want to go, for reasons best outlined in this Comics Alliance post by David Brothers. Buuuuuuut Leif bought our tickets, so I figured why not. Even going in, I really didn't want to like it. I was actively looking for reasons to hate it, and, well, the first act of the movie definitely gave me plenty of reasons.
The main big thing that bothered me for the majority of the 2 hour+ movie was simply the way it was shot. For one thing, it was shot digitally, when I feel like it could have looked so much better if it were shot on film. But you know, Hollywood is trying its hardest to kill film and make everyone go digital. I'm not saying movies shot digitally are bad, I mean hell, Crank 2 was shot with cameras you could go purchase for yourself at Best Buy and I LOVE the look of that movie. The problem here was in some part due to the way Joss Whedon shoots, coming from a TV background. For practically half the movie, it feels like you're not watching a REAL movie, just something straight-to-DVD that somehow got a larger budget than usual. There was a lot of stupid camera work that got on my nerves and the lighting, combined with the super-high-def clarity of being shot digital made the costumes, especially Captain America's, look WAY too fake. It felt more like a guy doing really expensive cosplay, not an actual soldier/superhero, until the costume got battered and ripped up later in the movie, then it looked good. Everything was just too clean, and the lense focus too sharp, it was so distracting.
This actually DID work to its advantage in one scene between Loki and Thor where it felt like I was watching an 80's fantasy film, and it actually developed a certain sense of charm that everything coming before it lacked.
So I was not happy for the first 45 minutes or so. But! BUT!! I must give credit to Joss Whedon for keeping the "witty banter" down to a tolerable minimum, and for having a good sense of character development and understanding of how to handle a big cast of unique characters and how they work with/against each other. The movie would sink or swim depending on how it was written and how the character dynamics worked, and Whedon made it soar. Once the plot REALLY kicked in and the stakes started going up, the movie got good and I wasn't so distracted by how it was shot.
The final act is insanely impressive, despite the alien army reeking of another common Hollywood problem: being over-designed. The CG is great, very realistic yes, but I hate how everything is so damn unnecessarily detailed that rather than looking like something that could very well exist, you can just tell that the aliens were designed by a team of artists locked in a studio somewhere. There's just too much detail.
But it's okay because the Hulk steals the bloody show and wrecks things good. And Mark Ruffalo's performance as Bruce Banner was great, he was definitely my favorite character in the movie. Loki was fantastic as well.
Also? The final, post-credits scene was probably my favorite in the entire movie. And it was, weirdly, the most grounded, human, relatable scene in the movie too.
So yeah, I actually really enjoyed the movie after I got through with the irritating first act.
Yesterday was Free Comic Book Day, and I got the opportunity to go to Mountain Empire Comics in Bristol and set up for the day to sell copies of Burst Reach and stuff. I was partnered with a man called Dionysis Metalcult, creator of Metalcult Comix, drummer/vocalist for a metal band called Cult of Dionysis, and owner of one sweet mustache. We traded comics and he gave me a couple CDs which I'm listening to right now. I couldn't have asked for a cooler guy to share a table with.
(Spider-man was there too, he's pretty cool)
I met another artist there, Betty Ogletree, who does fantasy art. I'm jealous of her use of color and attention to detail in her work. She let me try out her Copic markers, which were awesome. I plan on getting me some.
Also, legendary illustrator Charles Vess showed up for a while, and we kind of nerded out at him. Here's a pic of him with Burst Reach and Metalcult Comix:
All in all, a good time was had, and this BLEW that show a few weeks ago out of the water. I had such a blast.
And now it's back to work. Gotta finish chapter 2 and put it online, finish designing that print collection of strips, get chapter 1 printed, AND work on Burst Reach 2 and get it finished and printed in time for ROB-CON 2012. No rest for the wicked...
This is, more or less, a cry for help. Well, not necessarily. It’s more of a…I dunno, a personal appeal.
I’m proud of the work I’ve put into Other Sleep, and, obviously, I would like for as many people to see it as humanly possible. I want this comic to be a major stepping stone towards making a career out of my comics and art. I’ve been trying to promote it in a bunch of ways, screaming at friends on Facebook, distributing postcards, going onto forums and other sites to tell people about it, and emailing people too.
I’ve always been of the do-it-yourself mentality, and I don’t enjoy asking for help, but, honestly? I can’t do this by myself.
It’s a strange and common belief that if it exists on the internet, then hundreds, if not thousands, of people have seen it, and I don’t think that’s necessarily true. Or maybe it is, I don’t know. My personal website was only averaging about 10 unique visitors per day, but lately it’s dropped. Any piece I upload to Deviantart usually only gets 5-10 views. I have all kinds of social networking accounts that no one really pays attention to, and I have to admit that sometimes it’s discouraging. Not that it stops me, no, not at all, but when you’re an aspiring artist who hopes to one day make a living doing his thing, you kind of hope for more people to take notice, yeah?
And that is where YOU come in. The best way to get people to look at Other Sleep, and my work in general, is if YOU talk about it. All I’m really asking is that you spread the word. If you really liked the first chapter, why not post a quick link to it on Facebook? Or maybe you know one or two specific people who you think would really enjoy it, go tell them about it! Got a blog, or a Tumblr, or something similar? Share it on there. “I read this weird new webcomic, check it out here.” That’s it. That’s all you have to do. That’s all I ask of you.
Promoting my work is an uphill battle, especially when it comes to Other Sleep. Being monthly as opposed to posting pages two or three times a week is one thing that makes building interest difficult. And, well, the number of webcomics out there on the internet is MASSIVE. Making things even more difficult is the fact that, unlike most of the popular webcomics these days, Other Sleep is not a gag comic. It doesn’t reference anything remotely popular like Star Wars or My Little Pony or videogames. There are no superheroes or moe-blob underage girls for the otaku to obsess over. It is its own unusual, unique thing, an original creation that I’ve put a lot of myself into, not to mention time and effort.
It’s a sad truth that original work DOESN’T get as easily and frequently seen as some dork’s Dr. Who/Adventure Time mash-up does. I mean, I see people sharing memes all the time. ALL. THE. TIME. Can’t you, just this once, rather than re-share something George Takei posted on Facebook that most of your friends have probably already seen anyway because they also like George Takei, can’t you help build interest in something new, something different, something that has nothing to do with Game of Thrones? JUST ONCE?
Your friends probably wouldn’t notice anyways because someone else will have posted a wacky screenshot from Draw Something, so what does it matter?
But no, in all seriousness, if you tell one friend about Other Sleep, or just post the link to the website, or like/share the Facebook page, just one small gesture like that, I WILL BE SO GRATEFUL TO YOU AND WILL LOVE YOU FOREVER.
Just…just think about it, won’t you? My birthday is this weekend, and you can do this for me as a gift. Thanks.
(also: Chapter 2 should be up in the next week or so! GET PSYCHED!)