Wow, I’m so happy that the Sparkplug Books Kickstarter was funded with a little extra to pay the videographer and t-shirt designer and get Yumi Sakugawa’s mini printed. Thanks so much for all your support!!! We couldn’t have done it without y’all’s likes, shares, faves, boops, retweets, and most of all, pledges.
I’m getting emotional preparing Vortex for the printer. I’ve been tinkering with it off and on since June 2011. It feels bittersweet to close the files for the final time and move the project to my archive folder…
Drawing comics in my studio is such a solitary activity, I can forget that there are so many of y’all out there reading and enjoying <3<3<3 Your support means so much to me, thanks again!
I’ve got some updates for y’all:
- I added Cold Heat Special #10 to my online shop. When you order it from me, I’ll draw something in it for you!
Cold Heat Special #10 interior. Photo by Glade Hensel.
- The Rough House Comics Collective will be selling some of my comics (Cold Heat Special #10, Tranz #2, Vortex #3, and Vortex #4) at the Houston Indie Book Fest (AKA the Indie Book Fair at the Menil Fest if you’d like to avoid the Facebook page) this Saturday May 3rd on the Menil lawn. They’ll be debuting the second issue of the Rough House Comics anthology. While you’re there, if you haven’t been, I recommend that you visit the Cy Twombly gallery. An art sanctuary.
Untitled Part VI (A Painting in 9 Parts) by Cy Twombly, from an online gallery. The shapes of the canvases for these green room paintings remind me of Jim Woodring drawings.
- This week’s installment of Skew over on the Study Group Comics site ends on a cliffhanger!
Page 14 of Skew.
- I’ve been reading a lot and drafting some essays on fsf books. I’ve also been thinking about my role as an amateur critic. With Amazon and Goodreads, just reviewing individual books doesn’t seem like enough. I want to compare, make connections, look at and define categories. But until I get around to realizing my ambitions, I recommend that you read the chilling fantasy-horror Mother of Winter by Barbara Hambly (not sure if it’ll stand on its own if you haven’t read the preceding Dark trilogy, but plotwise, it’s a separate book); the nautical fantasy trilogy Liveship Traders by Robin Hobb; and the speculative biology hard sf novella “The Island” by Peter Watts, which you can read for free, alongside the rest of his backlist, on his site.
- I’ve neglected posting recent reviews of individual Vortex issues and the complete saga, so here’s a bundle, with quotes and links:
I realized yesterday that I only have one copy of Vortex #2 left in my personal inventory. So I’m not selling any more individual copies of Vortex #2 and I only have one Vortex #1-4 combo pack left. The combo pack is four dollars cheaper than ordering each issue individually. You can order it in my store.
Vortex #2 is still available through other stores and distros: Farewell Books in Austin, Birdcage Bottom Books, Quimby’s, Sparkplug, Telegraph Gallery, Wow Cool, and some other places I’m probably forgetting (sorry I’m sleep deprived).
Today is the final day of the reblog contest over on my Tumblr. Here’s a shot of me working on the prize, a 6×9″ black-and-white ink drawing of the Miizzzard:
I’ll announce the winner next week. Thanks to everyone who’s liked and reblogged so far!
Thanks to everyone who has participated in my Tumblr reblog contest so far! You can still enter your handle in the hat until Friday, February 8th at midnight CST. Just reblog this Tumblr post advertising the four digital prints I’ve added to my store to raise money to get to my table at TCAF. I will randomly select one person and mail them a 6×9″ ink drawing of the Miizzzard on smooth watercolor paper.
I don’t know about y’all, but my muse is fickle. Whenever I have work to do (right now, Fuel Quest, Vortex #4, and some freelance web development projects), I always get super stoked by the idea of a side project that’ll just derail me. Lately I’ve been reading about pixel art and game development, dreaming about making some small adventure games set in the Hyperverse. I’m contemplating how to best harness this excitement while still keeping my momentum on my current projects going. I think I might institute something similar to Google’s 20% time – give myself a couple of hours each week to work on whatever I want while reserving the remainder of my studio time for my main projects. How do y’all balance having fun with new projects and previous commitments?
The reason I’m bringing this up is because I spent far too much time this past weekend making a small pixel art animation of the Miizzzard walking:
I followed Derek Yu’s very helpful tutorial on making sprites. I liked how this let me scratch my desire to make a GIF without all the effort of more traditional animation. Also I get to indulge the perfectionist part of my brain that agonizes over the placement of every pixel.
Hi y’all, I’m going to start with a bit of bad news – because of the US postage increase, which mainly affects international orders, I had to raise the international shipping cost on everything in my store on this site.
But I do have some good news for y’all – I’m doing a giveaway! Reblog this Tumblr post advertising the prints I’ve recently added to my store anytime between now and Friday, February 8th at midnight central US time, and I’ll select one person who gets a free 6×9″ ink drawing of the Miizzzard on smooth watercolor paper.
If there’s an artwork or single comics page that you’d like to see me offer as a digital print, let me know.
I’m going more commercial than I usually do to try and raise money to get to my table at TCAF.
Let’s raise our crystal skull goblets to 2013 and the coming hyper-folk-sci-fi utopia! I hope that everyone had a happy new year’s.
This is my first sketchbook page finished in 2013. I began it while chilling over the holidays and finished it today.
2012 was a year of upheaval, change, and growth.
Personally, Glade and I made some big choices. In the spring, we decided that we’re going to stay in Austin for the foreseeable future. In the summer, Glade opened Paper Party in Domy Books Austin and was able to move to part time at her day job in the fall. Domy Books Austin is now closing but Glade’s going to move Paper Party to a new spot at 1223 Rosewood. I’m bummed that Domy is going to be gone. Every time I went in there Russell was so enthusiastic about comics and would show me all the great new stuff that came in. He’s also been a great supporter and promoter of my comics. But I’m glad that Travis Kent and Mikaylah Bowman are carrying the torch with Farewell Books in the same spot.
2012 was a big year for my comics career:
Not everything was a triumph, however. I applied to the final round of the Xeric grant and didn’t get it. I’m still putting more money into my comics than I’m earning. I have several self-publishing projects that are stalled out.
I’m looking forward to experiencing what 2013 brings. My primary goal is to finish Vortex, put out the rest of it in minicomics, and explore the options for publishing a collected edition.
I intend for this site to be my primary home on the internet, but there’s no denying that there’s a powerful community feeling on Tumblr these days. Therefore, to make it easier for y’all to follow me there, I’ve consolidated my two personal Tumblrs into one: http://hypercastle.tumblr.com.
I’ll post sketches, drawings, and images that inspire me on that Tumblr. I’ll continue to post drawings and pages from cartoonists that I dig on the GCPM Tumblr that I maintain with my buddy Josh Burggraf.
My birthday was this past Sunday! I’m inching closer to the big three-oh. I’m actually looking forward to putting my twenties behind me – I’ve always wanted to be a cranky old man.
Face paint by Melinda Tracy Boyce; photo by Aaron Whitaker.
Glade got me this awesome customized messenger bag:
She did the Jim Woodring embroidery based on Sublime Stitching designs (I think the site is sold out).
Hey y’all, I mailed off my application to the Xeric Foundation self-publishing grant today.
Applying to the Xeric has been a goal of mine since I first read about it, so even if I don’t get the award, I’m glad I submitted to the final round. Good luck to everyone else who submitted – may the most deserving cartoonists win!
A drawing from Lars Martinson’s helpful posts about applying to the Xeric and self-publishing.
One resource that I came across while preparing my application was Lars Martinson’s ten-part post series “How I Self-Published a Graphic Novel” which details the steps he followed in publishing his book Tonoharu. Even though this is the last round of the Xeric there’s still plenty of useful advice about self-publishing in general in those posts. The two steps that I’m thinking the most about now are Part 4, where Martinson details saving up enough money to take a year off of his day job and give self-publishing a full-time try, and Part 10, where he thinks about what it’ll take for him to make self-publishing comics into a sustainable career. It’s an unfortunate fact that there isn’t much money in comics and I like how he deals with the reality of the situation without being hopeless.
In semi-related news, the Gold County Paper Mill will be tabling at STAPLE!, an Austin comics festival, this weekend.
STAPLE! is this Saturday from 11am to 6pm and Sunday from noon to 6pm. I’m going to have a more detailed post about what we’re bringing and what else you should check out on Friday.