Monday, August 15, 2016

Old Drawings

I have had two large charcoal drawings hanging in my studio(garage) for months now. Everytime i have to walk past them, my shoulder will rub against them. Removing or smudging the charcoal. Months. So i broke down and bought some fixative. I sprayed one, no problem. But the second one had become too smudged and mistreated. So i decided i would give it a make over, instead of tossing it.
This was fun.
It was a large drawing on "good" rag paper, so it had the potential of something good. But more importantly it had this disposable quality. And that disposiblity gave it the freedom to be anything.
This freedom is important, an artist should not be intimidated or scared of thr medium.
I am pretty enviromentally conscious individual, using recycled material whenever i can. But i try my best not to be scared of ruining a piece of art supply or wasting money. As long as you are learning, seriously focusing on your art, there is no waste.

The 3 images below are a progress sequence, in chronological order.

I ended up trying to make the drawing more of an atmospheric or impressionistic feel. Like a faded photo. With only hints of shape amid the faded shadow. 

I am pretty happy with the result, i never really know where a drawing will lead. I just draw it.

Thursday, July 21, 2016

I got a nice email today, with some good questions about tabling.
I am posting my response here in case it can help others.
the above picture has nothing to do with anything.

I hope I didn't come off too negative on my post. I am going to be tabling at APE, and look forward to meet you. I wish I had my booth number already, but I am sure we will see each other. 
San Jose does not have the same audience for independent comics or art for that matter as SF, at least not yet. So that was the major problem I saw with last year's APE, the lack of foot traffic or attendance. 
There was great artists there, but just not enough patrons. I know Dan, the guy from SLG who runs APE now only had less than a year to plan. So that's why I don't hold anything against him. But I think it will be at least a few years before APE grows the reputation enough to draw a big crowd. 
As for content, a vendor should definitely know their audience, if its a superhero crowd, have superhero product. I at this time am not concerned with that. I just make things I like, and that I would be interested in buying. But as advice, I would recommend researching any con you are interested in tabling at. 
I definitely think being as out-going and friendly as possible is the best approach. As long as it doesn't seem fake or aggressive, just let people browse your wares and have fun. 
Technical skill does play a factor, but only to which audience you are appealing to. Some audiences or genres tend to prefer slicker more produced styles, while others prefer more raw or emotional. I would not worry about technical skill too much, it just comes with practice and study. 
Page count, size, look and price point all do matter. The actual artifact of the comic is important to people, they want to see care put into the product. They are less likely to pay for something they can make themselves, or that seems to be thrown together. 
Pricing is crucial. You don't want to scare off a reader with a too high of a price, but you also have to value your own time. The only advice would be to look at what you might pay for a similar book, and don't be afraid to lower your price or make a deal with a reader. With a personal comic the idea is to have someone read it, not to just make money. It's better to have a fan who is more willingly to read your next book then a quick sale.  And that is why I wouldn't put a price on the actual book, leaving it off gives you more flexibility. You can always put a little cut out paper with the price on the display.I personally, also don't put the date on the front cover.
The look of your table is important as well. It has to look both inviting and professional. Vertical displays do help, as I was told, "you want levels". The idea being that you a staggered table top is more interesting to the eye than a flat top. 
I personally print very small runs, always less than 100, usually about 25. and then take about half to cons. If you live close to the con, just take a little and bring more as you need them the next day. 
Don't let jaded cartoonists like myself discourage you, we do it because we love it. and so will you. 
Thanks for the email. 

Wednesday, July 06, 2016

The future is uncertain

Here we are again.
I am still really busy working on several projects at the same time, as always. Today is one of those days when "reality" rears its ugly head to pounce on your dreams.
It's usually money causing the problem, if only there was a way.

Anyhoo, I am working at a good job, which I enjoy. Which is a great change for me. I am going to do a convention in October, which might be my last one. Only time will tell. Last year we took a bath at this convention, we didn't even get close to breaking even. Which is really our only hope, profit is not a reasonable goal. This year we are doing a 4-5 person split which will make the financial blow a lot less bad. But the blow to the ego is way worse for me. It took me at least half a year to recover from that. One would think that I would have thick skin after years of cons, but those years of no interest take a toll. Oh well, on to another things.
I still love making comix, and probably will always make them. Just not "table" at cons, maybe just free online.

Anyhoo, now I am working on animation skills.
As I type that, I realize how crazy that sounds. The idea that comix were unforgiving, and jumping into another unforgiving art form. haha, I will never learn.