Are You Not Entertained?! (No, not really.)

So a few months ago I received a couple of emails from someone asking me to do a series of articles about the differences between foreign language films and their english language remakes. Sounds like a great idea, honestly! The problem is that I haven’t SEEN any and haven’t had a chance to. This sort of sums up my recent problems with entertainment in general lately. I don’t have TIME to be entertained these days. Entertainment is something you take in during your free time. I’m not sure I remember what that is.

That’s not to say I’m not watching some television. I stop whatever I’m doing when Steven Universe comes on. Until recently I was an avid viewer of Rick and Morty, but I haven’t had the chance to sit down with my friends to watch in a long while now. I actually got to see three episodes of The Flash the other night instead of sleeping. Loved it! Probably won’t get to see it again for another six months.

Honestly, unless I can take it in while working on a comic, I don’t get to do a lot of media. Night Vale is a favorite, audio books are great, and Far Land or Bust! is perfect because who wants to watch the world shake while Kurt walks? I’ve tried doing real TV shows before. Stargate: SG-1 was a great radio show for me. Babylon 5 as well. The problem is there’s not much compelling on TV for me any more.

So yeah. Maybe I can get back to doing some reviews, but for the time being I’m working and comicing.

Paranormality

I’ve probably written about this before, but since I was a wee nip I’ve been interested in the paranormal. I’ve studied most of the major fields of paranormal research over the years including UFO’s, cryptids, hauntings, and things that defy classification like teleportation and people that appeared out of no where. I don’t honestly believe in most of this stuff any more but I’m still fascinated by it. It is our modern society’s folklore and has taken the place of elves, witches, and bogey men.

My interest in the paranormal has sort of waned since the internet made it all more mainstream, but I still have all this data floating around in my head. From the Kecksburg UFO to the Green Children of Woolpit, it’s all still here. I even find the occasional new bit of info I didn’t know about like the Black Knight satellite that has supposedly orbited the Earth for 13,000 years. The question arises though. What do I do with all this?

That’s where Mailbox Rocketship comes in. Mostly the series is about a group of friends in high school, but it takes place in a world where all of these things are fact. Springheeled Jack will be making an appearance. Bigfoot might show up. The current page even features Black Knight over one of the Poles. I’m even finding a way to work in outdated scientific concepts like the Odic Force and Elan Vitale in as scientific fact.

So what does all this mean and what’s the point I’m trying to get at? NOTHING you learn in your life is ever useless and there’s no such a thing as wasted time. It’ll all come in handy somewhere down the road. Even stuff like 1973 Pascagoula Abduction.

Drunk Duck

Since 2001 I’ve mirrored my comics on Drunkduck.com and I’ve been relatively proud of that. The last few years have not been easy, and considering recent developments on the Duck I thought I’d talk a little about my time with an inebriated water fowl.

Back in 2001 I was a year into the five year project that was Kota’s World. My readership was pretty small and I was hosting it on either Keenspace or Angelfire. I don’t really remember which at that point. I needed readers and a community. I seem to remember finding Drunk Duck through a forum and it had just recently launched. It was a good site, built by Dylan Squires (Volte6) and there were a LOT of people there. I started uploading KW and almost immediately I started getting readers. It was a fun time full of interaction with fans and fellow creators and I suddenly found myself as the number one story based series on the site.

There was down time of course, it’s a website. In 2005 there was a major crash where all out data was lost. You know what though? We came back. We all came back because we loved the Duck. I once again mirrored my comic “The Errant Apprentice” on there at launch.

In 2006, Dylan sold DD to Platinum Studios. There was hope that they would provide stability (financially and server-wise) to the site and that some of us would be picked up as hot properties. There was only one series I can think of that got optioned for anything and man, was there controversy around that.  He didn’t get paid. That sort of sums up what actually happened with Platinum now that I think about it. Broken promises for everyone.

After several years of Platinum changing the site and making it more or less impossible to use, DD was sold to Wowio in 2010. They changed the name to “The Duck” and did little else. That’s sort of where the story stops for a long time. The site was non functional, there was frequent down time, the community has died, and it’s impossible to make new accounts there.

And yet, I’ve stuck around. I’ve got maybe four readers who exclusively read my comic on the Duck and I keep it up over there for them. It’s been rough.

This week has seen some big changes though. An effort by Ozoneocean, probably the most dedicated and amazing guy on the site, has managed to get control of The Duck. It will now be controlled directly by the community and we’ll be able to fix the site, add features that were taken away, and try to make it a live site again. We’re excited about this.

The only problem is with the reputation that’s grown up around DD in the last four years. A reputation for being broken, site admins that won’t listen, and a community that has shrunk to nearly nothing. Not only is this not “The Tonight Show with Johnny Carson”, it’s not even “The Tonight Show with Jay Leno”. It’s Leno’s cancelled prime time series. It’s going to take a lot of work to get the Duck floating again and to get people to see it as a viable site to use. With people like Oz in charge though, I think we’ve got a chance.

Thoughts on Comics and My Area.

Get your mind out of the gutter! I didn’t mean THAT area!

So the past week or so has been really really productive for me. I’ve been cranking comics out like a machine and it feels good. When I do that it feels like comics are my job and man do I wish they were. I could get a page and a half to two pages done a day if I didn’t have work and responsibilities. The problem is getting paid for it.

Patreon is helping with that. It’s been surprisingly successful lately with helping to make some money. More so than my freelance graphic design has. Which leads me to an interesting story.

This past weekend a friend of mine from Iron Tiger Comics was at the Ottawa Comic Con. . . thing. . . and he was selling stuff from several other ITC members. He sold all three of the copies of my book on Saturday. In Canada. A book about Mississippi. I can’t even give my book away here for toilet paper and we can’t keep a con going if we gave away free crack and hookers. There’s something positively toxic about the environment down here for creatives. We can’t sell our stuff or even get a place TO sell our stuff. Without even being there I sold $105 at a con outside of Mississippi.

I guess that’s about all I have to say today. Tune in next time where I complain some more about my home state and give it a vaguely suggestive headline.

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Oh, here’s a Rick and Morty thing I did a little while back that didn’t sell at an event.

Dream Writing

webcomicsbannerOne of the best things that can happen to you as a writer is when you have a dream that writes the story for you. My friend Barry Linck can attest to this with me. He recently had a dream that’s getting turned into a new storyline. Now it’s happened to me.

So I have a ton of stuff that needs to be covered in the current storyline of EA. Big revelation time. The problem was it was all sort of just talking. It didn’t really work the way I was hoping. None the less, I couldn’t figure out any way to rewrite it so I just sort of left it and hoped inspiration would hit me. It hadn’t. I had page 2 done and was starting to get worried. I went to bed.
Last night I had a dream that was filled with emotion and drama and exposition. It took Terry and tore him apart as a person and left him in a state where he would have to rebuild who he was. It then continued on to what happened next in the Everywhen and his and Delores’ return to the real world. The series took on a completely different light. A lot of what Terry was going to be doing was reactionary. Now he’s proactive and I couldn’t be more happy about it.

So yeah. I don’t know how it happens, I don’t know where the ideas come from, but now I know what I’m doing and it’s all thanks to a dream I had.

Errant Apprentice Book One Available!

smallcoverAfter months of preparation, The Errant Apprentice Book One is now available from Indy Planet! It contains issues one through six (issue one has been colored!) and pages of bonus material about the world, the characters, and the origins of the series! It’s $30.00 at Indy Planet and if you’d like a signed copy then please contact me through the site and we’ll see what we can do!