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.

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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.

Blog for 5-5-14

Wow. A lot going on around here lately and not a lot of time to work on Bloggity.

First, big stuff happening with my comics. First, my Patreon campaign is going pretty well, but I can always use more support. The Errant Apprentice is going quite well, and my new/renewed series Mailbox Rocketship launches on May 6th. Pun intended. Also, I’ve started a forum for the comics and just general discussion.

Man! That was a lot of plugs!

I’m also blogging on Nightgig.com. I’ve been a friend/member of Nightgig for years and we’re starting to get the blog rolling again. There may be some cross posts between here and there since I talk about similar subjects. We’ll see.

That being said, you’ll probably notice the Bloggity site going through some changes. I’ve been marginally obsessed with web stuff lately and I’m trying to find a theme I like. I got tired of the old logo and layout and so now I’m in a state of flux. We’ll see how that goes.

I tried out the MMO Wildstar this weekend during an open beta server stress test. It was fun, but there are some definite bugs that need to be worked out with the social and the controls.

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Life in General

personalbannerSo things have been active lately in a lot of ways. The old man has been to the doctor’s a couple of times for lab work and to the hospital today for a CAT scan. No word yet from any of it. He’s having the same problem he had this time last year where he can’t eat much. Hoping to hear back from that soon. On top of that my health hasn’t been great lately. Running around seeing about my dad has killed my rest and recovery so I’m just sort of existing in this marginally sick condition for now.

On the plus side I’m turning out some great artwork right now and I can’t wait to start sharing some of it. Still not bringing any money in. Well, except for one donation so thank you donor who will remain anonymous! Every little bit helps! Mailbox is again a going concern for now. I hope to have several pages done before the re-launch in January. It’s probably going to be a for money series. Print will be available, but PDF’s will as well. I figure 99 cents isn’t too much to ask, right?

I’m trying to become more active in online communities but it’s a bit of a struggle. I don’t feel it sometimes. I’m there and posting but I don’t feel like part of the community. I’m not sure if it’s me or the places I’m posting, but I’m not giving up just yet. I just need to keep positive.

Speaking of keeping positive, I’ve gotten back into therapy. I’m going once a month and I think the big issue right now for me is trying to stay on top of my thought patterns and trying to remember my self worth. I’ve actually started a depression blog over on tumblr called Depress-o-tronic so I don’t pollute the internet at large with the poison that tends to come out of my head. I also use it to post links to things that explain depression and places that can help if you are depressed.

All that being said, I’ll close for now. More as it happens. Till next time!

 

Writing by Not Writing

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One of the things that has continually astounded people is the fact that I don’t actually write scripts. I seldom plot things out very solidly either. It sort of hinders me. Once it’s written down then that’s what you have to do. I don’t work that way. The current storyline in Errant Apprentice was mapped out plot-wise but all the details were vague. Mostly lists of what might need to happen. When I got to those issues though didn’t stick to them to hard. I don’t write from dialogue and plot. I write from mood and character.

Back during Kota’s World I learned that if I set a plot out and stuck the characters in it as written, they would often change the what was happening.
“This isn’t us.” They would say. “Let us show you what we would really do.”
I learned to trust those character. They know how they react. Because of that, I’ve learned to just come up with the situation and then let them act it out themselves. The characters carry the thing and to try anything other than that is backwards to me.

I’m not saying that this works for everyone. I know a lot of artists that write a full script and do thumbnails and redo thumbnails and then do the page and then redo the page. That’s fine and a wonderful way to do it. I’ll take my improvisational writing any day of the week though.