What’s Next for Fantasyville?

To say this year took me by surprise is an understatement.

My original plans – “just keep doing what I’ve been doing, but go to 10 conventions/shows, not 14” – HAD to shift hard to the left.

As it turned out, though, canceling convention season meant I could work on the following things:

NeverEnding

I started working with these folks back in February this year. In that 10-month window of time, we’ve run a successful KickStarter, started production on a new app, and got some buzz going with Satine Phoenix, the Sirens, and a LOT of tabletop gaming companies. INCLUDING some folks connected to the Hugo Awards (but I can’t give more details). Like, holy dang.

I’m still working with the crew as the Creative Director, leading the art team while we make art for the app. It’s my first time being in charge of other artists. I’m still getting the hang of it.

Livestreams

In lieu of conventions, I ran livestreams. For a while, I did them every Saturday, until I burned out on the schedule. I stopped for a bit to reassess.

It all started with live-draws, where I streamed myself drawing new stuff in Clip Studio Paint. But the most watched streams have been the most recent ones I’ve done: with guests, talking about some business aspects of comics. Things like how to run a successful KickStarter campaign, and converting KickStarter backers into long-time patrons.

The Switch from Patreon to Ko-Fi

I dragged my feet on this decision for a while, until I couldn’t anymore. Patreon just kept on dropping pledges from patrons – often, from the high-tier patrons. And this had been a problem for OVER A YEAR. A problem where, each month, I had to reach out to patrons individually to ask them to check their information. (I had originally reached out in group messages, but a previous patron stopped pledging because they saw this as “public shaming.”)

And then, in the last month, every time I made a new post, the website would just…shut off. My internet connection worked. I could save a DRAFT of a post. But when I hit “publish,” the Patreon site would just…stop.

In short, Patreon as a system has bugs that aren’t being meaningfully addressed, and it’s aggravating myself and other people.

I made the switch to Ko-Fi recently. While it lacks some things (like scheduling posts ahead of time), it has other things Patreon does NOT have. Like more consistent payment processing. And the ability to leave a tip just once.

What’s Next, Though?

I want to continue growing the audience I have on Ko-Fi. It’s a platform with a lot of promise and I want to help it grow. A lot like what I’m doing with NeverEnding, actually.

I also want to keep going with YouTube. Livestreams, yes. But I’m THINKING about dipping my toes back in to making proper, edited videos…I just don’t like editing because I don’t have the right tools for it. So an upgrade to better video editing software is on the table.

Another thing on the table? Better audio recording set-ups. I wrapped up doing vocal tracks for a friend’s punk song and it made me realize…I miss doing audio work.

Other than that? The Legend of Jamie Roberts will keep going. CB and I are remaking some early pages of Tiny Unicorn. We’re also doing more with Tiny Unicorn (and Mr. Dino & Friends) in the near future. BreeBree Bootique is a new project I’m doing with chubby cat art (now on Instagram and RedBubble).

AND…

Keep an eye out for two new book projects that Fantasyville Productions will be releasing in the next few months. One’s a prose anthology, the other is a comics anthology.

I’ll write about those two books in the next update.

That’s all for now. Thank you for reading!

You. Are. Awesome.

Skeleton Fiddler – A Commission

I drew this skeleton fiddler as a commission for someone last month. I think he turned out well!

I drew this entirely digitally, on Clip Studio Paint. It’s my program of choice, because PhotoShop is a hard drive hog and CSP is much smoother and easier to manage.

Halloween Ko-Fi Talk

I hope you can join me today from 1 pm to 3 pm EST on YouTube! I’m hosting a Ko-Fi talk with my writing friend Melanie and my comic buddy Ben Wright-Heuman.

What will we talk about in the livestream? Anything and everything from National Novel Writing Month to my recent switch to Ko-Fi!

That’s right – I switched away from Patreon, and went to Ko-Fi instead.

Why? Here’s the thing: I’ve been on Patreon since 2014, and Patreon support has helped fund over half of my comics. But they’ve been rolling out new features WITHOUT fixing the errors they have in their system. Like dropping pledges without warning to the patron OR the creator.

So I’m switching to Ko-Fi for a smoother, less glitchy experience.

Also, Ko-Fi has features that Patreon does not. Things like:

  • the ability to buy a coffee for your favorite creator,
  • giving JUST ONCE. (A monthly subscription is optional).
  • a shop feature!
  • a feature that lets you place a commission request from me!

(Seriously, how has Patreon not implemented those features?)

If you have any questions or concerns, this livestream is the best time to ask. So again, I’ll be streaming TODAY from 1 pm to 3 (ish) pm EST. Ask your questions over on YouTube.

If it’s not addressed in the livestream, I’ll write up a post to go in more depth about the switch. In the meantime, there are more details about rewards and what I’m trying to fund over on Ko-Fi.

Hope you can join us! Thank you for your support.

You. Are. Awesome.

My “Plump the Post” Zine Submission

an illustration of a plump transgender/nonbinary person holding a flower. Below them is a banner saying "liberation" and above them flies the genderqueer flag.

I can’t remember the exact year that Plump the Post happened. But I think it was no later than 2018.

Plump the Post was a zine collecting art made by and for fat representation. For my entry, I wanted to highlight chubby genderqueer people because they’re valid, too.

(Also Hollywood has a tendency that even IF they highlight trans characters, they’re, 99.9% of the time, skinny.)

The model who served as inspiration for this piece was a friend of a friend, a chubby trans dude whom I am not naming to protect his privacy.

Is the zine available for sale? Well, it’s here.

Will there be another issue? Hard to say.

But I’m glad I participated in it.

Shadow Man – A Sketch

a black and white marker sketch of a pure black being with ghost white eyes in a robe. The robe has detailed borders on the sleeves and bottom.

I drew this Shadow Man sketch back in 2015. I THINK I used Sharpies, but it’s been 5 years since I drew this. So I don’t remember. But this was drawn in a Strathmore sketchbook, which is my sketchbook of choice. I just prefer spiral-bound papers. Things that lay flat make me happy.

The motif of a pure black shadow being with white eyes happens A LOT in my sketchbooks. Part of this is because I’ve been inspired by the Heartless in Kingdom Hearts for a long while. I dig the monster designs in that series. (Then again, I like drawing monsters. Obviously.) And when I was a teenager playing that game for the first time, the image of a pure black shadow with creepy, pale eyes burned its way into my subconscious. It’s haunted me ever since.

But I also REALLY like adding details to costumes, like border designs. (Like the ones in this illustration). If I ever see zentangles, or Eastern European costumes, or Islamic patterns, I am ALL OVER those. What can I say? Patterns are fun.

So I sketched this to play with high contrasts: black and white, simple and detailed. It was fun to draw!

…I want to draw more things like this, actually. Maybe I’ll make it my Inktober theme? (Holy heck I need to pick a theme for Inktober this year. I keep waffling between several good ideas).

BUT I WILL say – this sketch could be considered a proto-Mocktaw.

Mocktaw are the black shadow creatures from The Legend of Jamie Roberts. It’s my weekly webcomic about a genderqueer pirate and friends adventuring in a land full of dragons. If you like this guy and want to see more like him, check out the comic.

That’s all for now. Thank you for reading!

You. Are. Awesome.