Coming to Halloween ComicsFest at New Dimension Comics…

IT’S ME. I’ll be coming to Halloween ComicsFest at New Dimension Comics, yo.

Specifically, I’ll be at the New Dimension Comics at the Ohio Valley Mall in Saint Clairsville, OH.

Halloween ComicsFest will be October 26th this year (that’s a Saturday). There will be free comics, scary comics, ALL THE COMICS.

I’ve got some spooooky deals in the works, like

  • giving a free sticker to folks who buy from the comic shop and show me the receipt (LE GASP!),
  • framed original sketches (DOUBLE GASP!),
  • $3 minicomics and zines marked down to half price (GASPIEST OF GASPS)

These deals will be only at Halloween ComicsFest, so if you’re in the Saint Clairsville, OH area, BE THERE, gosh dangit!

But if you can’t make it, there’s my online store, too. Just know that the online store doesn’t have these Halloween ComicsFest deals.

Email Newsletters Are On Hiatus

So I HAD an email newsletter. The service I used was MailChimp.

I logged in this morning, thinking, “Hey, I should delete the unsubscribers from my contacts. That should improve the open rate on my emails.” So I go to the menu showing all of my subscribers, including unsubscribes and bounces. I go to check the box to select the unsubscribes on the page shown to me.

Little did I know: clicking the “select all” button selected ALL of my contacts, not just the unsubscribes shown on screen.

And, well, all of my contacts got deleted.

Active, inactive, and unsubscribed people – all gone.

THREE YEARS OF WORK. GONE.

Due to a clunky mechanic through my email newsletter service, I have permanently deleted all of my subscribers.

I can’t contact support to fix this because I was on the free member plan. Tech support is only available for people who pay for a monthly plan.

There is no way to get them back on again. So I have to start over. From scratch.

And I’m going to start over with a different email client.

Please bear with me as I get this fixed.

Words cannot describe how disappointed and angry I am at this.

September Convention Reviews in 1 Paragraph or Less

Let’s get right to it!

WEST VIRGINIA POP CULTURE CON

They changed the dates this year and that affected attendance HARD. Had a great time, saw cool peeps, and got to hang out with table buddies whom I would totally have a corner booth with again. Also, corner booths are where it’s at.

8/10, PLEASE get the old dates back!

SMALL PRESS EXPO

HOLY BANANA PANTS a dream come true for me. Had the best table neighbor and assistant, KickStarter gave me incredible freebies, and everyone was AWESOME. But got a case of the con crud after.

11/10, sales were worth the sickness. Wanna’ go again.

FLAMING RIVER CON

Oh good lord I can’t sum up my feelings about this show in a short paragraph. I need a full-on review.

Spoilers: it was emotional chaos.

I can’t number this/10, most likely not going back next year, sorry.

PARKERSBURG POP CON

While tables were REALLY affordable at this show, low attendance was a concern. At least I shared a table with Ben Wright-Heuman again, and our table neighbor helped out by lending me an extra card table for the event.

meh/10, I might actually skip this next year. We’ll see.

That’s all for now! Next I’ll review Youngstown Indie Creator Expo, which is happening this Saturday, Oct. 5.

Thanks for reading.

You. Are. Awesome.

Is Drawing Everyday a Good Goal to Have?

gouache finger painting sketch of an english garden

I used to have the goal of drawing one page in my sketchbook every day. But is drawing everyday a good goal for me to have?

I thought it was the best way to keep my skills sharp, to build material to put into books, and develop story ideas.

But here’s the thing:

I couldn’t draw one page in my sketchbook everyday. Because LIFE happens.

I had a habit tracker all set up in my bullet journal, and when I looked back on the year so far, I discovered something. When it was a convention weekend, or on days when I was backed up on studio work, I did NOT draw a page in my sketchbook that day.

And you know something? I used to beat myself up over that.

Until I decided to let it go.

I made this decision during my vacation in Philadelphia earlier this month. While I was on vacation, I realized that a lot of daily habits I was holding myself to were hurting more than helping.

And one of those habits was forcing myself to draw everyday.

So, I stopped.

And the funny thing is: now I can’t stop drawing!

When I was forcing myself to draw everyday, I was beginning to resent it. It was like a chore.

Now that drawing everyday isn’t a requirement, I can fill up my sketchbook with whatever I want, whenever I want.

Will this stop me from doing Inktober – the artist challenge of making a new ink drawing everyday? Heck no. I still have every intent of participating in Inktober.

But that’s because I WANT to. Not because of an obligation or a habit tracker making me do it.

That’s just me though! What has helped you with your creative practice? Is drawing everyday a good goal for you? Or is it something else? Let me know in the comments.

Thanks for reading.

You. Are. Awesome.

MatsuriCon: or, Why I Want to Sell at More Anime Cons, but Can’t

artist alley table layout

These last couple of weeks have been bananas for travel, from personal vacation time to selling my work in artist alley at MatsuriCon. My first anime convention in over 5 years (as a seller).

First, I was in Philadelphia for a personal vacation with my mom. My 30th birthday is this month, so we wanted to celebrate by going to a city neither of us had been to. We had a blast!

After the train ride back home, there were a couple of days for me to get ready for the next thing, MatsuriCon over in Columbus, OH.

So the headline of this post might make it sound like I had a bad time. This is not true.

MatsuriCon was freaking GREAT! For an anime convention, I was surprised how many people wanted to see original stories and art. I was a bit concerned, because of my 20+ products, only 3 things on the table were fanart.

Ok, I’m going to have an aside about selling fanart, because this is a hot-button issue among creatives wanting to sell their work.

Here’s the thing: if you can do something new and put your own spin on the fanart, then by all means, do that. I actually did that with this piece, taking a Kingdom Hearts bad guy and drawing him as an incubus:

incubus xigbar from kingdom hearts
Also on Tumblr.

The problem with fanart is when an artist does something BORING and makes money at it. Portrait shots of a character would fall under the “Boring” category…for me, anyway. If you’re new to artist alley, a portrait rendition of your favorite character from another artist might be exciting for you. But go to enough artist alleys, and you’ll begin to appreciate the artists who do unique things.

(Also a few of the portrait artists/people who do boring fanart are actually plagiarists. So keep that in mind, too. I’m glad some artist alley organizers are catching on to this.)

MatsuriCon actually had a rule in their Artist Alley contract that fanart could only take up 50 percent or LESS of the table. Any more, and that was considered grounds for having your table revoked. So there was a refreshing amount of original stories, products, and ideas in artist alley, which is REALLY FREAKING NICE.

Here’s a peek at the stuff I found in Artist Alley. Keep in mind, these are just what I traded for/bought:

matsuricon artist alley convention haul

Regarding sales of my own work, I made back 3 times what it costs for a table…or rather, half of a table. I was splitting a table space with my comics buddy Ben. We also stayed at his house, so we didn’t have to spend on a hotel room. And the both of us packed lunches, ate breakfast at his place, and just in general shared food. So all of that kept costs down for us.

I can’t speak for Ben because I don’t know how much exactly he made, but it’s fair to say the both of us made it in the black.

Plus, nearly everyone at the con was just a LOT of fun and very cool.

10/10, would go again…except…

Here’s where the headline of the post becomes relevant: the thing about artist alleys at anime conventions is that applications fill up FAST.

As in, within half an hour of opening, all open table spots are filled.

So, by the time I find out about a convention and check for artist alley spots, none are available. You either have to have that shit bookmarked so you can jump on it the INSTANT the alley applications open, or know the organizers of the con personally in order to get a spot.

As much as I want to go back to MatsuriCon next year, I’m just not sure that I can. We’ll see what happens.

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

You. Are. Awesome.