A New Horror Story Collection?

monster madness horror sketch art, showing an eyeless, hunched-over, horned monster with a large grin laughing and pointing.

You read right – Fantasyville Productions (the company I run) is working on a new horror short story collection.

My good friend Sean McGavin wrote these stories last year, and I said to him, “Holy banana pants! These stories are good! Let’s get these printed!”

Couple things:

  1. I had never printed a book of prose before. And it turns out – the self-publishing world of prose? VERY different from comics. Because,
  2. It’s tricky to find printers for these kinds of books who are NOT Amazon. And
  3. It’s expensive to hire an editor.

I’m handling the book cover design because I designed all the covers for my books. It’s one of the skills I’m really good at, to be honest.

For an editor, I hired Melanie D., a friend of mine from college who’s very good at what she does. Shout-out to my readers who backed The Case of the Wendigo on KickStarter. They voted to have the leftover funds from that campaign go towards paying Melanie to edit this anthology. (And also go towards two different charities. More info about that can be found in this KickStarter post).

Where will this book be printed? Well, I’m going for Lulu. Unless you have a different recommendation. But when I did my research, Lulu had what I was looking for. (And I’ll go into THAT in a different post).

When will this book be available? Stay tuned on my email newsletter for updates.

Sorry to cut it short, but that’s really all I have for now. Thank you for reading!

You. Are. Awesome.

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.