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.

Johnson & Sir’s Future

johnson and sir book cover

Today I want to talk about the future of Johnson & Sir, the comic I made back in 2013 about 2 elf cops in Fantasyville.

I made this comic in a different time, with a different mindset. I primarily made this story as an inside joke between myself and close friends and family to parody cop shows and dynamics. Heck, it originally came about when one of my sisters and I made up satirical dialogue between two cop characters in the Jak and Daxter games – and the cops were corrupt in the original source material.

Is this a justification for why I made Johnson & Sir? Maybe.

What I DO know is that right now, in this point in history of 2020, the police system as a whole needs a complete overhaul. I feel like I don’t have to say why.

To profit off a comic about Fantasyville cops, even a parody of the institution of policing, seems to me in bad taste right now.

Also, over the last few years, Johnson & Sir just hasn’t sold very well at comic conventions or online. Johnson & Sir aren’t in my top 5 bestsellers list anymore, to be truthful.

So with these conditions (and a few others) in mind, I’ve taken down Johnson & Sir’s listing on my online store, as well as the listing for the original art from the production of it.

The website for Johnson & Sir is still live for now, but I have not monetized that site. The website may or may not be taken down. That decision still has yet to be made.

That said, I’m still sitting on 40+ copies of this book. I had ordered so many towards the start of this year because I thought comic conventions would still be a thing. NOT ANYMORE.

For now, these books will sit in storage, until such a point that I decide to list the book again for sale – with a disclaimer on the inside front cover.

If you have issues with this decision, I have a few things to say to you:

First, you’re allowed to be angry. But understand that I don’t have to babysit you while you sit in your anger. You are in charge of your emotions. You are responsible for what you feel. Figure out what to do for yourself.

Second, I’m not changing my mind about this decision.

Third, if you’re still wondering why I would even make this decision, go check out privtoprog on Instagram, or this list of books and podcasts to educate yourself. There are resources for you to learn. I am not here to be your teacher right now.

Thank you for reading.

You. Are. Awesome.

Taking A Break From Livestreaming

I’m taking a short break from livestreaming.

Right now I have a LOT of work to catch up on (including behind-the-scenes stuff for Validation, NeverEnding, and The Legend of Jamie Roberts). After that…

Well, after that I want to run these streams differently.

For one thing, I’m going to bring the schedule down to doing one new stream a month.

For another thing, I’ll be doing giveaways during these monthly livestreams – I’m still sitting on a LOT of books and art.

Also, I want to do more than just drawing live. With convention season and workshops not being things for the foreseeable future, I would like to do more tutorial livestreams.

Just to spitball some ideas, these are the sorts of workshops, panels, etc I would be participating in during convention season. Let me know which of these topics you’d like me to talk about in next month’s livestream:

  • How to Make Webcomics
  • LGBTQ representation in comics
  • How to Make a Minicomic
  • Character Design That’s Awesome

In the meantime, I’ll be taking a break from posting online (stream or otherwise) until the week of July 15. But I’ll be in the comments…lurking…

Anyway – thank you for reading!

You. Are. Awesome.

Adventures in Moving – A Change in the Schedule

Because of my adventures in moving, I need to let you know early (and maybe often) that there will be a change in the schedule.

Here’s what’s happening:

  • The Freelance Lifestyle blog post series is going to be paused until June.
  • Writing for Comics 101 will be on pause until June, as well.
  • The Legend of Jamie Roberts MIGHT have some scheduling hiccups. (More on this below.)
  • There will be a livestream on May 23. But…
  • No livestreams will happen May 30.

I’m moving to my new apartment on June 1. We’ll see how quickly things can get back on track after that.

“But wait!” You might be thinking. “You said there might be scheduling hiccups with The Legend of Jamie Roberts! I HAVE A MIGHTY NEED FOR GENDERQUEER PIRATES!”

First, thank you for being so enthusiastic for my adventure story of a genderqueer pirate and their two best friends treasure-hunting in a land of dragons and spirits.

Despite my best efforts, though, I don’t have much in the way of pages made ahead of schedule as buffer. Plus, Beefy McMuscleton – my devoted HP Officejet 7612 printer and scanner – has been forced to retire. So my workflow in making future pages of Jamie Roberts is going to get an overhaul. A decidely digital overhaul…

A bit sooner than expected, actually. I hoped I could stretch the process I’ve been using to the end of Chapter 3, and THEN go full digital in Chapter 4. But it looks like the full-digital comics-making process transition is happening sooner.

Because of this transition, and the move to the new apartment, updates on The Legend will MAYBE not happen once a week on Wednesdays. I will do my best to hold to this weekly-update promise! But I make no guarantees.

Stay tuned to the blog here for further updates.

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

You. Are. Awesome.