Panel Pandemonium at Imaginarium

For a show I was invited to at the last minute, Imaginarium Convention in Louisville, KY was worth going to!

There were a few things that helped:

  1. I shared a table with two very cool authors: Neal Sayatovich, writer of dystopian psychological affair, and Joshua Hampton, writer of epic and high fantasy. Neal covered my table fee in exchange for some art (thanks Neal!).
  2. The folks at Imaginarium gave me a free pass in exchange for doing panels. 4 panels, to be precise.

Holy banana pants did I meet a LOT of cool folks at this show! From mermaid/pirate lesbian fiction writer DB Francais to Justin and Cory at Purvis Games, from Glenn Porzig to Mackenzie Flohr, holy jeez were these people super approachable and fun to chat with!

Most importantly, I learned a lot.

If there is one thing I can commend Imaginarium on, it’s their panels. While it’s kind of silly just how many there were (often having four or more happening in the same time slot), the breadth and depth of topics was hugely commendable. Plus, the panelists themselves knew what they were talking about. One author described the panels as “iron sharpening iron,” and he wasn’t lying.

Here’s a blog post listing the ones I presented in. I think the best moderated ones that I did were LGBTQ Characters in Fiction, Healthier Habits for Creatives, and Composing Newsletters for MailChimp and Beyond. The first two were moderated by Janie Franz, who is a marvelous lady. (Check out her stuff.)

Those were the ones I presented in though. I also attended a panel about Military in Fiction (Neal was in that one), Audiobooks, and Freelance Writing. The Freelance Writing one covered basically what I already knew – but the Audiobooks panel was immensely helpful.

Why? Because I want to get into voice-over and voice-acting. (Yes I’m aware the two are very different.) The Audiobook panel covered a lot, from authors finding and hiring talent and what they look for (always a plus) to knowing how to set up your own DIY recording space.

I’m REALLY jazzed about what I learned in these panels. The best thing is: these panels are giving me some new blog post ideas.

And with that, I’ll make my temporary leave. Hopefully next time I’ll have a tutorial for you.

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

You. Are. Awesome.

The Online Store is Getting a Makeover

It’s that time of year – time to look at old designs of things and think, “Hot dang this needs a makeover.”

And that was what crossed my mind when I looked at my Storenvy shop. I mean, look at this screencap:

It’s SO OLD.

The photos need redone. So do the product listings, the link sidebar, the colors of the shop, and…well, the entire thing needs redone in my eyes.

So here’s the deal:

You have until September 30 to get anything from my online shop.

The shop will be taken down from Sept 30 until October 6 – one whole week.

That week is when I overhaul the whole thing.

So you have until then to take advantage of any deals, or get any of these comics, prints, or miniprints or minicomics (outside of conventions).

As an extra, if you buy something from the online shop, I’ll throw in an extra piece of art from my art-bin that will fit in the package. The art piece can be anything from a sketch from my sketchbook, to the original art for a print.

So yeah! Buy something from the online shop before Sept 30, and get a piece of art included for free.

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

You. Are. Awesome.

West Virginia Pop Culture Con: ROUND 2!

My second year at West Virginia Pop Culture Con went SUPER FREAKING WELL.

Somehow Dave (my table buddy and Patreon patron) and I managed to get TWO table spots (don’t ask me how. I’m still baffled). I wasn’t prepared for the extra long table space, but now I’m getting ideas for how I want to do a two-table spread at future cons, if that ever happens again. Or even better – a corner spot.

This year was awesome, not just for me but for Dave, as well. It also went really well for Cheyenne, another art buddy! WV Pop Con is really the place to go as an indie creator, because the show focuses a lot on the creative talent. I don’t think there were any celebrities at this show, except (arguably) for the guy who’s currently working on the art for Scooby Apocalypse, Patrick Olliffe.

There was only one thing that did not turn out well at WV Pop Con, and that was the silent auction I had for the framed original inks and lines for “God.”

pagan god illustration

For one thing, I forgot the jar to slip bids into. Oops.

Not that it would have mattered, because there were only two bids placed on this baby – one bid was for $5. The other was for $7.

My minimum bid was $50.

So, not going to do the silent auction again. I kept the framed art piece because I am NOT selling off an original art piece measuring 11 by 17 inches WITH A FRAME for $7.

Just gonna’ mark it to $150 as a flat rate and take it to Comicon Erie (unless someone in Saint Clairsville, OH, Wheeling, WV, or Youngstown, OH REALLY wants it. In which case, leave a comment. Let me know).

On the more positive side of things, my profit margin was higher than last year because I lowered my cost on one major thing – a place to crash.

Last year I stayed at a hotel (La Quinta). This year I stayed at an AirBnB and saved myself an EASY $100.

Another thing – having a table buddy lowered my table cost. And it got Dave a place to showcase his work… which is good because it turned out that this was his best show as an exhibitor EVER.

Win-wins all around!

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

You. Are. Awesome.

P.S. The AirBnB I stayed at had a 15-year-old cat named Splash. She is the sweetest ball of fluff I ever had the joy of holding and petting.

The Problem of Success

I meditate every morning after breakfast. It’s what I do before I sit down in my studio space to work, to clear my mind.

Today, I had a realization during meditation.

See, I started this year with a major, singular goal – all of my other goals were made with this one priority in mind.

That priority was to be able to not need a “day job” by the end of the year, and make all of my earnings through Fantasyville Productions.

My realization during the meditation was this:

“Fantasyville Productions is paying my bills. I have a sizeable savings cushion thanks to my hard work last year. I’m living on my own for the time being. And I’m on track to not needing to work at the comic shop – they only have me there for 4 or 5 hours a week now as the Facebook page manager.

“And for a while, I was actually scared because of losing my hours. But this was what I set out to do this year!”

I was scared because I was succeeding.

Neil Gaiman was right – everyone talks about the fear of failure, but no one talks about the fear of success.

The fear of success is very real. And it’s something I was not prepared for.

The fear of success, as I’m experiencing it right now, is realizing, “Holy banana pants! My plans are actually working! What do I do now? I didn’t think this would actually work!”

There’s also the very real fear that this success will be short-lived. To me, this fear is the most real, especially given the work I do: comic convention season only runs for so long, you know. And by the time Christmas rolls around, there’s no freelance work, and there’s no comicons (aside from quarterly trade shows, which I admit, I haven’t tried yet).

So I think that will be my next step – to face the fear of success and say, “How can I make this last?”

How do I make this success extend all year long, and not keep it seasonal?

I’ll be at the drawing board, of course – not just to draw, but to cook up some new plans.

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

You. Are. Awesome.

Coming Up Next: Marietta Comic and Creator Convention

marietta comic and creator con announcement graphic

The Marietta Comic and Creator Convention sprang up (at least partially) as a result of River City Comic Con getting canceled this year – the organizer of River City fell ill. This is, in fact, the first year that the Marietta Comic and Creator Convention even exists!

The show will be at the Lafayette Hotel on August 12. The show will run from 10 am to 5 pm. And I’ll be there showcasing my work! (Here’s the link to the Facebook event page for more info.)

There’s some new things to keep an eye out for:

  • There’s a new Mr. Dino & Friends print! (It’s also available on Storenvy)
  • Sketch cards are marked down to $1 – I’m trying to clear these babies out!
  • The Box of Clearance Original Art debuted at the Pop Culture Buy Sell Trade Show in Vienna, WV, and will make another appearance at this Marietta Show. Everything in the box is marked to $5.
  • There will be crafts on the table – wrist cuffs, a tablet case, and paper bead bracelets are included. The tablet case is $10, the other crafts are $7.
  • I will draw caricatures (if you ask) – they’re $5 for each person and take less than 5 minutes to do. (Due to space, I cannot offer group caricatures.)

Usually this is where I offer free sketch cards to those who attend the show, but I’m not going to this time. The reason I have sketch cards marked down to $1 is because there were folks who didn’t show up to claim their card at previous shows. These cards need new homes.

Oh! The Case of the Wendigo is back in stock. Huzzah!

However, for the next few days, Charlie & Clow is out of stock.

Why? Well, I made a consignment deal with New Dimension Comics and they cleared out my current stock of Charlie & Clow. I placed the rush-order in to get more copies, so hopefully they’ll arrive before Marietta Comic and Creator Con happens.

And before I forget, I updated the Shop list – there’s new stores carrying my comics and zines!

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

You. Are. Awesome.