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.

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.

Punks, Comics, and Feminist Zine Fest Pittsburgh

pittsburgh sketches

This was a surprisingly long weekend, even though it was only two days. I had multiple stops over the two-day span, which is why.

The first stop was Copacetic Comics Company, on Dobson Street in Pittsburgh. I was worried that I would have to pay for parking (because city life), but I found a space around the corner.

A while back I had called Copacetic to ask some questions about author appearances and consignments, and somehow I forgot that Bill (the man on the phone) said the store was on the 3rd floor of the building. So I was a bit surprised to see Kaibur Coffee on the ground floor. I had to approach the building to be sure I found the right space.

Turns out – yep, I found it. So I went up the narrow blue staircase, past posters of indie bands, local theater productions, and guest lectures, and found THIS:

Continue reading “Punks, Comics, and Feminist Zine Fest Pittsburgh”

I’m Back from SPACE…In Columbus

space columbus ohio convention expo table 2018

As I’m writing this, I came back from SPACE (Small Press Alternative Comics Expo) yesterday. This was the first SPACE I had attended since 2013, and 2013 was NOT a hot year for me. At that time I was still working with an editor whom, honestly, I should not have been working with. We had shared a table that year, and my sales were wimpy – partly because my own offerings weren’t so hot, and partly because the editor with whom I shared the table was not the best dude to invite customers over. So, because of those factors, 2013 was the last year I went… until this last weekend.

A lot changed between those shows – I started working with Christian Beranek on Validation (which is STILL getting reviews online), I made a LOT more comic books and graphic novels, I made more videos talking about indie comics, and most importantly, I started surrounding myself with better comics peeps.

This year at SPACE I shared a table with Carlos Rivera – he runs Youngstown Independent Creator Expo (which is happening this year on Sept. 8. More details to come in another blog post). He’s also, incidentally, one of my patrons on Patreon, which I hugely appreciate.

We were stationed next to Dale Lazarov, who is one of the BEST table neighbors I could ask for. We saw each other at Awesome Con because we were both in Pride Alley, and I couldn’t believe our luck that we would see each other again – as table neighbors, no less! I’m midway through one of his graphic novels, MANLY, which is honestly one of the sexiest and sweetest books I’ve read in a long time. His books are DEFINITELY not safe for work, but definitely worth the read. Go support him.

Another face I saw at the show was Darren. We met at RathaCon a few years ago and he’s been one of my best fans ever since. We talked comics and shared art, and in general he just made my day. Thank you, Darren!

Another awesome person in my life is Dyrk Conrad – he’s not a comic dude, but we met last year and have been buddies since then. He joined me at Kafe Kerouac so we could both participate in a comic reading. We read Johnson & Sir for the crowd (he played Sir, I played Johnson and some other sundry characters). He also let me crash with him and his roommates this weekend, which was great because they were a ten-minute drive away from the venue where SPACE was being held. I didn’t have to pay for a hotel, and we got to play Quelf.

artist selfie quelf

If you have ever played Quelf, you know that wrapping your head in paper towels is not the weirdest dare the game asks you to do. It’s fun. You should play it.

You might be thinking right now, “Ok this is great to read and all, but did you make money at SPACE this year?”

Well, if we’re comparing my numbers to how Awesome Con went, then SPACE was not as successful. But if we’re comparing how this year went to how SPACE 2013 went, then I blew Space 2013 out of the water. I didn’t expect sales at SPACE to be super-high, but it was enough to be in the black. Plus I got to trade my books for SO MANY ZINES AND COMICS.

Look at this stash. It’s marvelous! I may have to bring back Review Day Tuesday videos just to read and review these babies.

My next show is coming up this weekend – Saturday, May 5th is Free Comic Book Day, and I’ll be at New Dimension Comics at the Ohio Valley Mall (in Saint Clairsville, OH). I’ll be there from 11 am to 6 pm. There will be freebies, and this limited edition 11 x 17 inch print:

i am the land american gods art illustration by kelci crawford

“I Am The Land” has a limited print run of 9 copies, and is for sale at $20. If you would like one, be sure to stop at my table. If you aren’t able to make it to the show, I’ll have an email on the newsletter about how you can get one.

Also, if you can make it to the show, I’m doing a special giveaway: buy something from New Dimension Comics on Free Comic Book Day, and you’ll get a free mini-print from me. Just show me your receipt.

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

You. Are. Awesome.