Today at 6 pm EST, feel free to lurk while I work on cat art for a new Crowdfundr AND draw more comics.
I’m running a Crowdfundr campaign for CATS: The Sketchbook, a collection of cat sketches I drew during Inktober last year. You can check out the campaign, but it’s not live until Friday. Be sure to sign up for the newsletter to get the first notice of when it opens!
To read my genderqueer pirate adventure comic, The Legend of Jamie Roberts, you can read the free version online, or you have the option to get the print version of volume 1 with remastered art and behind-the-scenes content like sketches and bonus comics. Volume 2 is coming to my online shop soon, I promise!
That’s all for now. Thank you for watching and for your support!
On Jan 4, 2024 at 6 pm EST, feel free to lurk while I work on rewards for members of my Fan Clubs! While I have some phone wallpapers and coloring pages free to download, Fan Club members get exclusive digital rewards, sneak peeks at my webcomics a week early, members-only comics, AND discounts at my store and for commissions.
Also, I PROMISE I’m working on a livesteam bingo card. Have Patience.
What a year 2023 has been! But I’m glad it’s over.
A lot happened this year, so let’s get into what we made happen together. That’s right, your support helped make these things possible…
4 Successful Crowdfunding Campaigns!
In 2023, we raised funding for Vanita and the Demon King; The Legend of Jamie Roberts, volume 2; BE NOT APURRED Keychains; and Mr. Dino and Friends Keychains! We also had a Holiday Pop-Up Shop that raised $493 in support of Ohio-based indie creators.
I’m also including Ko-fi and Fan Club memberships here. While membership did shrink a bit, we still held together and made a lot of exclusive rewards.
Journey of the Mystery Won 3rd Place in the 24-Hour Comics Challenge!
This happened in January of 2023 but is still worth mentioning. The 24-Hour Comics Challenge, hosted by The Comic Book Jamboree, was INTENSE and had over 15 artists from around the world participate! And my comic, Journey of the Mystery, won 3rd place!
I Got A Short Story in an Iron Circus Comic Anthology!
I got accepted in Failure to Launch, a comics anthology from Iron Circus Comix. The anthology is all about ideas of the future that never panned out.
The short story I made is called Ninit’i, or The End, and is a story told in two lines: one line follows my class trip into Navajo Nation, the other follows the Christian extremist panic around the Harold Camping Doomsday Proclamation.
The release of the anthology did get a bit delayed but should come out in print in spring of 2024. More details are on the Iron Circus website.
I Quit My 9 to 5 Job!
(Technically it was a 7 to 3:30 job but it still sucked).
Thanks to support from readers like you, I was able to leave a toxic office job.
It took several months to unpack a lot of the crap from there, and it made me realize that my neurodivergent, genderqueer butt is too radical for “traditional” work. Also, half of my wages were taken by the temp agency that put me there and they wouldn’t let me leave because they “had no other work openings.”
Hot tip: don’t work with a temp agency.
Excuse me, I’m still very salty about this experience. On a more positive note…
I Moved To A New Apartment, Sold My Car, and Paid Off My Debts!
I sold my car for a lot of reasons – for one, I’m fortunate enough that my roommate and I moved to a new neighborhood that’s got a LOT within comfortable walking and biking distance from our home. We also sit on a major bus route in the city of Toledo, (and the bus is amenable to bikes like mine), so I can get wherever I want to throughout the city. We also have an Amtrak and bus station that I can get to in 30 minutes by city bus, so I can connect to a LOT of major cities across the US by those means. (Like, during SPX weekend I went by train and Metro everywhere).
Also, I was REALLY FREAKING TIRED of spending money that I didn’t have to repair a hunk of metal on wheels that already lost a large chunk of its value when I drove it off the lot back in 2019. And I was tired of my money being sent off to car companies and oil companies that don’t have the people’s best interest at heart.
So I sold my car and used that money to pay off debt, including my remaining student loans and the debt I accrued on car repairs.
In the end, I traveled further AFTER selling my car. Seriously, after the car sale, I went to DC (for work) AND Florida (for visiting family. It’s fine, I can pass as a woman. No one in Florida but mom knew, wink wink).
The Legend of Jamie Roberts, Volume 2 Came to Print!
It got mentioned up top, but I’m SO happy that y’all love this genderqueer pirate adventure so hecking much. Not to get too into the numbers, but The Legend of Jamie Roberts has now raised more in crowdfunding support than Validation did. And The Legend is still ongoing!
2023 was a VERY packed year for Fantasyville Productions, yo. For 2024, I want to keep building on what’s working and keep making comics, especially The Legend of Jamie Roberts. That story has a LOT to share in 2024 and I can’t wait to get into it with you.
If you’re a patron on Patreon, you know this already, but I turned in my two week notice at the local gas station I work at part-time. I’m now preparing to freelance with a more open schedule than ever before.
For the last year or so, this has been the situation: because of the part-time gas station gig (with indeterminate hours from week to week), there were times that making comics had to go from a full-time job to a part-time one. Then right back to full-time. It was a strain on my energy AND the energy of my clients.
Now that I’m leaving that station job, I’m freelancing more fully again.
So what am I doing to prepare myself?
Well, first thing’s first, I turned in my two week notice at the gas station, rather than just walking out or saying, “I QUIT.” This is not just to protect my ass just in case I need to get the job again. It’s also more professional of you to turn in a notice, instead of leaving at the last minute.
For the last week and a half to two weeks, I’ve been analyzing my income streams, which are these:
Patreon (this includes producing The Legend of Jamie Roberts). It’s a weird day when you realize your passion project is paying for your groceries. A weird day, but a GREAT day.
Making comics for clients. I have one dedicated client whom I’ve been working with for years. I have two whom I work with when they have work for me (which is intermittent at times). And I’m hoping to get more clients to draw/write/letter/design for.
Commissions, which encompasses anytime someone wants me to draw their D&D characters or even family members or pets. This is usually through KickStarter, but I get occasional odd requests.
DoorDash and/or other labor. However, I live in the middle of nowhere, so DoorDash isn’t as lucrative as it would be in a major city.
Ko-Fi. This is still new, so I’m not sure how much this will bring in. But I’m keeping it in the income stream lineup.
Consignment Deals. This one I only have to check in once every 3 to 6 months. So the income is not as regular as the other streams. But it pays out once a quarter, so it works.
KickStarters WOULD make the list, but they are exceptionally situational. Also sporadic.
I’m looking into other income streams. I’m considering going back to Gumroad to sell ebooks through (I want to avoid Amazon as much as I can). Otherwise I’m looking for new clients to fill out the gaps.
I’m also looking to launch a new KickStarter campaign. But you should sign up for the (free) email newsletter for more details on that. I’ll talk about it with subscribers in their inboxes tomorrow.
If there’s an idea that you think is worth considering, make a suggestion below. I’ll look into it.
Ok, here’s the deal: I’ll be taking the Storenvy shop down very soon. As in, closing its doors.
Why? Because I want to build my own online store for my website, instead of having it under the Storenvy name.
Don’t get me wrong, I loved working with Storenvy! They were certainly more agreeable than most online stores (ahemEtsyandRedBubbleahem).
However, I’ve kind of outgrown Storenvy – they’re starting to ask for subscriptions out of me in order to do things like email abandoned carts, offer discounts, and have my own domain. Just looking at the math, it would be easier and cheaper for me to host my own dang store.
(To be honest, there would probably be more eyeballs on my store if I hosted it myself.)
With all of this in mind, I want to give the Storenvy store one last hurrah:
From today until SEPT 30, buy anything from the store, and get a free piece of original art from my bin included in your package!
This is a $10 to $30 value – free with your purchase.