Inktober 2021, Days 11 to 17

There was a hiccup in this year’s Inktober, between days 11 and 17. I had to be offline for a few days due to a death in the family.

It’s been hard. I’m taking things one step at a time, and taking breaks to be gentle with myself. But drawing has been helping me move forward.

With that all said, let’s continue the adventure of Malaminx and Beatrice…

It’s quite a puzzler, ladies!

(By the way, for folks who backed The Legend of Jamie Roberts, volume 1 on KickStarter… there’s been a snafu. Please check the updates for more info.)

That’s all I have for now. Thank you for checking in.

You. Are. Awesome.

Coming This Week…The Sticker of the Month Club!

A selection of stickers for the Sticker of the Month club.

Thank you to the fans on the latest livestream for helping to come up with this idea. Coming soon, (like, if all goes well, this should launch on July 2), the Sticker of the Month Club!

See, after that livestream, I had the thought, “Stickers were super popular at the Mini Pop-Up Event. Why not a Sticker of the Month Club?”

I did the math, and once I did, I thought, “HOLY BANANA PANTS, WHY DIDN’T THIS HAPPEN SOONER?”

Here’s what I want to do:

Each month, subscribers get a sticker in their mailboxes, along with a personalized thank-you note.

The cost? $10 a month for subscribers. That $10 will cover the sticker AND shipping/handling. (This price point is for USA patrons. There will be a separate tier for internationals). Subscribers also get access to my Tiny Dinos Discord server and shout-outs in the credits for KickStarter projects.

For fans who already give $10+ per month through Ko-Fi... Well good news! I can add you automatically to the Sticker of the Month Club if you’re interested! No need to go to a separate site to pledge.

My goals with the Sticker of the Month Club are:

  • to offer something cool and different to subscribers,
  • to engage with folks in a unique way,
  • to have new offerings at convention and author appearances,
  • to have another source of income so I don’t have to do (so many?) DoorDash shifts.

Now, let me answer some other questions:

Some folks had originally pitched a “T-shirt of the month club,” because another artist had some success with it. I want to address that real quick by saying: First, everyone and their brother does a T-shirt business. They’re oversaturated. To the point that a business educator told me once, “Don’t go into T-shirts.” I’d like to do something that stands out instead.

Also, T-shirts are not as environmentally sound as folks think they are. It takes a LOT of resources to make T-shirts, and despite the best efforts of lots of folks, most of them end up in landfills.

Not to mention, I live in a small apartment. I don’t have room to store extra shirts. And to folks who say, “Well, you could get a print-on-demand service to do it,” I’d rather not this time, for reasons I’ll get into in a second.

If you’re wondering, “Are you going to do the art AND the logistics?” Yes. I’ll make the art and mail these out to subscribers. I already have a printer for these stickers, because I’ve printed with them before and REALLY liked their quality and pricing. I also already track inventory for my convention appearances, so I’m comfortable with that step already. (Not to mention that I’m used to tracking customers – things that sound creepy, but aren’t – because of KickStarter reward fulfillment).

Plus, if I print extra stickers each month, I can post the remainder for sale on Ko-Fi and take them with me to conventions.

Should this idea EXPLODE, I’ll revisit this arrangement. But I’m comfortable with this idea. Right now, I don’t expect this Sticker of the Month Club to overtake The Legend of Jamie Roberts in popularity. I have the bandwidth to do both (especially since I don’t work at NeverEnding).

Excited? I hope so!

I’m announcing the official launch of the Sticker of the Month Club on my email newsletter when it’s ready, so if you want on board, go sign up to get the news first.

Like I said before, if you already give $10+ per month through Ko-Fi, I can add you to the Sticker of the Month Club automatically. Hit me up at kelcidcrawford@gmail.com if you want to sign up.

Broke? Share this news with your sticker-loving friends!

Got more questions? Let me know in the comments!

Thank you for reading.

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.

Writing for Comics 101 – Making Pages You Can Actually Read

In today’s lesson of Writing for Comics 101, let’s talk about making pages you can ACTUALLY read.

How do we do that? By not packing the pages with an obscene amount of dialogue.

Or at least, if you HAVE to keep so much dialogue, how to pace it out so it’s not a word brick.

This technique is something discussed in more detail in Making Comics by Scott McCloud, so what I’ll do for today’s post is share my mistakes so you can learn from them.

Let’s take a look at this page from Seeing Him, written by Kia Crawford and drawn by me:

seeing him transgender webcomic page 25

To be honest, there’s a way to get the information across that we need, without using a fuck-ton of dialogue.

We could:

  • split this between two pages,
  • condense the banter,
  • condense the backstory drop,
  • change the page layout,
  • change the balloon layout,
  • or any combination of these.

At least past me had the sense to split the dialogue into separate balloons. That way the page felt, at the time, a little less like a word brick.

This is me spit-balling some ideas right now on how to fix this page of Seeing Him: we could change the camera focus in the second and third panels, to cut away to framed photos on the walls. Those photos could showcase the history of the venue. With that edit, we can split the dialogue up some more, re-frame where the speech balloons sit, and make the page feel like less of a collection of talking heads.

Compare this page to The Legend of Jamie Roberts, page 65, written and drawn by me.

the legend of jamie roberts genderqueer lgbtq pirate adventure webcomic page 65

Here, I let the space breathe and tell the story for me, without so many words.

Whether you can draw or not, comics are a visual medium. Let the environment and scenery describe for you what words could not.

If you have questions, or need feedback, let me know in the comments. I’m happy to help.

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

You. Are. Awesome.