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.

Halloween Ko-Fi Talk

I hope you can join me today from 1 pm to 3 pm EST on YouTube! I’m hosting a Ko-Fi talk with my writing friend Melanie and my comic buddy Ben Wright-Heuman.

What will we talk about in the livestream? Anything and everything from National Novel Writing Month to my recent switch to Ko-Fi!

That’s right – I switched away from Patreon, and went to Ko-Fi instead.

Why? Here’s the thing: I’ve been on Patreon since 2014, and Patreon support has helped fund over half of my comics. But they’ve been rolling out new features WITHOUT fixing the errors they have in their system. Like dropping pledges without warning to the patron OR the creator.

So I’m switching to Ko-Fi for a smoother, less glitchy experience.

Also, Ko-Fi has features that Patreon does not. Things like:

  • the ability to buy a coffee for your favorite creator,
  • giving JUST ONCE. (A monthly subscription is optional).
  • a shop feature!
  • a feature that lets you place a commission request from me!

(Seriously, how has Patreon not implemented those features?)

If you have any questions or concerns, this livestream is the best time to ask. So again, I’ll be streaming TODAY from 1 pm to 3 (ish) pm EST. Ask your questions over on YouTube.

If it’s not addressed in the livestream, I’ll write up a post to go in more depth about the switch. In the meantime, there are more details about rewards and what I’m trying to fund over on Ko-Fi.

Hope you can join us! Thank you for your support.

You. Are. Awesome.

The Future of Comicons: A Livestream Panel

the future of comicons youtube thumbnail

SATURDAY, July 25. 1 pm to 3 pm EST. On my YouTube Channel.

Join us as my buddies Ben WH and C. Beranek and I discuss the future of comicons. All 3 of us have been a part of the comicon scene for years, as vendors and attendees. With everything that’s happening right now, we’ll be discussing our ideas of what the future could look like.

What do you think will be the future of comicons? What would you like to see happen? Let us know in the comments!

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.