The Legend of Jamie Roberts Returns to KickStarter!

(image of Jamie Roberts, a genderqueer young person with messy blonde hair climbing the side of a mud-brick building. They look out at the sea with a soft smile on their face. Text next to them reads The Legend of Jamie Roberts, volume 1 - Funded in the 1st 24 hours)
(image of Jamie Roberts, a genderqueer young person with messy blonde hair climbing the side of a mud-brick building. They look out at the sea with a soft smile on their face. Text next to them reads The Legend of Jamie Roberts, volume 1 – Funded in the 1st 24 hours)

Jamie Roberts returns to KickStarter!

Jamie is neither boy or girl – they’re a PIRATE! The Legend is about Jamie and their two best friends, Thomas and Daniel, as they uncover an unfinished map to a land they’ve never seen.

So what do they do with this map?

(A picture of Jamie, a genderqueer human with messy blonde hair and green eyes, gesturing with excitement, saying, "Go treasure hunting, of course!")
(A picture of Jamie, a genderqueer human with messy blonde hair and green eyes, gesturing with excitement, saying, “Go treasure hunting, of course!”)

So they leave their life on the seas and go adventuring for treasure! Along the way they find magic, dragons, and an ancient history bubbling back to the surface once more.

Right now, the story is on KickStarter to get chapters 1 through 4 – plus bonus content – in one shiny paperback book.

If you back this campaign, you’ll get:

  • a custom-signed copy of the book,
  • the map Jamie, Thomas, and Daniel found, complete with their notes and doodles,
  • your very own orb (make sure it never breaks, or Ranki will escape his prison!)
  • and more!

Some rewards are ONLY available until March 12, so check out the campaign and back it if and while you can.

“Wait!” you might be thinking. “You’ve already reached your funding goal! So what’s in it for me if I support you?”

Well, we still have stretch goals!

If we can get to 30 backers, then everyone who supports the campaign will get a FREE sticker sheet included with their rewards.

And if we get to 40 backers? I’ll make a NEW minicomic for all backers, The Legend of Azu-Mi.

Plus, I have a NEW gift…

(a black and white line drawing of a dragon roaring into the void. The title, The Legend of Jamie Roberts, is printed along the top)
(a black and white line drawing of a dragon roaring into the void. The title, The Legend of Jamie Roberts, is printed along the top)

Here’s a free, downloadable coloring book page for you!

If 5 people color this page, and use the hashtag #thelegendofjamieroberts on Instagram or TikTok, then I’ll add a bookplate to each book! (Up to a maximum of 50 books.)

Broke? Share this link far and wide with your pirate-loving friends:

http://tinyurl.com/jamie-v1

Some rewards are ONLY available until March 12. The campaign as a whole wraps up on March 27.

Thank you for your support, however you show it!

You. Are. Awesome.

Prepare! For The Legend of Jamie Roberts, Volume 1 on KickStarter…

jamie roberts, a genderqueer human with messy blonde hair and green eyes, is gesturing with dreamy excitement against a brown background.

It’s that time – time for a new KickStarter campaign. And this time, I’m hoping to get The Legend of Jamie Roberts, volume 1 in paperback.

The WHAT

The Legend of Jamie Roberts is a weekly webcomic I write and illustrate. It’s all about Jamie – neither man or woman, but a PIRATE. Jamie and their two best friends, Thomas and Daniel, find an unfinished map for a land they never explored. And so together, they go on a new adventure!

Volume 1 will collect the first 4 chapters of the webcomic. Yeah, I know I had chapters 1 and 2 in single-issue comics before. And those had their own KickStarter campaigns. But volume 1 will be the first time the first 4 chapters of the story will be in print together.

The WHEN

Mark your calendars – the KickStarter will launch before the end of February.

The HOW

If you want to be first in line to pre-order the book, you need to get on the email newsletter. My email peeps are the first to know when ANY KickStarter launches. That means they get to see the Early Access rewards, which are only available for a limited time.

Any questions? Hit me up in the comments below.

Thanks for reading!

You. Are. Awesome.

Shadow Man – A Sketch

a black and white marker sketch of a pure black being with ghost white eyes in a robe. The robe has detailed borders on the sleeves and bottom.

I drew this Shadow Man sketch back in 2015. I THINK I used Sharpies, but it’s been 5 years since I drew this. So I don’t remember. But this was drawn in a Strathmore sketchbook, which is my sketchbook of choice. I just prefer spiral-bound papers. Things that lay flat make me happy.

The motif of a pure black shadow being with white eyes happens A LOT in my sketchbooks. Part of this is because I’ve been inspired by the Heartless in Kingdom Hearts for a long while. I dig the monster designs in that series. (Then again, I like drawing monsters. Obviously.) And when I was a teenager playing that game for the first time, the image of a pure black shadow with creepy, pale eyes burned its way into my subconscious. It’s haunted me ever since.

But I also REALLY like adding details to costumes, like border designs. (Like the ones in this illustration). If I ever see zentangles, or Eastern European costumes, or Islamic patterns, I am ALL OVER those. What can I say? Patterns are fun.

So I sketched this to play with high contrasts: black and white, simple and detailed. It was fun to draw!

…I want to draw more things like this, actually. Maybe I’ll make it my Inktober theme? (Holy heck I need to pick a theme for Inktober this year. I keep waffling between several good ideas).

BUT I WILL say – this sketch could be considered a proto-Mocktaw.

Mocktaw are the black shadow creatures from The Legend of Jamie Roberts. It’s my weekly webcomic about a genderqueer pirate and friends adventuring in a land full of dragons. If you like this guy and want to see more like him, check out the comic.

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

You. Are. Awesome.

Adventures in Moving – A Change in the Schedule

Because of my adventures in moving, I need to let you know early (and maybe often) that there will be a change in the schedule.

Here’s what’s happening:

  • The Freelance Lifestyle blog post series is going to be paused until June.
  • Writing for Comics 101 will be on pause until June, as well.
  • The Legend of Jamie Roberts MIGHT have some scheduling hiccups. (More on this below.)
  • There will be a livestream on May 23. But…
  • No livestreams will happen May 30.

I’m moving to my new apartment on June 1. We’ll see how quickly things can get back on track after that.

“But wait!” You might be thinking. “You said there might be scheduling hiccups with The Legend of Jamie Roberts! I HAVE A MIGHTY NEED FOR GENDERQUEER PIRATES!”

First, thank you for being so enthusiastic for my adventure story of a genderqueer pirate and their two best friends treasure-hunting in a land of dragons and spirits.

Despite my best efforts, though, I don’t have much in the way of pages made ahead of schedule as buffer. Plus, Beefy McMuscleton – my devoted HP Officejet 7612 printer and scanner – has been forced to retire. So my workflow in making future pages of Jamie Roberts is going to get an overhaul. A decidely digital overhaul…

A bit sooner than expected, actually. I hoped I could stretch the process I’ve been using to the end of Chapter 3, and THEN go full digital in Chapter 4. But it looks like the full-digital comics-making process transition is happening sooner.

Because of this transition, and the move to the new apartment, updates on The Legend will MAYBE not happen once a week on Wednesdays. I will do my best to hold to this weekly-update promise! But I make no guarantees.

Stay tuned to the blog here for further updates.

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

You. Are. Awesome.

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.