I’m Not Selling Prints Anymore. Here’s Why

This may sound scandalous to my fellow artists out in the convention circuit, but I’m not going to sell prints at my table (or my Ko-Fi shop) anymore.


Let’s start at the top.

I made a Forest Spirit print back in 2016, and for the most part, she sold pretty well! She was a big show-stopper at conventions. Like, she would catch your eye and keep your attention there. And she did sell well. So I branched out into other designs.

However, sales of prints have been declining for me since 2018. It’s gotten to the point where prints are not my top 3 selling category anymore (as of June 2023).

Plus, the feedback I get from fans often boils down to, “I don’t have the space to hang any more prints!” It’s hard to sell something when the fans don’t have room for it.

The other problem is that prints are a pain in the ass to transport.

This is especially true now that I live on the top floor of my apartment building, towards the back of my complex. I really do not want to make multiple trips to the third floor in a building with no elevator.

Not to mention that you need print bags or rubber bands to bag up prints when you sell them. And I can’t seem to source print bags that aren’t crap.

All these problems are for selling at conventions. But online? Forget about it. Shipping tubes are tricky enough for me to find. Everything else I sell online can either be delivered digitally or flat in a padded envelope. Prints are more difficult to ship the larger they get. And I can’t ship prints in the same bundle as everything else I offer – thus making me charge more for shipping (which customers and I are NOT psyched about).

I’d rather not deal with the headaches. Especially since prints are not the bestsellers at my table or online.

So, no more prints from me.


Funny enough, art books are the best thing I’ve ever offered! At conventions, my art books sell the most. And the more art books I sell, the more books in general I sell. There’s a reason why my #1 category in sales is Books. And they are the LARGEST sales margin. For me, books make 5 times more than the #2 best-selling category. FIVE TIMES. It’s bonkers.

And honestly, that’s fine with me. I like making art books, and I want to make more of them.

If you are new to selling your work, please remember this: what works for me may not work for you. Some artists are really successful at prints! I’m more successful at books. Each artist’s mix is different. You won’t know what will work until you try it yourself. I just wanted to share what’s been working for me, and what hasn’t, so you can understand my process.

Best of luck to you out there!

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

You. Are. Awesome.

About the Nashville Shooting and Trans Folks

Well, after coming out as a trans man to friends and family, and making comics for the LGBTQ (and especially trans) community since 2013 – I guess I have to talk about the Nashville shooting.

It’s been all over the news, but for those who don’t know: as of this writing, a couple of days ago, a mass shooter went into a church and killed 3 adults and 3 children. The shooter was a trans person.

And I feel the need to comment on this because there has been a wave of anti-trans legislation across the United States at the state level. Hell, here in Ohio, there was a neo-Nazi branch that recently terrorized a drag show in broad daylight.

And after doom scrolling on Twitter to see other people’s hot takes, I feel like I have to write this because there’s more nuance than people want to talk about. So I’m going to talk about it. We’re going to break this down point by point.

Empathy is Not Endorsement.

First of all, mass shooters are highly motivated. They do what they do because they are driven by a particular goal. And the goal of this shooter was to target a church.

Speaking for myself: I get it. I get why this person would do the shooting. Religious and spiritual abuse is very much a thing, and I’ve known too many people who fly the rainbow flag and have been terrorized by abusers under the guise of religion. I mean, in the last week there were church attendees who chucked Molotov cocktails at a drag queen storytime. Religious abusers will absolutely target LGBTQ people just for who they are.

So, I get it. I get why the shooter did what they did. But I do not endorse it.

There are other ways to fight against bigots and religious abusers. But shooting children is not the way to go about it.

Adults? I mean, they’re often set in their ways. It can be hard to convince a religious adult to see the humanity of a gay, lesbian, bisexual, or especially transgender person. They have to put in the work, which most people are not willing to do. Should they be shot over it? On a battlefield, maybe. But not in a church.

Children? Children can learn to be better than the adults who raise them. If given the chance. The children shot at Nashville were not given that chance, and will never be given that chance. And that hurts.

“All trans people are terrorists and this proves it.”

What a broad generalization made because of one person. What about the fact that over 2000 mass shootings in the last year were done by cisgender, straight, white men? Are all white men mass shooters? Where’s the legislation saying that straight white men are not allowed to own guns? Oh right. There isn’t any.

This is an instance NOT of queer terrorism, but of The Exception That Proves the Rule. Mass shooters are all zealots of a particular idea, regardless of gender identity. And all of them are enabled by the NRA. This leads to my next point.

But what about the guns?

I fully expect a wave of legislation to hit the local and state level to discriminate against LGBTQ+ people owning guns. It’s the same reaction Reagan and his ilk had when the Black Panthers organized.

But there was no legislation proposed when the 2000+ cis-straight white men committed mass murder. There’s something to be said about the idea that owning a gun is a “god-given right” but only to rich white men. But I’m bringing up the guns because the NRA and the people who support them want the general public to be desensitized to gun violence.

These lobbyists want gun violence to be pervasive so they can push the idea that “there’s only one way to protect yourself from gun violence, and that’s with a gun.”

Which. No. The best way to end gun violence is to nip it in the bud and eliminate the guns.

“But what about the second amendment?!” says every libertarian who doesn’t know how to wipe his own ass.

The Constitution when it was written also made it legal to own slaves and protect the rights of the enslavers, and – for a short while, anyway – banned alcohol. The Constitution also had amendments saying that certain “races” were not allowed to vote until later amendments overruled them. The Constitution is an imperfect document that has to be revised CONSTANTLY in order to work as times change.

In the centuries that the Constitution has been around, I’m surprised there haven’t been any Amendments to address this fact: the second amendment was written for forming militias to stamp down slave revolts. It’s almost like the United States being founded by slave owners is something rooted in the very foundations of this nation. Weird.

I don’t know what’s going to happen in the coming weeks. But a lot of it is not going to be good for anyone, especially trans people.

To that end, here are some resources I want to share. Stick around: after the resources, I’m making an announcement.

This TikTok mentions the following crisis lines that are geared towards LGBTQ and especially trans people. Because they talk really fast, here are the resources typed out for you:

Trans Lifeline – 877-565-8860. Run by trans people, for trans people. They will not call protective services without your consent.

The Trevor Project 866-488-7386 or text START to 678-678. This organization is specifically geared towards suicide prevention for LGBTQ+ youth. They’re not a substitute for a therapist, but they’re there for young people who need help.

LGBT National Hotline 888-843-4654 

Black Line 800-604-5841. This is run by BIPOC people for BIPOC people. Like the Trans Lifeline, they will not call the police or protective services without your consent.

LGBT National Youth Talk Line 800-246-7743.

Thrive Lifeline 313-662-8209. This is a trans-led lifeline.

There is also this Emergency Resource list from TransOhio.

To all my trans folks out there – you are not a burden. There are people who will want to paint you as a monster. You are not a monster. You are worthy and deserve good things. More people (like me) want you to stick around because they care about you. So stick around.

To this end, I’m walking back an announcement from my last blog post.

My online shop will stay open through the weekend. And 15% of all sales – online and at RathaCon – will go towards TransOhio, Ohio’s only transgender-led organization providing advocacy, services, education, and support for trans folks.

If you prefer to support an organization in a different state, here’s a page with each state and the major LGBTQ organization within each state. Just be sure to do your research. There is also this list of trans rights organizations that could use support. Again, do your research.

And (this is unusual for me, but I feel the need to share this) – if you are a Christian, here is an article about one church that did the hard work of LGBTQ inclusion, the concerns that surfaced, and how the church addressed them. I want to share this because a lot of terrorist acts committed against LGBTQ+ people right now are being perpetrated by “people of faith.” I’m calling on you to set a more positive example. Healing can only be done when all parties put in the hard work.

That’s all I’ve got for now. Please share this with the folks whom you think need this.

Thanks for sticking around.

You. Are. Awesome.

Alternatives to Patreon

In case you didn’t see it, I had a chat with comics buddy Jade, creator of Ask the Werewolves and Fox Me Gently. In the video (now on YouTube), we discussed why we left Patreon and alternatives to the platform we found.

I highly recommend giving it a watch! It’s less than an hour and a half long. But if you need cliff notes, here are some highlights.

Jade and I Both Left for Security Reasons

I left Patreon in 2018-ish, returned in 2021, and then left again last year. And I did that because Patreon had laid off their security team.

Jade left on March 1 (just over a week ago!) for the same reasons. On top of that, she found out that Patreon is outsourcing its security to an outside company. One that may sell the data of any NSFW creators at any time.

Not only that – Patreon requires creators who make NSFW content to post their IDs for face recognition software (already a YIKES). But patrons are not scrutinized to the same level. Any patron can check off a box saying, “Yes, I’m over 18,” even if they aren’t. If Patreon’s goal was to stop underage consumption of NSFW content, this policy is a failure.

What a Platform Deems as NSFW is Often Never Defined Until You’re Punished

Ko-Fi is a Patreon alternative, but it has its faults. The first of which is that yes, you can mark your page as NSFW. But you’re not allowed to post NSFW content on Ko-Fi.

This is already a “…What?” But don’t worry, it gets worse.

I’ve shared this story in multiple places, but I’ll repeat it here – back in August 2022, my Ko-Fi page got taken down by the platform. They did not email me about it. They did not tell me why they did it. I had to reach out to them and ask why. They only responded, “You’re posting content we disapprove of. Please remove it.”

No specifics. No details. Just that.

By process of elimination, I figured it had to be one of two posts I did shortly before the take-down. It was either this page of The Legend of Jamie Roberts that dared to show off male nipples. Or it was a product listing with the words “Fuck off” in the title.”

To be safe, I removed both. And my page was immediately up.

That scared the hell out of me. So I researched alternative platforms in earnest.

Alternatives DO Exist.

Thankfully, there are sites like Buy Me A Coffee, Stripe, and Big Cartel. Jade and I discuss other options in the video (which you really ought to watch). But we do hope that these are just the start. We both hope that there are innovators out there who want to build alternatives to Patreon and Ko-Fi.

(And now for the shameless plug.)

I chose to build my own alternative from scratch, using Stripe to process payments. I’m calling this Subscribe.

By going to Subscribe, you can choose a Club that works best for you and your budget! To check out the options, head over to Subscribe. Members get early webcomic updates, exclusive crowdfunding rewards, and discounts on commissions. The more you pledge, the more rewards you get.

That’s all for now. Thanks for reading!

You. Are. Awesome.

Kickstarter vs Crowdfundr: A Breakdown

For years, I ran campaigns on KickStarter. All to make comics and merchandise like buttons a reality.

Then KickStarter started getting into Blockchain. And I wrote my piece on THAT decision (in that I thought – and still think – it’s a BAD IDEA).

But where could I find a substitute for Kickstarter?

Enter: Crowdfundr.

They not only sponsored the Small Press Expo in 2022.

They NOT ONLY have campaign links that are easier to share than KickStarter campaigns.

They had a representative reach out to me AND CHAT WITH ME to answer questions I had about the platform.

AND…Crowdfundr built their site with comics creators in mind.

That said…is Crowdfundr the complete replacement we need?

Let’s break it down: Kickstarter vs Crowdfundr

To run a crowdfunding campaign of any sort, you need these key things:

  • Easy-to-share URLs.
  • A clear funding goal.
  • A set timeline to get funded.
  • An audience of any size.
  • A simple way to customize your campaign to make it easy for fans to back you.
  • Minimal fees.

So how do these two platforms size up with these keys?

Easy to share URLs

First off – KickStarter has a tendency to make their URLs extra long. It makes it a pain in the ass to share their links.

I’m not the only creator who has resorted to using TinyURL or Bitly to shorten a KickStarter link. Some creators will even buy a domain name just to make sharing a link easier. (I don’t recommend this. Domain names are an annual fee and you only run your campaign once.)

With Crowdfundr, you can set the URL yourself.

I have run one campaign on there so far but I can STILL tell you, without looking it up, that you can find it at crowdfundr.com/dragon-baby.


A Clear Funding Goal and A Set Timeline to Get Funded

These two tie in together. I’ll get into why in a second.

If you run a campaign on KickStarter, you need a set amount of money to raise and a deadline to get that funding.

But KickStarter runs on all-or-nothing funding. If you don’t meet your funding goal by the deadline, you lose any money raised up to that point.

This is meant to be a fail-safe for backers. The idea is that they won’t be charged for a campaign that failed to meet a funding goal. Nobody wants to waste their money on a project that fails out of the gate…right?

I’m sure a lot of people who backed “successfully funded” campaigns on KickStarter have a LOT to say about this. Looking at you, Mighty No. 9.

And I’ll be upfront – there are KickStarters I have backed that met their funding goal…and then nothing came of the project. They got their funding, and then all I heard were crickets. Just because a project got its funding doesn’t mean they follow through on making said project real.

But maybe the asking goal wasn’t enough to fund the project. What then? Run a second Kickstarter? How would that look to backers of the first campaign?

Here’s where Crowdfundr has a leg up, in my opinion.

Crowdfundr lets you choose: all-or-nothing, or get paid immediately.

When I ran the Crowdfundr for the Dragon Babies keychains, I chose the get paid immediately option. What that does is this: when a pledge comes in, the payment is processed immediately.

No waiting period. The payment just showed up. And payments went directly to me. (I kept getting PayPal notifications when a new backer backed the Crowdfundr).

Whichever option you pick, you have another Crowdfundr tool to use: changing the campaign deadline and asking goals AFTER launch.

I actually did this with the Dragon Babies campaign because of Small Press Expo promotional reasons. Basically, if Crowdfundr wanted to help boost my campaign, I had to have the campaign run DURING Small Press Expo.

Anyway, let’s say you run a campaign on Crowdfundr to get a comic to print. You meet your goal (great!). But then shipping books to backers costs more than you expected. It quickly becomes apparent that you have no money left after printing the books to actually SHIP them.

(This has happened to too many creators on KickStarter.)

Crowdfundr can let you update the asking goal and post an update to your backers explaining the change.

If you keep your backers in the loop on the regular, they will support you. ESPECIALLY if you have to ask for a little more help.

“But what about payment processing fees?”

We’ll get to that.

An Audience of Any Size

Unfortunately, KickStarter has a leg up on this one over Crowdfundr, at least for now.

KickStarter has an algorithm for potential backers to browse campaigns based on: projects they’ve backed previously, favorite categories, and favorite creators. It functions a little like YouTube in that way.

Because of this, it’s easy for potential backers to find a creator they have never heard of.

This makes it easier for a newbie creator to post their campaign on KickStarter and get entirely new customers. That’s how beginners can start a reader/fan base.

With Crowdfundr – at least for now – you have to drive traffic to your page yourself. Crowdfundr does not have a built-in search engine or algorithm to find random campaigns based on your likes.

Because of that, Crowdfundr makes more sense for people who have a fan base already built outside of KickStarter.

A Simple Way to Customize Your Campaign So Fans Back You

I really want to rant about add-ons right now but I gotta build up to this.

First: both platforms are comparable for writing your About page. When writing your campaign pitch, KickStarter and Crowdfundr have the same formatting tools.

They also have the same Risks and FAQ sections. Again, minimal differences.

Setting up rewards?


When setting up rewards, you want to make them relevant to your campaign. You also want to keep your options simple, so backers aren’t overwhelmed with decision paralysis.

To that end, KickStarter implemented a two-step system: Base Rewards, and Add-On Rewards.

Base Rewards are what the backer sees immediately on the campaign page. Ideally, you only have 3 or 4 options, plus or minus an Early Bird tier or a Limited Edition reward.

Once you pick a Base Reward, you get taken to the Add-ons page. Here, you choose extra rewards to get bundled with your Base Rewards.

KickStarter sucks at add-ons.

There. I said it.

Digital add-ons? Fine. Because shipping costs aren’t involved.

Physical add-ons? Good luck figuring out additional shipping for THAT.

Because here’s the thing: when you choose physical add-ons with KickStarter, they stack on top of the Base Rewards.

Meaning shipping costs ALSO stack.

It’s VERY easy to overcharge on shipping with the add-on system on KickStarter. And that sucks for the backer.

Not only that, but I’ve had it happen where a backer wants just one element of a reward bundle, but can’t get it unless they pledge to that tier.

It’s like saying, “Oh, I just want the comic and the sticker. But the only reward tier you have is for a comic, a sticker, and a print. I don’t want the print. Just the other two.” How do you fix that? By making another new tier?

Crowdfundr, on the other hand, is way more intuitive.

Their rewards are all a la carte.

Meaning: you can list out the reward components individually. And then backers can make their OWN reward bundles.

When I ran the Dragon Babies Crowdfundr, I got SO MANY variations of rewards. Two keychains to one backer? Done. A keychain, sticker, and zine? Done! A keychain and a commission? Done! Just a sticker! You bet it’s done!

Not only that, but Crowdfundr will simplify shipping costs: when a backer picks multiple physical rewards, the system chooses the more costly shipping price, and makes shipping free on the other items. It’s a simpler way to bundle shipping.

Minimal Fees

KickStarter charges a 5 to 10 percent fee for running a campaign on their platform. And that’s on top of credit card and payment processing fees.

So when you raise funding on KickStarter, you have to budget losing up to 10 percent of your funding to fees and upcharge your asking goal to compensate.

Crowdfundr as a no-fee option.

…I know what I said. They have an explainer breaking it down.


Did you know Crowdfundr can turn your post-campaign page into a store?

Well, they can! That way, your easy-to-share URL can still be put to use after you wrap up the campaign.

Because of ALL of that…

My next crowdfunding campaign will be on Crowdfundr.

I hope you found this helpful. Let me know if you still have questions or concerns.

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

You. Are. Awesome.

Thoughts on Instagram’s Latest Shift

Maybe you saw this petition circulating, maybe you haven’t. If you missed the news lately, a LOT of folks are enraged at Instagram for turning itself more into TikTok. And, to be fair, I and many others miss the days when Instagram shared photos and art over videos.

However, I have a lot of other thoughts on Instagram’s latest shift. So let’s share those thoughts here.

First, my opinion has shifted since my original Instagram account got hacked by a crypto-bro. If you asked me about this petition BEFORE the hack, my thoughts would be very different than they are now.

As of now, here are the bullet points I want to hit…

Instagram (and Facebook) Are In Crisis

Oh wow, what a shock, a company that’s losing members every day is trying desperately to change its platform by copying what the new big boys are doing.

Let’s face it – the most significant reason Instagram is changing its algorithm to favor videos is that people, especially young people whom these businesses want to cater to – are switching away.

And I don’t blame them! I left Facebook in 2019 because I saw what its algorithm did to radicalize the politics of older people, and its algorithm was draining my business. I left Facebook with the thought, “Screw it! Let the boomers wank among themselves and scream their politics into the void. I’m going other places to protect my art and space.”

Instagram had not been too big of a leap to make, though. Most people who followed my old Facebook page moved to Instagram to keep up with me. That, or they just fell out of touch because they didn’t use any other platform.


Excuse me, I had to get that off my chest.

But yes, Instagram was not an enormous change at the time. I had been using the platform since before my Facebook exodus, and just kept using it.

Then my Instagram account got hacked.

Thankfully I had backup accounts. And I was able to recover half of my old following within a week. (If you’re interested, I can write a post about that experience for anyone who might find themselves in a similar pickle in the future).

But that hack was a wake-up call. Up until then, I saw slow, if any, growth on my page.

And the wild thing is – when I reposted some art from the old account onto my new page – the posts on the new page got more traction!

This tells me that Instagram’s algorithm – however it’s structured now – does not care what time you post or what hashtags you use, or what your follower count is!

This revelation should not have taken me getting my old account hacked to come to this. But it did.

However, I did notice something else when I began posting on the new account, and that is…

Instagram REALLY Wants To Be TikTok Now

I think this is a stupid idea. Because if all apps look and operate the same way, then what would make customers want to use them? And if your answer is “well the people who use the apps make them different!” That’s wrong. The audience who uses TikTok wants TikTok functions. They deliberately use TikTok because it’s not Instagram.

Likewise, people use Instagram because it’s not TikTok. They use Instagram for the features that make it Instagram.

I got on Instagram way back in 2018 to post my art. Not videos. Instagram didn’t have the capability to handle videos at the time. So I posted photos of my sketchbook drawings, paintings, table set-ups at comic conventions, and photos of new books I made.

And guess what? People LOVE that stuff!

But now, Instagram is having an identity crisis. Why? I think it’s for a few reasons.

  1. Instagram wants to be a shopping network. Why else would they focus so hard on business features, making you buy ads, and showing you businesses you’re not following?
  2. Its parent company is freaking the f**k out. Turns out that pivoting really hard into the metaverse when the tech is not there yet is a really bad move. And so they’re trying to salvage themselves by making Instagram more like its competitor, TikTok, to draw in the crowd that left their bread-and-butter platform, Facebook.
  3. “If you can’t beat ’em, join ’em.” Which is exceptionally stupid and something a window-licking business major would say as part of their finals project. Again, if all apps looked and operated the same way, what would make a person want to use them?

So What Can Be Done?

Well, there IS that petition demanding that Instagram return to its old days of chronological feeds and photos. To be honest, I would LOVE it if Instagram did that. I think that would be more of a creative challenge than making videos.

Plus, not all artists want their faces on their profiles. For a lot of reasons. I learned this morning that deepfake porn is a thing, and – surprise surprise – the people who get deepfaked into porn are women who don’t consent to it. I DO have the concern that if more social media platforms are demanding people show their faces in videos, then deepfake programmers will start exploiting people more frequently. And knowing that Instagram’s parent company is vying for metaverse tech, it’s a hop, skip, and a jump to conclude, “Oh! Maybe this company wants Instagram to be more video-oriented to make face recognition and deepfaking easier in the metaverse!”

We already know that Mark Zuckerberg’s ethics are garbage. So I wouldn’t be surprised if this “face recognition into the metaverse” train of thought is something he wants to use and exploit for profit.

To that end, I can’t tell you what to do with your Instagram account. But here’s what I will do.

I’m Going to Slowly Transition Away from Instagram

What will I use as a substitute?

…What is this blog? Chopped liver?

I will be posting here more frequently. And if you miss posts here, I’m posting on Ko-Fi and Patreon, as well. I DO have a TikTok, but I don’t post on there as much as I post YouTube or Twitch streams.

I am sad and disappointed that it’s come to this with Instagram. And yet, who knows what will happen in the future?

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

You. Are. Awesome.