Starting today, and running until October 22, I’m showcasing my work at Aistear Brewing in Bowling Green, Ohio! Ah, my old stomping grounds.
I reached out to the owner and asked if he was interested in showing off my prints. He agreed – and he also offered me a spot in Aistear Con in October. These prints and mini-prints will be on display in their gaming area until the start of Aistear Con on October 22.
Not in the area? Some of these prints (but not all) are also available in my Ko-Fi shop. Some of the prints on the wall are exclusive to Aistear, though (sorry).
That’s all for now! Thank you for your support! Without it, I wouldn’t have gotten this far.
It has been exactly 2 months since I deactivated my Facebook account and deleted the business page for my art. And I’m going to talk a bit about my life without Facebook (so far).
For one thing, I am WAY less stressed about politics.
Facebook makes it very easy to see political opinions alongside cat videos. There is no separation of fun from calls to anger (or action). Why Facebook is so upsetting with political posts is because it’s the easiest way to discover that your close friends or family don’t hold the same opinions that you do – and they aren’t willing to change their mind about it. And the trap that Facebook sets up is the idea that you can talk with the other person in an effort to change their mind.
Speaking as someone who worked at a doctor’s office that quickly became a drug addiction clinic, I can tell you THIS surprising truth I learned:
The Venn diagram of people who are addicted to drugs, and people who hold racist/white supremacist beliefs, is only one centimeter off from a complete circle.
And unfortunately, on Facebook, I saw a lot of people who defended their beliefs with the same fervor as people who were addicted to drugs. The person thought they were in complete control over their addiction/feelings. The truth is, they aren’t. The drugs/feelings are controlling them. And voices of disagreement against them trigger a defensive response. Because the person addicted to their beliefs doesn’t want to admit that their emotions are controlling them. They don’t want to admit that they have a problem, because they think they don’t have one.
The sad truth is: you need to treat people who are stuck in certain beliefs the same way that you treat drug addicts. And that is: they have to admit that there is a problem first.
Until the addict admits that there is a problem, they will just continue going downhill.
To me, Facebook as a platform, and the people who use that platform, are going that route.
I’m glad I left when I did. Since I’m not on Facebook (or Twitter!) anymore, I’ve developed a more…realistic view of things. To me, that means that my understanding of things come from real life, not some apocalyptic think-piece someone posted at 3 am on Facebook. Gods I do NOT miss those.
I also don’t miss my posts being ignored by the algorithm.
Being on Instagram means that I’m still subject to the whims of a Facebook-esque algorithm, but in general, more people on Instagram are following me for the art I post. I may also get an account on TikTok, but I’ve seen news pieces talking about how the platform may get banned because it’s Chinese. So who the f*ck knows.
Thankfully, since I left Facebook, I’m not constantly being asked to spend ad money to promote a post to the audience that I ALREADY have.
However, I can’t run Instagram ads. Running ads on Instagram requires a Facebook account. Which I don’t have anymore.
So, with that said, I’ll have to get more creative with my promotions and outreach. I have yet to decide whether or not to return to Twitter. Gods I hope I don’t have to.
I still have an email newsletter though! And right now, that’s the best “social media” platform to stay in touch. If you’re not on it yet, you can sign up for free. I don’t give your email to anybody because that’s shady as heck. (Ok, soft plug done).
Also, in the meantime, I’ll be posting more often on the blog here. I’m playing with the idea of writing a new blog post every day. Just personal posts – no attempts at the traditional blog posts like my Writing for Comics or Freelance Lifestyle posts. I’m retiring those. I’ve written all I want to write for those topics anyway.
In short – I’m glad I left Facebook. I’m happier and more balanced. It’s also making me more creative in how I do outreach for my business.
Thanks for joining me in the first post of Writing for Comics 101. Today, you’ll learn that a comic is more than just cool-looking characters.
Here’s a common problem I see among aspiring comics creators: they create this cool character that hits all the right buttons for trendy clothes, kickass attitude, and more one-liners than Mystery Men.
But what do these folks do with their cool-looking characters?
Here’s the thing – nobody cares about how cool your character looks. And nobody cares what kind of powers or cool abilities they have.
Readers do not care about the superficial crap. Readers care about the journey the character goes on.
If you want readers to be invested in your cool characters, you have to know how to develop that character to make them go on a story.
Here’s a super easy process to help you flesh out this character. I guarantee that by answering these questions, you’ll not only make actually believable characters. You’ll also actually find a plot that writes itself.
Here are the questions you need to ask about your cool character:
What’s your character’s background?
What do they want?
What do they fear?
You may have seen quizzes and templates everywhere, from Tumblr to Pinterest. These character templates will ask questions like “what’s your character’s favorite food? What’s their fondest childhood memory?” etc etc.
That’s all superficial crap. Those can, and will, change during the writing and re-writing process.
But if you get the answer to those 3 questions up top? Your character will be SOLID.
Here, I’ll use one of my characters to illustrate this point.
This is Auxaton.
What’s his background? He’s a mountain ridge elf, and a monk for the goddess Ahyahweh. His life is devoted to acts of community service, to help his people live in a cold environment.
What does he want? Well, recently ALL OF HIS PEOPLE have been kidnapped and enslaved. He wants to find his people so he can free them.
What does he fear? That he will lose his connection to his goddess.
And with that, we have a plot! A monk who has lost his people is on a journey to rescue them.
Now, folks who have studied film will say, “Wait, you didn’t address their need! Story is what a character wants vs what they need!”
You have already figured out their need – by asking what they fear.
What the character WANTS and what they NEED are two different things, but are usually tied together. For example, in the Disney movie Aladdin, Aladdin’s WANT is riches and a palace. He FEARS Jasmine discovering that he’s not a rich prince, but a beggar boy using magic to appear rich. His NEED is to stop pretending to be something that he isn’t.
So there you have it. Do this exercise and I guarantee that you will have yourself a character that’s worth exploring and writing about.