my table set up at the ann arbor comic arts festival on June 15, 2024. It's half of a table, sharing a space with Angie Coe

I just came back from the Ann Arbor Comic Arts Festival, or A2CAF for short. And I had an AWESOME time!

Now, for clarity, two A2CAF events happen in a year: first is the A2CAF in June, which is for all ages and kids comics. The next is A2CAF: Small + Indie Press, which takes place in October.

It’s funny. I posted in last week’s update (about the Be Excellent Festival) that I thought of taking a break from cons. But I loved my time at A2CAF SO MUCH that I’m going to apply for their October show!

What made A2CAF so special? It’s hard to say in a broad or general sense. But here’s what made it magical for me.

First, there were only indie comics makers.

It felt like a compact, Midwest version of Small Press Expo or even a smaller Genghis Con Cleveland. The focus was only on comics creators. No toy dealers, anime shops, or comic collectors here. Everyone focused on the craft of making great stories with comics. And the panels focused on the creators and the craft of making great comics.

Second, the artists’ showcasing was curated – because the floor space was small.

Considering the size of the event floor, there could be no more than 50 tables. So the organizers had to be choosy about who could showcase and who needed to wait. (For context, the average artist alley of a comic con is a minimum of 100 tables. Often they go as high as 500. Awesome Con had about 500 to 700 tables in their artist alley.)

The size of the space did not hurt the show. I feel like it curated a more cozy atmosphere because patrons could take their time and wonder. It helps that it took place in the Ann Arbor District Library, which added to the cozy vibes.

Third, I got to meet FANTASTIC indie comics creators!

Many of them I knew through Discord servers, like Neil Brideau, Britt Monday, and Brandon Hawkins. Some I knew through their online work, like Lucy Bellwood. (I low-key geeked she mentioned telling folks my comic also had boats. Because it does!)

I even got autographs from two of my favorite comics creators: Vera Brosgol, who signed my copy of Anya’s Ghost. And Jen Wang, who signed my copy of The Prince and the Dressmaker! In truth, I’ve loved her work since Koko Be Good, but this book is now out of print. Which is sad because it’s SO DAMN GOOD.

Also, I got to see Jessi Zabarsky, an old classmate of mine from my college alum! I got her graphic novel, Coming Back, while I was there. If you haven’t read her work before, read Witchlight and her Instagram bunny comics.

During the show, I even got to meet artists with cool work whom I never read before! Folks like Narciso Espiritu, Sean Peacock (aka All Sorrows), Angie Coe, and Kaylee Rowena. There were also a lot of folks I didn’t get the chance to see, but I could tell the work had quality to it. It’s unlike walking down an artist alley at a pop culture con, I can tell you that much.

So if I liked A2CAF so much, does this mean I’m not quitting the convention circuit?


I’m quitting pop culture and comic cons – except for RathaCon, because the staff are fantastic there and they support indie voices. But I’m done going to comic cons. They overcharge their table fees, focus too much on celebrities, are too expensive to lodge at and treat comics as a collectible novelty, not an art form or storytelling medium.

So instead of beating my head against the comicon wall, I’m sticking to zine fests, art fests, and expos for the time being. Also, these sorts of venues are a lot more friendly to queer people like me.

My next in-person appearance is at Dragon’s Roost Coffee and Games for Free RPG Day! It’s in Holland, OH on June 22. I’m hoping to debut a new one-page RPG at this event, so I hope to see you there.

Can’t make it? Sign up for the newsletter so you can get that free RPG as a download!

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

You. Are. Awesome.

How Did the Be Excellent Festival of Games Go?

my artist alley table at the be excellent festival of games in sylvania, OH 2024

So the Be Excellent Festival of Games happened on Saturday. How did it go?

Well…it was quiet for the first half of the day. It didn’t pick up until the second half. In talking with the other vendors, it made me wonder what the staff’s strategy was to get the word out about this event. This wasn’t the first show I visited that lacked attendees but charged $80 per vendor table.

For context, Genghis Con in Cleveland opened for applications and happens in December this year. They’re charging $70 for a full table and regularly turn out 4 to 5 times the attendance that Be Excellent Does.

Now, I know this is Be Excellent’s second year as a convention. And this is “post-pandemic.” But it does make me wonder about the longevity of some shows, especially local ones.

So there’s the issue of smaller attendance numbers. But there’s also my body.

The day after Be Excellent, I lost my voice for half of the day and was too worn out to do much of anything. This is very different from before. I used to be able to do three or four conventions in a month and, while rough, I still was ok.

Now? I’m pooped after one event that had no customers until 3 hours into the show.

I think it’s time I start to phase out of doing conventions.

Whether that means taking up a “day job,” or putting more eggs in online sales, commissions, gallery shows, etc – I need to stop doing conventions. It’s funny because pre-pandemic, I had serious thoughts of retiring from cons. Now, I think it’s time to start acting on that plan.

I’m going to be sad about this for a bit. Because conventions were a big part of how I made an income pre-pandemic. But the world has changed, so I need to do the same.

I’m still going to the Ann Arbor Comic Arts Fest and the Free RPG Day event. And if I get into Genghis Con, I will honor that. But I need to respect my body more.

Speaking of Ann Arbor, you can find me this upcoming weekend – June 15 and 16 – at the Ann Arbor Comic Arts Festival! I still have Caticorn prints and lots of stickers and books available, so be sure to stop by my table.

I still had fun at the Be Excellent Festival! It helped that my roommate and buddy Alex was with me. And also I saw a lot of friends and hung out with some very cool neighboring vendors. Would I do it again next year? Probably not. I need to be kinder to my energy.

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

You. Are. Awesome.

I’m Discontinuing Art Books (For Now) – Here’s Why

a zine opens to two illustrations. On the left is a dragon in a vest, holding a magic staff. On the right is a dragon man, wielding a dagger and shield. Fingers from a white hand hold the spread open.

I’m discontinuing the print runs for my art books, including Witches, Gods & Spirits, and Dragons. Here’s why.

First, the cost of printing has gone up. Since 2021, the cost of printing books has increased across all the printers I work with. This is especially true for the printer who runs Witches, Gods & Spirits, and Dragons. (Stars of Fantasyville and CATS got printed with a different company.)

Second, when I looked at my sales stats across the decade, the numbers shocked me. I ran my numbers to account for which books earned the most from crowdfunding AND convention sales.   Dragons and Gods & Spirits barely made it in the top 10 overall earners list and the top 10 earned per year list. Neither title made it to the top 5 in either. Witches only made one list (top earners overall). 

And that’s if I took out Johnson & Sir from the stats. If I left that title in, the outlook for those art books looked worse.

Third, and this is the big one for me – I’m feeling called not to make any more art books. My energy wants to make more comics, and any art that’s not comics wants to be stickers and prints. Not art books.

I also want to work on and grow The Legend of Jamie Roberts. It’s hard to do that when time and energy are being put into art books that cost more and more to print but sell less and less. So I’m taking art books out of the equation, so more time and sweat can go where it wants to go – making comics.

So what does this mean?

Well, there are some shops I sell on consignment with who are carrying the last of my art books. Last week I dropped off the final copies of Witches and Gods & Spirits at Handmade Toledo. Quimby’s in Chicago and Indie Northern KY are also options if those are closer to you.

This also means no Junicorn or Inktober art books for the foreseeable future. My energy is not called to participate in those challenges anymore. So I’m going to honor that. I would rather pursue things out of joy and curiosity, not obligation. And Inktober doesn’t inspire me the way it used to.

The good news is – if you want art, prints and stickers are still happening! In fact, I’m hoping to do a flash sale soon to get two new sticker designs in print. If you saw this livestream replay, you may know which designs I’m talking about. Hint: Godzilla be thicc.

Here’s the difference – prints and stickers are happening when I want to make them. Not out of a viral art challenge or out of a sense of obligation. I’m making the art I want to make, that I feel called to make, that I think would bring joy to others. I want that to be my driving force moving forward.

Having said that, there are two exceptions (ish) to the final-run art books: Stars of Fantasyville, and CATS. Stars have a ton of extra copies left – like, over 60. I’m not doing another print run because the first print run is still in stock. But I won’t do a second print run of it either. 

CATS, on the other hand, will get reprinted as soon as possible. It was only released less than a year ago! It hasn’t had the chance to expand its reach yet. Also, it brings joy to me and many others.

As for the other books? It’s time their runs come to an end.

Don’t get me wrong – the art books did bring me joy at the time. But for reasons including the cost of printing, slumped sales, and discontinued interest, I’m letting the concept go.

Thank you, art books! You brought joy to me and a lot of others. I think it’s time to let you rest so new stuff can be made.

Stay tuned for more of that new stuff – including that flash sale I mentioned.

Thank you for your understanding and your support.

You. Are. Awesome.

Available for Pre-Order for 3 DAYS ONLY – Dragon Baby Pride Keychains

dragon baby pride keychain crowdfundr ad for three days only

They’re here – and they need your support!

For folks who liked my blue baby dragon keychains, you’re gonna LOVE these new Pride Baby keychains! They’re the same size as the blues, roughly 2 inches square (not counting the keyring). Plus they’re printed on one side in sturdy, clear acrylic. They also come with a protective film on the front to save the babies from scratches.

Why make a Dragon Baby keychain with LGBTQ+ pride colors? Well, to let folks know that they’re not alone. That they can be brave AND adorable at the same time. And if people take issue with that? Well, a baby dragon is still a dragon. Never meddle in their affairs (for humans are crunchy and good with ketchup).

Anyway, these babies are now up on Crowdfundr for 3 DAYS ONLY!

Why Crowdfundr?

While Crowdfundr is new (to me, and I’m sure to you, too), they’re actually sponsoring this year’s Small Press Expo – a show I’m going to!

I also spoke with a representative from Crowdfundr. These folks have worked with other comics artists, so they know what creators like me (and patrons like you) are looking for in a campaign.

Also…the platform is smooth as heck to work in. AND you can mix and match your own reward bundles!

Do you want just a keychain? You can do that. Or maybe a sticker, keychain, AND a painting? You can do that, too! Want 15 keychains and a page from Dragons: A Sketchbook? Make it happen! I’m already in love with Crowdfundr because of this mix-and-match reward system alone.

I hope you give this new platform a try – and I hope you support these Dragon Baby Pride Keychains!

If you’re broke, check out the campaign and click the share buttons. There are a TON of options, yo.

That’s all for now. Thank you for your support!

You. Are. Awesome.

I’m Showcasing My Work At Aistear Brewing

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.

You. Are. Awesome.