2023 – What A Year!

two cats look up sleepily at the viewer. One is a gray older cat, the other is a younger tabby kitten. The tabby is blanketed by a purple crochet blanket

What a year 2023 has been! But I’m glad it’s over.

A lot happened this year, so let’s get into what we made happen together. That’s right, your support helped make these things possible…

4 Successful Crowdfunding Campaigns!

In 2023, we raised funding for Vanita and the Demon King; The Legend of Jamie Roberts, volume 2; BE NOT APURRED Keychains; and Mr. Dino and Friends Keychains! We also had a Holiday Pop-Up Shop that raised $493 in support of Ohio-based indie creators.

I’m also including Ko-fi and Fan Club memberships here. While membership did shrink a bit, we still held together and made a lot of exclusive rewards.

Journey of the Mystery Won 3rd Place in the 24-Hour Comics Challenge!

This happened in January of 2023 but is still worth mentioning. The 24-Hour Comics Challenge, hosted by The Comic Book Jamboree, was INTENSE and had over 15 artists from around the world participate! And my comic, Journey of the Mystery, won 3rd place!

(By the way, you can download the coloring book version of this comic by checking it out on Ko-fi).

I Got A Short Story in an Iron Circus Comic Anthology!

I got accepted in Failure to Launch, a comics anthology from Iron Circus Comix. The anthology is all about ideas of the future that never panned out. 

The short story I made is called Ninit’i, or The End, and is a story told in two lines: one line follows my class trip into Navajo Nation, the other follows the Christian extremist panic around the Harold Camping Doomsday Proclamation.

The release of the anthology did get a bit delayed but should come out in print in spring of 2024. More details are on the Iron Circus website.

I Quit My 9 to 5 Job!

(Technically it was a 7 to 3:30 job but it still sucked).

Thanks to support from readers like you, I was able to leave a toxic office job. 

It took several months to unpack a lot of the crap from there, and it made me realize that my neurodivergent, genderqueer butt is too radical for “traditional” work. Also, half of my wages were taken by the temp agency that put me there and they wouldn’t let me leave because they “had no other work openings.”

Hot tip: don’t work with a temp agency.

Excuse me, I’m still very salty about this experience. On a more positive note…

I Moved To A New Apartment, Sold My Car, and Paid Off My Debts!

I sold my car for a lot of reasons – for one, I’m fortunate enough that my roommate and I moved to a new neighborhood that’s got a LOT within comfortable walking and biking distance from our home. We also sit on a major bus route in the city of Toledo, (and the bus is amenable to bikes like mine), so I can get wherever I want to throughout the city. We also have an Amtrak and bus station that I can get to in 30 minutes by city bus, so I can connect to a LOT of major cities across the US by those means. (Like, during SPX weekend I went by train and Metro everywhere).

Also, I was REALLY FREAKING TIRED of spending money that I didn’t have to repair a hunk of metal on wheels that already lost a large chunk of its value when I drove it off the lot back in 2019. And I was tired of my money being sent off to car companies and oil companies that don’t have the people’s best interest at heart.

So I sold my car and used that money to pay off debt, including my remaining student loans and the debt I accrued on car repairs.

In the end, I traveled further AFTER selling my car. Seriously, after the car sale, I went to DC (for work) AND Florida (for visiting family. It’s fine, I can pass as a woman. No one in Florida but mom knew, wink wink).

The Legend of Jamie Roberts, Volume 2 Came to Print!

It got mentioned up top, but I’m SO happy that y’all love this genderqueer pirate adventure so hecking much. Not to get too into the numbers, but The Legend of Jamie Roberts has now raised more in crowdfunding support than Validation did. And The Legend is still ongoing!

2023 was a VERY packed year for Fantasyville Productions, yo. For 2024, I want to keep building on what’s working and keep making comics, especially The Legend of Jamie Roberts. That story has a LOT to share in 2024 and I can’t wait to get into it with you.

Also in 2024, I want to do new things, like offer free downloads for my newsletter peeps. The first downloads are available this Friday, so sign up for free to get it when it’s ready.

Keep an eye on that newsletter, too, because I’m announcing more crowdfunding campaigns for 2024 – including one coming soon for CATS: A Sketchbook!

That’s all for now. Thank you for your support! You helped make all of this happen.

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.

It’s the Incredible RathaCon!

This Saturday, April 1 (not a joke), it’s RathaCon!

I’ve been going to this show in Athens, OH dang near every year, and 2023 is no different.

The show runs Saturday only at the Athens Community Center from 10 am to 7 pm.

If you can make it, you should also check out my cool neighbors, like Shawn Langley, Canonwrite Productions, the Columbus Cartoon Coalition, A “Junior” Vigorito, and Chloe L Rose!

WHAT WILL I HAVE?

I’m bringing my usual setup of comics. I’m also bringing…

  • A new (and framed) piece of original art, priced on a sliding scale,
  • Extra copies of The Stars of Fantasyville, my latest sketchbook,
  • misprints of The Legend of Jamie Roberts, volume 1,
  • The last of my pins from my (now closed) Pin Club,
  • 2 for $1 stickers,
  • Lots of grab bags,
  • Materials to draw caricatures,
  • And a LOT more!

Any and all profits will help towards my move to a new apartment in May.

After this show, I have no other events lined up until maybe Free Comic Book Day (still figuring out plans for that weekend, to be honest).

HEADS UP: My online shop will be closed during RathaCon weekend. It should reopen sometime on Sunday, April 2. That said, commissions are still open. Any and all commission sales will help towards moving to a new home.

I’m VERY excited about RathaCon! Hope to see you there!

That’s all for now. Thanks for reading!

You. Are. Awesome.

My Patreon Page WILL CLOSE Dec 31, 2022

My Patreon Page will close on December 31, 2022.

For those of you who are current patrons, you haven’t been charged for several months now. I paused charges during that time.

If you would still like to support my work with a monthly contribution, check out my Subscribe page instead! More details of offerings and prices are on that page.

Just know that I appreciate your support however you give it. And if you’re broke, that’s ok, too. The offerings will be there for you later. Or you can share the page with your friends.

I won’t be returning to Patreon after December 31, 2022. Not as a creator. I would rather run my own Subscribe page. I’ll save the reasons for another post.

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

You. Are. Awesome.

I’m Available for Commissions!

I’m available for commissions for the holiday season!

If you’ve ever wanted me to draw you something, this is your window of time. And people who join my email newsletter will get a special discount tomorrow for 25% off their order!

Why am I open for commissions now? Well, part of it is the holiday spirit. And also…

  • Making art is my full-time job. But currently, client work is pretty light. So I have time to make commissions for you.
  • my neck of the woods has been under a freeze warning for the last few days, which means turning up the heat – raising our electric bill.
  • My roommate and I rescued a kitten recently. He’s 6 weeks old now! We rescued him from the middle of a busy road, and we want to give him the best life we can. Which means vet visits to make sure he’s vaccinated and healthy.

Want to see what I can draw for you? Here are some samples…

full color full body character $100+
half body, full color character $90+
full body, black and white character $80+
half body in black and white $70+

Now, these are priced the way they are because these are prices for the general public. KickStarter backers already got their orders in. They (and email subscribers) get discount codes off commission prices during special windows of time.

Email subscribers will get their discount code in the morning. So if you want that sweet, sweet discount, subscribe today.

Not subscribing? No problem – I can draw your commission for you, anyway!

Before You Order…

I have updated my terms and conditions to make things more transparent for you, while also making clear what you can (and can’t do) with the art I make for you. That agreement is in this Google Doc. So be sure to give it a look before you proceed.

After that, head on over to Ko-Fi and place your order there!

Commissions are open for everyone UNTIL DECEMBER 15. That way I can make every effort to get these done before Christmas/New Year’s Eve.

Broke? Share this announcement! It helps (more than you think it does).

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

You. Are. Awesome.