Also The Legend of Jamie Roberts updated today. One of my side hustles has been making me work full-time hours this past week, so that threw off the update schedule on a LOT of things. My bad.
But hey – if you’re in the Robinson, PA or Pittsburgh area, I’ll be at the Nerd and Hobby Flea Market this Saturday (Nov. 2) from 4 pm to 8 pm. Because I need to move, I’ll have a crate full of my old nerd swag available for sale, as well.
May and September are my busiest months of the year when it comes to conventions and shows.
So imagine my surprise when I discovered I have only one show in June, and one show in July.
If this were me of last year, I would be doing my best to get more conventions lined up. But this year, between working a side hustle at a local gas station, having freelance gigs, and making The Legend of Jamie Roberts, I’m actually not too keen on trying to book as many conventions as possible.
This year, I want to try to save my convention energy for September.
Of course, I have shows before and after September, but that month has my biggest show on my roster: Small Press Expo.
YES, I FINALLY got a table at SPX! It’s been a goal of mine to have a table there ever since I learned about it, and I can’t wait to go!
I’ve been warned by some fellow indie comics creators to bring as much stock as I can, because other vendors had sold out of books on their first day. To that end, I want to build up as much stock as I can in the lead up to the show.
Now, I won’t have a full table at SPX. So I won’t be bringing my usual six-foot or even eight-foot set-up. I’ll just be bringing my books, my zines, and one or two large prints. That’s it.
That said, I’ll be working on freelance gigs and making The Legend of Jamie Roberts in the time between shows. The funds raised through those endeavors will be saved back for SPX and its related costs.
So if you don’t see me online a whole lot, it’s because I’m working to get backlogs in all the right avenues in order to be prepared.
Before I go into complete work mode, though, there is ONE thing to do…
For the sake of full transparency, I want to keep y’all in the loop. Considering that I missed the update for The Legend of Jamie Roberts on April 17, you should know what’s going on.
Patrons on Patreon already know the gist, but I don’t think I went into detail about it. And I may have mentioned this a few times here on the site, but…
In short, I got a side hustle working at a gas station in my town.
Back in September of 2018, I left the comic shop I was working at, due to some drama I will NOT get into here. For the next two months after that, I kept to making Validation, doing Patreon work, selling at conventions, getting consignment earnings, and freelance gigs.
With those income streams, I was able to pay for rent, groceries, and everything else I needed to live. However, it was not paying off my student loans at the clip I wanted, and my savings goals were suffering.
So I bucked it up and applied for part-time work at the local gas station. They needed someone to come in from 2 pm to 10 pm, which works for me, since I do my best creative work in the mornings. It also paid $9.50 an hour for the first 6 months of the job, and it’s set to jump up to $10 an hour after that period. Plus I could earn quarterly bonuses if the store kept up the friendliness and cleanliness ratings. And after working there for one year, I could open a 401K and get stock in the company – even as a part-time worker. That’s, frankly, unheard of around these parts.
That said, comics are still my full-time endeavor. I’m sticking to the gas station as a part-time side hustle to pay off the student loans faster, and save back a little bit for my savings goals… including a new laptop and tablet set-up. My current laptop is close to 8 years old and Clip Studio Paint tends to crash at least once a week on this thing.
Now, I wanted to talk about this because in May, there’s plans to run a Patreon Pledge Drive.
“But wait,” you might be saying. “Why have a Patreon Pledge Drive when you can keep working at the gas station part-time and use that money for your stuff?”
The gas station gig is to pay off debt and save back for some savings goals. That’s it.
Patreon earnings right now cover groceries, my phone bill, and one or two business expenses. And everything else I need gets supplemented by freelance gigs.
And I’m sticking to comics as a full-time job because IT’S WHAT I WANT TO DO.
My goal is to increase Patreon from its current $215/month rate to $500/month.
By doing that, Patreon can cover the groceries and phone bill, yes. AND it would cover rent, gas to conventions, website hosting, domain registrations, and art supplies needed for making the comics actually happen. By doing that, I would be less reliant on freelance gigs.
Don’t get me wrong, I’ve liked (most of) the clients I’ve worked with. But freelance earnings are REALLY inconsistent from month to month. If Patreon earnings can go up, I can curb the need to do freelance work to bridge the gaps.
Also, fewer freelance gigs means more consistent comic updates. Because that way, I’m not trying to split my attention and time between the gas station, Patreon, and however many clients I’m working with on freelance projects.
So be prepared for the Patreon Pledge Drive to happen throughout May. The Pledge Drive will include:
This week started pretty rocky – I didn’t announce it except to my personal friend groups, but I had a colonoscopy on Tuesday. My doctor wanted to make sure that, given my symptoms, I wasn’t having any internal bleeding or experiencing symptoms of a more chronic illness like Chron’s disease. The test came back saying there were no signs of anything bad, which is…weird. And also a bit of a letdown. If you know ANYTHING about the prep work needed for a colonoscopy, you know it’s a lot of misery, and to go through all of that just for a test to come back negative has me a bit miffed. Happy that there’s no debilitating issues, but miffed that I went through a lot of metaphorical crap for a lot of nothing.
On the more positive side, there are some great gigs getting lined up, both online and offline. This is REALLY good news because mom and her boyfriend have moved out of the house. Not fully – their RV campsite hasn’t turned the water on yet because Ohio keeps snowing in April. However, the extra gigs will come in handy to help cover the raised rent when they DO fully move out.
So that’s what’s been happening this week. What’s coming up?
Well, I’m making a separate Patreon post about that. Don’t worry – when it posts, it’ll be public viewing.
Alright! I’m back from RathaCon in Athens, OH. Not a whole lot of sales were made, but lots of folks signed up for the email newsletter and, by the sounds of it, I got a comic shop in the area interested in consigning my books. Plus I got to meet an indie filmmaker looking for pitches (I’ll get to him in the next post), and a T-shirt designer who REALLY liked my Dia de la Gata card design and wanted to get that on a shirt. (I’ll get to that in the blog post after the one about the filmmaker.) Continue reading “Bringing Blog Posts Back!”