My art show, Something Ugly Found Adrift: the Art of Other Sleep, is next month, and I couldn’t be more excited. It’ll be at theWilliam King Museum in Abingdon, VA from February 2nd through March 1st.
I’ve just about got everything together for it, including my artist statement that was dang near impossible to write for some stupid reason. The full color prints, which I ordered from American Art Editions, came in last week, and they look FANTASTIC. This Instagram picture of them does them no justice because cellphone cameras are lame, but whatever:
This show is also coinciding with an even bigger, better show called Heroes Aren’t Hard to Find, which will be an exhibition of comic art from the personal collection of Shelton Drum, who runs the Heroes Aren’t Hard to Find shop in Charlotte and is the man behind Heroes Con. The gallery is also being co-curated by Neil Bramlette, who runs the awesome Out of Step Artscollective that I’ve mentioned on here before.
I’m so excited for this. They’re throwing in some Sandman pages from Charles Vess (he LIVES in Abingdon, you knew that, right?) and there will be some freaking Steve Ditko originals. STEVE DITKO ORIGINALS. How insane is that?! I’m stoked for my own show, sure, but I’m even more excited to see those.
I’m trying to figure out what I’m going to wear to the reception. I need a haircut. I still need to print more business cards and get stuff together. There’s still so much to do!
The complete collection for Other Sleep will HOPEFULLY be available at the reception as well. I uploaded the whole thing last week and had 40 copies ordered, paying extra on shipping to get it here in time. I’ll be selling it for 25 bucks, and there will also be free posters and buttons at the reception. It’ll be good times all around, I think.
And FINALLY, I’m doing two anime conventions in March. The first one, ETSUCon, will be March 1st and 2nd, at ETSU in Johnson City, TN. The other one is KokuManga, which will be at the Johnson City Holiday Inn on March 29th and 30th. I attended these last year, you may remember, and did really good at both.
So, clearly, this first quarter of 2014 is going to be super busy and really fun. I wouldn’t have it any other way. I hope to see a bunch of people at both the reception and the cons!
At last, after nearly two years of work, Other Sleep, my first graphic novel, is complete at a whopping 172 pages in length!The final chapter is now online to read, so go do that!
The work isn’t completely done yet, of course. I’m getting everything formatted and ready for a printed collection, a time-consuming and tedious task for sure. I have yet to determine what bonus goodies to throw in as backmatter, an issue which is also determined by cost. I’m looking at making it about 190 pages total, and well, the more pages you add, the more expensive it gets, and I’ll probably have to sell them for more than I’d like if I want to make any profit at all, 25 dollars or so. Still figuring all of this out, if you can’t tell.
There is also, of course, the art show in February at the William King Museum. That’s something I need to figure out too, picking out what I want to hang, how to hang it, working out an artist’s statement, stuff I did back when I graduated from ETSU and shouldn’t have too much trouble recalling, but still a lot of work.
Right now though I just feel a bit aimless. I’ve been going almost nonstop since August or September, and now that I’m at the end without any pages to draw or color, I don’t know what to do with myself. I want to relax this weekend, but my brain refuses, so I’m already scribbling more and more ideas down for the next graphic novel. I know for sure, however, that it’ll be ages before I start on that. I want to hone my craft a bit more, study more, try my hand at some things I haven’t really gotten around to this year, reassess my work, all those things, before I attempt another graphic novel.
I can’t believe I reached this point. I can’t believe I finished it. There were plenty of dumb delays, I could have finished it even sooner, but that I managed to pull it off at all is kind of crazy. Looking back, I did very little planning. I was just about to graduate when the idea struck me and I started sketching and doing layouts. I just dove in with very little planning. I’d only had the first three or four chapters written when I started drawing, I was just figuring it all out as I went along, and it shows. Painfully, in some cases.
Getting it all together for print has me looking back at the first few chapters, something I haven’t done pretty much since first working on them. The art has me cringing now, but there’s also a lot more going on than I remember doing, oddly enough. I’m rediscovering little tricks I pulled and then forgot about, so that’s fun. I wanted to write more at length, deconstruct what I’ve created, talk about certain choices I made, but…maybe it’s too soon for that right now. I do want to make a list of what I think are failures as far as it’s all concerned, things I disappointed myself at, but will I share that? Probably not, it’ll be something to keep for myself and refer to when I start on whatever my next project will be.
If you’ve been keeping up with this thing since the very beginning, you have my gratitude. If you’re just now getting around to reading it, then I hope you enjoy it and tell others about it. I want as many people as possible to see this and read it. Go on Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr, Reddit, whatever, and let everyone know, I will be indebted to you if you do.
More than anything else, I hope you stick around. I’m not sure what’s coming next, but whatever it is, it’ll be even bigger and better than Other Sleep.
This week I’ve started drawing the final chapter. I started inking the fifth page today. The chapter is massive, a twenty eight pages total, so while I’m moving at a decent clip right now, there’s still a ways to go, and I’m probably going to slow down once October hits. Why is that, you ask?
Remember how I participated in the Bill Counts October Game last year, in which I produced a finished piece of art for every day of the month? Well, I’m doing that again this year because I’m a horrible masochist. But I’m doing things a tad differently this go around. This time I’m drawing a 30-page comic called Shouting at the Void. Here’s a teaser page I did to get an idea of how I want it to look:
So I’m doing that starting next week. It won’t be quite as rough last year, I hope, since I’ve already got the whole thing scripted and thumbnailed, got my color palette ready to go, and I’m drawing the pages really small, 6×9 inches. I’m hoping this will take a lot of stress off and save time so I can keep working on Other Sleep and not stall like I did last year. One can hope, at least.
Dig the new banner? That’s from a page I scanned yesterday. Here are a couple of more bits in progress:
It’s insane and a little scary that I’m so close to the end of this thing that I started early last year. My first graphic novel. Dang.
I’m looking to have this finished and online in November, with the whole thing in print in early January before my art show at the William King Museum in February. Let’s hope it all works out. Thanks for reading, thanks for sticking around, it’s one hell of a ride.
Go read it! I think this is the quickest chapter to go up in some time. At 18 pages, it’s pretty lean, but it’s vicious too. Shinya does NOT have a good time, to say the least. GO READ IT NOW!!
The final chapter is next, a whopping 28 pages. It…might…take a while.
BONUS NEWS: In February I’ll be having a solo art exhibition at the William King Museum in Abingdon, VA for the comic! I’ll be displaying original pages and stuff! More details will come as we get closer to the date, of course, but still, exciting stuff.
I’m happy with how it came out, and it’s the first time in a while where I’ve really had a blast drawing it.
Ninel get’s pretty bloody in this one, which I felt was necessary. The last few chapters have had her just drugged and helpless and kind of useless, so getting to turn that around was a relief. She showed some tough behavior in the first few chapters, but now it’s back and fully formed. Go read it!
Hey folks. I wanted to assure you I’m not dead, and that progress is going well with chapter 7.
My goal is to finish the chapter and have it online somewhere in mid-to-late July, before Rob-Con, which is the 27th. After that, I’m going to buckle down and, I think, try to get the entire graphic novel finished before the end of the year. There are two more chapters after this one, so it shouldn’t be THAT difficult, right? Hopefully.
HeroesCon was a couple of weeks ago, and I wrote about it in depth over on my main website. Long story short: it didn’t go TOO well. I uh, had a bunch of extra copies of the first chapter of Other Sleep printed due to a fear of running out of copies to sell when it turns out that…I didn’t sell a single copy of the book at all. -_- Win some, lose some, I guess. Hopefully next month’s Rob-Con will go better, since it’s smaller and local and such, yeah? Regardless, I met some good people at the con, watched my good friend and comics guru do some particularly crazy sketches for people, watched my girlfriend run around excitedly while dressed as Delirium, bought a LOT of good books, and still had a good time.
ALSO: to tide you over until chapter 7 is done, could I interest you in a PDF of the new issue of Burst Reach 3? It’s only a dollar! I think it’s some of my best comics work yet, and if you’re enjoying the weird shit I pull in Other Sleep, you’ll definitely enjoy this also. This post I made on Tumblr shows you what’s inside! I’m also selling physical copies, if you want one, email me: amechanicaldisaster (at) gmail (dot) com!
That’s all for now. I promise that chapter 7 will be online before you know it!
It’s been a while, and I apologize. I guess you might say we’ve hit a bit of a hiatus.
I’ve been, as usual, extraordinarily busy. I had two appearances: ETSUCon in Johnson City, and Free Comic Book Day at Mountain Empire comics here in Bristol. I stressed out and lost my mind preparing for these, getting postcards printed from old October Game pieces, getting posters made, getting the second printing of chapter 1 of Other Sleep, supplies, et cetera. Annoyingly time-consuming. Oh, and buttons! Check these out!
Both appearances were damn successful, though, more successful than my only other con, Rob-Con was last year. I was astonished by how many people I met who were giant monster fans and wanted me to do mutant sketches of them. I got a few awkward snubs here and there, like a guy who put down one of my books simply because it didn’t have any “meta references” in it, and things like that, but the good outweighs the bad.
Seriously, real talk, Godzilla fans? Are my favorite people to talk to. They are the best, friendliest, people. I want to be friends with all of them.
So on top of these things, I’m working on comics for Burst Reach 3, nearing completion. Also painting a nursery and doing other family responsibilities because I’m going to be an uncle soon? Aw crap.
So yes, unfortunately, things get in the way and Other Sleep is what gets set aside. Heroes Con is in June, and I’ve pretty much confirmed today that I’m sharing a table with a buddy of mine, and just ordered MORE copies of chapter 1 to sell there. Next up? Transportation, hotel, all that jazz. Yikes.
I’m hoping to get back on track and working on chapter 7 this month. We’ll see. Fingers crossed. Thanks for sticking around!