Have you been having any Covid-related dreams since this whole pandemic started almost a year ago? I keep having this one repeatedly: I’m out shopping somewhere. A lot of times it’s at the flea market or a comic convention, but it’s also been Walmart, a mall, or a used bookstore. Things start off fairly open, but as the dream progresses, I find myself in tighter spaces, crammed with more people, and eventually I realize that I’m not wearing a mask, nor are most of the people around me. In some cases the dream ends right there, I wake up to keep from getting sick, but there have been other times where, upon that realization, I make an effort to get out of wherever it is I am. “My mask is in my car, I just need to turn back now and grab it and hopefully I’ll be okay.” But I get sucked further and further in, and in one dream I had my phone out, trying to call my girlfriend to tell her she had to go stay somewhere else for two weeks because there was no way I was making it out uninfected.
The flea market and comic convention locales make sense because even with all the orders I made on eBay last year, I still really missed checking out booths for cool kaiju or Power Rangers toys. Those are often what I’m looking for in the dreams, wondering if I can afford them before the maskless realization strikes.
I still don’t think I’ve actually worn a mask in any of my dreams, oddly enough. I know others who have. It’s just interesting to me, I guess.
Hey, it’s a new comic! One that I actually drew all the way back in February and started coloring in March before the pandemic hit and my productivity went down the drain!
I don’t quite know how to talk about this one, it was a strange dream that didn’t feel completely linear, one thing just kind of blurred into the next as I went from experiencing horrible traumatic pain, to being transformed in an operating room, et cetera. I’m sure it has something to do with my coming out as nonbinary to some extent, and how it didn’t really change me into an all new person, just a stronger version of myself who still has all the same issues they did before coming out. But also: learning to grow from trauma, without letting it define who you are, and well, having amazing and supportive friends.
The initial plan was to do a series of short comics over the course of the year after posting Mutual Friend back in January, each one corresponding to actual dreams I’ve had. I wanted to try to do one each month, and by the end of the year have enough to print a one shot comic collecting them all. I still want to do that book, but obviously with everything being horrible and it being a struggle just to sit down and draw some days, I know I won’t be able to do anything on a set schedule…especially since I’ve also started back on my all ages webcomic Cosmic Adventurer Slimepunk and have started plotting out a new comic that will be exclusively on my Patreon. So many ideas and projects, so little time and energy. Ugh.
That said, there will be one more thing before the end of the year. This I promise.
Ninel has returned! I’ve been wanting to make new comics about her for a while now, and adapting a recurring dream about a former friend who did some nasty things seemed like the way to kick things off. Other Sleep was inspired by bad dreams and trauma, and this isn’t much different: Ninel is my way of processing those things.
There will be more dreams to come for sure, along with, someday, a proper sequel. Hope you stick around!
Hey everyone! Been a longtime since we’ve had any activity over here, hasn’t it?
Other Sleep has been finished since 2015. I’ve made a lot of other comics since then, but I never really got Ninel out of my head. Which makes sense, because she’s very much a part of me.
So after a lot of false starts and scribbled ideas, I’ve got something new on the way. It’s not much…actually quite short, but I’m excited to be working in this world again, and plan to do more once this is finished. And when it is done, it’ll be posted here for free, just as the original chapters of Other Sleep were.
About that: after I printed Other Sleep and put it up for sale on ComiXology, I restricted things here to where only the first 3 chapters were free to read, hoping it would help drive up sales. But it’s been so long, and I sold my final physical copy of the book two years ago anyways, so now the entire thing is once more available to read for free. So check it out! Tell your friends! I hope you’re all as eager to welcome Ninel back as I am!
(I’m afraid to reread Other Sleep myself, I admit, but…you know)
Hey everyone! It took months of waiting and there was a mistake or two along the way, but the complete graphic novel is now available on ComiXology for only $4.99! I’m really excited about this, and hope it’ll reach a whole new audience through the platform, so I’m going nuts promoting it all over social media in the most shameless manner I can. The first three chapters will remain on here to read for free, of course.
Thanks for all your support!
I don’t know whether anyone’s noticed or not, but I took down chapters 4 through 9. You may be wondering why I would go and do that. For one thing, I’m hoping it’ll convince more people to order a physical copy of the book, which you can do here.
Here’s the other reason:
That’s right, I’ve submitted the whole thing to ComiXology in the hopes of getting my work out to a larger audience! I did this two weeks ago. I’ve heard it takes forever to hear back from them. Will they accept it? I have no clue. If so, it’ll be available, DRM-free, for the low price of $4.99.
Should they reject it, I have another place to put it, though I know it won’t reach nearly as many people there as it would on ComiXology. So, you know, fingers crossed.
And if all else fails, I’ll just put the chapters back up on here! Sounds good, right? Hope so.
So…I haven’t posted anything here in forever, have I? Geez, I hope you haven’t forgotten about me…
The story ended way back in November, I got the graphic novel printed in January, and had the show at the William King Museum for it in February, and I’ve been silent since then. At least, over here I have.
Last month I launched a new webcomic called Cannonball Fist. Updating every Tuesday and Thursday (hurrah for a regular schedule!), it’s about a girl named Clara who fights monsters and wants to become the best boxer in Southpaw City. It’s way different from Other Sleep, more of a goofy all ages thing. No nudity or horror there, just a young boxer punching monsters in the face. But I would absolutely appreciate it if you came along and gave it a shot, because I’m having so much fun working on it. After how heavy Other Sleep was, I needed something lighter that I could play around with, you know? The first page of the second chapter, which goes up this Thursday, has a slight reference to Other Sleep though, so there’s that!
In other news, I created Burst Reach 4, got my October Game comic from last year, Shouting at the Void, printed, and I’m slowly selling off copies of the first chapter and complete graphic novel for Other Sleep. I did even better at HeroesCon this year than last, I’m going to an anime convention in Asheville in a couple weeks, and things just keep rolling along.
So it’s not that I’ve forgotten about this site, I just keep busy. Other Sleep may be over, but there’s so much more to come!
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.