Saturday, October 25, 2014

My Last Day....

Well here I am again. Its the last day of me working a day job. I'm quitting for a variety of reasons. First of all, our money situation (although still not perfect) will soon be better. My freelance work has increased by 1000%. I'm quitting since its a night job I am tired and moody all the time - Meaning I snap at the kids and everything sets me off. Its not human. I work with some co-workers who are the most miserable souls I have ever encountered in my life. The wife's job is so unpredictable with scheduling and it makes the bulk of our money, that to have to worry around me and my odd sleep needs/job needs, that its all too much to juggle. I would like to focus more on the kids' health and my own and keep the household in order. But mostly, to get back to being the real me.

I took a few months off due to depression and just decided to hunker down and focus on working a regular job again. I hated art and writing. I just burned myself out. Our bills were piling up. I just needed to disconnect. But in the end, I found out that the path I was on is the only one that works for me. I am too angry, bitter and my eyes are too open to the bigger picture to deal with the punch clock world. There was a twinge of embarrassment with it. Like if I had to take a day job, I was "admitting defeat" with my work. Like I am a failure. I didn't "make it." And it still is in flux. Every creative job is, really. We all don't know how to monotize what we do.

But monitization, while super important, cannot be the main focus. When I'm flat on my back for the last time, money will never matter. What will matter is how I've lived. What I did. What I left behind. How I contributed to the big book of humanity.

This is about living the life we want. Doing what we are good at and are meant to do. All my life all I've ever had going for me was my art. It comforted me. It helped me. It was my friend when I was at my lowest. Its personal. Its professional. And I twisted it into this huge monster of a thing that no longer served me. I put focus on things of unimportance and I dwelled into the idea that I was a failure because I hadn't achieved this or that, or this other thing. It was becoming a toxic relationship and I just needed to stop and decide what it was I really wanted. I needed myself and my creativity to go to couple's therapy, if you like. So I entered the workforce. But all the while I still worked here and there on minor things. The dreams continued. The plans kept swirling. And slowly the real me returned. I knew I still had the love in me and it never dimmed. I just piled all of this other shit on top of it and lost the focus. Meanwhile, the actual dayjob itself showed me right away that I wasn't meant for it. I hated every second I was there. The job itself wasn't bad and the boss was great to deal with. But everything else that went with it made me dread going. I wasn't myself. It wasn't my world. I was a square peg in a round world. A puzzle piece to a completely other picture being made.

I wanted to do right by my new boss so I made a break when I thought it was safe to do so. Instantly, it became not good to do so. I felt guilty, but I stayed true. I just know its time to go. I do feel bad they are a bit up shit creek now that I will be gone, but as demonstrated to me many times --- In the punch clock world, I am easily replacable. All my struggles didn't matter. People and places go on without me, and me making it so much more important than what it really was a wake up. I drive by places I've worked sometimes and I think about the times I spent there. The people I dealt with. Sometimes I miss those days. But they are over. I move on down the trail. I'll never see those people again. And the struggle has ended. I'm back to square one, just me and what I want. The life I want.

Its back up to me now to make this work. I know now I cannot return to the world of the punch clock. Everytime it just doesn't work. The winds tell me to give it up and go back to what I love. The other night I was talking to a trucker who stopped into the gas station. We were discussing guitars that he owned. He said he heard I was an artist. I showed him some of my work. He was blown away. He asked me if I went to college for my art. I said yes. Then he said the line that made the decision right in my head. "Well if that is your REAL job, and thats what you love to do, what are you doing working here?"

It comes up in my head a lot. If this is what I am meant to do, why am I burnin' daylight? Why don't I have the drive in me? Where's the rockets under my ass to get my shit done. I know what I have to do. Whats stopping me from doing it? Not a goddamn thing, except for the bullshit things I do to myself. So the next Monday, I put in my notice. And the last day is today. I'll go in and work my last shift and move on. Back to my real life. Back to what I am good at. Being a dad. Cleaning the house. Being an artist and writer. There's no shame in the life I have chose for myself. And its time I stop letting people shame me into what they think I should be doing. Fuck them. Fuck everything. I'm just gonna do what I do, how I do it. Come what may, I'm just gonna keep doing it. Keep moving forward.

I'm reminded of the very first page of my comic, Pleasant Life:

I got another 30-50 years on this planet left. Give or take a decade. I'm gonna live the life I want and raising a big middle finger to those who will stop me. I'm gonna pursue every stupid little whimsy I have to do something creative. I'm gonna take my kids out to experience the world more. I am gonna continue to make my wife and our home life happy.

I am proud of the last 20 years of work. I have so many comics, music, movies and people in my life that have shaped and changed me. I've created so much, met so many people, done so much... but its only begun. You haven't seen anything yet.

Watch me go.


Friday, October 24, 2014

Week's Progress plus STARSLAM IS DONE!

Finally, 6 years after its creation, the art of STARSLAM is finally completed. All 131 pages. Finished. El finito! I finished coloring the last page last night and I cannot be happier with its outcome. Here are some teaser pics of some of the last pages....

Folks, I gotta say I am really really proud of this story. Sometimes while you are making something, it sort of looks odd and not complete. But once its done and coming together as you originally planned it a year or so before on a page, you realize that you were right all along. It really looks fucking amazing. I'm damn proud of this story and the work I did on it.

I'm not done yet though. I still have to put the word balloons on and PDF the last 61 pages. But that should be done very soon. Also soon will be the launch of the Kickstarter for the thing. This will be my first all digital comic push. However there will be a larger tier print version for those who need one. There will be options to get pages of art, do commissioned pieces and stories for the characters and more. I hope to launch that in November so it doesn't interfere with Xmas time.

I created STARSLAM back in 2008 and always intended this thing to be a big graphic novel. It went through many phases from getting rejected by publishers at SDCC 2009, to development hell, to an online webcomic and up till now. Its finally going to see the full light of day and people will see what I've been pushing for all this time. There's no greater feeling for me than that.

SO: This weekend and next week is word balloon time and I'll get this baby in the can. Also while making the Kickstarter and submitting it. Trust me, I'll let you all know when it goes live.

Also this next couple weeks, I am finishing the STAR WARS MASTERPIECES cards I have to finish. I am in the home stretch on those as well. And I gotta say this time folks, there's not really any bad cards in the bunch. I really took my time on these ones. I wanted to stay far enough ahead on them so that I wouldn't be into the last minute rush like I normally do on some card sets. Nothing on this is phoned in... not that I really do that much anyway. But sometimes some cards don't end up being my best. But these new SW cards are really my best work on them. Wait till you see them! I'll share when I am able to, publicly.

COMING UP - I will have a store signing in Lansing. A last minute "cleaning house" of old prints and products. It will be a collectors store here in the west side of the city. A date will be nailed down soon. Probably mid-November. After Starslam is in the can, its full on ANNA POCALYPSE 2. I am really ultimately deciding to save myself some time and just do the book in black and white. Would you folks mind? I have to redo some of the pages I have done as I am changing some characters around and changing some looks here and there. Plus taking another look at some of these pages makes me second guess some artistic decisions I made here and there. Thats a good thing. And during ANNA 2, I am working on four other card sets and a pinup book for con season. Also, designing new table stuff for con season, including a new backdrop. I'll probably auction off my old one when Anna 2 comes out. We'll see.

Anyway folks, HUGE stuff happening in my world. Thats all just the tip. Wait til you feel the full shaft! (ahem. Sorry.)

Cheers, T

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

STARSLAM is coming!!!!!!

Hey folks! Very very soon I will be announcing some news about Starslam, my first digital erotica superhero parody comic. I have a few irons to toss around and I gotta finish the book but the art is now completely done. At least 140 pages in total!

Im putting the call out to all my artist buddies. I have pinups from some folks as bonus material in it but theres always room for more! So i am offering a free download of the book to any artist who wants to do a pinup for the book. It would need to be done by the end of november. You can do a clean drawing or something a bit sexy. Help me celebrate a sex positive world by contributing to the project to make it more awesome!! If you are interested, EMAIL ME HERE asap!

This book is the culmination of over seven years worth of hard work and I cannot wait for everyone to see it in its completed form. As some of you know, I did have it on the site here as a free webcomic, but it always was intended to be read as a full graphic novel at some point. Now that point is close at hand. Within a couple weeks, I will launch a Kickstarter where people can contribute and get their copy and also get original art pages, make me draw your own story involving the characters, etc. Much more news to come very soon. For now, enjoy a peek at the front cover!

Cheers, T

Friday, October 17, 2014

Kickin' Ass and Chewing Bubblegum

...and I'm all out of bubblegum.

This month or so, I settled into a nice groove of daily work. I work in the morning after Scotty gets on the bus, then during James' naptime and then at night when the kids are asleep. Maybe a total of 8 hour work days at home. Feels extremely good to be back into a nice pattern of work. I've got so much done in the last couple weeks. Starslam pages are almost fully colored and ready to do word balloons. I finished coloring and resizing my con prints (new and some old), I started drawing a new pinup book for con season 2015 and I designed a new table layout. Also I am busy on a major card set for one of the big companies. I signed two contracts to do two more, so now I am on a total of FIVE card sets throughout the winter. I am going to be busy as fukkkkk.

I cannot tell you how good it feels to be in this groove. Over the summer as you well know, I was majorly derailed by depression, health and stress of everything around me. So much so, I wasn't even finding joy in doing artwork or anything creative anymore. I got to a very low and dark place. But I recognized this and got off the speed train for a bit to regroup. I wanted to see what it all meant for me now. Luckily, the feelings I was having dissolved and on the other side of the thinning fog in my brain I found that I still had the will and know-how to work again. I simply just lost my zeal for it all. I think what zapped me back into reality was writing a new PLEASANT LIFE script. I knew that I was going to do another book, but I need to clear the path to get to it. So one by one I started chipping away at the frozen ice wall of work I have to get done to get there. I am still a ways away, but I will get there. And as I drill down, I will release new stuff that I am just as excited about. Starslam (finally), Anna 2 (FINALLY), Card Sets, Pinup book and a few other things. And somewhere in there will be my porn store autobiography thingie.

Its not a struggle to sit down and get work done anymore. In fact, I look forward to it. Maybe I feel so great cause my health is coming back into order. I am down 35 pounds. I'm off soda completely for months now. I've even dropped caffeine. I went to a doctor and got a checkup (long overdue). My stats looks great. The dizziness I was experiencing has stopped. Maybe a side effect of dropping caffeine or something else, I have no idea. But glad its gone and I feel normal again. I'm just in a real good place and riding the wave again.

I put my notice in at my night job earlier this week. I don't really need the job anymore now that the wife makes more money at her new position and company. Also my freelance work is picking up. The job itself is fine, but adjusting my sleep and sleeping my days off away really sucks. The wife and I have barely seen each other and when I am dog tired, I am angry and snapping at everything and everyone. Not good. Throws my system out of whack. Also, some of the people I deal with are not a good or positive thing to be around. A lot of negativity sometimes. Not as seedy as some other jobs I've had, but just annoyingly angry and bitchy all the time. I have to cut off things that do not serve me. I thought tonight would be my last night but the new person they hired quit abruptly and now I am sort of stuck actually finishing out my two weeks, depending on wife's schedule.  So it goes, but I'll get through it. And when I do, full speed ahead on my REAL JOB!

What I've got coming up in the near future is the launch of the STARSLAM Kickstarter. Its likely the last Kickstarter I'll do for a while as I want to focus on some other funding sources and ideas. then I will have a local signing here in Lansing that we are working the details out on. Other than that, its just getting stuff done and paying off bills. Then saving money for 2015 convention travels. I really want to get back out on the road again. I miss it. I need to get out there again. But I want to bring a ton of shit to show with me. I'll show you all how busy I've been.

Very soon...

In other news, during my downtime I have been enjoying The Munsters on Netflix. I am really in love with that series. Also I got Marc Maron's book "Attempting Normal," which I am enjoying. I'm about halfway through it. Then I got Sean Yseult's White Zombie book next. All great shit!

Anyway folks, no worries. I'm in a good place now and back in the groove. Now go forth and kick some ass of your own! 

Luvs, T

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

New Prints!

Here are some newer prints for 2015 con season. I drew them a few months ago and were in various stages of coloring, but are now complete. Enjoy! Perfect for Halloween too!

Things are going great otherwise. Working hard on cards and STARSLAM pages. Busy busy!

Thanks for stopping by again!


Sunday, October 12, 2014

Announcement: I'M BACK!

Today is a great day. As you might recall a couple months back I announced a big "time out" from all activities with my stuff. I ceased all commission and freelance work and I took some time to sort out some issues (personal and professional) that needed to be addressed. I was in a bad place and it still isn't 100%. But after a few months of a break and realizing that I did still have the drive and passion to keep at this, I emerged from my issues and deep depression. I've also found myself 33 pounds lighter.... so far anyway. Still going on it! I've had my health scare and have had my stats checked. I went through some even scarier stuff healthwise with dizzyness issues and also some dire financial problems. Some of these things still need to be resolved fully, but they are on their way to being dealt with. So once the smoke cleared in my head, I emerged realizing I was back to my old self again. I spent a lot of time reconnecting with the hows and whys of what I do and where I want to go next. I've laid out personal plans and goals and I have started moving forward with them. Its been that way for a bit now and I am comfortable saying now that it is likely going to stay that way.

It is with all of this said, that I now annouce to you all that I am 100% back in action. I am now actively working daily on projects and I am now open to freelance work/commissions. For those wishing for info on commissions from me, check out my COMMISSIONS INFO HERE. I will also now be resuming regular plugs and activities on social media. I am also actively making plans for future releases and convention travels. Its all resuming and I'm going full speed ahead.

I am doing this now, fully understanding the notion that I am not 100% out of the woods. This will be an ongoing period of evolution and adjustment. But the important thing I learned in this period of self examination was that when the smoke cleared, I wanted to work again. Its what makes me happiest. Its what I am best at. I spent the last few months drilling down and getting into myself. The root of it all. And it broke me down. The universe has sent me a ton of shit so far this year to show me what I am made of. Stuff that specifically derails me and knows how to do it well. And at one point I yelled back (literally) saying "I'm still here! You can't stop me. You're going to have to kill me to stop me!" And folks, I emerged from the depression that day. The shit was thrown at me, I threw right back. Thats what I needed to do. I got hit, I took it all and I am still standing and still moving forward.

I got your emails, notes, messages and visits. I appreciate everyone and their support. The numbers are still there and they are going to increase very soon. Because not only right now do I announce a return to freelance work, but early November I am launching the Kickstarter for my STARSLAM online graphic novel! I'll give more details later when its appropriate but for now, realize that new things are coming very very soon. More than you know. But I don't want to just sit here talking about it, I want it to be ready to go when you hear about it.

So: Commissions are now open. A perfect holiday gift is the gift of art. I am on a bunch of sketch card sets. I am working on my comics and new prints/table ideas-design for 2015 to hit some more shows. I'm back baby. And its like I never left.

Much love, ADAM T.

Thursday, October 09, 2014

Recent Stuff Absorbed

So it seems in my boredom with the wife gone, I've finally started cutting things down in my Netflix que to watch. Just a bunch of movies and TV shows I keep putting off. Here's a list of some of the stuff I've watched this week:

Airplane 2 - A classic. Watched this late one night cause I wanted something I could ignore. Did the trick

Airheads - Its been a while since I saw this flick. I forgot Lemmy was in it for a millasecond. I say this movie still kinda holds up. Way better than Empire Records did.

Nymphomaniac Vol 1 - Lars von Trier's new arty film about a nymphomaniac. I found it VERY slow paced and I skipped through half of it after about an hour and change in. Maybe I just wasn't in the mood for some art film style of watching. I don't think I can recommend it based on what I saw, really. But maybe if I have 6 hours to kill and want to watch the whole thing (not very likely on the time aspect) I'll give it a shot in the future.

Doctor Who - Finally cuaght up with the new season and its good, but I'm trying to figure out when they will end this season long arc of the Doctor being all dark and indifferent. I gotta imagine its turning people off. But I'll see till the end of the season to see how it all plays out.

South Park - New season started and its okay. I haven't watched the newest one though.

Family Guy/Simpsons Crossover - It was okay. But coulda been muuuuch better. Don't know what I was really expecting though.

Jay & Silent Bobs Cartoon Movie - Honestly, I didn't make it 30 minutes into this. The animation really didn't grab me and the jokes weren't that great. Bummer. I wanted to like it.

Sherlock - Watched Season 3 finally. Very great as always. I am a total Cumberbitch.

Night Gallery Pilot - I had forgotten I saw parts of this as a kid. The first part stars Roddy McDowell (one of my top 5 favorite actors) and a scary story about a painting. I remember how it fucked me up a bit as a kid. Very "Monkey's Paw" in feel. I loved it. Its on youtube, watch it!

Star Trek Animated Series - I showed the kid some of these. We watched a couple episodes I watched years and years ago but barely remember. I should sit down and watch them all really.

But the biggest thing I've been watching is THE MUNSTERS. I am beyond late to the table on this one. I casually saw it as a kid but wasn't into it. I decided to finally sit down and give it a shot like I recently did to M*A*S*H. Boy am I glad I did. I am in love with the show. A lot of the same actors pop up from Trek and Batman of the era. I'm only about 10 episodes in but I am savoring the experience. Really dig it. Perfect for the Halloween spirit!


On the work front, I have been working on cards and coloring Starslam at the same time. Everyday I am doing something on either one. Good pace. My dizzyness spells seem to have went away. No idea what it was. Maybe my blood pressure has gone down. Maybe I had some inner ear or vision crap that was bothering me. No clue. Just glad its gone!

This weekend I gotta take my stereo receiver in for repair or replacement. Hope its not expensive. Also I gotta work the night job Fri-Sat, so my sleep will be off again. We shall see how I recoop from that once again.

Thanks for checking in folks. Make sure you are keeping up with my MORNING SHOW PODCASTS to get my day to day talkings and bitchings. Easier for me to talk there than to type. Sometimes anyway...

Cheers! T