Monday, November 17, 2014

LET IT SNOW!

Hey folks. Just enjoying some cold weeks up here in Michigan as the snow begins to start.



Its getting me in the holiday spirit. We already partially decorated the house a bit for Xmas. Sue me. I didn't get to enjoy Xmas much at all as a kid. Being raised as a Jehovah's Witness sucked! I didn't celebrate Xmas from the age of 9-16 or so. So I missed out on a lot. Making up for it now.

Scott is making excellent progress in his schooling. He's getting better at writing his letters:


James is hanging out at home a lot with me too:







And when we're not doing that, we're working on the STARSLAM KICKSTARTER, which expires in 10 days. Be sure to pledge and preorder the book!

I've completed the script for Starslam book #2. I will start pencilling on it this week after I finish doing some Marvel cards for Upper Deck. Excited about this script. Its gonna be a doozy! Also I am gonna redo some of the already done Anna Pocalypse 2 pages. I'm working on BOTH BOOKS AT THE SAME TIME!!!! I must be insane. But I promised the book to be done and done it shall be!

Anyway folks, just checking in. Hope all is going well for everyone. Be safe out there my droogies!

T

Thursday, November 13, 2014

STARSLAM IS DONE!

Well folks, we've got around 14 days left on the STARSLAM KICKSTARTER pre-order for my NINTH graphic novel. We're around $1,700 raised. Almost SIX TIMES THE AMOUNT I ASKED FOR!!!!!!! Unreal. Let's keep it going! I want to give out some of this original art from the book!

The book is 100% in the can. All I am doing now is waiting for a pal of mine to use his Acrobat program to put the digital book files into one big PDF and we're ready to go. I wanted to share the covers to you all:

This is for the PDF version that will all be horizontal.

This is the print version which will stand vertical, but will be read horizontal. You'll have to tip your book to the side like a Playboy spread to read the pages.
I've got the chance to re-read STARSLAM a few more times over the past couple weeks and man, I am damn proud of this book. Not only is it a great accomplishment in my art career, and a runaway success on Kickstarter, but it is a great piece of pornography. Its not dark and seedy or scary like some other books I've read. I had one girl who is an avid reader of mine email me saying she wanted to support the book but was scared it would be all "rapey." I assured her that it is not and gave her a look at the files. Its not a dark book. If anything, it celebrates sex. It comes from a sex-positive mindset, like I've said all along. Its from the female perspective and its celebrating that females can be just as horny as guys can. Cause its true!

Don't be left out on this historical time in my career! Pledge to my KICKSTARTER for STARSLAM!!! It ends November 28th and your cash will be taken at that point. But jump in now. Some of the rewards have limits on them. On the original page options, I'm allowing you to pick the page you want! But you gotta act quick on it. Cause once its gone, its gone.

For those opting out of the Kickstarter but want it later on, I will have it available on my regular online store too, both the digital and the physical version. I haven't decided on pricing yet. But the best option is to take the plunge and do it now. I MIGHT have books of it with me at upcoming shows, but it will be limited due to the fact that some shows frown on showcasing pornographic comics. So bare that in mind.

Okay folks, thats all I gotta plug today. I'm just soooo excited about this book! Its my ninth graphic novel and I am celebrating its success, BIGTIME! I hope you will join me.

Cheers, T

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Crowdfunding, Floyd and Other Such Things...

Hey folks. Just got done reading a great article by the great Amanda Fucking Palmer. Check it out HERE - She's got a book out this week and I'll get it when I can. Its called "The Art of Asking" and it discusses her days as a street performer, musician, artist and her recent crowd funding methods. I always love her music and read her blog weekly. I find her one of the "good guys," One of those folks who just inspire me and remind me of the path I am on.

Everything in the creative fields is in flux. Musicians can barely make it now. Filmmakers are constantly getting their films put online and stolen. I'm sure video games feel that to an extent too. Everything is out there and we're taking it. Giving nothing back. We keep ourselves amused and forget those who make it. It hurts someone like me, who look passionately at people like artists, musicians and filmmakers as they feel this struggle too. No one has an answer. We're all trying to figure it out. The big bands try things and get nailed for it. Anything new that is tried is immediately slapped down from the collective snark of the world.

It is with these fears that I sit in my little shallow part of the creative ocean, afraid to lift anchor and move to deeper waters. Because its a struggle. Its a hard life to make things work. How can little old me make ripples in the water and get people to see me? We're all trying to figure that out. And when we fail and drown, its embarrassing. But sometimes lightning strikes and we're given a thumbs up. Finally, a great idea and a proper decision made. I wrote STARSLAM, an erotic comic back in 2008 and pitched it at San Diego 2009 and it fell flat on its face. I shelved it. I brought it back as a webcomic. It didn't get the numbers. I was going to shelve it again but I felt strongly about the work. I knew this was a story that had to get out. If not for the world, but for me. I was reacting strongly against all the other porn comics I was seeing out there, and being hired for. I wanted to contribute GOOD pornography to the world. I felt the world needed it. But to put it out is a fear of exposure. Would people think me a freak? Would people percieve me differently? What about those close to me? I was fearful of all of it. People will laugh and think me different. But I took a shot anyway and tossed it on Kickstarter. I busked. I asked people. I just wanted to see who was out there and who would see me.

The response was overnight. I made the $300 I asked for within 24 hours. If I only got just that amount, I would have been happy. It wouldn't have covered my costs at all, but I would have accepted it. I always do. My pre-sales of any book I have ever done or released have never made more than $300. Never. I presell maybe 10-30 books when I release one. Never more than that. Today on the STARSLAM kickstarter, I am at $1,595... and I got 15 days left.

To someone like me, this is a massive success. So far I got 67 backers, about 95% of them are people I don't know and have never met. Maybe I never will in person. They are reaching out to me and saying "I like this guy. I like the idea. I want to read it." and they plunk their hard earned down to read my story and see my art. I'm damn grateful and goddamn proud of all of this. I'm in awe every morning when I wake up and check my email to see that there are new backers waiting. Someone else new found me and is backing me up. And I'm going to give my art to them. Its the give and take with artists and the observers that make art worth doing. There is no end all-be all meaning behind the art. Everything is about the person who comes to observe it and what they get out of it. But the reflection of trust and support to the artists effects us greatly, I assure. I am now proof of "success" with crowdfunding and I am gaining new confidence and new readers.

I hope folks get STARSLAM and they read it and fall in love with it. Because I got plenty more for them. I have other comics like Pleasant Life and Anna Pocalypse. I got years and years of blogs and podcasts. I have live appearances, Marvel-Dc-StarWars Sketch Cards, live art, old art... all cataloged and ready to be dissected by anyone who comes along and discovers me. I've been preparing for this moment. I've been slow burning myself for all this time and I'm ready for people to see it all.

I know that after the dust settles and STARSLAM is out in everyone's hands that its up to me to dream it up again. I will work on the next books, the next card set, the next con appearance. It will never stop. The climb continues. I have to make this career work. But the great push of support I've got for STARSLAM really has me jazzed for the future more than ever. I've finally done something right! I've opened myself up to the idea of crowdfunding and let go of the old ways of doing things. I no longer measure myself by those old standards. Its this, all the way. I will be out there supporting myself more. I will continue to work hard. I'll keep releasing, providing and sweating it all out. And giving my all in every project to come.

Why?

Because I don't know what else to do. Art and creativity is all I have. Its the only thing thats never let me down. Its all I am good at. I love the journey of improving and learning. I love finding new friends to support and learn with. This is the life I want. I will never stop going. I will die with a pencil in my hand.

I have you folks to thank. Let's keep rockin' and rollin'! We've got 15 days left on my STARSLAM KICKSTARTER so let's make it count! And for those of you out there with an idea and a fear like I had, forget it. Reach out and just ask the universe for what you want. Sometimes, if you are lucky, you'll get your answer.

_______

Okay, enough inspirational stuff. Lets get to my PINK FLOYD "THE ENDLESS RIVER" REVIEW! First off, admittedly, I am grading it on a curve... but I gotta say I loved it. I have listened to the lead single "Lounder than Words" about 20 times and it ranks among the best of the Gilmour-led era. I didn't get my hopes up too much with this album and it really is sort of like hearing demos recorded in 1993. And thats fine. Its an album you sort of have to turn on, dim the lights and just immerse in. A musical journey. But all the best Floyd songs are like that. If you are expecting quick .99¢ singles on Itunes, forget it. This is for album lovers. For hardcore Floyd fans especially. It calls back to all periods of Floyd history. You can hear bits of Welcome to the Machine or Atom Heart Mother in parts of it. Its even got an organ part recorded in 1968. It really is good. I've read bitchings online about how its a dissapointment or it sucks. To those folks, I feel pity for. I don't think anyone can enjoy anything anymore. The snark and the pre-judging have clouded their ability to simply just like something. It is sad to me. Would I rank THE ENDLESS RIVER among the Floyd's best? No. But I am damn grateful to have it. And I head an interview with Nick Mason where he's saying more is coming. Archival/Anthology type of stuff. It excites me.

Pink Floyd is my favorite band of all time. I never dreamed I'd get a new record from them at all. Its been 20 years since the last one. And although this was majorly made in 1993, it still feels fresh. It feels like music I enjoy today. I cannot stop spinning this disc and I'm sure as I keep dissecting it, I will get even closer to it. Thanks Dave, Nick and Rick for one last journey! This was an album release for me!! And im damn grateful.

Grade: A-

Monday, November 10, 2014

PLUG TIME!!


Hey folks! Hope all is well. I wanted to remind you all of what I got currently out there for sale and going on. My KICKSTARTER for STARSLAM is at the halfway point. Don't miss out on this pre-order to get your PDF or physical copy, along with art and more! Choose your reward and pay on Nov. 28th! My Kickstarter and details are all right HERE

 If you want a book that is currently available, You can get my ARTBOOK that collects 140 pages worth of my best work from 1994-2014. Celebrates 20 years of my hard work in comics and illustration! Comics, college art, tons of unseen stuff and more! Every book ordered comes with a FREE SKETCH INSIDE! $25. Order it right HERE

And don't forget my super violent, post-apocalyptic graphic novel: ANNA POCALYPSE! 84 pages of hardcore blood and guts! Each book ordered comes with an ANNA sketch inside. Order her right: HERE

COMMISSIONS:

I've been getting emails about Kickstarter and Commissions. I AM taking commissions, and if you want pricing and info, go right HERE

_______________________________

Overall, decent week. Could always be better. Waiting on some freelance checks to arrive. (tap tap) Anyday now!! I hope you folks are having a good week!!

Cheers, T

Saturday, November 08, 2014

A peek inside my closet

In my office I have a nice walk-in storage closet and its rarely clean. Thought I'd take some pics and share what lurks inside and what collectibles I got in there that I don't have nicely displayed in my office.

Looking at the Right Side of the room, I got my stack of comics, some bins of storage and this is where I hang Scott-bot's school clothes. Other tubs and spare chairs are storage. Behind that are painting and big drawings I did back in college.

On the left side is a printer I got from a friend that I need some stuff to set up for. Then I hang my clothes in there, as the wife uses ALL the upstairs ones. Then a couple tubs full of original art pages and sketches. Also got a spare VCR and DVD RECORDER.

Above my VCR storage I got a bunch of card and board games. Necessary for when we have guests over.

In the middle, more games and model kits I haven't had time to finish. Also my NES and games.

Back on the left are some books and dvds that the kids can't keep their grubby mitts off of, so I keep them in there. Also my back issue storage. So if you order books from the online store, this is where they come from. I also have more books in a storage tub. Above there is VHS storage and other old books and things.

I have 4-5 long boxes of comics now. I used to have around 12! The pink tubs have my mom's blankets that she crocheted in them, as well as old tax forms and clothes for when James gets older. One tub is full of back up file discs, cassettes, toys, etc.
So there ya go. A nice look at my deep, dark closet. No skeletons in there.... that you can see!

Thanks for coming back folks. More art and news coming soon. Cheers!

T

Wednesday, November 05, 2014

Daily Diary Thurs-Tues.



Thursday – I wake up at 6am on my own. I check my phone to play my Family Guy game but I initially find out that I am now funded over $445! I have made funding and then some over the course of one day!!!!! Incredible. I shoot the good news to the wife who is thrilled at my success. I get bots up and get him calm. I put him on the bus and I get to work. I record a podcast about the success of my Kickstarter, which during it I get another pledge! Now up to $475. Unreal. I spend the morning doing online promotion and then pull some more reference to finish the STAR WARS cards I have left to do. I then get James up and clean up bots’ room and take both James and Scott’s bedsheets down to wash. I head downstairs and clean the entire house for Scott’s evaluation visit. I email back and forth with Tim about all things KS and he shows me a new pinup he’s done for it! I clean and do various stuff all day around the house. I even dust off stuff in my office. Just clean clean clean. Exciting eh?

James goes down for a nap at 1:30 and I continue cleaning and doing laundry. By this point the Kickstater is at $525 so I pull some reference for starting the expanded pages, cause it looks like its going to happen. I sketch out a couple ideas and then settle on one. I fine tune pencil and then do some inks. Then its time to get bots off of bus and last minute clean house. Scott is in an okay mood, thank Christ. The wife comes home and Scott’s social worker shows up. She sits with us and talks some questions about some things to try with him. Some good ideas here and there. She leaves and we feed the kids and ourselves. James hits the bed and the wife goes to the gym. Scott and I play on his ipod and he watches me play my Family Guy game. Wife comes home and puts herself and Scott to bed. I stay up and ink 15 STarwars cards. I’m in the home stretch. I hit the bed around 11:45, Falling asleep to The Munsters. Kickstarter total so far: $630 at day end.

Friday – I wake up at 6:45 and get Scott on the bus. I hit the table and color all my Star Wars cards I inked last night. Only Five more to go and they are done! Baby James gets up and we watch cartoons together. Brian Maze calls me and we chat for around an hour. My parents text me and say they are coming up in a couple weeks and we set a date. I clean up the house a little bit here and there, mostly sticking to doing laundry. A guy I wrote to on Craigslist who was wanting an illustration done for his fantasy book cover calls me and we go over what he wants for the art. I take notes and say that I can throw some sketches at him later in the week. James goes down for a nap and I try to as well, with it not taking. James ain’t having a nap either, so I get him back up. Scott comes home sorta moody but I deal with it. The wife comes home and we celebrate Halloween with some candy. Its way too windy and cold to try anything outside. We do get a few Trick or Treaters but only about 5 kids. Wife goes to the gym and I watch LONDON AFTER MIDNIGHT, the long lost Lon Chaney recreation film. The kids hit the bed and our friends Nick and Christine come over. It’s a subdued night of boozing. I’m mostly the one throwing back Amarettos and Buttershots. Everyone else is taking it easy. The girls whoop our butts three games to nothing although we come close to winning the third. We all call it an early night and pass out around 1am, me watching The Munsters on my phone.

Saturday – Scott-bot wakes me up at 7:10 and I spend the morning with him, letting the wife sleep in. She works a Noon-8pm today. My day goes pretty uneventful. I attempt to keep the house clean while the kids re-destroy it. I watch 13 GHOSTS (1960), THE HAUNTING (1960). After about 12 hours I’m at wit’s end and ready for their bedtime. James hit the bed at 7pm, Scott around 7:30, thank the lords of Khobol! So I get to work updating blog and working on final word balloons for STARSLAM. By 1am I finish the pages I got and check my Kickstarter. I’m at $920! So Im going to have to do those extra five pages. So I stop there, PDF every page I have so I can read through and final edit it all. But I konk out around 1:30 dead tired.

Sunday – I wake up at 7:30, which is a surprise. The wife heads to the gym and I hang with bots. James gets up and he’s a massive handful all day. I do manage to get some minor cleaning done and I catch the last half hour of DEEP BLUE SEA, which I have affection for. When James attempts (and fails) for a nap I pencil three pages for the STARSLAM expansion. James gets back up and is a handful until I put him to bed at 7pm. I give Scotty a bath and he’s in bed around 8:30. The wife comes home from her extra shift of work dead tired. I get into my office finally and do a podcast, work on Star Wars cards (thus finishing them up), Edit the PDFs of Starslam and I enjoy re-reading it. I really got a nice book here! I pass out around 11:30pm.

Monday – I wake up at 6:10, my neck is severely stiff and it hurts all day. I must have slept on it wrong. It makes looking down to draw virtually impossible, so that nixes my plans to get work done! Bots is super moody but calms down enough and gets on the bus with no problem. The wife heads to the gym and I get baby up. She gets back home and we read STARSLAM together. She points out some spelling errors and various other things to fix. I work on that while she cleans out her closet upstairs. She’s tossing all her bigger size clothes now that she’s 75 pounds down. I’m proud of her. She says “I won’t need these anymore.” I agree. She’ll make it.

She goes and drops the clothes off at the thrift store and to a doctor’s appointment. I put baby down for a nap and I attempt one of my own to rest my neck. I get about 30 minutes of sleep in before the wife texts me, waking me up. I get back up and wait for the mail truck to arrive. We’re expecting a check in the mail. While I’m waiting, James and I see a mouse scurry from the Fridge to under our Stove. I call the apartment manager who won’t do anything about it. I text the wife to get some d-con so we can kill it. After her doctor’s appointment, she waits at the pharmacy for a loooong time for her meds and then gets an oil change. That long of a wait puts the kibosh on anything I wanted to go out and get done. I have a list of things I need to go do and all the stores that provide the things are now closed. Oh well. The wife comes home and lets me go out solo for a break from the kids. I’ve been walled up with them for a week. I hit Replay in East Lansing for some dollar bin Cds. I find some good ones. Pearl Jam Backspacer, Riot Act, Dylan Love and Theft, Slash Apocalyptic Love, Local H, REM Monster, Jackass Soundtrack, Silverchair Freakshow and STP Core. Nice haul! I get back and everyone hits the bed. I stay up and update blog and get some various things done on the net. I do an update for the KICKSTARTER announcing more stretch goals and make future plans. I decide my shoulder hurts too much to try to draw so I hit the bed around 11:45.

Tuesday - I wake up at 6:30, My shoulder extremely stiff and full of pain. The wife rubs icy hot on it and I take one of her ibuprofins. It don’t kick in for like an hour and then I feel okay. I put Scott on the bus, see the wife out the door and then head out with James. We stop at Meijer to get duck tape and I get a cheap Rush remastered CD. Then to Okemos where we find the Salvation Army don’t open for another couple hours. I decide to hit the art store downtown as its having a massive going out of business sale. Where I’m going to get my Copic Refills at, I have no clue. The place is pretty picked clean but I grab a discount Red refill and a couple white prismacolor pencils. Then we head to the Dvd/CD store where I just intend to look but I end up spending $30. YIKES! But its okay, I’ll live with it. I get back home and the kid is moody, so I put him down for a nap. I record a podcast and do some online stuff. I take the stickers off my new Cds and jam to some while I clean up the office a bit.

The wife comes home early and attempts to put James back down for a nap (which doesn’t take). I go out and get a card box and swing back to pick up bots to treat him to French fries. We get back and I get James up. The kids get into everything and I do laundry. The wife wakes up and heads out to vote, then shop. I get odds and ends done in the office, waiting for Scott to calm down for sleep time. I sketch out a STARSLAM final cover idea and wait for Scott to hit the bed to get to work. He does and the wife comes home around 9pm. She goes to bed and I pencil and ink 2 pages plus pencil a cover concept. I am really digging it so I do some partial inks to it before sacking out around 1am.

Sunday, November 02, 2014

Kickstarter Progress....

Hey folks! Man has it been a crazy weekend. I've seen my KICKSTARTER  for the STARSLAM erotica comic not only get funding, but go over THREE TIMES the amount asked for! And its only five days in!!! We broke $1,000 today and I nearly lost my mind. I'm beyond grateful.

I'm punching in the numbers now and it seems that we're in the green when it comes to printing costs. Where I will get nailed is shipping, as I neglected to charge our overseas friends more to ship there. But I am hoping some of the bigger ticket items will soak up some of that cost. No big deal to me. I'm just happy the book is selling and people all over the world want it! I ain't gonna bitch at all about it. I hope it keeps rolling because then I plan to use some funds to print my new prints, get a new backdrop printed for con season and then maybe (possibly, hopefully, willingly) I can pre-pay for some of my convention tables for 2015. We'll see!

To pledge/pre-order your copy (digital or physical) of STARSLAM or to find out more about it, click HERE

STARSLAM is happy with the Kickstarter news!!
This week I got a TON of stuff to get done. I have to get these Star Wars cards done and out the door. Then pull reference for my Marvel card set. I also have to finish pencilling, inking, coloring and lettering the five page bonus for STARSLAM plus a pinup that I offered as stretch goals. I also have to resize the PDFs and make two versions: for the digital copy and for the printing through Greko in Michigan. Also gotta do some minor shopping for some things. And also this week I took on a book cover commission, so I gotta squeeze all this stuff in. Not much time to talk any more here.

Just know that I'm happy. I'm alive and this Kickstarter thing taking off like it has really cements further the idea that when I quit my day job last week to go freelance again, that I made the right choice. Thanks for supporting me and the work I do. Let's keep it rolling!!

cheers, T