Wednesday, December 31, 2014


Today is December 31st.

Yesterday was December 30th and I got hit with a major case of Doubtrify. I just made that word up, but I think any creative person gets it and and it hit me hard yesterday. I woke up, and knew that in two days 2015 would be here, and here I was. Still in my little, cold, studio apartment, working at a place I've come to REALLY not like anymore, and wondering to myself: "Man, how much longer can I do this?"

How much longer can I keep sitting at my desk, not knowing if making comics is ever going to pay-off, working in a job I hate, knowing I'm not really qualified to do anything else, and not only is it a new year in two days, but in 13 days, I'll be a year older. I'm really close to being middle aged (which is a scary thought in and of itself) and what do I have to show for it?

I tried going to the movies to take my mind off of things (the new Hobbit movie is pretty cool), but I walked out of the theater, knowing I was headed back to my little studio, not knowing where my life was headed.

I got home and I pondered. Thinking didn't help, and usually doesn't when you're in that state of mind. So I returned to my unfinished comic and started drawing.I finished the last page of a new comic. I've made two brand new, 19 page & 22 page comics this year. That's when it hit me. I'm not doing enough.

I can complain all I want about where I'm at in life and wonder why it's taking me so long and doubting if things are going to pay off, and you know what? They aren't. Not if I go at the rate I went this year. In 2014 I created 43 pages of new comic work. That's it. That's not even a page a week. That's less than a page a week. Sometimes, you need coddling, sometimes you need a good, positive piece of advice, but sometimes... well sometimes you just need a swift kick in the booty!

So what did I do? I looked at a list I made last week. A list of goals I want to complete in 2015 and re-adjusted my thinking. I'm tackling one goal at a time. I'm doubling my efforts. I can't just work when I feel like it, or when I think it's a good time. I have to work all the time. Sometimes, you can't wait for the boat to come closer to shore, you have to swim out and get on the boat yourself. When you do that, you face obstacles. You have waves, and sea creatures, and other people swimming. But the boat is there. You have to swim as hard as you can to make it. Otherwise, there are only two other options for your. If you don't make it to the boat, you either get thrown back to shore or you drown. It is what it is.

Call it a dreamer's mind set, call it naivety, call it whatever you want. But I really believe I can do this. I can make a living making comics. But belief only gets your half way. You have to put in the work, and work hard. Harder than anyone else. Most of the time harder than everyone realizes you're working. But it doesn't matter. Because if you want it, you have to work for it.

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

This week's quote of the week is...

"There is nothing except this. There's no art opening, no charity, nothing to sign. There's the next mission, and nothing else."- Tony Stark

Having blinders on can sometimes be a bad thing. You have to look outside the window every once in a while, stop and smell the roses, and just precipitate this life. It's healthy and refreshes you. But then there are times when you just have to strap into your seat, hit the throttle, aim for the finish line, and don't let anything stop you.

Tunnel vision is sometimes needed, because if you're like me, you can get excited about a project, but then when the actual time comes around to work on the project you get sidetrack by all the sparkly images on the internet, all the weird tweets on twitter, and all the nonsensical, bad mojo, negativity dwelling in your brain. You have to push it all aside. As Morpheus in The Matrix put it, you have to let it all go. Fear. Doubt. Fear your mind. And in this case, freeing you're mind is actually locking it down in place, ignoring all the other things and Get. The. Job. Done.

Sometimes you just have to focus, otherwise you're never going to accomplish what you want to accomplish and you're always be sitting on your couch, groaning to yourself, "Why, oh why, isn't my comic finished!?" (That's me sometimes)

But really, the answer lies in yourself. It's all about focus. Push yourself. You don't gain muscles by exercising whenever you feel like it, and when you do exercise, just doing the bare minimum. No!! You gain muscles by pushing yourself, adding weights on top of weights, doing more than you did last time, and not stopping till you are where you want to be. 

Whether it's making comics or anything else you want to do (and it doesn't have to be just one thing) you can do it, you just need that drive, and put on a pair of blinders. Block out all the time wasting, albeit fun, stuff for a while, adapt to tunnel vision and, focus on the "next mission". These is nothing else.

Be Awesome.

Monday, December 1, 2014

Last month of 2014 - WHAAAA!?!?

December is here and holy smokes, where did the time go? It seems like it was just Valentine's day yesterday and I was complaining to anyone who would listen about being forever alone... but I digress :P

Anyways, it is December 1st today, and that means we just finished the month of November, which itself means PiBoIdMo has come to a close. How'd I do? I made it!

The month started off great and by the end of the first week, I had I think 15 titles/names jotted down in my sketch book for different ideas. But as the month went by, I filled out those ideas with sketches and the ideas seemed to come slower. Then by the 28th, my well seemed to had run dry.

But then the next day, on the 29th, I was hit with three ideas. So yesterday I sketched out the last one I wrote down and now my new sketch book, purchased specifically for PiBoIdMo, is over halfway full with 32 sketches of different ideas I came up with. My goal is to finish out the rest of the sketch book and have a total of 60 ideas by the end of the year.

As I stated before, when I wrote about Picture Book Idea Month, some of the ideas aren't great. As a matter of fact, they're kinda silly and I don't know if I'll ever develop them very much. But there are a couple I really, really like and I'm going to work on them a little bit more, build up the world around them and see what I get. What I like about them also, is that a couple of them are actual picture book ideas, which is what the month was about. But a couple I think are awesome ideas for a graphic novels. So I'm excited to see where they take me.

Next up, hopefully is 12 x 12, which I've only recently found out about and I'm hoping it happens again next year. It's where you develop twelve rough drafts, one rough draft for each month of the year (I think). If it happens next year, I want to take part in it.

Well that's it for now, just wanted to give a little update. I'm going to try and update this blog a bit more, so we'll see what happens. Thanks for reading.

Be Awesome.

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Zero attracts Zero

I was talking to someone today and they said something that for some reason struck a cord. "If you're looking up, you can get up." It was words of encouragement and help, letting me know that things aren't as bad as you think they are, and for some reason those words hit me.

Now, I know taken literally, that might not be true due to circumstances beyond our control physically, but emotionally and metaphorically, they hit me. I heard those words and I thought to myself, "That's true. If I'm looking up, that means I'm alive. That means I'm breathing air another day and I'm here." I can't quite explain why those words affected me so much, but they did.

Something else that was said is that "zero attracts zero". Again, those words touched me. If I block everyone out, regardless of what I'm going through, then I'm cutting out not only the negative and bad things I want to get rid of, but I'm cutting and blocking out the positive things that will help. The people and places and experiences that will help me get through the troubling times that everyone faces. We all are fighting our own battles and wars and we all have scars of whatever nightmares we face. But in battles and wars, the winning side usually has allies. Someone there to draw support from. We need that support. It's something that can help and build us up, even if some days all we want to do is stay inside, pull the covers over our head and block out the world.

The world is still gonna be there tomorrow. The sun is going to rise tomorrow. If you're looking up you can get up. So please, get up, get out into the world and let the sun hit you on your face. Enjoy the sounds of the world and the beauties that are out there. Give yourself a chance, instead of keeping it from yourself. And find those you trust. It doesn't have to be hundreds or dozens. One or two will suffice. Find those who will be there for you.

Sometimes we think we are alone, but we aren't. We're only alone when we let ourselves think that and keep to ourselves. Zero attracts zero.

Friday, November 7, 2014

Picture Book Idea Month!

For many writers out there, November has become known as NaNoWriMo, or, National Novel Writing Month. The idea is to write a rough draft of entire novel in the month of November. A quick glance at Wikipedia say the event began in 1999 with just a couple dozen people, but it's grown to over thousands of people attempting it every year.

Well, something else has sparked from this creative madness, and that's called PiBoIdMo. Picture Book Idea Month. Started by Tara Lazar (@taralazar), the concept behind this event is to create an idea for a picture book, every day, for the month of November.

I failed at it miserably last year, whereby I think I only did two days. Well, this is the end of the first week of PiBoIdMo, and so far I've held to it. Here's a small look at days 1-5:

A couple of the ideas I really like and a couple ideas I think are just space fillers, but that's okay. The point isn't to have 30 brilliant ideas at the end of the month, but to have this bank of 30 ideas you can draw from and work with. Who knows, maybe one day one of these 30 will be a great picture book.

In my case, I'm not only using these ideas for Picture Books, but since I make comics for all-ages, I decided that some of them could possibly make some great graphic novel ideas. Either way, it's November 7th, and I've got a few more ideas in my head I can't wait to put down.

Over on Tara's blog, she's posting a blog a day from some great kid-lit creators and today's was awesome. A couple days ago I came up with a simple little idea about a little red cardinal. I had and still have no idea what his story is yet, but just that little idea was a struggle. I couldn't really think of anything. Well, today on Tara's blog is a post by Jennifer Arena (@hallojen), and there's a chart that lists a number of different objects and people and things. You just hook up two of those little boxes and WHAM!, there's an idea! I love it.

If you haven't followed the blog do so and if you want to register for PiBoIdMo, today is that last day! Come on, join the fun!

Be Awesome

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Failing Forward


I've been trying to writing this blog post for a few days now. And every time I start to write it, I'm just not sure what to say. It's a bummer of a blog post for me personally, but I guess it's a learning experience.

I launched my Kickstarter with high hopes. I didn't wan't to raise funds for printing my comic that grossed in the thousands (though, that would have been awesome), I just wanted to raise funds for a smallish-to-mediumish print run.

Well, it wasn't going to happen. So I closed down the kickstarter page and thought about it. Analyzed what I did wrong. I may be missing something, but I don't think I did anything really wrong. I posted a good description and added a very brief but coherent video and added fair rewards (all of these I guess could be debated, but I thought they were all pretty good). And my goal seemed small enough to conquer.

What I didn't realize, and have come to now, is that I didn't and don't have what I thought a did. A network. I can say I don't have a fan-base either, but I kinda already knew that. I was hoping that with my couple hundred Facebook friends and couple hundred Twitter followers, that good word of mouth might spread about the project.

Wrong. After thinking about it, half of my friends and family don't even know what Kickstarter is, so that's not gonna help at all. And on Facebook, that's pretty much all I had. And with Twitter, well, how many of my 260 followers are interested enough in my work to RT, much less pledge? Not much.

But this isn't sour grapes. This is a learning experience. I'm still publishing my comic book, I'll just have to print a couple dozen at a time, instead of the smallish print run I initially wanted. And I'll still try a kickstarter in the future, but now I know what I need. I need a network. And I need a fan-base. Without those, making headway on a crowd-funding site, where you're reaching out to people doesn't really work, unless of course you're making potato salad. You need people who support your work to share the project and people who enjoy you're work to pledge and enjoy the project. I'm not there yet. But hopefully in the future I will be.

Making comics isn't a sprint, but a marathon.

"Life is not easy for any of us. But what of that? We must have perseverance and above all confidence in ourselves. We must believe that we are gifted for something and that this thing must be attained." - Marie Curie

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Urban Myth Investigators KICKSTARTER

Hey there!
I know I don’t update my blog enough, but I usually only post updates about convention appearances (which I haven’t had in a while) and new projects (which take time to complete), and I’ve got one of those.
Urban Myth Investigators has been finished for a bit now, and I’ve finally put up the Kickstarter to fund the printing.
If you don’t know what Kickstarter is, it’s a website where people can pledge a certain amount of money to help found a project and “kickstart” it into action. In my case, this kickstarter project is to fund a print-run for the first issue of my comic book, Urban Myth Investigators. UMI is about a team of cryptids who investigate other cryptids/urban myths and paranormal disturbances. It involves a gnome, Earl, a sasquatch(aka Bigfoot) Steve, and the team rookie member, a chupacabra, Chupie.
It’s a very fun look at this team that takes one part Scooby-Doo and one part The Hangover, mixes it all together and you get this funny, buddy/team book, about the UMI boys sent on missions when things go bump in the night.
If you like comedies, big foots, urban myths and just fun comic book, please be sure to check it out. If you can’t pledge, please help out by spreading the word.