Posts Tagged ‘NeverNever’
As you might imagine, I’ve been very distracted recently, and so this piece of news almost slipped through the cracks — but I can’t let that happen! Bad Dog Books has released Roar, Volume 3, which includes my latest short story, “Blackbird Singing In the Dead of Night.” It’s a murder mystery starring Squash and Stretch, Suburban Jungle’s pair of mustelid gumshoes, and was a lot of fun to write.
Among other things, this is a biggie because it’s my first piece of prose fiction to be published by someone other than myself, and so is a step into new territory for me. Time to update the bibliography!
This is the latest in a series of big changes that have come at me fast and furious, with very little time to process one before I’m in the midst of another. I’ve passed so many crossroads in the past year-or-so that I’m amazed I haven’t stepped sideways into another dimension.
A week from today will be another one: Thursday the 17th is when we bring down the curtain on NeverNever for what I expect to be the final time. It’s been a long and twisty journey, and in many ways it feels like the last steps are the hardest, but I’m happy to see it get a proper finish and I’m grateful for all the hard work Sue, Richard, Higgins, and Tiffany have put in to help bring it to fruition over the years. Of course that also means that it’s time to crank out Attack of the War-Cats as fast as I can to get it done by Confuzzled. My usual book printer has unexpectedly gone belly-up on me, and the plan I was looking at with Amazon appears to have developed a few holes as well, so I’m now scrambling to figure out what to do on that front. I’m sure I’ll find something, it’s just a matter of being able to sit down and hash it out.
What comes next from there? I’m not sure. The ending of NeverNever is significant in the larger picture of my “creative life” because it will be the first time in a long time that I didn’t have a comic running in some form, even if that form was sporadic updates. I was expecting the new steampunk comic to pick up more-or-less on the heels of NN shutting down, but as time goes on I’m finding it harder and harder to stick with that, for a variety of reasons that I don’t really want to go into here. So I’m trying to decide what to do next.
Right now I suspect that the next step will be more short fiction. I have some ideas burgeoning for Roar Vol. 4, and I also think short stories could be a good way to flesh out some of the myriad “characters in search of a plot” ideas I’ve got going, from Brigid and Greg to Not-Dead Darby and the Reagent Man. It might also work to get the juices flowing on the steampunk comic idea, for that matter. The main thing is to keep moving; I’ve been treading water for far too long now, and it’s time to start making progress again!
Some rambling here. If you’d like to skip to the good stuff, there’s art at the end!
For all who stayed…
It’s been a year and a bit now since I wrapped up The Suburban Jungle, and time to check my progress compared with what my plans were for the year.
The first thing that comes to mind is that writing didn’t really go as planned. I did do a short story that I was quite pleased with, and a lot of trying to hash out various novel ideas, but I never could really come up with something that got me fired up and excited, I suspect at least in part because I had so much difficulty making the “concept” behind the book match what was actually coming out when I wrote. That, and my recurring difficulty with plot, which I’ve written about elsewhere. At the end of the day, for just about each project I tried to pick up, I ended up deciding it needed a little more time to bake and that I’d come back to it.
The next thing that comes to mind is how much I missed doing comics. Back in August Arclight Adventures grabbed hold of my brain and shook me around until I caved in and started working on it — only to hit a wall in November called “familial crisis” (le sigh). Fortunately the familial stuff has ebbed again for the moment, and once the seasonal frantic convention prep is out of the way, I can get back on it. Right now I expect Arclight Adventures to run for about eight issues over the course of two to five years depending on how well it goes and audience reaction.
That said, I do miss Suburban Jungle, and I know there’s going to be more of it someday. Just the other night, Tiffany demanded that I draw her, so the characters are still there bumping around in my head, even if they don’t have any major plots brewing at the moment. But it needs some time away, so that I can let the old series become set as its own thing and then start a new story fresh, instead of succumbing to the temptation of just doing “more of the same in a different format.” There are some core elements of Suburban Jungle which honestly were completely played out by the end and would only be baggage now. By having time away from it, and doing different stuff instead, I hope to be able to come back fresh to the new series and give it its own life.
Then, there’s the issue of conventions. Now, I love conventions, but there are problems I’m going to have to come to grips with moving forward. MammaLlamaDevil, who has been my superlative business partner for the past (mumble) years, is gettin’ out of the convention biz as part of a major life-restructuring. While I wish her nothing but huge success, that does put me back where I was in 2001-2002, having to create merchandise, wrangle vendors, and work the table more or less on my own. She’ll be there for Further Confusion, thank goodness, but for AnthroCon I’m going to have a half-table solo. Sirfox and I have requested to get the same table, which should help, but I will still have to face my worst nightmare: i.e., trying to handle money, interact with people, and keep drawing all at the same time. It may sound fatuous, but I know from experience it’s going to be tough going! Fortunately, Mrs. Gneech will be at Confuzzled, which will be a big help there. I have enough trouble with US dollars — I can’t help it, math is hard! — I don’t want to know what trying to deal in pounds will be like.
Speaking of Confuzzled, I did promise at the top of the post that there would be art at the bottom of it! So here you go: convention mascot Brok the Badger gets tough with a goon! (Click through for larger view.)
To be honest I suspected my GOH days at conventions were probably over, so to not only be invited again, but to be invited overseas, still blows my mind. It has also been a major source of inspiration for me to keep going on the artwork. I don’t do it for the money, obviously — I do it for the fans. And to know that it still means something to people is huge.
So what are my plans for 2011? Right now they consist of finishing off the unfinished business of 2010 (i.e., Attack of the War-Cats and No Predation Allowed), getting Arclight Adventures off the ground, and to continue trying to make the writing work. That ought to keep me busy for at least a week or two.
Halloween is upon us, and to celebrate I’ve elaborated a bit on my impromptu steampunk getup for Dragon*Con, right down to the cliché of the self-modded Nerf gun. ;D I couldn’t bring myself to put goggles on the hat, tho. Everyone at the office party this morning agreed that I had quite a dapper costume, although nobody had the slightest clue what I was supposed to be. A couple of people floated the idea of Sherlock Holmes; one person guessed I was from Firefly, to which I answered, “Close enough!”
In other news, in case you managed to escape without hearing me cheer all over the internet last night, Childproof the Unicorns (Second Edition) is back in print and up for sale! This is my first foray into 100% self-publishing for print, and I must say I’m very pleased with how it came out! On to Attack of the War-Cats and No Predation Allowed!
When it comes to being an internet persona, Oscar Wilde’s view that “the only thing worse than being talked about, is not being talked about” is the absolute truth. So if, like me, you are an internet persona, at least in your spare time, it’s good to know where you stand. Periodically, as much to “manage the brand” as to feed my hyper-inflated and fragile ego, I search around for what people are saying about my work.
I’m pleased to discover that The Suburban Jungle has a decent, if not huge, page on TVTropes.org, with an up-to-date link and all.
On the other hand, I’m saddened to find that NeverNever is only mentioned at all as an entry on the “Orphaned Series” page. Which, I must admit, is a fair cop for the most part, but still a poke in the ego.
Brigid and Greg have a nod on what appears to be a draft page called “Will and Grace Are Like Brother and Sister”, which tickles me.
The new comic will have plenty of tropes ready-to-go; you can probably guess a few just by looking at the heroes! What can I say, tropes are fun to play with.
Well! Pursuant to yesterday’s post about printer costs, some reader and fellow self-publishing types have pointed me at some other printing options that I hadn’t yet found, and they’re looking promising. Assuming one of these works out, that should allow me to do Attack of the War-Cats for somewhere in the $15-$20 range, much more reasonable!
Jury’s still out on No Predation Allowed — I may end up having to do that in multiple volumes in order to keep the price feasible. But that’s one I am particularly anxious to have in full color if possible!
Well that was fast! In just two nights of work, I have the initial layouts for Attack of the War-Cats complete!
Including the 9 pages that Sue is currently working on with a view towards starting on the web November 1st, and a six-page bonus story (“Thunder’s Last Stand”) drawn by our usual colormiester Richard Wyatt, it comes to a healthy 74 pages in the same double-height format we’re using for the second edition of Childproof the Unicorns.
The big question of AoWC, however, is color. Going with b/w throughout, we’re looking at a retail price somewhere around $12-$15 a book. Color, on the other hand, cranks the retail price up into the $33-$38 range, which is not a bad price for 230+ strips, but definitely tends to push it back a bit from the impulse buyer.
I’m curious to hear how readers feel: if you’re inclined to pick up a copy of Attack of the War-Cats, would full color be worth the higher price to you?