Posts Tagged ‘Suburban Jungle’
I must admit that I’ve never really paid a lot of attention to the Ursa Major Awards, for two reasons. First, I tend to be more of a producer than a consumer, and as such awards just don’t show up on my radar that much. Second, in my capacity as a producer, I rarely had anything that I thought really merited recognition on a “literary award” kind of scale, except possibly No Predation Allowed, and I completely missed the window on that one due to dealing with personal crises at the time.
However, that has changed. This year, No Predation Allowed: Ten Years of The Suburban Jungle is eligible for nomination due to its new edition from FurPlanet. In short, I’ve got a second shot at it, and as this is currently my magnum opus, I have to admit that it would be really nice to see it get at least a nomination nod.
So this is a call to my fans! Please nominate and vote for at least one of my books. I actually have five that are eligible: all three volumes of No Predation Allowed and issues one and two of Rough Housing. I won’t be so greedy as to ask you to use all five nomination slots on my work… but I will be just greedy enough to point out the lovely symmetry of it.
Seriously tho. I’ve been told that Suburban Jungle was an important work in the furry world, and I’d certainly like to think it made its mark. If you could help make this happen, I’d be grateful. Thanks!
I have a confession to make:
It takes me forever to do anything.
Writing, drawing, even simple stuff like taking a shower and get dressed, I move slowly (when I move at all) and am frequently annoyed to discover that instead of being 8:30 a.m. like I thought, it’s actually midnight two days later.
This is frustrating. But worse, from an entrepreneurial standpoint, it’s unproductive and is severely hampering my ability to make a living at it.
Compare/contrast someone like, say, Graveyard Greg. Whether or not his creations are to your taste, there’s no denying that he is a content-generating machine. He cranks out stories, scripts for comics, you name it, at a phenomenal pace. And when he’s finished with something, he just moves on to the next thing. This means, among other things, that he can take on more projects and/or new projects quickly and easily, always expanding his product base, in a way that I can’t.
It’s like I once said of Neil Gaiman: I create work of the same quality, but he sneezes out a short story over lunch, while I take two months to produce the same volume of work.
At this stage, some may be thinking, “Don’t beat yourself up about it Gneech, you just create what you can and your loyal readers will be there!” or something similar. And while that’s true, and I’m extremely grateful for it, it doesn’t make my tortoise-like pace any less of a problem. Because, you see, I have to earn a living.
Forget for a moment that my vocation is writing and comics. Pretend instead that I’m a clockmaker. Say I live in Zurich, where clockmakers outnumber non-clockmakers, and while I’m a perfectly good clockmaker, there are plenty of others out there who are also as good. More importantly, the others work fast enough to make two or three clocks for every one I can force myself to produce. It’s pretty easy to see that those other clockmakers are going to have a much easier time putting food on the table than I will. It’s not a matter of quality or dedication or what-have-you… it’s pure mathematics.
This is my biggest problem, as a creator. It takes me so long to create my “core content” that I’m already permanently behind schedule. I can’t add new reward levels to my Patreon campaign in order to attract more supporters. I can’t push for a ton of commissions. I can’t sit around coming up with (and then producing) new merchandise. I am maxxed out as it is, and rapidly being left behind.
I don’t know what to do about it. The first obvious answer is to change my “core content” to something I can produce faster, but if it was that easy I’d just go back to a day job and be done with it. I create Suburban Jungle because on some level I’m compelled to do so. The second answer is “Work faster!” but again, if it was that easy I’d have done it already. I have managed to increase my speed a bit over the course of Issue Two, but only a bit, and I don’t think I can go much faster than this without completely sacrificing any semblance of quality.
So… still looking for a solution. In the meantime, I need to stop blogging and get to work. I’m behind schedule. Like always.
I’ve been trying to come up with an interesting and insightful post about my creative process and how to make the business end of it all work and so on, and so far all I’ve managed to do is write “Duh… me like chocolate!” over and over again. So I’m going to punt on that idea and just put up a random collection of SJ-related flotsam and jetsam that I don’t have anywhere else to put.
First of all, Issue Two is now available for pre-order from FurPlanet, including a full-page color rendering of Charity’s Surfing Lesson, available only in print or to Patreon supporters. My intention is to start including a bonus art piece in every issue (and posted to the Patreon page) as a “thank you” specifically to those readers who help me put food on the table.
Issue Two should be available to pick up at Midwest Furfest this weekend at the FurPlanet table. I’ll also be at MWFF, grabbing a spot in the Artist Alley whenever I can. Come and find me! Commission me to draw stuff! I’ll be your friend! ^.^’
Second, after November’s Ask the Cast page revealed that Charity was named after her great-grandmother, who was a member of the Women’s Airforce Service Pilots, I received an e-mail from a reader named Kim who told me that her own mother was also a member of the WASPs, and thanked me for helping spread the word about them. She also sent me a couple of photos of her mom, with permission to post them. Click through for the full versions.
Kim told me that the second picture was a stopover on a delivery flight: the men had never seen a female pilot before and were so impressed they asked for a picture. Kim’s mom is alive and well and going strong at 98, which is pretty awesome.
Finally, the cover of Issue Three was supposed to go up on the SJ site today, not sure why it didn’t. So it’ll go up tomorrow! Issue Three will begin running in January.
I love this exercise, but it takes forever. If interested, you can find the template here: 25 Essential Expressions
I am still not quite happy with the designs for either Charity or Langley. I was hoping that it would smooth out as the story progressed, but if anything it’s getting worse instead of better, so I’m trying to work it out and “get it right” before going on with another issue.
Charity should be young, almost baby-faced, bright eyed, eager, and cheerful. Think Sailor Moon with spots. So, eyes bigger, muzzle smaller, lots of big expressions are the mode for her.
Suggestions? Comments? I’m all ears!
Today the last page of the second issue of Suburban Jungle: Rough Housing went up on the website! The files are sent off to the publisher, including a piece of bonus art that isn’t on the website (but will go up on the Patreon page soon). Naturally, I’m quite pleased about this.
I’d be very interested to hear any comments or feedback folks might have. I’ve been experimenting with some different art techniques as well as deliberately coming up with things that would be challenging to draw in order to break out of my old habits of “medium shots of people with crossed arms standing around talking all the time.” The art will probably be shifting slightly again between issues, as it’s still not quite where I want it to be, but it’s getting closer. As always, the real tension is between “getting the page right” and “getting the page done in less than a week.”
As I did between issues one and two, I’m going to pause the web page updates between issues two and three, so I can work on rebuilding the buffer, as well as getting some real work done on “The Other Comic,” for which I have scripts and some layouts done but need a few days of uninterrupted work to get actual pages drawn before we’ll make the official announcement and launch date etc. I’m also going to be building an Etsy shop, getting ready for two(!) conventions in December and… oh yeah, selling my house and moving. O.o
Why do I never do things that are easy?