Change is Afoot!

Ah, yes, as we come upon the third anniversary of Random Acts Comics it’s time for a little housekeeping.

The biggest change is that after April, 2010, the “Nibbles” and “Sips” blogs will no longer be found at this url. In fact, until the change takes full effect, the April posts will feature a ‘read more’ link to their own domains, to facilitate the change-over to their own pages. All the archives are there and have been for a few months–this change just means that I won’t have to post the same posts in 3 places every week (my two sites as well as Circle of Food).

This also means that I’ll be freer to post more on each topic as the spirit moves. It’s all for the best and I hope you’ll agree. After all, those who do not care for the food or cocktail bits can just follow the comics, while those who aren’t into comics can have the food and cocktail news a la carte! Feel free to bookmark the new domains as well as subscribe to their RSS feeds so you don’t miss anything.

For the time being, Cocktail Hour will still be hosted here but in time I will be moving it over to it’s own domain (cocktailcomic.com already redirects here) and using Random Acts as a hub for all of my comics-related sites.

Con Update: MegaCon Day 3

And it ended much the way it began: not exactly promising.

Ah, well, it wasn’t all bad. I got some drawing done, some work on next week’s strips, walked around the Alley and checked out some of the other artists. There was a lot that just wasn’t my thing but there were some fun finds that I’ll go through and link to later. Tonight, I’m just plum exhausted.

There will be some serious thought given as to whether I’ll return to MegaCon next year. The girls beside me? Did gangbusters all weekend. They were doing chibi art of popular manga and pop-culture properties. Talking to other artists the story was the same: MegaCon is not the place to try and sell original ideas (unless you’ve got a huge community built already). Still, there were some awesome moments and fun, but mostly with the other artists and we’re all in the same boat.

Looking forward to my first local appearance next weekend, the Bizarre Bazaar at Railroad Square. Hopefully the crowd there will be more receptive to what I have to offer. I’ve always done this for the fun, the make folks laugh and look at life a little differently. But, like most people, I’d also like to be able to make this my business, not just something I squeeze into every available moment. Until that happens I will continue to spend my time, compensated or not, on this and hope that I keep making folks laugh.

Con Update: MegaCon Day 2

A much better day.

It started with a familiar sight: a backlog of cars trying to get parking anywhere near the West Hall. Anticipating the impending hike from the back 40, Todd dropped me off out front and then went to find parking in the nearby (relatively speaking) hotel parking lot, grabbing one of the last available spots. Meanwhile, I wondered where on earth I was going to enter from the lobby (having never really seen the Con from this side) when I spotted Doug Sneyd and his lovely Booth Babe (not what you’re thinking) walking with a sense of purpose. I followed them right through the security line.

As we walked I asked how their day was, yesterday, and we chatted about his book doing very well and how accommodating the show organizers were being. All good to hear. She also mentioned that the book came with an original sketch inside and he’d even draw you’re profile and add bunny ears if you want them! Uh, sold! (For those who don’t know the name, he’s famous for his Playboy cartoons–really great stuff! One of our local bars has those sorts of cartoons plastering the walls in the ladies room. I presume the mens, as well, but I’ve never been in there to check!) I snuck over to their table during an afternoon lull and had a nice chat with the both of them. Just great people.

Unfortunately, my would-be Character Cocktail patrons didn’t make it back to the table today (maybe tomorrow?) but I did get to chat the service up to others who may order later. I sold a couple of books, a mini and a whopping 5 mini-martini glasses! We’re down to a stock of 2! I’m glad I have more blanks ready to go at home 🙂 A couple of folks from SoulGeek stopped by the table to say hi, it was good seeing them again, and I met a new reader (Hi, James!) who’d flown out from California to attend the show! Wow! (Not just to see me, of course, he was meeting up a group of Kevin Smith fans, who could be seen roaming the ailses in Mooby gear. Very cool.) I also had some nice chats with other vendors and got some random art done while manning the table.

Sales haven’t been going like gangbusters, I won’t lie, but I made people laugh today and I think that laughter is slightly more precious than dollars. Too bad my landlord doesn’t agree. As such, I’m hoping to convert a few more browsers to buyers tomorrow.

Don’t forget, tomorrow is Pi day. If we were at home I’d be baking a (preferably) square pie. Instead I’ll have to settle for some of the restaurant variety. Also, remember to set your clocks ahead or you’ll be an hour late somewhere.

Until tomorrow!

Con Update: MegaCon Day 1

Thankfully the predicted torrential rains turned out to be more of a steady drizzle when we arrived at the convention center this morning. Also thankful for the fact that we were able to back right up the loading ramp and unload the trunk in the overhang there, not getting wet in the process.

Turns out our booth neighbors are Tally girls, too. Both students at FSU, they have a webcomic as well but I neglected to get the url today. Oops! I’ll fix that tomorrow. Actually, it didn’t seem crucial because we didn’t think our hotel had wifi, seriously hampering our evening productivity. This info has been updated and I am typing from the comfort of our comfy hotel bed. (I know, I know, we’re not the post-con party types.)

Traffic today was slow. Partially because of the fact that it was Friday and los of folks were still at work/school, partially because the weather was absolutely icky the entire day. Still, for a slow day I manged to connect with a few folks, made some people laugh, helped some people out and got some folks interested in getting a Character Cocktail* done, which (hopefully!) will pan out tomorrow. It would awesome considering there were absolutely no sales today.

But it’s early days & I remain optimistic.

*What’s a Character Cocktail? It’s a custom-made cocktail recipe (alcoholic or non-) that is based solely on you! With the recipe comes a ready-to-frame piece of art with the recipe and a little drawing. Price is $30 (includes shipping the art) and the process takes about 2-3 weeks, total, to allow for recipe testing and art creation. All you have to do is fill out a fun little questionnaire so I know who I’m creating the drink for and around. Interested? Shoot me an email at randomactscomics[at]gmail[dot]com and we can get the process started!

Like it So Much I’m Leaving it Up!

Well, that’s partially it. Basically, I’ve got 2 more strips out of this storyline and rather than do 3 this week and 1 next, I figured it’d be best to do 2 and 2. Kinda weaning us all down to the one-a-week posts that will start in February. Those, though, will be full pages, hence the difference. At least to me.

Also, I happen to have come down with sinus/cough/cold ick and it’s tough to do anything but whimper and choke right now. Bother. So 2 updates this week and 2 next (Tuesday and Wednesday). I should still have a Sips posted for Friday, though. I can generally type with my eyes closed (the coughing… you know what I’m talking about, right?).

Going to dig out my humidifier, now…

Happy New Year!

‘s Eve, that is, at least for a handful more hours.

(A few bits of housekeeping then some art to share.)

So! I was actually thinking that regular comic updates were approaching 300  and would finally reach that benchmark sometime in February. It’s a good thing I don’t do math for a living (oh, wait… oh, well!)–my mental calculations were WAY off and the last comic of 2009 actually brings the count up to 329! Blew through that milestone without even blinking, huh? (If you count filler art and extras it’s closer to 350.)

That feels like a lot, doesn’t it? Of course, it’s going to take a bit longer to get to #400. You see, I’ve been having a lot of long talks with myself (and with others, but mostly with myself) and I’m looking at the projects on my to-do list and the hours available to me and wondering when I’m going to get anything done.

There was a tweet going around (I saw it on wilw’s feed, first) that said something to the effect of: The worst thing you can say to a creative type, when shown something created by said creative type, is ‘you have too much time on your hands.’ And boy is that true. It’s akin, really, to the cake clients I used to have who would say ‘it’s too beautiful to eat.’ Uh, folks? I spent a lot of time making this cake. It’s cake. Eat it. Let it fulfill it’s destiny. Please.

Anyway, the point is that no, I don’t have too much time on my hands. Truth is, I could use some more. But since the world is stuck on this whole 24-hour rotation thing and I have to work and sleep and I like seeing my boyfriend at least one evening a week (when he’s not already asleep, that is, and I’m trying not to wake him as I crawl into bed later than I’d planned), etc etc etc I figured out that I have, on average, 30 hours a week to work on creative work (comics, writing, etc.). And, right now, 5 comics and 2 blogs a week take up the largest chunk of that.

So, if I ever want to print What to Feed Your Raiding Party (it has it’s own blog, now, to follow it’s creation) much less touch my graphic novel again (did you know I have one of those in the works? it feels like a like to say ‘in the works’ because I haven’t touched the script since we moved and that was only to pack it!), or the other serialized comic I have planned (1 issue written, no art yet), the bio-comic I have in mind (someone else’s life, historical whatnot, not my own) or any of the non-comics projects waiting in the wings I’ve got to change some things around.

To that end, beginning in February (approximately–it’s really once I finish the Doctor, Doctor storyline which should take another 3-4 weeks)–Cocktail Hour will return to it’s original format of 1 full page posted weekly (Wednesday). The website will be streamlined over the next month or so and the 2 blog features moved to their own domains, separate RSS feeds but all linked over in the sidebar. Where the Geeks Are will stay as it is. Random Acts Radio will return.

The result will be, I hope, a better experience overall between the integration of the various sites and more productivity on more projects for me. We all win!

And now on to some fun stuff…

Have a Funky Monkey Christmas

Have a Funky Monkey Christmas

Belated Christmas wishes to all of my wonderful readers and friends. This is the image I designed for this year’s card and, with some trial and error (substitute screen material for my gocco wasn’t quite as user-friendly as I thought), finally printed. Not many got mailed out (by me, at least, Todd sent out several) but, then, I don’t usually DO cards, so digital greetings work, right?

Something else fun for Christmas was participating in the Webcomics Secret Santa exchange. I don’t think I realized how much fun doing “fan art” can be! I played santa for the webcomic IDGet (you can see my gift on this page and got this fun piece from Johnny Lin of the webcomic, Orbit:

Cocktail Hour by Johnny Lin of Orbit

Cocktail Hour by Johnny Lin of Orbit

I love how he got the monkey slippers in there and the little martini glass on the clock! So cute! You can see all of this year’s participants and gifts over at the Webcomic Secret Santa Exchange blog.

And, finally, coming up on January 11th is National Human Trafficking Awareness Day in the United States. Lora Innes (of The Dreamer webcomic) is organizing over 80 webcomic artists who have all agreed to draw one of their female characters to be included in a single wallpaper. This wallpaper will be available for downloading on the 11th to anyone who makes a donation to the cause. The funds will be split between Love 146 and Gracehaven, both of which exist to rescue children from slavery (a vast majority of which is sexual) and help them heal from the physical and emotional trauma they’ve suffered. I have my own, personal, reasons why this effort is so important to me but even if you’ve never experienced anything remotely like what these children are going through, these activities are not something that should be allowed to continue. To that end I’ve contributed the following character art to the Comic Creator’s Alliance project and hope that as many of you that can will consider making a donation next month when the wallpaper is available.

Scraps for the Comic Creator's Alliance

Scraps for the Comic Creator's Alliance

Road Block: I Need a Week

Wow. Something occurred to me around lunchtime today (Monday, December 14, 2009): I was dreading the prospect of facing my drawing table tonight. Whoa! That’s never happened before. And I have this week’s comics planned (though not yet drawn) so it’s not so much writer’s block as just complete and utter creative fatigue.

Sure, I’ve got a lot on my plate, but that’s nothing new. Yeah, I didn’t get any pencilling done on Sunday but that, too, isn’t exactly earth shattering. And despite things going fairly steady in the way of pageviews and so forth, I feel like I’m facing this humongous brick wall and cannot find my sledgehammer or ladder.

So I’m taking a week off from both comics, totally without warning or planning, and while I hate to do it (because I’ve never been that type of artist before and don’t plan to make it a habit as some do) I think I need to do this or risk worse next week or next month. I know I took an announced, scheduled break earlier this year and I’m thinking that I might actually consider some planned breaks for the next calendar year. Like a week off every 6 months. Chances are good I’d still be working on comics-related items (and, at least this week, I want to do some brainstorming on some upcoming things) during these breaks but I think it’s going to happen and I think the overall work I put out will be stronger for it.

I hope you’ll understand and not hate me for this. I love knowing what I post makes people smile or outright laugh and I have so many stories left to share that I don’t have any intentions of ending these comics any time soon. It’s just, I’m human, and I need a week.

We’ll be back to business as usual on the 22nd.

Just in Time for Holiday Shopping!

Have you noticed the comics shop button over there on the sidebar? Have you clicked it? No? Well, whether you’ve got just a few more folks on your gift list unaccounted for or you haven’t even started, head on over to my eCrater store at

http://randomactscomics.ecrater.com

and see if there’s just the thing you were looking for right at your fingertips! In addition to the Year 1 book and some book-exclusive original art, there’s also handmade jewelry (all one of a kind) and my mini martini glasses. So go take a look!

Speaking of original art, almost all of the strips from Year 1 (May 1, 2007, to April 29, 2008) are available for sale. Since it’s going to take a bit of time to add buy buttons to each of those first 90-plus pieces of art, if there’s something you’re interested in, just email the date to randomactscomics@gmail.com and I’ll get right back to you with price and availability (average is $20–a steal!).

And, finally, if anyone is wondering what *I* want for Christmas, well, I’d love a fully-funded status for What to Feed Your Raiding Party. If you’ve read about the project and thought ‘hey, that sounds cool’ or even ‘I’d buy it’ please consider making a pledge this month towards it becoming a reality. There are plently of pledge levels and each comes with it’s own reward. The most popular seems to be the $30 level which includes getting a recipe named after you (or one of your gaming characters or even after a friend or relative who’d find it really cool to be in a cookbook!) but it’s certainly not the only way to go; $7 gets you a pdf copy of the book, $12 a physical copy and $22 an Artist’s edition–it’s like a discounted pre-order on steroids (but without all those negative side effects).

Introducing “What to Feed Your Raiding Party” a Comic Book Cookbook

Intrigued? I certainly hope so! I’ve got a new project on the horizon and, frankly, it could use your help.

Kickstarter.com (in case you’re not familiar with it) is a site that allows creators of various sorts to propose a project, set a fundraising goal and accept the pledges of backers for a certain period of time to, hopefully, fund the project so that it can become a reality. If the fund goal isn’t reached, no one pays a thing, but if the fund goal IS reached, the pledges are collected (via Amazon Payments) and transferred to the creator who can begin (or continue) work on their project.Kickstarter is BIG into rewards, so each pledge level comes with some sort of thank-you involved.

What to Feed Your Raiding Party is accepting pledges for the next 2 months. What it is, is half comic book, half cookbook, written with a definite slant towards gamers, geeks and lovers of our particular type of pop-culture. My goal is to raise enough funds to cover a print run of 250 as well as the time and materials involved in creating the 150-page book (50-75 recipes and 60 or so pages of comics). There are more details over on the project page, including a complete list of rewards that span private project updates to copies of the book to getting a recipe named after you to original art and more.

Obviously, backers willing to pledge any amount are needed but if you can’t do that, consider passing around the link to your friends, posting it on any forums that gamers and geeks hang out on and talk up the project as much as possible–that’s just about as important as money as the more people find out about this project the more chance I have of reaching my goal, being able to start work on the project, get it printed (that’s the big thing!) and have it available for folks to use.

Feedback is always welcome & I hope you like this concept as much as I do! Also, while you’re at Kickstarter, check out some of the very awesome projects over there that you might be interested in being a part of.

http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/randomactscomics/what-to-feed-your-raiding-party-a-comic-book-cook-0