I Got a Monster in the Mail!

And not just any monster, a purple monster.

And not just any purple monster, this monster represents the achievement of a Big Hairy Audacious Goal!

BHAG and Chef George hanging out in my office

BHAG and Chef George hanging out in my office

I received BHAG (or Mr BHAGgy, as I like to call him) from Nicole Fende, the Numbers Whisperer, a friend and client of mine, for finishing the Big Project: What to Feed Your Raiding Party. Nicole received him from Tea Silvestre, The Word Chef, who had him made and sent him out into the world to reward and encourage others to achieve their very own Big Hairy Audacious Goals.

Now that Mr. BHAGgy has spent some time with us, I’ll be on the look-out for the next worthy recipient. Have you done something Big, Hairy AND Audacious lately? Let me know!

Now, then, with Mr. BHAGgy and Chef George looking over my shoulder every night, it’s been a bit tough to go back to the pre-book status quo. And this past weekend I realized just why it felt like pulling teeth, trying to get that week’s comics put together: I’m not in love with the format anymore. I don’t have a problem with a weekly schedule–I blog 5 times a week. No, it’s not the schedule–at least not only the schedule–it’s how much time those strips tie up when things aren’t clicking. And how much time there just isn’t if I were to be faced with a killer opportunity or have a wild hair that needs straightening right that moment (metaphorically speaking, of course).

So, effective immediately, Cocktail Hour as we knew it is done. I’ll still use it for odd one-shots here and there, but a weekly schedule is out the window. For now, Where the Geeks Are is going to stay the same, though I anticipate a change in format somewhere down the line. Right now I’m about halfway through the Sophie’s Tale chapter, and when that comes to a close decide what changes would be best for it. Probably doing away with the twice-weekly 4-panel strip in favor of page layouts and possibly a downloadable chapter at a time instead of regular updates. This is just me thinking out loud, though, so grain of salt and all that.

Because that’s where my heart lies right now–not the salt, that would sting–in book-length projects or one-offs. I want to explore some new subject material (for me), and be free to pursue short term and longer term projects as they present themselves. I also have book projects I want to complete for Sips & Shots, so there’s that, too.

I’m still here, I’m still drawing, but my goals–big, hairy, audacious or otherwise–and just shifting.

I hope you’ll hang around and see what I’ve got up my sleeve!

Back in the Comics Saddle

You have been checking up on Cocktail Hour and Where the Geeks Are, right?

At Cocktail Hour we’ve picked back up the story of Todd and I moving in together and this month we’ll see some of the unexpected challenges that came with that first house together (ooh, foreshadowing!). While over at Geeks we’ve wrapped up the Meredith and Archer thread for now and are concentrating on Sophie’s Geekathon experiences for the next couple of months.

You’ll be pleased to know that even with our first convention in ages keeping us away from home for 4 days, kept me so busy I barely had time to measure out the panels, much less draw anything, and the flurry of activity before and after, we’ve yet to miss an update over the last month since we brought both comics back current. Based on that, I think it’s safe to say we’re good to go for the foreseeable future.

Things that I’d like to work on, comics-wise, over the next month or two:

  • Building up a 1 week (then 2 week, then up to a month’s) buffer on each comic to lessen the deadline pressure and make the upcoming convention weekends less hectic.
  • Increase the traffic to both sites (always a struggle–time to start networking again)
  • Revamp the look of each site both for form and function.

Meanwhile, over in Raiding Party news, I finally have confirmation that the new shopping cart plugin (Ecwid) is working as it should–we’ve had our first online order since the switch. We’re also seeing folks start to make use of the community site which thrills me to no end! Two folks who bought books at Ancient City Con have registered and one’s even posted her first recipe picture. Love giving out that XP!

And, elsewhere, I’ve got a couple of pieces in August’s SP! Magazine (Self Publisher) and am working on another article for September. It’s awesome that Ian and the gang are getting things moving with the Self Publisher Association and I’m happy to be in a place where I can contribute!

That’s the update for now, now it’s off to make more comics!