Thinking Out Loud

So, this month I’ll hold my first book in my hands, post my 200th comic, attend my first Con as a vendor and 2 months after that Random Acts… will turn 2 years old. Wow. A lot has happened in the last 2 years and I’m still committed to taking Random Acts… as far as I can.

Also on the horizon are the launch of Where the Geeks Are and Gamma Girl. While secondary projects, they are no less important to me and to Random Acts… as a brand. So this leads me to think, again, about changing things up a bit.

Change? No! Scary!!!

Yeah, I know, but the change I’m thinking of making I think will be in the best interest of this strip and merely involves changing the name. Random Acts Comics is a name I like and a domain I “own” so I’m not going to be getting rid of it any time soon. BUT! Does it really describe this strip? This past year I’ve started using themes for the month, even telling a couple of actual stories along the way and, I have to admit, I liked that lessening of the “random” nature. So we’re a little less random. Instead, I keep thinking of another thing Jen has said about me: [I] really [am] the heroine of [my] own chick-lit novel (paraphrasing because I can’t remember the exact quote). And, not for the first time, it’s got me thinking that maybe “My Chick-Lit Life” would be a more appropriate name for this strip, keeping Random Acts Comics as an umbrella name for my various projects.

There are other reasons to consider the change. First of all, I’m not getting a lot of mileage from having a common phrase as a name–my search engine results aren’t so high and it’s not exactly what people think of when they say random acts of kindness. I’m not always kind here, ya know? Plus, even though I did what I thought was a thorough search before launching in 2007, Random Acts of (fill in the blank) has actually been used for a number of comics, even if most are no longer updating, and blogs and the like. Basically, the name is too common to do me much good.

Secondly, Random Acts… doesn’t really do a good job of explaining the comic’s premise. I’ve developed an “elevator pitch” of sorts but try as I might it’s still pretty clunky and, even then, it still doesn’t pique enough interest. At least with a name like “my chick-lit life” or “this chick’s life” or “the chic[k] life” there’s a definite recognition with chick-lit, chick-flicks, chicks in general that says “about a girl” and, hopefully, “funny.”

Finally, it’s fits in better with the type of branding and merchandise I want to do. Ah, yes, the monetary reasons do weigh in considerably. But the sort of items I want to carry and affiliate with make more sense if I take advantage of some of those stereotypical ideas affiliated with chick-lit and so forth.

Of course, there’s just as much reason NOT to change things at all, and just work with what I’ve got. After all, I do have a readership with this name and, maybe, I’d lose some if the name were more targeted towards women. Guys? What do you think? Would you still read me if the site had some pink on it and had a “chick” title? I need to know these things. Of course, when I think about it I remember a roommate of mine, a former Marine, who freely admitted to reading ‘Cosmo’ magazine and considered it “reading the other team’s playbook.” So there ya go…

Anyway, I’d like to hear your thoughts on this, if you have any, and also if you have suggestions on the name I’m willing to take ideas for consideration. If a change happens, the comic will still be available on this site, as the “flagship” of Random Acts Comics and nothing much else would be changing except for a little more focus, a little more cohesion. But sound off in the comments, please!

I’m on Vacation!

Yes, that’s right, I’ve run away and am floating away in the Gulf of Mexico for 8 days, starting right about now. As such, comment approval may be a little bit slow (but don’t stop leaving them, I promise I’ll check in periodically) and next week’s comics might be creatively delivered. I’ll post something, but the ship’s connection speed might determine whether it’s uploaded per usual or a picture in the blog post. But I’ll post something, I promise.

This vacation is sorely needed and will, hopefully, rejuvenate me (and Todd) for the year ahead–it’s gonna be a busy one! First up, at the end of February is MegaCon and I’ll be there, in Artist Alley at table Yellow #6 (I swear I feel like a food dye everytime I say that). There will hopefully be other convention appearances to announce, but nothing is firm yet so watch this space, as it were. Second, the Year 1 book is very near completion. My hope is to have it for the Con, that’s the goal, but if not, it’ll be available through me or various other spaces. More concrete news when I can give it to you. Oh, and did I mention I’m starting another strip? I am! It’s scheduled to launch after I get back from vacation and will be hosted over at SoulGeek webcomics. More on that when I have a link to share. Finally (or so it would seem), I’ve entered myself into Dimestore Productions Small Press Idol with a project that’s been in my head for about a year and a half. I’ll be sure to post more when the first round goes live and you can see what things come from my head when I start thinking fiction!

So, is that enough? Maybe? Well, that only takes me through the frist half of the year, who knowns what July will bring!

Looking Ahead

So! Now that September is over it’s time to switch gears a bit. I did enjoy having an on-going story for an entire month, a unifying theme and so forth, so will continue to “theme” the months more or less as long as I’m able to pull enough random stories together that all fit.

October, however, is going to be a bit different. The theme will be Peeves, Irritations and Observations and will be a mix of single and multi-panel updates. In part, I’ve got lists of these incidences that haven’t seemed to fit with the usual Random narrative I’ve got going on and this seems an opportune time to use them. The other part is that many will be quicker to draw than the usual updates, freeing me up a bit to get work done on the Year 1 book (always a method to my madness, of course), which I really want completed ASAP so I’ll have it for Cons in 2009.

And then, just today in the shower, I came up with a totally brilliant idea! October 18th is 24-hour Comic Book Day and I plan to participate in the challenge that is creating an entire 24-page comic story in 24 consecutive hours. Here’s where the brilliant plan comes in: 24 pages is exactly 2 months worth of updates, so even if I don’t quite get all 24 done on the 18th, I will finish them up and you will get to see them over November and December, “freeing” me up for those two months to work on the Graphic Novel script that has been languishing, untouched, since April. And since I’ll be sharing the story here, we’ll be taking a trip via the way-back machine to tell a story of my past, one that wouldn’t normally have been seen on these pages but I’ve been itching to put down in some form or another with the usual humor and self-deprecation you’ve come to know and enjoy.

So that’s what we have to look forward to for the rest of the calendar year. I hope you’re as intrigued as I am (no, really, it’s always a surprise when the finished page sits before me and how it differs from what I may have imagined) and will continue to check back for the regular updates. As always, feedback is both welcome and encouraged.