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!

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!

Hiatus: June 1-14, 2009

*ting ting ting ting* May I have your attention? Yes, I have a bit of an announcement to make: Cocktail Hour will be going on hiatus for 2 weeks beginning June 1st.

Why? Well, the fact that I haven’t really taken a break in 2 years (not even when I had my gall bladder removed) is a big part of it but more to the point I moved a month ago and just today stopped storing my unmentionables in a suitcase! I need a bit of breathing room to unpack my Studio, help Todd organize the rest of the house and meet a print deadline. Where the Geeks Are will be taking a similar break after the 2nd (a 3-update hiatus in that case because there’s a natural break in the storyline).

The Monday and Friday blog features will not be updated during that time but I will be posting some “best of” material from the past 2 years for the 6 regularly scheduled comic updates. Unless, that is, I get some fan art or guest comics to run in their stead (hint hint big-freaking-hint) 😉 I look forward to returning on the 15th with a clearer conscience and organized background, not to mention being able to move forward with some additional features that I just haven’t had the time to implement, yet. Big things are still on the horizon, folks, I just need a breather to make them all happen.

Thanks for understanding and I hope you’ll enjoy a trip down memory lane when next month begins.

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.