Tuesday, February 21, 2012

To Consign, Or To Get A Discount

You are sleep deprived, so you're not going to be particularly productive today other than what you did to earn cash today and finally posting an update to your blog ( you should update your Deviant Art account too ).  You did manage to get copies of Droid Soldiers #1 consigned at Austin Books & Comics today ( your brain is so muddled, you forgot the name of the customer-friendly woman in charge of consignment there, and you kind of feel bad about that, especially since she's also going to have a table at Staple! - not good form, but as stated, you are lacking sleep, which you will remedy shortly ).  Unfortunately, you were unable to get copies of DS #1 into Dragon's Lair as they are currently doing a mass inventory count in preparation for Tax-Day.  You wonder about their business model, as Austin Books doesn't seem to do anything like that, but the upside is that during this time of year Dragon's Lair starts have massive discounts on select inventory. So today, with a 70% discount, you paid $18+ for graphic novels totalling $70 retail. Included in this booty is Artesia Afield: The Second Book of Dooms ( Hardcover ); NYC Mech Volume 2: Beta Love, and The Mice Templar: Destiny Part Two ( Hardcover ).  All excellent finds at 70% off.

While you had previously acquired the first volumes of both Artesia and NYC Mech, you don't have any of  the previous volumes of Mice Templar, but it was worth it to get none-the-less.  The production quality on that book is some of the nicest you've come accross, complete with a red ribbon bookmark.   It also has a nice prologue to get you up to speed on the setting and where the story is at  Indeed, it's a beautiful book throughout and you expect it to take a least a couple weeks for you to get through it all, especially with the Afterward and text-heavy extras at the end.  You do have some nitpicking criticisms in the digital lettering being a bit cold to your eyes - maybe it's just that you prefer the irreplaceable organic feel of hand-lettering in your comics - but it doesn't really work for you.  The art style, while cool and very well executed, also leaves you desiring something, the way Mike Mignola does in his Hellboy comics, which uses similar hard and thick-lined approach to the inking.  It's very minimilistic, which would translate very well to animation, but doesn't exactly gel with your tastes.  But again, this one is definitely a treasure and you plan on keeping it your library and collecting the other hardcovers in due time.

Artesia is one of the most brilliant series in the graphic novel medium.  It deserves every award it gets.  The detailed world and mythology, believable story and characters, simple lines, accurate forms, and the deliciously warm water colors. However, in it's successful efforts at realism in character responses and military culture, it lacks an element of fun.  Like a healthy and hardy meal with only hints of paprika to add flavor only at key points.  This can be either good or bad depending on one's mood or taste.  These days you're more often looking for tasty fun with your hardy meal, but you none-the-less enjoy and respect it for, as well as inspired by, it's craftsmanship.

NYC Mech is a series you have always found intriguing, being into robots, but lost interest in when it was first serialized.  The writing and art are all great and the stories were equally clever.  But the problem you had with it was that, far from being a story about robots, it felt like a story about humans who were drawn to look like robots.  One of things you think you find fascinating about robots is the contrast between the condition of being human and the condition of being an autonomous robot.  If a community of autonomous robots emerged, you're pretty certain that their culture would have some marked differences from that of humans.  But these are essentially just stories about life on the street, except every being is made out of metal and circuitry.  You had your suspicions as to what the real angle was, but in that first story arc, there was not a hint of explaination as to how New York, and the rest of the world, became populated by robotic equivalents of every living thing on earth. This botherd you enough to not buy past the first issue.  In spite of this, you bought the first volume in collected form, along with 24/7 ( a robot anthology edited by the author of NYC Mech ) to study the art, also to give it all a second chance, and you're glad you did, especially after reading this second volume, as it finally gave you the hint that you wanted it to have to make the fact that it was all robots interesting to you again.

It's time to go to bed.  You should try to write about the Bunny Incident next time.


Wednesday, February 15, 2012

A Blip

Things are working, you need to be sleeping, you spent all day mixing, fairly good time fixing, with an email update trixing.

That is all for today.



Monday, February 13, 2012

Working Past/Present/Future & The Record

This week is music week for you and Nemion.  You spent the majority of the past week penciling the next installment of Enrod The Clockman. so now you are going to focus your energies on the album, Flesheater.  You just spent the better part of the late-afternoon/evening tweaking the mixes of the songs Flesheater and Pain Of Loss.  Neither are 100%, but both are now close.  There's some clipping in Pain of Loss to fix, and some samples that need fixing in Flesheater, but you'll get back to them later, hopefully next week.  Time has run out for the day, so you've got to start preparing for bed.  Tomorrow you plan to focus on two other songs, following the tweak-notes that you've written for them, along with all the other tracks.

Unforturnately, you didn't manage to get your car to the shop today.  It's something you're going to need to get taken care of very soon.  That squeeling sound when you first apply the gas after starting it up from sitting for several hours is concerning.  You're told that normally signals that the belts need to be changed out.  You also need to get the oxygen sensor changed, or else you probably won't pass the Travis County environmental test during inspection, which your car is due for come March.  At least you managed to fix the burned out brake light.

You had a good conversation with your girlfriend's writer-friend yesterday evening.  He's working on a graphic novel himself in collaboration with an artist, and he wanted some insight on the comic book industry in general since he wasn't very familiar with it.  Interesting how knowledge you've come to take for granted over the years would have so much value to someone else.  You're reminded of your senior-year high school English teacher giving you insight on how teaching isn't just the giving away of knowledge, but is a process of learning in and of itself as well.  The process puts things in perspective, sometimes a variety of perspectives, which can lead to new levels of understanding.  It was a fruitful experience, both intellectually and materially as he also gave you the download link for the scripting software he was using, which looked very robust and useful to your own endeavors.  You're looking forward to trying out the software, possibly writing the final draft of Droid Soldiers chapter four in it.

Later that evening you met with your girlfriend at a karaoke bar where old friends of hers were celebrating birthdays.  You both had agreed that after flaking out of going out on Saturday night, that you both needed to get out and socialize after having stayed in all week working on respective projects.  At the karaoke bar, one of her friends you met was a government employee.  You seemed to forget yourself, because you immediately started talking to him about the inefficiency and immorality of the state, though not in those words.  You never used the word "libertarian", but you later found out he pegged you for one and decided he didn't have the patience for the discussion that he was foreseeing, especially since it was his birthday.  You regret this social faux pas; you've done it many times in the past, but you've since become more sympathetic to the desire of others to just enjoy being and not discuss anything serious, especially politics.

For the record, you don't label yourself as "libertarian".  If you do take a label, it's "voluntaryist"; at least for now.  At this point, you currently organize your position as follows:


1. No one can legitimately initiate a threat or act of bodily harm or control against another human being without direct consent ( which can be withdrawn at will ).
2. No one can legitimately enter, possess, damage, or consume either directly or remotely, another human being's property without direct consent ( which can be withdrawn at will ) from that human being.
  2a. No human being can legitimately be property.
  2b. Nothing intangible can legitimately be property.
3. Violence cannot legitimately be employed against human beings who are not currently in violation of Law 1 and/or Law 2.

You didn't create these concepts.  This is just your own personal wording for what is called the Zero Aggression Principle.  or more commonly the Non-Aggression Principle or Non-Aggression Axiom.  This doesn't directly account for dispute resolution rules, but really, any can be applied so long as they don't violate the above.  Not all agree with your wording.  But that's fine.  Besides, you've already stayed up too late.

Saturday, February 11, 2012

Guts and Lawsuits

Your right half of your gut feels like it's been coated with metallic spray paint.  You're not worrying about it though, at least not too much.  What are you worrying about?  Well, it's getting late again and you still have work to do on Enrod The Clockman.  At least you don't have to work the day-job tomorrow or Monday.  Time to focus on those things, though plans for social interaction have been made for this evening.  Birthday parties abound.  So many dang Aquariuses in this town.

You picked up volume 2 of Biomega today. Visually and narratively inspiring like all of Tsutomu Nihei's work. You would like to have it in a bigger hardcover format, though you know you can't afford it.  If you were to nitpick about the work ( well you're going to ), there were some moments of exposition that came off as unrealistic for you, which you find to be typical in most manga and anime. Why would a grunt explain to his superior the newest protocol?  Wouldn't the superior already be aware of the latest protocols?  Disrupted the reading experience like a skip on a record or cd.

In the news of American comics, one of your favorite illustartors, Tony Moore, is suing one of your favorite writers, Robert Kirkman, over obligations regarding the work he did on the first 6 issues of The Walking Dead, which you've been collecting since issue one was first printed.   Moore is accusing Kirkman of defrauding him. 

Something more chilling is the court ruling with the Gary Friedrich case, a man who attempted to sue Marvel for additional rights as the co-creator of Ghost Rider, despite it being work-for-hire, only to have it backfire and have the court award Marvel with 17,000 dollars from Friedrich for selling his own Ghost Rider merch at cons without their permission.  This concerns you because of the speculation that this could put an end to the "gentleman's" agreement where Marvel and DC don't sue artists for selling sketches and commissions of Marvel and DC characters, the bread and butter of  comic and anime convention artists.  It's how you pay for your booths and other expenses when at a con promoting ETC.

You might discuss this some more later, but it's time to go.


Friday, February 10, 2012

Quick Tidbit

is wrong.

Nobody should have the right to do this.  But unfortunately, this: seems like it is coming to dominate the world.  These people are effectively thug-gangsters, and are a natural consequence of a society allotting a monopoly on security services to a single group within a given area.

It's getting late, so you don't a lot of time for tonight's blog.  You need some sleep, but you've got to get down South and deal with traffic.  But before you go, you should leave this for the people's consideration:


Tuesday, February 7, 2012

You've gotten a lot of pencil work done for the next Enrod The Clockman installment.  This is good.  A minute ago you were working on some outline notes for the graphic novel that will follow the one you're working on now.  You're very excited about the ideas you have for it. But you still need to get faster, you still need to get more focused and increase your page turn-out without decreasing the quality of your artwork. You have so many stories to tell, but with the necessity of a day joy you only have so much time.

In other news, you went to the Specialist yesterday.  Interestingly enough, the problem you were dealing with got resolved for the day right before your appointment.  But it could come back. The Specialist told you in all likelihood that what you were experiencing was stress related. This is the second, though entirely separate, stress-related bodily issue you've had to deal with in the past six month.  The first was when your had rupture underneath of the macula of your left eye, which has since gone away but left a probably permanent distortion in that eye's vision.  Before now, you never really thought of yourself as being under any stress, but maybe you are.  Maybe this feeling that you often try to maintain, this sense of being busy and not lazy, maybe this is stress.  There's so much to do and keep up with, and maybe your constant thinking and worrying about them is causing you stress and you need to learn to rebalance these things.  It's not like you don't take breaks, but maybe they're the wrong kind of breaks, or maybe you're not taking actually takeing a break, since you never stop thinking.  Even last night when you watched several episodes of the Witchblade anime on YouTube you were studying it more than you were actually watching it.

About Witchblade: You never let yourself get into the comic.  When you were reading comics growing up, you were always insulted by a lot of the stuff that was coming out of Image during the 90's ( as you've addressed in the forwards of both Tales From Planet Aeruen, and Guns, Robots and Talking Animals. ), and a big part of that was because of the way they made all the women look like porn stars, and Witchblade was/is a primo example of that era.  You do like the concept of the weapon and the mythology, but overall, it never grabbed your interest enough to collect it, especially since you'd already wrote it off as a wank-off comic.  And really, whenever you did try to read it, you just never were able to get into the characters.  The writing was probably the problem.  Lately though, you've tempted to start buying the collected eBooks from DriveThruComics.com, especially at nearly half off the print price.

Speaking of that site, you're very happy that both GRTA and Headhunter are now available as eBooks on there as well. Now you just hope people will buy them. You've discounted GRTA down to .95 cents, but maybe you should make it free.  Or maybe you should upload TFPA and The Clockman short story and offer them for free instead.  After all, GRTA is good enough that it shouldn't be free.

It's getting late.  Post this and go to bed - you need your sleep for when you go over to your girlfriends to draw tomorrow.


Friday, February 3, 2012

Garlic and Ginger

You can't sleep.  You need to sleep.  It's getting hot again, it's February in Texas and it's getting hot again, but you don't want to turn on the AC because your electricity bill was 20% higher than it was last month.  You have the fan on so that keeps things circulating. 

You're worried about your appendix.  The area in which it resides was starting to burn again, and the swelling becoming more noticeable.   You're worried that what caused it to be irritated might be something much much worse. You don't want to talk about it because you're embarrassed.  So you're munching on raw garlic and ginger marinating in lemon juice while munching on Fiber/Protein cereal right now, as that's helped in the past ( at the the raw garlic/ginger has ).

The other thing that's going on is that Occupy Austin just got evicted from City Hall by APD, which involved several arrests, the first being Debbie Russel, renown local civil rights activist.  You have the livestream on, but it's breaking up at the moment; they've marched from City Hall and are currently on 6th street. Part of you feels you should be there, but you've long since concluded that spending time on such activity doesn't bode well with your long term goals ( that and the businessman in you has little patience for the childish behavior you witness in too many "activists" ).  Making an epic comic book series that everybody remembers is your long term goal, and if you can, making music that kicks ass as well.

The police just arrested someone for allegedly grabbing a barricade off of 6th street, they threatened to spray the other activists.  It seems that one APD Officer Mistric is will soon be made famous by Anonymous.  Your phone, via Facebook, just notified you it's also Adam Kokesh's birthday.  Funny coincidence that.

You've got a police-scanner app on your phone running now.  Reception/audio-stream quality is kind of crappy.

Goddammit, you need to get to sleep, you have to be up for your main income-source by 6am, and you're body will never heal if you don't let it sleep! There's a party tomorrow night, and it doesn't look like you're going to make it.  You still have at least two more pages of layouts for the next installment of Droid Soldiers on EnrodX.com.  Maybe your girlfriend will just feel like staying in and working on art, instead of spending money on booze, and driving all the way up North to stay up late and look at goth chics in lingerie and bi-sexual boys make out with each other.

Now they've turned the livestream off because it was finally realized that APD was watching them through it, and the camera man didn't like the idea of feeding them live intel like that.  The APD call-code dictionary would be useful..

Finally run out of juice anyway.


Thursday, February 2, 2012

The Furry

It seems you have a million things to do.  You start to feel like you can't keep up with it all. You have to do the layouts for the next installment of Enrod The Clockman, but you also need to get your earlier works formatted for DriveThruComics.com.  There are so many formats to mess with.  The easiest are .pdf and .cbz. You've got Guns, Robots, and Talking Animals and Headhunter uploaded, but only in .pdf format.  You haven't taken the time to get .cbz files for them made because it took you twenty hours to get them rebuilt and tested for .pdf.  Droid Soldiers Chapter One was a bit easier, less pages.  You still have some page edits to make on the .cbz file; so you're not going to upload it yet.  You also want to get them formated for both Kindle and Nook, but both are going to be a lot of work because you want them to be readable on the small black and white eInk devices, which means you're going to need to cut the pages up into individual panels and arrange in an eye-pleasing manner.  Based on your research, you're likely going to have to do this twice, once for each device, as both have different screen capacities.  You need to figure out how to stream line this process.  You're also still waiting for what you have uploaded to be approved by DriveThruComics for their online store.  You hope it's sooner than later, so that you can start promoting them.

The other thing on your head is a digestive disorder that you're not keen to talk about in public, but man is that taking up your time researching and trying to find homeopathic remedies for.  When you think back, this problem has probably been going on for years, but in the last couple of weeks it's finally starting to come to a head.  So you've finally made an appointment to see a doctor.  You have insurance through your day job, but the costs after are still very high, all money you would rather be putting into Enrod The Clockman and Nemion.

That's another thing.  Finishing the Nemion album is getting more challenging.  You're so close but you've keep finding ways to make it better.  In fact, you know there are things wrong with almost every song that you have to fix, and thinking about it all and everything else you've got on your plate makes your head spin.  Nemion didn't get accepted into SxSW but you knew you wouldn't, so it's okay.  Your putting getting into shows on hold until you get this album done.  Nobody wants to hire a band that doesn't have a cd-release.

Then the social distractions, you can't forget about them.  They abound. They frustrated. You have no time for them.  Hold on a sec, you need to check on dinner....

Almost ready. Another experiment for your digestive issue.

Oh hey, you forgot to talk about your website/PHP issues.  You're trying to figure out how to fix up an email form for EnrodX.com, but goddamn if you can't get the generated code from your webbuilder software, the software you used to build ALL your websites, to work on your effing server.  You're trying to figure out how to use WordPress so that your sites can be dynamic. 

One thing at a time...but time seems to be what is lacking.  You only have so much life, yet you have a few thousand graphic novel pages of Enrod's life you want to tell, and at the rate your going you'll be lucky to tell another 1200 or so before your old and decrepit.  So you need to figure out how to make this thing good enough that people want to support you financially for it.  You need to make it easier for them to do just that than what you've already done.  The same goes with Nemion, though thanks to NumberOneMusic.com you're doing a hell of a lot better at acquiring emails from people.

Was going to end here, but you don't want to leave on that last note.  Okay, that's good enough.

Go eat dinner before it gets cold.