Monday, April 21, 2014

It's almost time...

Now that I have a break from my three-cons-in-six-weeks marathon, it's time to take book 3 into the final stages! Aside from placing one last piece of art, and the final proofing, the book is done. It just needs your support to get it printed, and the Kickstarter campaign will be put together and launch over the next couple weeks (plus review and approval time). I suggest you start setting aside your money, because I am printing in color this time, and that means a higher goal than last year - but also the possibility of more tempting stretch goals should we hit it! I'm going to fold a sale of original comic art into this campaign, so if you've ever wanted to get your hands on one of those, this will be your best chance!

If you DON'T want to save your money for later, and you DON'T want to wait until September-ish for your fresh book-ish delivery, I've re-opened the Precocious store! You can get the final stragglers of last year's printing through the store - and they all will have an extra bonus sketch in them! The art cards and charm sets are available for online ordering too!

Well, I have more art cards available. Pictured are new additions to the art card family, as well as those I forgot to scan and put in the store before. Since I'm working on all the book stuff, I'll need you all to nudge me about them, as I will likely continue to forget to put everything online.

Monday, April 14, 2014

Come see me at Awesome Con DC!

It's time for Awesome Con! Sure there are lots of cool celebs and promotions at the con this weekend, but I know you all really want to go just to see me!  I'll be set up at table L10 in the artist alley - see the full Awesome Con exhibitor map here - and I will be selling books and art commissions!

Here are the artist alley hours:
Friday, April 18, 2014 3:00 PM - 8:00 PM
Saturday, April 19, 2014 10:00 AM - 7:00 PM
Sunday, April 20, 2014 10:00 AM - 5:00 PM

Goodness, those are long hours. I have no assistant for this one, so someone needs to come bring me food and drink!

Hope to see lots of you there!

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

New Copper Road! 4/1/14

I wasn't planning on having a comic for the first of the month, but a joke over on Twitter ended up leading to this one. Vote here to see it!

Since I didn't begin drawing until after midnight, I decided to got for a loose and sketchy speed run in making this. Otherwise I wouldn't be done before bedtime.  Sorry if it's wobbly, but I've been working with the loose inking style of late and the more I play with it, the more the chaos becomes controlled. The most dangerous part of this game: If I keep it up, Precocious is going back to hand-lettering. That would be a tough transition - though stylish if I ever get control. I'm five years into this and no control yet, but one day?

Thanks to everyone who came out for Fur The More and Furry Weekend Atlanta!  DC-area people, I will be at Awesome Con DC on April 18-20, so I hope to see you there!

Copper Road will remain sparse until I'm done with all my traveling and book 3 Kickstarter prep stuff. I'm still trying to find a good balance with my health woes. (I made it through the two cons, but spent most of the week after in bed.) Everything's still moving along nicely, though!

Thursday, March 13, 2014

Fur The 'More and Furry Weekend Atlanta

I will be on the road for the next two weeks, so let's make this post a twofer: Find me at Fur The 'More this weekend, and Furry Weekend Atlanta (tabling with Becca Hillburn of Nattosoup) next weekend! I have no FTM map, but it's a smaller room. If you can't find me, that's on you! The FWA map is below. I hope lots of you stop by! I will be selling books, art cards, buttons/charms and badge commissions. Becca will be selling watercolor commissions, along with her adorable charms, minicomics and whatever else she wants to bring!

Expect my communication to be somewhat slow while I'm traveling, as I might not have time, much less a computer. I will still probably be Twittering like a madman via phone, though!

A reminder: Due to three cons in six weeks, plus the book 3 preorder likely starting in between, the Precocious store will be closed during that period. Can't mail things while I'm on the road, and my book stock is running out, so I'll have to wait for a preorder-fueled re-order. You can still email me about books and art if you can't wait, but the earliest I can ship anything is the last week of March.

FWA map:

And when you get there, look for the Precocious towel/improvised signage - and bring me suitable bribes!

Saturday, March 1, 2014

New Copper Road + News stuff!

Hey, I made one! Hooray! Vote here to see the latest Copper Road.

No, I didn't intentionally take Copper Roads away to force you to earn them back in the book three preorder. It's an unfortunate consequence of book work, convention prepping and me being very ill. (I'm still doing the doctor circuit, hoping for some good news.)

On the book, the preoder has been delayed again, though the release date hasn't. Basically, I'm not taking your money until the book is already complete and ready to go. There will be no iffyness on this thing. I have a basic plan for the tiers I will be offering, though I might sneak in a quickie reader survey in the next week or so to gauge interest before investing in bonus goodies.  The big delay right now is not about the book being completed, but when I can put up the campaign page. If things go as planned, I'll be on the road for a large chunk of March, visiting friends and tabling at Fur The More and Furry Weekend Atlanta, so I just won't have computer time to sit down and type stuff out. It may take until early April before the campaign is proofed and approved for launch.

Also of note: Due to my two-cons-in-two-weeks journey, I will be shutting down the Precocious store during that time. I can't ship books on the road, and I'll have all remaining art cards with me at the cons for sale. This means if you want to grab some art or the books, do it now. My stock is running low, so I may keep the store closed until after Awesome Con DC.

Saturday, February 15, 2014

Praising the Guest Artists!

I really hope everyone enjoyed diving into the multiverse again. Not only are these fun stories for me to write, but it's an amazing feeling to know some of the best people out there are willing to lend their time to make this concept work. Creating guest content is such a struggle - not just in the effort, but because artists are so nervous about trying to get the look/tone right. Some artists draw different styles of comics. Some draw different styles of characters. Some are just learning the ways of art. It's a huge undertaking, and everyone took an unreasonable challenge and made something spectacular. This is why you need to go tell them how much you appreciate them!  (Read the post below for more of my thoughts on that.)

The rundown:

Tourism Ads/Spaceverse - Erik Amill
-Erik draws the monsterliciously fun comic Biff the Vampire. You can sent him positive vibes over at his Twitter or Tumblr account. If you were at ConnectiCon last year, he was the poor soul I sucked into being my table servant! (Well, one of them. Hi, James!)

Mirror Universe/Evil Max - Rachel Edwards
- Since this project asked for a lot of work, I only went to one of my amazing crop of reader artists. I chose Rachel because I felt bad that her wonderful Halloween contest work didn't earn a prize, and because I've watcher her grow as an artist over the years. That's so special! You can follow her and send some cheer at her DeviantArt page.

Super Weird Crazy/Beyond Belief - Matthew Dawson
- Matthew is one who is well known for saving my bacon over and over. I wouldn't have survived without him. He's one of the most talented artists I know, and mind dreams up exceedingly clever things! Thanks to his excellent work in the first universe jumping story, I was inspired to re-use the artist so I could pull out further and show the hidden quirks. Follow him on Twitter and Tumblr!

The Kindest Tiffany of All/Impolite Conquering - Becca Hillburn
- If you're coming to Furry Weekend Atlanta this weekend, she'll be with me, so thank her in person!  Becca is one of the hardest-working and most benevolent artists out there. Not only is she working on family-friendly watercolor comics  - which is cartooning on HARD MODE - but she runs an art/resource blog with tips and essays for developing artists. She does so many things to make other artists lives easier. She is on Twitter, and her Tumblr is a must follow!

Becca gets a second paragraph, because she turn her guest comics into a learning experience and shared photos of the special process she used! It's really spectacular. See the making of "The Kindest Tiffany of All" and "Impolite Conquering" by clicking those links. Be amazed, and be sure to let her know how impressive she is.

The Weirdest Universe Yet/Attack of the Clones - Carl Sjostrand
- If you've been paying attention, Carl and I have jokingly crossed over with comics before. (You have yet to see what I have planned for all the random Gingerfoxes, by the way.) It's some weird similar-but-not-actually-them thing going on with our character appropriation, and because if that I *had* to make one Precocious universe one that is eerily similar to (but not actually) Carl's comic, Ginger's Bread.  Ginger is recently back from hiatus, so now's a great time to catch up and get on board. If you want to help Carl out, he does have a Patreon campaign going. Also follow him on Twitter and Tumblr.

Have Cola, Will Travel - Veronica Vera
- I know how busy Veronica is with her comic, Bittersweet Candy Bowl, so I tried to give her the simple one-shot transition page. BUT, I was so sick and incoherent when I sent her the script, she went and made something much more elaborate. Sucks to be her, but I WIN! (I mean, WE ALL WIN!) You can find her on Twitter and Tumblr and lots of other places if you click around the links on her site!

Polite Conquering - Mandy Seley
- Her reward for being such a clever and skillful artist is that we keep crashing her comic's website!  Fixes are underway, so go read Curtailed and enjoy every page of it! I am forever appreciative of Mandy for her friendship and her positive influence - I've been changing I draw tails because her art has inspired me! Like everyone else, you definitely should give her a follow and shout out on Twitter and Tumblr.

Cartooning is hard work, and cartooning with someone else's character is a big challenge. Everyone brought their A game and impressed me so much. When I was at my worst, they helped me put out my best! Bless them, every one!

Thursday, February 13, 2014

Sending artists positive vibes

I'll put the full thank you post up at the end of this story, but I want to write a bit on why I'm encouraging you to show your thanks by writing to the artists.  Find their art site portfolios! Bookmark their comics! Follow them on social media! It does matter, because, as internet-based artists, a lot of us work in a vacuum. (This means social media is especially vital for reaching people. Give following a try, even if you don't like reading about me playing Animal Crossing.)

When we see words from others, it makes an impact. Art is low-paying and high in work. (It can easily take a decade or more of practice just to bring some simple doodles to your screen.) It's very stressful, and one of the best ways to keep motivation is to feel the positivity coming from readers.  We're all at different stages of development, with different motivations and often one-person operations - so someone going out of their way to send an encouraging note can help keep a veteran going or inspire a novice to keep grinding when times are hard.

Whether it's this crew, or some other artist you admire - Go send them a quick note saying you like them! Sure, it can make everyone nervous (artists rarely know how to handle compliments, even if they need them) but it's so important.  For every kind person who hesitates, someone with less self-awareness doesn't have that issue - and that makes feedback perception somewhat skewed. Balance that out by being respectful! (Also, assume that creative people know what they are doing!. Yes, it's odd that I have to mention that, but I do.)

Financial support - buying book/merch, supporting a Patreon, sending a donation, etc - is, of course, very vital. Comics may be shown to you for free, but if the finances aren't there, those free comics will stop appearing. Financial support also can't always happen, so typing out a few nice sentences can still be helpful.

In my case, kindness is everything. My medical bills total more than my yearly income, and because of my condition I can lose entire weeks of work time. Having these guest artists all go above and beyond is so amazing and inspiring. These people stepped in to support me when I was hurt, and watching readers love what was created makes my fight worthwhile.  Positivity keeps me pushing. Writing to complain I'm not making as many bonus comics as before brings me down fast. (No one's done that. I just made up an example.)

Another interesting note is that, like most forms of entertainment, the top 1% gets 90% of the feedback. (I'm barely a blip on the comics scene, so almost all of my feedback is from the comments.)  If you want to praise a big name, definitely do so - but do understand if it takes a long time for a reply, or if the reply is short. This can also apply to less-known cartoonists, because effort doesn't scale with readership. We're all hardworking, but lesser-known artist might be able to give you longer replies and advice due to low volume of emails to reply to.  Showing kindess isn't bothering an artist. Well, unless you tell the artist they are better than another artist. A lot of cartoonists are friends, so that doesn't make us happy. Stick to only nice things. Long notes are nice. Small notes are nice. Heck, don't underestimate the value of an email that merely says something along the lines of, "There's no need to reply to me. I just wanted to quickly tell you how much I appreciate what you do. Thank you."

Make it a habit to be more vocal in encouraging creators you like - especially lesser known ones who don't always get that attention. It's intimidating sure, but it can do wonders for everyone involved.  Go and share the good vibes - but don't write to me! I'm not fishing for emails (this time), and I'm too sick/busy to give you good replies right now anyway.  (It's not that I don't love those emails, but I want you to go spread happiness to lots of creators!)

Saturday, February 1, 2014

New deleted scene! 2/2/14

As the latest story, The Bad Apple, comes to an end, I though you'd like an extra tidbit to tie up one loose end, and potentially tear open new holes. Vote here to see the bonus comic!

I had my fun writing this arc, as I ended up weaving two story ideas (bad apple + alert colors) into one, which made both notably crazier.  And, now that I'm running low on new rules to share I still have a great deal of alert colors I can taunt you all with!

The Copper Road story from January is now in the archive too! I decided to keep them all together as one big story update. You lose some of the alt text, but it keeps everything nice and clean!  Since my obligation to post five Copper Roads a month, earned through your generous pledging in book two's preorder, expired with the new year, we are now back to "when the mood strikes me" for Copper Roads and deleted scene updates.  I hope to put up book three's preorder around the end of this month (depends on my health, as 2014 has been excessively brutal to me so far) so you'll get your shot to earn regular updates again soon!

This week I shared my 2014 convention schedule with you, so I hope you all can find a way to come visit me. I have some hopes of going through the site and doing some maintenance, but, again, that all depends on health and free time. I have more updates coming soon for the FAQ page - which you should check out if you haven't yet, as it's very useful - and I should update, tweak and clarify small things across other internal pages.  The cast page is one thing I cannot make a priority, alas, because it's a massive amount of work. I have a lot of medical bills to pay off, so I must focus on my paid work first. (Maybe I'll do a promotion in the future that will use audience participation to make the cast page something proper.) Sorry, everyone. I hope to be more functional soon, but even then I have a long backlog of bonus, just-for-fun and not-essential-but-I-should work to tackle.

Friday, January 31, 2014

The Con Calendar is up!

And that means the store banner gets replaced on the front page, so I'll put it here instead! The banner above links to the comic collections page, but you can find art cards, merchandise and original art on there too! (There's nothing on the comic originals page as I wrote this post, since we may implement another system for purchasing those, but you can contact me if you want to purchase a strip.)

Anyway, here is the current master list of conventions I will be attending this year, along with my con wishlist and other comments. Once this blog post goes up, I will link the con calendar banner on the front page to it, so people can get more information long after this news post has scrolled off the front page.

The current convention calendar (updated as needed, and when I remember to do so)!

Fur The 'More - March 14-16 - Baltimore, MD
This is a second-year con that was a blast to show at last year! If you are in the area, I highly encourage you to come check it out. I've been looking for a solid local-ish furry con I can make my home, and this one has an amazing staff and a wonderful vibe to it. (And it's 20 minutes from one of my best friends' apartment, so I get a cherished visit in as long as I keep attending!)

Furry Weekend Atlanta - March 20-23 - Atlanta, GA
The birthday con! I'm introducing Becca of Nattosoup to the furry con scene, and we both have birthdays that week. (She's the 19th and I'm the 24th, so we *just* miss out on exact days.) This means you must be EXTRA NICE to us! This is also my return to the first con I ever tabled at. I don't live in Georgia anymore, so FWA is usually too out of my way to attend, but this year we're making it an event!  Treat us well, however, and you might lock me in for the future!

Awesome Con DC - April 18-20 - Washington, DC
Look, another "home" con for me! This is my first year showing at Awesome Con. People who attended it last year had nothing but good stuff to say, so I'm really excited about it! If my hometown peeps don't show up to cheer me on, I'll be so distressed! (It also looks like a fairly powerful con for fandoms - what a guest list! - so there's lots to amuse you when you aren't fawning over me.)

Anthrocon - July 3-6 - Pittsburgh, PA
This is the big special furry con, and also marks the estimated debut of Precocious' third book! This is always a super-fun even for me. I cherish my time with my cartoonist buddies - our hotel room alone will have the combined powers of me, Mat of Badly Drawn Kitties and the Bittersweet Candy Bowl team - and I love checking in with all my con regulars. Even if I keep getting sick and die before this, my stuffed corpse will attend and be propped up at the table. IT WILL BE MY FINAL WISH!

Mechacon - August 1-3 - New Orleans, LA
After I drag Becca to a furry con, she's taking me to her hometown con, along with lots of my SCAD buddies. I'm really looking forward to this one. I've heard nothing but glowing things about the con itself, and it is only enhanced by it being New Orleans once I walk out the doors!

I ended up missing out with lottery for Small Press Expo (SPX), AND the SpiderForest crew I'd be with for SPX needs to murder 28 people for any of us to get it, so I expect to miss it this year. (Hey, I won every other con lottery I've tried, so I can't really cry about bad luck.)  FurFright, the Halloween con in Connecticut, has closed its doors - but there's a chance something new may rise from its ashes. It was such a positive con, I'll check out the new version too. (Wishing the best to the FurFright founders, by the way! Thank you for everything!)  I adore Midwest FurFest, in Chicago, too, but it's very hard to justify the travel costs unless I have lots of buddies there to make it worthwhile. I wish I was more popular, guys! It would make these trips so much easier! One of these days I'll be powerful enough to justify a west coast con! I don't expect to be at any shows mentioned in this paragraph, but they remain on my radar for future years.

I don't have an interest in returning to ConnectiCon or InterventionCon this year. As much as I enjoyed the attendees I met, both those cons have awful staff and I don't wish to deal with them again. I don't appreciate people refusing to reply to me and never paying back money I'm owed (ConnectiCon, which did this to SEVERAL of its guests) and a shyster outright lying to people to get their money when they fully know it's a ripoff (InterventionCon).  I made profits at both last year, but the people behind the cons DO NOT deserve support. I don't like being negative, but artists have to pay and put in lots of work/travel hours to make these trips. Ripoffs are devastating, especially to those with less-known names, and thus a smaller margin of error.

Back to the happy, I really hope to see a lot of you around the shows!

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Back to comics! (Wish me luck...)

I hope you all enjoyed the doll onslaught! If you want more in the future, save up some money so you can help me unlock dolls as part of next month's Kickstarter - or toss me some donations so I can at least commission a set for meeeee!

For those that missed any of last week's Copper Road story, I've compiled all seven strips together into one incentive. Vote on TWC to see it!

My hand is out of the cast, but things aren't so encouraging yet. The finger is VERY sore after being held in place for two weeks, so right now the pain is worse than it ever was and I have no indication those two weeks did anything positive for the issue we were trying to fix. The hope is that the hand will calm down from it's cast anger, and things will at least to be back to (the unideal) normal come morning. There is potential for a deleted scene comic later in the week, though it might get saved for later if drawing is too hard for me.

Please be nice to me this week. I don't see any probably outcome where I won't be really struggling to stay afloat.