Monday, May 25, 2015

Convention Time/Timing (READ THIS!)


I am scheduled to make my first convention appearance of the year this weekend, at Fur The More! It's a con that's always been nice to me, and this year it got even nicer by moving 10 minutes from my brother's house!

The good news is an easy commute. The *other* news is that my health is still in limbo. For those who have kept up on such things, the condition that messed up a lot of my plans the past 8 months has been EXTRA mean to me over the past 6 weeks - BUT, the potential life-saving procedure I've been waiting on for over 6 months has FINALLY BEEN APPROVED! But... Will I get it done this week, in time for the convention? It's all in my doctor's hands now - and, oh look, a HORRIBLY-TIMED national holiday is here today to gum up the works and potentially ruin everything!

CON-GOING PEOPLE: PLEASE CHECK BACK HERE THROUGH THE WEEK FOR UPDATES ON MY SCHEDULE.

I'll edit in updates above as things progress, and you should definitely be following my Twitter account for more immediate updates on progress. (Warning: May contain health-related meltdowns.) Even if I don't get my procedure in time, I *want* to try and give it a go, but I might not be there for the full convention hours. If the doc makes me wait until Friday, or I need a day to recover from the procedure, I will miss part of all of Friday. Odds are I'll leave early on Sunday, be it due to fatigue or just for scheduling. (I am doing an career day event for a middle school Monday morning, and it's really inspiring for me as well as the kids, so I'm willing to sacrifice con time if I need the rest.) Heck, there may be a stretch when con goers find my table on the honor system, with a "Cartoonist broken. Please flip through books and merch, and if you'd like to purchase something, put money in this box. I trust you!" sign.

I'll have my books, posters and Precocious trinkets with me, and I will be drawing commissions at the table. Commissions taken will depend on my health, and I won't be doing any take-home commissions. I will likely be doing a test-run on special sketch-page commissions, so you can be the first person to get one of those! Let us learn TOGETHER!

While I'm here, there are other notes on timing:  Since I'll surely be wiped out from the weekend, don't expect a Copper Road on the first of the month as normal. My Precocious buffer will be down to almost nothing, so I'll have to build that up before the bonus work. [COMMENT ON THIS PRECOCIOUS STORY AND TIMING DELETED UNTIL IT WON'T SPOIL THINGS.] You'll also note that the next Precocious print collection has been delayed. Assuming the procedure goes well, I'll finally be able to start tackling all these overdue projects and commissions, but I have had to make sacrifices as my body decayed. No book debut at Anthrocon this year, but it's very likely I'll be premiering it at SPX! Make sure you keep some funds set aside for the new book, because it has some of my favorite stories in it AND I shuffled story order around so Ursula gets to show up in book four instead of five! (Which means, yes, an all-time classic is going to print early!) I'm toying with various new bonuses (for my projects, that is) so look forward to sweet perks to go with the best artist editions in the business! Good things will come to those who wait.*

*Unless the doctor kills me during the procedure.

Friday, May 1, 2015

Copper Road + Bribed for Bonuses! (UPDATED)


As you'll learn more about below, I didn't realize it was the end of the month. Whoooops. I didn't have anything finished or timely in my Copper Road file, so I had to turn to my eyes to this dumb universe around us. Fortunately, I had a physical therapy appointment soon after. While that tweet didn't turn into full prophecy, I got a comic from the experience! (I did not handle adversity like Shii Ann, which is why we need Shii Ann. A comic of me NOT doing something stupid isn't very entertaining.) Vote here to see the new Copper Road! (Also, part of the first of the month update is that the previous month's Copper Roads are added to the online archive.)


Now, let's talk about color and illness and how those are tied together. The Ivy relapse story had to be initially posted with only background coloring, as my continuing health issues hit new heights in annoyance the past few weeks. I can draw comics, but computer stuff like coloring and lettering really hurts.

UPDATE: Jason of http://www.indeliblebluepen.com/ has stepped in to color some comics for us! He colored half of Sunday's update, and is saving my butt for at least a few updates next week. Yay!

ANOTHER UPDATE: All of Ivy's Relapse story is now colored and updated! Commenter DRB also stepped in to help pick up some slack, and I took care of the rest. Go back and reread it all to make sure I colored the right files and didn't lose a fixed typo or updated text or anything.

Back to the original post:

Anyway because of THAT headsplosion stuff, I've been focusing on drawing comics and not spending time at the computer. I thought I had my story finished, and then I found myself jotting down TWO silly bonus ending comic ideas. (Not canon - especially the first one - but fun as bonuses.) With my other option being painful coloring, I felt it a better use of my time to draw those bonuses. Hey, I can use one for a bonus inventive if I - WHEN DID IT BECOME MAY?!? I need a new Copper Road!

All of that combined is how I ended up with three bonus incentives for one day. SO LET'S HOLD THE BONUS ENDINGS HOSTAGE! If you can unlock the extras, I will edit them into Sunday's comic. If not, you won't see them until they appear in a book. (Can you unlock them before the page goes live?)

UPDATE: Yes, you can! I am super impressed! I'm leaving a;; the initial info in this post, because lord knows I always have more medical bills, but you have met your goals so yay you!

Once again, I will reward you with extras for donations and store sales that help me pay for my ever-growing pile of medical bills. You can donate via the PayPal donation button on this page, or you can buy stuff from the Precocious store! (Did you see that artist editions are available again?) Both PayPal and the store should have a section where you can write a note to me, so mention this is for the bonus comics.

I'll keep the goals low again:  $75 in donations/sales unlocks one. $150 unlocks both. $200 gets them both fully-colored. If you need context, I have medications (yes, plural) that cost more than $200. It may only be making a small dent financially, but it means a heck of a lot for peace of mind to know people out there are rooting for me. There's hope I'll get a procedure that will make things so much better, but it could be weeks or months away. I will need some audience love to push me forward until I can walk stable on my own again.

Sunday, April 19, 2015

New Copper Road + Story Notes


Quick programming note first, because 90% of you will tune out after/during this paragraph because you are MONSTERS. While working in my scripting files, I had two stories that were proving difficult to trim down so they'd fit into a week-long block. Rather than overwork myself with extra double-sized comics and deleting more scenes than I'd like, I did the math and realized if they were both overgrown *together* I could neatly fit them into three weeks and the scheduling would still be nice and neat. So nobody panic when a new story starts mid-week. I know some of you are delicate flowers, but it'll all be OK. (When combined, the stories totaled 20 days, so I had to add back in a silly extra gag I'd written. If there's one comic during this stretch you don't like as much as the others, assume that one was it.)

And NOW we're onto a spring-ish Copper Road! Vote here to see the latest comic! This is another one of those "It'd be a journal comic if I were any good at drawing a cartoon version of me" entries. Granted, most Copper Roads are rooted in life observation, so nothing new there. I went out to fill the bird feeder, and realized something was missing. So there's my proof of climate change! And Kaitlyn isn't joking. I used the timestamp on a photo I took last year:



Jerky aside: I saw a heat map going around showing that the eastern US is the only landmass on the planet that didn't get scorched in 2014 - and cold makes my health condition worse. I can only conclude all of humanity's ecological crimes were done with specific malice towards me. "Sir, all that smoke in the air from the factory can't be good." "Oh, lad, it isn't. But in 150 years this guy named Chrispy will be around - AND I WANT HIM TO SUFFER!"

Sunday, April 5, 2015

Incentive teasing! (UPDATED)


I delayed the first-of-the-month inventive/archive boost due to April Fools avoidance and general business, but now the Copper Road archive has been updated with last month's incentives. You can go enjoy those again.

Update: You guys met the bribery goal, so Sunday's comic was updated to include a bonus strip, and the new Copper Road was uploaded to TopWebComics. Vote here to see that comic!

Summary of this post before I edited and rewrote it: While Copper Road vote incentives go into the site's archives at the start of every month, bonus scene comics used at incentives disappear until it's time to print them in the books. To raise funds to help offset an incoming wave of medical bills, I offered readers the chance to bribe me into including the bonus scene with Sunday's update, with a Copper Road taking its spot as a vote incentive.

While the base goal was met, it should be noted that it was set well below my normal out-of-pocket cost for either of Tuesday's doctor visits, so more help is always needed! If you've been looking at fun stuff in the Precocious Store, like the books or goodies like charms, window clings, cupcakes of bliss and the cast poster, now's the time.  For donations, use the button to the left of the news post.

This was a rather clumsy preview of a patron/Patreon thing that I am simply too darn sick to set up properly. (I'm so sensitive to light right now, I had to do my updating over several shifts, as even my fully-dimmed monitor is too much to handle for more than a few minutes at a time.) Because my best case scenario for health means regularly getting an expensive procedure, which could enable me to be far more functional than I am now, I will need to upgrade my fundraising efforts. Bonus updates will be transitioning to donation/patron benefits. I don't know when or how yet.

If you don't have funds to give, there are other ways to help the comic. The most important is spreading the word. Go use the share buttons on your favorite comics! Reblog/retweet my Precocious stuff. Make sure your ad block is off for this site. I don't get much from ads, but they're needed to pay for basic website hosting/operation costs, and whatever's left goes into advertising Precocious on other sites. Put some energy into making the Precocious Wiki something thorough and respectable, or putting Precocious references on TV Tropes pages! Be kind and active in commenting, as that's what I have to rely on for reader feedback, and it means so much when I see new voices chiming in. (Just don't spend your commenting telling me you're broke. Do the more helpful things instead!)

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Day-Late Birthday Bonus?


I've been in an unfun flare-up state since Friday, so I was kinda too sick to revel in my own birthday yesterday. So, uh, it happened. Please mark your calendars for proper and timely gift giving next year, and gift hard enough to erase all memories of this year's birthday failures. (Is this current birthday story proving more allegorical than intended?)

Anyway, the day was marked by a gift to the backers of the book 3 Kickstarter. (Many of whom probably ignored the email and missed that it contained good stuff. This post is your reminder!) As I close out final the loose ends of the campaign, I released a PDF featuring Awards to Inspire and its bonus side-story, "Gus." Enjoy this extra boost of continuity! (I expect the book 4 preorder to launch sometime in May, so if you don't want to miss out on these extras anymore, start saving now!)

Sunday, March 15, 2015

Store update + New Copper Road!


I'd like to dedicate this Copper Road to my mother, who wrote half this comic for me when I told her about my new Amazon Fire TV. So far, I'm liking it much more than Chromecast - if only because I had a TON of music in Amazon Prime, and it shows me the lyrics for some when I listen! It also gives me a way to stream The Americans that didn't make my computer super angry. Anyway, vote to see the new comic, and enjoy a look into our dystopian futurepresent?


In other news, with Kickstarter fulfillment finally finishing up, I can now offer the goodies from the campaign to the those who want more. I've created special Cupcakes of Bliss gift boxes for my last remaining amigurimi dolls. (Some have already sold, so if you want one, act fast.) You can also grab a set of the double-sided clear acrylic "Friend or Foe?" charms, and a collection of all the window clings offered through the campaign.  I also added the recently-drawn art cards that I had posted to my Tumblr account. (People following me there and on Twitter got word of the store upgrade first, and top doll choice. It's rewarding to love me!)

If you're a Kickstarter backer and you'd like to complete your collection, you'll have to contact me for individual items. Individual charms and clings are $4 each, plus $1 for shipping to the US, and $3 for international. Because I gave so many away as apology gifts for late delivery, supplies are very limited.

Thanks for your support, everyone!

Sunday, March 8, 2015

The Kickstarter and the Current story!


(Image unrelated to post. I thought I should include a picture, 
and I had an unused panel from the Food Fight story, so...)

My preference is to mix up the types of stories in Precocious for variety, so it's a little odd for four of the last five stories to be school-based. In the case of the current "morale-boosting" tale, it's a quirk of timing on two levels. We're a few weeks away from spring, when things (in theory) warm up enough for more outdoors-based storytelling - as well as marking the return of the kids' standard outfits! In sorting through upcoming stories, I found myself with a two-week opening before the warmer weather tales began, and my weather-independent stories were either too short or too long to fit.

But another bit of timing came into play. A little over six months after a stupid fall managed to mess me up, and trigger a wave of painful complications and bad flare-ups of prior medical issues, I've finally fought my way through to the last bit of the book 3's Kickstarter fulfillment.  After the packages I'm mailing tomorrow arrive, all that's left is one person (who has most of his order, and is waiting on a special reward), and the few who never filled out their backer surveys. (Since you didn't check the Kickstarter emails, maybe you'll see this post?) It's been a very frustrating time for all of us, and I'm so sorry this had to happen. I'd fought so hard to overcome the pain caused by two botched procedures on me to find stability and productivity again, only to be undone because of what I eventually learned was a defective bolt in my desk chair. ("All for the want of a horseshoe nail...")

One of the unlocked Kickstarter rewards was a bonus story for backers, and that one kept getting pushed back with everything else. Maybe there's a silver lining to that dark cloud, because I gained more time to play with the outline - and one day a second story emerged! The original story for Kickstarter backers was told over 14 comics, I had a 14-day gap in my schedule AND a new side-story, and during this 14-day gap was when the last of my overdue Kickstarter rewards would be sent out. SO I HAVE AN IDEA. Now, everyone can enjoy the bit of silliness I had planned for backers, and those who supported the book 3 preorder will be sent a PDF including this story, the bonus side story and some extra commentary upon completion of this story's run here. The side story will answer a question or two, and provide an alternate perspective on the great sixth grader incident.

I can take pride in knowing I didn't (and won't) miss a comic update, no matter how bad things got for me. The goal of a good daily comic is to always be there to make you smile, through happy days, grumpy days and dark moments. Precocious is something that you could take for granted, knowing I will always be there with a new treat for you ever day. (Thought I'd much prefer appreciation as opposed to a sense of entitlement - but such is the double-edge sword of reliability!) It hit me very hard that I couldn't be Captain Reliable for everything, and I had no choice to but to watch my deadlines come and go for non-Precocious work. While I've had a few commissions take too long, though all had legitimate reasons for those delays, this was a new experience for me. And it was awful. ESPECIALLY since I had the Kickstarter reward timing so perfectly planned out! Nothing makes the universe angrier than someone making plans, I guess.

I'm in no way out of the woods yet on any level. My health is still more bad than good, and it'll be interesting to see how that issue plays out with a potentially helpful procedure on the horizon. I also have lots of comic plans that I'm not willing to put on hold. I still plan to debut book four at Anthrocon this year, and the companion book will be produced as well, though for a later release.  One cruel twist on life is that your bill don't stop even when you can't work - in fact, they skyrocket with the addition of so many medical bills! (Don't get sick in America unless you're rich.) I will be looking into various fundraising options to help keep both me and the comic going, and I hope enough people appreciate what I do to give me the chance to keep fighting - but first, before any of that, I have a dwindling pile of outstanding orders to finish. Wish me luck!

Sunday, March 1, 2015

New Copper Road! 3/1/15


So this has been up since last night, but I was too tired to write the news post about it. And then I forgot! But it's there, it's real and it's spectacular! Vote here to see it!

I've been sending a lot of packages out lately - almost done with my Kickstarter catch up! - and I'm so glad I have self-sealing bookfold mailers. They cost more than I should spend, considering my income level doesn't give me much wiggle room, but me versus packing tape is just sad. (On the plus side, it may be my dispenser, as others who've tried to use it have met Shii Ann-style fates.)

This Copper Road is a combo of the last two unused ideas in my idea file - that aren't the complex things I'm saving until I get the script *just* right. I'm sure funny-stupid things will start happening around me again, and the ideas will flow once more, but the point is I forgot February was short and I got lucky I had something ready to go!

Last month's Copper Road can now be found in the Copper Road archive. Sorry you only got one for the month, but the Kickstarter-fueled extra updates have expired and we're back on "as I can do them" grounds. I'm sure you'll get an opportunity to unlock more Copper Roads soon, as lord knows recent brutal medical bills will require fundraising of some sort. I'm still unsure about the direction to go with this. A patron system with minor rewards, and boring tiers like "I have health care!" or "paying for utilities!" is one option. I already have my book 3s on sale. (Because I forgot to undo the sale at the end of January. Heh.) Hey, the next person to order a book 3 will get an artist edition with two sketches, because I read someone's request wrong and had to start over.  (If you order a book 3 after the first person, I apologize, as you only get an EXTREMELY AWESOME BOOK that's on sale anyway.) I also have discounted original comics for sale in a grab bag format, set up as a fundraising option. And then there's the extra charms sitting around from a misprint, which are now "collector's items" to be used as a donation incentive? Man, I am bad at this marketing thing, but maybe I'll figure it out soon enough to, y'know, stay alive.

On the plus side, I've been doing a lot of work recently, so it's not like I've been slacking off. (For another 10 hours, I have a three-week comic buffer!) I'm still pretty darn broken, but I'm generally improving, and using any healthy window to maximum potential. It's been six months of hell, since the fall that caused the flare-up, and I continue to climb out of the pit.

Sunday, February 1, 2015

New Copper Road! + Friend Code swapping!


It's the first of the month, so here comes your update! Last month's Copper Roads are now in the archive, for your re-reading and commenting pleasure, and we're starting off a new month of voting with a new comic! Vote here to see it, and keep Precocious high up and visible, making it easier for potential readers to find the comic!

Recently, I have been having a real rough time with my health, and I've been very limited in how much work I can get done. When I get like this, I need something to take my mind off the pain and frustration, so I pick up a video game. This time, my mission was to finally complete my Pokedex in Pokemon Alpha Sapphire. It took far less time than expected, thanks to me having so many past games to steal from - and it meant running two games at the same time. Aww yeah! Rather that wallow in shame, I made a comic!

And there are geeky ulterior motives here. I'm still not doing well, so I'll be Pokemonning a little bit longer. Now that I'm active on two units, I realized I messed up my Friend Safaris. My 3DS' safari was already pretty weak, thanks to so many who never got online when I was (probably because those were Animal Crossing players), and now my games with that safari are banished to the 2DS, which has almost NO FRIENDS. Pokemon players, I call upon you to fix that!

Get on your DS, add my friend codes, and then drop your codes into my Tumblr Ask Box so I can have them in the same place for easy access.  I'll add you, then leave my games sitting online in hopes that you're doing the same. If you're a Pokemon Master and we're online together, that means our Friend Safaris get the special third resident - and hidden abilities start appearing!  (Especially if you have Smeargle, Pancham, Ninetails, Magneton or Sneasel!)

My 3DS friend code: 4596-9566-6514
(Safari bonus: Braixen! It's a Pingo clone generator!)

My 2DS friend code: 2337-4877-7383
(Safari bonus: Heracross!)


Since it's in the archive, above is a handy link to the bonus comic for the current class picture day story! Click it to go the archive page.

Monday, January 26, 2015

New Copper Road - 1/26/15


Hello! I'm starting a new Precocious story today, and I've got a Copper Road/Bonus Scene/Whatever to go along with it.  As I developed the class picture day idea, I played with the scripts and the order of things - and ended up with two versions of the introduction. So why not have both? Vote here to see it!

(If you voted earlier in the day, you may have to refresh the TopWebComics page to see the new comic. To get around the TWC time zone glitch, I have to overwrite an incentive image instead of uploading a new one if I want to do a midnight update.)