Tuesday, June 16, 2015

Guitars and Microphones!



Yes, no one wants to hear anyone else's music - especially young'uns whose grandparents are younger than this artist - but *I* have the power here and you must suffer through it! (Or just not click. The story would read the same if I made up fictional song lyrics.) Anyway, if you'd like to sing along with the kids (and Ivy) with the main song from the current story, and the embedded video above doesn't work (news posts on the Precocious front page are mirrored from Blogger, so who knows how it'll go), here is a link to the music video for Kate Pierson's Guitars and Microphones. (Does it count as another B-52's reference for this comic if it's a band member's solo album?)

I stayed true to the concept of this story, by the way, and I listed to the album over and over, THEN this song over and over and over and over. And then I couldn't find a lyrics sheet for the song, so I listened over and over AGAIN to try and make it out. I doubt I got it totally right, so my apologies to Kate!

I also stayed true to the concept of something else, but you'll have to wait for that comic to go live before you know what I mean! (Hint: The comic's title is "Bring Your Arms" - though it's not about that specific song.)

And while I'm doing a news post, here's a health update: I got botox injections to help muscles spasms in my face that were causing migraines, but it didn't go well and has so far been ineffective. I have dozens of emails to write and respond to from the past three weeks, as well as a personal goal of getting at least ONE Copper Road done in June, but right now it's all I can do to keep updating on time. And that's really annoying, because it could mean reshuffling my planned Summer story order.

Friday, June 5, 2015

Autumn's Adventures + Store is back up!

In the previous post, I said I'd fix the store once I remembered my password. I did, so the merchandise and art card sections are live again, PLUS I added a pile of book twos for a clearance sale, as I unearthed an extra box of them from a previous printing during my move! If you don't mind a handful of typos (which were corrected in later printings), get them cheap - signed and sketched too!

I missed this while was all exploding-headed and traveling, but the Precocious/Ginger's Bread "exchange program" has a new entry! Head over to Ginger's Bread to see that comic! (Warning: Some curse words.) And, yes, I made fun of Carl, the creator, for not including The Desk gifted to Ms. Monster by the Precociousverse's take on Ginger. (FYI: There's no actual canon connection between the two comics - treat the character "swap" as more like a crazy coincidence. It's just two cartoonists taking a joke TOO FAR and loving it!)


For those who are playing Pokemon Rumble on the 3DS, Carl also created a Gingerverse Autumn Mii and decided to have some fun with her! It was enough to get ME to play the game, but I just started last night and don't know what I'm doing yet. Do you play? Are we friend code buddies yet?  If not, find my codes on my Tumblr page, and send me YOUR friend code in an ask. (Nudge me if I don't add you within a day or two. Sometimes Tumblr doesn't give me new ask notifications.)


Oh, and Carl shared the scanny thing for the Gingerverse Autumn Mii. Once I figure out how to use it, I will steal her for my own 3DS fun!

Monday, May 25, 2015

Convention Time/Timing (UPDATED! I DID IT!)



6/1 Update: SUCCESS! 

Despite missing nearly a full day of the con, everyone there was incredibly nice and no one screamed at me openly for being the Marketplace's "That Guy." This ended up being my highest-earning DC-area con yet, and I credit the positivity and proactive nature of the Fur The More staff for creating a strong and supportive environment. People were nice even though I stayed at my table to catch up and didn't socialize as much as I should have.

Also throwing huge praises to Mandy and Fox for letting me abuse their time for a late lunch. It was surreal and exhilarating to live inside their comic, Curtailed, for a couple hours. (Those two are so perfect they create comic-worthy moments every few seconds - and I TOTALLY STOLE SOME OF THEM FOR THIS SUMMER'S UPCOMING STORYLINE.)

I also got to draw for middle schoolers today, which is always a huge boost. The next generation is dangerously smart and talented and inspiring - and I was faced with the idea of destroying them out of fear, or encouraging them in hopes they won't turn me into Soylent Green when they get into power. Here's hoping those quick portraits and fox drawings keep me alive one day!

Four days of heavy talking and no sleep are having predictable results on my condition currently, as my facial muscles are super "hungover," but I got extreme enjoyment out of that time! (I get my treatment Thursday. It it helps, maybe I'll be slightly less drama for everyone next time around.) No Copper Road update is happening until I get back under control - so maybe next Monday? I have no Precocious buffer left, so that's my current comic priority.

I need to turn some items back on in the Precocious store, but my password expired and I can't remember which of the dozen or so options I was using. Maybe I'll find the post-it note with it around here later...


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.