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.)

Wednesday, January 14, 2015

New Copper Road! 1/14/15


(If it's not visible yet, it means TWC never fixed its glitch. It'll appear around 3am Eastern US time.)

Autumn, you aren't supposed to be here! Guess she's still hung up on some issues and yelling at anyone who'd listen. (Or this is set in school.) Anyway, vote here to see it!

Because having issues with TV and griping about it is REALLY fun. Right?

By the way, I still have no idea where FX is on my cable box. But I do know if I mistype any of my regular channels, I hit church TV. Doesn't matter HOW I mistype it. Always big hair and Bibles. Always. So, I really would like to watch Fargo one day. (I can't handle the awful screeching of the promos constantly played on the OnDemand menu, OK?)

Wednesday, December 31, 2014

6 years old! + New Copper Road!


Six years ago, the first Precocious update went live. I had no idea what I was doing, but I was happy to do it! Today, I... well, that hasn't really changed. (The comics are better drawn now, though!) Thanks to all of you for keeping me going! Shall we aim for seven years? More???

To celebrate six years, I've done a little update with the Precocious store!  As long as I'm feeling festive, copies of book 3, and the book combo pack, are on sale for $5 less that usual!  (For those just starting out, or looking to indoctrinate others, the colorful book 3 is meant to be an ideal starting point.)

I'm also testing the idea of an original comic art grab bag. For a reduced price, you can get random piece original comic art from my "these are special" pile.

(All other store updates will wait until the end of the Kickstarter fulfillment, likely at the end of the month. For the backers who are still waiting, make sure you've been checking the campaign updates. I'll need some feedback from the art burst orders soon!)




Since this is the first of the month, there's a new Copper Road too! Vote here to see it!  (Even if TWC seems to have failed to reset, you get your comic on time.) One of the positives of me being fully unable to move through live without bumbling even the most basic things is that my constant failures often translate well into Copper Road scripts! I wrote this script a couple months back, but it gets the new year's duty because I managed to do the spice move again this week. Man, I'm glad 2014 is dead. It was mean to me. I spit on its grave!

As it's a new month as well as a new year, that means last month's Copper Roads are now in the Copper Road archive! Enjoy them again, folks! If you're looking for the Cylon sub bonus strips, all you need to do is scroll down the front page to see them.