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.