Monday, May 5, 2014

Failure to Submit pt.5

Well, I tried Kickstarter and it was an overall failure. I'm trying not to look back at it anymore but I think I ended up with 5% of my $4000 goal. Really bad results, even when compared to other failures, really bad. The thing that really got me was that the video I spent weeks on, only ended up with 40 views. It was definitely a humbling experience that I just wasn't prepared for. I'm not a business man or a self-promoter. I'm an artist who likes to stay home all day and draw. I guess i'm just not ready for something like Kickstarter, that really depends on a creator with an entrepreneurial attitude. At least I hope that was my problem. I still like to think the project failed, not because it sucks but because I still have a lot to learn about the industry of independent comics. Man, I really hope it's not because my book sucks.

It wasn't really about funding a printing of my book, I just really wanted to get a little exposure. Maybe even a publisher or two would see it and pick it up. I was hoping for big things but lately i've been learning "hoping" for things to work out is maybe the wrong way to approach things. I thought just putting it on Kickstarter would equal exposure but it didn't work like that. It was my job to push the link to my project through social media, websites, podcasts or even word of mouth but I just couldn't do it. I felt slimy when I would try to promote myself. To try and make a connection with people with the sole purpose to market myself, just makes me feel shameful. Though i'm starting to learn the shameful feeling might just be my lack of confidence. If I want this to work, I need to have some confidence in my abilities to draw and write a decent book worth sharing to random people. I think I just learned this too late to save my project.

There's nothing I can do about it now except use it all as a learning process. If I want people to read my book, I can't just put it out there. I have to put it out there, then tell them about it. I'm still having trouble with it all, it's just not in my nature to talk about myself, but i'm really trying to get better at it. With things like this blog, random conversations and posts on Reddit, even scattered emails to other creators. I'm trying to get more comfortable with all of this, I guess we'll see if these baby steps i'm taking to become socially competent pays off.

My next step is to try ComiXolgy Submit. I heard the process can take up to 6 months, so that wait should be fun.

Saturday, April 19, 2014

Inspiration Dump: Masters of Markers

I don't know if there is some kind of genre for artists drawing on the wall with markers but there should be, cause it's awesome. Just seeing how quickly and how precise these guys are with a marker is kind of humbling for an artist like me. I think I use an eraser more than I use a pencil, i'm nowhere near ready to take a marker straight to paper.

There is a reason these guys are legends in the comic world. Anyone serious about being a comic artist should study the work of this group. There is some merit in the whole "respect your elders" idea, unless we're talking about politics because all those old dudes suck.

Typography is probably the least respected part of making a comic. I know I neglect it in my own work but I shouldn't because it's one of the things that can make or break your book. I honestly think it's one of the most boring parts of creating a book but add some Major Lazer to the process and look at how much fun it can be. In fact Major Lazer makes everything a little more fun, just check out his other videos. 

Brandon Graham is one of my favorite creators right now. I love his style, the way he jams jokes in the background and even the attitude he brings to the community. So, pretty much anything he does, I love.

Friday, April 11, 2014

Inspiration Dump: Black and Beautiful

In my own work, I stay away from strong black inks. It's just not my style but the thing is I love comics and other visuals that use black as a dominate color. The emotion that black can create on it's own as well as when paired up with a strong contrasting color is something that is worth exploring. It's also kind of cool because when drawing with black markers the fumes get you a little high.

This intro is one of my favorites of all time and I personally think it's better than any of the Bond ones. The barrage of visuals it throws at you is so intense and then when the fire hits and adds the contrast of color, it's so damn badass. The movie is pretty good too, in a gut-wrenching way.
This, like the video before, is another barrage of visuals. At first it seems like the director just took a bunch of things and said "that looks kewl!, let's add it!" but the video jams a lot of symbolism in it. It has to do with the myths of the Free Masons, a group Jay-Z is believed to be involved with. Plus the song is dope. Easily one of my top 3 Jay-Z songs.

I fucking love Fables. Everything about it awesome and when they announced this game, I was pumped. I had to ban myself from video games a while ago because of my sad addiction (Battlefield)  but I almost broke that ban to play this thing. Instead I watched Let's Plays on Youtube while acting like I was drawing. The visuals and color palette are amazing, especially in this intro. Though it draws some influence from "Drive", I think TellTale did something special as well a ballsy with the visuals of this game and it really pays off.

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Inspiration Dump #1

I have a tendency to overload my brain with so much stuff that I often forget things that I try really hard not to. So I figured why not just post it here. This blog is basically just my super special diary, so why not. 

I got a weakness for dogs. The unconditional love thing, I'm a sucker for it. This short film embodies the whole "dog is man's best friend" thing in a damn near perfect way. There is a little more dong hanging in this then I expected but maybe there just isn't enough dong in today's animation.

This might be the most depressing song of all time and the video only makes things worse. The thing is, even though this video makes me feel like shit and puppets creep me out. I think this might be one of the most beautiful stories to be told in 5 minutes.

Just to clear out any depression left by the last video, here's a new show I'm looking forward to. I know I'm to old to watch this shit but I don't care. 

Saturday, March 8, 2014

A Failure to Submit pt.4

After putting a somewhat solid effort into finding a publisher, I realized I was gonna have to find a way to distribute my book on my own. How to do this was the next hurdle my fat ass was gonna have to jump. The options are out there to be a successful self-publisher but trying to figure out which one to choose or more importantly which one was right for my book was the question.Here are the options I came up with..

1. Do a webcomic.
2. Go to Kickstarter 
3. Put it on Comixology.

The whole webcomic thing is not really something i'm familiar with but it's simple to set up so I went for it. I set up a site using Blogger and went ahead and posted some of the book.I'm not sure if i'll post the whole book yet cause i'm just not sure if my book really works with a weekly update schedule. Also, i'm not really sure if I can make any money this way. I don't do this for the money but I got bills to pay. So.. for right now i'll just use it as a "preview" for my comic. 

I thought about Comixology's submit program but I saw that they take 50% of your gross profit. If they printed it out, maybe, but this is digital. All they do is format it for mobile devices (not that hard) and post it online. They even make you pay for distribution and credit card fees. For what they do, taking half of your profits just seems a little high.

So right now it seems Kickstarter is the right option for me. Now I just got to freshen up on my Sony Vegas skills and make a video that will probably end up kind of shitty. Then figure out a way to make my project not fail horribly. Stressful times await. 

end Failure to Submit 4 

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Yajirobe: A Role Model for Fat Kids with Swords

One of my earliest obsessions was Dragon Ball Z. I've always had a passion for animation. One that has lasted throughout adolescence and followed me deep into adulthood. Imagine a man well into his 20's waking up early Saturday morning just to watch cartoons. Often confused by what was currently driving kids into a frenzy but so attached to his weekly ritual he couldn't look away from the pikachu infested screen. 

Through all these Saturday mornings there was one era that stood out and that was the Dragon Ball Z era. I love everything about that show, the crazy characters, the flashy special moves, the extended screaming, it was awesome. 

Lately I've been going crazy on Youtube, gorging on clip after clip of this amazing show. When I was reminded of this..      
As an overweight Asian boy, with wild unkempt hair, this was something unseen. Finally a character I could relate to. Though he was always seen as a joke, it was something for me to grasp onto. Even as his role diminished throughout the series, I always hoped for the random cameo from this pudgy samurai. One that would usually never come but still force me out of bed stumbling gleefully towards my consistent Saturday morning companion, Balls..Dragon Balls.