Hallo Spaceboy process update

Hallo Spaceboy, Projects

I wrote back in May about revisiting my ‘Starman’ story.

That project is now in full swing. I’m creating a short memoir called ‘Hallo Spaceboy,’ which consists of three stories about me and David Bowie.

I’m working on it under the mentorship of Andrew White. His guidance will help bring this piece to life.

I’ve scripted these three stories, and I’m now in the design phase. Which means I’m now delightfully listening to loads of Bowie and drawing and seeing what sort of visuals evolve over time.

bowiesittinginfieldofstars

This one was drawn listening to lots and lots of the Five Years collection. I really like Tillie Walden’s ink drawings with their surrealist backgrounds, and pulled that in here.

bowieintriplicate

And a glorious accidental composition, but I like how the three Bowies coexist and morph into each other.

I’m debuting Hallo Spaceboy at SPX! This project will be completed by August 18.

MeCAF 2018 – Report

conventions, Projects

On Saturday, June 2, 2018, I tabled at my first ‘away’ con. I took the train up to Portland, ME, to participate in the Maine Comics Arts Festival, otherwise known as MeCAF.

I had a lot of fun at the show, moved the most product to date, and got to meet lots of independent cartoonists from around the Northeast.

Taking lessons learned from my earlier shows, I recovered Kitchen Witches, Anxiety Diaries 2 and 3, and Immature Language. Anxiety Diaries 1 was my first project, and I printed pages on the cover’s back.

Additionally, I also worked on my presentation. I ordered a stand from ClearDisplays, and a display for pricing. I spread out my business cards, and made a little name display at the last minute.

The result? A more elegant, solid display.

Processed with VSCO with  preset

Processed with VSCO with preset

Additionally, I made a custom item tracker, which enables me to track all purchases, both cash and card, and trades! At the end of the day, I can see exactly how much of what went to new homes, down to which books were most popular with my fellow cartoonists.

mecaf-inventory-sheet

I was surprised that Anxiety Diaries moved the most copies, and Kitchen Witches the least. I ended up selling four sets of Anxiety Diaries 1-3, not including single purchases of each. Kitchen Witches only sold two copies, early on in the day. This disproves what I thought I’d learned at the Somerville Public Library Comix Con last month.

At this con, I was much more gregarious and outgoing. I made a lot of connections, got to meet a number of people I interact with on Twitter and Instagram.

Lessons learned:

  • Get there early to set up. That way you have time to do a loop before attendees arrive, and you can talk with fellow vendors.
  • Bigger pricing signs! Larger statements of taking card/cash/trades!
  • Each show attracts different people, so having a variety of work is good.
  • Big smiles and great shirts will bring people over to chat.
  • Sometimes you don’t make a sale, but you learn about a new opportunity.
  • One dollar bills are the gods’ gift to vendors.
  • Have some way to identify you, like a banner or vertical sign.
  • PUT YOUR SOCIAL MEDIA HANDLES ON YOUR BUSINESS CARDS – I need to reprint my business cards because this current round doesn’t have my Twitter or Instagram tag on them.
  • Share pictures of your table on social media – it can get picked up by people, and/or let your followers know where you are/what you look like.

My next show is in mid-September, at the Small Press Expo. I have three months to make new material, a banner of some sort, and improve my tabling lay out. I can’t wait. I will have additional copies of these five zines, plus a few copies of Being True (which you should back on Kickstarter). I’m also planning on debuting new projects: ‘I hate my ovaries (and they hate me too),’ ‘Hello Spaceboy,’ and hopefully one from my week up at the Center for Cartoon Studies this August.

On creating and recreating

Projects

About ten months ago, I sat down and created “Starman,” my five-page memoir comic about David Bowie’s death.

I was so proud of myself, having created a piece that captured my emotional state at the time, and made my cohort feel as well. It was the first comics piece I had done in ages, and kickstarted my fevered cartooning, which has been the center of my life since.

In those ten months, I’ve grown as a creator. My craft has improved. My layouts and compositions are stronger. I’ve largely switched to lettering digitally, which makes my work look more professional. And I’m now re-aligning my mentality from making things fast and dirty to being more considerate and thinking how I’m presenting my work.

Back to “Starman.”

Part of my idea with the comic is that it would be a chapter in a larger collection, tentatively called ‘Concert Hall Communion,’ about my relationship with music-in-place-of-religion.

I want to include “Starman” in this. It’s fine in its current state. But in a collection with improved everything? It will stand out, and not in a good way.

So I’m planning to redraw it this summer. Recycle a rejected pitch – “David Bowie is my gender identity” – and pull together a small zine for SPX. Focus on making it as beautiful as I know it can be.

Report from Somerville Public Library Comix Con

conventions

First con of the year is in the books.

I tabled at the inaugural Somerville Public Library Comix Con on Saturday, May 5. It was con number 2 for me, and while not immensely successful monetarily, I did okay.

Loosely related to tabling, I was seated in the general health section, next to books about sex, body farms, and influenza.

Things learned:

  • All-ages comics sell best at library cons. I sold three copies of Kitchen Witches, and had a couple of instances where kids sat down and read the full thing, then headed off. I don’t love when this happens (if their parent is present or they are clearly a teenager), but it’s such a great feeling when they’re young.
  • Bright and colorful draws the eye! I will likely make new covers for Kitchen Witches and Immature Language using brighter paper and do a test run. The covers will likely be hand-lettered, and I’ll have to experiment. Maybe add some washi tape to the sides. I don’t want to scrap the rest of this printing.
  • Make. Better. Signage.
  • Improve display and presentation. I’m inviting! My little corner, not so much.

My next con is Saturday, June 2! I will be in Portland, ME for the Maine Comics Arts Festival (MeCAF). I should have “My ovaries hate me (and I hate them, too)” printed. Find me in the fiction section!