Just a reminder that my blogging has moved over to claudedwards.com. Mostly just little writing projects for myself, including my Playlist series and something I’m calling “The Abel Boddy Film Club”. Both are explained below…
But first I would like to call attention to my Patreon page. Put succinctly, Patreon is a crowdfunding site that allows people to contribute micro payments to their favorite creators. I started one up to help cover costs for web hosting, art supplies and recurring printing costs for Abel Boddy and 12-Inch Roommate. I was also hoping to use it to jump start my next comic project Hard Corps Action Force. The beauty of it is, I cannot collect contributions unless I produce something, and contributors can control exactly how much support they want to provide.
My lowest pledge level is $1 per month and my plans right now are to produce 2-3 Abels per week as well as make some headway on some other projects so anyone supporting me on Patreon can expect 2 posts per week that will include the next week’s strips, work-in-progresses on a variety of projects, sketches and pages from my sketchbook. I would also like to eventually have a window into a animated project, but that will take a while to set up. Besides, I think comic work does better on Patreon than anything else.
So far, I am grateful to those who have been contributing. But I’m still working towards my first goal and would appreciate the assistance from anyone who’d like to help me get there. Every little bit helps and it goes right back into the work. So please consider it.
Anyways, so about the blogging…
The Playlist series is literally me checking in with myself at regular intervals during each day and then writing about my week, centered around the first songs of each day that come up in the morning when I hit shuffle in my iTunes.
The ABFC will just me writing about movies and TV that I recently watched. I did a version of these in the past with The Road to El Dorado and Nick & Nora’s Infinite Playlist, among others. Sort of, quick reviews focusing on the queerest part of the movie.
I’ve also been working on the site’s Lookbook, which will serve as a portfolio of sorts. Everything I’ve mentioned here is a work in progress, so it’ll be interesting to see how it evolves.
I’ve always enjoyed watching time lapsed videos of people making shit. Started researching it and discovered making one is as simple as pushing a button. I accidentally saved over strip #519 and needed to rebuild it so this seemed like a good opportunity.
I posted the result over on claudedwards.com as well.
…I will no longer be “blogging” here on abelboddy.com. If I want to write words, I’ll be doing it at: my new umbrella site. This site will house my finished work, recently posted project updates and general tomfoolery. It’s still in early stages as I figure out the ins and outs of squarespace, so expect some fine tuning.
This transition starts…. NOW!
Now that I feel like I’m ready to bring Abel back from hiatus, I’m not only working on getting back to a regular production (READ: *A* production schedule) but I’m also working on figuring out what I want this comic strip to be going forward. I am now gainfully employed in the design department of a great New York ad agency; it’s a perfect job for me in that I get to work in a design department and not actually be a designer.
In this role, one thing that I have been privy to is the concept of “branding” and “re-branding”, which always seemed like an odd buzzword to me. However, I’ve started applying some of the company’s pre-production thinking to my own process and I’ve found some really interesting results. I mean, ultimately the idea of “branding” is useless if you don’t put in the actual work to make it worth all of the effort, but it’s definitely been helpful in coming up with plans for the future.
My re-branding efforts lead to a handful of creative decisions, the first of which was to re-package my NSFW mini-webcomic 12-Inch Roommate, which begins with me removing it from my old Meatcute blog and re-publishing it on a Tumblr page, starting from strip #1.
My second decision was to re-think my websites, including re-designing this one. I have a new design I’m currently working on, which may take a while to implement, that will strip away many of this site’s features, bringing it down to a bare minimum that will showcase only the work. The blog portion, which you are reading now, is one thing that will be sacrificed for something similar on an umbrella site that will serve as the main page for my “web presence”.
(Another thing you’re going to notice here is an upcoming re-jiggering of the comics on this site. It’s going to appear that I am rewriting history by going back and changing the publishing dates on the comics. I assure you, there is a method to my madness that fits into my grand scheme.)
Lastly, I’m coming up with some ideas for my work’s existence in the real world. I recently attended the Queers and Comics conference here in the city (not only as an attendee and a panelist but also as a host of a comics reading event) and I’m scheduled to table at the upcoming Flame Con at the end of next week. And my con game is WEAK.
So, to put it shortly: I’ve got plans you’ll be seeing them soon.
So… if you haven’t already figured it out, “Abel Boddy” is on a forced hiatus. This is because I am currently looking for work and do not have the time to commit to any sort of release schedule for comics.
I told myself that if I put as much as I could into comic work while I looked for a new job, I would end up with a healthy buffer, new readers, progress on my next book, some new Patreon contributions AND a new job. I mean, it makes sense right? Work on comics in between the job searching and opportunity grabbing? Unfortunately, that didn’t work for me. And frankly, since the comic produces almost no income, I’m sort of regretting working on the strip at all during this time, considering that was all time I could’ve used to look for a job.
Truthfully, the whole experience really has me thinking about how the webcomic system works. I’ve been working on “Abel Boddy” for ten years now, with varying levels of productivity. And in those ten years, in terms of gay webcomics, I’ve been told I’m ‘a fresh new face’, ‘the one to watch’, the ‘ongoing’ series and the ‘grandfather of gay comics’. But never in that time period have I ever really felt like anyone has been paying attention.
Now, I definitely have my regulars, don’t get me wrong. Abel Boddy has fans; frequent commenters who regularly pop up on the site and who I hear from regularly. They exist and I appreciate the attention the comic gets from them one hundred fucking percent. But the reality is, I cannot continue producing comics for myself and the dozen (vocal) regular readers if I cannot keep a roof over my head.
The sad fact is, and I’m about get self-pitying here, that while I’m never made any traction with mainstream attention, (the “Webcomics Weekly” method is bunk, being glaringly self-promotional is, well, glaringly self-promotional and the new Patreon system isn’t doing anything more than making me feel bad about myself) what I’ve always found the most aggravating is getting, what I consider, shrugged off by my peers.
The LGBT comic community is not very big, in fact, I could open up another browser right now and send 85% of it a direct message on Twitter. So, deep down in my heart of hearts I’ve always wondered why I’ve never been invited to participate in local events, anthologies or LGBT comic podcasts. I’ve never seen any evidence of anyone helping each other create awareness of each other’s work through retweets or FB shares. I have never gotten a post, much less a link to my work from specific LGBT comic news sites and I’ve had my email requests to publish with certain gay comic presses completely ignored by individuals who I have looked in the eye and shaken hands with at events.
These sentiments are probably so close to the surface right now because everything else in my life is in an aggravated state, but I can’t help but wonder how much actual progress my work made since 2005 if it cannot even help to pay my bills or provide any visible acknowledgement outside of a website that I did not set up myself?
I don’t know. Maybe these realizations are the first step in finding the creative fulfillment I require. Maybe its just something that needs to be said to clear my mind of anxiety in a time when I need all of my emotional faculties in place. Maybe when Abel Boddy returns, it’ll be in a completely new format or on a Tumblr page or only in book form or tied to a rock and thrown through the window of a prominent alternative comic publisher.
I just have got to figure out what I want to get out of this and make some better decisions on how to get there. Eventually, but first… do you know of any place that’s hiring?