I spend most of my time trying to figure out how not to look like bag lady every day. When you live in a city like New York, one that doesn’t require owning an automobile, you plan your day through trips. “I’ll drop off my dry cleaning while heading into the office.” “I’ll take this bag of old clothes to Housing Works, and stop off at the coffee shop and the post office on the way.” This can lead to uncomfortable slogs across town, often involving the subway or taxicabs; throw in managing your iPod, wearing a winter scarf or carrying an umbrella and you might as well have some old clunky shoes and a cardboard sign that says “Homeless, Please Help”.
Because you are in bag lady-town.
As one of the poor, struggling New Yorkers the only way I can radiant the appearance of success through my carefree strut, and one cannot strut if they’ve got forty pounds of baggage hanging from their limbs.
I watched the bag people pass by this morning at my coffee shop, where I’ve taken to spending an hour each morning since leaving my day job. These hour-long visits are supposed to serve as a buffer for my day, a moment where I can put my priorities in order and tackle the remainder of my week like the type-A, go-getter that I tell people that I tell myself that I am.
As usual, I’m behind on everything: tomorrow’s strip is a mere concept, the CB Jobs board is feeling neglected, I’m behind on emails, three writing assignments and I need to churn out another draft of my script in time for my first reading on Sunday. AUGH! My first script reading is on Sunday! This development has been drifting in and out of my mental purview for the last couple of days. I am simultaneously exhilarated and terrified.
The script is something I have been trying to pull together for the last two years, but I have made the most progress on it in the last three weeks. It’s still not finished, but my writing partner thought having a portion of it read by a group will help us figure out if what we have is working. I remind myself that I think the concept is solid, the ideas are good and a 90% of whether or not the script works will depend on the actor reading the lines.
This is something I’ve noticed from watching a lot of webseries; delivery and believability is almost wholly on the side of the actor. You can spot a bad story or cliché dialogue, which all falls on the writer but a bad actor can take a good or mediocre script and drag it down. On the flip side, they can also elevate so-so material, anyone who watches American Horror Story can attest to that. Performance is so important. I just hope I’m bringing them my best.
If you’ve been following my Facebook or Instagram you’ve probably noticed my recent sketches of my main characters from a new project I’m developing called Hard Corps Action Force. HCAF is being conceived as 130-ish page superhero comic set in a fictional all-LGBT city. The titular characters are a disparate team of heroes based out of a community center owned by a wealthy ex-superhero from the Stonewall era.
I personally do not think we need more superhero anything, but this is something that I’ve been developing for a very long time and I really want to put it out there. A lot of the characters and their conflicts are personifications of LGBT issues, there are heroes and villains that are gay, lesbian, heterosexual, trans, bisexual and their motivations range from personal, to religious, to political, you name it.
I’ve currently in the middle of writing the script, I want the writing to be reminiscent of comic books I read in the late 90’s-early 2000’s. I want the character designs to be something between the way I draw Abel Boddy and my favorite artists of that era. And I want there to be a heavy dose of LGBT history and culture weaved throughout the story.
I plan on releasing a great deal of the pages very close together, which means I’ll be drawing most of it before it’s ever released to the public. No lag time and rushing due to tight weekly deadlines. I think that is a smart way to do it considering I’ll be working on it and Abel Boddy simultaneously.
I’ve been posting about HCAF on my Patreon and plan on running the works-in-progress of the pages there on regular basis alongside early releases of the Abel Boddy strips. If you’re interested in reading more, check out my public posts here, here and here.
You’re going to get 3 Abel Boddy’s this week. Today, Wednesday and Friday. That’s my plan from now on. I normally don’t put things like that in writing, but I’m going to here. I think it’s also time to get that site’s design back, I’m tired of looking at it and making notes on stuff that needs to be fixed. Fingers crossed on that one. So, new strips every Mon-Wed-Fri, unless you’re contributing to my Patreon, then you’ll see the strips (this week) on Sun-Tues-Thur.
I would write more, but… I should probably get back to drawing.
I can never really tell if that feeling of getting your head above water is self-delusion or a genuine result of following through on your commitments and personal development. Regardless, it’s probably best to make the best of it. As I posted above, I’m going to start posting strips regularly again next month as well as get the look of my site back to where it was before the Comic Easel take over.
I’m not sure I have any readers left at this point, but I figure I can either keep putting things off and continue driving any progress I have made over the last 9 years (yes, 9 years!) into the ground or pick everything back up and continue the way I’ve always intended and leave a good looking corpse.
So, I’ve started a new Patreon page and I need some help in determining rewards.
For those of you who do not know, Patreon is a crowdfunding site that, rather than focus on one lump sum for a project like Kickstarter, helps creatives get ongoing support for their fanbase on a regular basis. The whole system is fueled by monthly micropayments that start at $1. If I were to not produce any strips in a month, I would not receive any support from my patrons, however if I were to produce 20 strips in a month, someone providing $1 would be providing $20, UNLESS they set a monthly limit, which they can do.
It encourages creatives to produce more and gives fans an opportunity to get more of what they like from creatives by providing direct incentives. I would use any support given to help get Abel Boddy back up to 3-5 strips a week and get my upcoming superhero project Hard Corps Action Force off the ground. Like any good crowdfunding, patrons also get rewards, which is what I need help with.
1) If you are one someone who uses Patreon, what sort of rewards have you seen provided by creators that you thought were worth it? Or have you thought of anything that you haven’t seen patrons offering that you think would be good idea?
2) If you are someone who doesn’t use Patreon, is there something that a creator could offer that would make it worth it to you?
I’d like to put up 2-3 patron-only updates a week and I was considering the standard original artwork/customized sketches and sneak peeks into current and upcoming storylines and pre-production work as well as a weekly video journal and discounts on future books. I’m going to be doing a second draft on the campaign details (with a new video) and would like to include the new rewards.
Is there something else you think I should consider?