28 July 2007

It was a blast. Really.
I had a ball.

This was my first convention, and Im glad i went. I didn't have much expectation (in terms of selling) but i was pleasantly surprised. I had 4 books on sale ($1, $2, $3 & 7$ in price.) and they all sold pretty well. I made about $200... so I was happy. Even though my books were 'relatively' cheap - they sold pretty steadily. More about my observations on that later.

But, for now - onto the photos:

I was sitting next to Paul & Henry's 'The List' table. In my opinion, one of the best books at Doujicon. Even though The List was a small print run done just for this convention (ie. Not intended to be the final polished book) - it did amasingly well. Whenever I looked to my left (to find out where the annoying camera-flashes were coming from), I saw Paul signing autographs like a rockstar - taking money hand-over-fist.

At one point while I was eating a sandwich, Paul noticed some food on my chin & said, "Here, wipe yourself off." - and handed me a twenty dollar bill.

This photo is the new cover to our 'boy-band' cd which we will be releasing called: "I want to love you for the rest of my life tonight."

Us guys have to have a plan-B, incase comics doesn't pan out y'know.

Darren (in his kung-fu/superman outfit?) was selling his famous 'Killeroo' comics. Darren came past my table while I was scribbling and asked me to do a Killeroo sketch for him. I whipped up something, which I'll ink at home, then post it here on the blog by week's end. Stay Tuned!

Bruce dropped in to see what was happening. Had a great chat with them about 'staying in the comicbook game' - and the difference between people that come-and-go, and those that stay and leave a mark. We talked about our fondness for the early 90s Heavy Metal magazine and the wonderful reputations that greats like Serpieri & Manara forged in those pages - which is contrasted by today's 'quick' pop-short stories that make Heavy Metal look more like a hodge-podge anthology of the latest 'new young guy' - rather than displaying the 'best people in that genre'. I know it has more to do with publishing economics than art (ie. It's cheaper to get a gratefull young guy to contribute work for next-to-nothing, rather than pay for a pro ) - but it's still a shame.

You just don't get these types of conversations at the Broadmeadows Pub.

David & Philip shared a table selling a sea of books. I grabbed a few great reads from these guys. David launched his 'Bitter Bachelor Book', and Philip launched his new 'Word Ballons #5".
There was enough comicbook literature here to keep you occupied until Christmas.

All the 'regulars' were there. The 'Local Act Comics' table had a sea of books too. In about 10 months David has published about 20-or so comics from various creators? Thats gotta be a record. Seriously.

(Thats why he's drinking Gatorade.... he's tired.)

One of the frequent visitors to the monthly meets, is Dean Rankine - who was happily selling his batch of comics. If you like 'fun' - then you'll like Dean's books. Check em out.

Although Doujicon didn't resemble Flinders Street station (thank God), it was a fairly constant & steady crowd.

(Ok - back to my thoughts on selling at a con for the first time.)

As I mentioned - I had a couple of cheap $1 & $2 books, as well as the more expensive ones of $3 & $7. What I noticed was that, if your cheap ones are of a good quality (even if they were only 4 pages long as my $1 was.) - they sold extremely well. People wont even have to think about handing over 1 or 2 dollars. It's easier for people to say "Why not" on a $2 book, than it was for them to consider my $7 one.

Although you need to consider a few things.

I made more money from my $7 book (13 copies sold), than I did from my $1 or $2 ones (33 copies sold). BUT the cheap ones evaporated from my table a lot quicker, and it means that 'more' people will (potentially) be exposed to my work. It's a trade off, but an interesting measure of what one would consider 'successfull'.

In conclusion - the day was more successful than i hoped it would be. Met & talked to a lot of fans. Had great chats with friends and strangers. Made a month's worth of petrol money selling my books. Laughed. Waxed comicbook philosophy. Bought 2 months worth of petrol money in comics.

Hopefully, I'll be at (Armageddon?) in October, because this one was great.

For those in Melbourne - see you all next weekend at the Stork Hotel for our monthly meet. Can't wait for the stories.


11 July 2007

Motivation to sit down and do a comicbook.

I don’t get it. Explain it to me. Everyone who talks about motivation treats it like romance. Like some love-affair they’re waiting for before they engage in anything worthwhile.

The topic of ‘motivation’ came up recently on an internet forum. Nothing particularly new I thought – but what surprised me was the dual personalities (or more accurately, schizophrenic nature) of many people wanting to sit on the fence.

If someone wants to make comics casually, then fine. There’s nothing at all wrong with doing comics only when your want to. (Only when you’re feeling 'romantic', so to speak.) - But what I can’t understand is when these same people complain about the consumer/comics market (which relies largely on a product’s high quality & regularity) not being receptive to their work.

I mean, really.

The way I see it, and your welcome to think otherwise, is that ‘motivation’ tends to be directed to an activity that one finds worthwhile or necessary in some way. Why else would you bother to ‘motivate’ yourself?

If on the other hand you, like me, want to be productive, have your books in stores, & become better at your craft, but you still require motivation before commencing your work - then you strike me as a little unrealistic. That is, I think you want the reward of comics ‘before’, ‘during’ & ‘after’ the experience, whereas if you don’t even begin drawing – you won’t get the latter two rewards.

The goal of producing the finished comic has to be extremely important to you if your taking it seriously. Getting the book printed on time and looking as good as you picture it in your head has to be there if it is going to take any kind of heightened importance in your life. You have to be obsessed. You have to be single-minded.

If it’s just a hobby, then your enthusiasm will match that mindset. Parenthetically, you'll get the rewards of a hobby too. If, on the other hand, you're serious about your book, then don’t fool yourself into thinking that lightning will strike on your lack-luster efforts. If your serious about it, then you’ll tend to treat it (as many of us with full-time jobs do), as a part-time job. You have to make regular time during the week for your book. Even if it’s a long-term vision, you won’t get anywhere unless you take it seriously. The ‘motivation’ should be your end goal.

Remember, a goal is just a dream with a timeline.


09 July 2007

Like a Swiss watch, the monthly comicbook meet occured.

'Talking shop' at the monthly comic-meet has got to be the best part about it.

Trev & I look at Paul's wonderful book The List, which will be out in stores by the year's end.

This month's meet had the most number of 'cool' people ever! People weren't even prepared for the photos, but everyone seemed to be doing 'hand-on-chin' model poses. All we needed were dull anorexic women, and I swear you'd think you were at a fashion show.

There are a few things that make these meetups wonderful (particularly if your an author/artist).
  1. You get to see the very first glimpses of creator's work in sketchbooks, pencils and often the finished inked page way before it ever comes out in stores. In fact, almost every meet, there is someone who's just released a book and brings it along (hot off the press) that you can grab!
  2. You get to talk to the actual creator/s and gain insight into things you might otherwise never find out. (ie. Avoiding possible mistakes, and learning more in one conversation than you would fumbling around blindfolded on the internet.)
  3. You get to talk about the 'craft' of comics with people who understand what you mean when you talk about 'gutters' & 'panel grids' - without getting a blank stare.
  4. You come away after the meet-up charged.
Oh, and most of us will be at Doujicon at the end of this month (28th July). So come past, say hi, and buy some of our books. The meetup on the following weekend should be a great one (with everyone's wares & stories from the convention). So don't miss THAT meet!



03 July 2007

I knew I wanted this to be a full page. It's of an old woman reading from a diary, and having her view of the page imposed on the top of the page.

I penciled the 'pose' in my sketchbook until I got something I was satisfied with.

Then I traced it on my lightbox. And began to ink....

The finished ink.
Then I touch up on a computer.

One of the hard things when going from pencils to ink, is getting a good 'grasp' of how the finished work will look. Often it's never as you imagined, but if you take your time - by the end (when you can't do anymore) you'll say, "Im satisfied with it."

Well, I wasn't satisfied yet.

It looked ok, but didn't sit well compared with the page thats on the other side. So I reconstructed the page into grids to match the facing page (which is already done) .

Stay tuned, and I'll show you the retuned page in the days to come.