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Showing posts from 2010

Creating the Audience

So this Saturday night I'm doing laundry and crunching numbers on comic creation. It doesn't take an accountant to tell you that printing, distributing, and selling your own books won't make you a profit. Case in point: If I print out 500 copies of the B&W issue of Virtuoso, I have to sell 315 of them just to break even. That's selling them at 3.00 a piece, which is on the cheap end of comics. But selling that many means doing the convention circuit, which drains the coffers fast. So take that profit I earned in and flush it if I do it that way. This isn't even thinking about paying myself or Krista.

(Consequently, if you want to make sure that a fellow Whitechapeler gets paid for doing great art, go here:)


Virtuoso
Anyway, seeing as how this profit model doesn't really work, not if you want to make a living at comics, you have to think laterally. Most webcomics make money on merchandising. The comic is free and online, and connected to a merch stor…

My Kickstarter is up!

Kickstart is just cool. That's all there is to it. But I really need everyone's help to get the word out on this. If for no other reason than to let me send out the incredibly cool rewards Noah, Thom and I have come up with.

Why RPGs are important

There is a tendency amongst my peers to either deride or exalt their pastimes, often to an extreme. The former smacks of the sneering disdain for experiences that marks the hipster, while the latter lends a hand-wringing quality. Both are the acts of uncertainty. This uncertainty isn't implicit in play of any kind, it is imposed upon us by market forces beyond our control. If a thing does not make you money, or train you in the acquisition of wealth, it is worthless. This is the shabby tragedy of our time. Play has its own value, and is not the purview of only the idle and the immature.

I grew up on role playing games. I still remember the first RPG I bought with my allowance monies- Night of the Walking Dead.
My budding interest in all things gross and ghoulish forced my hand-- the first movie I ever watched without my parents was A Nightmare on Elm Street 3, and it made an impression. The downside to this purchase was that the game was incomplete. I had no way of knowin…

This Tribe

I've never been a fan of conspiracy theories. To me they have the same simplicity that creationism has, the same need to reduce complicated events into bumper sticker meanings. The irony being that once you adhere to the simple doctrine, you have to perform mental acrobatics to make your worldview explain contradictory evidence. So while I hate simplistic explanations, I do love a good acrobat.

I'm thinking about this because I'm thinking about the comic, and I'm thinking about that because I'm finally able to think about that. A peculiar thing happens to your mind when there isn't any certainty in your future. Your horizon recedes to the next day, the next meal, the next dollar. Nothing matters past that point, because all points after that are contingent and ethereal. Its not the first time I've been in that state, and will likely not be the last, but this time around I accomplished something I'd hitherto failed.

I managed to find a group of f…

The Postage Stamp Renaissance

This is the story of how a postage stamp, a rocket scientist, and a blind bluesman brought an obscure musical tradition of outer Mongolia to the world.

I'm sitting in a Portland, Oregon rock club. It's situated right smack in the middle of the downtown meat market. To the right of me is Voodoo Donuts. Gutter punks spange outside, grabbing a few bucks from the drunks attracted to the scent of bacon and glazing. To the left of me is a flophouse, the human overflow sleeping in the streets outside it. On a normal night, the club caters to bored frat boys and enterprising bank tellers, everyone dressed in their cleanest polo shirts, Axe so thick it smells like a Thai ladyboy exploded.

Tonight it's different. The club is filled with drifting incense. People crowd the stage, sitting on the floor indian style, necks aching to see the white robed performers. Passers by wander in, hoping for the usual drunken party, and stand struck dumb. The sta…

BOO

Photo by Mandy McGee

Societas Insomnia

After hunting around the internet for a few minutes, I found a few pictures from my time performing for the Portland performing arts troupe Societas Insomnia. It was a deeply disorganized group, with dozens of performers dropping out and being replaced, sound and lighting issues, and big egos getting stepped on constantly. But man oh man, do I enjoy performing.





Re-Emergence

Five years ago I was prolific.
In the multiple moves I've done since then, amidst the stress and chaos of life for the past few years, my output and vociferousness has fallen somewhat. My attention span isn't what it used to be, my hands hurt after a few hours of typing (thanks to all the fractures), and while I'm loathe to admit it, the mental alacrity of youth has abandoned me somewhat. I've exchanged it with greater depth of thought, a more pragmatic approach to problems, but I miss the mad lurchings of my youthful ideas.

So I'm doing what anyone in my situation would do. Republishing my old work, sprucing it up, and letting it reinvigorate me. Its not nostalgia, my least favorite emotion, but a kind of vampiric time travel. I'm stealing my own ideas.

March 17, 2005
"So what do you believe? I mean, do you believe in God?"

He scratched the stubble on his chin. After a moment, he kneeled into the sand and drew two circles above an arc.

"What do …