Wednesday, 1 January 2014

My 2014 Comic Resolutions and Plans

It's January the first, a brand new year, a clean slate, a chance to... oh, what the hell. Basically it's Wednesday and I have to remember to stop writing 2013 on things, but tradition has it that this is the time to make all sorts of promises to yourself and anyone willing to listen, many of which you'll never ever keep, but hey, why not?

So, in the spirit of tradition here are my new year's comic resolutions and plans for 2014

1) Don't miss any updates. - Okay, this is a pretty obvious one and also probably a bit of a tricky one. Commander Cottontail has updated every Monday and Thursday, and a few other days, since it launched. Even when the computer I use to create it was out of order it still updated. Okay, it was a guest comic, but it updated. Gilbert and the Grim Rabbit has a slightly more patchy history though. I'm going to try though. If my recent attempt at daily comics has taught me anything it's that I can produce more pages than I normally do and there's no reason I can't build up a buffer and then when I inevitably get ill again it shouldn't mean updates should stop. Shouldn't.

2) Put out two Gilbert and the Grim Rabbit books. - That's right. Two books in one year. One will be an expanded and improved version of the current chapter. The other will be an expanded and entirely redrawn version of the first chapter. Can I do it? Maybe, probably. I might not sleep properly for a couple of weeks here or there, but I think I can do it.

3) Update the Commander Cottontail blog with at least three out of four comic pages. - This one is less about getting more work out there and more about getting rid of the absolutely huge review pile that's slowly taking over the living room.

4) Replace the banners on the Gilbert and Grim website. - They're really out of date and the first thing people see when they go to the site. I really need to replace them.

5) Put out volumes one and two of Commander Cottontail. - I've already started tweaking and editing some of the first hundred pages for volume one and with the comic rapidly reaching page two hundred I should have both volumes one and two ready for download soon(ish).

6) Get a finished first draft for the post-apocalptic bunny comic done. - I'm working on the script for a post-apocalyptic bunny comic. It won't be drawn by me. No, I'm not telling you any more than that.

7) Complete at least one bit of pixel art every week. - I really want to do a pixel comic one day. I haven't exactly decided what it's going to be, but I do want to do one, so I'd better get some practice in.

8) Update the character profiles on - Seriously, they're as out of date as the banners.

9) Experiment with software more. - I have image edited software and 3D modelling software that I've barely ever used and I really, really want to fix that. I also have a tablet that I've barely used, so this year I need to spend a lot more time learning how to get the most out of the things.

And that's it. Those are my comic related resolutions and plans for the year ahead. How many of them will I manage? Who knows, but I'm going to do my best. Promise.

Not entirely broke after Christmas? How about a couple of comic anthologies at five dollars each?

Every now and then I trawl through the comic category on Kickstarter looking for cool looking comic projects with cheap digital tiers as a way of checking out new stuff I'd otherwise never have heard of. 

Of course anthologies are even better for this kind of thing because, well, you're getting up to a couple of dozen new things for the price of a cup of tea and a sandwich and how great is that?

There are three that caught my attention this time round.

First up, because it's finishing soonest, is Webcomic Underdogs: The Anthology, an anthology run by the people behind Webcomic Underdogs.

Five dollars will get you a 36 page digital collection from the creators of nine different webcomics, including Princess Chroma, which contains a talking bunny, because talking bunnies are awesome. Upgrade to eight dollars and if you're in the US you can get a print copy, thirteen if you're outside the US, because postage firms like to charge extra for shipping stuff internationally. Greedy gits.

Anyway, it's a neat looking project and five dollars isn't much, so go have a look at that one, check out some of the comics involved and maybe chuck them a bit of money.

Second is sci-fi anthology Imaginary Drugs, which features even more talking bunnies, though with a bit of a darker twist this time.

One single dollar will get you the PDF of one single story and five dollars will get you the full thing. With the stretch goals included (It's currently at just under double its original funding goal) that's over 60 pages of comics, which isn't bad at all.

Lastly there's Cautionary Fables and Fairy Tales: Africa Edition, a 200 page black and white collection of 16 African folktales, illustrated by 16 different artists.

As with the other two five dollars will get you the entire thing in digital format and looking at who's on board that is an absolute bargain even if there's no mention of any talking bunnies.

Twenty dollars will get you the print version and forty will get you the print versions of both this and the original Cautionary Fables and Fairy Tales, which is all about the European folktales.

All of these anthologies have between three and ten days left on them, so go and check them out whilst you've still got the chance to get them at this stupidly low price.