April 2015 Potpourri

Yes, another potpourri blog post today.

First, as a reminder, Cerebus the Aardvark is being posted up on Tumblr to read for free.  Go check it out if you haven’t already.

I reported recently that I’m working on a small 5.5 x 7.75 inch comic titled “Free Sunnyville”.  As of last night, the comic was finished and put to bed.  Once the proof copy arrives and I check it over, a few hundred copies are going to be printed up.  The comic will give a basic overview of Sunnyville Stories and have some panels in there as samples along with contact and ordering information.  I plan to send these out to some of my vendors to distribute as well as to libraries and the media.  These will given out to potential customers as it will be a good way to promote the series.   Continue reading

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Cerebus Online

Some of you here have heard me talk about Dave Sim’s groundbreaking creation Cerebus the Aardvark on this blog.  I’ve even had Cerebus cameo in Sunnyville and in the near future, I want to upgrade him to “special guest star” status.

Cerebus the Aardvark #1 Cover

Cerebus the Aardvark was a monthly comic book series from Canada that ran for 300 issues from 1977 to 2004.  Early on, the series was a parody of sword & sorcery works like “Conan the Barbarian.  As time marched on, it turned more serious.  Dave Sim really pushed the limits of art and writing in the world of comics while also exploring themes like politics, religion, male-female relations and existentialism.

These comics were eventually collected into sixteen thick trade paperbacks.  I own the first four volumes right now and plan to reread them once I finish reading Reid Fleming, World’s Toughest Milkman.  This series is really one-of-a-kind and inspired a whole generation of creative geniuses out there.  I’ve been using polyptychs myself like those found on the pages of Cerebus.

Cerebus #2 page by Dave Sim

Cerebus #2 page by Dave Sim

Are you intrigued by Dave Sim’s comics masterpiece?  You can find the trade paperbacks at your friendly neighborhood comic book shop, your corner bookstore or your local library.

But what’s that?  You can’t get Cerebus there.  Well, you’re in luck and now we get to the point of this blog post.  The entire saga of Cerebus is being put online FOR FREE one page at a time via the social media platform Tumblr.  Check out Cerebus Online to read it!  At the time of this writing (April 23, 2015), we are only up to somewhere in Cerebus #3.  It will probably take a good twenty years for the series to be posted in its entirety.

So what are you waiting for?  Go read Cerebus today!

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Pencils and Lettering Sunnyville Number 12

Work is continuing on the pencils for Sunnyville Stories #12.  I need to make up for lost time.  Progress has been made and the pencils for the comic should be done this weekend.

My visit to New York took away from my working time and there’s also the work on Sunnyville Stories Volume 3, still on schedule for its January 15, 2016 release date.  On top of that, I still need to work on promoting and marketing the series.  Anyway, the story runs for 33 pages and I’m up to page 20 at the time of this writing on the pencils.   Continue reading

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Convention Schedule and Free Sunnyville

Two brief announcements need to be shared today.  The first is my preliminary convention schedule.  After attending Fargo-Moorhead Comic Con, I need to really work the convention circuit to network with other local talent and do what I can to promote Sunnyville Stories.  Two more conventions are scheduled this year at the same location as the previous event I mentioned, the Baymont Inn & Suites in the vicinity of West Acres Mall.

The first is less than two months away and is called Fargo Corecon.  Scheduled for June 11th through June 14th, I plan to attend there for at least one day.  This is more of a science fiction, fantasy, horror and anime convention than a straight-up comics convention.  Nevertheless, I will be there with my business cards and another promotional item (more on that in a minute).

The second is AnimeFargo, which is schedule for September 18-20, 2015.  I’ll have more news about these and other events as time goes by so stay tuned to the blog.   Continue reading

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Sunnyville No. 12 Rough Pages

I have some rough pages of Sunnyville Stories #12 to share today.  Let’s take a look, shall we?

Sunnyville #12 Rough Inks Page 1

These are the rough inked lines for the first page.   Continue reading

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Sunnyville New York Tour 2015 Day 5

Today is the final day of the Sunnyville New York Tour 2015.  Tomorrow, I fly back to Fargo, North Dakota.

What a week.  It was a productive time for me because I was able to recharge my creative batteries.  I assigned the ISBN to Sunnyville Stories Volume 3 and really got thinking about what I want to do with Sunnyville.  I feel very challenged to make it even better.  There’ll be more life drawing sessions that I’ll attend and practice with the pen is on the agenda too.  I’m going to need to pull out my copy of First Steps: Drawing In Pen & Ink by Claudia Nice (I may need to do a review of that book in the future).

Much of today was spent more with my family though I was in contact with my vendors and constantly checking up for any new developments for Sunnyville such as purchase orders, new reviews, more libraries adding the books or any potential movie deals (hey, it could happen).

So what is next?  Once I return, I need to secure the Library of Congress Control Number for Sunnyville Volume 3 and I also want to assign volume 4 its ISBN too.  I also want to kick Sunnyville Stories #12 into high gear as that really needs to be done if the anticipated release date for the fourth volume is to be made.

Sunnyville Stories Volume 4 is scheduled for a release on August 8, 2017.

I still remain on the fence about whether I should hire help for Sunnyville Stories.  After seeing what Gerhard has done for Cerebus the Aardvark, it has occurred to me that I could use someone to draw the backgrounds for Sunnyville.  I have yet to make a final decision though regarding that.

That’s all from the Empire State.  See all of you back in the Peace Garden State.

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Sunnyville New York Tour 2015 Day 4

Yesterday marked my visit to Ridgewood, a neighborhood in Queens, New York where I grew up.  This area was important to the development of Sunnyville Stories.

Traffic Avenue, Ridgewood, Queens

Traffic Avenue, Ridgewood, Queens

This stretch of road right by my former home is Traffic Avenue.  My own former home was situated right by here.  Traffic Avenue lived up to its name; factories here sent out trucks throughout the week, occasionally causing damage to our property.   Continue reading

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Sunnyville New York Tour 2015 Day 3

Sunday was quite a productive day.  There are some announcements to make in regards to future Sunnyville developments.

The first announcement is in regard to Sunnyville Stories Volume 3.  An ISBN number has been assigned to the book.  The 13 digit ISBN is 9780989069625 and the 10 digit ISBN is 0989069621.  As I’ve emphasized before, the ISBN is needed to get into any library or retail bookstore.  The cover for Sunnyville Stories Volume 3 remains the same as the solicitation cover.  My painting “Strangers in the Night” will be used as the cover image.  I also may have art on the back cover.

The next announcement is in regards to Sunnyville Stories Volume 4.  An ISBN will be assigned to that later on today and I do have a tentative release date.  At the time of this writing, the fourth volume is schedule for a release on August 8, 2017.  That is an optimistic date and I believe that it can be done.  You’ll be kept posted on more news as it develops.

I’ve also been in conference with some of my vendors and they are eager to carry Sunnyville Stories Volumes 3 and 4.  Thought has been given to what Jon Gorga had been telling me about hiring help to work on my own comics.  I recall that Gerhard did the backgrounds on Cerebus which allowed Dave Sim to focus on the figures on the page.  That might be an arrangement that can work to my advantage.

There’ll be another update later on today.  Sunnyville Stories Vol. 1 (ISBN 9780615653921) is still for sale on Amazon. Copies of Sunnyville Stories Volume 2 and Von Herling, Vampire Hunter are for sale right now at Great Stories. Check out Direct Textbook too for more details on my books!  And if you have an Amazon Kindle, get Sunnyville Stories Volume 1, Sunnyville Stories Volume 2 and Von Herling, Vampire Hunter for it today!

Comments? Questions? Fan letters? Interested in ordering books? You can write to:

Different Mousetrap Press LLC, 1100 19th Avenue N, #108, Unit J, Fargo ND 58102-2269

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Inking and Publicity

During the Sunnyville New York Tour, I chatted with Jon Gorga of Carmine Street Comics.  Having created photocomics and being full of ideas, we chatted for awhile at his shop (be sure to swing by there as they sell Sunnyville Stories).

From both of my visits, I came away with a lot of food for thought.  Jon had suggested that I should post up the individual episodes of Sunnyville Stories online, such as here or on my DeviantArt page.   Continue reading

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Sunnyville New York Tour 2015 Day 2

On the second day of my New York trip, I headed back into Manhattan.  I passed by my alma mater, Baruch College, where I got my creative writing degree in 2003.

Baruch College on 23rd Street and Lexington Avenue

Baruch College on 23rd Street and Lexington Avenue

Prior to heading back to Carmine Street Comics, my first thoughts were lunch so I headed to an old haunt of mine.   Continue reading

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