Sunnyville Stories #15, Pages 3-4

Picking up from where we left off last time, here’s the complete second page to Sunnyville #15.

Sunnyville #15, Page 2

That’s the payoff from Rusty’s joke on the first page.   Continue reading

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Updates on Von Herling Kickstarter

I have a brief announcement to make.  You may have heard it on my Twitter earlier and the last two Kickstarter related posts have been updated accordingly.

The Von Herling Vampire Hunter Kickstarter originally slated for September of this year has been delayed.  It will be launched sometime next year.

My main priority is the Sunnyville Stories Volume 4 Kickstarter.  That will have a higher funding goal and I can’t afford to split up my efforts – it’s imperative I plan well and organize my followers to make sure that one succeeds.

While I am on the topic, the Sunnyville Volume 4 Kickstarter still remains on schedule for January 5, 2018.  Stay tuned here for more news.

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Announcing Kickstarter Rewards

Last week, I announced two Kickstarters.  Now I have the rewards worked out.

First, we’ll review the Von Herling, Vampire Hunter Kickstarter.  Our funding goal for this one is US$600.  Anyway here are the rewards I have worked out:

Anyone pledging US$1 will get my thanks.

Anyone pledging US$5 gets one free PDF copy of Von Herling, Vampire Hunter.

Anyone pledging US$15 gets both a free PDF of Von Herling and one print copy mailed out anywhere in the world.

And now for a limited reward – the first 10 people pledging US$25 will get a free PDF copy, a SIGNED & NUMBERED print copy mailed out anywhere in the world to them and you’ll get an extra reward – you’ll get some digital goodies in the form of 2 Von Herling wallpaper files!  And that’s going to be images NOT available anywhere else!

And I have one and ONLY ONE special reward tier – that will be a US$100 pledge.  If any one person pledges US$100, you get a free PDF copy, a free autographed print copy (made out to yourself or whoever you want like your spouse, your wacky next door neighbor, etc) plus you will receive not one but TWO pieces of original Von Herling artwork.  But wait – there’s more!  You or your character will appear in the next Von Herling story I am planning!  You can be a supporting character, a background character or even the vampire opponent in the story that Von Herling will face!  But remember there’s only one of these rewards available.

If those rewards haven’t got you psyched up, then these next ones will – I have worked out the rewards for the planned Sunnyville Stories Volume 4 Kickstarter!   Continue reading

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Fund the Lacey & Lily Kickstarter

Hello, friends.  Today I’m here to feature another Kickstarter and tomorrow I’ll be talking more about my own Kickstarter.  Anyway, this one looks fun.

This Kickstarter is to fund two full color issues of Lacey & Lily, an all-ages superhero comic.   Continue reading

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Announcing TWO Kickstarters!

Ladies and gentlemen, I have a big announcement to make.  I am planning to do not one but two Kickstarters in the coming months.

The first Kickstarter is a small-scale one in that it will be meant to raise funds in the hundreds.  It will be a Kickstarter for Von Herling, Vampire Hunter.

Von Herling, Vampire Hunter paperback cover

Now planned for sometime in spring or summer of 2018, this Kickstarter aims to raise about US$600 to fund a micro-run reprint of my graphic novel.  This reprint will be about 50 hard copies which will run about $283 with an estimated shipping to me of about $80.  Mailing supplies and mailing fees (one of the rewards WILL be hard copies of this micro-run reprint) are estimated to be at about $133.64.  All additional funds are meant to deal with any unforeseen costs as well as the processing fees charged by Kickstarter and their cut of said funds.  Stretch goals are planned too.  I will have further updates on rewards later.  Any information above is subject to change between now and the launch.   Continue reading

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Notes for June 24, 2017

Hello, Sunnyville fans.  Today’s blog post is more of a personal entry.

As it stands, 7 out of 34 pages to Sunnyville Stories #15 are completely finished.  The next couple of pages are still being penciled and lettered presently; work on that is going slowly.  Besides that, I’ve also been working my webcomic Tiffany & Corey.  While I’ve had some successes this year such as my successful Kickstarter and liquiding stock for money, I’ve had problems too as two conventions rejected my vendor applications.  This means my only other convention this year will be Valleycon.   Continue reading

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Sunnyville Stories #15, Pages 1-2

Hello, Sunnyville fans!  Before we get started, I’ve got a couple of announcements.

First, some bad news – I won’t be at Anime Fargo as my application for the artist alley was rejected.  However, I will be at Valleycon so I’ll keep you posted on that.

Second, I’ve signed up on Ko-Fi.  Ko-Fi is a sort of “tip” service where if you like someone’s work you can buy them a “Ko-Fi”, which is a monetary tip equivalent to a cup of coffee.  If you’re a Sunnyville fan, be sure to buy me a Ko-Fi today!

Last item before we move onto new business – I launched a webcomic last week which has its own blog.  It’s called Tiffany & Corey.  Be sure to check it out!   Continue reading

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Tiffany and Corey

I’m here tonight to talk to you about another work of mine.  It will be launching tomorrow.

I have created a webcomic series consisting of gag cartoons titled Tiffany & Corey.  Tiffany & Corey has its own blog but will be getting updates on Facebook (albeit to select people), Twitter, Google+ and Tumblr.

Tiffany & Corey is a gag series emphasizing humor above all.  Unlike Sunnyville Stories, there’s no ongoing storyline or saga so it’s easy to get into and you won’t have to worry about continuity.  Another difference from Sunnyville Stories is that title characters aren’t anthropomorphic animals…they’re human!  It’s also fair to warn you that while Sunnyville is more “general audiences”, Tiffany & Corey is a little more adult towards the “parental guidance suggested” spectrum.  There are jokes involving alcohol (Tiffany is implied to be  quite a drinker) as well as dark comedy.

The idea of doing gag cartoons isn’t new to me.  I tried doing gag cartoons when I first started learning to draw.  During my freelancer days in Greensboro, I even submitted gag cartoons to magazines without success.  Work on Tiffany & Corey began back in February.  I spent two months recording jokes and gags in a notebook.  I scoured joke books in the library, online joke websites, and old magazines like Reader’s Digest, Boys Life, etc. for source material.  I have about 600 jokes written down, enough material for at least a few years.

Tiffany & Corey will be updated twice a week, on Tuesdays and on Fridays, with black & white gag cartoons.  I have some color cartoons ready and will be sharing them too on the site.

I am under no illusion that this creation of mine will be a smash hit.  It may not be the next Peanuts, Garfield or Popeye.  It may not even be the next Lockhorns, Heathcliff, Dennis the Menace or B.C.  But at least I have faith in this work and plan to show what I’m really capable of.

So tomorrow morning on Tuesday, June 13, 2017 around 5:42 AM Central Standard Time, the first Tiffany & Corey gag cartoon will be posted to the above blog link.  A color cartoon will follow on Friday June 16.

And so make sure you tune in tomorrow morning.  Tomorrow on that fateful day, you will be taking a trip…an adventure, perhaps. You will meet two characters with whom you will travel with not only that day, but also in the future as well…

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Computers And Making Comics, Part 4

Ladies and gentlemen, we have reached the end of my look at the computer in making comics.

Be sure to read the previous entries.  You’ll have to check other sources to see how specifically draw on the computer.

One good source I recommend is ImagineFX magazine.  They have articles and tutorials on how to draw on the computer as well as handy art techniques.

There’s also two more books from DC Comics if you’re into the more mainstream superhero style of comics making.

One is The DC Comics Guide to Coloring and Lettering Comics by Mark Chiarello and Todd Klein.  It’s exactly what it says on the tin – it explains how to letter on the computer and how to color your comics digitally, also going over techniques, methods and pitfalls to avoid.

If you want to do EVERYTHING on the computer, you may want to read The DC Comics Guide to Digitally Drawing Comics by Freddie Williams II.  I have not read it myself as I work traditionally but it may be worth checking out.


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Computers and Making Comics, Part 3

I have talked about hardware when it comes to using computers to making comics.  What about software?

There’s many choices out there.  All drawing programs come down to two kinds – raster and vector.  Raster-based programs have images depicted as pixels.  Vector-based programs have images depicted as lines.  I cannot comment on which is better; it’s based on one’s own preference.

As for the software out there, those are many.  All programs out there are either vector or raster.  Photoshop from Adobe is arguably the most popular as it is considered an industry standard.  I use Photoshop 6.0 myself.  There’s also Photoshop Elements which is a cheaper and scaled down version of Photoshop.

Illustrator is another popular program.  If you like mimicking traditional media, Painter from Corel may be just what you need.  Like Photoshop Elements above, it comes in a scaled down version called Painter Essentials.

The list of drawing programs out there would be too long to list.  Some of the more well-known ones out there are OpenCanvas, SAI, Autodesk Sketchbook, and Manga Studio.

Unfortunately, these software programs I mentioned have the same issue as the hardware I discussed last time – cost.  Many of these are NOT cheap.  They will run for several hundred dollars or even into the thousands.  You might be able to save money by getting older versions of the software.

There are free drawing programs out there such as GIMP and Inkscape.  As I don’t use these myself, I can’t comment on how useful they are so you are on your own there.

Since drawing software represents a significant cost, it’s best to familiarize yourself with the program and really get to know how to work it.  A trip to your local library or bookstore should turn up several handy books on how to use these programs.  In fact, in the final part of the series, I’ll clue you into various resources for producing comics or digital art on computers.

Please sign up for the Sunnyville Stories mailing list if you haven’t yet.

Also, be sure to stop over to DriveThru Comics for digital copies of Sunnyville Stories.  Copies of Sunnyville Stories Volume 1 are still for sale on Amazon, both in print and Kindle formats!  While you’re there, be sure to pick up Sunnyville Stories Volume 2 and (if you love Gothic horror) Von Herling, Vampire Hunter!  And now available is the latest installment of the saga, Sunnyville Stories Volume 3.  Get them today!

Copies of all the above titles are available to the library trade via Brodart Company and to retailers from Ingram and Baker & Taylor (via BCH Distribution).  Copies are also available direct from the publisher.  For ordering information, contact maxwestart(at)gmail(dot)com or write to:

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


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