Announcing Dominic and Claire Circus on Kickstarter 2020!

Dominic & Claire Circus Teaser

Today, I would like to announce my next Kickstarter project. It is titled “Dominic & Claire Circus”.

Like Dominic & Claire Fun-Size, this will be a digest size comic book. The Kickstarter will launch on Wednesday, January 29, 2020 and will run for about 30 days. The goal this time will be US$1000.

There is a reason for this higher goal this time. If I can raise $800 on my previous one, I can raise a little extra for the next one. While the planned print run is 500 copies, I may do a slight overrun leading to a final printing of anywhere from 520 to 575 copies.

On top of that, the page count will be higher as there will be 24 interior pages and the covers will use a higher quality paper this time. I may be getting a barcode too as I look for micro-distribution this time in a comics shop; that will serve as a stepping stone to get my comics into comic book shops in the future through a distributor.

I will have updates in the future here as I need to work out details, especially for planned rewards. Check back here later for more updates.

Be sure to subscribe to my mailing list if you didn’t yet. And get ready for Dominic & Claire Circus in 2020!

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Toys Expo December 2019 Report

Well, the December 7 Toys Expo in Moorhead Center Mall has come and gone.

Early setting up

There wasn’t that much traffic in the mall today. I am guessing it was because of a local football game (the North Dakota State University Bison were playing). But I did get some customers.

My comics table

I have cut prices on the three Sunnyville trade paperbacks. This fits into my plan; from now until the end of 2020, I plan to liquidate all my existing Sunnyville trade paperbacks. Sometime in 2021 or 2022, it is my aim to crowdfund a brand new version of the Sunnyville books collecting individual comics of mine.

Speaking of crowdfunding, this event has ended and is my final one of the year. From here on, it’s Kickstarter work. But that’s for tomorrow.

That’s it for now. Subscribe to my mailing list today!

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My Picture Book Master Plan

Today, I have something major to talk about. As some of you know, I’ve talked about wanting to illustrate picture books for children. My background in comics makes me PERFECT for this. How so? I draw in a funny style and my style communicates instantly on the page. Those are must-have skills to draw any kind of books for children.

The creation I’ve devised are two red foxes, Hilda and Richie. The concept is that Hilda is a wealthy blue blood living in a far away country in a mansion with Richie, a fox pup and legally adopted by Hilda. I have notes for about three stories with them including a picture book “dummy” (that means a rough draft in picture book jargon). These two characters are a part of the Sunnyville Stories universe. (Eagle eyed readers may have seen them as background characters in a few of my comics.) In fact, I am already planning a comic where Hilda and Richie visit Sunnyville, meeting Rusty and friends. I’ll talk about that later.

What I am planning is something ambitious, something that will require every ounce of skill I have, every bit of effort and lots of careful preparation.

In early 2021, it is my goal to crowdfund a picture book written and illustrated by myself with the aforementioned characters; this would be used to print and publish said work.

I know what some of you are thinking, especially those of you out there critical of my work (you know who you are). You think it is difficult or even outright impossible. There is some risk involved. Even though I’ve had success crowdfunding comic books on Kickstarter, crowdfunding literature of any kind is a challenge. Self-published books of any kind are still looked down upon. The funds that would be required to print up a picture book would be significantly higher. If I were to do this by the seat of my pants in a week or two, failure is guaranteed.

But I’m not doing that. To increase my chance of successfully funding and producing my picture book(s), I have spent some time working out a “master plan”.

The first phase of my master plan is now underway. It was initiated on Thanksgiving Day on November 28, 2019 and will go through the end of January 2020. I have to prepare for the enormous task at hand. I will be refining the characters of Hilda & Richie, developing their setting and also compose story ideas. The publishing industry in general must be researched and understood. What’s more is that I have to understand the niche that is children’s picture books. To that end, I was able to get a book that covers picture books in depth: Writing Children’s Books For Dummies, Second Edition from Wiley Publishing. As the time of this writing, I am reading the book and increasing my chances of success by learning some things I didn’t previously know.

The second phase of my plan will launch in February 2020 and will run through the end of the year. Elements of that phase are building more connections and cultivating fans. Running Kickstarters then (I have at least two and perhaps a third planned) is part of this phase as well. To succeed with raising a bigger amount of funding will require me to understand Kickstarter and the method of getting successfully funded. I must understand this more; lucky for me, I have resources to help. During this phase, outside help is going to be consulted in helping my manuscript improve. You don’t work in comics like I do without meeting all kinds of important people; during this time, I’ve made connections with freelance writers and authors. These people know editors and book doctors. I will be enlisting the services of said individuals to make sure the picture book is of excellent quality.

The third phase of my plan will take place in June 2020 and runs through the end of the year. That will be when I publicly declare the Kickstarter to fund the Hilda & Richie picture book. In addition, the details such as the funding, rewards and timeframe will be developed. To help promote the characters and build up interest for the Kickstarter, I am plotting a crossover with Sunnyville. Sometime in the late spring or early summer, there will be a Kickstarter with a small funding goal; it will be to print a minicomic or produce a digital only comic where Hilda & Richie visit Sunnyville, meeting Rusty and friends. This would help to promote the upcoming Kickstarter for the picture book plus to establish Hilda & Richie as part of the Sunnyville canon.

The fourth and final phase of my master plan is set for January 2020. That will be…the actual Kickstarter itself for the Hilda & Richie picture book. If all goes according to plan, then the Kickstarter will succeed and I can enter the picture book market!

That is my master plan. It is already underway. It is a big challenge but one I am up to.

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Sunnyville Hiatus and What’s Next

It’s been a month since I’ve last updated. As some of you know, I’ve just wrapped up my Kickstarter for Dominic & Claire Fun-Size. Another Kickstarter starring these Sunnyville spin-off characters is set for a late January 2020 release; the title is Dominic & Claire Circus. I will release more news on that later.

Just yesterday on Friday November 29, my webcomic Tiffany & Corey officially ended. I am planning another webcomic for early 2020. There will be more news on that too soon enough.

Besides Kickstarter, I am assembling an ambitious plan to produce and crowdfund a picture book in 2021. This will star Hilda & Richie, a pair of red foxes; tomorrow, that plan will be made public.

This now leads me to some bad news and that is concerning Sunnyville Stories itself. First, the comic book series is hereby going on hiatus. When Sunnyville #18 will start production – that is something I don’t know as my other Kickstarter work and my picture book plans are taking precedence. Personally speaking, I will have been working on Sunnyville Stories for ten years. I am wondering if I still have anything to say with Rusty, Sam and the Sunnyville crew. That is something I have to think over. While I am questioning the future of Sunnyville, I rather would not abandon my creation.

The second decision I arrived at? I am taking the three Sunnyville Stories trade paperbacks (volumes 1, 2 and 3) out of circulation. They will remain on Amazon Kindle for the forseeable future and I still have stock on hand. Once I sell off those copies, the books will NO LONGER be available. To be honest, I am wanting to do new books collecting the Sunnyville comics, either in the standard comic book size or digest size; I am even debating going back to redraw or at least retouch certain parts! Once I master crowdfunding, this will be a reality. But that won’t be for a while.

Since Dominic & Claire and my Hilda picture books are part of the Sunnyville universe, I will not be abandoning my work. I will be building on it. In fact, one of the Kickstarters I am planning for 2020 is a crossover which Hilda & Richie making a brief trip to Sunnyville.

Stay tuned here for more news and sign up for my mailing list too!

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Valleycon 2019 Wrapped and The Next Events

Valleycon 2019 has come and gone. So how did it go?

It went okay. I sold off some of my comics, including Dominic & Claire, but didn’t sell as many as I had hoped. Already though, plans are in motion for my next events.

One more event is on my schedule for this year – the Toys Collectibles & Curiosities Exposition. It will be held on December 7, 2019 in the Moorhead Center Mall of Moorhead, Minnesota. It is a one day event and is FREE to the public. There will be vendors there selling all kinds of neat stuff and I will be there too!

Both copies of Dominic & Claire Fun-Size and the Funnies will be for sale plus I will have Sunnyville comics.

I am also going to see about making mini-comics to sell along with my other work; these are like the ones I did for Rusty & Sam #1 and Sunnyville Stories #0.

Be sure to look for me at the Toys Expo on Saturday, December 7!

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Valleycon 2019 Day 3

The last day of Valleycon was not as lively as yesterday but it still went briskly.

Different Mousetrap Press table at Valleycon 2019

I had the mystery packs available and more prominently displayed. It worked as I sold a few of them!

Early Sunday set-up

Besides more sales, I also made some valuable contacts. I have a lead on getting a logo designed for Dominic & Claire’s comics and a source of a tabletop banner.

So how about some more photos?

It was quite an event!

I will have a final write-up tomorrow and what is next for me.

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Valleycon 2019 Day 2

Saturday is usually the busiest day of the three day event known as Valleycon.

My Valleycon 2019 display

This was my setup at Valleycon 2019. See those promotional placards for Sunnyville Stories and Tiffany & Corey? Those are going to be retired from service after this convention; I plan to have some banners made to use at my table. I am leaning towards these special portable tabletop banners that are small enough to fit on my table yet draw attention. But that is a whole other post.

I sold some more of my comics, including a mystery pack! The event was indeed jumping with activity.

There were plenty of merchandise for sale. There was one table even selling lots of candy!

That looked good but I avoided that as I don’t need all those calories.

We have one more day left. I will be reporting on that tomorrow plus a final convention report.

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Valleycon 2019 Day 1

Welcome back, friends. As I type this, I am completely wiped out. I have been up since the early hours of this morning, Friday, October 18, 2019, getting ready for my first event since that last toy expo back in March.

Sunnyville and Dominic & Claire comics for sale at Valleycon

I had my usual Sunnyville comics plus copies of the Dominic & Claire Funnies. The Kickstarter funded Dominic & Claire Fun-Size has not yet gone to press so I was not able to sell it there.

Mystery Packets

Also for sale were “mystery packets”. These contain a number of comics such as Sunnyville, Dominic & Claire and some of my leftover stock.

Anyway, the convention got off to a brisk start. I had a few sales but I hope to move a lot of merchandise tomorrow on Saturday, the busiest day. I am also in contact with some sources about getting a banner for use at future conventions but that is a whole other discussion. There was a lot being sold in the dealer room.

Yes, there was a vendor nearby selling weapons.

There will be more photos and news tomorrow! Stay tuned.

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The Kickstarter for January 2020

As this blog post goes live, I am busy finishing Dominic & Claire Fun-Size. It is on track to be finished this weekend and to get sent to press next weekend around the time the Kickstarter funds clear.

Once this is finished, I have more priorities. One is to wrap up my webcomic Tiffany & Corey, ending on Friday, November 29, and then to move onto Poison Ivy Gulch, an Old West comic that will launch online starting Wednesday, January 8, 2020. But that’s not the focus of this post.

In late January 2020, I will be launching ANOTHER Kickstarter for funding more Dominic & Claire comics.

Dominic and Claire 2020 teaser

I have yet to decide on a title (at the time of this writing, it will either be “Dominic & Claire Parade” or “Dominic & Claire Circus”). But I have three specific goals in mind about this Kickstarter.

The first goal is to get a bigger print run this time. The original run of Dominic & Claire Fun-Size is about 500 copies. This next comic will be at least 1,000 copies (the size of the run for the Dominic & Claire Funnies)…but it may go as high as 2,000 or even 2,500!

The second goal is to garner a bigger sum of money this time. As the bigger print run will require more money than before, the money goal of this January 2020 Kickstarter may be at least double the Fun-Size Kickstarter.

The third goal is a bold one – I want to get Dominic & Claire comics into the direct market. Yes, that means getting into comic book shops. That is a bold one as it will require a lot more work than the crowdfunding effort itself. But a plan is being concocted.

I know. It’s a lot to swallow and it is not an easy task. But it is one I feel up to.

Watch here for more news. And don’t forget to subscribe to my email list!

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Dominic and Claire Kickstarter Ends; What Next?

It has ended. Last night, the Dominic & Claire Fun-Size Kickstarter came to an end.

We made our goal! Actually, we exceeded the goal – we made a final total of $854!

So what is going to happen next? Well, obviously, I will wait for the funds to clear, finish the comic, get it printed and mail out the rewards…but that is NOT what this blog post is about. It is about the future of me, my comics and the possibilities of Kickstarter.

I’ve since dubbed Dominic & Claire Fun-Size as “the little Kickstarter that could”. I had some internal doubts after launching and especially when I got stuck at a few points without getting pledges for awhile. The goal I set was $800; many consider that easy and even to be pennies compared to the thousands or tens of thousands others seek to raise. But I came through in the end.

Already for 2020, I am planning more Kickstarters; there will be two at least and possibly even three. They will be for Dominic & Claire along with the new webcomic I am planning in 2020, Poison Ivy Gulch.

I not only succeeded with this Kickstarter but I raised a bigger amount than before. This proves I have the potential to raise more funding on the Kickstarter platform; I can fund more comics and possibly other items like graphic novels, trade paperbacks and much more. I chose the $800 amount as it was a test; if I could meet or beat that threshold, then crowdfunding in the thousands could be done!

A mini-series of Dominic & Claire comics will be done in 2020; it will either be two issues or three issues long. I haven’t made decisions on that or even a final title. I will work that out later.

I am unsure about the future of Sunnyville Stories itself either as I am working to generate income through crowdfunding and selling comics. That will be addressed another day once I give that more thought.

Stay tuned and make sure you subscribe to my mailing list for more news. I have more in store for Rusty and Dominic!

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