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I'm Kickstarting Volume 2 of Next Town Over!

This collects chapters 5-8 of my creator-owned frontier fantasy into a totally awesome foil-stamped softcover or slipcased, clothbound limited hardcover! Back it, share it, and help me out!

Mock Books by squidbunny
My friends and are are doing this inclusive, genre-bending frontier fantasy anthology. I wanted to offer them fair page rates, a rarity in anthologies. The KS needs $2200 to succeed. Please, please please consider backing (there are LOADS of tiers); if you can't back it, or if it's not your thing, please consider sharing it or participating in our 11th hour Thunderclap, to get it a shot of exposure at the finish line, when it'll need it most.

Thanks so much!
Check it out!

If you can't back it, at least signal boost it: this gets not only me but 5 of my friends paid!
Folks, an unassuming Kickstarter campaign has begun. If you can't help out with a donation, I'd be much obliged if you could pass the word along.

I feel really strange and lazy putting up a KS campaign with no video given the degree to which the importance of KS videos has been touted but my video editing skills and setup are meh at best and while I realize that's not the important bit, I'm severely strapped for time currently and just couldn't wedge it in. Simultaneously I thought it was important to at least try to get the book moving forward at least financially while I'm mostly treading water for other reasons. Worst case scenario: we don't make the funding goal and I try again later. We'll get it done eventually, but hey, why not this time?
Hell's Corners: Douchebags Never Die is here and it looks great. If you were an HC fan back in the day and never bought any of the print editions, now's the time: the 158 page collection is loaded with self-important commentary and extras. You owe it to yourself (and to me, you cheapsmack) to buy it at IndyPlanet. Your generous spending is hugely supportive of ever revisiting HC, and of keeping Next Town Over going.
  • Listening to: Triggernometry
If it somehow escaped your notice, there's nothing temporary about the Next Town Over site anymore.

I started posting it over there for the hell of it while proposals were still filtering amongst publishers. I got one bite: an offer to draw it as a webcomic pretty much as I am now, except they needed twice weekly and I'd be paid $150ish per page to draw it. This sounds pretty sweet on its face, I realize, but the catch was I'd be giving up 50% ownership of the IP. Even though I'd very much like for comics to become the lion's share of my income, no amount of chewing quite got me comfy with swallowing that, and most of my friends who also happen to be creative types ultimately agreed.

Big ups to tojisuzuhara and Spectre-x for helping pimp the new site; I can start returning the favor for tojisuzuhara at least, by advising you keep an eye on the new Alpha Flag site. Exciting times.
  • Listening to: Alec Baldwin telling me not to pledge
Next Town Over has a temporary home.  I'm not sure why; I just wanted to stick it somewhere, I guess, while it makes the rejection rounds. I'm planning on revealing content every week. Like a dumb, unrewarding advent calendar.

Unrelated, I just read "euphoric" in the mood selector as "eutrophic," which compelled me to pick a green one.
  • Listening to: Neko Case
  • Reading: System of the World
  • Eating: crow
I no longer have a day job! This means I have far more time and far less money.  I am convinced we can make this mutually beneficial and as such I am offering myself up for commission work again, ranging from sketches to inks to finished, full-color pieces and paintings in the style of your choosing (I would appreciate it if you chose one of mine).  Rates negotiable, anything considered except fanart of recognizeable, licensed characters.  Beyond being illegal here, profiting from other creators' work makes me feel ethically gross.  This does not extend to original characters based on popular RP mythoses (mythes? mythoi?) (i.e. D&D, SW, WoW, etc..) -- I have no problem drawing those. Everyone else is, anyway, and that's justification for anything.

Note me if interested with a vague idea of what you want and, if you so choose, what your budget is, and I'll let you know what I can do.

... cue 10 comments saying "bro I'd totally commission you if I had any $$$!!!!!1"
  • Listening to: Electric Six
  • Reading: The Name of the Wind
  • Playing: FFXIII
  • Eating: crow
After some discussion, Hell's Corners is resurrected a putrefying husk.
  • Listening to: the Hymn of the Fans
  • Reading: Confusion (yes, still)
  • Playing: Demon's Souls
Guilt because, again, I was not a part of 24HCD, which I used to consider my only real religious observance, and guilt about the uncontinued Hell's Corners, brought on by the greatest pumpkin of all time:

:thumb139214372:
  • Listening to: The Beatles
  • Reading: Confusion
  • Playing: LBP
... makes its hilariously belated debut over at IndyPlanet.

Nich Maragos of GIA, 1up & Atlus fame wrote this about 1000 years ago, and over the course of the following couple of centuries I illustrated it in my free time.  Then, for the intervening 800ish years it moldered on my hard drive.  Now, you can own our exercise in nostalgia for $2.99.

^5.
  • Listening to: The Manic Street Preachers
  • Reading: Box Office Poison
  • Playing: The Maw
Holy hell.  

Appreciate the DD, dA!  The flood of messages was a pleasant surprise, but I'm high as a kite on Vicodin from the removal of all my hideous impacted wisdom teeth, so I hope I can be forgiven for not responding to all the comments, faves, watches, etc..

You made my day, though.  Much obliged.
  • Listening to: Flight of the Conchords
  • Reading: Exterminators
  • Playing: Castle Crashers
  • Eating: Narcotics
Per the Turbo Lover description, Summer of Love '08 is over and I am back at work and missing Spectre-x. I'm also hurting for monies and have more or less stopped drawing in the past few months.

So, I'm figuring I can kill or at least maim two birds and try taking on some commissions.

I'm thinking in the vicinity of $10-15 for sketches, $20-25 for inks, and $50ish for full color, depending on complexity, obviously.  Drop me a note or Email me at erin at squidbunnies dot com if you're interested and I'll give you a less nebulous quote.
So people are yelling at me because I guess I haven't updated anything in ... a whole bunch of months, and I figure this is probably inclusive of my dA journal.  I haven't been posting anywhere for lack of stuff happening so much as lack of non-personal, art-stuff happening.

All the things I was working on have sort of ground to a halt in the face of work and the other personal, non-art stuff going down: Hell's Corners' indefinite hiatus is starting to look reasonably permanent, Next Town Over is still untouched, and the secret project I never really talked about too much, presumably because it was a secret, got sort of backburnered.  I even left War For Arcadia, although that isn't keeping me from drawing battle comics nearly as much as SPI is (chuckle guffaw in-joke).

But! I recently resurrected Squidbunnies.com, dumping the old site in favor of a simple little WordPress rig as I was never fond of the old-school code-wrangling I was doing before, anyhow.  Pending me having time I'll be adding a site for Punch-Boy and Kick-Girl, the webcomic I'm supposed to be doing with Spectre-x.

Reaching back a bit further, I did the first of GameSetApparel's Games That Never Were T-shirts, only to have the honor of being immediately shown up by none other than James Kochalka.  So that was pretty rad.

It's kind of not my style, but I was contemplating possibly accepting some commissions; I figure it'd keep me drawing, at least, which I'm not really doing near enough of lately. What do you kids think?
  • Listening to: The New Pornographers - Myriad Harbour
  • Reading: Phonogram
HAY U GUYZ.  Go to ComiXpress and buy HC Canto IV and while you're there pick up Ray vs. Tanzt -- all proceeds from the latter go straight to Child's Play.
Seems like everyone's pretty much wondering the same things.

A) What the fuck is up with Hell's Corners?

B) Since you're clearly not working on that, what ARE you doing?

C) What the Christ is all this vaguely Western shit you're apparently fixating on?

D) Can I have my money back?

The answers:

A) On hold, like I feared all those months back when I exploded into a finely atomized emo.  I'm having to finish a lot of shit I got myself involved with before heading back to school, and it's meant neglecting HC, and I have in turn somehow lost interest in it further.   It fills me with pretty colossal guilt, since people responded with an astonishing show of verbal and financial support back then, but I'm not sure what to do.  If I was interested in the comic I'd find a way to squeeze working on it in -- God knows I manage to find the time to doodle all this vaguely Western shit -- but since I'm not it gets forgotten.  Free time gets allotted elsewhere; HC long ago became work and on top of all this other comics-related stuff I'm doing it's doubly so.  Hope my cyclical interests eventually come back around to HC and I get over my dissatisfaction with the thing so I start staying up late working on it.  I dunno.  Tough it out.  

B) 4000 years later, Dear Stabby #1 is almost done.  This poor book has gotten sidelined and backburnered for a year; more than anything else I'm working on it deserves to be finished and soon it will be.  Concurrently I'm putting together a little something for print related to the PA:AC BT, and hatching a plot that has nothing to do with the BT but is a collaboration with another combatant.  I also keep leaving -- I need and deserve vacation time less than any other being on the planet but I visited with a friend out of state two weeks out of last month and the end of this month I'm off again, on a pilgrimage to South Dakota.  Consider it one last hurrah before going back to school for the third fucking time and moving out of the apartment and into a goddamn mortgage.  Man, I bitch and moan an awful lot but the fact is my life is pretty sweet.  The only thing I think I'd change at the moment is I wish I had the time/freedom to work fulltime on:

C) this vaguely Western shit.  I'm really ate up over Next Town Over.  It's been a long time since I felt this way about a project or idea.  I'm dying to do something with this, and I kind of feel like it could be The One.  That sounds stupid but I don't quite know how to qualify it; I don't want to spoil the whole thing but assuming I don't fuck it up or lose interest I think I've really got something here.  Steampunk westerns and spellslingers aren't exactly new and different, I know, but the way the threads are coming together in my head here is pretty special.  I've wanted to do a Western since I was like 15; I still have old pseudo-manga-style (hey, it was the 90s, okay?) sketches of She Who Would be Vane and He Who Would be Hunter.  

D) No.
  • Listening to: Ennio Morricone
squidbunny says:
... you think addressing the HC readership as "you little bastard" was a faux pas?

Jason says:
Not at all, they can handle it.

Jason says:
DON'T CODDLE THEM.

squidbunny says:
inorite

Jason says:
I say you put up a clip of yourself pounding someone's face in, ala Shawn in V2 ep4, with the syrup, and tell them to donate if they don't want that to happen to them.

Jason says:
Hell, I'll film it for you.

Jason says:
Maybe you'll even pull your hand back, stuck in a brain, and go "UGH!" and then it cuts.
[cross-posted all over the damn place]

First of all, Canto IV off to ComiXpress. I'm waiting on the TPB; once I have the first four printed and in hand I'm gonna try and convince SLG to put the collection out. I sort of feel like it might be an easier sell. I dunno. Vado said Canto I v1.0 was a "close call;" the improved version followed by 3 books of actual things happening sounds like a decent bet.

... so today I was talking to Jason (I'm usually talking to Jason, amirite?) and it came up that instead of crying about numbers I should make a more direct appeal to HC readers. So here goes.

Much as I appreciate your Emails of support, I would really love it if instead of Emailing me you Emailed that one kind of goofy friend you have that buys obscure books at SPX and APE and/or reads stupid webcomics until they catch on and then they pan them because they're introlerably mainstream. Email that guy with a link to Hell's Corners.

Or, maybe, if you are that guy, then go to whatever weirdo forum community you troll on and tell people "hay omg look at this." And then when you're done there, vote for Hell's Corners with the convenient buttons on the Latest page. If you have 30 seconds maybe even write a review saying "this moves really slow and she never fucking updates but generally this is a cool comic."

If you have money to burn buy the comic at ComiXpress. $4.75 might seem pricey but the $4.75 books are full color and full color is expensive for Micky Mouse operations like myself and our mutual friend ComiXpress. While you're over there review it; a sentence will do. If you're too broke to shell out for something you've already read (which you've all indicated you are) then consider making a PayPal donation. Donate a frigging dollar. Seriously, a dollar isn't all that much, is it? But it'd be a super help. And you can be an asshole and donate, like 99 cents. Just to stick it to the man.

Now you're probably thinking, Jesus Christ, way to be a jerk, Erin, and ask for something back. Way to cast off the lingering shreds of self-respect and beg internet people for money. But seriously, do you realize how much work I've put into this shitpiece that you've read for free for all these years? I could use a hand. I deserve a hand, you little bastard.

Do one or more of the above things and maybe it'll get me in the mood to start in on Canto V. Buy enough goddamn books and, hell, I'll drop back out of school and do this shit fulltime and you'll get more than one book a year. Maybe you'll get one every two months. Imagine that. Craziness.

... oh and to that one guy who made a PayPal donation that one time... <3 <3 <3
[cross-posted pretty much everywhere]

So I have to make a bunch of decisions about Hell's Corners.

First of all, do I want to keep going with it at all?  This isn't some emo-quandary; this is a breakdown and assessment of the facts:

Hell's Corners has, by my estimation, about 30 fans and about 1000 people who periodically glance at the site.  This is based on sales (like 50 books annually), hits (6000 daily), feedback (once in awhile someone Emails me saying they're gonna buy the book "when they get some money" and then presumably live out the remainder of their lives in abject poverty), etc..  This is probably my own fault: I haven't whored the comic with particular zeal.  Only last year did I even add it to various webcomics listings; I find them tawdry and objectionable by their very nature and ugly besides. Maybe that's snobbish of me but I came of age in forum communities that crucified sitewhores.  Point is I am still indier than thou; the comic as it stands is utterly obscure and a mostly-vain pursuit.  Everytime I say things like this I get a bunch of Emails from people saying "oh I love Hell's Corners don't quit as soon as I get some money I will support you," but when it comes right down to it I am only doing this because at this point I can't imagine not doing it.   

I think I got so lax in the past two years because I recognized I should pack it in and spend my time on something else and was subconsciously weaning myself off drawing the comic, but with my overdue return to school on the horizon I started planning more definitely on putting the comic aside following Canto IV and since the idea of actually just quitting was introduced there's been a nagging, anxious sense of loss impendent swelling in my gut.  Since Dan Vado rejected Hell's Corners v1.0 back in 1843 or whenever the fuck I have been bitching and moaning about it pretty much constantly, but I don't think I've put more hours into any one pursuit since then than I have this comic.  Not MMOs; not even games at large, I don't think.  It's become a huge part of my life, if a stupid part.  Cutting it out won't be easy, but I don't know if continuing is even going to be feasible in the near future, so where the comic stands right now in terms of updates is sort of up in the air.  I have some things I need to wrap up before I can even think of starting a Canto V if in fact I do one at all; it's gonna be awhile before I even get around to the prepress for a print version of Canto IV.   I have a plan for the fifth generation site to not be the plaster-and-sheetrock nightmare 4 was (and not have news on the front page like a dumbshit), but that's gonna have to wait, too, and if I'm not actually going to proceed with V after all is there really a point?  

Speaking of prepress, there's the matter of ComiXpress.  I just got through Emailing them a few minutes prior to writing this; I am aware they're problematic, kids.  Books are late 70% of the time and a bunch of people told me ComiXpress lost their orders altogether in last year's lunatic shuffle (sounds like a party game).  If it's any consolation, they also lost my Q4 creator statement.  It's not just you: they really are that disorganized.  So much so that I felt guilty asking people to buy books through them, and was planning on printing the Canto I-IV collected TPB through Lulu.  But Lulu's prices on a perfect-bound book aren't really any better, and their employees don't understand Photoshop color modes, which scares me in a printer/international distributor.  Additionally, their distribution services, which, apart from throwing off the yoke of ComiXpress unreliability were pretty much the whole of Lulu's appeal to me, exclude full-color comic-size books, so it's not like the comic would even have a broader sales outlet over there.  Finally, as deranged as this is going to sound, I am attached to ComiXpress.  They might embarrass me 9 times out of 10 but we stand for the same things and despite their difficulty with timely turnarounds they're passionate about what they're trying to do.  Who am I to quibble over deadlines, anyway?  

The thought has also crossed my mind (again) to resubmit Hell's Corners to various smaller press publishers and see if they'd want to put out the first four.  It's come a long way since v1.0 but hasn't been seen by a submissions editor since.

...and so, I'm uncertain about the TPB and am putting it off for the time being.  

I really want to do comics.  Independent comics, even.  More than ever. But man is it proving to be a bitch. Chris Ware always quotes his friend Seth in saying "I was tricked into becoming a cartoonist" -- I think Chris Ware has probably said this more often than Seth himself -- and I totally was. I knew ahead of time I was signing up for thousands of hours of writing, penciling, inking, flatting, shading, uploading, laying-out, etc., and I doubted my skills at all of these, but I never thought too hard about championing my own cause, and as it turns out I'm flat-out fucking terrible at that.