Quiet Desperation Publication Date
I have decided to go forward with Quiet Desperation. No publisher wants it and I'm not waiting for any comic book creators to step up and offer cover blurbs as it doesn't look like it's going to happen. This book's journey has sent me spiraling into depression so it may be the last book that I print. I know I've threatened that before and I really don't know why I keep putting myself in the same situations but it feels like the last one. I will be conducting a Kickstarter for the book in May (hopefully) or at the latest June for a July release. This will be the biggest Kickstarter campaign that I have attempted and I hope that I can get some support to make it a reality. I have submitted information to the Library of Congress and acquired a bar code and ISBN number which is something I've never done before. I'm going to make this book legit even if it kills me! So look for me to be bothering everyone about this book for the next few months. Let the begging begin!
Yesterday, in a stupor of depression and ennui, I made a passionate plea to the comic creators on Twitter for blurbs for my book Quiet Desperation and I got back pretty much what I expected, nothing helpful. Hey, who am I? No one to them it seems. It does seem odd that someone would respond to the tweet(s) with no intention of looking over the book to provide a cover blurb when that's all I asked for in the tweet which I provide for you below:
This is not my normal type of post so please bear with me. Recently, after the passing of my younger brother, I began to think about unrequited ambitions and legacies. You see, my brother was a prolific writer whose work remains largely unrecognized. His best friend brought a stack of his unproduced movie scripts to his funeral and laid them out on a table for others to view. It was a sad display. It made me think about my own work and the possibility that someday someone would do the same for me. Much like my brother I too have produced a large amount of work over the years that is largely ignored by the general public. My work is writing and drawing comics for the most part and I have been at it since the late 80's. I have self-published many books but have never been embraced by the greater comic book world. Believe me, I understand. The arts are a rough industry to break into. Artists, musicians, poets, and all manner of creative types struggle to "break through". I'm no exception and I should stop trying after all these years but, once the arts grab you, they don't let go. So I started work on a book that dealt with my early struggles with trying to break into the comic book industry. It also addressed my depression and insecurities (which forced me to abandon drawing altogether for a great number of years). I went through and cleaned up all of my early work from 'zines, mini-comics, and early self-published stuff. I interspersed personal recollections and tidbits about the comics and my experiences throughout. It was the most personal I ever got with my work. when it was finished I had high hopes that it might be good enough to be published by someone other than me. Well that was another pipe dream I guess. Ironic that a book about not being able to get published can't get published but whatever. Thankfully, we live in a world where there are alternative avenues to publishing. I'd done it before so why not? All of my crowdfunding for books in the past have been successful but with small runs (less than fifty copies on most). I wanted to go big this time and actually get this book out there in bigger numbers. So I reached out to other comic book creators. This is where the story turns to concern about the industry itself and why there isn't more of a community among artists. Being part of a community of artists is probably more appealing to me that "making it" honestly. But that's neither here nor there. So I put out feelers to comic book creators that I felt comfortable approaching about getting some blurbs (y'know the accolades that don the back cover of books) to help with the campaign and lend an air of respectability to the project. And, honestly, I yearn for someone, anyone, to tell me that I'm not still working in vain. I need validation! LOL. So the nicely worded pleading for blurbs went out to many a creator. And this is where my faith in the industry wained. I received exactly one kind offer to look at the book and render judgement upon it. Thanks
Monty Nero! All the others? Nothing. It's disheartening. Some said they were far too busy to help as if reading a comic and offering a word or two was so hard. Maybe it is, what do I know.? It is sad to me though that artists and writers who were one day in the exact same place as I am can't be more sympathetic to my situation. A nice reply about how they couldn't help would have been nice though right? I don't know. The whole process has been a little depressing. Only one publisher responded to my book submission! And that was a polite "no thanks". Which is better than not knowing so thanks Chris Staros and Top Shelf Comics! Anyway.... I guess this turned into a rant about my disillusionment with the industry but I think I'm more upset that artist aren't willing to help other artists more. The real reason for this wasn't to gripe but to make an impassioned plea for help. It's a weird way to go about it I suppose but I wanted to share the backstory before I begged for help. Is there anyone out there in the industry willing to look the book over and share a word or two to help me out? A quote to share on the book? As undignified and rude as it may be I'm going to ask anyway. It's come to that. Getting this book out there may be the deciding factor in whether I keep on keeping on with comics or not. I know this is taboo and probably not very cool but here it goes. To all of the artists on Twitter who I follow or who see this post. Please message me if you're willing to take a look at the book. I regret this but now I list people I follow in desperation (I then tagged over fifty comic book creators). I know most of the tagged people will not care or may be upset that I tagged them. But, honestly? I'm both ashamed and desperate so there you are. I apologize.
And then I got notes from creators about networking on social media, how to design my cover better (I shared it along with the post), and sympathy for the loss of my brother. All of which I was not asking for and was not the point. Was I asking for too much? I was also told that writing a blurb for a book is a very personal thing and that I didn't seem to understand that. Really? I love comics and would be willing to read them for FREE to provide a nice quote to help a fellow creator out....wouldn't you? Maybe I'm missing the point and I'm sorry but the whole process has gotten me down.
Doodles Handlon Checklist
With the pending Kickstarter for Quiet Desperation (yeah, it's come to that) I thought I would create a checklist of the comics that I have done in the past so that everyone can see what I've done and, if they're completists, what books they don't have.
1. Asylum #1 -Discontinued and will not be printed again.
First comic I ever completed and published.
2. Asylum #2 -Discontinued and will not be printed again.
The first one didn't sell so why not follow it up with another one?
3. Skank #1 -Discontinued and will not be printed again.
An attempt to emulate underground comics with my friend Bob Sanders.
4. I.R.A. Funnies (aka Floyd Flamingo) -Discontinued and will not be printed again.
The most underground I ever went...Maybe?
5. Little Doodles #1 -Discontinued and will not be printed again.
Original iteration of Little Doodles with comics primarily from the late punk 'zine Aunt Ida.
6. Little Doodles #2 -Discontinued and will not be printed again.
More of the same but with all original content.
7. The Beat Generation/Bongo the Beatnik -Discontinued and will not be printed again.
The Poetry mini-comic
8. The Beat Generation/Bongo the Beatnik -Discontinued and will not be printed again.
The Long Days Journey Into Nowheresville mini-comic
9. Dick Stickman -Discontinued and will not be printed again.
The Tijuana Bible sized mini-comic. Recreation of the original Dick Stickman comic.
10. Fruit Bat #1 -Limited copies available.
Batman parody comic
11. Wastes of Space TPB -Limited copies available.
Five issues have been released so far. Number six is complete but unreleased.
12. Little Doodles TPB-Limited copies available.
The new edition. Issues 1-5 were collected in the TPB.
13. Popcorn and Cheesecake -Limited copies available.
Pop culture drawings
14. Dr. Poo and Giant-Size Poo(with John Graham) -Not sure how many of these are still available.
Dr. Who parody comic. Some of my better work IMO.
15. Littler Doodles -Limited copies available.
Small book full go gag panels I have drawn. Used as an incentive for a Kickstarter.
16. Rubber Biscuit -Limited copies available.
Mini book filled with drawings that I gave away at comic conventions. Whatta'ya want for nothing?
17. Internet Meme Coloring Book -Limited copies available.
Another free giveaway at comic conventions.
18. Who's Yer Con/INDYPendent Show Books -Limited print books that are no longer available.
I contributed to a few of these books, mostly just a page here or there. I did create a wraparound cover for one of The Who's Yer Con books and I think it turned out really well.
19. Holiday Hooligans (with John Graham) -The omnibus is available on Amazon through John.
Since I first met John Graham I have liked these characters and was overjoyed when he asked me to write and draw them. I have created assorted content about them since. The first was a special comic created for the Indy Family Fest show where I drew the cover and a short comic about the Hooligans at the show. I've also written and drawn a longer piece for a huge anthology of Holiday Hooligans that John put out and I recently finished a comic about the Halloween version of the Hooligans that will be coming out soonish.
20. Facebook Chatter Book (with John Graham) -Available on Amazon through John.
This is John Graham's baby, I just did the artwork.
21. Putrid Glop: The Lackadaisical Sketches of Doodles Handlon -Available now on Amazon
Sketches and stuff.
And that leads us to Quiet Desperation. If you missed some of these books do not fret! A lot of these comics will appear in Quiet Desperation, all cleaned up and made more palatable for the general public. I keep telling myself to quit making comics since I never selling but I keep doing it anyway.....sigh. Stay tuned for information about the Quiet Desperation Kickstarter launch. I am currently working on the sixth issue of Little Doodles that will contain only comics about Christmas (The same way issue #4 only contained comics about Halloween). I am also working on collecting all of my Dead Milkmen fan art into one book. called The Art of Snark.
Hey kids! Just wanted to let you know that the hardcover version of my sketchbook "Putrid Glop: The Lackadaisical Sketches of Doodles Handlon" is now available for purchase on Amazon ($19.99)! Here is the link: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B0BXN419DY
Any profits from the sale of this book will go towards publishing "Quiet Desperation" if I fail to get a publisher interested in it. Please boost to your friends!
The new New
Updates and such..... No word back from any publishers concerning Quiet Desperation, it may end up going through Kickstarter....sigh. On a more upbeat note, I just submitted my sketchbook, Putrid Glop The Lackadaisical Sketches of Doodles Handlon to Kindle Direct Publishing and it should be available for purchase within a few days. I'll let you know when it's up. If you want to see some of the stuff contained within the pages of the book you can check out the sketches pages on this website! The physical copies will be available in paperback ($14.99) and in hardback ($19.99). Since I am a pop culture junkie the sketchbook is filled with pop culture drawings and other random things that enter my scattered mind. Any profit that I make from the sketchbooks will go towards publishing Quiet Desperation if it comes to that.
February 18th, 2023
Here are some updates:
1. I put in four submissions to different publishers concerning Quiet Desperation and I have only heard back from one and it was a rejection. A nice rejection but one nonetheless.
2. I put out feelers to some comic creators that I admire and have some connection to (no matter how small lol) for back cover blurbs and I haven't heard back from any of them yet.
3. I'm a little impatient and possess very little self-confident but I don't think Quiet Desperation will be published by a major company so it may be headed for Kickstarter or another crowd funding site. I'm giving it until the end of March at the latest to hear something back.
4. I'm also working on a few other things; the 6th issue of Little Doodles which will be a special holiday issue which I guess I have time to finish, a sketchbook which may be an incentive for the Quiet Desperation Kickstarter, and another book that I'm not quiet ready to talk about yet.
5. Speaking of sketches, check out the new Sketch page on this very website to see some of my sketches!
6. Finally, in association with FIGID Press (www.figidpress.com), there are a few things coming out this year that I contributed to. If you need to know more please visit the FIGID Press site. I would say more but it's not really my place to do so.
That's it kids. If you need me I'll be busy trying to finish all of this stuff.
January 24th, 2023
I currently have two submissions in for Quiet Desperation. One with Drawn and Quarterly and one with Fantagraphics. I am looking for more publishers to send submissions. Meanwhile I am working on the Christmas comic which I have already completed several pages for and will more than likely be a TPB or, at least, a really big book. I will continue to post updates as things progress.
I've been drawing some drolleries (funny drawings from the margins of old illustrated manuscripts) for fun between other projects. I may put them together to form a book of some kind.
This is something that I probably should have included in Quiet Desperation but I just rediscovered it while going through my vast amounts of ephemera. This is a redrawing of the never finished original. The concept for this was created while at an amusement park with my Uncle Anthony and one of my cousins. If I had finished this it would have had a map and other information inside for an amusement park dedicated to the cruel way humans have treated one another for the 300,000 years we have been in existence. It was originally supposed to appear in a comic I made many years ago but I never finished it. I'm still trying to get Quiet Desperation published and will be keeping everyone updated.
Happy New Year!!!!!!