Hello! It's the time of year to start thinking about holiday gifts and what better gift could there be than a Little Doodles t-shirt (that's a rhetorical question, I know there are better gifts but just play along okay). I am currently adding some holiday themed shirts so you can look sharp at your family holiday get togethers! There are also plenty of other cool designs for pop culture fans of all ages! Most shirts are only $18 (a little more if you, like myself, are pleasantly plump). Order your shirts now so you can get them in time for Christmas! littledoodles.sellmytees.com
T-shirts are now available for all of your favorite Doodles Handlon artwork at littledoodles.sellmytees.com! If the drawing is in the Doodle Gallery on this site then it is more than likely on the shirt site. Some designs were omitted for space consideration (there is a limit of 60 designs) so if you don't see the one you want please let us know and we will consider adding it!
It has been a long while since I updated the website but I found some time and I have added a mess of drawings and I posted the two shows I will be doing in April (INDYpendent Show and Indiana Comic Con). For those who are interested, I am currently working on issue #6 of Wastes of Space and formulating a loy of ideas for another Little Doodles comic! And I'm also researching something that I'm not quite sure what I'm going to do with yet. It may turn out to be my first kids book, all watercolored and junk. We'll see.....
I added a plethora of new things to the site today. I had neglected it too long. I added comics to the Comic and Other Essentials page and some art to the Doodle Gallery page. I may or may not add the Wastes of Space trade paperback to Gumroad. I want to see if Comixology wants to put it on there first.
As I dropped off the newest issue of Little Doodles at the local comic book shop (available now at Comic Book University, available soon from Comixology!) I started thinking about the journey to where I am now. Five years ago I barely drew anything much less anything as time consuming as a comic book and now I have drawn 10 comics and I'm working on another with my friend John Graham (It's really good BTW). From my first tinkering with Wastes of Space #1, just trying my hand to see if I could do a full issue, I have now drawn FIVE full issues of that series (Kickstarter for the trade paperback coming soon!), THREE issues of Little Doodles (Two are out and one is being held until the second one sells and the Wastes of Space trade paperback is out), ONE issue of Fruitbat, and a collection of fan art called Popcorn and Cheesecake that will be available soon. Not to mention all of the fan art I've done that wouldn't fit in the Popcorn and Cheesecake collection, the short Star Wars comic and animation that I did that will probably never see the light of day, and all of the work that I've done for others. Wow. From zero to sixty in 6 seconds. This isn't bragging, I just have a lot of creativity flowing out of me after letting it lie dormant for 20 years. A lot of things caused me to let drawing go and I wish now that I had not let those things get in the way but I'm back doing what I love and I couldn't be happier. Well, I could be if someone was paying me to do this for a living but I digress. Thanks to everyone who continues to support me especially my wife and my family. Thanks to the Indy creators and promoters who have steered me to where I need to be especially John Graham. And thanks to Comixology for agreeing to put the first Wastes of Space for sale on their service. Without that encouragement I might have quit again. Thanks everyone, stop in CBU if you get the chance and buy the latest Little Doodles and stay tuned for the Wastes of Space Kickstarter!
I added Wastes of Space 1 and 2 to a web comic hosting site called Tapastic. You can see them here:
http://tapastic.com/series/Wastes-of-Space Please check them out as I gain revenue for visits and the extra money will go a long way towards publishing the graphic novel when I finish issue five!
I have finally caught up on things enough to gather and record my thoughts on Cincy Comic Con. To begin with, I feel I must thank Tony Moore and the organizers for providing me with a free table for the show. As you may know I drew a one page comic for a Facebook contest that earned me a table. It was well received enough that I was placed at a table of honor across from Fables creator Bill Willingham, iZombie writer Chris Roberson, and within a short distance of Action Girl writer/artist Sarah Dyer and her husband Evan Dorkin of Milk and Cheese fame. Having a free table in a prime location at a busy show would lead one to believe that I have zero reason to complain but I do have a few. I also have a lot of good things to say about the con so bear with me.
To start with the good, I got a free table. The con itself was also nice, for a fan of comics but not so much for a relatively unknown creator. The con is creator oriented, no b-list sci-fi celebrities or internet personalities, just a gathering of some of the best and brightest artists and writers in the comic book industry. It hosts the biggest artists alley I have ever been part of and as a fan I think it's awesome but as a salesperson not so much. As a fan I could walk around and talk to amazing creators with very little muss or fuss, no big lines or hoops to jump through to meet them. When you can walk up to Goon creator Eric Powell and have a nice chat about his latest book or get the inside scoop from Steve Leiber on his next project at leisure it's a good day. As a salesperson I hated it because not only was there competition but big league competition and a lot of it. I guess if I think about the con as a fan who got in for free it was excellent. I bought some good books and talked to some great creators. I bought Beast of Burden by Evan Dorkin and Jill Thompson (beautifully drawn by the way), Battlepug by Mike Norton, Chimichanga by Eric Powell, and many more. I also want to throw in as a major good that the crew (overlords and henchmen) were fantastic and super helpful. As an exhibitor you could not have asked for a more attentive and considerate group. They made constant laps around the con offering water, aspirins, and help. Thank you guys for that.
As for the bad, I didn't make any money or at least not enough to cover gas, food, and lodging. I was also sick all weekend which, of course, was of no fault to the con but still it made me miserable. I had two major issues with the con and they both pertain to the DJ at the event. To begin with, not a good DJ and I know from good DJ's because I once made a living as a DJ. Why does there need to be constant music playing anyway? It made it hard to have a good conversation at times. The selection of music was hard to take as well, mostly mash ups and Michael Jackson but not as hard to take as the annoying announcements where he overindulged himself with in jokes and smugness. But I may not have noticed how truly annoying the guy was if he had not pissed me off at the start of the con. The table I had was a corner table with a table behind me and one next to me. Both tables had taken up more than their fair share of space and some of mine. I had no problem with this and attempted to adapt to the situation. I set up my table and put my stand up banner next to my table. As there was a table behind me, the banner sat in a small square made from my table end and the other table's end. This square was dead space where no one could have walked or bumped into the banner. As I continued to set the rest of my table up the DJ came to me and said, "They may ask you to move your banner." Okay, MAY or WILL? I explained that space was limited and the banner was in no danger of impeding traffic but he was already yelling at the people at the table next to me to make room for my banner which I did not ask for. I went back to working on my table while he upset my neighbors. He comes back over and starts telling me to move my banner. I didn't immediately look up as I was working and he gruffly tells m e to, "look at me when I'm looking at you!" I slowly raised my head and said, "pardon me?" "I'm trying to help you, the least you can do is acknowledge me." , he replied. I'm sorry, trying to help me by alienating my neighbors or helping me by making me move a banner that I MAY be asked to move? Why are you worrying yourself over this? Then he TOLD me to move the banner and walked off. It really shows how much I've matured because twenty years ago I would have popped him for talking to me that way. It did put me in a sour mood for the rest of the day and cast a cloud over the rest of the weekend. It just made his voice that much more annoying.....
Yet, despite the one jackass, the con was indeed a good one as a fan and a bit disappointing as a small time creator in a room full of big time creators. I would attend this con again as a fan perhaps but I don't know if I would have a table again.
Check the Personal Appearances page on my website for more information but here is the quick list of my appearances at cons for the rest of the year:
Indiana Toy and Comic Expo
Cincy Comic Con
September 12th and 13th
Indy Family Fest
Final Thoughts on Indy Pop Con
This is a brief (hopefully) recap of my experiences at Indy Pop Con. They may not reflect your own experiences and that’s okay, I won’t judge you if you don’t judge me. Indy Pop Con is the 3rd large con where I’ve had an Artists’ Alley table and I learn new things every time. I have also done the local INDYpendent Show three times and I must say that I learned more about table display and selling at cons from the first INDYpendent Show than I did at any of the other cons combined. I highly recommend this show if you are a Midwest based artist or writer who wants to get into creating comics, children’s books, or books. The advice you will receive from people who have already “been there, done that” will save you a lot of time, money, and frustration. But I digress (and will throughout as that is how my mind works…or doesn’t work).
To assist those not familiar with Pop Con I will provide an overview. Pop Con is not exactly a comic book con, or a sci-fi con, or a horror movie con, or any other of a multitude of con types. Pop Con is an amalgam of all the cons. The eclectic guests included YouTube celebrities, professional wrestlers, video game voice actors, movie/TV stars, tabletop game creators, and so on and so on. A pop culture zeitgeist if you will. This means that the people attending and their particular interests were vast and varied as well which is nice. I found a lot there that captured my attention as well as some stuff that I had no clue about and, honestly, am probably better off not knowing about.
The con itself was great. I would have liked to see more comic books being sold at rock bottom prices but that’s always my complaint about cons. I am always looking for cheap graphic novels. I have discovered a lot of my favorite artists and writers buying cheap graphic novels from Half-Price Books and cons. It’s much easier to take a chance on something when it’s $5 compared to when it’s $15-$20. I even spent some money buying my little bro Jesse some books that I thought he would enjoy simply because there was little risk in doing so. The con can’t force people to have a booth selling cheap comics so that’s no fault of theirs. To the credit of the organizers this was a well thought out show. They chose guests that had mass appeal, even if I didn’t know who they were but I’m an old dude so whatever, they organized fun and entertaining events, and the results were seen in the massive crowds that filled the convention hall all three days. There were, of course, celebrities and creators there that I recognized and liked but, as previously stated, there was pretty much something for everyone. Great job ladies and gentlemen.
Also, and I know this isn’t everyone’s bag, but the cosplay game was great at this con. From the popular to the obscure to the absolutely ingenious filled the hall. I enjoyed watching the parade of characters pass by my table and I am always in awe of the lengths people go to in recreating their favorites. Some shout outs in particular: To the woman who cosplayed at the Notorious RGB (Ruth Bader Ginsburg), you won the con hands down, especially on that historic weekend. Great job. I also liked the guy who showed up as John Candy’s security guard character from National Lampoon’s Vacation and the couple who showed up as Clark and Ellen from National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation. You don’t see that kind of stuff often enough at cons. I prefer the unique and obscure though. Finally to the young lady who cosplayed as Flapjack, you were so adorable you won my heart and to the guy who cosplayed as Phil Coulson from Agents of SHIELD who looked EXACTLY like him I salute you. Way to embrace the visual similarities between yourself and a character to nail a cosplay.
Another part of the con that I really enjoyed was seeing old friends and meeting new ones. To all of the INDYpendent Show kids and all of my old friends from Game Stop, it was awesome seeing you again! I do apologize to anyone that I “bothered” at the show lol. I do have some social anxieties that I try to hide but sometimes I’m just awkward and weird. I always feel as though I’m bothering people by standing at their booth talking to them. After about two minutes I start to wonder if they’re just being polite or if they really want to be having a conversation with me. I also find it awkward just walking away and always try to find a way to gracefully exit a conversation without seeming like I’m desperately trying to get away. I also find it weird to give people praise for their work because I want it to seem genuine but it always feels creepy in a way. Maybe I should just buy their stuff quietly and when it comes to the end of the transaction yell out, “I LOVE YOUR STUFF!” and run away. The big targets of my gushing fanboy adoration this weekend were Jackie Crofts, G. Pike, Chris and Gin Ludden, and Tony Moore so I apologize if it got weird. You’re all fantastic creators!
Wow, so much for “brief” right? I warned you though. So maybe we should move on to my experiences as a creator/salesman at the show. First, as a person with social anxieties (see the previous paragraph) I understand shyness and how hard social interactions can be at times but I make an effort to say hello to people who pass by my table and at times it seems as though they feel if they look at me or respond then they will be sucked into buying something. Nothing could be further from the truth. I am just that kind of person. I spent too many years in retail sales, saying hello to people is ingrained into my psyche. I’m just being nice, you can say hello back without any obligation to spend money at my table. Yes, it draws attention to my table but it’s not a ploy to make you come over, a simple nod or hello would be nice. That being said, apropos of nothing, I did okay at the con financially. I didn’t make my table fee, food and parking fees, or pay for my purchase at the con but I did okay. I sold a few prints, a few comics, an original drawing, and a buttload of buttons. One could easily surmise from this that I should sell more buttons if I want to make money but, to me, that’s not the point of being at the shows. Yes, I want to make money, but I want the focus to be on the comics. The more I add to my table the less attention the comics get. The comics provide the lowest amount of revenue I make at shows. They cost more to make than the buttons or prints and I sell less of them. I really want the comics to sell and that may pick up once I finish the first arc of Wastes of Space and put out a graphic novel but I also want to make money so I can continue to attend these shows. I will admit that I need to pick up my sales game at shows. People stop at the table, we engage in conversation, and then I remember to pitch the comics as they’re walking away. I don’t know what the solution is but I continue to tweak my table and my pitch so maybe it will improve over time. I also want to do more sketches and original art and get into projects with higher visibility like getting work published by someone other than myself lol. When I do my next show, Cincy Comic Con in September, I will definitely have more buttons to sell as I don’t think I can justify NOT having more and a greater variety of them on a better display. I am also thinking of giving away the Internet Meme Coloring Book I was selling at Indy Pop Con to attract more people to my table. I will need to work on a killer pitch to go with the freebie or it’s just a waste of time so that’s something I will need to work on. Anyway, that’s neither here nor there. It’s just me working out my thoughts on how to sell more comics in a public forum and not really pertinent to the overall discussion.
Let me just say for the final record that I did have a lot of fun at the show and know that I need to do more as a small publisher to promote my work. I recommend this show for next year and will probably attend again to sell my comics and other trifles. I’m sorry that you actually read all of this. Don’t you have anything better to do? LOL, Thanks!