I’ll be at Haverford Kids’ Comic Fest, May 18th

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Sure, it was designed to encourage kids who have an interest in comics, but the Haverford Kid’s Comics Fest is for fans of any age interested in comics, storytelling, and comic creators. That’s where I’ll be this upcoming Saturday. And so will a bunch of comic-making friends who want to share their skills and enthusiasm for the art form. A nice way to spend an afternoon.

Coincidentally, that’s the same day as the NCS Reubens Banquet in California where Untold Tales of Bigfoot has once again been nominated. And yeah, sure, I could be in California that night, uncomfortable in my tuxedo, crossing my fingers until my hands go numb. But as much fun as that would be, I’m gonna have a blast in Haverford, PA with Pat McCuen, Crispin Wood, Dawn Griffin, and a bunch of other folks sharing their time with kids who want to make comics too. Besides, Bigfoot doesn’t own a tux.

For more information on the fest, what goes on, and who’ll be there, just click the link. Hope to see you there! -v

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I’ll be at Free Comic Book Day, May 4th, Phantom of the Attic In Oakland!

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The fine folks at Phantom of the Attic in Oakland have invited me back to participate in their Free Comic Book Day festivities on Saturday, May 4th — which, for those in the know, also happens to be Star Wars Day (May The Fourth Be With You)!

What Goes On Here?

Jeff and the rest of the crew always put on a great FCBD, and the shop is top notch. Here’s a link to Phantom’s Facebook page for the event. I’ll be there between 10am(ish?) and 3-ish? / 4-ish? And I’ll be joined at the table by some local comics luminaries —

  • Dave Wachter, an amazing artist whose current work on Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles is a feast for the eyes.
  • Thomas Scioli, an award-winning comic artist who’s worked for Marvel and Image and is currently turning out great stuff with The Gobots.

What Am I Doing There?

I’ll be there doing some affordable sketches, selling some reasonably-priced books, and debuting a couple cheapity-cheap mini-comics. Oh, and my friend Michelle @runredrun will be piloting Puppet Bigfoot this time out. Should be a great time! Hope to see you!

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Untold Tales of Bigfoot Nominated for Another NCS Reuben…again!

Untold Tales of Bigfoot: Ghosts and Monsters Reuben Nomination

This blog isn’t just my process blog. It’s also my news blog. And today I realized that I still hadn’t posted that Untold Tales of Bigfoot has earned another Reuben nomination from the National Cartoonists Society in the category of Online Comics: Long-form. This is the comic’s fourth nomination (it won in 2012). The 73rd Annual Reuben Awards are in Huntington Beach, CA this year at NCSFest on May 18th. Congratulations and good luck to all the nominees.

My sincere apologies to anyone who’s heard this news fifteen times now in my other social media feeds. I don’t mean to beat you over the head with it, just trying to cover all my bases. Thanks for your patience. -v

 

 

I’ll be at NYCC This Weekend

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If you’re headed to New York Comic Con this week, you’ll spot me sitting in with the National Cartoonists Society (Booth #304) on a couple days:

• Saturday, October 6th  1 – 4

• Sunday, October 7th  10 – 1:30

I’ll have the new Untold Tales of Bigfoot: Fall Special with me, as well as my other books. And if I can manage to get him onto a crowded train without starting a riot, then lug him to Javits Convention Center, I may also have my furry buddy, Puppet Bigfoot (he’s a long shot, though. It’s like lugging around an unconscious badger around the city).

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Anyway, stop by and say hi. I’ll be sharing the table with some really talented cartoonists. -v

Untold Tales of Bigfoot: Fall Special / Printer Review

The Untold Tales of Bigfoot Fall Special books are in — and they look great! I’ll have them with me at New York Comic Con this October when I sit in with the National Cartoonists Society. I also have some copies in my online shop (just $6 plus s/h/tx)!

Untold Tales of Bigfoot: Fall Special

What’s Inside

  • 35 pages of fall-inspired art and story from the Untold Tales of Bigfoot webcomic,  including Devil In The Details and the Reuben-Nominated Heading For A Fall!
  • Two pages of story not published online (I added a couple pages to give Scout a little more room to babble and complain.)
  • Devil In The Details (published online in black and white) is now printed in full color!

Review: Comix Well Spring/Greko Printing

You may or may not recall, I had a negative experience with Ka-Blam Digital Printing that sent me looking for a different printer for this project. A friend recommended Comix Well Spring, so I thought I’d give ’em a try. How’d they do? Let’s see…

Colors Look Good

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Comix Well Spring did a great job of matching my CMYK colors. The brights are bright, the darks are dark, and the subtle gradients all came out the way I wanted them to.

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Mind you, I opted for the hard copy proof to be mailed to me (a nominal fee of $10) so I could adjust my files before going to final print. And I’m glad I did. There’s always a possibility that what you see on your screen won’t match what the printer puts out. So using a hard copy proof to help make your adjustments is a good idea.

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I opted for the heavier paper (80# gloss text) and the pages feel substantial, with no bleed-through (unless you hold the pages up to a light). The cover was standard (80# gloss cover) and it feels durable and looks great.

Quality Packing and Shipping

With Ka-Blam, it was damaged books and poor customer service response that led me to look for a new printer. How did Comix Well Spring stack up?

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Comix Well Spring packed my order in a sturdy box, lined with a thick layer of packing paper. The comic books were then shrink-wrapped and packed (in bundles of 25) into padded, sealed UPS envelopes. Did that protect the corners? Darn tootin’!

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I unpacked every shrink-wrapped bundle of my comics and every one of them looks like this. Pristine corners, no dings, no folds, no spine damage. I couldn’t be happier with the packaging.

Customer Service Is Excellent

Ka-Blam Digital Printing dropped the ball with their customer service. In contrast, Comix Well Spring was more than happy to answer a ton of questions for me before I even ordered. I wanted to make sure my colors and templates were set up properly, double check their shipping methods and return policy — they answered all my questions before/during/and after our transaction promptly and politely.

Final Review

I give Comix Well Spring a solid A and happily recommend them to anybody who wants to get their comics printed. Their prices are competitive (especially in larger quantities) and their product is impressive. They also have a handy price quote calculator on their site so you can see how much your project might cost before you order. -v

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Untold Tales of Bigfoot Nominated for Another NCS Reuben!

UToB_ReubenNom3_DorseHere’s some fun news (for me, anyway). Untold Tales of Bigfoot has been nominated by the National Cartoonists Society for a Silver Reuben in the Online Comics: Long Form division. This is Bigfoot and Scout’s third nomination (they won in 2013).

We’ve been buzzing about this here in the cave for the last few days, feeling very honored and grateful. Congratulations to my fellow nominees, John Allison and Ru Xu. Bigfoot and I consider the nomination itself a win, thrilled to be recognized alongside some other very talented creators. Scout, however, really wants the wall plaque and he won’t shut up about it.

Either way, we’ll be having a great time rubbing elbows with all the other cartooning professionals at the 72nd Annual Reuben Awards, May 25th-27th in the City of Brotherly Love, good ol’ Philadelphia, PA! Whether we go home with the bauble or not, it is always a sincere pleasure to spend the weekend hanging out with some of the funniest, creative people I know. -v

For a complete list of the nominees in all the divisions, CLICK HERE!

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Do The Work: Stop swiping other people’s art.

Quick note to aspiring artists and designers. Don’t swipe. Yeah, it’s easy and maybe you can turn a buck or two passing off someone else’s work as your own. But you’re doing a disservice to those people who work hard to put out entertaining content and, maybe more importantly, you’re strangling your own creative flow. Plus it makes you look bad.

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This is far down on my list of things to expend energy on, but back in 2014, I did an ink sketch of the Hatbox Ghost from Disney’s Haunted Mansion. The character’s a favorite of mine, and I wanted to see what he’d look like if I put my personal spin on him. He came out okay, so I posted my process on this site and people seemed to enjoy it.

Since then, I’ve seen this exact design/image presented (without attribution to me) as someone’s cool tattoo, enlarged as someone’s Halloween lawn display, and most recently as a series of poorly-traced prints in someone’s Etsy shop. All presented as those folks’ “original design.”

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Son, just…don’t.

If you really want to make fan art, if you really want to be creative, put some effort into it and make your own. Maybe you can’t draw as well as someone else yet, or maybe you’re creatively blocked at this moment. But honestly, the more you work on it, the more of yourself you put in your work, the more you practice…the better you’ll get.

This fan art thing? It’s just fun for me. I’m hoping not to waste too much time worrying about this stuff. I haven’t built a cottage industry on Etsy or Ebay drawing other people’s characters, but I know that some folks have and that’s maybe as far as they want to go with their art. And that’s cool. As long as it’s their art.

So, tl/dr: do the work. If you didn’t, don’t say that you did. -v