So this was a pretty wild page, and one that did some things we don’t do a lot of. For instance having a character’s dialogue displayed over another character’s (or in this case several characters’) reaction. I think that top row is pretty cool with Redemption weighing the option to continue with Van Buren or just try to kill them all. I got to draw someone reaching for their sword hilt!
Along those same lines this page has a lot of highly intense drama and a character with a deep internal struggle. It also makes vague illusions to a character’s back story. I think this scene, and this page in particular, is probably the most dramatic we’ve done. I really wanted to play that up with the moody shadows and dark brooding silence (not funny awkward for a change). And as far as back story, well that’s not something I think we’ve ever spent too much time coming up with, let alone explaining. Redemption has a good one though!
There’s a subtle new effect I did on some of the panels that you may have noticed where I gave the characters more texture, as opposed to the normally smooth shading. I tried to be low key with it, so it would be something that effected the look without standing out as too different and distracting. It’s something I think I’ll keep playing with.
And how about that close-up of Van Buren in the lower left?! Pretty sweet. As Alex put said “It looks like it’s straight off the dollar bill he was never on.” So I take that as a nice compliment, though I hope he also looks a bit too sinister to be on money (although he is trying to be sympathetic in that moment, and some of those dead presidents on our cash look pretty stern).
So yeah, bad guy scenes are very different and fun to work on. And I like these bad guys, which I think are several steps above our original crew from the comic books. Especially on the menacing scale (though the old win on the stupid funny scale).
Now to address that money part of this post’s title. Regular readers may have noticed a recurring theme in my blog, that I’m cheap and fairly poor (as is Alex, though he is considerably less frugal). Well, things are a bit scary at the moment as our current job situation (and I mean the day job that pays the bills) is pretty unstable. It’s a rough time for the economy in America, and we’re feeling those effects more strongly now.
So what are we doing about it? Trying to keep our jobs alive, for one. Trying to create new jobs and sources of revenue, for two. And part of that is trying to finally monetize these comics, and that’s something you’ll see in a couple of ways.
Firstly, you’re going to start seeing (or may have already seen) advertising on this site. It’s not something I ever really wanted to do from a image and creative standpoint, but something that is probably long overdue from a business standpoint. I will try not to go overboard with the ads, but you will be seeing them from several sources. Got to capitalize on all our web traffic somehow. If you are interested in being a featured advertiser contact me.
Next, we are going to start selling some print versions of the comic online. We’ll be staring with two books, I’m Famous! Volume 1 and Black Snow: The Complete Original Comic Book Series. I’m Famous! will contain our first 106 strips in full, glorious color. I just saw the first proof and it looks awesome. Black Snow will contain all six issues in their new digitally enhanced black and white glory, and a nice intro and outtro from yours truly. They’re going to be top notch quality books, at pretty reasonable prices.
So hopefully we can sell some of those from our online store (where we’ll make the highest profit) or on Amazon. Maybe we’ll even find some offline retailers who will want to sell them. Alex had a pretty cool idea about donating some to the library (we are givers, after all).
If you are wondering, no we did not accept any publishing offer (though there are still some on the table). We’ll be working with a cool company called Create Space to “self” publish these books in a non-exclusive deal.
So if you like the comics, want to see them continue (or even pick up in pace and become our full time day jobs!), care about Alex and I’s financial well being (I have a family to feed!), or are just a nice giving person then please show your support by purchasing one (or both! save on shipping costs!) books or advertise with us (we also accept donations, usually from my dad 🙁 ). Hell, we’d love it if you just spread the word and tell people about us.
In closing, yes we are poor, and no we are not too proud. Hopefully this will be the beginning of the end of our poverty.