Tenneversary

So today is the first anniversary of my move to Tennessee, my “Tenneversary” if you will. It’s been an interesting ride to say the least, seeing some of the highest highs and the lowest of lows but things have begun to even out quite nicely. I’d never seriously considered the idea of living in the South and now that it is upon me I find myself rather enchanted by it. Sure, there are plenty of things that a quite liberal, fairly atheist, lifelong Yankee find a little…perplexing (So. Many. Trump. Signs) but on the whole I’ve found a decent job, good friends, and a nice place to live that once again reminds me that if I can’t live in The City (wherever that may be) then I’d much rather live in the country. Far more palatable and relaxing. The suburbs are always just…weird. No matter where you go.

After moving twice in the past year I’m also certainly not looking to do it again for quite a while. I did a fairly large purge of things when I moved from Chicago and now I find myself building them back up. I had a rather extensive sale of books and comics and things of that nature and I’ve found myself leaning heavily back into that. It’s a little strange to have a (little) disposable income again and a lot of that seems to be going towards furniture and toys and decorative things and maybe, one day, saving up for more tattoos. I’ve also found myself strangely interested in buying a lot of movies lately. Not just the fun new releases like The Force Awakens or Sisters but older classics that I’ve really enjoyed. Granted, some of them are hard to find and I’m very cheap but it would be really great to own copies of Clue or L.A. Story or The Jerk or the Cornetto Trilogy. I had a long stretch of time after the second time I moved where I didn’t have internet and it was very frustrating not having all manner of streaming media available to me at the push of a button. It’s weird accumulating more stuff after I’d spent my last several months in Chicago contemplating downsizing and tiny home living. Who knows, maybe I would be happy living in a Gulfstream trailer or “tiny house” or even a refurbished shipping container if it had the right stuff in it.

One of the biggest changes in the past year has been actually getting my drivers license and getting my own car. It’s been a nice change to be able to zip around wherever I like and I’ve found myself enjoying driving on country roads in random directions with the windows down and the music up as the winter fades away into the rear view. I’ve already made a pair of road trips to Chicago and back and it was nowhere near as stressful as I’d imagined it would be. I will say that I’m quite happy I’m no driving in the age of GPS as I can’t imagine struggling with directions on my own over long periods of time like I was some kind of caveman.

One of those Chicago trips was for my annual appearance at C2E2 which, while always a blast to see the circle of friends that come through there (especially the Super-Fly Comics gang) it wasn’t particularly successful on the selling things front. I managed to be in Artists Alley the last day of the show to see if it changed my luck (and it did, a little) but it was certainly an eye opening experience. I learned a lot and am looking forward to going to more shows over the course of the year not just as a “guy who is in a booth that sells comics but is selling his own things” but as “a guy in artists alley that has a variety of fresh and exciting things to sell and upcoming projects to talk about.” I’, hoping that by the end of the year I’ll be on an at least once-a-month plan of selling at conventions.

Speaking of projects things are coming along nicely. The print version of SHADOW OF THE PAST is imminent and the print version of the first Winston & Churchill collection SUMMER OF SINS will be right behind it. Or perhaps I’ll wait and release all 12 stories in a big honkin’ omnibus edition, but we’ll see how that goes. Two of the comic projects I’ve been working towards are inching closer to success and, because I’m a glutton for punishment, I’ve got two other little things that have begun to percolate onto the page. Soon I’ll once again I’ll find myself the Special Hell comic writers often find themselves in: trying to find an artist (and in this case “artists,” plural, as I’m looking to do a bunch of 8 and 16 page short interconnected stories). As if that wasn’t enough I’ve also been working on a second novel and a SECRET PROJECT that only a couple of people know about right now. The only thing I’ve stopped working on has been the Super-Fly Podcast, as that came to a rather abrupt end of about six glorious years of weekly episodes. That’s a lot. Like, a lot a lot. I guess something had to give and I am a little sad it was that but after six years how much more can you say about nerd culture and retail? I do miss it some and who knows, maybe something else will spring up in it’s place. As I’ve learned this year the only constant is change and I’m looking forward to see what other changes come along as I begin the march towards my 40s.

28

04 2016

Send in the Editors

I’ve been spending a lot of time late working on the maintenance and nuts and bolts of writing and, like I tried to implore myself last I posted, less on coming up with new stuff. For the most part that’s worked out, although I did finish off a quick little 8-page script for my artist friend that will hopefully spin off into some other projects at some point in the future.

In the meantime I’ve been working on some of the previous projects of mine and making sure that they are all ship-shape and tightened up as I’d like to start having print editions done of them. There’s a lot involved in that that I’m going to have to wrestle with and much of it is still new and scary to me. The first step in that process though is making sure everything is edited up all perfect and pretty. I’m a smart enough man to know that I’m not the person to do that so I’ve brought in some outside help. I’ve had two friends of mine working on doing some freelance editing for me and the fruits of their labor is now available to you, the reading public.

My novel SHADOW OF THE PAST now has a new edition edited up all nice and smooth for its…geez, 4th anniversary? No, that can’t be right? (it’s totally right, as it was published April of 2011). Hopefully by this time next year there will be a print edition that you can read and I can sign and I can shop around at conventions and such. In the meantime you can pick up the new edition at Amazon or Smashwords for the modest sum of $2.99. Big thanks to my friend and freelance editor (and great writer in his own right, Costa Koutsoutis. Costa’s doing a lot of things (and actually doing them which I find enviable) so to list them here would leave something out so I’ll just direct you to his latest Station Identification post on tumblr (something I should do more of) so all of his writing, serialized fiction and comics and such.

Not only has that gotten some work done but the Winston & Church series is also slowly getting a facelift thanks to my friend and editor Jenn Sedik. She’s in the process of proofreading the whole series that’s been published so far and will be doing some more hands on editing for the upcoming stories (for those that don’t know the first drafts 8th, 9th, and 10th Winston & Churchill stories are done and are just waiting on me to make my own ham-fisted edits on them). As of right now she’s completed work on the first three stories (NEVER LET GO, A LOVE SUPREME, and HEART OF SUFFERING) and they’re all available to be purchased in their glorious new forms at Amazon and Smashwords as well. Shortly the fourth story, AN EQUAL SHARING OF MISERIES, will be done and we’ll have a new edition of the first Winston & Churchill collection, SUMMER OF SINS.

Once that happens I’ll probably begin what will hopefully be a campaign of marketing and advertising the like of which everyone has seen before just not from me. But don’t wait on my account! Get out there and pick these stories up if you haven’t already! Don’t you want to be all hipstery and tell people that you knew about these before everyone else did? Hell, you can even prove that by leaving a review on Amazon, Smashwords and Goodreads (yes I said “and.” You can just copy and paste the same review three times I won’t tell anyone) and then telling everyone all about these. It’ll be fun, trust me!

Speaking of telling people about things I’ll be at the Cincinnati Comic Con September 12th-13th with my longtime friends and conspirators Super-Fly Comics & Games selling copies of Monstrology and Book of Dragons, as well as maybe showing off some other stuff and promoting some of these projects I’ve got percolating on the horizon. I’m sure I’ll have more details about those things as we get closer.

Or at least I hope I do

21

08 2015

Stop Building

Between the move and the new job and the dog and kind-of sort-of being a home-owner (although I guess I’m more of a step-home owner. Home owner-in-law?) I’ve found myself bouncing around with a whole lot of schedule changes and adjusted goal new things popping up. It is great that there is now a much ore solid and sturdy foundation to my life over all but I’m still trying to maintain some of the basics of what I’m trying to do and who I am. I want to be able to go to bed every night and think “Yes, I did everything I could to achieve my goals.” It’s hard because for a lot of those things I’m not the sole arbiter or what is happening. I have a lot of comic projects that I’ve been focusing on lately and those are all collaborative. While it’s amazing to work with someone and see a thing that the two of you have created begin to take shape comics also take so…long…to…make. Especially if the people involved don’t already do them for a living. And if they do (and even if they don’t), open up the wallet and pay them what they’re worth.

All of that makes comic creation almost painfully slow for me which is why I bounce back and forth between that and prose because with prose I am more the master of my own fate, although lately a lot of that energy has been cleaning up and editing stuff so it is more presentable and suitable for print. You’d think that with all of that I’d be well ensconced with projects to keep me busy but no, my brain has to keep chugging away and make more “opportunities” for me to make stuff that I can do while I’m waiting on other stuff to fall into place.

Along those lines an artist friend of mine posited that we should work on something together, like a quick little five-page thing. So naturally I started turning my brain around and eventually settled on something. And, of course, once it hit on this thing I started turning more stuff over and I hit on something else and, being me, something bigger. So yeah, maybe that’ll be a thing that I start pursuing. Or maybe I’ll come to my senses and work on fixing and steadying the things I’ve already got going on and stop trying to constantly build something new.

That would almost make more sense.

02

08 2015

Busy busy busy

So this is one of those things where I try to summarize all the stuff that’s been going on in my life these past several months.

Let’s see: I moved to Tennessee, started a new day job, got a driver’s license and a car and a dog.

Okay, that didn’t take as long as I thought. Generally things are going well, although the daily #amwriting posts have slowed, thanks mainly in part to the daily writing slowing as well. I’m not super proud of it but there’s been a lot of that obnoxious rebuilding and adjusting and figuring my new life out. I’m slowly getting back on track, doing more editing and refining the stuff that’s already been written instead of just throwing myself into more and more new projects. I’ve got a handful of projects percolating as well, so there hasn’t been a lot of new stuff that I can put up on a board and go “Yes, this is a thing that I’ve accomplished.” That’s kind of a double-edged sword, wanting to have some kind of tangible proof that I’ve accomplished something but at the same time knowing that it’s all just little steps on a longer journey.

I’m trying to be a lot more strategic and specific in what I’m trying to accomplish and making better choice about the future. Most importantly I’m in a better place now where I can actually save money and make bigger and better plans for myself. It’s a little rough, being that impatient and a little capricious, but it’s good to know I finally have a solid foundation to build from.

So here we go, restarting again, making better choices and working harder.

So stay tuned for more…

25

07 2015

Hashtag Blessed


For those that follow me on social media (instagram posting to twitter and tumblr, that is) you’s probably noticed I’ve taken to posting about my writing output on a daily basis, using my big ‘ol white board as the means to colorfully display the results. It started out as a way to track my National Novel Writing Month progress. While that didn’t end up as a “Win” for me (you can see the results up there in November) it did kick off a habit of writing every day that’s been unbroken since November 1st, so that’s kind of awesome. I’ve definitely had my up days and down days (peaking at around 2,000 words one day in November and as low as 64 a day in December).

While it’s a little repetitive and I’m sure not the most thrilling thing for other people to see it’s definitely helped motivate me and keep me honest. I know everyone in the world is watching to see how much I do on a given day but there have been folks, friends old and new, that have been very positive with their comments and support which is really awesome.

There’s a lot going on in my life right now. A lot a lot, even. In the midst of all this chaos I have a lot of writing things on the cusp of happening, from once again planning a Kickstarter to sending out pitches to comic companies to hitting the home stretch in the first season of Winston & Churchill stories. That doesn’t even cover all the ups and downs my personal life has been going through (job hunting, apartment hunting, contemplating the nature of the universe) so needless to say I’ve been a little all over the place. In the next few months there may be some big changes but it’s nice to know that, through everything, I’m still keeping up with the core of what’s important to me: telling stories I want to tell. Thankfully now, more than ever before, I’m finding a way to do that regularly and effectively.

03

02 2015

The Super-Fly Comics & Games Podcast #225

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The Super-Fly Comics & Games Podcast Episode #225

This week Jared, Tony and Thacher are joined by Alex De Campi (alexdecampi), writer of Grindhouse, Valentine and the upcoming Archie Meets Predator. In addition to sharing what she has in store for the “Archie Splatterverse” (spoiler alert: lots of deaths and heads with spinal cords waving in the breeze) she shares some of her insight into navigating comic creator contracts, her love for the Expendables franchise, and some holiday graphic novel gifts ideas. It’s an epic time full of robot arms, mass graves, and Steven Seagal.

The Super-Fly Podcast: Doing horrible things to teenagers

Closing Music: Dr. Dre – Keep Their Heads Ringin

Got a question you want answered by Super-Fly? Send us an email at SuperFlyComics@gmail.com. Talking about us on Twitter? Use the official show hashtag #SuperFlyPodcast. Follow the store on twitter @superflycomics and visit us at superflycomics.com. Listeners of the show get 20% off their purchases at the store, in person or via mail order. Subscribe to the Super-Fly Podcast on iTunes and Stitcher! Click the link and leave us an awesome review, won’t you?

10

12 2014

The Super-Fly Comics & Games Podcasts #223 & #224

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The Super-Fly Comics & Games Podcast Episode #223

It’s another Super-Fly Book Club episode as Thacher and Travis are joined by Kenny Taylor and Travis Fowler to talk about the books they read this month, as well as the announcements about Secret Wars, Convergence, and Fowler making an announcement of his own and setting us up for another legendary Super-Fly Comics contest. Books covered include Spider-Verse (Amazing Spider-Man #9, Spider-verse #1), Batman #35-36, Superior Iron Man #1, All-New Captain America #1, Batgirl #36, Captain America & the Might Avengers #1, Thor #2, Axis #4-5.

The Super-Fly Podcast: What the Fantastic Four movie is really about

Closing Music: Cory Monteith – Having My Baby

The Super-Fly Comics & Games Podcast Episode #224

After a week off the gang is back as Tony, Jared and Thacher go through the oddly chest-centric December Previews catalog. Plus, tales of Black Friday at Super-Fly, the game everyone’s been playing, the announcement of a HUGE sale at Super-Fly and the possible return of several of your favorite rappers to the greatest comic shop venue on Earth.

The Super-Fly Podcast: How do you feed a boob?

Closing Music: The Guess Who – American Woman

Got a question you want answered by Super-Fly? Send us an email at SuperFlyComics@gmail.com. Talking about us on Twitter? Use the official show hashtag #SuperFlyPodcast. Follow the store on twitter @superflycomics and visit us at superflycomics.com. Listeners of the show get 20% off their purchases at the store, in person or via mail order.

Subscribe to the Super-Fly Podcast on iTunes and Stitcher! Click the link and leave us an awesome review, won’t you?

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Note: This and every Super-Fly Podcast is earmarked by iTunes as “explicit” and is intended for mature audiences.

02

12 2014