Hi everybody and welcome to the OtherRealm!
Last year I was blown away by the response to SoulBound 1: Adrift - the first issue in my epic fantasy comic series about a young woman whose grief opens the door to a dangerous world of magic and monsters. If you haven't read it, I still have copies HERE! And also on Amazon for Kindle.
Issue 2 will be a great jumping-on place as well for new readers. SoulBound features two protagonists - Becca, who got in plenty of trouble in Issue 1, and Torrin, who's been in trouble. But now they are in trouble together and it's a wonderful thing to see. SoulBound 2: Escape features Torrin's point of view and I get to showcase a few things about his character - I can't wait for you to meet him!
This will be an action-packed issue that also introduces some of the strange, wonderful, and deadly elements of the OtherRealm. But more than that, it continues a story I want to share with you about a world where there is always hope.
Because of your support last year, you gave me hope - that people still want the stories I love to write, that it doesn't all have to be either depressing and gritty or have all the edges ground off to a plastic corporate sheen, that I'm not the only one left who wants romance and adventure and heroes who give all they've got to get back up again and do what's right. It's still early in the series but I promise you that's what's in store, because I want you to have hope as well. And stories are the best way imaginable to download hope directly to your mind.
This year, I'm getting ready to crowdfund SoulBound 2: Escape on March 1st. I'll run the campaign on Kickstarter through to the end of March, to raise the money for printing and shipping through preorders. The art, lettering, and everything else are already paid for or awaiting completion with the funds set aside, but I need help if we're going to get real physical copies made! Printing and shipping costs have gone up, but I know we can make it. SoulBound has already had such an impact on so many people and it's only getting better from here. I want so much to do well on this campaign so I can go ahead and get Mia started on Issue 3! So please, tell everybody you can about this epic indie fantasy series and help me get the word out!
Thank you so much!
And I'll see you in the OtherRealm!
Saturday morning we arrived early at the Metropolitan Convention Center to set up, and we were immediately impressed! The venue was excellent – new, spacious, airy, rather posh, and it was easy to carry stuff to our setup. We had a pipe and drape backdrop, too, which made it easy to put up the banner and posters.
So much geekery! Lots of different comics dealers, lots of cosplayers, steampunk was very popular, as was Harley Quinn, and furries! There was a rabbit who was very interested in the hats, and seriously, next time I must take pictures. But I was busy with the booth, too. I started selling goggles immediately, and sold out of every pair before the end of the day, even the odd colors.
It was a very kid-friendly con – I appreciated that, as my kids were with me and got to walk around and see the sights a bit. But they were most interested in the booth directly in front of us – That Computer Store had a video game tournament featuring Super Smash Bros. on the Wii U! We've been thinking about maybe getting one for a family Christmas gift, and this was a great chance to admire it and try it out after the tournament.
I also did a bit of facepainting. I did a little cartoon Minion, and some of my fair paintings like the rose and the dragon, and Pikachu wearing Ash's hat, and a few others. I'm going to have to paint a new sign with chibi characters and cartoons, just so the moms will realize that I can, in fact, paint a Minion or a My Little Pony or Alphonse Elric reproduced 2” in diameter on their kids' face. Kids are awesome – they come right up and ask for some outrageous thing and the moms get this look like “there's no possible way that can be done with face paint, please ask for something easy.” But it can be done! I love doing those!
Joe thought there might have been upwards of 5,000 people there – I have no idea. I hardly left the booth – I usually don't. Of course I had to be there to paint faces... but the real reason is because I'm an introvert and a homebody at heart and if I have to be somewhere all day, I like to make a nice little home base and then STAY THERE in my safe zone. Because even crowds of the best people I've ever met are still crowds, and... eek. But everyone I saw was awesome, polite, enthusiastic about being there, and honestly I don't know what is going on at these conventions where harassment seems to be a thing? Every one I've been to in South Carolina – which is admittedly new at comic cons – has been wonderful and the people are the greatest. Maybe we're all just ridiculously polite, so accustomed to our “yes sirs,” and “no ma'ams,” and holding open doors for everyone that we just can't bring ourselves to destroy the homey, upbeat atmosphere with petty power struggles. Or maybe we just haven't had time to form cliques.
If you'd love to come to a con but you're concerned about getting harassed because you might be considered some kind of wrongfan, let me be the first to invite you to a South Carolina comic con. We have a ton of fandoms excited to share our previously-closet geekiness with you, even if you are a newbie or not quite the usual fan.
We featured Shandra Koger, creator of Lightning Prophetess, at my booth Saturday (and I still have prints and posters if you'd like to buy!) and she had quite a bit of interest in her art and characters.
We had a full day, packed up at 6:00 pm, went to our slightly disappointing hotel (next time, we're booking earlier and getting the good hotel!), and settled on the Palmetto Pig BBQ buffet for dinner – which was incredible. The hushpuppies, y'all. Yes, the barbecue was stellar, but it's rare that even the lowly hushpuppy is made with such perfection. The slaw was also quite excellent, and the sweet tea was positively candied. If you want authentic, very reasonably priced, all-you-can-eat barbecue and you happen to be within 30 miles of Columbia, you have to go there. Devine Street, you'll find it.
Drop a comment below if there's anything in particular you'd like to hear about next!
I'm back from MonsterCon, and I met some of the most awesome people! I'm so glad I got the chance to talk to you all and find out what's really on your minds. I brought the Cosplayer Care Kit, and a couple of cosplayers did find me and get some safety pins, but I was pretty far back in a dead-end aisle, so if you looked for me and couldn't find me, I'm sorry!
If you were there, regardless of whether you found me or not, I hope you had a great time. I didn't get out much beyond my own booth, but the vendors near me had the most amazing stuff! Shout out to Cat's Eye with the Noodle Kittens books and collectible toys and memorabilia, the guy across from me with the wooden Keyblades, swords, shields, and customizable clocks, and the one right beside me I didn't see much because of the solid wall but who had the fantastic silver jewelry trees! And let's not forget Richard's Comics & Collectibles, where I picked up some comics for Gamer Guy.
In any case, I survived, and I wanted to celebrate by giving away one of my original mini art Vixies (mounted to a magnet so it's easy to hang and hard to lose). So everyone who is subscribed to my newsletter is entered in the giveaway, unless you send me a note saying to take you out of the contest. People who are related to me are also disqualified. (Sorry, Mama!)
If you aren't subscribed and you'd like to enter, subscribe by Friday and I'll make sure you get in. Also! A couple of people who wrote down their emails to subscribe and enter at MonsterCon this past weekend are not entered. Two emails bounced and one was illegible. So if you are reading this and you signed up but have not gotten an email from OtherRealm Studio yet, check your spam filter and if it isn't there either, sign up for the newsletter with the button in the middle of the home page. It's a double opt-in, so you'll get an email back with a link to confirm your subscription.
Now, if you are reading this trying to figure out why you are subscribed when you did not subscribe, I swear it's an honest mistake and I don't spam people or buy lists of emails. Just hit the unsubscribe button at the bottom of your email and MailChimp will take care of it.
Electric City Comicon (EC3)
I'm gearing up for the inaugural Electric City ComiCon - aka EC3 - at the Anderson County Main Library August 8th, from 1:00 to 5:00 pm. I'm so excited and I hope to see some of you there. I expect to do lots of facepainting - this con is to promote literacy and introduce newbies to fandom, so I expect more of a fair atmosphere. South Carolina isn't quite used to comic cons, but we're excited to try them out! ;) What we do know all about around here are fairs, and we put on a good fair for any reason at all.
Upcoming - Do You Need a Degree to be an Artist?
Next on the blog, I'm answering your questions and hearing your point of view. Tune in Saturday for my next post on what it really takes to be a successful pro artist.
Other questions? Comment below!
Today's the day! I've offered four of my abstract fairy tale paintings to Kate Wolford of Enchanted Conversation to give away on her site - so go there and check out the contest!
I love fairy tales, and I've been reading Enchanted Conversation awhile now. She always has interesting articles, cool news, beautiful art, and great contests about fairy tales, retellings, and upcoming projects and movies. I highly recommend her site.
Here are two of the paintings you can win:
I hope you all have been enjoying the fresh new look! That isn't all that's been going on - I've actually hired an artist to produce another five page prequel, and this one will be in full color, with a more traditional comic book art style. Don Edwards is now in charge of designing the final look for Kail - which is great, because it was whuppin' me trying to get him on paper like he is in my head - and the initial work is looking pretty good. I am really liking this process.
In fact, I've enjoyed sharing my vision and script and allowing someone else to draw it so much, that I may be looking for artists to do more of my stories! It's a bit scary, because I want to pay anyone I hire fairly and on completion. I do not feel right about splitting possible profits down the road sometime. If you've done the work, you should be paid - and that's that.
If you're an artist and you're interested in this upcoming opportunity for real paid work where you're treated like a pro and not a poor relation, drop me a note or a comment on this post about why you want to work with OtherRealm Studio. If there's an upcoming story on the preview page you'd like to illustrate, tell me which one!
I am also looking into figuring out a way to pay fans a percentage for sharing about OtherRealm Studio. I know other sites have a way to generate a unique link code for people to sign up and get a bonus for whenever someone buys through their link. How is that even done? It seems like a fair way to show some love for fans who spread the word.
Let me be nothing but honest right here (well, I hope I always am), and tell you that I'm in a bit of a catch-22 situation. I want to get the word out about the stories, so I can produce more stories, but there aren't many stories complete as of the present to get the word out about.
So, if you want more stories sooner from OtherRealm Studio, show some support and hope I do well at July's MonsterCon show in Gaffney, and feel free to buy some paintings in the shop or Zazzle swag at AbstractRealm. I'd appreciate it if you'd share the mission and the purpose behind OtherRealm Studio and the kinds of stories I'm producing. I can't do this without you, and I wouldn't want to.
Thank you all so much. Your support and encouragement mean so much to me.
See you in the OtherRealm!
So, how are you liking the new look and organization so far? I tried a new thing awhile back, but... yeah, it didn't work. So I took a good hard look at what I do have, as opposed to what I want eventually, and discovered that I really have gotten somewhere.
I have beautiful abstract fairy tale art paintings to sell, a growing reputation as a face painter, new ideas coming at me left and right, and comics in the works! I'm so excited.
I have been to the SC ComiCon and had an absolute blast, it was so amazing and gave me so much encouragement that what I want to do is actually going to work. I will be at MonsterCon in Gaffney in July, and we shall see how that goes, and I've also booked a space for the inaugural Electric City ComiCon in Anderson, which will be August 8th at the library.
Lots of good stuff going on! And it was high time my site reflected that and really showcased my art and invited you to come explore the realms I'm creating with stories and art.
I am also developing an online class - if you're an artist and you've ever gotten blocked or stuck, and would like to build a foundation to earn money from your art, you might want to check out my upcoming Unblock Your Art Biz class.
Artist, writer, creator of stuff. I just want to build worlds for you to escape to.