This is gonna be a huge week. There’s a lot going on — Kickstarter, Patreon, a new Patreon-exclusive comic series that’s  _not_ NSFW, and a very important announcement on conventions. So let’s get started…

Kickstarter

If you follow me on Twitter (or follow Evil Inc on Facebook), you’ve heard me talk (a lot) about the Kickstarter campaign for the print collection of Evil Inc After Dark — along with a Courting Disaster Uncensored book. As ambitious as it was to try to Kickstart two books at the same time, I actually ended up launching three. At the $20k mark, my backers unlocked a 56-page comic that collects many of the NSFW illustrations I’ve done on Patreon.

 

This is the last week of the campaign, and we’re well on our way to $25k. At that Stretch Goal, everyone who orders an Evil Inc After Dark book will be automatically upgraded to a hardcover copy of the book.

Patreon

Of course, none of the above would be possible without Patreon. If you’d like a sneak preview of some of the stuff we’ll be collecting into books, this is the perfect time to join us!

Why? Because you’ll get a bunch of rewards without waiting all month for them! You’ll get yours at the beginning of next week!

So, here’s the deal. I post new content in my Patreon feed all through the month. And you have access to that as soon as you pledge.

BUT…

I send my backers links to entire folders full of the NSFW content — broken down by category — as soon as the payments are processed in the first couple days of each month. One folder has all of the Evil Inc After Dark pages, in order. Another folder has all of the NSFW commissions. Another has all of the Courting Disaster comics, and so forth.

It’s a snazzy reading experience, and it’s a great way to view only the material you’re in the mood for.

If you pledge before the end of the month, however, you’re not going to have to wait long at all to get access to these categorized folders of NSFW goodness! I’ll be distributing those as soon as the payments are processed.

And in those few days in between, you can still access all of the exclusive content by using the content tags to filter only the stuff you want to read right now!

There’s a lot to see —over 300 NSFW comics, cartoons, illustrations and illustrated stories! And I’m adding new content almost every day!

What they’re saying

Here’s a few remarks from the Patreon comments section…

“‘concupiscent celestial corsairs’ Well done sir.”

— M.K.

“I like where this is going…”

— C.

“OOoohhh, tentacles…”

— N.R.

“One of your sexiest pages yet
(although as a LL fan I’m slightly biased)”

— R.R.

Bonus Reward — “Like a Mask Removed”

My Patreon backers deserved a little Something Special this month, so I arranged for them to get Like a Mask Removed from Circlet Press — in EPUB, MOBI and PDF formats.

Circlet Press has a Patreon page , too. I’m a patron, and their rewards are tremendous!

Like a Mask Removed

Like a Mask Removed, volume one: Erotic Tales of Superheroes presents seven stories ranging from vibrant and lively romps reminiscent of the colorful comic book pages they are inspired by to modern experimental literary styles.

Table of Contents

Switch by Rae Flowers
Partners by Michael M. Jones
Star Crossed by David Hubbard
Times Square Alter Ego by Bianca Sinn
Merboy At Midnight by Tom Cardamone
Lawman by Angela Caperton
A Double-Edged Bomb by Lauren P. Burka

Circlet Press

Circlet Press  is a publishing house founded by erotica writer Cecilia Tan. It specializes in science-fiction erotica, a once-uncommon genre, and its publications often feature BDSM themes.

Cape Carnival

For the last five weeks, I’ve been doing special bonus comics for all of my Patreon backers ($1+). These are based on ideas that I would have typically sent over to Tales From the Con. But with that series at an end, I figured I’d do them exclusively for my Patreon backers — especially those who aren’t interested in NSFW comics! If you want to see a couple examples, click here and here.

Webcomics.com

Speaking of new projects that have been surprisingly popular, last week, I did a couple of 20-minute webcasts for the members of Webcomics.com. I take a few questions from other webcartoonists, and I talk about some issues that impact all of us — like Patreon, good editing, creativity, burnout, etc. This has proven to be extremely popular, and it’s something I’ll be doing more of in the future. If you’re working on a webcomic, you definitely want to subscribe to the site to see these videos and more.


…Plus you get to look around my studio. For example… see those books in the bottom-right-hand corner of the screen?

The Hues — Last Week!

Well, that’s Alex Heberling’s Kickstarter for her third Hues collection! She’s in her last week, too. This is a terrific time to help push this baby over the finish line — and get some fantastic rewards for yourself. Alex’s coloring is an integral part of all of my comics — Evil Inc, Evil Inc After Dark, Courting Disaster, etc. And she’s a phenomenal cartoonist in her own right. If you haven’t read her stuff yet, get all three books and treat yourself. I know you’re gonna love ’em.

Conventions

OK… it’s time for Real Talk. I’m making a fraction of the money I used to make at comic conventions. And I’m making more money — exponentially so — at crowdfunding efforts like Kickstarter and Patreon. So I’m making a pretty obvious decision — I’m not doing conventions anymore. Full stop.

You know how the Universe sometimes has a way of telling you things? That happened to me at the beginning of the month. My Kickstarter launched on the same day as my flight to Seattle for Emerald City Comicon. For the next four days, I sat at my Artist Alley table as people walked past — all the while, watching my phone deliver a steady stream of notifications… Kickstarter pledges, new Patreon backers, commission requests, etc.

And the longer I sat at that table, the further behind I was failing on delivering for those people who were paying money to support my comics.

My Patreon feed had a one-week slump as a result of that convention. Thankfully, I’ve been able to catch up. As you’ll see in this blog shortly, I will be able to report — once again — that I have delivered one exclusive Patreon post for every day in the month. And the volume of NSFW content in those posts is easily the same as it has been since the beginning of 2016.

But I’m not putting myself through that again. I lost two Patreon backers because they were dissatisfied with the frequency of NSFW posts. (I wish they’d have stayed just one more week.) But the message is clear: Doing conventions is bad for business. Sales are down (for me), travel is expensive, and I’m using time that should be used towards keeping my Kickstarter and Patreon people happy.

So if you’re used to seeing me at Wizard World Philadelphia. you’re going to be disappointed. I have no plans to go. All of the other shows that I’ve exhibited in the past are out, too — Baltimore, Ohio, New York, and yes, even next year’s show in Seattle.

That  may sound bitter. It’s not. It’s pretty realistic decision-making, and I’ve always tried to be straight with you guys about what I do. I’m definitely going to miss comic conventions, but I’m thankful that I have the crowdfunding support from a large number of readers that more than makes up for the flagging convention economy.

I’ve been doing webcomics since there were webcomics. I’ve seen the entire business turn 180 degrees. And I know that 360 isn’t out of the question. So this isn’t the end of comic-convention appearances (for me) — it’s merely a pause.

Five years ago, today…

…I announced that I was leaving my job at the Philadelphia Daily News to become a full-time cartoonist. Since that announcement seems to be lost to the sand of time, I’ll copy/paste the announcement I posted on Facebook here:

Today I’m leaving my job as a graphic artist for the Philadelphia Daily News to become a full-time cartoonist. It’s a huge change in my life, and my family’s life, and I’m super excited about it.

Last month, the newspaper announced layoffs, and — despite my 14 years’ seniority — the chances of my getting cut were pretty good. The day after they announced the layoffs, the company also announced a plan to combine the newsrooms of the Philadelphia Inquirer and the Daily News — switching to a “24/7” news organization that would be staffed around the clock.

Long-story-short(er): My current shift (4 p.m. – midnight, Sun. – Thurs.) could be changed, under the “24/7 newsroom” concept, several times throughout the year — both in times and days. My wife and I both work. Right now, she arrives home from work fifteen minutes before I have to leave to work my shift. I take the kids to school and pick them up. We’re barely touching all the bases as it is. And I go days without having a full conversation with my wife. Changing my shift throughout the year would have made it impossible for me to stay — in the event I hadn’t been laid off anyway.

The newspaper offered a generous buyout package for anyone who was willing to take a voluntary layoff. I’ve been working hard for over 12 years towards the goal of transitioning full-time to my career in comics. It just seemed like the right time to make the jump.

Incidentally, yesterday morning, shortly after confirming the 37 layoffs (voluntary and otherwise), the company that owns the Daily News announced plans for cutting yet another 35 positions.

“Evil Inc,” incidentally, will continue to run in the Daily News after my departure. The comic has a separate contract with the paper, and has not been effected by the layoffs. Next month, I will be celebrating my 11-year anniversary of having my daily comic strips published in the newspaper.

A lot of people have asked me if I’m scared about leaving the regular paycheck I was earning at the Daily News, and I can’t say that I’m not. But more than that fear, I’m absolutely charged with excitement over being able to devote time to the many projects I’ve been trying to find the time to do in the past few years. When you see what I have planned in the upcoming few months, I think you’ll see what I mean. This is going to be a phenomenal year.

And even more than that, it’s beginning to dawn on me that I’m going to have an actual life for the first time in 21 years. I won’t be working nights anymore. And I’m not going to miss holidays with my family. Newspaper life means getting Christmas Eve off, but not Christmas… and the same for Memorial Day and Labor Day and Thanksgiving and so on. It’s day-before; not day-of. And this will be the first time in 14 years that I won’t be working Sunday nights.

I’m more than a little stoked about that.

It’s going to be thrilling and scary and exhilarating and uncertain and new. And I’ve never been more ready for it.