Jan 4 2009, 12:57 PM
Happy New Year everyone! I've been hard at work on SMD and I thought the New Year might be a good time to let folks know what I've been up to.
After publishing Chapters 1 and 2 as separate comic books, I decided that expecting to hold people's interest with ONE CHAPTER A YEAR may not have been a realistic plan, and that my best move would be to finish the dang book.
I've just completed chapter 3 and have started on chapter 4. The finished book will be five chapters, so as of now I'm on the downhill side of getting it done. But realistically it will be maybe a year and a half to two years before it's done. I managed to get Chapter 3 done (except for the Photoshop shading, which I haven't started yet) in six months so I'm optimistic about the time frame.
Copies of the first two chapters are still available at www.mooneyart.com.
Jan 4 2009, 04:36 PM
Excellent! Yeah I have bunches of those long-term projects too - it sounds like you are well on your way! Congrats!
Jan 6 2009, 02:09 AM
Good luck Gerry!
Jan 6 2009, 05:50 AM
I managed to get Chapter 3 done (except for the Photoshop shading, which I haven't started yet) in six months so I'm optimistic about the time frame.
Ya know Gerry...
Your effort represents a really important concept that has always eluded my brain when it comes to cartooning in particular and artistic endeavors in general. The time it takes to complete a comic book (or any longer term project) that is. Even though I've long known it, my thick head just refuses to let it sink in.
Even if an artist was to create a very reasonable page-a-day, a graphic novel such as yours would take over one hundred days to finish. That's a very considerable commitment to any effort... day in a day out... every day.
Add to that the other artistic requirements necessary to bring such a project to the finished stage such as adding text, tone and ink, color and whatnot (and someone has to script the thing!) and an artist shouldn't realistically expect to be able to consistently finish that fully rendered page every day. Is it reasonable to expect a page-a-day for the entire life of a project? Come on... no way! And yet, the brain still refuses to accept the level of commitment that must be applied to such efforts.
Creative endeavors such as yours don't just evolve onto the page or screen. They don't just appear by accident or by magic. They must be created through prolonged and intensive periods of labor.
What am I trying to say here... I dunno... something about commitment?
You've got commitment my friend.
You've definitely got that.
May it serve you well.
Jan 6 2009, 07:36 AM
Thanks Rodney! But you know, what you're getting at is that ANY endeavor, creative or otherwise, takes the same commitment as well as TIME, TIME, TIME! the one element in which we are all equal.
My wife and I have been watching this show "Superstars of Dance", where teams from eight countries are competing with dance routines. One couple last night mentioned that they worked six hours a day, six days a week for six months, all to dance a routine that was over in about two minutes. All it takes is commitment, and its partner, unquestioning belief.
I've been working on SMD for three years now, not counting the time I spent on the original Flash animation, and I figure it will take about five years total, and then who knows if it will even be successful? I was just thinking this morning about all the ideas I have for other art projects that will probably never see the light of day. Ultimately you have to pick one or two, and the others, no matter how worthy or filled with potential, just have to go away. So when you pick that one, you have to believe in it no matter what.
Jan 6 2009, 07:44 AM
SMD has a quirky angle that makes it a better than usual candidate for success. Think how many parochial school survivors are out there! Think how many teenagers who love anything that tweaks authority!
Jan 6 2009, 08:08 AM
All it takes is commitment, and its partner, unquestioning belief.
I'm not sure I have what it takes there (in either of the two areas) but I can sure recognize it when I see it elsewhere.
SMD has a quirky angle that makes it a better than usual candidate for success.
I very much agree with this statement. Well said.
Jan 6 2009, 09:23 AM
QUOTE(Gerry @ Jan 6 2009, 08:36 AM)
Ultimately you have to pick one or two, and the others, no matter how worthy or filled with potential, just have to go away. So when you pick that one, you have to believe in it no matter what.
That's a good advice.
Jan 6 2009, 09:24 AM
Good luck with the books and I hope they find many enthusiastic readers!
Jan 6 2009, 12:31 PM
Thanks Robcat, apprentice, phatso and Rodney. Your comments mean a lot!
Mar 29 2010, 06:36 AM
One more update: yesterday, Sunday, March 28, I completed principal work (i.e., all the pen and ink work) on this project. What's left now is to do all the shading and art edits in Photoshop on the last two chapters, a total of 40 pages I think. The entire book tops out at 103 pages.
Now that I've reached this point, the plan is to try to land a publishing deal and get a "real book" done, and the fallback plan is to self-publish. I'll also be posting the entirety of chapter 1 at http://www.sistermarydracula.com
and I think *finally* getting a Facebook page to promote it.
The kids are still doing "Facebook", right?
Mar 29 2010, 07:09 AM
Personally, I would forego the publisher and keep as much of the profit as you can. :-)
Mar 29 2010, 07:14 AM
It's really kind of a tough call, Mark. I take your point, but I'm not sure my time is well spent doing all the promotion, selling, fulfillment, etc. I've been laying a lot of groundwork and networking with folks who could in theory help me get a book deal. But it comes down to whether an editor will want to commit to an untested property. I'm going to try, and see how far I get.
Mar 29 2010, 07:39 AM
Obviously, the most profitable way would be to go to a printer and try to get distribution, but the print on demand option does give you some flexibility. You can leave it up to them to handle all of the fulfillment.Here's
a write-up someone did of some of the POD options for comics. It's not super-current, but it's informative. There's also a link there to an enormous list of POD printers.
I've really been leaning towards CreateSpace for two reasons: 1) the direct connection to Amazon; 2) they give you a free ISBN.
At this point, POD appeals to me in that there's no upfront investment and I don't have to carry around boxes of books for the rest of my life. :-)
But my thinking is that down the road, if The Wannabe Pirates gains a bigger audience, I'll go to traditional printers so that I can increase the profit margin.
Mar 29 2010, 07:52 AM
Well, that's the thing, that there are so many options there's no need to rush around making decisions. Now that I've spent 4 years and three months doing the book, I can spend some time considering my choices. I was only slightly aware of CreateSpace until this morning when DarkLimit posted a link in his DPI question. I've spent some time looking over their site and reading the contract.
Jun 15 2010, 05:57 AM
My latest news on this project is that the book is finished, done, and off to the printer. 110 pages, 4 and a half years and I I found myself reading the story over and over on screen as I worked because it is freakin hilarious and amazingly I can say that without fear of contradiction.
I have decided to go for a publishing deal first, as a result of some very encouraging things I heard at the National Cartoonists Society's annual Reuben Awards weekend over Memorial Day. The book is at a POD publisher only to have a limited number of copies with "Manuscript" printed across the cover, that I'll circulate to publishers, editors, maybe a blogger or two, etc.
Now that it's done I'll be making a few changes to the website at www.sistermarydracula.com, namely posting the entire first 20-page chapter (currently there's only a six page sample) and republishing the original flash animation to make it downloadable. Not a big deal now that Flash Is Dead
but it's something!
I also need to restart and reorganize my CafePress store to include different separate store fronts for other merch but that's a big project. Right now I'm just giving myself some time off and smellin the roses.
Jun 15 2010, 06:31 AM
That's great news Gerry,
Just remember... when you get all rich and famous... you've still got a few friends here.
I'm not sure what success will look like for you but I'm convinced there is a considerable market for SMD.
All it'll take is the proper marketing/placement and a little syncronicity.
If you get some prime placement and merchandising along with that... look out!*
Go get em Gerry.
*Note: I'm not talking personal merchandising here but rather some shrewd folk in the biz that want to get in on a good deal.
Jun 15 2010, 07:41 AM
Hooo Hoooo! I love Sister Mary Dracula (She could be a role model for me, can hardly tell us apart).
May you make oodles of green noodles !
I want the book! And the action figure! Especially if it comes with a whomping ruler, working canines and refillable blood vial !
Jun 15 2010, 01:03 PM
That's awesome Gerry. Sister Mary Dracula is great. Good luck with the publishing deal.
Jun 15 2010, 01:40 PM
Good luck with that! Hope it works out well.
Jun 15 2010, 01:57 PM
excellent T Shirts are next
Jun 16 2010, 04:48 AM
QUOTE(jimd @ Jun 15 2010, 05:57 PM)
excellent T Shirts are next
Actually I already had T shirts! I had a whole CafePress store with mugs, t shirts the whole magilla! But it needed reorganizing so badly that rather than shuffle things around I just took it down. Getting it done right is my next task.
Jun 16 2010, 07:53 AM
Congrats, Gerry! Hope you have crazy success with it!
Jun 18 2010, 07:29 PM
Congrats Gerry, that's a great feat! Best of luck to SMD!
Jun 18 2010, 08:26 PM
Jun 19 2010, 01:51 AM
Best of luck with it all.
Jun 19 2010, 10:37 AM
Best of luck Gerry! I love the website .... "Awoooooooo!"
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