Letters to Holly

Friday, May 6

Two Down

I was pulling into the mall for my weekly lunch-break stroll when I realized its Starbucks has a bulletin board. And always on that board are community event fliers. And, in the seat next to me, I had one such flier.

It shouldn't have taken me two weeks to think of posting my comic ad in a place I go to every week, often the same day every week. But it did. Now it's posted. So that's the local Ingles and the mall Starbucks hosting my comic art in the same week. Heady stuff.

Here's the second table display. I'll bolster the colors before printing it.

I'm making altered fliers to post in our town this weekend. I'll attach coupons to them as a reward for making the drive to Asheville.

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I watched the royal wedding last night. BBC provides a video-on-demand version that differs from the version Your Sister saw last week. She watched a giddy, gossipy version, and the one we watched is serious and narrative. They identified everyone who arrived at the cathedral, which helps casual anglophiles like me. It's a surprisingly efficient service -- maybe 30 minutes -- and the couple was never more charming than when they chatted casually while standing at the altar. The queen bore no signs of being the monarch; she was simply the grandmother, and she allowed the bride to stand out. It's a small, classy gesture.

Wednesday, May 4

One Down

The blank balloon is for the Post-It notes of prices in response to demand.

Your Sister kindly posed for me for the other table sign. I still need to draw that.

In a related story, fan-favorite artist  Adam Hughes announced he will no longer do convention sketches. He's tired of giving away or selling for moderate prices commissioned artwork at conventions only to see them go on eBay for thousands of dollars. His decision opened a debate in the online comicsverse about the practice of "flipping" con sketches for profit. It's not very likely with my stuff, but this happens all the time for professionals who draw at conventions. When I get sketches at conventions, I always ask them to dedicate to me; this kills any potential flip value and assure them I will keep the art.

Tuesday, May 3

Put Them in the Ground and Command Them to Rise

Maybe two months ago, I ordered sweet potato sprouts online. Planting potatoes ain't easy. It's hard enough to find regular potatoes to plant. I've only seen one local outlet with seed potatoes, and it runs out quick-like. I snagged about eight pounds of golden spuds back in March. They sprouted two weeks ago and seem to be going gangbusters, unlike everything else I planted.

You have to get the right kind of potatoes to quarter and plant; store-bought potatoes are apparently dead ends that won't seed. Yet they sprout eyes, and those become potato shrubs, right? Not according to gardening scuttlebutt. I had no idea farming was so rife with theories and rumors. Don't even get me started on full-moon planting. It's bad enough fighting gnats, I don't wanna worry about werewolves too.

I was informed by the online farm store that the sprouts would be sent to my zip code when the time was right to plant them, and the dirty carton was in my mailbox yesterday. A note suggested planting immediately, and I did. Unlike the majority of garden plants, potatoes require raised beds. I made one long ridge the length of our garden and split it in half to house both types of potatoes. You plant them in loose soil and top the dirt with mulch. We'll see if my potato luck holds out.

Picture of the Day
The initial artwork for a table display. eMMA will have a word balloon announcing sketch prices.This is a light pencil transfer for artboard.

Monday, May 2

Yes, It Sucks. Fix It.

I had to scramble all last week in secret maneuvers regarding my comic book -- my freshly printed comic book, of course. My freshly printed comic book with a fucking typo on on the cover.

I didn't notice this until about five hours after picking up all 150 copies, and it just happened to catch my eye as I was heading into Ingles for coffee. This was the photo I took just fatre I got the comics into my car that morning.

The belt is supposed to read SCRAP, but a coloring error created an additional line in the A and turned it into an H.After fuming about my stupidity for a good day or so, I debated reprinting the whole comic again with a corrected cover. That would be expensive, of course, and I imagined having to hear from convention customers when they saw the mistake and helpfully pointed it out and allowed me to eat shit all day long. Didn't wanna spend that money, didn't want to hear that noise. And then I realized I might have a practical fix in hand: sticker paper.

Thanks to my new desktop printer, I felt confident I could print large numbers and with good color fidelity. If I could match the color on the cover stock with my sticker paper, I could patch the offending line. Yes, it would require 150 applications of small blocks of carefully calibrated color swatches using an X-Acto knife.But it would save me serious coin, and this kind of repetitive hand work would drum into my head to need to proof once more than I think necessary. And that's what I did.

The calibrated color stripe on sticker paper, a sample slice to be cut into segments to cover the offending line, and the weapon of choice.

One of the stickers adhered to the knife en route to the cover.

Almost there.

A repaired cover. Only 149 more times until I was done.

I told Your Sister about this only because I moved the operation to the kitchen to watch the sidekick with one eye. She came back from her Friday high tea/wedding party, and I had to explain the mess. I think she was dismayed about the typo and flabbergasted by the manhours needed for the fix. And really, it's not that bad. Once I discovered I could match the color at home, the labor seemed minor. The time flew by as I fixed bundles of ten comics at a time, and now it's done. I'm happy to undertake an old-school craft method to tidy up the comic. I'm sketching artwork for my table displays, and I hope to have all the artwork done by the 14th, one week from the convention.

I stopped by the town's new comic store Saturday. They're not open yet, but I hope to display a flier there with their permission. Also, I can give them a stack of Fanaticon cards to sell the show. The timing on this is boggling: the town's first comic store within a month of my appearance at a nearby convention? BOGGLED.

Also, my photo stands for the table display arrived Friday. That's almost all the table items I need.

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I took Travis to his first roller derby bouts Saturday night, and we sat behind the benches. It's a whole new sport when you can watch the strategy unfold. Also, we chatted with both city's team members and drank lotsa local beers. We agreed that roller derby should be a collegiate female sports. It can get sponsorships and would attract a varied audience.

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We took the sidekick to a birthday party Sunday. He continues to gravitate toward wheeled items he can walk behind. He approached and petted a big dog with no fear despite many, many sloppy dog kisses. His mother was horrified.