Baggywrinkles #4 is Here!

WOW. Wow. I can’t process into words how amazing TCAF was this year, so I’m just going to cut to the chase and let you all know that Baggywrinkles 4 was a monstrous hit this weekend, and now it’s time to put the comic into general release for all of you to enjoy! There are several ways to get the most out of your reading experience, so choose carefully.

1. This Post (Free and Easy)

BOATS

You can scroll past all this nonsense to cut straight to the chase and read Baggywrinkles #4 on the site. Easy peasy!

2. Digital Edition (Free or Pay-What-You-Will)

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If you’d like something more lasting, why not download the PDF edition from Gumroad? The PDF is free, but there’s a pay-what-you-will option built in, so if you enjoy the story and would like to chip in a few bucks towards the completion of the next comic, this is the best bet for you!

3. Physical Copy ($5 + Shipping)

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Die-hard Baggywrinkles fans will most likely want a physical copy of the comic, which is TOTALLY AVAILABLE. Phew! You can pre-order via Storenvy this very second! Hard copies will begin shipping on Friday.

Unfortunately, I’ve had to stop hand-sewing all my books due to time constraints (I did the math. Did you know I’ve hand-bound over 600 copies of Baggywrinkles since I started the series? NUTS.), so this issue will be stapled, but the comic does feature a very nice recycled cardstock cover and 16 creamy interior pages of comics goodness. I think it looks swell. I’m also happy to doodle in the copies you purchase if you’d so desire.

So with all that out of the way, here’s the comic! Enjoy!

Nope

Some days, man.

WakeUp

This was largely a practice piece to try drawing a comic start to finish in Photoshop. I definitely prefer Manga Studio for inking, but until I upgrade to the new release I’m still more comfortable doing color stuff in PS — though lordy do I still have a lot to learn. This is all because I’ve started a rad secret project with two amazing digital artists (Bridget and Carolyn!) and need to get myself up to speed with their lightning-fast abilities. Anyway, baby steps.

Leave a holler in the comments if you have any favorite digital coloring resources or inspirations!

True Believer Digital Downloads!

I thought the Waterlogged IndieGoGo campaign was going to be the most exciting news of the week, but it turns out there are more goodies in store!

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You can now acquire True Believer, my breakout comic from last year, as a high-quality digital download via Gumroad. I’m excited about this for a number of reasons, not least of which is Gumroad’s elegant sales system. The base price for the download is $3, but you can pay more if you really enjoy it and/or want to help me keep making comics with more of a boost. You’ll receive the full 36-page story via immediate download, plus a link in your email in case you lose track of it in the future. Gumroad is excellent because you can also revisit the site and it will remember your purchases, so you can download it again if your email explodes or something equally horrific.

Basically, once you buy this thing you’ll never be able to get rid of it. Hooray!

For those of you who weren’t around when all this happened, True Believer is the story of why I got into making comics for a living in the first place. It’s an origin story, an homage to teachers past and present, and a treatise on creativity all rolled into one. While I have plenty of print copies still available from the massively successful Kickstarter campaign, it’s always nice to have more options. If you have questions about Gumroad or issues with your download, don’t hesitate to let me know, otherwise: have at it!

Worthy

I don’t often use this blog for soapboxing about artistic issues, but this comic deserves a bit of an introduction. It’s part of a short conversation I had with my mother (a freelance writer and former cartoonist) a few months ago while working on an illustration job. I’m proud of how far I’ve come in the past year in terms of understanding my financial worth and being unafraid to charge money for what I do, but moments like this still leave me a trembling, anxious wreck. Money and creativity have a fraught relationship at the best of times, and somehow financial matters always manage to cut to the heart of many people’s insecurities. We often believe we’re worthless. That we’re frauds. That someone will come forward one of these days and expose us. It’s only a matter of time. Taking risks and charging a fair price for the services we offer opens us up for the ultimate confirmation of these fears. If someone refuses our price, we are indeed worthless.

Of course, this is a load of bullshit.

Charging people money for something you love doing shouldn’t be difficult, yet somehow it’s one of the greatest challenges facing new artists in the field. We’re steeped in mixed messages telling us that creativity is simultaneously priceless and worthless. “How hard can it be?” people ask, turning around in the same breath to babble about “talent” and “genius”. The attitude I encounter most often involves folks looking wistfully over my shoulder and saying “Oh, I could never do that” — as if drawing is some God-given jar of pixie dust rather than a craft honed over hundreds and thousands of hours. Conversely, onlookers or employers can be astounded at the amount of time and effort that goes into a job — “Surely it doesn’t take that long!” “But that’s so much work!”

How can we create a system where artists don’t have to overcome so many conflicting viewpoints simply in order to get paid for their work? Of course, a great deal rests on having the confidence to realize that self-worth and artistic worth are separate entities. Often it just takes guts to be calm and up-front about asking for your price. By being professional about our financial requirements, we set a precedent for other artists in the field. But it can be hard to know where to start. It’s a lesson I learn and re-learn every time I take on a new job or decide to increase my fees in relation to the amount of experience I’ve gained since starting out as a freelancer.

This is an awful lot of gabble for such a quick comic, but it’s an issue that’s really important to me, so I thought I’d share some of my thoughts. If anyone wants to read more, I’ve included some helpful links to other essays on the subject at the bottom of this post.

Phew!

Comic time.

Money

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Useful Links:

Jessica Hische: The Dark Art of Pricing

Katie Lane: Why You Should Raise Your Rates

Katie Lane: Be a Freelance Rock Star

Mike Monteiro: F*ck You, Pay Me

New Comic – Navy Ink

Those of you who follow me on various platforms around the Internet will doubtless know that I drew a little silent, supernatural story for Cloudscape Comics last month. Their full, ocean-themed anthology won’t be out till next year (boo), but they’ve been kind enough to let me share the story with you here on my site (yay!). The drawings are by yours truly and the story was penned by Shannon Campbell, the brains behind VanCAF (where, incidentally, I’ll be exhibiting again next year!). But enough talk. On with the comics!