I remember fondly when you could embed Youtube videos to WordPress without paying them extra money on a Monthly basis. Those days are GONE and I swear to God it must chase people away to other sites. Blogger has a God Damn button on Youtube that will open a Video in a new window ready to post to your blog. I suppose that’s the benefit of them being owned by the same company.
I will continue this thought it a bit about Marketing below, so if you’re not into that, I’ll tell you when to stop reading.
Where’s 50Signal 3?
Get off my back DAD, I’ve been working on some other stuff.
I have been satisfying my wandering mind a lot recently and working on submissions for anthologies and the like. This is probably really annoying to readers who wanted to read the next bit of the series, but I thought that Issue 2 left it at such a point I could explore a few other ideas before returning. I won’t leave it too long though, because I’d hate for people to lose interest. Indie comics moves so much slower than Mainstream comics. Doing everything yourself in between a day job means that the creation side of things is so much slower, but then the distribution is slower. 50Signal 1 is over a year old, and yet people are still buying Issue 1, and I will still be peddling it at conventions this year. New audiences to tap. Could you imagine a short run series still getting issue 1 sales a year in?
So forgive me if I don’t start work on three in Earnest until issue 2 sells some more copies. There’s this threshold it has to cross for me to know that enough people are still interested, and I know that’s probably dangerous, because the longer you leave it, the less fresh it is in peoples minds. I just like working on a variety of stuff. But I am working on it, here’s page 1:
I have just got back from a holiday Cycling around Wales. What I learned was that firstly, no matter which direction you cycle in Wales, it will be uphill. If we went for 10 miles, 8 of those miles would be uphill, and the rest would be 90 degree downward slopes, the sort you grip your breaks for fear gravity would find out you were there and send you spinning off into space. The second is that country roads aren’t big enough. Having to pass someones Land Rover discovery so close that your cheek brushes the ear of the driver is not a great experience.
I didn’t take as many books on Holiday as I usually do, in order to push myself into drawing/writing more in my downtime. I read through Out Of The Ordinary by Jon Ronson in two days, and then had to actually buy something to stop myself going insane. My comic book to read pile is building up around my forehead, so I will be diving into that as soon as I can. I picked up a copy of The Fireman by Joe Hill. I’ve only ever read one book by him before, Heart Shaped Box, and that is one of the tensest pure horror stories I have ever devoured. Seeing Hill turn that tension to the fairy weary contagion story is just beautiful, he has such a precise eye for details that mean that something that’s fantastical on the surface becomes real and horrible. What The Last Of Us is to zombie Horror games, The Fireman is to Pandemic fiction. Its human, its grounded and its chilling. Its a chunky read that deals well with the post-apocalyptic wake of a viral outbreak, as well as the early days of its collapse. One detial I did like is that during the unraveling of society at the beginning of the book, Hill peppers the story with the fates of known celebrities and personalities, which is involving, but not done in such a way it wrenches you out of the tale. I am intrigued to find out if that ages the book for future generations of readers.
Read below for some hot Business twaddle, if not, skip a head to a picture of a desk:
I kind of like the idea of WordPress marketing itself as a streamlined service, the absence of a feature actually being a selling point.
“WordPress, its all about the Words”
We have Tumblr and Twitter for Microblogging now, and I think the way we interact with blogs is different. Matt Fractions run on Fantastic Four had a Tumblr, so does Warren Ellis and Declan Shalvey’s Injection. I think purpose built sites are less and less important. Maybe all you need is a placeholder, a web menu for you, that points to where a your different shit is. Marketing experts say that interlinking is the key to cracking social media, and I agree insofar as if you don’t have a pinned tweet on your profile directing people to your online stores, or a plug for your latest product then you aren’t utilizing the connection your developing with your audience on Twitters personal basis. I went to a seminar recently all about Brand Management and I kept ticking off all the things Madius have been doing accidentally throughout our first year and a half. But the main thing is we’ve developed that connection with a small pocket of an audience and then watch it grow. Trends start with the first followers and then make is spread. If you work anywhere near design or advertisements or management then some company schlong has stood in front of you and told you to make something go viral, and you’ve probably looked back them, open mouthed in astonishment at the ridiculousness of their statement. It’s not a thing that can be necessarily controlled, and yet its the holy grail of any product. I suppose all you can do is have absolute conviction in what you’re doing and talk to people, and get them to be as passionate as you.
Or you could be like me and just be weird all day and hope people are into that.
I bought a new drawing Board. The old piece of kit I had was a large A0 drawing board that I inherited that took up a huge amount of space in the studio. I recently renovated the whole place (replastered two walls, wallpapered a section, repainted everything) and half way through doing it I thought whats the point in doing all this when I’m going to stick this old thing in the room. I do so much digital work these days and I want to focus more on my writing, so I looked for a desk that can double as a drawing board, and I settled on this one which is a LINNMON / FINNVARD from Ikea, that’s actually three bits of furniture, the legs and the board are all bought separately. The desk allows you to change the height and the incline, so it doubles as a drawing board. It was £70, and that’s much cheaper than a brand new drawing board, and if you get a T-Square, you can combat the lack of a ruler on it. Not that straight lines bother me at all.
I’m going to finish this in a second, because I really want to talk about music, and I’m afraid it’d eat up another 1000 words and this is already a beastly Blog length. I honestly don’t know who my market for these things is, but people read them so, there you go. But I just want to say something about Mike Mignola saying he’s bowing out of comics for a while. I can totally sympathize with his reasoning, it must be difficult to be always on the go with something, the same thing more or less. He is one of my major inspirations, the way he plays with composition, light and shadow, its something I have wanted to mimic in my own work since reading Hellboy out of order when I was in High school. In started with The Conqueror Worm by accident so I read the end before the beginning. He’s the God Father of comics, and has done so much to bring readers to our ever expanding cult outside the world of capes and billion dollar franchises, so he deserves a break from comics.
Also he’s going to be working on some wicked mad paintings now, so the fine art work can get a squirt of Mignola to the face.