Tag Archives: publishing

Trifecta! The Bonnie Jo Campbell Comics Collection

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Not only are these comics a good way to get into Bonnie Jo Campbell, they’re also a good documentation of my journey from adequate to proficient in Adobe Photoshop.

May seems to happen so fast, I completely forgot to post this little gem to my blog: Bonnie Jo Campbell Comics: Volume 3 (Women and Other Animals) exists! We distributed some at the Society for the Study of Midwestern Literature’s symposium earlier in the month, and then most of them are being held back until WW Norton reprints Women and Other Animals in 2020. However, if you’re a follower of this blog, you can totally order one (or more) direct from me. Just contact me through this blog (email address is on the About page) and we can exchange details. I also have copies of the back issues for sale.

Prices as follows: 1 comic=$4, 2 comics=$7, 3 comics=$10 + $3 postage.

I’m going to post my presentation from the SSML symposium this week, too. It was a really great experience for me. The organizers want my work for an anthology they’re putting together, and, even better, the comics themselves are going to be added to the comic book archive at MSU. It is the academic comic book collection. The definitive scholarly repository with over 300,000 titles. It’s the place to be if your research requires comic books. It’s a good honor.

 

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Candy Delight Mandala

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Delicious and nutritious. Tastes just like chicken. OK, just like chicks. Well, actually, like marshmallow Peeps.

Today I had some very intensive conversations, one with the Rabbit and one with Misses Kitty, on the subject of marketing for artists. I have a fair amount of experience in marketing for other people. It was a huge component of my last real job, and I worked closely with the marketing people when I was in traditional publishing, but I never enjoyed it, or excelled at it. The Rabbit and Misses Kitty are sort of better at it than I am. But I’m supposed to try.

After all, the Owl, whose book coming out really soon, sold her house, bought a van, and swore to spend the entire year on a publicity tour. That’s a real commitment. And what have I done? Made some posts on social media? My books are good. I’m a good writer. But beyond that, the process loses my interest.

Also today I finished reading my next big novel to The Man (I have a slender kids’ book that will come out later this year, but it’s actually older than The Hermit.) This next book is science-fiction-y, and murder-mystery-y, and dystopian-y. It’s also about 800 pages. For quite some time I puzzled over how to cut it down to a manageable level, but the people who’ve read it don’t seem to think it needs cutting down. Still, it needs some editorial work. In reading it to The Man (800 pages, which took about 5 weeks) I found dozens of typos and a number of continuity errors and things like that. After this next book is published, and I have participated in some marketing-related activities, I will make about 2 more passes and then maybe start the entire agent-seeking process all over again. If I can actually sell some copies of The Hermit before then, it will help.

Now I’m writing a horror novel; it’s a genre I’ve barely touched on in my life, even though I read everything Stephen King wrote prior to 1996 and some of the stuff he wrote after it, and all of Clive Barker’s early stuff, and HP Lovecraft and other writers in that vein. I know I can write a novel; it remains to seen whether I can be scary.

Not that I’m scaring anyone with a crayon mandala in cotton candy pink and marshmallow Peep yellow. And I guess those are blue M&Ms and the green are those weird sour candies that kids like today. They didn’t have them in the ’80s, as far as I can remember, so I never got a taste for them.

You know what would help, though? You could buy my book, support my Patreon,  or order my merch.

Submission

For my followup, I guess I'll have to vent a spleen.

For my followup, I guess I’ll have to vent a spleen.

This one might be a bit abstract. I guess it either works or it doesn’t.

It’s true that I know I don’t completely suck due to the fact that I sometimes get personalized rejection letters, and sometimes agents or publishers write me back once or twice before ignoring me, and every once in a while someone actually enjoys my fiction enough to pay for it. It’s sort of like being in the top 1% in a field where only the top .01% really succeed.

I really wanted to do a funny 1-panel comic tonight, but my ideas were either not funny or not 1-panel. My brain was in the mundane sphere due to the fact that I remembered, just as I was about to start working on my project, that my car registration needed to be renewed, and that if I didn’t go down to the DMV and get my emissions tested right that very minute, there was an extremely strong chance that I would soon be driving around with expired tags. That ate up about an hour of my life, after which I needed to do other mundane things like acquire food.

Passing emissions also reminded me that Honda had recently sent a notice that all my airbags were being recalled because they had been suddenly proven to be deadly projectile weapons that would just as soon shoot bits of metal into your chest as to save your life. But at that point I really didn’t have time to deal with the situation. So it’s entirely possible that my car is going to kill me, but at least I can prove to the government that it’s not spewing too much poison into the air.

Rejection Collection

Jack also collects life experiences, but he can't sell those. Not in this market, anyway.

Jack also collects life experiences, but he can’t sell those. Not in this market, anyway.

Almost 1000 people clicked on Friday’s PTSD comic; of course my best reception would be for the worst things that have ever happened to me. I’m thrilled that it resonated with so many people, but it also re-traumatized me to write it. I thought maybe today’s comic could be a little bit more upbeat. Just a little

Jack is not the only person who frames his quest for acceptance by asking to be rejected. There’s some science there about giving yourself permission to fail in order to work your way into succeeding. There’s strong research on this, and yet it’s still kind of a hard concept to embrace.

Personally, I’m terrible at dealing with rejection. I have too many negative childhood memories of being rejected. Asking for more rejection when I’ve finally gotten to a point where it doesn’t happen otherwise feels dangerous.My collection of “Thanks but no thanks” letter from publishers is substantially smaller than Jack’s and so is my “works published” list. Jack is a good inspiration, but it’s hard to keep up with him sometimes. Still, that’s what it takes, sometimes: a relentless pursuit of ones goals.

In addition to a massive collection of rejection letters and a substantial list of published stories, Jack also owns an old card catalog, or at least he’s the custodian of this unwieldy but awesome piece of furniture, for which I also envy him.

If there’s not a spec fic magazine called Unusual Anecdotes, there should be.