Slow and One Dozen

Jan 16, 2017, 11:00:37 AM

Inktober themes: Slow and One Dozen

Slow and One Dozen are the next two Inktober themes for the 9th page of the short comic The Galactic Train.

For the "slow" prompt (#23) it seemed obvious that it would be Kamiko putting up the rear as they tried to flee from the giant monster.

The next prompt (#24) for Inktober was "One Dozen." I had the giant monster fire out a dozen skull-fireball things in response to seeing them. Kinda feels like overkill. He could have just squished them, but maybe he won't come near them -- they'd be like ants to him, but maybe he's afraid of them.

Crazy Plans for 2017

I post this on Facebook a couple of days ago and I wanted to share it here. It outlines a bunch of crazy plans I have for 2017. A lot of them fall under the same idea: Make a minimum viable product (MVP) and launch it. God knows I have enough crap sitting around my digital dustbin to do that.

BTW, next to all these crazy plans, I am also looking for a job or maybe contract work. I know Unity 5, C++, web, and you know, stuff.

Crazy plans as follows!

This Mortal Coil: My Neighbor Kamiko

That's the name of the next Mortal Coil story. :)

If you are a fan of This Mortal Coil this is probably the most relevant to your interests.

The idea is simple: Kamiko goes home after the events of The Rabbit and the Moon to her place in present day Montmartre, Paris and the story is about her and her neighbors and how they perceive her. It's more slice-of-life with some adventure story threads. It would challenge me to draw more urban environments and try to recreate Paris which should be a challenge in and of itself. Maybe it'll give me a good excuse to go back or watch Amelie a dozen more times. :)

So, I spent some time rethinking how I make webcomics.

Four years for one story is too long.

I love the art style, but it's cost prohibitive. I still want to do pages like you saw in The Rabbit and the Moon, but knowing what I know now, I also want to make webcomics that are shareable via social media in addition to telling longer tales like I was doing.

So I thought of this:

Instead of the comic being a story, I wanted a setting. This way I could use it to tell both long and short narratives.

As for style, I want to keep the high contrast graphic novel style for major developments/scenes in the story, but then switch to doing 4koma style manga strips for inbetween moments. Those in-between moments would allow me to explore shorter stories, do some world building, and character development. They would have some more gags -- so I get to try my hand at writing humor. These 4koma style comics could be shared via Instagram, Pinterest, Twitter, and FB. They could be easier to produce and hopefully bring people back for the bigger story. This would allow me to explore a lot of different topics and sides of Kamiko's character without being stuck in one single, long narrative. Everything would be tied together by the setting and characters.

I've begun to write ideas for My Neighbor Kamiko and it'll probably be in that phase of development for a while longer as I enact some of my other plans first (the things below).

As a test though, I'm going to try and produce a series of 4komas based on The Shrine and The Rabbit and the Moon. At least so I can get the style down before I start on My Neighbor Kamiko. Look out for these coming later this year -- probably in spring or summer. I can't commit to a date yet, but I'll let you know!

This Mortal Coil on Comixology

For January 2017, I want to Break up This Mortal Coil: The Rabbit and the Moon and submit "issues" to Comixology and sell for $1.99.

There would be 4 issues in all at about 31-32 pages a piece.

I've actually already done the work and split up the first issue and submitted to Comixology. Now I wait and see if they accept it or not. I could probably also put the digital download on Gumroad and maybe Etsy as well.

Here's a look at the cover for Issue #1:

The Rabbit and the Moon Issue #1 Cover | Comixology | Digital Publication | This Mortal Coil

The Rabbit and the Moon Issue #1 Cover | Comixology | Digital Publication | This Mortal Coil

This Mortal Coil Graphic Novel

Oh, and I want to drop this here, but I did a vlog about a FULL graphic novel version of This Mortal Coil I printed. Yes, you can see my face. I'll post more about this in a separate blog post maybe later this week or for the next comic update.

Lolita Fashion Coloring Book Reviews and Pricing

Lolita Fashion Coloring Book Cover | This Mortal Coil

(Q1 2017) Lolita Fashion coloring book. I set it down to $8.99 on Amazon -- it was around that price over December because Amazon put it on sale. I also hear another way I could sell it is via Etsy since I can dropship via Createspace. So I will make that an option soon, and potentially in February even drop the price further. I'm also still waiting on some reviews for the book as well. If you are a coloring book reviewer or Lolita fashionista and would like to review the book, I'd love to send you a copy. You can find more information in the press kit.

A Second Lolita Fashion Coloring Book

I've started putting together ideas for a second Lolita Fashion coloring book. It'll probably contain a lot of my other illustrations of Kamiko that you can already find on the site, but inked rather than painted. It'll, of course, have new illustrations too. I've got two concepts for a book. One would be more of a smattering of Lolita styles and dresses like the first book but with different poses and compositions. The other book would be more related to This Mortal Coil and have an overall theme to it, but I may save that for a third one.

Also, my mom got into coloring by book and she wanted to make one, so I may help her with that too.

Mobile Games

Ollie and Flip | Prisma Wave Studios | Mobile Games

Ollie and Flip | Prisma Wave Studios | Mobile Games

(Jan-Feb) Prisma Wave Studios. Did I ever tell you I made indie mobile games? Well, I am now. :)

I'm going to make a 99 cent version of Ollie and Flip -- no changes whatsoever. I figure I can do this by end of next week or sooner.

Also, I'm going to make an Ollie and Flip 2 that includes all of the changes we did for Toodle's Toboggan with levels and sell that for maybe 2.99. I'm looking for a quick turnaround time on this project, believe it or not.

Why do this? We're too small/non-existent to do this "games as service" freemium stuff, so I'd rather sell a product than hope people will download our game and buy IAP. Besides we'd need a huge audience to even get, say, 1% of the players to buy anything and make a decent income off of it.

This is also a last-ditch effort to see if we can gain traction with our work. It would put a third game for Prisma Wave in the AppStore. Granted not a third different game, but I'm working with what I got here, and what I got, ain't bad. I'm banking on the idea that a great many people have not yet discovered Ollie and Flip and a paid .99 cent version could put the game in front of folks.

The Mechanical Bird on Kindle

The Mechanical Bird Novel Cover

The Mechanical Bird Novel Cover

(Q1 2017) The Mechanical Bird on Kindle. You can read some of it here on Wattpad. My original idea was to finish this novel, then get a literary agent, and then suffer a million rejection slips, which I am totally willing to do.

Over break though, I started reading about a guy named Michael Anderle who published books on Kindle using an MVP approach, which got me thinking about applying the same idea to items 1-3. His reasoning was that an author on Kindle needed to show s/he had 3+ books before anyone cared about his/her work. The idea is that book series show an investment by an author. If you want to get a better idea of what inspired me check out his video here on Youtube:

I want to take the novel I'm writing and split it up into three 33k word novelettes and put them on Kindle. I'll do a read through, some editing, prepare a cover, and publish the first book as fast as I can. I should at least read it again to make sure it makes sense. :) And again with the second and third until I have three works on Kindle.

From there, I'll continue writing the Mechanical Bird, which is probably over a third of the way through. It could extend it to be a multi-book serial if it takes off. If it doesn't build, I'll finish the story I intended and maybe still try and pitch it to lit agents to build my rejection slips.

I spent an afternoon reading reviews of books by guys like Anderle and TS Paul to see what people said about those novels, and yes, they do say that the writing is shit, but their stories and characters are engaging. I don't think that is a horrible place to be, that is to have a readership that will suffer through your writing, because they hunger for more story. Once you can bootstrap yourself you can always go back and revise old volumes of the series to be better. It's scrappy and I like that. We had a similar approach for Prisma Wave, but alas took too long to make games (I could talk at length about that another time).

I also have a ton of writing from past NaNoWriMos and other novel projects. I could "spruce" them up and pitch them to the masses and see what sticks. At least I'd be paid for some of it, which is better than not being paid for sitting on 17 years of half baked novels. They could be springboards for book series.

Those Are My Plans, How About Yours?

So, learning about the whole Kindle thing re-energized me. At the end of 2016 I was burnt out (to a husk). But for 2017: make products and sell them. Test the waters with MVPs. Find ways to work faster. I spent all of 2016 giving stuff away. Alright, maybe since 2013 when I started serializing This Mortal Coil.

As for 2017 in general, I really feel like things are wide open. I could end up outside of the Bay Area. I was even considering the JET Program to teach English in Japan if it all went butts up. Anything could happen including, ending up in an interment camp, because who the fuck knows anymore. Until then, I'm going to pursue my crazy plan.

How about you, what are your crazy plans for 2017?

Are you re-energized to pursue them with the start of this new year?

As 2017 goes on, there could be some things I stumble on such as the literal elephant in the room. I have no answer for that. That's not in my control and completely unknown, but these crazy plans are under my control. As long as I focus on them I can get most of them done. I'll keep you posted. Keep me posted on your progress too.