A Professional Milestone

submission_blog_1Upon turning twenty-five, I abruptly switched life paths. Feeling unfulfilled with my corporate IT job and Los Angeles itself, I decided to follow my passion for art and expression, and made a new life in Austin, TX. Ever since (in between various jobs) I’ve been practicing drawing and visual storytelling. This nine years of practice (I can’t believe it’s been NINE YEARS already!) has cumulated with my first children’s book manuscript, Neat Birds, which I’ve recently submit to an agent. This is a big deal!

If signed by an agent, it means they believe this book will get a publishing contract. With high hopes, I decided to submit to a VERY GOOD AGENT. Their agency represents the very talented and popular children’s book author & illustrator, Mo Willems. I’ve given them exclusive rights to my manuscript for a month, after which I can submit to other agents. I must wait up to six weeks for a reply from them (they receive MANY submissions), and if I don’t hear anything, I should considered it DENIED (brutal, eh?). Publishing is a competitive industry, and aspirants must learn to flow with rejection. That said, I feel like the book proposal is strong, and those who’ve seen it have had very positive responses — so I’m optimistic!

In the submission package were two documents. 1) The picture book dummy (the book storyboard), and 2) some samples of finished artwork. The images below show the art going from rough storyboard to “finished.”

submission_blog_2

They say there are no atheists in a foxhole. Well, there are no atheist authors-desperate-for-a-book-deal either. Your thoughts, prayers, and magic workings are appreciated. :)

Projects at the Print Shop

Progress on my new graphic novel has been coming along, but before I totally depart into that fertile land, I’ve been diligently transforming past projects into tangible tokens. I’d like to announce the forthcoming release of two mini-comics — one, a collection of romantically themed break-up comics, and the other a self-contained, short, experimental story. I’ll release more info on these soon, but in the meantime, here’s the covers:

catharsis_cover

birth_death_cover

I’m really happy with how these came out, particularly the cover for Catharsis Comics. If I saw it at a convention or comics shop, I would be be intrigued and want a closer look.

These mini-comics represent my first foray into self-publishing, and I’ve definitely learned a lot — namely, how time consuming it is! Just formatting the files for the printer was a huge task requiring making little prototype books using scissors and glue sticks, then dismantling it to see what page each piece gets printed on (it’s not a linear process like you might think). Not including time spent creating the content, it probably took an additional 40 hours to create the covers, layout the books, and prepare the files for the print shop.

dummybook

When these are printed I’ll be collating and staple-binding them myself — another time consuming task. All told, from this printing, I’ll have 60 copies of BIRTH/DEATH and 70 copies of Catharsis Comics. With the $260 spent on paper, printing, and supplies, if I sell these for $5 each, I’ll be lucky to make $1/hr for the time I’ve spent producing these comics. Clearly, I’m not in it for the money. I see these books as a sort of business card; you lose money having business cards printed, but hopefully, they go out into the world and bring back the goodness.