State of the Strips: 2015

Wednesday, January 7, 2015 - 10:35 PM

Hey, it's 2015! Time to take stock!

It's the New Year, and it's my birthday, so it's a great time to assess how things are going, and talk about what's coming in 2015. Let's tackle 'em in chunks!

Update Schedule: The big news, here, is an increasing return to normalcy for the strip and its schedule. Ironically, when I wrote last year's State of the Strip, I honestly thought I was "done" with STRIPPED work. Little did I know how much time the distribution, marketing, and promotion of the film would take. Turns out, a ton!
But all that is 99% done (more on that in a second), which means, essentially, a better update schedule for Sheldon. Ideally, new strips up at midnight every weekday.

New Book: Sheldon will also have a new book out in the Fall, which will be great.

Patreon: I've been amazed at the new platform, Patreon, and how it's changed the way artists can create for their readers. Basically: Patreon is a super simple way where you can support the artists you like for...pennies, essentially. Patreon's strength is in aggregating those pennies -- aggregating the support of hundreds or thousands of readers -- and making it add up to a livable wage for an artist. Not every readers needs or wants a t-shirt or a poster, for example, but they might still want to support the artists behind their favorite art. And Patreon lets 'em do it, for $0.25 or $0.50 a month. I'll have a video up for it in March, but here's the Sheldon Patreon page, if you'd like to check it out and throw a few pennies at the strip!


Update Schedule: Drive is back on track, and the story is hummin' along again! If you haven't yet read it, please check it out: It's a cross between the empire-spanning scope of Frank Herbert's DUNE, and the goofiness of Douglas Adams' HITCHHIKER'S GUIDE. i09 had a really nice write-up on it, here, while Jeff Kapalka of the News-Standard summarized it perfectly, by saying "The story is serious. The characters are hilarious."

New Book: Drive is going to have a really classy hardcover collection in late Spring of 2015, and I'm excited for it. We're about 1/3 of the way through the story, and this will be the first of three hardcovers that'll collect the full story.

Patreon: I've been blown away by the generosity and support you all have shown Drive via Patreon. YOU have turned a personal passion project into a professional project, and that is amazing. I can't thank you enough. And if you haven't checked out Drive's Patreon campaign video, do so! It's funny.

Manga Studio Pro: Thanks to the huge kindness of cartoonist Lar deSouza (whose art on Looking for Group continually blows me away), I've taken the first tentative steps into using Manga Studio to draw Drive. If I can get the hang of it, I think it'll open up new possibilities for the strip's art. I'll keep you updated on how it's going.

Drive Mini-Story: Like the old short-form "Star Wars Tales," I'd love to *hire* fellow artists to write and draw mini-stories set in the Drive universe. Stories about key characters at different points in their life, or which show parts of the human empire alien cultures that we've only seen glimpses of. My hope (hope!) is to have the first one commissioned in 2015. Patreon support will be a huge help toward making that happen: I want these artists to be paid what they're worth!

Netflix: In 2015, we're hoping to have Stripped up on Netflix. It's turned out to be a trickier thing than we anticipated, but we'll get it there. Then, we should be able, contracts allowing, to have it up on Vimeo, Hulu, and YouTube

Coffee Table Book: In late Winter / early Spring, we'll be putting together a coffee table book with full-length interviews from Stripped. For those that really love cartooning, I think this hardcover will be something you'll treasure.
So that's it! That's the plan for 2015, and a summary of where things stand. THANK YOU, as always, for reading the strips, and for supporting them...and me. Your kindness means the world to me.
Congratulations on being awesome, basically.

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