Comic Drawing Toolkit for Photoshop

This is my project for the Gumroad Small Product Lab challenge, wherein you produce and launch a product in just 10 days! It launches on Wednesday June 24th but can be pre-ordered now at https://gumroad.com/l/comictoolkit# Like the graphic says, it includes my personal 11×17 comic page template for Photoshop which is packed with layer groups and layers you can turn off and on to see my notes. You can customize the overall layout adding your logo to make it your own branding, and it’s printable if you want to print it out on traditional drawing board for finishing. I prefer to do all of my comic drawing in one Photoshop file, utlizing layers groups. Roughs, pencils, inks, colors and any other major step gets it’s own grouping so that everything is organized. There’s even a built in perspective path tool and extra composition guides. As an added bonus, I included 6 of my custom comic brushes that I created and personally use in all of my freelance work. Check out the link for more. This isn’t for complete beginners. Some basic knowledge of Photoshop and a graphics tablet to draw on are required. For the launch special it’s a special price of only $5 for the...

Time Management Tips for Artists

(the following is a snippit from my recent e-mail to the “AWESOME LIST” which is for Coaching Clients of “Cash For Cartoonists” If you’d like to get on the Awesome List see the directions after article!) For those that are pressed for time, this is for you! I know several artists who tell me they’d LOVE to launch a comic strip but feel they don’t have the time.¬† I’m pretty much doing Trader Dons in my “spare” time. I already have enough other projects taking up time and produce the two day a week comic, Bigfoot and Tiki. While I’m lucky enough now to work at home, home life is extremely busy! We have three boys, ages 10,13,14– a dog, three cats and bills to pay and a bunch of busy responsibilities. It occured to me that sharing how I manage my schedule with you, or giving you tips on how I’m fitting this in might shed some light on how you can fit something into your busy schedules. For now, here are two ways you can fit something new into your schedule if you’re really serious about making this a career. Start off slow and at least pen in 3 hours a day into your M-F or move some of those hours to the weekend or your days off….. 1. WAKE UP EARLY! Yeah, its going to SUCK at first. But trust me, you can get SO much done in the early AM before the rest of the world is awake. Let’s say you work a 9-5 shift at your full time job, and you leave your house...

Fans N’at : Experimenting with a Micro-Niche Comics

I started a new side webcomic called FANS N’at, which centers around Steelers Football from a fan’s perspective. Even though I’m pretty busy with other projects, I decided to practice what I preach to other cartoonists about “niche comics”. I consider this a “micro-niche”- I haven’t done a whole lot of promoting of this and wanted to see how viral it could go during the two week Super Bowl excitement and give Steelers fans something to laugh at in the off season. Then during the season I will do pre-game and post game strips full of inside jokes Steeler fans love. You can take a look at http://fansnat.com or http://steelercomics.com If you’re a cartoonist and want to learn about experimenting with niche comics of your own read on… Early Results & Reception The first week of Fans N’at I did 3 comics. The traffic hasn’t been HUGE, but it has been receptive and passionate. Our page on facebook racked up 173 “likes” and the strips being passed around on people’s walls brought in over 4000 Pageviews this week from Facebook alone. That probably means a passionate fan linked it on their wall, and then friends of theirs checked out the links.I’m not technically allowed to say how much I made from Google ads there, but let’s just say it was enough to buy a Golds Gym workout bench at walmart. – Now, I’m not really doing this comic to make money, I’m first and foremost doing it because I’m overly excited that my team is going to the super bowl and may walk away with its 7th ring! But...

CREATORS FRONT FOR DIVERSITY IN COMICS

Comic creators, and aspiring comic creators, Eric Powell of THE GOON fame lays it all out for you… You know, I’ve been telling all my friends and colleagues this stuff for years. I get asked the question a lot… DJ, why didn’t you take your quick 15 minutes of “Hero By Night” fame and go run and try to work for Marvel or DC? Or Why don’t you just self publish it on your own? The message in that video really strikes home my feelings on the whole matter. But here’s another element… even if you DO decide to publish¬† your own comics, the numbers Eric states in the video are 1000% accurate. You will likely end up spending your own money and not making ANY when you self publish a comic through the direct market system. I’ve been saying this for years in my own goofy publications like YIRMUMAH… That whole comic book industry market is BROKEN. I make more money drawing a comic strip twice a week for a ukulele company than I would if I were to self publish through the direct market comic book industry system. It’s just plain DUMB. All of the shitty numbers Eric states are the direct result of the broken system. You should do it because you love it… DUH! Yeah, of course you draw comics because you love it… but you’ll love it even more when it’s paying your mortgage or feeding your kids. When it’s a REAL profession and not some pipe dreamy hobby you do at your kitchen table after you work a 9-5 or ruin your personal...

A (much) better way to sell your Digital Comics

In the comic news I’ve seen some conversation about some bigger creators (like Mark Millar) not wanting to sell through Apple or other services that take a big cut of your profits. There’s good reason to be skeptical because these services don’t really allow you access to raw download numbers, you just have to trust a big brand and then they take a huge cut. I’ve seen Warren Ellis link to “Not .99 cent method“, which I like what that fella says about a mobile SMS payment, – but I’ve got an even BETTER way to sell your digital comics, maintain some control and keep MORE of your money. #1 – Setup an account at e-junkie.com E-Junkie allows you to sell ALL KINDS of digital goods. As an example, I sell my PDF ebook course “Cash for Cartoonists” through it and I couldn’t be happier. Don’t take my word for it, big brands like MTV, TechCrunch, CNN and others use this service. You can setup very simple BUY NOW buttons, etc, just like in paypal. You just enter the info, your price, and upload your file…. POOF, you’re e-publishing. The basic plan is going to run you $5 a month and will allow you to host 10 products, unlimited downloads, etc. E-Junkie connects directly to your paypal, google checkout, etc. EJunkie also gives you plenty of doo-dads on the back end to secure your downloads, etc. In the “not .99” method, the creator only hopes that other people won’t share the download link. That’s not secure enough! With EJunkie you can limit an amount of times a file can...

2010 Recap and state of my union

Only a couple days left in 2010. Every year around this time for the past 12 years I’ve written a blog recap of the years highlights and low lights. It’s hard for me to go month to month, so I’ll just randomly blabber about things that stick out to me… My life… I’ve stayed pretty private this year. Haven’t blogged as much as I used to. Family first… My wife: She’s an awesome lady. Maybe in just about every way. This year was her “rookie” year on the roller derby team and her team only lost ONE bout. It was a pleasure watching her transform into Atomic Bombino on a regular basis. The road trips were fun excursions from the daily grind of things. I’m really happy that she has HER thing now, just like I’ve always had my thing. I believe she also may be addicted to tattoos…I can’t even count how many she’s had this year, but I don’t mind. She’ll make a rad old grandma some day. She also has a knack for finding me awesome gifts. This year I got a giant bigfoot statue for the office and a Harry Henderson plush doll. I look forward to growing old together and being known as that unique couple…. man, when the grandkids go through our crap when we’re long dead, they are going to find some AWESOME things left behind. My kids: 3 growing boys. Our oldest, 13, is quite the reader and history buff. He can rattle off facts that stun his teachers. This is the first year he’s brought out his sarcasm and wit,...

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