Sponsored by Integr8d Soul Productions, featuring DNA: The Mountain, drawn with crisp, clear story telling by Lue Lyron and the Marc Kane, with scenes and ideas you won't find anywhere else in entertainment!! The comic for those who don't read comics! Black and White, $3 plus shipping each.
Make It Happen!
We're over 400 posts into what has been one long effort to stretch creatively and then share what I could with what became my many readers, which today includes you---thanks!
I look at the book shelf and the links here, as I have abandoned striving to sell my comics and t-shirts in person for the rest of the year till further notice, and I think of the pages I want to start up, the songs I want to learn and construct, and realize how much better I want to be, how I don’t feel like I’ve gotten anywhere useful sometimes but can’t deny this is still too great an opportunity to waste....just realizing an income based on the arts will not begin now to become viable, and I’m fortunate to have had any interest at all. I was going to use whatever funds I could raise with the shirts and comics to attend the Long Beach Comics Convention and possibly borrow and save to do Alternative Press Expo, but our line's choices are too thin to pay hundreds of dollars for tables at shows where we may find the way back to the bottom line difficult indeed. It's safe to say economic recovery's not reached the majority of people, and that I have not cultivated many friendships as yet with well-to-do people who are also interested in giving my comic or shirts a try. For now, the goal's simply to have fun making promotional skits, fine-tune skills while recording an EP of new songs, and complete three comics in the remaining five months of the year, with this week thrown in to try encoding the integr8dsoul.com website and getting to know musicians at the Little Italy Studios.
I’ve had sales of everything in modest but sincere quantities, and each was beautiful, and now, I am not interested in all that hoopla. I would like to make some more money but it’s not to be expected, just blessed when it happens. I also feel like my personal skills playing my songs require some good one-at-a-time attention and I am aware the professional cut demands a higher skill level, so this is a year I need to put towards learning. Dawn likes the readership I've built with this blog, so maybe this will only be the last for a while, but meanwhile, Facebook has pages for both D N A Comics and Integr8d Soul that will get regular updates, and come to think of it, why not make one for the Stux and Not Another Comic Book, too? Our music will get updates on reverbnation.com/ integr8dsoul, so along with UStream and Stage It.com, we're hardly disappearing from the Web. I just have to decide to sacrifice something sometimes, along with an almost constant desire to create.
My ego has to fall aside further. At least I have shown the ability to have fun with both drawing and singing, and trying to vend interfered with both. I do not have the wherewithal for this fight, so why not simply work at my skills, produce pages and realize pieces of art, and complete presentations of songs, and write what I find time to write, and just realize it’s not going to get better out there for the foreseeable future.
Making a body of work worth talking about is the challenge on the table, not getting my name out. I’ve done enough of that. I have to make sure I get people talking about what they see from me. One thing that does make me happy; I feel like I have inspired several people to take another step into the arts, and perhaps some encouraging word or fresh perspective has helped out in personal ways I never heard. I told a friend we rarely imagine the good we have truly done, perhaps out of some sense of humility. That’s possibly to our detriment. If this column has encouraged anyone to go their own way with grace, humor, love and awareness, that’s all I ever wanted to pass along. You’re simply not alone!
As for selling t-shirts: I will keep up my offers online, but I wasted my time trying to get them out to the public during Comic Con. My alternative plan to attend was foiled by a technicality that meant I couldn't go as a designated substitute for my local comics shop, as there was a certification for me that he did not know required completion in March, as originally he planned to attend, himself, and was thinking outside the box of ways to get hot items from the West Coast to his store. I began to suspect that registering for a Press Pass or even a Professional Pass might be viable in the future. My volunteer friend gave her passes out to people with no particular ambitions in the entertainment field, though I gave our thanks for the Preview Night Passes and no static, since that allowed me to at least glimpse the Promised *To-Someone-Else Land and meet some neat professionals to give copies of DNA: The Mountain. It made Integr8d Soul Productions a modest part of history; I hope they enjoy the comic, but the birth of the legacy is my present province, and we need to balance producing pages and songs and performances for that complete story to be writ.
First: DNA Comics #1 is ONLINE!!!
The shirts may not have any place in the boutiques, as I am not in fact in the fashion business myself, and I don't have the income to finance my new designs, which are really best aimed at a later date for comic shops, since they promote the comics. The only legal places I could be Comic Con Weekend were out of the flow of most interested human beings, a nowhere no fan would want to be. Nice place to go sketch or play music, but presenting one's shirt store outside on anything you can realistically carry that far without a car is just a fail.
I will never quite forget what it feels like to be an outsider, your life’s work viewed quizzically in a part of the city that uses the law to push out anyone between a beggar and a store owner. Out there, you will not win, because you are lumped in with thieves and scam artists, and here you are with what you love sitting there pristinely, beloved by some, purchased by no one...until someone from the city insists you be on your way.
I do not think they will sell on consignment in a comic book shop right now, and do not want to begin such a promotion without more material to follow up safely in the drawers...not on the drawing table, where you must relieve it of all pressure so it can come to life. Another issue, and another title: be ready with what your initial product promotes. Some nicely-drawn showpieces, a trade paper back, and initial issues of a pair of other titles: this is the comics end goal, what we will need to take to any conventions we can afford, with an eye on local Anaheim, Long Beach, and San Fransisco next year.
Once "The Mountain"'s sequel is nearly complete, I'll feel good about offering the shirts to comics stores to promote it, but I needed to take away retailer deadlines coming with the October conventions I should probably skip, to unpressure my mind and envision "Looking For a Sign" with its new characters in the continuing lives of Dee Cee and Amanda Sharlet. Not Another Comic Book and the Stux will be written and drawn before and in between the remaining three chapters we should complete for DNA Comics (including an as-yet untitled four chapter after the double-sized "Looking For a Sign" middle chapters. I've been talked into doing some hilarious YouTube videos to promote the Stux, too: prepare to get Stuckwayze!!! Not Another Comic Book is on schedule before Christmas, as well, since you can only keep Princess Sexy Jenn waiting so long!!!
I will not be trying the cart approach (wheeling my portable store to locations) again; I will also not consider a table inside this convention next year, as it will still be too soon, but i will make sure I get inside and get in touch with what’s going on, what I might like to do, and not plan to be outside, unwelcome, peddling my heart and soul before eyes blind to my existence. I will do better to immerse myself in the experience! Of course, I want the dignity of earning my living. May as well type up a resume and wait another table down the street for that. If I sold everything we’ve manufactured thus far, it would still not be enough to call a living. I am in far too competitive an environment to do anything but either double down without expectation of a single dime and work on a viable body of work for creating books of pages, coherent stories, and one great song at a time. It’s going to be a long year, and it’s sad that integr8dsoul.com is going to be so sparsely populated unless it finds allies in artists who want to use the spot to promote their work and attract attention to the entire site. It was purchased at least half a year ahead of time and is probably more bandwith than I will need for the entire two years I bought it, but I hope there at least I can start taking advantage of what I have to put forward an innovative and plausibly commercial showcase of the next step in the many ideas discussed here on this blog.
I think a book with the best writing from this blog and some as=yet-unpublished material, is worth developing, and I will update it from time to time, but my days of daily updates are probably over. I will have to have my say now and then, but I’ve created a plethora of enjoyable, free writing. For copyright purposes, Sargent Courage, Shango the Thunderer and Cyber Sentinel will be popping up among my printed prose, along with the sorts of essays that gave birth to this column, which began with my friend T.J.'s real life story with me over two years ago. A decently-priced book, at least an e-book, is my editorial goal by this fall; for a donation of almost any size I will send you one, as my writing loves to be loved and was made to share.
I hope to sit down with this blog again, if not its next incarnation on my wordpress account or something, to spin yarns of the little life lessons that occur to me, keep my complete fictional stories on another spot but still tell you a story for your pleasure now and then. But people, I’m going to go back to the drawing board and bring out some more things that will help me earn a living. It may not even be possible, but I feel like it makes a difference, and I’ll never be ashamed by my sacrifices nor of the help I’ve had, most of all from my partner and best friend and girl friend and wife, but from many of you as well, materially and in encouraging words. There’s just so much I’m excited about that’s still in my head, and I’ve enjoyed bringing it into form.
Almost anything you read about in previous posts is still in development; I have been catching up my musical efforts and will be playing on both Ustream, YouTube and Stage It.com, which is simply Pay What You Can. I know more about your unappealing cash struggles than you realize. It’s the gift of your interest and energy as well that makes even a token donation fill me like half a meal (which helps with tightening one’s belt!). Man cannot live by bread alone. Amen.
Always, I need fans more than I need money. That’s right. Enthusiasm, excitement, is the real reward, the real wild card in play, the energy exchange whereby a piece of art is not complete until it has a new viewer; it is not an only an object, but a situation of communication. I need the same thing back from y’all I want to give you, that energy that takes getting through the day to another level, as we join in creativity and rich appreciation.
It takes an enormous amount of money to come close to matching what several dozen excited people can do with their personal touch, and you could throw a lot of money at advertising a failed product, too, so there’s really no replacement for quality, whatever this culture seems to tell you otherwise. Don’t be too cynical! There’s still a place in this world for an original thought, an original mind. The only thing I can never give...is up.
Remember to Be chill,
Meanwhile, our remaining t-shirts are available at Convention Special Price, for $12 each or 2 for $20, plus $3.00 for shipping & handling.
Listen, I'm still figuring out integr8dsoul.com, but meanwhile, you can do what Jason did. (He also got a special bonus copy!) In Jason's case, he sent us $9 at
C. Lue Disharoon
542 6th Ave.
San Diego, CA 92101
which was really cool as it covers shipping and handling, at $1.25 each! The issue itself, DNA #1, retails for $3.25.
You can send $30 and get any three t-shirts and the comic, too---or $25 for the two styles of shirts and a comic.
Be on the look out for Not Another Comic Book! Preview this August!!