Signed books available right here?

I’ve considered it for a while, and I’d like to hear thoughts on having signed books available right here in the shop. I know people have reported having trouble with IndyPlanet’s checkout system or would rather get a signed copy from the artist, so I’m opening the idea for discussion.

To clarify, I’d have to markup the price of the books even though I can get them at cost, which is a little over $6, generally. Including shipping to me, that’s not bad. Now, think about it this way: to break even, I’d have to markup the books to about $12 on individual sales. To make a profit, we’re talking $18 – before my own shipping cost is added on. Fortunately, if I can order a bunch at a time, the cost is driven down for me.

This would mean I could do an unsigned book for about $6.50-$7 and a signed book for $7.50-8. A fair price, all things considered. Individual shipping to you via flat-rate (My preferred method because it’s insured!) comes out to $5.75. So, we’re talking $12.25-12-75 and $13.25-13.75 with shipping. Still pretty fair, all things considered.

Why would I reveal the prices? Well, I like letting people know what they’re paying for. I was taught early on “Honesty is the best policy” and I’ve stuck to that consistently for years. I’m being honest with you concerning the prices of these books, but for those who want printed copies and don’t want the hassle of IndyPlanet’s checkout system or want it signed by the artist, well, this would be a golden opportunity, don’t you think?

The other consideration I’ve put out before for discussion is doing a signed book and plush action figure combo pack for $25. I’ve had people agree that would be an extremely good deal, but I’m opening it for discussion again. I really do want as much input as possible on these ideas.

Signed books available right here?

I’ve considered it for a while, and I’d like to hear thoughts on having signed books available right here in the shop. I know people have reported having trouble with IndyPlanet’s checkout system or would rather get a signed copy from the artist, so I’m opening the idea for discussion.

To clarify, I’d have to markup the price of the books even though I can get them at cost, which is a little over $6, generally. Including shipping to me, that’s not bad. Now, think about it this way: to break even, I’d have to markup the books to about $12 on individual sales. To make a profit, we’re talking $18 – before my own shipping cost is added on. Fortunately, if I can order a bunch at a time, the cost is driven down for me.

This would mean I could do an unsigned book for about $6.50-$7 and a signed book for $7.50-8. A fair price, all things considered. Individual shipping to you via flat-rate (My preferred method because it’s insured!) comes out to $5.75. So, we’re talking $12.25-12-75 and $13.25-13.75 with shipping. Still pretty fair, all things considered.

Why would I reveal the prices? Well, I like letting people know what they’re paying for. I was taught early on “Honesty is the best policy” and I’ve stuck to that consistently for years. I’m being honest with you concerning the prices of these books, but for those who want printed copies and don’t want the hassle of IndyPlanet’s checkout system or want it signed by the artist, well, this would be a golden opportunity, don’t you think?

The other consideration I’ve put out before for discussion is doing a signed book and plush action figure combo pack for $25. I’ve had people agree that would be an extremely good deal, but I’m opening it for discussion again. I really do want as much input as possible on these ideas.

Signed books available right here?

I’ve considered it for a while, and I’d like to hear thoughts on having signed books available right here in the shop. I know people have reported having trouble with IndyPlanet’s checkout system or would rather get a signed copy from the artist, so I’m opening the idea for discussion.

To clarify, I’d have to markup the price of the books even though I can get them at cost, which is a little over $6, generally. Including shipping to me, that’s not bad. Now, think about it this way: to break even, I’d have to markup the books to about $12 on individual sales. To make a profit, we’re talking $18 – before my own shipping cost is added on. Fortunately, if I can order a bunch at a time, the cost is driven down for me.

This would mean I could do an unsigned book for about $6.50-$7 and a signed book for $7.50-8. A fair price, all things considered. Individual shipping to you via flat-rate (My preferred method because it’s insured!) comes out to $5.75. So, we’re talking $12.25-12-75 and $13.25-13.75 with shipping. Still pretty fair, all things considered.

Why would I reveal the prices? Well, I like letting people know what they’re paying for. I was taught early on “Honesty is the best policy” and I’ve stuck to that consistently for years. I’m being honest with you concerning the prices of these books, but for those who want printed copies and don’t want the hassle of IndyPlanet’s checkout system or want it signed by the artist, well, this would be a golden opportunity, don’t you think?

The other consideration I’ve put out before for discussion is doing a signed book and plush action figure combo pack for $25. I’ve had people agree that would be an extremely good deal, but I’m opening it for discussion again. I really do want as much input as possible on these ideas.

Where do ideas come from?

Where do ideas come from? Well, there’s a broad subject. To help explain this, let me share a story with you.

I must confess I’m quite a bit like Dad. I read Shogun in high school and fell in love with Japanese culture and history (the stuff that’s not taught in school!). I have a good respect for Edgar Allen Poe (read Telltale Heart in high school and more recently tracked down The Pit and the Pendulum on DVD) and more importantly, I’ve found a firm appreciation for Ray Bradbury. I grew up watching The Halloween Tree each year and more recently found The Ray Bradbury Theater on DVD (We tend to frequent the local library’s movie section and find all kinds of interesting stuff). I was a bit surprised when I saw the opening sequence for that show, because it showed I’m a lot like Bradbury himself. The room he works in is full of stuff he gets ideas from, and my room is certainly no less crowded than his.

Where he gets ideas from the objects around him, I often find myself getting ideas from cartoons, movies and various TV shows we have around the house. That’s not to say I don’t also get ideas from objects around me. Ideas come from anything and everything more often than not. For me, a great many of my ideas come from stuff made in the 1980’s or older.

Let me share another story now. I was 4, we were moving from San Francisco to a small bedroom community and a bigger house, but just before leaving the preschool I was in, there was a little “graduation” ceremony and I was asked what I wanted to be when I grew up. I was so tired from the moving that I didn’t answer, so my preschool teacher Girtha said “She’s going to be a comedian!” Well, she’s not too far from the truth. There’s plenty of comedy to be found in my work. Dream Angel is intentionally lighthearted and humorous and even Techwarrior, which is a bit darker has its moments. Know where I find inspiration for the jokes? Classic comedians. Red Skelton, The Three Stooges, Jack Benny, Abbott and Costello and a long list of others that were mostly dead before I was even born.

So, where do ideas come from? Anywhere and everywhere. It’s about that simple. Of course, making the ideas work is an entirely different matter. It helps to keep a notebook and pen close at hand even when I have my tablet nearby. Often, it’s faster to simply write the idea down than wait for the tablet to turn on and get into the right app – by that time, the idea could dissipate like a cloud.

Chime in! Where do your ideas come from?

Signed books available right here?

I’ve considered it for a while, and I’d like to hear thoughts on having signed books available right here in the shop. I know people have reported having trouble with IndyPlanet’s checkout system or would rather get a signed copy from the artist, so I’m opening the idea for discussion.

To clarify, I’d have to markup the price of the books even though I can get them at cost, which is a little over $6, generally. Including shipping to me, that’s not bad. Now, think about it this way: to break even, I’d have to markup the books to about $12 on individual sales. To make a profit, we’re talking $18 – before my own shipping cost is added on. Fortunately, if I can order a bunch at a time, the cost is driven down for me.

This would mean I could do an unsigned book for about $6.50-$7 and a signed book for $7.50-8. A fair price, all things considered. Individual shipping to you via flat-rate (My preferred method because it’s insured!) comes out to $5.75. So, we’re talking $12.25-12-75 and $13.25-13.75 with shipping. Still pretty fair, all things considered.

Why would I reveal the prices? Well, I like letting people know what they’re paying for. I was taught early on “Honesty is the best policy” and I’ve stuck to that consistently for years. I’m being honest with you concerning the prices of these books, but for those who want printed copies and don’t want the hassle of IndyPlanet’s checkout system or want it signed by the artist, well, this would be a golden opportunity, don’t you think?

The other consideration I’ve put out before for discussion is doing a signed book and plush action figure combo pack for $25. I’ve had people agree that would be an extremely good deal, but I’m opening it for discussion again. I really do want as much input as possible on these ideas.

Where do ideas come from?

Where do ideas come from? Well, there’s a broad subject. To help explain this, let me share a story with you.

I must confess I’m quite a bit like Dad. I read Shogun in high school and fell in love with Japanese culture and history (the stuff that’s not taught in school!). I have a good respect for Edgar Allen Poe (read Telltale Heart in high school and more recently tracked down The Pit and the Pendulum on DVD) and more importantly, I’ve found a firm appreciation for Ray Bradbury. I grew up watching The Halloween Tree each year and more recently found The Ray Bradbury Theater on DVD (We tend to frequent the local library’s movie section and find all kinds of interesting stuff). I was a bit surprised when I saw the opening sequence for that show, because it showed I’m a lot like Bradbury himself. The room he works in is full of stuff he gets ideas from, and my room is certainly no less crowded than his.

Where he gets ideas from the objects around him, I often find myself getting ideas from cartoons, movies and various TV shows we have around the house. That’s not to say I don’t also get ideas from objects around me. Ideas come from anything and everything more often than not. For me, a great many of my ideas come from stuff made in the 1980’s or older.

Let me share another story now. I was 4, we were moving from San Francisco to a small bedroom community and a bigger house, but just before leaving the preschool I was in, there was a little “graduation” ceremony and I was asked what I wanted to be when I grew up. I was so tired from the moving that I didn’t answer, so my preschool teacher Girtha said “She’s going to be a comedian!” Well, she’s not too far from the truth. There’s plenty of comedy to be found in my work. Dream Angel is intentionally lighthearted and humorous and even Techwarrior, which is a bit darker has its moments. Know where I find inspiration for the jokes? Classic comedians. Red Skelton, The Three Stooges, Jack Benny, Abbott and Costello and a long list of others that were mostly dead before I was even born.

So, where do ideas come from? Anywhere and everywhere. It’s about that simple. Of course, making the ideas work is an entirely different matter. It helps to keep a notebook and pen close at hand even when I have my tablet nearby. Often, it’s faster to simply write the idea down than wait for the tablet to turn on and get into the right app – by that time, the idea could dissipate like a cloud.

Chime in! Where do your ideas come from?

Techwarrior #6 is complete!

Techwarrior #6 is complete! The rendering is finished! There’s still some things to do before it can be released, but production is complete. That’s something, right? While normally, it would be just about immediately released in digital form here in the shop, we’re planning to step up and make the release more timely and also include the printed version in the party.

What’s that mean? Well, it means the e-book files and shop page will be prepared, but not posted until the printed proof has arrived and the book is ready for simultaneous digital and print release, possibly with a real party attached.

Again, what’s that mean? Well, it means you’ll have to keep watching for more news and be ready when the book is released! Should be a lot of fun when it is!

The train of thought now that Techwarrior #6 is complete might be to just binge render and see how many renders for the next book can be done before this one is even released. The fun might be rapid-fire releasing books to finish off this series.

Yes, (spoiler!) it’s meant to end with Techwarrior #12. Now, before you start yelling that it can’t end there, there’s an “unless” attached to that statement. The “unless”? Unless there’s enough popular demand for more books in the series.

There’s even been a couple ideas for names of new villains. Now, hold on. If you’re a fan of the series already, you might be wondering why it’d need new villains since Cryptolock is such a cool one to start with? Ummm… how many superheroes have just one villain to fight? Well, Techwarrior ought to be no exception if his series should keep going, right?

Even He-man has more than just Skeletor. So, Techwarrior ought to have more than just Cryptolock, his Cryptobots, snakes and spiders, right? So, will Techwarrior go beyond Techwarrior #12? That remains to be seen, but it doesn’t hurt to be ready, right?

Techwarrior #6 is in production!

Techwarrior #6 has been long anticipated and it’s finally started production. 2017 was pretty quiet book-wise, wasn’t it? Well, there were a lot of other things going on, starting with the wedding and cross country move. Though it’s taken a little longer than anticipated, 2018 is time to hit the ground running and get books moving more regularly than 2017. Not that last year was lax for learning new techniques or getting things done, it wasn’t! Learning to make custom HDRI (High Dynamic Range Image) backgrounds has proven a valuable asset to production! These serve 3 purposes:

  1. Background that’s not really there
  2. Light source
  3. Speeding up render time

That’s definitely 3 points in favor of these special images, but there’s one heavy-duty downer: they take days to render! That’s right: days! Up to 4 days so far, to be exact. Once they’re rendered, they can be used repeatedly from any camera angle, so there’s ups and downs. In the long run, they’re worth the wait.

If you missed the party and fun, Dream Angel #24 came out in early December with its beautiful art. Just like Techwarrior #6, it was a long time in coming out. With its wonderful art and story, it was worth the wait and it’ll be the same for Techwarrior. Happily, the latter takes less time in production due to being 12 pages instead of 24. So, care to join the voting for the cover of Techwarrior #6?

First, we get this one:

Impressive, is it not? So far, it’s also the more popular choice, but voting’s still open for the time being.

The other choice is this one:

Really does a nice job of emphasizing her, doesn’t it? Then there’s the subtle glow of Sensei’s attack on her face showing just how close it is to hitting her. Even her expression is impressive in creating the mood. So, which do you think looks better? The long shot with all 3 characters or the close up? Cast your vote (politely!) in the comments below!

Calling all Techwarrior fans!

Calling all Techwarrior fans! The printed proof copies of Techwarrior #1-5 collection have been shipped! You know what that means, right? It means they’ll arrive in a couple days and if they look as good as they always have in the past, the book will go live on indyplanet soon after. Won’t that be exciting?

So, for printed book lovers, especially Techwarrior fans, that’s great news. Now, what about Dream Angel? That new version of Dream Angel #1? Well, that one’s coming along. Much slower than usual. As they say, “Good things come to those who wait!” right? This one’s going to be worth the wait.

It features all-new art and some strong story improvements. Of the three versions of the book, it’s definitely going to look the best. Now, that certainly doesn’t mean Dream Angel #1 and Dream Angel #1 2nd edition extended cut are no good. Quite the opposite. There might even be talk of a Dream Angel #1 collection for fans to be able to see the evolution in art and story between the three versions.

Now for the harder questions. “What about Techwarrior #6 and Dream Angel #24? Both books before were cliffhangers!” And you want to know what happens next, right? As I’ve announced on Facebook, I’m getting married at the end of June this year and moving across the country. Most of my focus is on that. While Techwarrior #6 and Dream Angel #24 are basically ready for production, finding the time to do so is harder than normal.

Yes, I could put the new Dream Angel #1 on hold and do Techwarrior #6 as quickly as I did Techwarrior #5, but what then? You’d want Techwarrior #7, 8, 9, 10, 11 and 12 the same way. You will anyway, but right now that’s beside the point.

The point is that the new Dream Angel #1 is slower to render. Each panel has been taking a good amount of time to render. This means I can setup a render and walk away to pack boxes or organize things for packing or something else.

True, Techwarrior had his slow renders, but that book was also done much faster despite that. Dream Angel’s had a lot more slow renders, which have left me able to get other things done while it’s rendering. It’s in production, just slow production, so it makes progress despite the other things going on.

Hopefully, that made sense. The short of it is that there’s still a book in production even though I’m preparing for a wedding and a cross-country move. So, looking forward to the new book when it is finally finished?

Techwarrior fans will be delighted to hear things will return to normal after the wedding and move are done. Dream Angel and even Hillbilly Hoot fans should be equally delighted.

A new Dream Angel #1?

A new Dream Angel #1 is in progress for rendering, yes. Don’t get me wrong: Dream Angel #1 – both currently available versions – look good, there’s no denying that. So, why make a new Dream Angel #1? Well, the reaction to Techwarrior #5 was good and a couple discoveries recently contributed to the decision. One was a lighting trick, the other a 360 degree render that had just the right rooftop to go with the lighting trick. Between the two, they set the idea in motion.

Okay, the idea’s been around for a while. Even before discovering the ability to use Iray in December. We’ll simply say a few things set off the idea machine and got this new version in motion. No, it’s not a reboot, it’s more of an update. An artistic “facelift” with some minor story changes to help it make more sense.

Along the way, the scripts for Dream Angel #24-31 might be finished, or at least finalized. Dream Angel #1-6 at the very least will see the updated art while these are being worked on.

Are any other books going to be updated? Others might see story corrections so the story makes better sense, but the art is more likely to be left alone. Dream Angel #1-6 were rendered using Poser with a lot more Photoshop work than the ones that followed, so those in particular are ones to update so they’re artistically consistent with the rest. It’s almost a shock between #6 and #7 when the art changes from Poser to DAZ.

One thought for the time being is if the new Dream Angel #1 attracts new readers, then #2-6 will see art and story updates. If those get a good reception, #7 on can see story updates. Along the way, Dream Angel #24, Techwarrior #6 and possibly other later books can be mixed in or even rendered at the same time. In this way, all the books will finally have artistic consistency.

Oh don’t get me wrong: the Poser rendered books are good. There’s no denying that. There’s always room for improvement, though and this is an improvement.

So, what do you think of this? Are you going to get the new books when they come out?