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One of these is a sweet and loving feline, forced by circumstances to seem mean. The other is GrumpyCat.




First item of news! I passed my coach training finals! 😀 This means I will graduate from the Accomplishment Coaching training program, and I’m about 2/3 of the way to an Associate Certified Coach certification with the International Coach Federation.





Now… just to earn a living with it. >.>





Second item of news! Yesterday I was so inspired by Seanan McGuire geeking out over her Spider-Gwen gig that I decided– with no plan how or even idea of the feasibility– that I wanted to get involved in working on She-Ra and the Princesses of Power, on the grounds that as Seanan was basically born to write Spider-Gwen, I was basically born to write Catra. >.>





So I have spent all day canvassing anyone and everyone I know even marginally related to the animation industry looking for referrals or leads, as well as just flat-out e-mailing Noelle Stevenson via the address on her web page and saying “I want in! What do I do?”





In all of my years of creating comics, I never wanted to connect directly to a larger franchise before. As much fun as I’ve had banging around in the My Little Pony fandom, it never occurred to me to try to actually get involved in the show. Heck, LevelHead once offered to finance the creation of a NeverNever pilot to shop around back in the day, and I just didn’t think I was ready for it.





Why She-Ra, and why now?





Well, like I say, Catra is a big reason. She’s basically the Leona/Langley/Tanya/Brigid archetype I’ve been writing for 20 years. Another reason is something I described on Twitter a few days back, of having spent 20 years thinking I was being Tiffany Tiger in my career, when I was actually being Leona instead. For various reasons I’ve been going through my life with one foot on the gas and one foot on the brake, sabotaging myself without realizing it and feeling defined by the wins other people were achieving that I felt like “should be” mine.





The transformative process I’ve been going through in my coaching career has really opened my eyes to this, and it’s time for me to change it. Part of that includes putting down the ego-driven “Must create it all from scratch!” mindset and connecting to other creators (and other projects) outside my own little corner of the universe.





Wish me luck! This is a scary, ambitious undertaking for me. Not the actual work of the writing, that part is easy! But changing who I am, moving into a much larger world… that’s hard. O.o





 

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Made of awesome and win.


So many things to say about Stan Lee, but I have no words still.


-TG

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Blacktigr reference sheet commission

Okay, so it turns out that raffles are officially not allowed as Patreon rewards. Like, at all. Some people may still be doing them, but it is technically a violation of TOS (third bullet under All About Being a Creator), so my idea of a raffle is out.


So instead, I’ve decided to invite my subscribers to come up with and vote on a piece of bonus art by describing something they’d like to see me draw over the next few days. Then later this week (probably Weds or Thurs) I’ll bring them all together into a poll and everyone can vote on what they’d like to see. Think of it as a crowdsourced commission. 😉


(Note: This is in addition to the monthly SJ Boogie and other images.)


Ground Rules



  1. It has to be something I’m willing to draw, so all the usual caveats of no gore, cruelty, disempowerment, that kind of jazz apply. Things I’m not willing to draw, simply won’t go onto the poll.

  2. It can involve the SJ cast, OCs, pop culture characters, whatever. It could be another Ponies vs. Daleks piece if that’s what would float your boat.

  3. Maximum three characters, pls.

  4. It can be a NSFW piece (rule 1 still applies), but that would only be available to $5+ subscribers. If a SFW version is feasible, that will be available to all subscribers.


So! Whattya want to see? 🙂 Here are some potential ideas I’ve had, which will also be on the poll:



  • Finished version of Slippery When Wet.

  • Langley: Bikini-top snatcher! And a very irritated Charity.

  • Ponies vs. Daleks: Princess Luna

  • Ponies vs. Daleks: Princess Cadance


Head on over and post your ideas! (Only ideas from subscribers will go into the poll, thanks! ^.^’)


-The Gneech

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Sorry about that! Patreon doesn't like raffles! I'll figure out something else to do!

-TG
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Me and some of my best imaginary friends.

Me and some of my best imaginary friends.


So yeah, my foray into the world of adult art has in fact doubled my Patreon income, which is awesome! Bringing it all the way up to… $176 a month? O.o


Mind you, I’m grateful to all of my supporters, especially those at the top who have gone above and beyond all of the reward tiers and stuck with me for nearly half a decade. You folks are amazing!


But I look at “comparables” doing similar work to mine, and I see…



Clearly, my Patreon is underperforming, and I need to figure out why, and how to change that. Suburban Jungle Boogie was the first step, and it certainly had an impact! The next few months will be building on that success. My Patreon growth goals for 2018 are:



  • June 30: $200

  • July 31: $300

  • August 31: $500

  • October 31: $600

  • November 30: $750

  • December 31: $1,500


How am I gonna do this? I have no idea! So I’d love to hear any input or suggestions from anyone, ranging from creators who have succeeded and how they did it, to supporters who would be willing to tell me why they chose which artists to support and at what level. And once I have it figured out, you can bet I’ll be back here to report how I did it, because I love you. 😉


Meanwhile, please enjoy a word from Leona Lioness…


Leona is not safe for work.

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Just some of my books!

This weekend is Fur The More 2018 in Tysons Corner, Virginia, and I’ll be there! Most of the time you’ll find me in the Artist Alley, with copies of issue six (“Ready to Rumble!”) and the first Rough Housing collection “Giant Enemy Crab!”.


Sunday morning will also be the first running of my new panel, “Passing for Human.” Drawing on my training as a success coach (and backed with a lifetime of experience convincing people that I am in fact a human being), the panel will cover the basics of meeting new people and making friends, how to handle yourself in public situations, and how to build positive and healthy relationships while avoiding some of the traps that can afflict a fandom. It will also address positive ways to meet and interact with artists and other creators within the fandom, as well as avenues to get out there and become the sort of person other fans will want to meet.


So in you’re in the Washington D.C. area, I hope you’ll come on by! My panel is Sunday morning at 10:30 in the Madison meeting room, and the rest of the time, you’ll find me in Artist Alley. See you there!


-The Gneech

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As folks may know, my day job is a success coach. I work with people in lots of different walks of life, but my native tribe is, was, and ever shall be creative types! 🙂 To that end, I’m opening three slots for artists or writers to get 90 days of coaching at no cost.


YOU GET: 1-hour weekly sessions via phone or internet hangout where we look at where you are in your creative pursuits, what obstacles you are facing and how to overcome them, and the possibilities that will open up for you to get you where you want to be.


WHAT I ASK IN RETURN: Feedback! I want to be the awesomest, most kickass coach ever– which means I need to learn what I’m doing right, what I’m doing wrong, and how I can do it better. 🙂


NOTE: This service is coaching– i.e., helping you reach your goals; not art tutor, editor, or similar services. Adults only, please. 🙂


Comment here or send me an e-mail via himself@gneech.com if you’d like to set up an intro call to talk about nabbing a spot! 🙂


-The Gneech

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Running of the 16-ton Weights

I've had a rough couple of weeks. :P

Long story short, too many plates spinning. Between Barnes & Noble, coach training, coach actually doing, commissions, the comic, and actually running some D&D, there was just no way to do it all. And then, I got sick, and everything just came clattering down like the chef in those old Sesame Street shorts who would call out "Five! Fancy! Fruitcakes!" and then promptly fall down the stairs.



I feel you, Sesame Street Fall Down the Stairs Guy.

I did manage to finish Leona Is Not Safe For Work, get to all of my B&N shifts other than the one where I called in sick, do some networking with Justy, and ran D&D last night. Tonight, I do not get to go to bed until Joey Gatorman's commission is done. So a lot of things have gotten done. But as of right now I still have not taken on a formal coaching client and have fallen behind on my training, don't have a comic page for next week, and am not likely to have one for the week after, either.

There just literally isn't time to do it all, and even if I try, I'm just going to make myself sick again, because I'm not getting any days off in between.

Of all these things, the most time consuming and least rewarding has been Barnes & Noble, so I gave my notice there, as of this coming Friday. This coming week I will be catching up as much as I can before the second training weekend with Accomplishment Coaching.

Last night, I had the classic "The semester's over and you haven't gone to class!" dream, and woke up feeling overwhelmed and terrible. Yes, thank you brain, I'm aware of this, you don't need to remind me. Today, in between being at B&N again, I'm going to make it a do-or-die priority to finish that commission.

I'm standing up, cleaning the custard splats off my face, and moving forward.

-The Gneech
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Like the video, this month is going to be epic.

Why? Because in February I have to do ALL THE THINGS. O.o

What things specifically? Oh, just...

  • Finding and taking on at least four new coaching clients

  • Completing my monthly practice areas for next month's training weekend

  • A page of Suburban Jungle every week

  • A big commission for Joey Gatorman

  • A smaller-but-still-important commission for Fzygal

  • Art for the AC conbook

  • Oh yeah, I have a job at Barnes & Noble, don't I?


These are the things that I need to do this month. In terms of what I want to do this month, I have a piece of Valentine's Day art that I want to do for a) fun and b) as the start of this mysterious NSFW art project I have been hinting around about in certain circles, and at some point Jamie and Inkblitz are going start giving me the side-eye if I don't, y'know, run some more D&D myself. >.> ^.^'

The keys to getting all this done are going to be timing, focus, and perseverance, with a healthy dose of scheduling breaks in to make sure I don't burn out. I can't take on coaching clients until Accomplishment Coaching finishes setting up my billing information, so while I'm waiting on that anyway, it's time to crank on art. Joey Gatorman commission has been in the queue for the longest, but as long as I send him WIPs, I should be able to get the Valentine's Day piece done on Thursday, and so forth.

However! That does mean that a lot of my go-to time wasters are going to have to go to the curb, including (but not limited to) Twitter and Tumblr, places where I am prone to just shutting off my brain and absorbing the way previous generations would just lie in bed in front of the TV all night (but all the more insidious because you can take it wherever you go).

So if I seem quiet or remote in the next few weeks, that's what's up. Feel free to toss me an e-mail or DM if you need anything or just want to chat! ♥ I'm not becoming a hermit, just crunching against multiple deadlines.

-The Gneech
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Midwest Furfest 2017 was awesome!


Hello, all you awesome readers, and thanks for your November support! It’s been kind of a nutso month for me… I started a part-time job, moved (AGAIN) for what I hope will be the last time for a while, got about halfway through NaNoWriMo before I had to punt, and of course got Issue Six and the first trade collection done in time for Midwest Furfest. So, yeah, just a little busy there. ^.^’


December is hopefully going to be less frantic, but there will still be some big stuff going on. I’ll be starting work on issue seven, hopefully to begin posting late in the month or in January. I will also keep working on Child of the Tower (and posting it to the writing WIP tier for my Patreon subscribers). Finally, I am looking at creating another Patreon tier for art going in a completely new direction than I have done before, but I don’t want to say too much about that until I’ve got all the kinks worked out.


So tl;dr version, thanks for a great November, and watch for more great stuff coming in December! Thanks, everyone. You rock!


-The Gneech


PS: Commission Queue as of December 7, 2017!



  • LKCMSL NaNo cover. Paid: Yes; Due: ASAP

  • Redliox/Blue Shenanigans, again! Paid: No; Due: Dec/Jan

  • Joey Gatorman SJ AU. Paid: No; Due: TBD

  • COMMISSIONS ARE OPEN!

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    About 2/3 of the way through the opening sequence of Heathcliff/Cats and Company, Riff-Raff and Cleo randomly go zooming off in a bathtub.


    It’s not a bathtub on wheels, there are no rockets or other means of propulsion. It’s just a friggin’ bathtub.


    I mean, the cats living in a random James Bond-esque transforming Cadillac in a junkyard, didn’t bother me. But flying off in a random hover-bathtub? That bothered me.


    Last night, I had a random dream in which I was watching a “behind the scenes” video about this series. I don’t know if this dream was based on a long-lost memory, or if it was my brain making stuff up, but it doesn’t really matter. In the dream, somebody my brain identified as one of the show-runners coined the term “laconipedantism.” “What that means,” he said, “is that our policy was to explain as little as possible, or with as few words as possible, or to just not explain things at all. ‘How does it work?’ We’re not going to tell you! What you see is what you get, deal with it.”


    That struck me as a gutsy approach. I don’t know if I would always consider it a good approach, but it was a gutsy one. But as I started to think about it, I realized that lots of storytellers work this way. Sometimes, you even get Lampshaded Laconipedantism.


    Even Kronk thinks it doesn't make sense!

    Lampshaded Laconipedantism, or “We’re not gonna tell you! Neener-neener-neener!”


    Obviously, cartoons have the most leeway for this kind of thing. Contemporary shows like Gumball and Friends work entirely on this premise. But heck, the Marvel Cinematic Universe runs on this fuel, as does most fantasy literature. Star Trek and a lot of science fiction does a weird inverse, where it starts with “teleportation exists” and starts playing around with the ramifications of that, but it still can’t tell you how teleportation really works, just that it does.


    Not every wild premise actually qualifies as laconipedantism, however. What makes it laconipedantism is the refusal of the artist to explain, address, or even acknowledge that there’s anything weird about it. Riff-Raff and Cleo go zooming off in a bathtub, man. Get over it. Done well, it creates a feeling of confidence in the work, even when it leads to headscratchy moments. Done poorly, it just becomes an incoherent mess, where the world makes no sense and the story falls apart.


    Use with caution.


    -The Gneech

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    I believe this is current. Please let me know if I've missed something!

    • Ace 8th Doctor

    • Dipper/Maxgoof

    • Rufo/Parker silliness

    • Tiffany as Wonder Woman


    -The Gneech
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    I think this is my current queue. If you commissioned me for something and it's not listed here, please let me know because I had a bunch thrown at me at AnthroCon while I was operating about about 40% normal capacity and I have no idea if anything got lost in the shuffle.

    • Graveyard Greg broke my brain (still not paid? check)

    • Ace 8th Doctor

    • Fluttershy v. Monkey

    • Dipper/Maxgoof

    • Rufo/Parker silliness


    Can that really be all there is? O.o I must have actually gotten some work done without realizing it. >.>

    -The Gneech
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    Did a lot of fretting today and agonizing over the status of the Sky Pirates book. No conclusions. The answer I want is "one of the agents I sent it to wanted it," but that didn't happen, so I have to figure out what the next step really should be.

    Three Good Things for Today


    • Got the basic poses finished for Blacktigr's commission

    • Finished the "Windswept Sandbox Full of Giants" recap posts

    • Had some Ben & Jerry's

    • Bonus Good Thing: Had some nice kitty cuddles.


    Three Goals for Tomorrow


    • Finish Blacktigr commish

    • Pencils for SJ page 12

    • Work on "By Elves Abandoned"/"Fortress of Tears" setting


    Gnite world, and have an awesome tomorrow.

    -The Gneech
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    So, last week was a challenge. >.> Messed up sleep, a cat-in-crisis (Lady) dropped in our lap, job hunt frustration, and a general lack of fucks to give led to me basically chucking everything out the window (everything I could chuck, anyhow) and playing video games. (Other than Overwatch, because that particular game is often the opposite of relaxing.)

    However, I only let myself do that with the promise that I would be back to work on Monday and get things done that need to be done. So step one is: organize! Thus, the Too Much To Do List for the next two weeks:

    1. Do some kind of workout.

    2. Take a shower and get dressed.

    3. Issue six page nine

    4. Job applications

    5. Blacktigr commission

    6. Overwatch competitive stream/Mastering Mercy vid

    7. Mooncat Timey-Wimey badge

    8. LKCMSL Timey-Wimey badge

    9. Graveyard Greg IBMBA commish (NOTE: send bill for this)

    10. PTBAF panel agenda

    11. Print for AC: button restocks, Best Bodies Contest flyer, Timey-Wimey badges

    12. BtA YouTube banner

    13. BtA Patreon banner

    14. Read books for Rainbow Awards


    Right ho. Time to get started.

    -The Gneech
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    "Roughness in da House" by Vince Suzukawa

    “Roughness in da House” by Vince Suzukawa


    Longtime Suburban Jungle fans know that Vince and I are ol’ pals and mutual fanboys. We don’t get to collaborate (or even chat) nearly as often as I would like or as we used to, but we do still keep in touch when we can, and he recently sent me this, which I have been geeking out about for weeks now.


    He finally posted it to his FA page, and so it’s time to share it with the world! Enjoy. 😉


    -The Gneech

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    Bringin' the Awesome! Art and Gaming Streams by The Gneech


    In an effort to broaden my reach and find more audience, I have begun doing livestreams of art sessions and of my Overwatch sessions, as well as posting recordings to YouTube. So far I’m still in the earliest stages of figuring it all out, but I’m a pretty quick study and I think I’m getting the hang of it! I will add these feeds to the sidebar links on Gneech.com (which is due for a massive overhaul, actually), but for now here’s a quick list where you can find Gneechy Video Goodness!



    These time slots are fairly dependable, although if I’m at a convention or something similar obviously that will have an impact. Besides subscribing for notifications on the respective services, you can also follow me on Twitter for the most reliable updates. I try to Tweet at least an hour before I will start streaming to give people a heads-up.


    Thanks for watching! Let’s have some fun!


    -The Gneech


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    For my own reference...

    Commissions


    1. Friday PotG paid: yes; due: asap

    2. SnickerDoodle PotG paid: yes; due: asap

    3. Oshi PotG paid: yes; due: asap

    4. BlackTigr Ref Sheet paid: yes; due: "when ready"

    5. Graveyard Greg IBMB paid: no; due: June 30

    6. Alexa Timey-Wimey Badge paid: yes; due: AnthroCon


    Other Art


    1. BtA Twitch Banner due: May 17

    2. BtA YouTube Banner due: "when ready"

    3. BtA Patreon Banner due: "when ready"

    4. Timey-Wimey Badge Template due: May 26

    5. Timey-Wimey Badge Flyer due: May 26

    6. Gneech/BtA Business Card due: May 31

    7. SJ Business Card due: May 31


    I think that's everything. I sure hope so. O.o

    -The Gneech
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    Major Matt Mason commissioned this piece by NixieSeal. Fun! :D Reposting here because it's got a content rating at the FA site.

    SJ Fanart by NixieSeal

    Thanks, MMM and Nixie!

    -The Gneech
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    Source: K-On! Wiki


    It was The Secret of NIMH that made me realize men were boring.


    I mean, men can have their uses, and a few of us are marginally clever, but it wasn’t until The Secret of NIMH that I began to feebly catch a glimmer of the quantum differences between life as a man and life as a woman, even when dealing with the same things. [1] And from that point, women began to dominate my writing, and my reading too, when I have the option.


    There are exceptions; NeverNever was theoretically about Arthur and Col. Beowulf (although the strip didn’t really come to life until Mopsy showed up, and I don’t think that’s an accident). Greg has sliiiiightly more focus in the Brigid and Greg fictionlets. Michael Macbeth had a long run as a character I kept trying to write about. But compare them to, say, Tiffany Tiger or Verity Anjo, and it’s probably easy to see where my creative interests lie. And as a general rule, in any given group, I gravitate towards and generally feel more kinship with the women.


    I have been told that I write women characters well, for which I’m grateful. As much as this is true, beyond the obvious “write about human beings, regardless of their gender,” I suspect comes mostly from simply shutting up and listening to what women say, not just in public discourse, but also (and more importantly) to each other. This latter can be hard to pull off in daily life– women’s behavior changes when there’s a man around just as much as men’s behavior changes when a woman is– so I do it mostly by reading things written by women for a female audience. Doing this took me a long time to get used to, as I had to overcome a lot of social programming designed specifically to prevent it. But it has also taught me many, many things.


    At a certain point, however, there are barriers I simply can’t cross. I know what muscle cramps feel like, and I know how changing brain chemistry can send my moods all over the map but I’ll never have a period or PMS. I can use my imagination to picture being shorter, lighter, and more flexible, but at the end of the day I will always be 6’2″ and one of the largest people I know. I know what it’s like to have people randomly dislike you or discount your opinion for no good reason, but I don’t get told I’m “dominating” a conversation when I’ve said one thing for every four things said by someone else.


    I think about this sometimes when I’m working on Suburban Jungle. I know I have women readers, but if I had to guess I would assume that my readership skews mostly male. Certainly, there is a tendency among some of my readers to want me to, as the saying goes, “cater to the male gaze.” This isn’t just things like wanting pinup poses or playing up the sexualization of any given situation (although there is certainly that), it’s also pressure to reinforce stereotypical gender roles such as wanting the men come to Charity’s rescue or attacking Langley for being “too bitchy.” It might not be male gaze so much as “want everything to fit into comfortable traditional pigeonholes” gaze, I suppose… but whatever it is, I can tell it’s out there.


    I also think about a comment I read online somewhere about K-On! which strikes me as relevant. The comment, left on a review somewhere I have long since lost the link to, was that it was nice to have a show about girls that actually felt like it was about girls, and not just some guy writing his vague idea of the sort of things girls do and repeating all the usual things that sort of scenario usually leads to.


    There’s a reason for that, of course. Despite being a show about high school girls, K-On! was originally created by a man for a primarily male audience. What made the K-On! anime a commercial success in Japan, and arguably one of the reasons why it is so much better than most of the other shows of its type, was that it was made by Kyoto Animation, a studio comprised largely of women, who added all that other stuff and gave the show tremendous crossover appeal. In short, K-On! was popular with women too, not just with the stereotypical moe-fan otaku. And when women get behind a thing, they go big. 😉


    Charity is finally part of the gang. <3


    And really, if I could arrange it, that’s the kind of reaction I’d want people to have to Suburban Jungle. Someone once told me that despite the obvious fantasy elements “When Wally Met Mikey” from the original SJ was the most realistic depiction of a fledgeling gay relationship he’d seen in a comic– which made me very proud. I don’t know if I can hit that level again with Charity and her friends, but it is the target I’m shooting for. And among other things, that means pushing past comfortable traditional pigeonholes, and being as true to the “reality” of the characters as I can.


    -The Gneech


    [1] See also Scalzi’s discussions of “straight, white male is EZ mode.” Not that it’s all sunshine and roses– being male in our society is a lonesome and painful business, as Norah Vincent so powerfully demonstrated. But on the grand scale of life, not being able to talk about your feelings or wear attractive clothes and constantly having to fight the effects of testosterone poisoning, don’t quite stack up to being in constant (if usually low-level) fear for your life and having to work twice as hard for 2/3 the pay and recognition. And also, any woman over the age of 12 is more badass than most men ever have to be. Ask anyone who draws blood for a living. They’ll tell you.

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