the_gneech: (Default)
Groovy, baby.

“I’ve learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.”

–Carl W. Buehner

Ever since writing my 2018 report the other day and putting thought into 2019, I’ve become increasingly aware of a theme woven into the music of my life and now coming to the forefront: I must develop my ability to create connection, both on a personal and professional basis, and within my writing.

Because when I look at what isn’t working in my life right now, I see two sides of the same coin: needing to learn how to network in order to build my coaching practice on the one side, and being told repeatedly, “Your writing is crisp, clean, and professional, but the book just didn’t grab me…” on the other. Both of these things are about creating an emotional connection with people, whether directly or indirectly.

I’ve always been vaguely aware of this in terms of watching the audience for Suburban Jungle (and my place within the furry fandom generally)– it’s just like my friendships have been over the course of my life. SJ has a smallish knot of devoted fans, some of whom are intensely devoted to it. (NeverNever was like this too, only moreso.) As long as I can remember, I’ve had a few very close friends, and often been very challenged around getting outside of that group.

Those tight friendships (and very devoted fans) mean the world to me and I don’t want to downplay them. But it is increasingly clear to me as time goes on that I need to widen my circle. A small number of tight friends can make a handful of referrals in my client hunt, but their potential is quickly tapped out on that front. A very devoted fan might buy all of my books and support the highest tiers of my Patreon, but they are only one fan and cannot subsidize my life (nor would I want them to).

And besides the straightforward inability of the math to get me what I need, these small circles also don’t give me what I want. I want to help people with my coaching. I want people’s days to be better because I was in them. I want to have crowds at my table, and people writing fanfics or doing in-depth analysis of my work on Tumblr. As nice as it might be to be recognized as a genius posthumously? I want my work to be loved now.

When my Aunt Iris died, half of Fairfax and Loudoun counties came to her funeral, and everyone– everyone– had something to say about the way she’d connected to them. By comparison, when my father died a year later, his funeral was attended by maybe twenty people, including his three children, their spouses and children, and some of my friends.

That stuck with me.

I loved my dad. Everyone there did. But there is no denying that his life was, in its way, small and limited. I don’t want mine to be.

So what am I going to do about it? I think I was starting to come to awareness of this gap when I came up with my writing goals for 2019, because I listed my goal as “Create self-satisfaction, expression, and meaningful impact in others’ lives by means of becoming a successful and widely-read author/artist.” I added as one of my goals to change my relationship to, say, my Patreon, by focusing not on the dollar amount it brings in, but by the number of subscribers who sign up and the amount of comments that are left.

Similarly, I tweeted last night, “I’ve got ~1500 followers on Twitter and ~450 on Tumblr, and I would like to double those numbers by the end of January. But I’m looking for, y’know, real people who will like my work, not bots. Any suggestions on what I should do, real people?” And that’s an important distinction! I don’t want fluffed up “metrics” that don’t mean anything, I’m not some dot-com-era middle manager looking for clicks.

How will I do this? By finding ways to make my writing grab people. By making more genuine connections with the people I meet. By being with people, instead of either up on a stage or hiding at the back of the room.

If this past year was finally learning how to be friends with myself? This coming year is going to be learning how to be friends with the world.

the_gneech: (Mysterious Beard)

Two pookas and a jackalope, being adorable.

For Easter (and just for the fun of it) I’m opening up commissions for your fursona/OC depicted as a pooka or jackelope, NeverNever style! These will be pencil sketches, colored with blended pencil, emphasizing the charm, shyness, and natural character of the pookas– or the lack of all same in the case of the jackalopes. 😉

I’ll be starting with five slots, and if those fill up super-fast I’ll open up another five.

The commissions are $25, plus an additional $10 for each character after the first. If you’d like the original as well as a high-res scan, I’ll mail it to you ($5 for US delivery or $10 international), payable via Square, Dwolla, or check. Slots are first-come first-serve, and you can respond via a comment here or e-mail at

Thanks! 😀

1. CLAIMED (Inkblitzer)

2. CLAIMED (anonymous)

3. CLAIMED (Jakebe)

4. CLAIMED (M. Mitchell)

5.CLAIMED (Mooncat)







the_gneech: (Default)

Heyas, just a heads-up that I am taking down the NeverNever website for a while, because the website technology is seriously out-of-date and I won’t have a chance to update it until sometime in the spring.

I’ll bring the site back up when I have a chance to work on it! Meanwhile the books are still available if you gotta have your pooka fix! ;)


-The Gneech

Originally published at You can comment here or there.

the_gneech: (Classic Style)
Yesterday was a bad day for me. No getting around it. I didn't sleep properly the night before and I should have called in sick but didn't, leading to a day of sheer pain at work.

However, that had the unexpected benefit of making me so tired that I had no choice but sleep last night-- and sleep I did. That proverbial rock people are always sleeping like? From now on, it sleeps like me. And this morning I woke up at 5:45, as close to bright-eyed and bushy tailed as you'll ever see me.

It's... an odd feeling. But I'll happily take today over yesterday!

In the process of all this industrial-strength sleeping, I had a dream about starting on NeverNever Book Three, which (had the strip continued) was going to start revealing explanations of why Excalibur manifested and chose Arthur, as well as how the Arcadians fit into it all. Although I don't actually have any plans to resurrect NeverNever any time soon, it was a very good feeling to have my muse doing anything considering how much of a mess she's been lately.

If I was going to do anything, it would be with Verity and Tanya, and indeed the muse has been simmering on those two for the past few weeks, even though I've said little about it. I think a lot of the energy from the Coventry inspiration has been spilling over, which is more than a little appropriate. I expect I'll end up tossing most of the background stuff I've come up with for V&T so far, but that's okay-- the first draft is supposed to be crap. I want to create the thing that my muse wants to create-- it's just a matter of figuring out what that is.

The Other News

In other news, the other news is good for a change! My mom is out of the rehab place and comfortably housed with my sister for the time being; motion is slowly but perceptibly returning to her left arm and she's looking hale and hearty compared to how she generally has been lately. Another friend of mine who's been fighting a very serious illness is improving and by all reports was due to go home from the hospital yesterday. I need to follow up and find out how she's doing. Finally, [ profile] hantamouse it seems has jumped through all the necessary hoops to get the promotion he's been angling for-- which means he'll be able to keep his house!

I'm liking this "good news" trend. Let's keep going with that.

So all in all, life is on the upswing right now. I'll take it. Thanks, life!

-The Gneech

PS: "Sissypunk" needs to be a thing.
the_gneech: (Lachwen Lightning Girl)
Despite what this video may claim, it's not actually auroras seen from space:

It's actually Lachwen hitting level 65. Here's a closer version:

Lachwen hits 65

The question now is, can she get to the previous end of Volume III in time to be ready to roll on Tuesday? To which the answer is, "probably not," but y'know, it'll be close enough that I won't mind making the transition.

In other news, one of the things I've been working hard on with Arclight Adventures is practicing what I preach, re: having a buffer built up. To wit, today I sent [ profile] wyatt1048 for coloring another page that will run in January. ;) At the risk of tooting my own horn, I've been quite pleased with how the Arclight pages are coming out. I've been working very diligently to put only my best work into them (which sometimes calls for a lot of erasing, alas!), and I can see (and feel) my art improving as a result.

Of course, there's nothing I'm doing with Arclight that a pro comic artist doesn't do better and faster, but still, for me at least it's a new and exciting feeling to not be intimidated by the thought of "Great googily-moogily, how could I ever pull off drawing that?" I commented once upon a time about how having Sue doing the art for NeverNever freed up my writing because I didn't feel like I had to worry about whether or not the artist could pull it off -- whatever it was, I knew that Sue could do it.

That's where I want to get with my own art, and with the results I've been seeing so far, I think I just may actually get there -- eventually. :) I'm not quite there now, I've got some pages coming up that frankly have got me nervous, but once upon a time the idea of doing even the first splash page would have felt like it was something totally out of my league. So I'm definitely making progress!

But for now, bed. G'nite, everybody, and have an awesome tomorrow!

-The Gneech

PS: Just for my own memory, here was my other LotRO achievement: "Lachwen scored a devastating hit with Epic Conclusion on the Tham Úmdúr Blood-warrior for 2,217 Lightning damage to Morale." :D
the_gneech: (Writing)

This week I punted on a story that just wasn’t going anywhere; I hate doing that, and I especially hate doing it when the editor for whom I was doing the story seemed so keen to have it, but it was frankly not my best work and I suspect he would have had to reject in the end anyway. Better in the long run at this stage to let it go so both he and I can devote the mental resources to something else.

This, combined with the gear-grinding on Arclight Adventures, has led me to reflect on just what it is I want to accomplish with my creative endeavors, why it is that I do them — and why I seem to have been having difficulty with them lately. And I think I’ve discovered at least one psychological factor that’s been holding me back, i.e., “fear of commitment.”

Y’see, Suburban Jungle and NeverNever consumed so much of my life for so long, that there is a part of me that’s frankly afraid to get that wrapped up in something again. I loved doing my comics, don’t get me wrong, but there were plenty of times when it could also be a draining, demoralizing, downright painful experience, and part of me is shying away from that.

Another issue has been my own underlying motivation for doing the work, and here I have not been pleased with what I saw in the mental mirror. Y’see, for both NN and SJ, my motivation was that I loved the work — I was making those comics because I wanted them to exist, I thought they were good and worthy things that would make the world a better place by being in it. This has been less true of my more recent projects. In fact, at the end of the day, what has been motivating me lately has been ego.

I don’t want the entirety of my creative output to be “ten years of webcomics and done.” I don’t want the history of pop culture to say of The Gneech: “Known, by those few who do, as the guy who did The Suburban Jungle.” I want to leave a bigger footprint.

A natural feeling, perhaps, but a terrible reason to be doing any major undertaking. Somebody recently described me in my LiveJournal as “dedicated to my own epicness” — said as a joke, yeah, but it still had the sting of truth to it. I should be thinking about the work itself, and the readers out there who will hopefully get something out it, not about what it will do for my prestige and/or fragile egg of a sense of self-worth.

So … what to do about it? Well, for starters, I’m blowing away all of my current “projects” (which have been more placeholders than actual work anyway), except for the Short Story Geeks Podcast, because I have made a commitment to my fellow podcasters on that one and I intend to honor that. But for everything else, as of this blog entry, I’m no longer “working on X” for a half-dozen half-formed ideas.

Second, I’m going to look at each of the things I have been working on with a critical eye and determine which, if any, are actually worth doing on their own merits, rather than because I think it’d be “good for my career,” so to speak. If a project can actually justify its own existence, then I will add it to my to-do list, even if the due date is “sometime after 2015,” but if not, it’s going into the proverbial sock drawer indefinitely.

I do know of at least one project which will move up in the priority list, a YA collaboration with Mrs. Gneech, actually, which we’ve been talking about on-and-off for several years now. We recently sat down and hashed out a lot of things about it, to the point where I think we have a pretty good vision for what it should be like. It’s not something that really builds on anything I’ve done before (except in the vague sense of having some fantasy elements), nor really is likely to have immediate appeal to my established audience, but it is something about which I can confidently say its existence would be a +1 for the world. :)

As for what other projects will be added back in, I couldn’t tell you at this stage. If you have one you’d like to advocate for, I’d love to hear it!

-The Gneech

Originally published at You can comment here or there.

the_gneech: (Kero Power Tie)
This will be a long one, Websnark style. I apologize for the length, but I've got a lot to say here.

Imagine, if you can, what life was like for geeks and budding geeks in 1975-1976. Batman was all about camp. Star Wars was a pile of notes on George Lucas's desk. The only really cool thing we had was Star Trek, and that was a canceled, not-terribly-popular show that was on life support by means of a Saturday morning cartoon. The only people who cared about it were NASA employees and the uncool kids.

But we made the best of it, and when you had enough kids together you could actually decently "play Star Trek" with a different actual person taking the role of Kirk, Spock, etc. Since I had the largest collection of Star Trek figures, including the Enterprise Bridge Playset, I got to call the shots on what we would do with it. On one particular afternoon, we actually had something like six of us together, including a girl whose name has long been lost out of the fuzzy recesses of my memory. She had dark hair, and I remember liking her because she was into all the same fantasy/SF stuff that I was, or at least didn't go "Ew!" at it the way most of the girls did. But she lived in a different neighborhood, which when you're six years old, might as well been another planet, so I rarely had the opportunity to play with her.

In any case, I was handing out figures for people to play with; I kept Spock for myself naturally, but pretty much let everybody else take whomever they pleased. But I left Uhura in the box, because she was such an nonentity. All she ever did was answer the phone and occasionally say, "Captain, I'm frightened." What kind of a character is that?

This girl -- I'm going to call her Melissa for purposes of the anecdote (and because I do remember knowing a girl named Melissa) -- strenuously objected to this when I suggested she play Scotty. "I don't want to play Scotty!"

"How can you not want to play Scotty? Scotty's cool!" (May not have been my exact words ... I was six.)

"But I'm a girl!"

This stymied me. It had never been an issue before: most of the time there were no girls around to play with anyway, and so if there were girl roles required, one of the boys would just take it. Playing a cross-gender role was something you just did if it was required to make the playing happen. (I myself became quite adept at the role of Kimba's girlfriend, which seemed perfectly ordinary to me at the time and caused me much confusion when it bugged my best friend later. But that's another story.) But for !Melissa it was apparently a big issue, and that left us stuck, because there was only the one girl figure: Lt. Uhura, who was only surpassed in boringness by Yoeman "Look At My Legs, Captain" Rand. If there had been a Lt. M'Ress figure, or even a Number One (Majel Barrett as human supercomputer, one of the coolest characters in Star Trek ever and therefore absolutely hated by the network), all would have been fine.

(It's worth noting that Uhura did become cool later, particularly in Star Trek III, but that was decades away. Even her badass moment in "The Lorelei Signal" episode of the animated series only came because none of the Men Folk were around to be badass instead. And remember also, I was six, and didn't realize that the reason Uhura was boring was because race and gender politics forbade her from being interesting at the time.)

This was my first real confrontation with the phenomenon of The Chick, and it's something that really starts jumping out at you once you notice it. As someone in the blogosphere recently said (and I'm still looking for the exact quote, I'll get back to you with it): many writers, especially of pop or genre fiction, default to male (and usually white male) for a character unless there's a specific reason to do otherwise. Need a leader? White male. Smooth talker? White male. Gadgeteer? White male. Romantic Interest? Oops, guess we'll make this one a female. Etc. Among other things, this leads to there being a character who is The Diversity Kid ("Chinese girl in a wheelchair, score!"), whose main role is to be The Diversity Kid, and who always rings false in the role.

Even being aware of this tendency isn't enough to keep it from happening in your work: in NeverNever, both Mopsy and Jenny sometimes fall into the "The Chick" category, although I did try to make them interesting characters in their own right. (I was a little annoyed with myself at how often Jenny needed rescuing, but on the other hand just about everybody in the cast needed rescuing at least a few times.) Suburban Jungle was a bit better in this regard, largely because I started with a female protagonist and built the cast to be the people who were important to her life. Given how easy it is for me, a person who at least likes to think of himself as being proactive on this issue, to fall into it, it's not hard to see why this is an ongoing phenomenon.

Now, fast-forward to today, where gender issues in geeky lit are in a state of high dudgeon. DC comics recently got reamed for its notable lack of female heroes and female creators (not to mention comics' record generally for stuffing women into refrigerators). There is a strange backlash against girl geeks going on, especially ones who are what is traditionally thought of as "attractive" ... and of course there's a backlash against the backlash.

Into all this wanders My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic, which as I mentioned before is a very girly show for girls that is girly, but is also just a straight-up awesome show, thus having a lot of crossover appeal. That there should be bronies, geeky male fans of a girly cartoon show, should be considered a Grand Thing, shouldn't it?

Well apparently, not everyone thinks so. Consider this comic from Shortpacked!:

Shortpacked!, by David Willis, for Aug 3 2011

Now, I'm not a regular reader of Shortpacked! so I don't know the context here. This comic came to my attention by way of a MLP:FIM blog in which the blogger didn't wanted to be associated with the term "brony" because to him it apparently means "male MLP fan who is a jerk about it." This, as far as I can tell, is nuts. (Which is also my reaction to fans of anthropomorphic animals generally who don't want to be called "furries.")

But there are a lot of things in this comic that stick in my craw. First and foremost, it's clear that the guy is being a jerk; however, this is being held up more or less to be, "This guy is being male." That in itself is a trend I've been sick of for years. Second, there is a noticeable disconnect between MLP:FIM and the merchandise it is ostensibly being made to sell, and that creates natural frustration on the part of fans who want to support something they like by buying the merchandise. ("I love Rainbow Dash, she's got so much attitude! I'll go buy a Rainbow Dash toy! Er, what's this doe-eyed waif with Rainbow Dash's name on it?") I can't speak for everybody, but speaking only for myself I don't have a problem with the doe-eyed waif qua itself, my problem is that there isn't anything with the Rainbow Dash I was looking for. [1]

But my real problem is in the line "Males have 6/7ths of the Justice League, 90 percent of the Avengers, 12/13ths of Transformers, and now you've taken My Little Pony." Presumably this is intended as an indictment of the concept of The Chick, which is a concept that needs indicting. But it's also built on a fundamentally bad premise: how exactly has My Little Pony been "taken" and from whom? Does one jackass mouthing off suddenly turn all of the ponies into colts instead of fillies? Is the woman in the comic now somehow prevented from liking My Little Pony because it's not an all-girls club any more? The little rejoinder at the end, "Sorry, we noticed something we didn't have," also sticks in my craw because, of all the crazy things, it feeds negative stereotypes -- i.e., the rapacious and plundering white male.

In short, the fundamental premise of this comic seems to be that boys shouldn't be liking stuff for girls because girls have so little stuff of their own. But isn't that just as ridiculous as saying that girls shouldn't like superheroes because superheroes are meant for boys? Either that or "boys are pretty much all jackasses and anything they touch is ruined," which is also a premise that I don't much care for. (The irony that this comic was written by a guy is also not lost on me.)

Some of this is just the natural growing pains of any fandom, I imagine. The original brony rant about "I'm totally not a brony!" was an almost point-by-point copy of the same "I'm totally not a furry!" rant I've seen a hundred times. But really, it's getting old. Anything with human beings involved is going to include assholes sooner or later, and people really need to get over that.

Oh, and for the record, I handed over the Uhura figure so !Melissa could play her, and a good time was had by all. Until we realized the delicate hands of the Uhura figure didn't have an opposable thumb and so couldn't hold a phaser. But that's also a post for some other time.

-The Gneech

[1] Well, there is the one set of tiny little ponies from the show, noticeably missing Applejack and Fluttershy. What's that about?

Originally published at You can comment here or there.

the_gneech: (Default)

If you’d like to get in early on the Suburban Jungle ten-year retrospective, No Predation Allowed, I have set up a Kickstarter project to cover the printing costs. Besides acting as a kind of “pre-order” for the book, depending on the funding option you choose you can also get a copy of the “Dreams of Summer” portfolio, NeverNever books, or a commission from your ever-lovin’ blue-eyed cartoonist!

If you can’t help with funding, that’s okay too, just help me spread the word about it! :) Thanks, everyone!

-The Gneech

Originally published at You can comment here or there.

the_gneech: (Default)

Attack of the War-Cats has arrived! Pre-orders will go out tomorrow. Thanks, everyone!

-The gneech

Originally published at You can comment here or there.

the_gneech: (Taishi Conquest)
I do love being able to add stuff to the Bibliography! In other words, Attack of the War-Cats is now available for preorders. :) Big, big thanks to everyone who waited!

And for those who've been asking, we have finally worked out a way for it to be available at Confuzzled without having the customs people look askance at us, so yes, you'll be able to pick it up in Manchester if you're planning to be there. I'll also have it at AnthroCon; I've applied for a table at InterventionCon as well, but haven't heard back on that one yet.

Been a big month! And next month will be even bigger. O.o

-The Gneech

Originally published at You can comment here or there.

the_gneech: (Taishi Conquest)
The revised proof of Attack of the War-Cats is approved and the books are going into production! I will probably start taking pre-orders this weekend.

-The Gneech


Apr. 2nd, 2011 05:13 pm
the_gneech: (Default)
Found a few errors in Attack of the War-Cats and sent up new files to fix 'em. Unfortunately, that means a bit of delay in getting the books finalized, but on the other hand at least we found the errors before the books were printed. ;)

Still on schedule for CFz, tho. :)

the_gneech: (Writing)

This week has been a productive one: I have secured a pair of excellent Podcasting Partners and we’ve had our first brainstorming session. Who are they, you ask? Well I ain’t gonna tell you! This post is a teaser, after all. They may or may not choose to talk about it in their own bloggy spheres, in which case it’ll be up to your amazing detective skills to find the clues. I will say that I’m very pleased that both of my first choices were not only available but eager to sign up. :)

The podcast, in case you’re curious, will be a literary one concentrating on short fiction — news, reviews, and how-to’s. Digital formats have really started a short fiction renaissance, and as I’ve always loved the form, a podcast about it is just a natural fit. :) I’m still casting around for things like a title, but I’m sure that stuff will firm up in the next few weeks. The actual podcast will probably launch after I get back from Confuzzled, but I’m sure there will be more details to share between now and then. We’re still in the planning stages now, so any input is welcome and desired!

The other big production news for this week is that Attack of the War-Cats, the second NeverNever collection, is off to the printer! I’m expecting to receive a proof back tomorrow, and assuming it’s all good, the actual books should show up sometime in mid-April. Look for preorders to become available soon!

That’s it for now. Catcha later!

-The Gneech

Originally published at You can comment here or there.


Mar. 28th, 2011 07:43 pm
the_gneech: (Taishi Conquest)
Attack of the War-Cats is off to the printer!

the_gneech: (Kero asleep)
All of the artwork for Attack of the War-Cats is complete and the body of the book is laid out and being uploaded to the printer as I type. Unfortunately, I can't really stay up to finish the cover tonight, so that will have to wait until tomorrow.

Still, I'm very close now. :) When this is done, all of NeverNever will be in print. I'd consider that an achievement!

-The Gneech
the_gneech: (Writing)

As you might imagine, I’ve been very distracted recently, and so this piece of news almost slipped through the cracks — but I can’t let that happen! Bad Dog Books has released Roar, Volume 3, which includes my latest short story, “Blackbird Singing In the Dead of Night.” It’s a murder mystery starring Squash and Stretch, Suburban Jungle’s pair of mustelid gumshoes, and was a lot of fun to write.

Among other things, this is a biggie because it’s my first piece of prose fiction to be published by someone other than myself, and so is a step into new territory for me. Time to update the bibliography!

This is the latest in a series of big changes that have come at me fast and furious, with very little time to process one before I’m in the midst of another. I’ve passed so many crossroads in the past year-or-so that I’m amazed I haven’t stepped sideways into another dimension.

A week from today will be another one: Thursday the 17th is when we bring down the curtain on NeverNever for what I expect to be the final time. It’s been a long and twisty journey, and in many ways it feels like the last steps are the hardest, but I’m happy to see it get a proper finish and I’m grateful for all the hard work Sue, Richard, Higgins, and Tiffany have put in to help bring it to fruition over the years. Of course that also means that it’s time to crank out Attack of the War-Cats as fast as I can to get it done by Confuzzled. My usual book printer has unexpectedly gone belly-up on me, and the plan I was looking at with Amazon appears to have developed a few holes as well, so I’m now scrambling to figure out what to do on that front. I’m sure I’ll find something, it’s just a matter of being able to sit down and hash it out.

What comes next from there? I’m not sure. The ending of NeverNever is significant in the larger picture of my “creative life” because it will be the first time in a long time that I didn’t have a comic running in some form, even if that form was sporadic updates. I was expecting the new steampunk comic to pick up more-or-less on the heels of NN shutting down, but as time goes on I’m finding it harder and harder to stick with that, for a variety of reasons that I don’t really want to go into here. So I’m trying to decide what to do next.

Right now I suspect that the next step will be more short fiction. I have some ideas burgeoning for Roar Vol. 4, and I also think short stories could be a good way to flesh out some of the myriad “characters in search of a plot” ideas I’ve got going, from Brigid and Greg to Not-Dead Darby and the Reagent Man. It might also work to get the juices flowing on the steampunk comic idea, for that matter. The main thing is to keep moving; I’ve been treading water for far too long now, and it’s time to start making progress again!

-The Gneech

Originally published at You can comment here or there.

the_gneech: (Default)

Some rambling here. If you’d like to skip to the good stuff, there’s art at the end! ;)

For all who stayed…

It’s been a year and a bit now since I wrapped up The Suburban Jungle, and time to check my progress compared with what my plans were for the year.

The first thing that comes to mind is that writing didn’t really go as planned. I did do a short story that I was quite pleased with, and a lot of trying to hash out various novel ideas, but I never could really come up with something that got me fired up and excited, I suspect at least in part because I had so much difficulty making the “concept” behind the book match what was actually coming out when I wrote. That, and my recurring difficulty with plot, which I’ve written about elsewhere. At the end of the day, for just about each project I tried to pick up, I ended up deciding it needed a little more time to bake and that I’d come back to it.

The next thing that comes to mind is how much I missed doing comics. Back in August Arclight Adventures grabbed hold of my brain and shook me around until I caved in and started working on it — only to hit a wall in November called “familial crisis” (le sigh). Fortunately the familial stuff has ebbed again for the moment, and once the seasonal frantic convention prep is out of the way, I can get back on it. Right now I expect Arclight Adventures to run for about eight issues over the course of two to five years depending on how well it goes and audience reaction.

That said, I do miss Suburban Jungle, and I know there’s going to be more of it someday. Just the other night, Tiffany demanded that I draw her, so the characters are still there bumping around in my head, even if they don’t have any major plots brewing at the moment. But it needs some time away, so that I can let the old series become set as its own thing and then start a new story fresh, instead of succumbing to the temptation of just doing “more of the same in a different format.” There are some core elements of Suburban Jungle which honestly were completely played out by the end and would only be baggage now. By having time away from it, and doing different stuff instead, I hope to be able to come back fresh to the new series and give it its own life.

Then, there’s the issue of conventions. Now, I love conventions, but there are problems I’m going to have to come to grips with moving forward. MammaLlamaDevil, who has been my superlative business partner for the past (mumble) years, is gettin’ out of the convention biz as part of a major life-restructuring. While I wish her nothing but huge success, that does put me back where I was in 2001-2002, having to create merchandise, wrangle vendors, and work the table more or less on my own. She’ll be there for Further Confusion, thank goodness, but for AnthroCon I’m going to have a half-table solo. Sirfox and I have requested to get the same table, which should help, but I will still have to face my worst nightmare: i.e., trying to handle money, interact with people, and keep drawing all at the same time. It may sound fatuous, but I know from experience it’s going to be tough going! Fortunately, Mrs. Gneech will be at Confuzzled, which will be a big help there. I have enough trouble with US dollars — I can’t help it, math is hard! — I don’t want to know what trying to deal in pounds will be like.

Speaking of Confuzzled, I did promise at the top of the post that there would be art at the bottom of it! So here you go: convention mascot Brok the Badger gets tough with a goon! (Click through for larger view.)
Brok: Tough Guy! by The Gneech

To be honest I suspected my GOH days at conventions were probably over, so to not only be invited again, but to be invited overseas, still blows my mind. :) It has also been a major source of inspiration for me to keep going on the artwork. I don’t do it for the money, obviously — I do it for the fans. :) And to know that it still means something to people is huge.

So what are my plans for 2011? Right now they consist of finishing off the unfinished business of 2010 (i.e., Attack of the War-Cats and No Predation Allowed), getting Arclight Adventures off the ground, and to continue trying to make the writing work. That ought to keep me busy for at least a week or two. ;)

-The Gneech

Originally published at You can comment here or there.

the_gneech: (Default)
I just noticed that Jenny is wearing earrings -- I guess girls DO mature faster than boys do!

-The Gneech
the_gneech: (LIGHTNING from my FINGERS!)

Steampunk Gneech, once again steampunky!Halloween is upon us, and to celebrate I’ve elaborated a bit on my impromptu steampunk getup for Dragon*Con, right down to the cliché of the self-modded Nerf gun. ;D I couldn’t bring myself to put goggles on the hat, tho. Everyone at the office party this morning agreed that I had quite a dapper costume, although nobody had the slightest clue what I was supposed to be. A couple of people floated the idea of Sherlock Holmes; one person guessed I was from Firefly, to which I answered, “Close enough!”

Childproof the Unicorns: What the well-dressed reader demands!In other news, in case you managed to escape without hearing me cheer all over the internet last night, Childproof the Unicorns (Second Edition) is back in print and up for sale! This is my first foray into 100% self-publishing for print, and I must say I’m very pleased with how it came out! On to Attack of the War-Cats and No Predation Allowed!

-The Gneech

Originally published at You can comment here or there.

the_gneech: (Alex Spaz)
Well that was a short weekend, cripes! I have no memory of Friday night at all; Saturday morning was spent shopping and running errands, and the afternoon and evening were taken up by prep and playing of Gamma World.

Sunday was spent on more errands, followed by an evening of work on a prop for my Halloween costume. The evening was rounded off by watching the first episode of Sherlock on PBS, which was pretty good as things which aren't Doctor Who go. ;)

Almost no work on comics got done by me, although Sue and Richard are banging away on NeverNever. I hope to make up some slack on that this week: if all goes well, I shall have the first issue of the new comic completely written and get at least one page of art finished. I also need to follow up on the printer for Childproof, who seems to think "no news is good news" — not an attitude I approve of.

Ah well, time to put my nose to the grindstone, I guess. Now where did I leave it?

-The Gneech

April 2019

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