Jump to content
Hash, Inc. Forums
largento

The Wannabe Pirates

Recommended Posts

Thanks, Nancy/Mark/David!

 

I am very excited about this! To have a printed graphic novel with art created by me is a dream I've had for a looong time! For some reason, the cover was the big hold-up for me, but I think I'm finally satisfied and ready to go!

 

I had to update the first page to add credits (There's a special thanks for your rigging expertise, Mark!) and I managed to find only one typo in the 206 pages of story. There's a few word balloons that need fixing and then all will be ready!

 

I've got the inside front cover free for a full-page color ad (the printer takes the inside back cover.) Does anyone know who I should contact at Hash to see if they'd like to buy it? I can't think of a better company to have the ad space considering all of the art for the book was created in their software!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Does anyone know who I should contact at Hash to see if they'd like to buy it? I can't think of a better company to have the ad space considering all of the art for the book was created in their software!

Jason would be the man to contact.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks, Homes!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Just a note. The PDF versions of the graphic novel are going to be taken down from The Illustrated Section.

 

I haven't sold a single one and now they want to charge me to have them listed on the site. Doesn't make sense for me to do that.

 

Book is almost ready to be uploaded to the printer. Just checking with an old co-worker about the color in the files. Want them to print as well as possible.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

And the order is placed!

 

The print version should be available some time next month! Keeping my fingers crossed and hoping that it comes out great! I've read from some folks that they print a little dark, so I've slightly lightened the art.

 

This is gonna' be a long month of waiting. :-)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hey, wow! The Wannabe Pirates gets a mention in an article on MTV.com!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Wow indeed! Hopefully you'll get an increase in hits. Well done!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Hey, wow! The Wannabe Pirates gets a mention in an article on MTV.com!

 

Great news!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Just think how many hits I'd get if I put Justin Bieber in the strip!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

It's really neat to see them talk your strip up! As others said, I hope this ups your hit count.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks, guys! Sadly it didn't translate into any real traffic, but it was still nice to know that someone out there knows the strip exists. :-)

 

I've been circling around an idea to take the Wannabe Pirates into local schools to promote reading. Maybe as some kind of online magazine for kids. I don't know what that would mean for the webcomic. It's just so clear that the audience for the strip (if there is one) isn't finding it. I'm thinking that maybe trying to join up with the local schools would put it in front of kids who might catch on to it.

 

I think they might go for it. I haven't really written the strip "down" to kids, but I don't think there is anything content-wise that would be objectionable to the school boards.

 

The other alternative would be to try to change the strip in a way that would hopefully attract more readers.

 

I just think I need to find some way to make this sustainable. In September, I will have been at this for four years. I've wanted to commit to five years, but a part of me keeps thinking what's the point of doing it for another year if it's not going to go anywhere? It would be one thing if the numbers seemed to be on an upward slope, but that's not the case.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hi Mark,

 

You are surly not waiting for some wise guys opinions, that doesn`t even know to help himself in this respect, but nevertheless:

 

I would continue the strip in drawn black and white version for the time being and try to syndicate it for

newspapers "Peanuts"-style.

The saved time I would put into an animated Trailer-clip to promote your project on "You tube"

Maybe try something that has the potential to go "viral".

 

The future for your fantastic 3D-color stuff I see in animation.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks, Jake.

 

Sadly, I don't think the syndication path is viable anymore. I had considered it last year when I first began doing the the strip in 3D. I thought it would be a novelty for the syndicates. Then I read a story about a lady who had gotten her strip syndicated, and she didn't paint a pretty picture. The reality is that newspapers are on their deathbed in the US. Beyond merchandising, syndicated strip artists make 50% from the sale of their strips to newspapers. There just aren't enough newspapers left to make a strip a success. The chances of being accepted by a syndicate and getting into newspapers has always been microscopic, but nowadays, it's even worse.

 

Also, I wouldn't have ownership of the property. Anything I would want to do with the Wannabe Pirates would be controlled by the syndicate.

 

The animated trailer is something I've seriously been working on over the last week. It's really a commercial for the book that I'm getting printed. I went through the book and wrote a movie-trailer style commercial integrating some scenes from the book. The tricky part for me (as always) has been doing the audio to time it with the animatic. However, I'm just accepting that it won't be perfect so that I can make it happen.

 

I had considered doing one for a long time, but my major impetus now is that I think it's the only way I'll be able to get any "press" for the book.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

that`s very sad to hear about the syndication.

I guess the old established stuff like peanuts, Hägar etc. may block space for new content also on top of that.

 

But if syndication means to sell your ownership it`s no way to go anyhow.

 

But considering to work in black and white drawn style (or even just flatcolored, that could be done with Mangastudio within a blink of an eye ) for a certain time will offer some advantages nevertheless:

 

 

- you will save a lot of time for 3-D animation work...

 

- you wonnt have to stop your strips totally...

 

- you will see, if your fans react to this somehow, meaning dialogue and maybe new ideas...

 

- you always can rework your artwork in 3-D lateron, if need be.

 

and you still have all your color work up-to-now, which you can show.

 

As for the animation quality I would say, if you reach the standard of your christmas animation, it would be more than enough.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
The animated trailer is something I've seriously been working on over the last week. It's really a commercial for the book that I'm getting printed. I went through the book and wrote a movie-trailer style commercial integrating some scenes from the book.

 

Excellent idea!

 

..make them Somalian?

 

hoo hooooo! good one, Gerry!

 

 

(EDIT)Mark: perhaps if you go the way of education, getting into schools to promote reading, perhaps you might consider doing educational tutorials again, but about different subjects that pertain to whatever grade you specialize in - as learning materials. I thought you did an excellent job on your basic A:M tuts, highly enjoyable, very readable, and I would expect this style to be embraced by kids as to learning all sorts of subject matter.

 

To me, the money in 3D, & art (for most small, independants) would be more about selling the tools, tutorials, books, resources in teaching others how to do their own 3D & art, rather than making money from selling one's own art. There are way less opportunities for selling one's own art, unless some marketeer convinces a whole lotta folk that one's art was super dooper different, special, unique. (Not saying your's isn't, it just seems harder to make a living at selling it)

 

It would seem to me that both you and Gerry would both excell at being storyboard artists...I would think that skill is in demand for filmaking? But I have no real stats on the subject.

Edited by NancyGormezano

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

@Jake I have given a little bit of thought to going back to a 2D version. There's definitely a stigma out there against 3D comics. I had thought doing it in 3D would actually make it more unique, but there's a lot of people who look down on it. If I were to go that route, it wouldn't be until after this story is finished, since it would be too jarring for the style to change in the middle of it.

 

@Gerry Not beloved, those pirates. :-)

 

@Nancy I hadn't really given thought to making it focused on actual learning, but that could be a way to go. My idea was more to make it localized. X number of pages of comic each month, x number of pages of games and puzzles and x number of pages focusing on local school news and profiles. The rest would be ad pages that would be sold to local businesses. The hurdle is that it would need to be accepted into the schools in order to sell the advertising and make it financially viable. Having some sort of educational tutorials in it, might help with that.

 

I guess what I keep coming back to every so often is the thought that this may not be the right comic to be pouring all of my efforts into. I'm not really that into pirates and it could be that I'd have success with another comic. ...BUT what if the missing piece is just the time. What if it just takes five years for the saturation to start to happen? Then I'd be starting back over on day one with another five years ahead of me...

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
I hadn't really given thought to making it focused on actual learning, but that could be a way to go. My idea was more to make it localized. X number of pages of comic each month, x number of pages of games and puzzles and x number of pages focusing on local school news and profiles. The rest would be ad pages that would be sold to local businesses. The hurdle is that it would need to be accepted into the schools in order to sell the advertising and make it financially viable. Having some sort of educational tutorials in it, might help with that.

 

Sounds good, but I'm hoping you'll do some preliminary research first, with schools & teachers & parents? Get an idea of what they might like to see, which subjects, topics they think would be valuable, desirable, accepted by kids. Whether they or the school might purchase as supplemental materials? maybe there is also a market for some "social engineering" type strips for "in trouble - at risk" kids, without sounding preachy? And if you want to go "preachy" then maybe there is a market in religious materials, biblical stories? (I wouldn't know about such things)

 

I guess what I keep coming back to every so often is the thought that this may not be the right comic to be pouring all of my efforts into. I'm not really that into pirates and it could be that I'd have success with another comic. ...BUT what if the missing piece is just the time. What if it just takes five years for the saturation to start to happen? Then I'd be starting back over on day one with another five years ahead of me...

 

Hmmm. If you're not into it then you are breaking one of the first cardinal rules of art: Write, create, act on what you know, like, relate to. Do the style, subject that speaks to you, your style. It will be authentic and resonate with others. Trying to pretend you're into "pirates" probably means you're not taping into those who really do like piratey type things (apparently like some Somalians). I always failed selling any paintings when I tried to figure out what others would like, rather than do my own style.

 

Can't worry about the "what ifs". There is no way to predict, unless you've got some data, feedback, and even then it's a guess - but at least it's an educated one. Gotta go with a mixture of reality and some gut feelings. Anyone who has succeeded usually has "failed" many times before. It's only really a failure if you don't learn from mistakes, and keep doing the same thing.

Edited by NancyGormezano

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
I'm not really that into pirates

 

Yes indeed, this does tend to beg the question, if you aren't that into pirates what is it that you are into?

 

If you count both Starbucklers and Wannabes you've been into pirates for pretty long time now.

You can extend that back even further if you count your backyard theater days.

 

Perhaps you are just in need of some fresh perspective.

 

Personally I feel you need to get yourself into a place where you can collaborate with others on a daily basis. That interaction can be frustrating but it can also push the creative juices to a whole new level.

 

I do not think you should set "The Wannabe Pirates' too far away. Even if you were to pursue other projects I think you should post the occasional strip (farm out work to others if need be!) It's a body of work you should be proud of.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Do what YOU like!!!! actually...I think you really are into pirates--you have created a 'brand', and intellectual property, and that is an accomplishment to be proud of--Don't abandon it! You could pitch it and sell it off!!!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I might try and make the characters converse about modern issues, possibly politics.

Make a bunch of witty blocks, say like how the comics run in the daily newspaper.

after you have say a months worth of material(or you could make them up as news happens if you're quick witted)..... email a link to the online editors of big name publications, 1 a day, for a month.... (nytimes, your local online rags etc)

what do you have to lose?

Mike Fitz

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I probably over-stated the "I'm not that into pirates" thing.

 

I doubt Dik Browne was that into Vikings, either. :-)

 

Still, Will's kinda' right. I may not be that into pirates, but I'm way into the Wannabe Pirates. :-)

 

It's clear to me that the whole reason I'm questioning this is that I'm unemployed and accusing eyes are on me asking what are you doing to make money. The Wannabe Pirates has some rewards creatively, but none financially. I get the sense from my family that they think the Wannabe Pirates is a huge waste of time. I think my mom thinks I'm mentally ill. :-)

 

For a long time, I could justify it as me staying productive while I waited for the job market to improve, but the job market hasn't been improving and it may never come back.

 

This flips it all and makes me question if this was time spent well. Should I have abandoned this and tried something with more potential for income. Personally, I think the Wannabe Pirates has the potential to be successful, but I'm a lone voice in that and there's no evidence to support it. :-)

 

So I keep trying to think of ways to make it profitable. Hence the online magazine idea.

 

Nancy, the plan would be to take the printed version of the book (once it's printed) to the local school administration and discuss the idea with them. Essentially what I'm offering them is a way to promote their school system in the community. Then I'd go to the potential advertisers and try to get some of them onboard. If I keep my prices low in the beginning, then I think I can get some of them to take a chance. Any ad sales would be an improvement over the current situation. If I could fill up all the ad pages in every issue, I could make a living ...but do I abandon the webcomic to do the magazine instead?

 

Rodney, I already have somebody involved in steering the ship (McCrary) and it's difficult enough for us to come to agreement on things. Adding a third would just mean two people could jump on one person and that wouldn't improve the situation. :-)

 

Mike, I already think of the Wannabe Pirates as not really being historical. They basically talk like modern-day Americans and there are some modern things that we've commented on. I do want to stay away from politics, though. It's too divisive these days, and as I've gotten older, I've become more indifferent. These are also story-based comics, so these things have to be worked into the story so that they don't feel like they were just tacked on.

 

I hadn't really thought of trying to "self syndicate" the strip, though. I could offer it to some kid-friendly sites essentially as free advertising for me. That's something I'll have to look into.

 

I think I've just been frustrated lately. I keep getting job leads that sound promising and then go nowhere. Last week, I had an interview with a small ad agency and they seemed to love my stuff and were brainstorming all of these projects that I could work for them on ...and then dead silence. It's like people are purposely putting me on. :-)

 

I'm going to just keep moving forward ...if nothing else, at least I'll have had some fun working on this... until Mom throws me into a mental institution. :-)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The artist dilemma: How to make a living from your creative talent, and simultaneously maintain you integrity.

 

Mark, you have created a wonderful "product". Just because it isn't paying off at the moment does not mean that it isn't a worthwhile endeavor. It seems that the problem you are facing at this point is one that you alluded to a little earlier. It is a matter of finding your audience, or rather having your audience find you.

The internet is a thriving place with millions (billions?) traveling through every day. I have had discussions with musician friends of mine who, along with myself, are also in that same boat. There are thousands of other folks on the web who are clamoring for the same attention that you are.

 

Don't let yourself give up on the Wannabe's. Continue on. Your thoughts on trying different ways of marketing and exposing the Wannabe's to different groups are right on the "money".

 

I strongly suspect that money from the actual strip would be a ways off, but, as your audience and fan base grows, marketing peripherals could begin a small revenue stream that could grow. Bumper stickers, (Pencils, Peechees) small things that are inexpensive to produce and can sell at reasonable prices.

 

One thing I would suggest might be to periodically put out a one minute or so Wannabe animated short on Youtube, linked to the Wannabe website, with a ba-jillion tags.

 

I'm quite certain that I'm not telling you anything new, I'm just trying to reinforce these things.

 

You have created a wonderful franchise. The nations cash flow has become a trickle. It's not as easy to siphon off a little as it was a few years ago. Marketing and finding (defining?) your audience will be the key I think.

 

But I really do think that these will help you:

Animated_Shorts.mov

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Here's some brain-storming; warning, the ideas might be flawed or just plain bad.

 

There has been talk about either a contest or a group project. A common set was mentioned as a desire, and a lot of suggestions were made. How about you offer up a set and characters for a group project? You could give the members of the forum the option of allowing (but not obligating) you to use the clips as promotional clips (as long as they, too, get credit). I would guess that members of the forum who have been following along would be thrilled to give it a go (although I certainly only speak for myself). You could release the videos weekly on YouTube as teasers to the web comic. One possibility is that each person could pick a single 3-panel strip to animate. (The only trick would be finding voices for the characters and sound effects.) Or they could just come up with original material given the characters and the sets.

 

This might teeter on the infamous "What could possibly go wrong?" rhetorical question, but it's something to think about.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

>Last week, I had an interview with a small ad agency and they seemed to love my stuff and were brainstorming all of these projects that I could work for them on ...and then dead silence.

 

These agency people live in there daily stress routine focussing just on the job they are at right now.

But nevertheless, that`s the way to go.

Show every ad agency in your area, what you can do.

One day someone will need something in this direction and they might remember you and call you up, could be even in a year or later.

 

I am quite optimistic, that because of the i-pad and internet the need for animated content that`s not too expensive will grow.

 

In the meantime, why don`t you try to offer the agencies at the same time your talent as a storyboard and layout-artist?

Maybe you could make a living from that, till your pirates succseed.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Rodney, I already have somebody involved in steering the ship (McCrary) and it's difficult enough for us to come to agreement on things. Adding a third would just mean two people could jump on one person and that wouldn't improve the situation. :-)

 

I know this is a tall order but I'm thinking more of a one way street here. You are right... but (I think) are viewing this from a singular perspective.

Artists need discipline. They may balk at this while yet inexperienced but they absolutely need it.

 

So to refine my thoughts...

 

You direct. (I personally think you'd excel at being a director)

A modeler, animator... gag contributor... all hands on deck... then helps create the content you dictate.

If it meets your standard, all share in the experience.

If it doesn't meet your need you either direct a change or affect those changes yourself.

In order to successfully reach your intended destination, they do it your way or they walk the plank!

 

This isn't about money.

Many a wayfarer signs on board simply for the ride or the adventure.

 

Everyone needs direction.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks for all the tips, suggestions, and encouragement, guys. You've given me a lot to think about.

 

And that "animated shorts" clip was hilarious, Myron!

 

I'll have to figure out the path ahead, but I think I've managed to come down off of the ledge. :-)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Made it to #100 of the current storyline, Amulet of the Apes!!

 

You can see the triple-sized Angry Birds themed strip here!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Glad to see you are still plugging away at this Mark. I think the Wannabe Pirates is a top notch production, writing, art, website etc. It all looks really good to me. I sure hope you get a break on of these days.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks, Holmes! I hope so, too!

 

If nothing else, I'm having fun with it and learning a bunch as I go.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

If you haven't read Friday's installment of The Wannabe Pirates, the story is getting into the exciting part:

 

actionshot0.jpg

 

The super-science apes were designed, modeled and rigged quickly, but I think they came out great! Kudos to Mark S. for the rigging and Ken H. who modeled the gorilla's head for the earlier non-super-science gorilla model I designed a few years ago.

 

This is gonna' be fun!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Man, this is some great stuff. It looks awesome. I love that lighting

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks, guys!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks, Mark!

 

I'm doing something new in the strip these days. After a sabbatical/come-down-off-of-the-ledge period, I decided to do the strip as comic book pages, rather than comic strips.

 

I've been converting the strips into pages for print, and the results have really been great, but I like the idea of being able to design the page from the beginning, rather than design it after the fact.

 

A computer crash set me back a couple of weeks, but I'm once again trudging along and I really like doing the pages. Since I'm only doing one a week, I can spend more time on it and I think I'm starting to get better at making the set-up in the choreography better match the layout in my head. It also gives me more space and a broader canvas. This story is also going to play with some comic book tropes and having the full page means I can do some homages to some of my favorites from the past.

 

Here's the first couple of pages:

 

aota_130_01.jpg2011_10_12.jpg

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Thanks, Mark!

 

I'm doing something new in the strip these days. After a sabbatical/come-down-off-of-the-ledge period, I decided to do the strip as comic book pages, rather than comic strips.

 

I've been converting the strips into pages for print, and the results have really been great, but I like the idea of being able to design the page from the beginning, rather than design it after the fact.

 

A computer crash set me back a couple of weeks, but I'm once again trudging along and I really like doing the pages. Since I'm only doing one a week, I can spend more time on it and I think I'm starting to get better at making the set-up in the choreography better match the layout in my head. It also gives me more space and a broader canvas. This story is also going to play with some comic book tropes and having the full page means I can do some homages to some of my favorites from the past.

 

Here's the first couple of pages:

 

aota_130_01.jpg2011_10_12.jpg

 

Hey Mark have you thought of making this an iapp comic book?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Thanks, Mark!

 

I'm doing something new in the strip these days. After a sabbatical/come-down-off-of-the-ledge period, I decided to do the strip as comic book pages, rather than comic strips.

 

I've been converting the strips into pages for print, and the results have really been great, but I like the idea of being able to design the page from the beginning, rather than design it after the fact.

 

A computer crash set me back a couple of weeks, but I'm once again trudging along and I really like doing the pages. Since I'm only doing one a week, I can spend more time on it and I think I'm starting to get better at making the set-up in the choreography better match the layout in my head. It also gives me more space and a broader canvas. This story is also going to play with some comic book tropes and having the full page means I can do some homages to some of my favorites from the past.

 

Here's the first couple of pages:

 

aota_130_01.jpg2011_10_12.jpg

 

Hey Mark have you thought of making this an iapp comic book cause it looks great!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I prefer this comic book layout to previous versions, Mark. The artwork looks very good and story flows much better in this format.

Very professional all around. :)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks, everybody! I greatly appreciate the words of encouragement!

 

JimD, I do have a series of iTunes apps for the first story and I'm working on doing them as individual issues that are available via oxicomics.

 

My goal is to complete this story so that I have a second graphic novel and go from there.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Thanks, everybody! I greatly appreciate the words of encouragement!

 

JimD, I do have a series of iTunes apps for the first story and I'm working on doing them as individual issues that are available via oxicomics.

 

My goal is to complete this story so that I have a second graphic novel and go from there.

 

 

excellent are they available on the app store?

j

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.


×
×
  • Create New...