Anonymous asked:

Is there a plan to roll out all four Vattu books in a neat (less expensive than the sum of its parts) collection after the story's finished up? Or is it going to be a more souped-up deluxe special edition type of affair? Or is this all a ridiculous level of prognostication for something that will be occurring in roughly four years?

It is a little too early to make any specific promises, but here’s basically the plan:

Vattu will be 4 books, each in the vicinity of 300 pages but maybe way more. They’ll be published individually in formats to match the first one: 6 by 9 inches with similar design elements and paperback and hardcover versions. Prices will probably be consistent (30 paperback/60 hardcover). The whole thing will be too big to ever fit into one book, so there will never be one book of all of Vattu. Even Order of Tales (~800 pages) is pushing it, and Vattu will be longer.

Waaayyy down the line, when the whole thing is done and I’m phasing out that first format, I might consider doing a 2-volume set, as that would be easier to deal with. It would be nice to have it in two books that are sold together and not prohibitively expensive, and just be done with it. Ooo, maybe two books that come with a matching art/appendix book and they all go in a slipcase together. But I am not in any position to guarantee that that will happen!

I wrote about conventions and independent comics

The last two conventions I exhibited at were SDCC in July, and SPX which was last weekend as you may have heard if you’re on social media in the vicinity of anybody currently involved in the independent comics world. I came out of each of those shows feeling weirdly enlightened about Where Comics Are At, in a wide-angle way.

SDCC was fun but kind of discouraging, and presents an image of what is now, I guess, the Entire entertainment industry in a bluntly capitalistic way: the most space is given to the companies with the most money for it, and the events and products are talked about according to a similar hierarchy. I don’t like it but it makes its own kind of sense and it’s how things are: work that makes money has more mobility in the culture, and barring any strongly-principled management at events like this, the amount of money the work makes will be the thing that decides its place. I try really hard to not get pessimistic about this. And of course popular things can be quality things! I like a lot of popular things. But the connection between popularity and your or my specific notion of quality is tenuous.

I leave SDCC and shows like it having spent huge amounts of money the exhibit there and feeling like what I’m doing is insignificant and untenable. I want to emphasize that this is an issue I have with the philosophy of the show, not with the attendees. I have met some very excellent people who attend SDCC every year.

I came out of SPX this year extremely excited about the huge volume of beautiful and idiosyncratic work being produced by artists working outside of entrenched & monied institutions. It’ll never be the same amount of room as the Marvel Cinematic Universe or whatever, but there is room in the culture for this stuff, in terms of attention and money and enthusiasm. It’s hugely inspiring to me to see so many people making work independently or with publishers they know personally and believe in, and seeing that a lot of that work is sustainable for them, and seeing that a lot of it takes full advantage of its independence by being brutally honest, or strange, or socially conscious.

SPX is run by people who believe in it and are uncompromising in how they do it. I’ve disagreed with some aspects of how it’s put together (honestly, less and less each year), but WAY more than that I value that there’s a specific vision for it and clear steps forward every year. I feel basically the same way about several other shows and organizations, TCAF in particular.

Anyway the image of the Scene that I leave SPX with is something variegated and vibrant. Many people doing ever-better work in an ever-better-connected world where not one of us can really afford a big SDCC booth but there are more opportunities to make space for the work than there have been before.

More and more It seems like kind of an obligation to me to use that space productively and consciously. With that in mind here are some uh “action items” I’ve been thinking about a lot lately for myself and my own relationship to the work & independent/web comics in general; take them as you will:

  • Push yourself in directions that wouldn’t have been available or viable to you a few years or decades ago, when finding an audience for your particular thing was a hundred times harder.
  • Look at creative compromise as a sliding scale: it is impossible not to compromise; making anything at all is a string of compromises and small failures. Compromise or sell out on what you have to, so that you don’t have to on the parts that are most important to you.
  • Be aware of the political context in which you are working. The removal or mitigation of the power of gatekeepers is essentially the change that’s been happening for independent media recently. In their absence, don’t perpetuate the lowest-common-denominator ideas they perpetuate. Don’t think that because you’re not making things for mainstream culture, you’re not participating in the creation of culture and you’re above regressive mainstream ideas. No creative work exists in a political vacuum, and you, independent creative person, have the luxury of some control of what your work is saying on that level.

I started this as a convention recap and now it’s a call to arms or something. All I ever have to say is work hard and be self-critical.

FULL DISCLOSURE I WON AN AWARD. The Ignatzes mean a lot to me and SPX means a lot to me; I’ve been going to it since 2009, longer than any other convention. The jurors and the voters are people with demonstrably excellent taste, so I am really honored to have even been nominated.

I’ll put up some pictures or something less overwrought later!!!!

roguelazer asked:

I love reading your work, especially in print. After enjoying Rice Boy and OoT so much, I decided to read Vattu in print first, rather than online first. Do you have any idea when/if you'll be doing a print run of Vattu Book 2? The Book 1 Kickstarter produced a gorgeous book and I am super-excited for the next one.

I will do that; the Wizard of Oz thing is first so it’ll be a while!! I will make a lot of noise about it when it happens. Thank you so much!

baumbydahm
baumbydahm:

For three days Dorothy heard nothing from Oz.  These were sad days for the little girl, although her friends were all quite happy and contented.
Chapter 17! Skipping around a little here. This is actually the very last drawing I made for the Oz book: I finished it last week and now the book is DONE AND READY TO GO VERY SOON. I’ve been posting art early on the Patreon.

this is the last one I drew but I still have a lot more stuff to post! on the Inter-net!

baumbydahm:

For three days Dorothy heard nothing from Oz.  These were sad days for the little girl, although her friends were all quite happy and contented.

Chapter 17! Skipping around a little here. This is actually the very last drawing I made for the Oz book: I finished it last week and now the book is DONE AND READY TO GO VERY SOON. I’ve been posting art early on the Patreon.

this is the last one I drew but I still have a lot more stuff to post! on the Inter-net!

vattucomic
vattucomic:

Just wrapped up SPX in Bethesda, and I WON THE IGNATZ for Best Online comic!!! SPX and those awards (and the comic for which it is named) mean so much to me and really appreciate the award.Vattu book 3 begins today. This one is a big one, and we’re starting out with the first look so far at the absolute upper echelons of Sahta’s government. Thank you all for bearing with me during the break. I’m looking forward to getting into the thick of this book.The Oz project is wrapping up and a book is happening soon. My Patreon has cleared 300 a month, so everybody who pledges within the month will get a ton of sketchbook pdfs. I’m feeling good and optimistic about the things I am working on, and I really appreciate you reading.

WE’RE BACK Y’ALL
I WON AN AWARD

vattucomic:

Just wrapped up SPX in Bethesda, and I WON THE IGNATZ for Best Online comic!!! SPX and those awards (and the comic for which it is named) mean so much to me and really appreciate the award.

Vattu book 3 begins today. This one is a big one, and we’re starting out with the first look so far at the absolute upper echelons of Sahta’s government. Thank you all for bearing with me during the break. I’m looking forward to getting into the thick of this book.

The Oz project is wrapping up and a book is happening soon. My Patreon has cleared 300 a month, so everybody who pledges within the month will get a ton of sketchbook pdfs. I’m feeling good and optimistic about the things I am working on, and I really appreciate you reading.

WE’RE BACK Y’ALL

I WON AN AWARD

benignkingdom
benignkingdom:

ALL RIGHT EVERYBODY ARE YOU READY FOR SPX THIS WEEKEND.
Benign Kingdom has a table all its own, at table W32 against the back wall, whence it may hold all of the independent comics community in its gaze and pass righteous judgment upon it. Right between Becky & Frank and Ignatz Nominee Me (Evan).
Artists we have published and worked with who will be at the show include:
Yuko Ota & Ananth Panagariya - W89
KC Green - With Topatoco, W23-W29
Anthony Clark - Also with Topatoco!
Phil McAndrew - K5
Danielle Corsetto - W30
Emily Carroll - W84-87
As well we’ve reblogged some other SPX hype posts by friends of the show over the last couple hours (or as many as I could find to queue up before I gotta head out of town), which may have been obnoxious but Everyone Is Very Excited About SPX.
Thanks Becky for this just cute-as-hell map.
ok xoxo
evn

It is really happening

benignkingdom:

ALL RIGHT EVERYBODY ARE YOU READY FOR SPX THIS WEEKEND.

Benign Kingdom has a table all its own, at table W32 against the back wall, whence it may hold all of the independent comics community in its gaze and pass righteous judgment upon it. Right between Becky & Frank and Ignatz Nominee Me (Evan).

Artists we have published and worked with who will be at the show include:

Yuko Ota & Ananth Panagariya - W89

KC Green - With Topatoco, W23-W29

Anthony Clark - Also with Topatoco!

Phil McAndrew - K5

Danielle Corsetto - W30

Emily Carroll - W84-87

As well we’ve reblogged some other SPX hype posts by friends of the show over the last couple hours (or as many as I could find to queue up before I gotta head out of town), which may have been obnoxious but Everyone Is Very Excited About SPX.

Thanks Becky for this just cute-as-hell map.

ok xoxo

evn

It is really happening

Book 3 of Vattu: The Lantern & the Shadow begins on MONDAY, SEPTEMBER 15! You can keep abreast of updates by RSS or Tumblr or Facebook or (with a somewhat lower signal-to-noise ratio) Twitter.

I’ve also put up Monday’s page earlier on Patreon, for backers at any level. I plan to keep doing this, whenever I’m ahead in the comic at all!

Book 3 is some of the most complicated writing I’ve ever done, so this break has been very good time to work on it (also worked on this). Very excited to get it out there.

baumbydahm
baumbydahm:

The sun shone brightly as our friends turned their faces toward the Land of the South.  They were all in the best of spirits, and laughed and chatted together.  Dorothy was once more filled with the hope of getting home, and the Scarecrow and the Tin Woodman were glad to be of use to her.  As for the Lion, he sniffed the fresh air with delight and whisked his tail from side to side in pure joy at being in the country again, while Toto ran around them and chased the moths and butterflies, barking merrily all the time.
Chapter 19; leaving the Emerald City on the last leg of their journey. Tried to show a perspective on the wall distinct from this one.
Really in the home stretch, now! I finished the last of the drawing, and everything should be colored this week, before I go to SPX!

baumbydahm:

The sun shone brightly as our friends turned their faces toward the Land of the South.  They were all in the best of spirits, and laughed and chatted together.  Dorothy was once more filled with the hope of getting home, and the Scarecrow and the Tin Woodman were glad to be of use to her.  As for the Lion, he sniffed the fresh air with delight and whisked his tail from side to side in pure joy at being in the country again, while Toto ran around them and chased the moths and butterflies, barking merrily all the time.

Chapter 19; leaving the Emerald City on the last leg of their journey. Tried to show a perspective on the wall distinct from this one.

Really in the home stretch, now! I finished the last of the drawing, and everything should be colored this week, before I go to SPX!

fourstringfingersting asked:

Hey Evan! Curious about your work, and if you're fully supporting yourself on just your artwork, or if you have to work a separate job to continue making your work. It's inspiring to see you put out work the way that you do, and being an artist myself I'm definitely looking for pointers on how to keep yourself going as an illustrator who can support himself on his art alone. Thanks for the wonderful art, every one of your updates brings a smile to my face!

This is my full-time job! I’m very fortunate to be able to have it as my main thing, but it is hard and inconsistent, which is part of why I am spreading myself thin over several things at once most of the time. Thank you for liking what I do!!

I always struggle with Advice questions, because the audience I have that allows me to be self-sufficient mostly came to my work in a very different internet. Things are different and always changing, but: make as much work as you can, make the work that is uniquely important to you, and keep abreast of wherever internet culture is at the given moment re:spreading the work around. Don’t think of yourself as owed anything, don’t compare yourself to other people, just make your stuff and make it easy to find. Also for illustrators in particular, I still think webcomics are very important as a platform to publicly develop a voice and get people invested in what you’re doing, even if comics aren’t necessarily your end goal.

that’s what i got for ya