I am scheduled to make my first convention appearance of the year this weekend, at Fur The More! It's a con that's always been nice to me, and this year it got even nicer by moving 10 minutes from my brother's house!
The good news is an easy commute. The *other* news is that my health is still in limbo. For those who have kept up on such things, the condition that messed up a lot of my plans the past 8 months has been EXTRA mean to me over the past 6 weeks - BUT, the potential life-saving procedure I've been waiting on for over 6 months has FINALLY BEEN APPROVED! But... Will I get it done this week, in time for the convention? It's all in my doctor's hands now - and, oh look, a HORRIBLY-TIMED national holiday is here today to gum up the works and potentially ruin everything!
CON-GOING PEOPLE: PLEASE CHECK BACK HERE THROUGH THE WEEK FOR UPDATES ON MY SCHEDULE. UPDATE #1: It's now confirmed that my procedure will NOT happen in time for the show. I'm still planning to show up, but it depends on how I hold up through the next couple days.
UPDATE #2: While I'll be there, I will be arriving late on Friday. (Staying at home through the morning just in case a cancellation happens and the doc can fit me in, despite it being highly unlikely.) Depending on traffic and how much I can pack tonight, I'm looking at an early-mid afternoon arrival. UPDATE #3: I've disabled the merchandise and art card options in the Precocious store while I take the goodies to the con. Despite having a very rough evening on Thursday, which means I'm at 0% packed and doomed to be late, I'm still trying this! Come, say hello and grab a new sketchy commission! Since these can go to any levelof completion, I guess I'll set a base price and then work for tips to cover the variance?
UPDATE #4: It is 10am, I just got out of bed, I'm not packed and I'm in the wrong city. So... *puts on sunglasses* Let's make some magic happen! I'll get there when I get there. I am trading last year's Cupcakes of Bliss/Cake Slices of Joy for party poppers! Tip me, and you get something that is rigged to explode! (By which I mean, they probably make a little *rip* sound when they should go *POP*) Because I care. I'll edit in updates above as things progress, and you should definitely be following my Twitter account for more immediate updates on progress. (Warning: May contain health-related meltdowns.) Even if I don't get my procedure in time, I *want* to try and give it a go, but I might not be there for the full convention hours. If the doc makes me wait until Friday, or I need a day to recover from the procedure, I will miss part of all of Friday. Odds are I'll leave early on Sunday, be it due to fatigue or just for scheduling. (I am doing an career day event for a middle school Monday morning, and it's really inspiring for me as well as the kids, so I'm willing to sacrifice con time if I need the rest.) Heck, there may be a stretch when con goers find my table on the honor system, with a "Cartoonist broken. Please flip through books and merch, and if you'd like to purchase something, put money in this box. I trust you!" sign.
I'll have my books, posters and Precocious trinkets with me, and I will be drawing commissions at the table. Commissions taken will depend on my health, and I won't be doing any take-home commissions. I will likely be doing a test-run on special sketch-page commissions, so you can be the first person to get one of those! Let us learn TOGETHER!
While I'm here, there are other notes on timing: Since I'll surely be wiped out from the weekend, don't expect a Copper Road on the first of the month as normal. My Precocious buffer will be down to almost nothing, so I'll have to build that up before the bonus work. [COMMENT ON THIS PRECOCIOUS STORY AND TIMING DELETED UNTIL IT WON'T SPOIL THINGS.] Oh, hey, I can share the Precocious "twist" now! THIS WAS A SECRET MEMORIAL DAY STORY! The first draft was about the cookout, but I had to find a way to keep the kids away... and you know where that led. Anyway, as I bounced between the two, I decided to let them both get some space, and so the story went from one week to two weeks. This is important to know for reasons that will be seen on Saturday. (Also, by restructuring, it meant I could avoid the comic originally scheduled to run on Monday, because I didn't think I could draw it properly during a time crunch.)
You'll also note that the next Precocious print collection has been delayed. Assuming the procedure goes well, I'll finally be able to start tackling all these overdue projects and commissions, but I have had to make sacrifices as my body decayed. No book debut at Anthrocon this year, but it's very likely I'll be premiering it at SPX! Make sure you keep some funds set aside for the new book, because it has some of my favorite stories in it AND I shuffled story order around so Ursula gets to show up in book four instead of five! (Which means, yes, an all-time classic is going to print early!) I'm toying with various new bonuses (for my projects, that is) so look forward to sweet perks to go with the best artist editions in the business! Good things will come to those who wait.*
As you'll learn more about below, I didn't realize it was the end of the month. Whoooops. I didn't have anything finished or timely in my Copper Road file, so I had to turn to my eyes to this dumb universe around us. Fortunately, I had a physical therapy appointment soon after. While that tweet didn't turn into full prophecy, I got a comic from the experience! (I did not handle adversity like Shii Ann, which is why we need Shii Ann. A comic of me NOT doing something stupid isn't very entertaining.) Vote here to see the new Copper Road! (Also, part of the first of the month update is that the previous month's Copper Roads are added to the online archive.)
Now, let's talk about color and illness and how those are tied together. The Ivy relapse story had to be initially posted with only background coloring, as my continuing health issues hit new heights in annoyance the past few weeks. I can draw comics, but computer stuff like coloring and lettering really hurts.
UPDATE: Jason of http://www.indeliblebluepen.com/ has stepped in to color some comics for us! He colored half of Sunday's update, and is saving my butt for at least a few updates next week. Yay!
ANOTHER UPDATE: All of Ivy's Relapse story is now colored and updated! Commenter DRB also stepped in to help pick up some slack, and I took care of the rest. Go back and reread it all to make sure I colored the right files and didn't lose a fixed typo or updated text or anything.
Back to the original post:
Anyway because of THAT headsplosion stuff, I've been focusing on drawing comics and not spending time at the computer. I thought I had my story finished, and then I found myself jotting down TWO silly bonus ending comic ideas. (Not canon - especially the first one - but fun as bonuses.) With my other option being painful coloring, I felt it a better use of my time to draw those bonuses. Hey, I can use one for a bonus inventive if I - WHEN DID IT BECOME MAY?!? I need a new Copper Road!
All of that combined is how I ended up with three bonus incentives for one day. SO LET'S HOLD THE BONUS ENDINGS HOSTAGE! If you can unlock the extras, I will edit them into Sunday's comic. If not, you won't see them until they appear in a book. (Can you unlock them before the page goes live?) UPDATE: Yes, you can! I am super impressed! I'm leaving a;; the initial info in this post, because lord knows I always have more medical bills, but you have met your goals so yay you!
Once again, I will reward you with extras for donations and store sales that help me pay for my ever-growing pile of medical bills. You can donate via the PayPal donation button on this page, or you can buy stuff from the Precocious store! (Did you see that artist editions are available again?) Both PayPal and the store should have a section where you can write a note to me, so mention this is for the bonus comics.
I'll keep the goals low again: $75 in donations/sales unlocks one. $150 unlocks both. $200 gets them both fully-colored. If you need context, I have medications (yes, plural) that cost more than $200. It may only be making a small dent financially, but it means a heck of a lot for peace of mind to know people out there are rooting for me. There's hope I'll get a procedure that will make things so much better, but it could be weeks or months away. I will need some audience love to push me forward until I can walk stable on my own again.
I delayed the first-of-the-month inventive/archive boost due to April Fools avoidance and general business, but now the Copper Road archive has been updated with last month's incentives. You can go enjoy those again.
Summary of this post before I edited and rewrote it: While Copper Road vote incentives go into the site's archives at the start of every month, bonus scene comics used at incentives disappear until it's time to print them in the books. To raise funds to help offset an incoming wave of medical bills, I offered readers the chance to bribe me into including the bonus scene with Sunday's update, with a Copper Road taking its spot as a vote incentive.
This was a rather clumsy preview of a patron/Patreon thing that I am simply too darn sick to set up properly. (I'm so sensitive to light right now, I had to do my updating over several shifts, as even my fully-dimmed monitor is too much to handle for more than a few minutes at a time.) Because my best case scenario for health means regularly getting an expensive procedure, which could enable me to be far more functional than I am now, I will need to upgrade my fundraising efforts. Bonus updates will be transitioning to donation/patron benefits. I don't know when or how yet.
If you don't have funds to give, there are other ways to help the comic. The most important is spreading the word. Go use the share buttons on your favorite comics! Reblog/retweet my Precocious stuff. Make sure your ad block is off for this site. I don't get much from ads, but they're needed to pay for basic website hosting/operation costs, and whatever's left goes into advertising Precocious on other sites. Put some energy into making the Precocious Wiki something thorough and respectable, or putting Precocious references on TV Tropes pages! Be kind and active in commenting, as that's what I have to rely on for reader feedback, and it means so much when I see new voices chiming in. (Just don't spend your commenting telling me you're broke. Do the more helpful things instead!)
I've been in an unfun flare-up state since Friday, so I was kinda too sick to revel in my own birthday yesterday. So, uh, it happened. Please mark your calendars for proper and timely gift giving next year, and gift hard enough to erase all memories of this year's birthday failures. (Is this current birthday story proving more allegorical than intended?)
Anyway, the day was marked by a gift to the backers of the book 3 Kickstarter. (Many of whom probably ignored the email and missed that it contained good stuff. This post is your reminder!) As I close out final the loose ends of the campaign, I released a PDF featuring Awards to Inspire and its bonus side-story, "Gus." Enjoy this extra boost of continuity! (I expect the book 4 preorder to launch sometime in May, so if you don't want to miss out on these extras anymore, start saving now!)
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Precocious is copyright 2008-2015 Christopher J. Paulsen