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!)
I'd like to dedicate this Copper Road to my mother, who wrote half this comic for me when I told her about my new Amazon Fire TV. So far, I'm liking it much more than Chromecast - if only because I had a TON of music in Amazon Prime, and it shows me the lyrics for some when I listen! It also gives me a way to stream The Americans that didn't make my computer super angry. Anyway, vote to see the new comic, and enjoy a look into our dystopian futurepresent?
In other news, with Kickstarter fulfillment finally finishing up, I can now offer the goodies from the campaign to the those who want more. I've created special Cupcakes of Bliss gift boxes for my last remaining amigurimi dolls. (Some have already sold, so if you want one, act fast.) You can also grab a set of the double-sided clear acrylic "Friend or Foe?" charms, and a collection of all the window clings offered through the campaign. I also added the recently-drawn art cards that I had posted to my Tumblr account. (People following me there and on Twitter got word of the store upgrade first, and top doll choice. It's rewarding to love me!)
If you're a Kickstarter backer and you'd like to complete your collection, you'll have to contact me for individual items. Individual charms and clings are $4 each, plus $1 for shipping to the US, and $3 for international. Because I gave so many away as apology gifts for late delivery, supplies are very limited.
(Image unrelated to post. I thought I should include a picture,
and I had an unused panel from the Food Fight story, so...)
My preference is to mix up the types of stories in Precocious for variety, so it's a little odd for four of the last five stories to be school-based. In the case of the current "morale-boosting" tale, it's a quirk of timing on two levels. We're a few weeks away from spring, when things (in theory) warm up enough for more outdoors-based storytelling - as well as marking the return of the kids' standard outfits! In sorting through upcoming stories, I found myself with a two-week opening before the warmer weather tales began, and my weather-independent stories were either too short or too long to fit.
But another bit of timing came into play. A little over six months after a stupid fall managed to mess me up, and trigger a wave of painful complications and bad flare-ups of prior medical issues, I've finally fought my way through to the last bit of the book 3's Kickstarter fulfillment. After the packages I'm mailing tomorrow arrive, all that's left is one person (who has most of his order, and is waiting on a special reward), and the few who never filled out their backer surveys. (Since you didn't check the Kickstarter emails, maybe you'll see this post?) It's been a very frustrating time for all of us, and I'm so sorry this had to happen. I'd fought so hard to overcome the pain caused by two botched procedures on me to find stability and productivity again, only to be undone because of what I eventually learned was a defective bolt in my desk chair. ("All for the want of a horseshoe nail...")
One of the unlocked Kickstarter rewards was a bonus story for backers, and that one kept getting pushed back with everything else. Maybe there's a silver lining to that dark cloud, because I gained more time to play with the outline - and one day a second story emerged! The original story for Kickstarter backers was told over 14 comics, I had a 14-day gap in my schedule AND a new side-story, and during this 14-day gap was when the last of my overdue Kickstarter rewards would be sent out. SO I HAVE AN IDEA. Now, everyone can enjoy the bit of silliness I had planned for backers, and those who supported the book 3 preorder will be sent a PDF including this story, the bonus side story and some extra commentary upon completion of this story's run here. The side story will answer a question or two, and provide an alternate perspective on the great sixth grader incident.
I can take pride in knowing I didn't (and won't) miss a comic update, no matter how bad things got for me. The goal of a good daily comic is to always be there to make you smile, through happy days, grumpy days and dark moments. Precocious is something that you could take for granted, knowing I will always be there with a new treat for you ever day. (Thought I'd much prefer appreciation as opposed to a sense of entitlement - but such is the double-edge sword of reliability!) It hit me very hard that I couldn't be Captain Reliable for everything, and I had no choice to but to watch my deadlines come and go for non-Precocious work. While I've had a few commissions take too long, though all had legitimate reasons for those delays, this was a new experience for me. And it was awful. ESPECIALLY since I had the Kickstarter reward timing so perfectly planned out! Nothing makes the universe angrier than someone making plans, I guess.
I'm in no way out of the woods yet on any level. My health is still more bad than good, and it'll be interesting to see how that issue plays out with a potentially helpful procedure on the horizon. I also have lots of comic plans that I'm not willing to put on hold. I still plan to debut book four at Anthrocon this year, and the companion book will be produced as well, though for a later release. One cruel twist on life is that your bill don't stop even when you can't work - in fact, they skyrocket with the addition of so many medical bills! (Don't get sick in America unless you're rich.) I will be looking into various fundraising options to help keep both me and the comic going, and I hope enough people appreciate what I do to give me the chance to keep fighting - but first, before any of that, I have a dwindling pile of outstanding orders to finish. Wish me luck!
Six years ago, the first Precocious update went live. I had no idea what I was doing, but I was happy to do it! Today, I... well, that hasn't really changed. (The comics are better drawn now, though!) Thanks to all of you for keeping me going! Shall we aim for seven years? More???
To celebrate six years, I've done a little update with the Precocious store! As long as I'm feeling festive, copies of book 3, and the book combo pack, are on sale for $5 less that usual! (For those just starting out, or looking to indoctrinate others, the colorful book 3 is meant to be an ideal starting point.)
I'm also testing the idea of an original comic art grab bag. For a reduced price, you can get random piece original comic art from my "these are special" pile.
(All other store updates will wait until the end of the Kickstarter fulfillment, likely at the end of the month. For the backers who are still waiting, make sure you've been checking the campaign updates. I'll need some feedback from the art burst orders soon!)
Since this is the first of the month, there's a new Copper Road too! Vote here to see it! (Even if TWC seems to have failed to reset, you get your comic on time.) One of the positives of me being fully unable to move through live without bumbling even the most basic things is that my constant failures often translate well into Copper Road scripts! I wrote this script a couple months back, but it gets the new year's duty because I managed to do the spice move again this week. Man, I'm glad 2014 is dead. It was mean to me. I spit on its grave!
As it's a new month as well as a new year, that means last month's Copper Roads are now in the Copper Road archive! Enjoy them again, folks! If you're looking for the Cylon sub bonus strips, all you need to do is scroll down the front page to see them.
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Precocious is copyright 2008-2015 Christopher J. Paulsen