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Diana Nock
08 July 2010 @ 11:55 pm
I want to take a research trip to New England.

Actually, I have for years, but I've put it off for various reasons. For one, I just haven't had the money to go or enough contacts in that area to justify the trip. I've also been shuffling my feet on really getting to work on the project for which I want to do the trip: Saving Halloween.

(You can read my first draft of the first chapter of the story online here, but the re-written one will be so much cooler, I cannot even tell you.)

I've now gotten over most of the reasons why I haven't done this thing. I have friends in the area, and there's this newfangled convention called New England Webcomics Weekend, which happens to fall in the same time of year I'd want to be visiting that part of the country, anyway. I've also been working as much as I could on the new version of Saving Halloween since the beginning of 2010, and I feel that I'm prepared mentally to take in this new information.

So my last hurdle, as always, is money. I'm doing a fund-raising thing on my Girlbot website right now, hoping that the people who've been so great and supportive in the past will throw me a few bucks -- in exchange for merchandise and original art, of course -- to let me make this trip a reality. I'm strapped for cash enough that I honestly can't afford to do it without help. I'm not trying to sound pathetic; that's just the way it is. I'm a poor cartoonist in her 20s. It happens.

I don't think it's unreasonable to request some patronage, since I put a lot of effort into creating this weird little comic for people to read for free, you know? I guess time will tell if I'm wrong about that, though. I'm giving myself until the end of August to raise enough to be able to swing the trip. All fingers are crossed. (I'm typing with my toes right now.)

So what would a research trip entail? Well, I can guarantee that it wouldn't just be a vacation. Fun as hell, sure, but I'd be spending my days, well, doing research in the Massachusetts valley -- Boston and the surrounding, smaller cities -- taking copious amounts of notes, sketches, and photographs. I'd be going to museums, checking out landmarks, investigating the lay of the land, and just talking to people.

You see, Saving Halloween is set in New England, in a made-up town on the Massachusetts coast, but I've never ACTUALLY been to New England. I'm afraid that without some first-hand knowledge of the area, the environment I create for my story will feel very unremarkable and disingenuous. At the very least, it's going to seem like I pulled it out of my ass because that'll pretty much be the truth.

I really hope I can make this work. Not only for the sake of this trip and the project it represents, but also what it would mean, to me, as someone trying to build herself up as an independent creator. Besides, in a year's time, I'll be looking to get preorders for the first Girlbot graphic novel collection, and it'll be nice to have set a precedent.

But no matter what, the readers I have, though you may not be many, are have been terrific to me. I promise not to make a fuss if I can't make the trip. Worse things have happened. Girlbot will continue, rain or shine.
Diana Nock
20 May 2010 @ 01:12 am
I had a table at SpringCon this past weekend. Local affair. Pretty sweet deal for any comics people in the area, since the tables are free and they feed you. I didn't do too bad! Business wasn't as good as Stumptown, but it's a different crowd. Besides, it was pretty much pure profit. Aside from getting practice in being a salesman for my own work, it was also a good opportunity to commiserate with people I guess you would call my peers now. (That's not meant to be sarcastic. It's just that a lot of them are older and more experienced than I am, and it feels weird calling them peers, but there you are.) Hanging out, talking shop, and thinking a lot about what I want to do next.

I've got a long to-do list for the stuff I need to get sorted in the next year to year-and-a-half, but I've also been thinking about strategies to help hoist myself up the ladder to something resembling a successful career. As nice as it would be to just draw the best comics I can and put them online and wait for the world to beat a path to my door, that's not how it really works...for most people. And if that worked for you, then you can just GO TO HELL.

So there's my comics to-do list. The two things at the top of that are Girlbot and Poorcraft, of course. I'm just hoping and praying -- okay, not really praying -- that Spike and I can get Poorcraft done by the end of the year. It depends on a few things, which I won't go into here. And my goal for Girlbot is to just keep it going so that by the end of next year, I'll have enough material for an actual book collection and an audience to support its printing. But I also REALLY, REALLY, REALLY want to make Saving Halloween happen. And then there's miscellaneous other comics I want to do, like my auto-bio stuff and mini-comics and contributing to some anthologies and whatnot. All together, it's a ton of work, and one of the things stressing me out when I made that last post was just thinking, realistically, about the sheer amount of time needed to do it all and lamenting my terrible time management skills.

But that's not even all of it.

If I really want to get anywhere, I have to build myself a business. This means not only actually declaring myself a sole proprietor, which I've been putting off due to lack of funds, but figuring out how to invest what little money I have to make it grow. In my immediate future, I think that amounts to learning how to advertise wisely to get fresh traffic to Girlbot, getting my "web presence" better designed and arranged, and gathering supplies together to start making a splash at the conventions I go to. I predict a lot of trial and error.

Then there's my plans for funding a comics-related trip this fall, but I'm keeping that kinda hush-hush for now.

I don't really know what I'm doing, I guess. There are just so many ideas buzzing around my head, I want to pin them down so I can see what they're all about.
Diana Nock
06 May 2010 @ 08:53 pm
I figger it's about time I wrote about the good time I had at the last Stumptown Comics Fest in Portland, Oregon. It happened on the weekend of April 24th & 25th, and it was my first time at the show. It was also the best effort I've made when it comes to exhibiting. I've had space at cons before, and lord knows I'm familiar with how conventions work, but this time I had a display I put a lot of thought into and a nice selection of comics to show. It was all print-on-demand floppies and handmade mini-comics, sure, but it was decent for an early effort.

I guess my point is that I'm still very new to having a "presence" at conventions, and I'm just trying to figure things out.


(Note to self: get a new face.)

The adventure BEGIIINNNNSSS!Collapse )
Diana Nock
02 March 2010 @ 12:50 am
Ah, well. I guess it's been a while since I wrote anything in this journal -- or updated Jinxville, for that matter -- which is mostly due to the fact that I've been trying to keep up with Girlbot and various other obligations I set up for myself. I want to start writing in here again, though, in earnest, so I thought I'd start with a little run-down of how things stand for me, now at the beginning of March.

Things I've accomplished so far in 2010:

  1. drawn a good chunk of Poorcraft

  2. redesigned Girlbot's website

  3. finished a bunch of commissions

  4. plotted and typed up the first treatment of the Saving Halloween graphic novel

That's in addition to business as usual and other smaller projects.
Here's what I want to get done in the next 3-4 months:

  1. draw a much, much bigger chunk of Poorcraft

  2. get real freelance illustration work on a regular basis

  3. continue updating Girlbot regularly

  4. finally polish off my auto-bio moleskine project from last summer

  5. make a good showing at Stumptown and SpringCon

  6. start thumbnailing pages for Saving Halloween

  7. redesign Jinxville since Blogger is giving up on FTP services

2010 is going to be a really busy year all round, but I hope it lets up a little bit once summer gets here. Still, I'm really excited to be getting things done.

I'll be writing in here more regularly from now on, for sure, but the best way to keep track of what I'm doing is to check my Twitter. That way, you can hear about what kind of sandwich I had for lunch, my crushing loneliness, and all kinds of fun stuff like that. I also update Girlbot three times a week with a little newspost, and a blog, so that's good for keeping track, too.
Diana Nock
07 May 2009 @ 02:59 am
I was interviewed by representatives the fine students and faculty of the comic art program at SCAD, for their Seqalab podcast! Please give it a listen, but don't get mad at me if the sound of my voice makes you want to harm yourself or others. Talk to my lawyers about that.

As to stuff about the website, um, yeah. I'm so busy with commission projects right now that I haven't had time to do much else but keep myself fed and groomed and keep The Intrepid Girlbot chugging along. (Girlbot just hit it's two month mark, though. Ohhh, yeah.) I'll have to see about churning out a Welcome to Jinxville some time soon, at the very least.
Diana Nock
10 April 2009 @ 12:37 am

Click for comic!

After an unintentional hiatus -- due to life interruptions, travel, commissions, and keeping up with The Intrepid Girlbot -- there is finally a new Welcome to Jinxville. It's a tale from when I went to visit my family and stuff last month. Also, there's a bad word in it, for sensitive readers. But hey.

For the time being WtJ is now to be updated "sporadically," meaning whenever I can find and time and have a decent idea. I'm going to be really strapped for time all this month and probably well into next month. I'll see how things shake out.
Diana Nock
17 March 2009 @ 03:04 am
To anyone who enjoys Welcome to Jinxville for some reason: sorry, but there's not going to be an update this week. This is for a few reasons, but mainly because I'm visiting my family this week, and there was a big work crunch to get things taken care of before I left. Had to prioritize. Also, my ideas were crap. I'm sure I'll have something good when I get back from my trip.

While I'm visiting people, I will be attending MidSouthCon. I'll have some work in the art show, and I'll be walking around and enjoying the event, as I do almost every year. If you happen to be attending, just look for the the girl with the short red hair, big butt, and name badge with "Diana" on it.
Diana Nock
11 March 2009 @ 01:48 pm

Click for comic!

Really, really late comic this week, but last week's was really early. So it kind of balances out? Eh.
Diana Nock
06 March 2009 @ 03:42 pm

Click to visit!

Here's something I've been working on since November, finally seeing the light of day. (Metaphorically.) I'm pretty excited and nervous about launching it, but I think it'll be a worthy experiment for me. Hopefully it'll hit home with some people, too. Girlbot updates with color-toned strips every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday, starting today. It's not quite like any comic I've read, and I hope that will intrigue people. So check it out! Well, uh, bookmark it, I guess, since there's only one strip up so far. But that will change. Oohhh, it will change.