Tuesday, October 7, 2014

TransCat Issue #2 is Officially for SALE!

I feel embarrassed.
I put an update for this up on my Tumblr and on my Facebook but I forgot to put one up HERE :P
So here we are! TransCat Issue #2! Out and Proud!

This is a direct continuation of Issue #1 in which Knave tests her new superpowers out in real life, meets a mysterious young lady who steals her heart, and accidentally catches the attention of her sleepy little town's corrupt-as-hell police force!
All this and more in TransCat Issue #2! YEAH!

Get yours at the PARASOMNIA SHOP

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

TransCat Episode 0

If you follow me on facebook, or on by BRAND NEW tumblr, then you know I've been talking about THIS comic for awhile now!
Yes indeed, this was supposed to be done about two weeks ago. My initial concept was for this to be another one of my pencil adventures... but lord help me, it just did NOT look that good in pencil. So i did what any good cartoonist would do in my situation.. I STALLED!
No, I didn't just stall, I also went in and inked it, and you guys know how much I hate inking. But I did it anyway, for YOU...  for Christmas~... ^__^  in SEPTEMBER!
This was actually an idea I had way back when i was at Gaymer X, an introductory comic or something like that, just to let new readers know who's who and what's what. I kinda start off issue #1 right in the middle of the action without too many tedious introductions, honestly, because I loathe that in comics! I was figuring it would be a lot more fun for the reader to come into the story in the middle and learn the details of each character through dialogue. I want my comic to be like Final Fantasy 7, not Final Fantasy 13.
So this comic, which I actually wound up absolutely loving, serves as the buffer zone between interesting plot development, and instant gratification. It introduced a few of the important main characters from the first 4 issues of the book and lays down some ground rules about TransCat's abilities. I also took an opportunity to throw in some education in the last three panels, because waste a good opportunity? I want this comic eventually to become something that trans youth can identify with and feel strengthened by, and in my experience, that's best done when the subject in question isn't purely fantasy. There's gotta be at least a LITTLE truth whipped in there.

So yeah, here we are!

On another TransCat related topic... I have to keep on apologizing for TransCat #2.
That was ALSO supposed to be out like, two weeks ago. More like three, actually.
I finished it, and tried to make an appointment with my publisher, but then I got terribly sick and had to stay in bed for a week. By the time i was better and trying to reschedule with my publisher, HE had gotten sick and was out of commission for awhile to. By this time it was like, the 17th, and when he got back to work, he had like, a week and a half's worth of work to catch up on, so making an appointment was not easy.
I actually saw him today, and he told me he was gonna take my files to a printer today hopefully. But he also told me that yesterday, so... please keep all your fingers crossed for me. I hate being so late on what's only my second issue. I promise you it will be worth it. I don't want to give away too much, but this comic kinda spoils some bits for you anyway :P In this issue, Knave meets her first crush! This meeting also opens up a multi-issue story-line and introduces a concept that becomes a main theme in the story from here on. ^__^
Ohhhh I'm so excited to show you guys the rest! :D
And when I say "multi-issue" I mean, I'm currently penciling issue issue #6 and we're still feeling the effects of issue #2.

I remember watching an interview once with one of the main writers of Star Trek: The Next Generation and he was talking about how when they first started the show, there was kind of an unspoken but understood moratorium on any scripts that involved any kind of need for continuity, but they found it harder and harder to avoid as they ventured in the 3rd season. They resisted it as much as possible, but it was Worf's story that finally tipped the scales. His son, his discommendation from the Klingon Empire, and the power struggle that ensued in the Empire as a result, a power struggle that spilled into one of the movies AND into Deep Space Nine... that made a richer continuity between episodes impossible to avoid. The excuse they gave for avoiding it for so long was they wanted to get the show syndicated as soon as possible, and they worried that fans catching storylines that spanned multiple episodes out of order without context would kill the show. This exact problem would go on to kill the show "Firefly" fifteen years later, a loss that the fans still cannot seem to get over. Can you imagine if that was Star Trek? Can you imagine what an uproar that would have caused? The show that would revitalize the franchise cancelled in its first season? Lord almighty...

Anyway, I was trying to make a point somewhere back there. This aversions towards continuity isn't isolated to Star Trek, I've heard many creators and storytellers extol similar sentiments about the direction they want their stories to go in. Hell, even the guys who make Penny Arcade seem to be allergic to long running stories, and they release 3 to 5 panel strips! Either way, I dunno if it's just my situation and HOW I release my comics, but not only do I have no aversion to serialized storytelling, but it is one of my single favourite challenges to tackle when it comes to writing. A very vain part of me would like to think that it's just because I really do think I learned how to perform that kind of storytelling the RIGHT way (most likely from being such a huge Star Trek geek). Or maybe I just really like trying to put pieces of a story together in complex ways and it will wind up driving my readership totally crazy!! :D
I guess we'll see, won't we???

But I digress. I cant apologize enough for the delays. Trust me that when this book finally comes out, it will be a big fat deal.

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Tuesday, September 2, 2014

TransCat #2 is FINISHED!

So this took a little longer then issue #1 A lot of that was due to laziness and even more of it was due to depression, but it's HERE! It's FINISHED! Or at least... I'm done inking and formatting it.Gonna take it in to the publisher hopefully tomorrow, maybe a little later.
Either way, here's the raw, hand drawn/inked, unedited pages, all lined up in a pretty little row for you guys. This is as much of a teaser as I'm willing to give :P

SINCE there's no upcoming conventions I'm heading to, I have no real way of promoting this new book.
I coulda taken it to Sac-Anime but I missed the deadline for Artist Alley. Aside from that, I wasn't even done with it anyway. I got SUPER lazy after Gaymer X and then some stuff happened and I was just sorta blaahhh... about working. you could cal it writer's block, but it was mostly just lethargy, not gonna lie.

BUT! That doesn't mean I'm not gonna promote this ish now that it's done. There may not be shows to go to but i will MAKE something happen. I have a lot of POSSIBLE things up in the air.
There's an appearance at the Cartoon Art Museum in San Fransisco I've been trying to coordinate since summer. I also might have another speaking engagement (similar to my event at PFLAG) but I have zero details about that yet.
There's also a comic shop owner I know who's been interested in bringing me in for a signing. That again is more of a pipe dream than anything. Either way, if I can make it happen, I'm gonna make it happen! <3 br="">
I miss Sacramento. I really wanna go back to Sac-Con and Sac-Anime. Those were always some of my favourite times. I haven't been there since my Dave the Punk rock Cat days! They haven't even SEEN TransCat yet! Oh man, are they even ready?? One can only hope. I'm gonna try and go to the one in December.
I also miss Alternative Press Expo. That one's been even longer. I love that one so much but it's so damn expensive to get a table. Even if you register early. Also, you have to do everything with them through snail mail, and that's damned inconvenient. I seriously think TransCat would go over great there though~

Anyway... more updates to come as the book approaches its release date.
I wanna try and have it out by this weekend, but we'll see.

Knave out.

Thursday, July 31, 2014

TransCat #2 Cover Preview, Gaymer X Shenanigans and New TransCat Happenings!

I was hoping to make the Pencil Adventures more of a thing, and in the future I will. I haven't had a lot of spare time to do a new one (nor have I had tons of great ideas for ones either). So instead, I figured I'd showcase a newly finished draft of the cover of TransCat issue #2 instead. The colours on this piece were done my one of my newest partners in crime, Winnie Tong. we met at Fanime, I wanna say three years ago, then we met again totally randomly on OKCupid! How's that for coincidences? Seems like most of my best friendships come about through amazing coincidences.

Anyway,we ALSO tabled together at Gaymer X this year. I have a cute mini photoseries from that con that you can find on my Facebook Fan Page, become a fan if you aren't already.
Sadly, as much  as I like the pictures, they don't really do the con as a whole, justice.
In summary, it was one of the best conventions I've ever gone to. A LOT of that had to do with the fact that it was a Gay / Trans / Queer themed nerd convention, and that's just something I've never been to in my life.
Another huge redeeming facotr is that you HAD to be 18 or older to even buy a ticket. So unlike Fanime there weren't a lot of racist/homophobic/transphobic teens wandering the halls, trying to be "edgy" by insulting people. I can't even say how GREAT that was to not have around.
But mostly, just being around all that creative energy, in a non judgmental environment, full of people who not only accepted you for what you were, but never question it, never challenge it, and above all, understand it! That was an amazingly comforting feeling that I can't say I've ever experienced at any convention, or ANYWHERE, ever before.

The last evening was the best. I spent the evening in our hotel room, with my two roommates (one cis woman and one trans woman) they invited two friends over (two more trans women) and I invited one additional friend over (one more trans woman), where we talked, and laughed and played games, drank (they drank, I just had a soda) and essentially just had one of the best nights ever. It was such an accepting and inviting atmosphere, so much so that having to say goodbye to everyone at the end genuinely made me sad. I wish they didn't all live so far away. Oh well, my two roommates I can pretty much see whenever :3

And now comes the bad news! As awesome and cool and wonderful and sensational as Gaymer X was... IT'S IN TROUBLE! I guess there was some trouble with finding to begin with, and then after that there was an issue of a sponsor who I guess backed out of their pledge at the last minute. It resulted in the organizers being left unsure of Gaymer X would even be a thing next year. :/

You can read all about it HERE

There's some good news tho~ I guess when news of this broke out, a bunch of other gaming companies responded in kind, hoping to revive the con for 2015.
No news as of yet if there's gonna be a Kickstarter, or an Indie-a-Go-Go or any type of donation system that regular people can donate towards, but rest assured that if *I* hear about it, I'll be posting it either here, or on my Facebook, because this is important to me.

Some other good news on MY end!
While Issue #2 of TransCat is still about a month away, Issue #1 might see it's day in the sun once again. While at Gaymer X I connected with the owner of Northwest Press. I don't wanna get my hopes up too much, but he was VERY engaged by the first TransCat adventure and seems like he might be interested in publishing it. TransCat can ALREADY go all over the world, but this might actually help me get some actual readers... from all over the world ;-)
It's all very exciting, and I really hope it goes through. Once again I'll be updating like CRAZY when I hear for sure!! :D

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

TransCat Pencil Adventures! Issue #1

So SF Pride day is almost upon us, and TransCat needs more places to shine.
The book is out and it's doing rather well, but I wanted to do some exclusive online content as well. Lotsa peeps are asking of TransCat will ever make it to my blog.
I'll be honest, the capitalist in me is trying to avoid that. Specifically because I've been making some calls around to see if I can possibly get this book in comic store across America. So you can see how giving it away for free on my website might clash with that business model.

In the mean time, here's a little 3-page short. There is no official TransCat timeline yet, but if I had to ballpark it, I'd say this little story takes place in between issues #2 and #2. The character who does most of the talking's name is Chloie, she becomes very important in issue #2. Drew is just a throwaway character who might come back later, I dunno.

Either way, this is based on a real conversation I had with a friend and a friend's friend.
I guess this is a thing some straight people think about us now, Apparently we're the aggressors now because we have a gay pride parade but they don't have a straight pride parade! Do you know someone who thinks like this? Have YOU thought like this? Take a read here, maybe give yourself a little context and hopefully the rest will make sense to you in time.

I don't wanna summarize it here, because I said everything i needed to say in a dialogue.

I honestly don't blame people for not knowing about the Stonewall Inn riots though. I honestly had never heard of it until earlier this year. It's one of those unsung civil rights battles that doesn't get covered in school and no one really makes movies or documentaries about it that get lots of widespread recognition.
I dunno what kinda arrogance makes me think I'm gonna turns that all around with my little comic, but what can I say? I'm an artist. I'm an egomaniac. Things I say matter!

Thursday, May 22, 2014

TransCat Lost Him!

So my friend, and ever vigilant TransCat warrior Cody decided to try and help spread the word by posting TransCat on imgur.com. It was basically a short advertisement saying the comic was on sale, and showing off the front cover of the first issue.
If he had asked me first... it mighta been a hard thing to say yes to. You know, dat imgur snark n' all.
I'm kinda glad he just did it though, because if I had thought too hard about it, I wouldn't have had this gem of a conversation with a young cis-male while shall remain nameless ;-)

So I read a thing like this, and I'm think to myself "okay, you appreciate it. WHAT do you appreciate though? What could you possibly appreciate about a trans narrative if you're so easily put off by the fact that it's NOT a cis-male narrative".
So I asked him that. I couldn't ask him exactly like that, though, because of imgur's 140 character limit on comments (sigh).
I wasn't really expecting a reply, as most of the comments were centered sarcastic guesses at what TransCat's powers where, if she uses the men's or women's litter box and if Marvel and DC has a copyright on the term "superhero".

But I DID get a reply!

It's a little bit more well thought out than I expected, even if it is a tad predictable.
I do not understand why the term "cis" or "cisgender" offends so many cis-guys, and it's mostly cis guys! I've never heard a cis-woman complain about the term. I guess cis-guys prefer terms like "straight" and "normal", or maybe they just don't like us weirdo trans peeps assigning them names!
I mean, that's cool, I get where you're coming from, man. I didn't pick the term transgender either. That term was invented in 1965 by John F. Oliven, a cis-male, I might add! i'm not offended by the term though, even though i didn't choose it for myself, it's... merely a descriptor. A newly invented compound word used to give a name to an identity that there simply wasn't a name for before. Cisgender (and cissexual) on the other hand was coined by Carl Buijs, a transexual man from the Netherlands.

So when cis-men are offended by use of the term "cis" to describe them, what they're saying is that it's okay from them to name us, but not okay for us to name them.

EITHER THAT.. or they just don't get what cis even means, they're defensive so they assume it's an insult, and that just generates it own host of dumb ass problems.

So I responded to the guy again, letting him know what cis means, letting him know it's not an insult and blah blah blah, because it's a fair bet he just has no idea what it means. It's also a fair bet that he's heard it used as an insult before and just attached that meaning to it in his head.
Cis CAN be used as an insult, like if I were to say something on my site "Order Issue #1 of TransCat now! It's so easy even a cis-guy can do it!" But by that same token , I could say "It's so easy even a white guy can do it" but that doesn't necessarily make "white" an insulting term, does it?

But I digress, I just thought this was an interesting experience to share, and more than likely it is an experience I'll be having more of as word of TransCat spreads far and wide :3

But hey! As long as we're talking aobut TransCat in the media, my friend Roxanna Meta found this awesome shot of me at Big Wow on Metroactive! :D

Lookit dat comic book pimp! ^__^

Fanime Day 0 starts tonight! I have a feeling I'll be in line for a very long time, or maybe not, considering I'm an artist again this year. Those lines are long, but not as long as the regular attendees line. I really with registration could get their shit together :P

Oh well~

Reports coming soon!

Tuesday, May 20, 2014

TransCat Can Do It!

This has been an eventful week for TransCat!
She made her overpowering debut at BigWow Comic Fest this Saturday, and today, Issue #1 is officially for sale at the Para~Somnia store! She is shipping world wide! So where ever you are, if you needs some TransCat, you can haz!
There's also this lovely poster, colours by the amazing Winnie Tong!
I am going to do my best to make this available to you as soon as possible!

So Big Wow! That was fun! I got to say hello to John Dolmayan of System of a Down again, second time I've run into him at a comic convention. This time he actually commissioned me for some artwork this time though! It was great, I vandalized a dollar bill for him. I've never felt quite so accomplished as an artist before!

I got interviewed for a few local newspapers, which is always great exposure. I'll be damned if i can't remember which newspapers they were though D: I was able to spread the gospel of TransCat though, so like, SOMEone will read it!

I was worried selling TransCat to the Big Wow crowd was going to be difficult, and it kinda was. TransCat is somewhat of a progressive comic book idea, and Big Wow tends to cater itself mostly to older comic fans. The Golden/Silver/Bronze age peeps. And not that they're not progressive, it's just that a little indie comic can be a hard sell to someone who has their mind set on filling the gaps in their Marvel Star Wars collections.
Despite that, I feel like I was pretty well received. I AM in California after all. There were some trans folk as well as many advocates around who were very taken with the concept. Even if they didn't buy the book right then and there, at least the word is getting spread.
One person who bought the comic said something to me that I found very reassuring. They said they were relieved when they opened it up and found out that it wasn't a tragic trans story. It wasn't about persecution, or harassment or death. It actually made them laugh, and they really liked TransCat as a character.
It says a lot when the majority of stories told by and/or about trans people are so terribly depressing. Art imitates life, after all, but I guess for some people enough is enough. I wasn't consciously going out of my way to make a non-tragic trans narrative, that's just how the story came out, funny :3

Perhaps in the future, when I do interviews, I can kinda make a point to draw attention to that.

But yeah, Big Wow was definitely more successful than I was anticipating. I am way more enthusiastic about Fanime though. The reason i was so butt hurt about possibly not getting into Fanime is because that's totally my people there! The Trans/Gay population of nerds tends to love Fanime a lot (I know I do) and if I'm to spread the word of TransCat effectively, Fanime is the place to do it! SO EXCITE!

Those of you looking for me, I'll be at table 906 in the Artist Alley.

Here I am on a map, sucka!

I'll be there chillin' with my buddy Red Shirt!
I'll have the book, maybe some posters, definitely some stickers, and I'll be signing autographs and taking sketch requests! But above all, having fun!

Hope to see you all there ;-)

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