Tuesday, February 14, 2017

TransCat Valentines Cards!

Happy Valentines Day readers, or at least, Happy Last 14 minutes of Valentines Day, as the case my be as I type this.

I don't usually od last minute projects like this but yesterday I got the idea to make these, and managed to pull the whole lot together. They are of course TransCat Valentines Day cards, fashioned in the style of the old themed Valentines cards that they used to make us buy and give out to our friends in elementary school.

The very same kind that made you feel worthless and insecure the first year of middle school when they abandoned the practice. You went from one year, taking home 30 or more Valentines cards, and to the next, taking home zero.  Maybe becoming jealous of someone you know who did manage to get one (or a few) despite the fact that no one was making you give them out anymore.

Ahh, ain't love grand!??

Well this year, you can print out these free cards and give them to that special someone... but tomorrow. You have a good excuse for your lateness, though. Tell them you were waiting to find the PERFECT card, and now you have it!!

Download the cards at my PATREON PAGE and have a SWELL day!

Wednesday, February 1, 2017

TransCat Pencil Adventures #4: Unsafety Pins

Happy Black History Month, comic fans!
Now I told you in one of my previous blogs I was going to try and keep TransCat alive during the hiatus with short, free comics as well as some premium content on my Patreon. Well allow me to kick it off with the first of many free short comics, my tribute to Black Lives Matter (plus a short critique on aspects of performative social justice).

In that spirit, please allow me to direct your attention to the BLM donations page! not all of us can be on the streets, fighting the good fight along with these brave people, but with our help, we can make sure they continue to have access to the supplies and resources they need while they're hittin' the streets.


If you have some dough left over after donating to BLM please consider pledging to my Patreon. More content like this is sure to be coming in the near future. Have a wonderful February, hopefully you learn some stuff about black history you didn't already know, and maybe you'll even find a Valentine.

Farewell for now~


Wednesday, January 25, 2017

End of 2016

Hooboy, so yeah, as you can tell i wasn't looking forward to writing and posting this blog. Usually the end of the year post is something where I get to talk about how great this year was and all the big, big plans I have ready to roll out for next year. But if you've been following me this far, you know 2016 was a year of constant struggle and 2017 is going to be a year of near silence for me. so I put this off for three and a half weeks and I finally, finally got up the nerve to talk about how bleak the future really looks.

To reiterate, there will be no new books in 2017. The only thing I'm going to be releasing as physical media is Issue #8 in April (Which, BTW, is available right now in digital form on my Patreon!!!). I am planning for that release to coincide with one of my only public appearances of the year, at the Schultz Museum on the 8th of that month. Please come, it will be a blast.

Additionally there will be exactly one more public appearance in 2017, and so far it is only a theorized one, but I'll dish here since I'm just excited about it. As a Christmas present, one of my very dear friends offered to bring me to a convention of my choice. I at first wanted to say Fanime, but i had to be real, because I knew I'd go to Fanime anyway, even if I wasn't selling there. So instead, I asked to go to Sac-Anime Summer, to which he agreed. Like I said, this is not guaranteed yet because registration of that con doesn't start until the 13th of May, so i guess keep your fingers crossed for me.

That's all for appearances planned for this year, and unless things change for me and my family soon, that's how it looks like it's gonna stay.

On to new comics.
In the absence of printed media i'll be making more of a movie toward digital comics, which will be uploaded on this site as well as some exclusives brought onto my Patreon (once again, please don't forget about my Patreon). These stories are not going to all be officially part of the established TransCat timeline. most of them will be short stories or one page jokes that just take place in the TransCat universe. The official story will only ever be progressed by the numbered issues, when they start coming out again. But since I don't want to leave my readers high and dry during that time, I hope you'll accept some interesting filler. It'll be like Naruto, except good.

I am ALSO officially now employed by comic writer Luis Zavala, drawing pages for his upcoming comic "San Jose", a story about childhood abuse, coping with it and how to escape it. The story is there but the art is still in it's conceptual phases, expect to be seeing more on that as 2017 progresses. It will become my main focus soon enough.

So that's everything to talk about right now. Here's a smidgen of new art I uploaded to my Instagram recently. if you do not have access to that platform for whatever reason.

A nice, shcedenfreude laden respite from the turmoil of the last few weeks.

Hang in there, readers, more is coming. <3 p="">

Friday, November 4, 2016

TransCat Issue 8: The Impending Release!

So today I finished putting all the final touches on Issue 8 of TransCat. It looks beautiful, I cannot wait.
There is a problem, however, as you know. No convention appearances scheduled for at least 9 months, maybe even a year. Who knows?
So I'm looking at ways to release this in a way that would still receive a wide audience, and I've come up with some ideas.
Number one: I'm gonna release it page-by-page on Patreon. Starting next week I'm gonna release it a page a day on that platform as a subscribers only feature. So if you wanna get your TransCat Issue 8 on as early as possible, there's how yer gonna do it!
Number two: this one is a bit of a longshot but I'm gonna TRY and get a print version of it made before December so it will be available in the Shop if you wanna buy it as a present for anyone, or yourself tbh. Really though, think of it as a present for me! I need the cash!
Number three: If for whatever reason I can't get my shit together in a month, I'll be making one appearance in 2017 at the Charles Schultz museum in April. I couldn't think of a better time to debut a book.
Number four, if all else fails, the book will still at least be available in digital form on Patreon, and I can make my print edition available when my hiatus is over, or as soon as I can so that Northwest Press and Prism Comics can still carry me.
so these are my plans. Please keep an eye on Patreon. The uploading will start very soon.
If you aren't a subscriber already, please feel free to do so at any time. There's already tons of goodies up there for you to browse as a subscriber, and this won't be far behind.

So what do you think of this cover, huh?
This is the first cover I've ever done entirely on my own. I usually have a guest colourist come in and fill in my line work, but since I can't really afford to hire anyone at the moment, I figured I'd take it on myself to make a TransCat cover with a more minimalist approach. All of this was done with watercolour markers, a medium I cut my teeth on back when I first decided that cartooning might have been my calling. Anyone who was around for the earliest days of Parasomnia Comics probably remembers my extremely liberal use of watercolour in Blood Will Tell. This feels like the first time I've used them since then, or at least since some of the early Dave the Punk Rock Cat stories.
I like it, I think it turned out okay for something that I did all by myself. I thrive mainly in black and white, as you know, but once in awhile, I can make something that's black and white look not black and white, so that's a strength, mos def.

In the mean time, I need to wrap this up. The additional job I got to help out my family begins outrageously early in the morning, so I need all the shut-eye I can get.

Remember, keep an eye on that Patreon!

Monday, October 17, 2016

End of the Con Season: Beginning of Hiatus

So! This is it! Everything that is TransCat now fits inside this box and this backpack, and here it will stay, ...until the time is right.

The last month of TransCat has been a whirlwind, a rapid fire of convention appearances and a roller coaster of emotional highs and lows. I have been working like hell to try and get issue 8 finished for at least ONE of these conventions, but it just was not to be. This is easily the most elaborate and complicated TransCat issue I've ever attempted, and also the longest in terms of actual page-count. I also had the misfortune of having my main inking pens crap out on me about a quarter of the way in, and THEN I left me new pens at home while I was away for a weekend, so basically no work got done. There has also been a number of changes to my job recently so the time I actually get to work on this stuff everyday has been cut on half as it is. So UGH! THAT'S a whole big thing. but the good news is is that just because i'm on hiatus doesn't mean I'm giving up! Issue 8 IS coming out! I will make certain it happens, even if there will be no conventions to support it. I'll make it happen.

Let's talk about these last three cons though. Gaymer X 4, Santa Rosa Toy & Comic Show and Alternative Press Expo.

Gaymer X was so good that I do not exaggerate even a little bit when I say it hurt to leave.
It was an unusual con for me for a couple reasons. I arrived by myself, which is an oddity in itself. I almost always have someone with me when I go to cons, but this time I arrived solo. The other thing that was really strange was that we weren't the only con there. The first two days was just Gaymer X but the last day was Gaymer X and like, a bunch of people coming in from out of town for a football game? I forget who was playing but there were a LOT of fans! A massive contrast to the queer themed gaming convention.
I ALSO left by myself, which was incredibly bittersweet, but mostly i was just dead tired and wanted to go home.
The other thing that made this con particularly noteworthy is that it took place at the convention center that my very first ever convention took place in. The Santa Clara convention Center, site of Fanime 2001, where I got my beak wet for the first time ever. Needless to say, memories came flooding back. Not a lot had a changed and it really was like going back in time. A lotta games and a lotta gays. that's the convention life for me. It was also nostalgic because for the first time in awhile, I shared a hotel room with about a dozen friends, all crammed in, sleeping a couple to a bed, sprawled out on the floor. we were a bathtub sleeper away form having a packed house. It was amazing.
But like I said, it really and truly hurt to leave. Gaymer X is such an atmosphere of positivity and acceptance and it hits you like a cold bucket of water when you realize that when it's over, you have to go back out in the "real world" again where not everyone is a geek and some people are still really homophobic or transantagonistic.

The next show, Santa Rosa Toy and Comic Show started out very rough but wound up being a good show.
First off, I was lucky enough to have a partner with me this time, despite the fact I've never been to a show in Santa Rosa, let alone Santa Rosa itself. Thankfully, Danielle, my rock, agreed to come with me. Picking her up from Sac was a bit of a detour, but well worth it. She's been hyping for me since before TransCat was even a thing and she's one of the best in the business.
When we first arrived, we had some trouble with parking. The convention hall did not have a great big parking lot, and by the time we hard found a place to park and gotten loaded in, we found out that we needed a parking pass... and the pass was for another lot that was like, down the road and across the street =_=. And if that wasn't hassle enough, when we tried to load in and set up, they didn't have any record of my table. I was about to dig the receipt for the order outta my email, but thankfully some quick strings were pulled and I was taken to a table someone else wasn't gonna show up for. Not exactly the most elegant solution, but it worked, so who am I to complain? I also had the incredible fortune to sit next to an old friend and fellow artist, Age Scott. A guy i met way back, I can't remember when, but I hadn't really seen at a con in years. He is mostly East Bay and I'm mostly South Bay, and our paths don't cross as much as I wish, but it was nice to catch up with him and see what he's been doin' and all the new art he's produced.
I also got the new Scarlet witch action figure from Civil War, so that's pretty rad! :D

The last, and FINAL con of the season was Alternative Press Expo! This is a con I would somewhat call myself a veteran of. I've been attending it (off and on admittedly) for the last eight years. I got the opportunity to do another talk, courtesy of Nina and Laura of the Cartoon Art Museum (Thanks!) and got to browse a plethora of new and super interesting bay area artists. I had a rant about APE last year which you can read in it's entirety HERE, but for those who don't wanna jump to a whole different, long-ass blog post, let me restate the short version of my thoughts here, because they apply as much this year as they did last year.Moving the con to San Jose makes everything easier for the artists, but it just does NOT have the same atmosphere, or even get a fraction of the exposure that it did in San Francisco. now anyone who knows me knows that I hate that city, I HATE it. There are very few things in this world that will make me ever want to go there... but Alternative Press is one of those things. When APE was in SF is felt like a juggernaut. It was crowded, it was like a social event. It was in a hellish city, but a city full of people who were either indie artists, wanted to be one, or just really dug the indie art scene. I would be hard pressed to really say San Jose even has an indie art scene! It's a great big city with a college, and a downtown, and a GREAT fan community (Fanime is proof of that). But it's not the same type of community of actual creators as you might find in SF. Now, I know the reason it moved was because SF is a hellhole and they probably can't afford to rent the space anymore. however, i feel like San Jose might have been a poor choice to move. I would have gone farther norther, like to Oakland or Berkeley first (and I dunno, maybe they considered those options already) but yeah, I dunno, that is a thing I feel this particular con has lost. chit chatting with other folks there, I'm not the only one. APE 5 years ago gave you a reason to want to hang out after the show, APE this year makes you wanna leave early because it's so desolate.
SIGH! But enough about that.

you know, I've really been dreading this hiatus. Not just because it represents a massive and unwelcome change in my lifestyle, but because I can't shake from my mind all the things that I just won't be able to do anymore. all the things that TransCat can't do anymore. In my mind, it was a massive domino effect that spelled the end of my cartooning career. But recently, I've been giving this a lot more thought and realizing there's way more that TransCat CAN do.

Number one: No matter what, my Online Shop is still open.
Admittedly, the sales from this shop pale in comparison to what I make going to cons, but that might be mostly my fault. I try to promote it as best I can, but I'll be first to admit it always comes second to promoting my cons. That has to change.

Number two: My Patreon is still open.
Another sadly underutilized feature on my site. Granted, i'm still kinda new to Patreon and I'm still figuring out all the cool things I can do with it. That is a road I need to go down a lot further.

Number three: Prism Comics and Northwest Press are still heavily repping me, and they go to WAY more cons than I do. Granted I won't be the only artist they're repping while they're out and about, but since I'm not gonna be there myself, then any representation is good representation. This gives me an excuse to still produce books.

There are other avenues I can go down, and I need need need to explore them further. In the mean time, I'm gonna do my best to keep this hiatus as short as possible but I gotta do what I can to help my family. In the mean time, the updates are going to be sparse, but there WILL be updates. Trust in this, dear readers.

Monday, September 12, 2016

Sac-Anime 2016 Review + Some Other Bullshit

So I'm about a week late with this post, but I have a really good excuse! I'm VERY lazy!
Lazy enough that I actually drew and coloured this print which was SUPPOSED to be a con exclusive for this con, but wound up printing out zero copies. So here it is for you now, jsut in case.

As you can see, I was a little bit worried at first because what I didn't realize until just a few weeks ago was that San Francisco Comic Con was the exact same weekend. With a huge event like that, I feared no one would even bother to drive up north to see us in Our Great State's Capital. But I was proven wrong when a few of my friends decided to jump the SF ship on Saturday and come see me instead on Sunday.
I guess a lot of bigger ticket guests wound up cancelling, along with a few of the panels. Also, I guess the cosplay scene up there wasn't exactly all that? I'm not sure, I'm going based off a friend's testimony.
I had one other friend who told me he actually had a great time there, so I guess there's no accounting for taste.
I would have gone to SFCC if it hadn't been for my already long standing tradition of going to the Sac shows. also, if you follow me on social media at all, you know that me and SF have kind of "Shining" thing going on. That place gets in my head in a really bad way and I do everything I can to avoid going there in general. I don't bother it and it don't bother me!

Last convention I went to was Queer Comics Expo, and that was a very different type of experience. It was way more art show, way less con. And that's not a bad thing at all, in fact I rather enjoyed it. That being said, there's definite merit in coming back to what one is used to. Somewhat bitter sweet, since I just announced my hiatus at the end of the year. Kinda puts a lump in one's threat to think "I'm finally back" only to prepare yourself to leave again not long after. I will admit that this con was SO good that I am tempted to scrap my hiatus plans and try to make this work throughout the rest of next year, going ahead like nothing happened... but family DOES unfortunately come first.

See My Sac-Anime Pics HERE 

But enough of that depressing talk! Let's talk about how great the convention actually was.
In short, it was pretty great and went off without a hitch! A glorious return to form (as stated in the title of my photo album above). I had my friend and collaborator Courteney Carr in tow with me this time. She came with me to Sac-Con this past winter, but before that, we hadn't done a con together since Alternative Press Expo in like, 2008 or 09 or some shit. You might remember Courteney from the back of TransCat Issue #1. She did the mini-story after the main one. She also has a comic going of her own that I'm doing my best to mentor her on, although if you ask me, she barely needs me help at all. At least not from an artistic standpoint. I'm mostly there just to motivate her and keep her working and on task. She's got a great story in mind, and I'm just doing my best to keep her going on it and not wander or meander or spend too much time overthinking any one aspect of it.

As I've stated many times before, I love the fanbase that shows up to the Sacramento shows. Generally, you can assume that if you're meeting someone at a Sac-show, then they're good people. It seemed especially true this year, because my trans sisters came out in force! We have been slowly overtaking various corners of nerd-dom, but the takeover was REALLY noticeable this year. On both sides of the table! Lots of trans content creators and lots of trans fans shopping the aisles and killing it in cosplay. Soon we will reclaim anime and it will belong to us. Mark my words!

Other things that were heavily represented at the con were Suicide Squad (haven't seen it yet, don't judge me), Stranger Things, Overwatch and Steven Universe. None of those things are anime, but let's be fair, they might as well be. Sac-Anime is just a larger version of Sac-Con anyway, and Sac-Con represents anime pretty hard already, so there's no shame in bringing in plenty of "secular" "non-anime" to the table here.
My friend Savannah was there rocking out in Elegant Gothic Lolita mode the entire time, so that makes up for it.

I also got commissioned again by the DickButt guys, which in and of itself isn't a huge deal because they commission everyone, every time. what IS noteworthy is what I drew for them this time. They said that they had been collecting DickButts for seven years, going to as many conventions as they could afford. I countered by saying I was gonna draw them a DickButt like none they'd ever seen before! When they came back on Sunday to retrieve their picture, I asked them "So, tell me, has this been done before?" I showed them the monstrosity that I had created and was told it had not. That is a personal best for me. I pride myself in being original in my comedy and my art. This time, I was both!

I didn't get a chance to scan the artwork obviously but I managed to take a decent enough picture of it on my phone. I put it up as a freebie on my Patreon page. Go check it out! If you like what you see, i got a whole secret TransCat comic in there for anyone who wants to chip in a dollar or more! :)

So that's pretty much the long and short of it. Lots of great cosplays, saw some good friends, great queer representation, almost went to go see a dramatic reading of "My Immortal" but IT WAS TOO CROWDED!!! Also went to the swap meet but same problem. All that, plus plenty of sleep in a comfty hotel bed. For the win!

Next up on my Con schedule is Santa Rosa Comic and Toy show. It's a one-day con that's gonna be on the 24th of September. Then we got Gaymer X 4 at the end of September/beginning of October, and then finally Alternative Press October 8th and 9th.
I'm also on the wait list for Sac-Con Winter, but I have heard back nothing yet, so I guess we'll see.

In the mean time, I'll keep doing my best to get TransCat issue *3 out BEFORE my hiatus officially begins,

Stay cool, you cool, cool cats!

Monday, August 29, 2016

Sac Anime This Weekend!

Heyyyy yyyoouuu gguuyysssss~!
You know, just because I'm TECHNICALLY on hiatus doesn't mean that I can't be... just as... active as I was before. Maybe even more so? Hoo boy!

Yeah so Sac-Anime is this weekend. Not pre-registered? Don't worry, ticket sat the door is still a thing. I won't be bringing anything NEW new to the con, just issues 1-7 as per usual. no issue 8 yet (that's where the hiatus part kicks in). I WILL have some copies of the lasted issue of BAAU which I'm in, and as you know, that shit sells out fast, so there's that.

There WILL be a new zine coming out at the end of the month that I took part in! It's being put out by my friend Robert Olen Brown and it's called "Pixel Jizz". Don't laugh, this is very, very serious! :D :D :D
There's gonna be an exclusive TransCat comic in it plus an interview with me, just in case you were ever interested in knowing how I got started in this merciless biz and what video games I like.
That will be made available to you, like I said, at the end of the month, at Gaymer X, which I'll also be at. i'm not so sure about how available said zine will be outside of the con, but I'll see what I can find out.
It's a FREE zine too, so there's that! I know people often associate "free" with "garbage", especially at a con, but lemme tell you, this will the finest piece of trash you're ever handed at a con, you won't even WANT to throw it away!

Apart from that, the other thing to look forward to at Gaymer X is Prism comics, and their many copies of Alphabet that they'll be toting with them. If you're local, or if you'll be in the area or at the con at least, take advantage of this opportunity to grab your own copy, free of shipping costs! This past weekend, they were spreading the love down at Palm Springs ComicCon so maybe you caught them there too.
If not, the book is still 100% available at the Main Site.

Speaking of things that AREN'T free, I just recently finished my SECRET comic on Patreon, which you should definitely go check out! I'm still new to this whole Patreon thing, and I just haven't done that much with it yet, but here we go, my first big thing done on Patreon!
It's a whole comic, 20 pages, and you can see it all for a dollar. Neat, huh? Good look at what I done did.

Anywho, I will... keep plugging away at Issue #8 whenever I can. Gotta lot less time than I used to, but I'll do everything I can!
You'll probably be hearing from me again not long after the con, a lot more this month, cuz hoo boy if this ain't the real big one!