commonplace blog
SPEAKING OF WHICH, I wanted to put out some feelers

Jenn and I are considering releasing a modestly-priced ebook (maaaybe a little print run if we get fancy) of stories from the New Dresden Blues ‘verse featuring Kiril and Bob at different stages in their relationship.

image(Remember these two? Ah, memories.)

It would include our Smut Peddler entry Travesty (excerpted above), as well as new illustrations and prose. You can expect sex, crime, comical language barriers, and sweet outfits.

So we’re gauging for interest! Is that a thing y’all might want to purchase?

Oh yeah, look what I got out on the shelves at Bluestockings, your friendly neighborhood feminist bookstore/collective! If you’re in NYC come buy it so me and theyoungdoyley get dollars? Also so you can hang out at Bluestockings, honestly.

Oh yeah, look what I got out on the shelves at Bluestockings, your friendly neighborhood feminist bookstore/collective! If you’re in NYC come buy it so me and theyoungdoyley get dollars? Also so you can hang out at Bluestockings, honestly.

rendigo:

Its an excellent write up that hits on all the things I liked best about this project, and after I readit I pretty much just started kicking my legs and screaming

spikedrewthis:

Ho-lee crap we did it. We fuckin’ did it.
Folks, a couple of weeks ago, I asked you to vote for my two 2012 projects in the Stumptown Comics Arts Awards. Poorcraft was nominated in the Best Small Press category, and Smut Peddler was nominated in the Best Anthology category, beside books put out by the likes of Fantagraphics and Dark Horse. I honestly didn’t think I had a chance. And y’know what? Dark Horse books pretty much swept every category they were nominated in.
Except one. “Best Anthology.” The one with Smut Peddler in it.
Thanks to YOUR VOTES, dirty, filthy porno took home the trophy last Saturday night. And I just couldn’t be more grateful. I owe my little monster awards to every single one of you that took a moment out of your day to give me a quick internet backslap by way of a Stumptown vote. I didn’t win either of these awards alone; not without a lot of amazing artists, and not without a lot of votes.
Thanks, everybody. I’m gonna get back to work.

spikedrewthis:

Ho-lee crap we did it. We fuckin’ did it.


Folks, a couple of weeks ago, I asked you to vote for my two 2012 projects in the Stumptown Comics Arts Awards. Poorcraft was nominated in the Best Small Press category, and Smut Peddler was nominated in the Best Anthology category, beside books put out by the likes of Fantagraphics and Dark Horse. I honestly didn’t think I had a chance. And y’know what? Dark Horse books pretty much swept every category they were nominated in.

Except one. “Best Anthology.” The one with Smut Peddler in it.


Thanks to YOUR VOTES, dirty, filthy porno took home the trophy last Saturday night. And I just couldn’t be more grateful. I owe my little monster awards to every single one of you that took a moment out of your day to give me a quick internet backslap by way of a Stumptown vote. I didn’t win either of these awards alone; not without a lot of amazing artists, and not without a lot of votes.

Thanks, everybody. I’m gonna get back to work.

spikedrewthis:

Hey, everybody! Much to my shock and delight, both of the books I published in 2012, Poorcraft and Smut Peddler, have been nominated for a Stumptown Comic Arts Award!
Poorcraft has been nominated in the Best Small Press category, and  Smut Peddler has been nominated in the Best Anthology category.  I am positively aflutter.
Uniquely, the Stumptown Comic Arts Awards are decided by popular vote. So I bet you can guess what’s coming!
The polls will be open for exactly one week. Please, folks, consider casting some bad-ass votes for superfine ladyporn and gold standard lifehacks. We’re up against some serious competition—Fantagraphics and Dark Horse are no joke, especially considering my “publishing company” is literally just me—but we’re gonna give it our best shot. If you liked these books, like the writing and the art, the creators involved, anything about ‘em, please show your support.
http://www.stumptowncomics.com/awards.php
Vote at the above link (with a VALID email address, which will be used to confirm your vote) and spread the word!
Hooray comics! Hooray small press! HOORAY STUMPTOWN. See you there!

spikedrewthis:

Hey, everybody! Much to my shock and delight, both of the books I published in 2012, Poorcraft and Smut Peddler, have been nominated for a Stumptown Comic Arts Award!

Poorcraft has been nominated in the Best Small Press category, and  Smut Peddler has been nominated in the Best Anthology category.  I am positively aflutter.

Uniquely, the Stumptown Comic Arts Awards are decided by popular vote. So I bet you can guess what’s coming!

The polls will be open for exactly one week. Please, folks, consider casting some bad-ass votes for superfine ladyporn and gold standard lifehacks. We’re up against some serious competition—Fantagraphics and Dark Horse are no joke, especially considering my “publishing company” is literally just me—but we’re gonna give it our best shot. If you liked these books, like the writing and the art, the creators involved, anything about ‘em, please show your support.

http://www.stumptowncomics.com/awards.php

Vote at the above link (with a VALID email address, which will be used to confirm your vote) and spread the word!

Hooray comics! Hooray small press! HOORAY STUMPTOWN. See you there!

Aaaah the Smut Peddler PDF came out today, IT IS AMAZEBALLS AS EXPECTED, and then I got asks about it which is, tbh, almost as thrilling haha. :D
Anon: Thank you so much! I am glad you like Robert, because we may have mentioned that he has a major role in a longer upcoming project of ours, called New Dresden Blues. It has less porn and considerably more murder than Travesty did, but still features Robert continuing to try and hold down too many jobs, which, you know, will probably go well. Watch this space!! etc.
timbits-tootsie: mjhfvg thank you, and thanks for taking the time to say so! It was hard work, but I learned a ton and Jenn was a real classy dame to work with. I’m so glad people are enjoying it!

Aaaah the Smut Peddler PDF came out today, IT IS AMAZEBALLS AS EXPECTED, and then I got asks about it which is, tbh, almost as thrilling haha. :D

Anon: Thank you so much! I am glad you like Robert, because we may have mentioned that he has a major role in a longer upcoming project of ours, called New Dresden Blues. It has less porn and considerably more murder than Travesty did, but still features Robert continuing to try and hold down too many jobs, which, you know, will probably go well. Watch this space!! etc.

timbits-tootsie: mjhfvg thank you, and thanks for taking the time to say so! It was hard work, but I learned a ton and Jenn was a real classy dame to work with. I’m so glad people are enjoying it!

jessfink:

I have just discovered Barbette and I am so sad that no one told me about him before! I mean MY GOODNESS! :O “Barbette (December 19, 1899 – August 5, 1973) was an American female impersonator, high wire performer, and trapeze artist born in Texas on December 19, 1899. Barbette attained great popularity throughout the United States but his greatest fame came in Europe and especially Paris, in the 1920s and 1930s.”http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Barbette_%28performer%29

Aaaah, I read about this badass a lot last summer for Travesty, what a dish.

jessfink:

I have just discovered Barbette and I am so sad that no one told me about him before! I mean MY GOODNESS! :O

“Barbette (December 19, 1899 – August 5, 1973) was an American female impersonator, high wire performer, and trapeze artist born in Texas on December 19, 1899. Barbette attained great popularity throughout the United States but his greatest fame came in Europe and especially Paris, in the 1920s and 1930s.”
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Barbette_%28performer%29

Aaaah, I read about this badass a lot last summer for Travesty, what a dish.

Bounties from the internet

So the Smut Peddler bookplates made it up to North Carolina today! In an adorable, bedoodled, tape-festooned box no less!

image

You guys it is so cute but how

do I open it

???

image

On a (somewhat) related note, I got my original Shoebox Project art from sashayed actually quite a while ago but I forgot to show y’all! It features BABY REMUS LUPIN and it is AMAZEBALLS. Thank you Rave, I am going to put this shit all over my wall!

image

Anyway, now that you have finished admiring my handmade Spiderman PJs, I am going to go finish Tsuritama and sign bookplates. Good evening.

So, WisCon is over. It was even better than anticipated if you can believe that. The levels of radicalism, squee, swag, sleep deprivation, and basic social interaction were so high that I now wish to find a dark, silent box and hide there till I start to feel like an alive person again. OH THE SWAG, though. It’ll blister your face!
(I’m writing this from a Greyhound, actually, which I was not even aware you could do. No rest for the modestly funded feminist indie nerd, I suppose.)
SO. There are about three hours left to preorder Smut Peddler on Kickstarter. We’re making one final push to get out the word, so if you’ve been on the fence about it, NOW’S YOUR CHANCE.
As a point of interest, I thought I would share a final reflection on the process of collaborating with the lovely and talented theyoungdoyley.
The following quote is from page 124 of Will Eisner’s Graphic Storytelling:


"Not surprisingly, there often are communication problems between participants in the process of graphic storytelling.
In writing for graphic storytelling, the ultimate judgment of the narrative is made after the work is translated into art. The writer, therefore must be aware of the obstacles on the way to publication.
When text alone is the vehicle in conveying a story to the reader, there is little chance of misperception. But from text to visual, there is a high probability of a difference in outcome, stemming from lack of skill to lack of time. In this medium, storytelling is not always a straight line from the mind to the reader.”


I found out the hard way that storytelling priorities can be very different between prose writers and visual artists. It was a table-flippingly bumpy ride for both of us at first, but once we found our groove I think we really strengthened each other’s work. If you’re interested in my role in the comicking process, I have broken it down into several easy steps:
Plot with Jenn, figure out general scope and arc of story. Research setting forever. “Oh how interesting! This will be delightful!” Be filled with callow optimism.
Write a script describing what happens in each panel on the page, including dialogue and important details. Completely invent script format. Whatever, it works.
Jenn does not want to draw needlessly complex and/or physically impossible pages. Insist that they are functionally and thematically necessary. Have bitter feud.


ME: So I think this page needs about eighteen panels, a big crowd scene, mirrors, fancy architecture, and some cars or whatever. You can fit five hundred words’ worth of speech bubbles in that, right?
JENN: …
JENN: *casually murders me*


Achieve truce, get snacks. Negotiate an acceptable compromise. Take a nap or something.
Draw some squares. Panel layout goes like this? (If not in the same part of country as Jenn, hold up your drawing of squares, take awkward picture of it in Photobooth, and send it to her.)
Either get confirmation, or argue about it until both parties can agree on a layout.
Jenn draws roughs. Complains mightily, as is her due. Cheerlead from sidelines, since there is nothing you can really do to help at this point. She must face the darkness alone.
Read roughs. They are awesome, if soaked in the blood of ages. Fling at friends for suggestions. Annotate.
Jenn draws final pages, dies repeatedly and loudly. Oh my God they are face-meltingly awesome though. Your sacrifices have not been in vain.
Mend tattered remains of friendship. When love and trust have been restored, show finished, pornographic product to your parents and forget to mention this to Jenn. While enjoying your newly harmonious relationship during a Skype session, be powerless to stop them when they poke their heads into your room to give her well-intentioned but totally traumatic compliments.


MY MOM: By the way, honey, I loved the art in that comic of yours. I also liked the way Bob performed his gender, it was very Butlerian.
MY DAD: Also, good use of Russian!
JENN: *casually dies of a heart attack*


So, to conclude! All snark aside, putting “Travesty” together was stressful in the same way as reading a book that blows your mind wide open. Jenn was so smart and thoughtful, and she taught me so much. I learned how to think more visually, reflect carefully on every little storytelling choice, and find the humility to let go of my first ideas and make way for something more graceful and effective. I’m a much stronger writer for it.
So, here’s looking at you, kid. Also, thanks for letting me eat all of your food. <3

So, WisCon is over. It was even better than anticipated if you can believe that. The levels of radicalism, squee, swag, sleep deprivation, and basic social interaction were so high that I now wish to find a dark, silent box and hide there till I start to feel like an alive person again. OH THE SWAG, though. It’ll blister your face!

(I’m writing this from a Greyhound, actually, which I was not even aware you could do. No rest for the modestly funded feminist indie nerd, I suppose.)

SO. There are about three hours left to preorder Smut Peddler on Kickstarter. We’re making one final push to get out the word, so if you’ve been on the fence about it, NOW’S YOUR CHANCE.

As a point of interest, I thought I would share a final reflection on the process of collaborating with the lovely and talented theyoungdoyley.

The following quote is from page 124 of Will Eisner’s Graphic Storytelling:

"Not surprisingly, there often are communication problems between participants in the process of graphic storytelling.

In writing for graphic storytelling, the ultimate judgment of the narrative is made after the work is translated into art. The writer, therefore must be aware of the obstacles on the way to publication.

When text alone is the vehicle in conveying a story to the reader, there is little chance of misperception. But from text to visual, there is a high probability of a difference in outcome, stemming from lack of skill to lack of time. In this medium, storytelling is not always a straight line from the mind to the reader.”

I found out the hard way that storytelling priorities can be very different between prose writers and visual artists. It was a table-flippingly bumpy ride for both of us at first, but once we found our groove I think we really strengthened each other’s work. If you’re interested in my role in the comicking process, I have broken it down into several easy steps:

  • Plot with Jenn, figure out general scope and arc of story. Research setting forever. “Oh how interesting! This will be delightful!” Be filled with callow optimism.
  • Write a script describing what happens in each panel on the page, including dialogue and important details. Completely invent script format. Whatever, it works.
  • Jenn does not want to draw needlessly complex and/or physically impossible pages. Insist that they are functionally and thematically necessary. Have bitter feud.

ME: So I think this page needs about eighteen panels, a big crowd scene, mirrors, fancy architecture, and some cars or whatever. You can fit five hundred words’ worth of speech bubbles in that, right?

JENN: …

JENN: *casually murders me*

  • Achieve truce, get snacks. Negotiate an acceptable compromise. Take a nap or something.
  • Draw some squares. Panel layout goes like this? (If not in the same part of country as Jenn, hold up your drawing of squares, take awkward picture of it in Photobooth, and send it to her.)
  • Either get confirmation, or argue about it until both parties can agree on a layout.
  • Jenn draws roughs. Complains mightily, as is her due. Cheerlead from sidelines, since there is nothing you can really do to help at this point. She must face the darkness alone.
  • Read roughs. They are awesome, if soaked in the blood of ages. Fling at friends for suggestions. Annotate.
  • Jenn draws final pages, dies repeatedly and loudly. Oh my God they are face-meltingly awesome though. Your sacrifices have not been in vain.
  • Mend tattered remains of friendship. When love and trust have been restored, show finished, pornographic product to your parents and forget to mention this to Jenn. While enjoying your newly harmonious relationship during a Skype session, be powerless to stop them when they poke their heads into your room to give her well-intentioned but totally traumatic compliments.

MY MOM: By the way, honey, I loved the art in that comic of yours. I also liked the way Bob performed his gender, it was very Butlerian.

MY DAD: Also, good use of Russian!

JENN: *casually dies of a heart attack*

So, to conclude! All snark aside, putting “Travesty” together was stressful in the same way as reading a book that blows your mind wide open. Jenn was so smart and thoughtful, and she taught me so much. I learned how to think more visually, reflect carefully on every little storytelling choice, and find the humility to let go of my first ideas and make way for something more graceful and effective. I’m a much stronger writer for it.

So, here’s looking at you, kid. Also, thanks for letting me eat all of your food. <3

So the Smut Peddler Kickstarter has made over twice its original goal, holy damn! There are just under two weeks left for the fundraiser now, and all of the donations are still going right into the contributors’ pockets in bonus form. In case anyone still needs enticing, and/or because I felt it was interesting, here is some more Exclusive Behind-the-Scenes Knowledge for you all!

Last summer I went to Dallas to visit theyoungdoyley and work on our entry, “Travesty.” It was all a haze of stifling heat, delicious Indonesian food, action anime, and playful kittens. Also we went to StripCon just to weakly flail at EK Weaver. She was so nice in the face of our fangirling!

BUT IT WASN’T ALL FROLICSOME BLISS. I did a ton of interesting research, especially on period clothing. Above are the character designs Jenn did for the comic, plus some of the images we found that informed our choices. (Shoutout to Lena for her costuming chops and helpful hints!)

Other things I looked up:

  • Common mistakes made by Russian-speakers in English
  • 1920s New York, Chicago, and LA, especially Chinatowns
  • Burlesque and vaudeville routines
  • Popular songs of 1923 (including, hilariously, “Yes! We Have No Bananas”)
  • Makeup fashion and technology of the 1920s
  • Russian and Chinese translations (shoutout to Sinoiru and to hippos-poptarts's friend Nancy, respectively!)
  • Drag history (shoutout to the lady next to me on the plane for being so interested in my reading! That conversation went way better than it could have.)

So I learned a whole lot, not just about comics writing (to be addressed in a later post) but also about language, fashion, and history! Neat you guys!

Wow, you guys. The Smut Peddler Kickstarter has really taken off—we reached our minimum goal in under 24 hours! But if you donate now, everything goes straight into the pockets of the artists and you will get to read their fabulous work, so please keep up all the promoting and dollar-flinging!

I thought I would entice y’all with some details on my and theyoungdoyley's sixteen-page contribution, “Travesty,” which takes place in the same universe as our upcoming webcomic (!!), New Dresden Blues.

The time: 1923. The place: New Dresden. Our hero, Bob Huang, is working as part time muscle for the Martelli family, but he has more than just that on his plate: a kid sister to raise, a night job even shadier than his mob work, and a note on the kitchen table from a mysterious older gentleman. Is there more to their relationship than meets the eye??? Stay tuned for glamor! Sarcasm! Petulance! Blowjobs!

(Seriously, Jenn’s art is beautiful and you should be getting your eyeballs all over it stat. Plus, she is a classy, classy lady—I’m so lucky to be writing for her!)

rendigo:

The Smut Peddler Pre-Order Project is now live!

What is Smut Peddler?


In 2003 a black-and-white, anthology minicomic called Smut Peddler was released by Saucy Goose Press. It contained “sex-positive, female-friendly erotic comics from the best and the brightest in the independent small press publishing world,” and participants included Carla Speed McNeil (Finder), Layla Lawlor (Raven’s Children) Sean Bieri (Jape), and Tom Beland (True Story, Swear to God). It was a fantastic series of comics, with three issues published before its extended hiatus. 

This project has pulled Smut Peddler out of the mothballs and once again gifted the world with quality filth, but in the format of a square-bound, standard-sized, black-and-white book. The new Smut Peddler contains over 350 PAGES of lady-driven dirty comics.

This pre-order event will not only put excellent comics in your hands, it will also determine the bonuses of SP’s authors. They’ve already been paid for their contributions, but the more money this Kickstarter makes, the more money they get.

Who’s participating?

It’s live! You have no idea how excited I am to be part of such a STAR-STUDDED LINEUP y’all.

Please head on over and take a look. The dollars you fling at this thing are helping out some fabulous artists, and you get to look at some fabulous naughty bits: everyone wins! Also, I want to read this just as bad as you do, holy crap. It’s going to be so good.

(Also, watch this space over the coming days for some exclusive behind-the-scenes information on how theyoungdoyley and I put together our contribution, “Travesty”—a process which, I assure you, positively reeked of professionalism and also poise.)

Smut Peddler got a write-up on ComicsAlliance! I feel so famous! You guys should too! :D

YOU GUYS. GET EXCITED.

YOU GUYS. GET EXCITED.

I found this image elsewhere online a few months ago, and it&#8217;s been a great inspiration for the Smut Peddler project I&#8217;ve been working on with acertainpavane. There is nothing about it I am not extremely into.
Anyone know the source? (Is there more?)

I found this image elsewhere online a few months ago, and it’s been a great inspiration for the Smut Peddler project I’ve been working on with acertainpavane. There is nothing about it I am not extremely into.

Anyone know the source? (Is there more?)