Long Time, No Blog

Dear Blog,

I have been remiss in updating. I apologize. Things have been very busy and good and busy and not so good and busy.

Previously, on Patric, I had finished graduate school. This left me without employment. The week after graduation was Springcon at the MN State Fair Grounds. Chondrion and I went to that and I sold quite a bit of stuff as well as saw some good friends. It was a fun show, as always. I miss it being in the Fall, but not like I had much going on in the springtime.

After the show, I started my job search. I figured I needed to find _anything_ for the summer with the hopes of a teaching position for fall somewhere. I hit the webbertubes monster job sites and sent off my resume' to a bunch o' places. Two days later, after i had pounded pavement looking for just something to get some money (telemarketing!) i got a phone interview with this brand new school called MMI. The following Monday I had a face-to-face and by the time I got home (it's in the Cities) I had a job offer to start teaching in two weeks.

I love MMI! It is so awesome! It's our second semester and it's a small art school for videogames and music. This semester I'm teaching writing, but there are other classes for me to teach in later semesters. That's right, it's a forever type of job! I am so fortunate to find not just a job, but a good job that pays fairly well that I have job security in! This job is a dream job! I always wanted to be part of building a program or department, and now I am! I am going to be helping to rewrite the writing program for fall, including potentially helping to edit a book. You can't tell me that's not cool. A large part of why they hired me is because I am not a typical English major, which was my biggest issue at SCSU. They liked that I am a cartoonist and a musician. Almost everyone here is a musician and artist, so it's just awesome. My coworkers are the coolest people on the planet and the faculty and staff is a pretty close-knit bunch. This is a great job and I feel so fortunate to work here.

Since I'm now commuting at least two days a week about 75 miles one way, the Mustang just ain't cutting it. I've upgraded to something with better mileage. I still have the Mustang, and I think I'll sell it. If anyone's interested, $6000 and it's yours. Meanwhile, 50+ miles per gallon is nice. Also, I really like the hatchback. It feels roomier.

FNS seems to be going well. I just passed the 1600th comic, which feels like a lot, but not enough. I said I would go to at least 2000 strips. The art is better than ever on the strip, but something still feels off to me. I feel like the color strips from last year are a disease the strip never really recovered from. I think moving them out of the little boy's room is problematic in a lot of ways. I'm thinking about getting them back into the house.

I haven't drawn Fun Factory for about half a year. I don't have any script currently, but I'm hoping to change that. I think FF is best in bursts, like TV seasons. It's a side project. Maybe if I ever stop FNS it'll be bumped up to the main event.

Alas, I did not get the funding for my graphic novel. It worked out okay as I was thinking that would be my summer job if it had to be. Now that I'm fully employed, I really don't have any time to devote to it. I'm still working on it, but I'm only doing writing right now. I'm not doing a script, but prose writing. That works better because I write things rather than try to plan visuals.

Band is going okay. I've kinda taken a more laid back approach. I'm not as active as I was before. I still like to play, and that was the reason I originally joined. That hasn't changed. I don't trust a lot of the people there, but I don't need to to play the music.

I need your support!!!

Dateline: Gilman

Today, the Marvelous Patric Lewandowski announced the launch of a fundraising project at http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/2056518778/terminal-life-graphic-novel-memoir. Terminal Life is the working title of Patric's graphic novel memoir and he needs YOUR support to make it a reality!
According to Patric, "This graphic novel, tentatively titled "Terminal Life" is about that first year when my father was diagnosed [with lung cancer], had surgery, and it became apparent that my life had changed forever. This is the story of how, as a child, I came to the realization that my father could die at any moment and how I tried to live with that."

In order to do this project, a project Patric considers to be one of the most important of his life, he needs YOUR support. Go to http://kck.st/cwlFBb and watch the video. Then, please pledge to donate to the project! Every donation helps! Patric set a goal of $6000 to do this project. These funds go to the physical printing cost of the graphic novel as well as trying to pay some living expenses while he concentrates on drawing the book.
Every pledge level has its own set of rewards....

A PDF of the finished book is all yours!

A PDF and a physical print copy of the book, just for you!

A PDF plus a signed copy of the finished book!

A PDF and a signed and sketched in copy of the finished book!

A PDF and two signed copies of the physical book!

A PDF and three signed and sketched-in copies of the finished book!

The PDF, a cameo in a background in the book, plus a signed and sketched in copy of the finished book!

The PDF, the cameo in the book, and three signed and sketched in copies of the finished product!

The fundraising drive will go until 11:59 pm CST on May 21st! Pledge early, pledge often! Only with YOUR support can this project exist!

Thank you in advance for your generosity and support of independent comics!

Older than you've ever been and now you're even older.

Dear Blog,

Here it is, the long-super post about _everything_.
Last year, when a friend of mine who plays in the pit told me the local theater group was doing The Producers this year, I had one singular goal: to play Roger Debris. A few days before Christmas, there were auditions. I love the Producers more than is healthy. It is my favorite show of all time. I know all the songs backwards and forwards. And the lines. I've watched the movie of the musical over and over and constantly listen to the soundtrack. When I walked into auditions, we were allowed to choose from a couple of songs. "Heil Myself," was available and I snatched it up. I belted the hell out of it right away. When I sang it for the director, he said, "Come with me," and made copies of a couple pages of script. "You're reading Roger the rest of the night," he said. I felt fairly sure I nailed it.
Callbacks took forever to be posted. Before they were posted, though, they posted that there would be another open audition night, specifically looking for Ula and Roger. I was heartbroken. I felt so bad until I got a callback. I went to callbacks and read Roger once (singing "Keep it Gay") and then I read Max the rest of the night. At that point, I felt fairly certain I would get a part.
On New Years Eve Day, I got the notification that I got the part of Roger. We began rehearsal the next week. Two months of extreme rehearsals with some of the most talented people I've ever met. I can't say enough good things about the cast. There were some really cool people. After two months of seeing them every day, it's kinda weird not to. I've made some friends I hope i retain for a long time.
I also lost ten pounds doing this show, thanks to all the great physical warm ups and dancing we had to do. The costumes were amazing. I looked and moved dang good in six inch heels and a dress, thank you very much. The singing was so much fun. When we performed, I have to say that there is nothing else like that feeling you get when you sing and dance and people applaud.

The show ended its run on my 30th birthday. This was the best birthday party I could have ever had. So many people I know came to see the show over the course of its run, but on my birthday, people I knew accounted for 10 percent of ticket sales. After the show, nearly 20 of us went to eat to celebrate, including my friend Kelly and her family.

I feel very exhausted now, both physically and emotionally. It was an amazing experience. I'll miss it incredibly, but I'm also kinda glad to have my life back.

Now, I'm on spring break. I need to finish my thesis (which has not been going well). My adviser was something of a disappointment in that we didn't interact much. I don't feel I got much guidance and I don't really feel I got much out of my MA. I have decided I want to go on for my MFA in creative work, so next year hopefully, while i have a job of some sort, i'll apply and get in somewhere good.


Dear blog,

I am exhausted. We are less than a week from the Producers opening night. I am loving being in the show. It's been a fabulous experience. I love singing and... well, i don't really dance, but i like what i do.

however, given how much time it's taken, i'll be glad a bit when its over. then i'll be able to finish school and all that. then find a job! i hope!

From Freaks N Squeeks.com - RIP Halfpixel

I have come here not to praise Halfpixel and Webcomics.com, but to bury them. For the past couple of years, the Halfpixel crew, Scott Kurtz, Kris Straub, Dave Kellet, and Brad Guigar, have taken this approach to evangelizing not only webcomics, but a business model of free content that makes a profit. Evangelizing doesn't even say it right; they wrote a book, did podcasts, and answered a lot of questions from other cartoonists about how to be successful. And a lot of advice they gave, in the beginning, was really good. They had lots of ideas about how to use social media, website design, and basic comic making skills that were fantastic.

Then, things got a little weird. Their podcast, "Webcomics Weekly" was anything but weekly. Their popular forum and site, halfpixel.com was dismantled as they purchased webcomics.com . Dave Kellet has all but completely vanished save his comic, and Kris Straub merely shows us as a disembodied voice in a ustream every now and again with Kurtz. Webcomics.com quickly turned into "Braid Guigar tells you what to do and how to do it," rather than a Halfpixel forum. Articles were now submitted by readers, and there were some good ones. But, it wasn't Halfpixel giving advice anymore, it was advice sponsored by Halfpixel. Almost all of the actual advice from Halfpixel became, "Make a good comic, then buy our book, then you'll be fine if you make a good comic."

The podcast is long gone and now, on January 3rd, 2010, webcomics.com, for all intents and purposes, is dead. Or, far worse, behind a subscription wall. Yes, the same people who for years belittled anyone who put content behind a subscription wall have done just that. Webcomics.com will now cost you 30 bucks a year to access. This includes the same content that was just free less than a week ago.

Guigar claims it's worth it. But, what person charging for something doesn't?

Frankly, this feels to me akin to saying, "Yes, there is a fabulous secret to making a living doing comics, and we will share it only with those wise enough to pay us." And, from what I've seen on the site in the past, this is not a true claim and certainly not worth 30 bucks. And really, we're just paying Brad Guigar thirty bucks a month to blog. (He's even admitted he does the bulk of the work on the site.)

Halfpixel is dead. It is now the Brad Guigar show with occasional appearances by Scott Kurtz. As much as I like their comics, I wouldn't pay for them daily. And I sure won't pay to read their blogs.

It could be worse

Dear Blog,

My car is in the shop. They don't have the pieces they need to fix it. And there's a Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer-esqe winter snow dealy going on, so they might not get the pieces they need to fix it for a few days. Alas. But, I'm just happy that my car is fixable. I'd rather pay $700 than buy a new car.

The semester is almost over! Yee!! Only one semester left of grad school! That is mildly frightening. I need to finish up my thesis. And finish grading papers. My first semester of teaching went well. I really enjoyed it.

I haven't been drawing comics these past couple weeks as I finish the semester and boy do I miss it. I'm gonna go back to black and white Freaks N Squeeks because that comic just works better that way. I'm going to do a Christmas -based story next week starring Jive. I'm excited about it.

My life apparently is simple right now, but it's still busy. Fewer things are taking up more time. Drat it all.

State the Patric

 Dear blog,
School is a-going.  And i'm going with it.  Teaching has been going well.  I enjoy the supply-side of education far more than the consumption-side.  The classes they're making me take this semester don't interest me very much.  At least I have my thesis to work on to keep me sane.  I had my proposal meeting today and it went well.  I have some really great people on my committee and I'm really excited about where this play is going.  

Meanwhile, I still make comics.  After I get done with this FNS story, I'll stop and come back in 2010 with FNS in black and white again.  I've decided that the color is cool, but it's slowing me down.  I'll just do it for special stories I think.  Fun Factory continues to be a blast, but each strip takes me like 4 hours to do.  Urg.  The better I get, the slower I get.  I do think that Fun Factory is a better strip than FNS right now just because I've been holding in all these ideas for so long that they're pretty refined.  On the other hand, Freaks N Squeeks looks prettier and it really has some well-defined characters in it.  I don't have to "write" FNS so much as "watch" what the characters do.  

In personal news, April 16, 2011 looks like a pretty important day in my life.  Just saying.  Looks like a game changer and all.  An expensive game changer.  
Band sucks these days.  The fucktards on the band board fired Glen, the awesome director.  There was a loud complaint about this by a good portion of the membership that was essentially ignored.  I swear, if I hear the phrase, "we're getting back to how it used to be" one more time at practice, I'll scream.  Things look grim there.  I'm not sure how much longer I'll be with that band.  Tiffany already left and it just doesn't feel fun any more.  Why should I stay with a group that doesn't want me?

and then i ride off into a sunset

 dear blog,

it's my last day in the office.  next week i'll be orientating for my teaching assistantship.  woot!  very excited to shape the young minds of the future in my own unholy army of darkness.  of course, any good villain knows that english 191 is the exact point at which to begin mind control.  

then my classes will start too.  so i'll be teaching, writing my play, taking classes, and making two comics.  the comics are going well.  i'm moderately concerned about the time all this will take.  but, i'll keep going as long as i can.  

i'm totally enthused to draw fun factory right now.  i'm getting close to the end of the second story, or the first strip story.  chuck and i send each other jokes for the strip back and forth every now and then and it feels so good.  it feels like we really are riffing on each other and building our own weird little joke universe.  these things we think will be minor end up having like long extensive backstories only we will ever know.  and then i talk about it on the ustream.  

last week, the fiance' and i went to chicago for the comic con there, whatever they're calling it these days.  it was fun.  got to see a lot of friends and whatnot.  sold some books.  kissed a lot of hands, shook a lot of babies.  i also was on a panel about how to define comics and, for some reason, letter columns.  i talked about defining comics and my theories on how to do so.  it was well-received.  i'm looking at really doing up all that crazy theory stuff for a doctoral thesis.  

speaking of doctorates, i'm thinking about the u of m and doing mass comm.  it looks like it might be a good fit.  i'm really not too crazy about english these days.  actually, i think it's more like i'm not crazy about people who simply like to talk about stuff other people have made instead of making stuff themselves.  i wanna make stuff!!   

(no subject)

dear blog,

I can't believe it's already august! where is summer going??? I'm not ready for this!! I want more summer! Summer is a magical time when anything can happen! The rest of the year? Not so much. oh well.

this week, fiance' and i are driving over to chicago for the comic con. that'll be fun! i'll be at 3206A in artist alley selling copies of my new book. i still need to finish drawing in the pre-orders and mail them before i go. there's like 4 left. i think. i have to double check.

chicago con is always a lot of fun. i get to see a bunch of good friends and geek out for a few days. it may be smaller than SDCC, it may be less popular, currently, but i think it's a lot of fun.

life is going fairly well. it's very busy. gary and his family were visiting all last week. thus, i really didn't draw... well, i didn't draw at all, actually. oh well. i'm okay with that. but i need to get some drawing done before con this week. i also need to have a draft of my thesis done by next friday. yeep!

speaking of next week, next friday is my last day in the grad studies office. after that, i have a one-week training and then i'll be teaching. and learning. and drawing. and writing. i had wanted to audition for wonka this fall, but there's no way i have time for it. drat.

the play writing is going...well? this draft has taken on a life of its own and is much darker. it's more about the henchmen and no one being redeemable. it's like everyone is an ass in this version.

i'm having a blast making comics right now. doing fun factory as a strip is working so much better than i thought it would. i think because FF has incubated for so long in my head (and chuck's) we just "know" how the characters are going to act or what they'd say. it's like when we wrote the long scripts, we were meeting them, but after all this time, they have become their own people. we don't need all that long-winded dialogue. normal people don't talk like that, so it's all become far more real in a weird way. and freaks n squeeks, now that it's in color, is working out real well. even tho both strips are in color, both are becoming very different artistically. FNS is becoming far more painted and FF is more linear. weird.

all in all, the state of the patric is strong and tired.