Guys, the art contest deadline is in a mere 5 days (the 20th) and so far I've gotten one actual entry. You are just letting the prizes slip through your fingers, and hurting my feelings along the way.
As I mentioned in the last State of the Town, a short hiatus of indeterminate length is pretty inevitable post-Chapter 4 while I get the big book and all its extras collected and print ready, launch the Kickstarter, make the bonus items, and have this kid, but I'd still like to have some new stuff up on the site every week. What kind of interim content would you most like to see during the break? Total Voters: 246
On a sidenote, post-Kickstarter I'll probably be putting together a new, better store, and it's occurred to me a real, concrete bonus for Grubstakers/Goldstakers would be discounts in said store, so if you've taken a leap of faith and invested in that non-thing (thank you again!) there's a little something extra to look forward to.
What kind of interim content would you most like to see during the break?
Total Voters: 246
Get out your pencils, paints, yarn, crayons or Thesaurus -- today starts the first ever Next Town Over art contest!
Anyone can enter and any medium is welcome, although I aim to include the winning entry (and possibly some runners-up) in Next Town Over Volume 1 -- fully credited, of course -- so if you elect to write a song or make a video or something crazy that might curtail my ability to do that. All entries will be featured here on the site with a link back to their creators’ sites/pages.
It’d hardly be a contest, though, without a prize! In addition to having their work featured in the book the winner will receive:
- Signed print editions of NTO#1-4 (Lookback, Sun Prairie, Whiskey Bend and not-yet-available Baron’s Crossing)
- 4 original hand-drawn sketch cards (characters of your choice)
- An all new NTO graphic T-shirt in your choice of Vane Black or John Henry Hunter flavor. These are as-yet unfinished and unseen designs and will not be otherwise available until after the Volume 1 Kickstarter’s begun. (I’m pretty excited about these.)
- A copy of NOBODIES, Volume 1, which features my short story Snake along with a slough of other fantastic shorts from fantastic folks. (144 pages, full color)
- Deadline is October 20th, 2012 (so get cracking!)
- Send entries to firstname.lastname@example.org with subject line NTO ART CONTEST
- Full color, black and white, digital, traditional or macaroni are all acceptable. Although the focus of the contest is on visual art, short stories, etc.. are also welcome & eligible to win.
- Please work large with visual entries (or take big photos!). .TIFs, .PSDs, .PNGs etc., need to be 2100x3150px or larger for inclusion in the book.
- Please include your name as you'd like it to be printed on the site (or in the book), along with the URL of any personal site/project you'd like linked to.
- Your piece must be NTO-related or at least NTO-relevant. Snake, Marshall Snowman and of course any of the comic’s wronged parties are all fair game.
- This probably goes without saying, but keep it rated R or under.
- Enter as many different pieces as you like, but know that they’ll all be judged individually and will not necessarily increase your chances of winning
- By submitting your work to the competition you are granting me (Erin Mehlos) non-exclusive rights to post and reproduce it electronically and in print (with full accreditation).
- Delivery of prizes pending their printing/availability (NTO #4 and the NTO T-shirts will probably not arrive for a few months. I'll get them to you ASAP, though, and you can rest assured you'll have them before anyone else ever sees them.)
And that’s it! If you have any questions please let me know in the comments and I'll be happy to answer them.
Have fun, get creative, and don’t hesitate to post your project (or let folks know about the contest) on your site/blog/facebook/Twitter. I can’t wait to see what you come up with.
I realize I've been real quiet recently; the Next Town Over site's never been a place for talking about my personal goings-on but I figure a mention of recent developments would go a long way toward explaining where things are at with my radio silence, and the inevitable (temporary) hiatus in updates I foresee in the near future.
As of this writing I am, give or take, five months pregnant with our first kid. Everything's going great with that, by itself, but art/comics/Doing The Work-wise it did set me back a fair bit, especially in my first trimester, which was pretty rough on the nausea & fatigue fronts. We also had, at that time, a dog-related saga/tragedy that would itself fill a substantial blogpost on its own but the long and short of it is I barely fulfilled all my freelance commitments in those months, let alone keeping up with my NTO buffer, because I opted to spend most of my free time sleeping and throwing up.
I've felt a lot better recently, but I still lack focus and my concern with wrangling a living space to put this imminent kid in is sort of still encroaching on comic productivity. Which isn't to say comic-related things aren't going on; some of them have just been somewhat under the radar.
Next Town Over's first chapter is now available for free perusal in the Emanata iPad app, a great new platform for independent comic artists that, like most things, I bandwagoned onto because Jon did it first.
I passingly mentioned before that I was getting quotes for a collected print edition of NTO's first four chapters, and that I was also considering funding its printing with Kickstarter. Well I did those things; the cost of printing the book as I want (1000 of them) is going to cost upwards of $4500. That doesn't include various (overseas) shipping costs, ISBN expenses, and, probably obviously, the cost of my time prepressing/curating the thing, so unless I do fund it via Kickstarter it probably won't happen. Which is where you folks are going to come in: when I get as far as setting up this inevitable Kickstarter I'll really, basically, only need like 250 of you or less to essentially preorder the book for its eventual sale price to get it off the ground. I feel like that's a pretty reasonable deal, and as such I have to warn you that the Kickstarter is probably going to serve as kind of a referendum on NTO's priority in my soon-to-be insane life as a first time parent.
I'll level with you: with all that's been going on my buffer on the comic is depleted to where, no, I'm not even finished with Book 4 (which is why it hasn't shown up for sale as they customarily do halfway to two-thirds of the way through a chapter -- and also, obviously, why I haven't been able to finish assembling the eventual collection and get the Kickstarter, well, kickstarted). I'm disheartened enough about my lack of progress with the comic that I'm thinking it might have to be put on hold for awhile, at least while I take care of this new kid (which is due in Dec, if you're curious). The length of this hiatus -- that is to say, my eagerness to shoehorn the comic in alongside new parenthood -- is probably going to be greatly impacted by your willingness to support the book. Obviously, if NTO can generate revenue it'll be easier to make time for because I won't have to pursue other income, and the easiest way to generate revenue is with conventional book sales through larger outlets like Amazon, which I can only do via getting away from print-on-demand, which is only going to be possible with your financial support. So keep an eye out for announcements regarding that Kickstarter.
Meanwhile, know that if I've appeared overly lazy & uncommunicative it hasn't been entirely without reason.
Thanks for reading and thanks for your support -- doubly, triply so to those of you who've helped me out with a purchase or a donation or taken a chance on the current[ly underwhelming] Grubstaker program.
I have a Next Town Over "soundtrack" over 1500 songs long that I generally listen to when I'm working on the comic. I thought it would be cool if I could share some of it legally, but unfortunately Spotify still hasn't allowed much customization of sizes for their Play iframes and there's no permanent place in the current NTO layout for me to shoehorn their defaults -- not to mention not everyone uses Spotify. I barely do, myself.
But in the meantime, if you do use Spotify, here's a few NTO-flavored songs.