Bast hooked into the Nexus. This is a scan of the cover drawing for an issue of the comic.
I have a lot of trouble remembering things when they are not where I can see them, for reasons I’ve outlined HERE, so this is the sort of studio organizer I love. These over the door hangers with pockets have made my mail order tasks so much easier.
Because everything I have to ship is RIGHT IN MY FACE whenever I leave the room, it is harder to lose it. All my packing materials are right where I need them. Autograph pens, complimentary prints and comics, subscription info, etc.
In the very top left pocket, I keep the info for art supplies I need to order over and over again. For people who say, “Why not keep it on computer?” as I’ve written before, people with brain fog have trouble remembering things they can’t see. On computer, I sometimes can’t recall the file name. So I keep commonly used art or office supply invoices in this folder so I can get to them quickly. You can even see the specs for my tone sheets for the A DISTANT SOIL graphic novel if you look closely. Yes, I still do them by hand. I keep backup files for all these things on the computer.
Pending orders are at eye level, so they hit me in the face whenever I leave the room. I can’t put them in a folder and forget they exist.
This is a really nice system, much better than anything I’ve used before. My old hanging folders were plastic and looked grubby quickly, attracted dust, and didn’t hold their shape. This is made of very sturdy canvas, and has backing board. I am really happy with this purchase, which I got from Amazon. The link is below.
To the right, wooden organizers I bought at Sam’s Club back in the 1990’s. They are still doing well for me and were very inexpensive. I keep shipping supplies in them, comic backing boards, and at the top since I don’t need them much, hard copies of critical digital art programs like Photoshop. Even though I may only need them once every couple of years, I need to know where they are.
Between this hanging file folder and my Perpetual Organizer, most of my critical needs are met. If you have brain fog, you must stay organized. You are already working at a handicap, and the last thing you need is to be rooting around for basic stuff.
While this makes many tasks easier, I still make mistakes. I’ve been very foggy the last couple of days, and missed an appointment today. Yesterday I had to make a many hour’s long excursion into the city. Not only did I forget the address I needed to ship packages out via Fedex, but I forgot to bring directions to my doctor’s office, even though I had carefully printed out these items to take with me. I had to reschedule with the doctor.
What was funny was that even though I could not recall where I had to ship those items (or even the name of my doctor,) I was able to recall my external email password perfectly, though I had not used it in months. I got into my account via a computer a Fedex employee kindly lent me, and found the address I needed.
Brain Fog is weird.
In the last few weeks, I scared the crap out of myself by losing most of the art I was working on for a major job. I found it in several different files, but it took almost two weeks of grubbing about to dig it back up. I have never managed to get my art files in order, and I don’t usually have that much of an issue with it. But every time I do try to get things in order, I end up botching something. That probably contributes to the reluctance I have about messing with the huge stack of disordered art: there is an order to the disorder, and whenever I mess with it, I have trouble remembering the new system. (I also do not have enough flat files to properly store the art.)
I’ve blogged more in the last few weeks than I usually do in months. I need to conserve some energy for my assignments, so I’m going to cut back a bit again.
Anyway, best of luck to all of you out there dealing with this, I hope my posts help. And if you have any sage advice, please do share it.
Thanks for reading.
Meet Wizard World Superstar Artist Colleen Doran At Excalibur Comics, Portland, Thursday, February 16
Superstar artist and Wizard World favorite Colleen Doran will make a special appearance at Excalibur Comics (2444 SE Hawthorne Blvd., Portland) on Thursday, February 16, beginning at 7 p.m. Doran will sign meet fans and sign items in advance of Wizard World Comic Con Portland, February 17-19 at the Oregon Convention Center.
Doran is the artist for a new Neil Gaiman graphic novel “Troll Bridge” from Dark Horse, “The Book of Lost Souls” with J Michael Straczynski, “Big Nemo” with Alan Moore for Electricomics, “Finality” with Warren Ellis coming later this year from Line Webtoon, and projects with Stan Lee, Matt Hawkins at Top Cow/Image, and Marvel Comics.
Doran’s recent works also include “The Vampire Diaries” as writer and artist for DC, as well as art for Red Sonja, script for the Korean/American fusion anthology “Komacon,” and the award-winning graphic novels “Mangaman” and “Gone to Amerikay”.
Doran will be joined by dozens of other comics creators in Artist Alley at Wizard World Comic Con Portland, including notables Marv Wolfman (“New Teen Titans,” “Crisis on Infinite Earths”), Phil Ortiz (“The Simpsons,” “Muppet Babies”), Fred Van Lente (“Cowboys & Aliens,” “Marvel Zombies”), Tom Cook (“Superfriends,” “Godzilla”), Alex De Campi (“Dark Horse’s Grindhouse,” “Archie vs. Predator”), Aaron Sparrow (“Tokyopop,” “Warcraft: Legends”) and many others.
Another commission down! This one a sketch cover from SANDMAN, with Daniel. Brush and ink.
Today I just had my last Starbucks. I start my auto-immune protocol diet in a week as soon as I get back from Portland, and I am in mourning for all the yummy food I can no longer have. I’m hoping that I’ll be able to reintroduce some of my forbidden foods at a later date. In the meantime, I suppose I will lose a lot of weight. Frankly, I’d rather be a bit chubby and eat pie, but whatever.
I had an encounter with a writer who had once been extremely popular and still does very well for himself and makes quite a sum in royalties and ancillary income. I mean he’s a millionaire, so not hurting. I don’t know him well, but we started talking, and he seemed very unhappy.
He wasn’t getting the sales and attention he used to get, and he wasn’t getting the jobs. His income was all from very old work. When he did get jobs, he was forced to work with these upstart young editors who had no business telling him how to write! Why he’d been writing longer than these guys had been alive!
I made sympathetic noises, but the realistic part of me was thinking, “You know, that editor may be a young whipper snapper, but right now, he’s your boss. And who knows, maybe you could learn something?” I mean, that’s how I roll.
Regardless, angry writer dude seemed really unhappy with his fall from the stratospheric heights he once enjoyed. And since I’d never really had a chance to talk to the guy much (he’d never seemed particularly friendly before, and frankly, I’d always found him kind of haughty,) I thought I’d reassess and take a chance. So I invited him to dinner with me and some other pro friends. I thought this might cheer him up. He happily accepted the invite.
We walked back to the hotel, and then he hemmed and hawed, and said he had to run errands. And then he puttered around, carried on conversations with other people, and equivocated. And now that he was a full 45 minutes late, sauntered back to me with a sneer on his face to announce that he simply didn’t want to go. He made a couple of vaguely rude comments about me that left me on edge, that I’m not even sure I understood, but were passive aggressive as hell. And he said he’d decided to go out to dinner with other people.
After leaving us waiting for 45 minutes.
So I smiled and said OK, and hoped he felt better, and then went off to have dinner with George Perez, who is a step up in so many ways.
This came up again because of a conversation with a friend about helping people who have a lot who don’t know they have a lot. I wrote about it on my FB page. It’s a natural impulse to want to help people who are down, but some people have a really funny definition of down. I mean, this dude is so much higher than most people can ever dream of. I bet thousands and thousands of creators would love it if they had steady income and could simply sit down and write or draw whenever and whatever they wanted. They’d never care about being on the bestseller list!
What a dream to be able to do whatever you want with your art!
But this guy didn’t appreciate it. He had to be top dog. Anything else wouldn’t do.
In the end I got dinner with George Perez instead of Mr Sourpuss, so no loss for me.
I have an extensive interview at Comicosity. It just went up! I talk a lot.
…the very definition of “Creator Owned” has changed over the decades; originally all some activists cared about was copyright, but that is easy enough to get while losing every other meaningful right with the stroke of a pen. “Creator Owned” is nothing but a marketing term for some of these publishers, always has been. Having your copyright on the book while the publisher tries to steal your copyright and trademark, doesn’t file your copyright, claims trademark for themselves even though you never signed it over, knowing full well their creators are too broke to afford a lawyer to sue! Wish I could say that’s changed, but it hasn’t.
The graphic novel MANGAMAN, by Barry Lyga with art by me, survived a very bizarre censorship challenge.
Mangaman was written by Barry Lyga and illustrated by Colleen Doran. It tells the story of Ryoko, a manga character who falls through a dimensional rift into a real-world American high school. The book received starred reviews from Kirkus (“an inventive offering, sure to please fans of both American and Japanese comics”) and School Library Journal (“a story full of clever humor and human emotions”), as well as praise from Bone creator Jeff Smith, who called it “an eye-popping fun-ride through the comics traditions of East and West.” All available reviews judge it to be appropriate for high-school-aged readers, while some even go a bit younger (12-13) in their recommendations…the mother of a high school student in Issaquah, Washington pushed to have the graphic novel Mangaman removed from Issaquah High School’s library due to one panel showing pixelated genitals.
The American Library Association’s Office for Intellectual Freedom has more.
The Mangaman situation highlights the need to carefully review district or school policies about both selection and reconsideration of materials. This should be done on a regular basis in order to examine them for loopholes as well as to make sure that policies address changes in materials including format.
I have a cover on the March 2017 issue of RAT QUEENS from Image Comics, with the variant edition proceeds going to charity.
I had to push a couple of projects back because I have not been well. As most of my readers know, I’ve had a variety of disturbing and sometimes disabling symptoms for years. I was finally diagnosed about 8 weeks ago with a cocktail of auto-immune disease issues, and am now getting treatment. Over the last ten days, I have noticed a marked improvement. I apologize for running behind on my work. The worst thing for me right now is having to make drastic (hopefully temporary) changes in my diet, because I do not know how to function without caffeine and sugar.
In the meantime, I have some books and art for sale, including some hardcover A DISTANT SOIL limited editions and some nice art on ebay. More info HERE.
And don’t forget, I’ll be at Wizard World Portland the weekend of February 17, for my first Portland appearance!