Tuesday, November 18, 2014

My Vaudevillian Roots

I haven't figured out who the asshole is between these two. Usually I think it's Larry, but then sometimes Rudy comes along to shake things up.

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Why I Hate Parties

I think there's supposed to be something romantic about being an indie author. You know, the artist so devoted to his craft that things like people actually reading your work don't enter the equation.

That's not me.

I want the world to see what I do, and I want the world to love it.

Tuesday, November 4, 2014

Another Thank-You for the Review Cartoon

I'm currently at 11 reviews. And they're all good. I'm feeling pretty pumped.

It's probably not healthy keeping score like that. If I was more disciplined I would check once every few months. But I have OCD. Checking is what I do.

Thursday, October 30, 2014

Another Thank-you Cartoon

I'm enjoying making these cartoons. There's something almost meditative about the process.

Remember, folks: review one of my books and I will make a cartoon about you.

On a side note, I stepped in dog poo today. I'm not pleased.

Monday, October 27, 2014

A bad review (cartoon style)

Little cartoon of mine. (I'm working on my thin-skinnedness.)
I've never been good at dealing with criticism. Even if it's of the constructive kind. It's immaturity, I think

It was suggested to me to do something badly on purpose. Then I would have no choice but to deal with the inevitable criticism.

Makes me sweaty just thinking about it.

Saturday, October 18, 2014

Robots and Androids

Little cartoon of mine making light of an android's plight. (Of course, they're all nuclear powered these days)

Why did I choose to write Charlie Robot? It's not as though I'm enamored with mechanical things. In fact, I find them puzzling, maybe even a little intimidating. That one little broken piece could somehow ruin an entire machine is mind boggling. I see that with cars all the time: a tiny part breaks, and what used to be a powerful vehicle capable of speeds well over 140 kilometers an hour is left standing useless in the driveway.

Computers, too. They might as well run on magic, that's how much sense they make to me. But they're made up of all these little pieces, all working in concert to create this thing capable of making games, editing photographs and writing blog posts. It's one, long magical chain, and if one of those links breaks, I'm left screaming fuck you staring at an empty screen.

I suppose the same can be said about the human body. After all, what is a body other than a series of machines? But there's a difference, a body can heal itself. Machines can't. Or at least, not yet. 

But getting back to my original question, why did I choose to write about a robot? Maybe it's fear. Not of robots in particular, but of finding myself stuck inside a machine. There's something comforting knowing you exist within a natural cycle. You're born, you grow old and you die. A machine on the other hand...

I know I said mechanical things are only as strong as their weakest link, but on the flip side, a well-made machine has the potential to run for a very, very long time. That scares me. I mean, what if you woke up one morning and discovered that body of yours you assumed was made of flesh and blood was, in fact, artificial? And providing everything worked the way it was intended, you could live upward of ten thousand years?

I don't know. Maybe some people would like that. I, on the other hand, wouldn't know what to do with myself. Birthdays would become irrelevant, maybe even annoying.

(Could you imagine? Those drop-down boxes on websites asking what year you were born in would become never-ending exercises in downward scrolling. "I'm three-thousand-years old, dammit! Of course I'm old enough to watch this video!")

And unless your friends were androids too, your social life would be a never ending procession of funerals.

And then there would be the ultimate in horridness: being trapped in a chimney for a thousand years.

As you can see, the possibilities for misery are endless...

Of course, there are other reasons to write about androids, but those, I think, I'll leave for another time.
Poor Archie the Android has been stuck inside this chimney since April of 1976, but embarrassment has kept him from calling for help.

Friday, October 10, 2014

My Hunt for Reviews.

I've come up with a cunning plan. In return for reviewing any of my books on Amazon, I will immortalize that person in the form of a cartoon. It's sad, I know, but I need reviews. They're like food. Or maybe drugs are a better comparison. Whatever the case, if you leave me a review, I will make fun of you. I promise.

Monday, October 6, 2014

Reviews (How I Need 'em)

One of the most important things for an indie author, any author, really, are reviews. People, it seems, don't want to risk their hard earned dollar on some unknown weirdo with access to Microsoft Word. They look for reviews. But the thing is, you're not going to get any if no one is reading your book. I think they call that a vicious circle. Or is it a pain in the ass?

Whatever it is, it's maddening.

But there is a silver lining in having no reviews: my feelings don't get hurt. I suffer from thin skin. I'm working on it. I know I'll get nowhere as an author if I can't weather insults from anonymous souls on the internet. (speaking of which, wouldn't it be weird if one way spirits can communicate with the physical world is by leaving reviews on Goodreads?)

So I made this cartoon. It's pretty sparse. Just ink on some paper. I didn't even bother erasing the pencil underneath. It served two purposes. One, giving voice to the frustration of having nearly no reviews, and two, combating that most evil of traits, perfectionism.

What can I say? The drawing's rough. The perfectionist in me wants to take it down and rework it until it's all crisp and lovely. The thing is, that requires time, and if I'm going to be able to continue writing and still show off the odd cartoon, I've decided I've got to loosen up, and if that means having pencil lines showing, oh well.

But I want to get back to the book reviews, or more specifically, the lack of them. I'm hoping one day I can look back at this time and smile. "Oh, you silly Benny," I'll say, "you're going to get loads of them. Not all of them will be nice, but don't worry, those people, we burned down their houses.  :)"

Friday, September 26, 2014

Selling Myself

I'm pretty awful when it comes to self-promotion. I'm always worried I'll cross that line, turning off potential customers. So I do the opposite: none at all. And guess what happens? Nothing. As in, no sales. No downloads. Nada.

So I've decided to be a little more aggressive in my approach. Nothing too brash, but I've decided I can put my cartooning skills to some use. I mean, something's gotta work, right?

Saturday, September 20, 2014

Forgotten Treasures

I was flipping through one of my sketchbooks and came across this little gem. I'd completely forgotten I'd made it. I drew it soon after moving to Ottawa. We were into the whole geocaching thing. That's faded, though. Mostly because the geocaching app I use is crap. That and I'm lazy.

I've updated it (the app) but it still doesn't work very well. Often it will send us walking in circles, the only treasure being an old Walmart bag. Wait a sec, maybe that was the geocache...

Looking at this cartoon has got me thinking we should take it up again.

Sunday, September 7, 2014

Noodles. Oh, Those Lovely Noodles

First cartoon I've done in a while. Did it using my Intuos drawing tablet and an unholy mix of Photoshop and Sketchbook Pro. Not quite the same as drawing with pen and paper, but I'm getting the hang of it.  :)

Tuesday, May 13, 2014

Tales from the Sock Drawer: Donald the Pangolin

Did you know I have a pangolin living in my sock drawer? It’s true. His name is Donald, and he spends his time brooding in a corner, obsessively playing his mandolin while the rest of us stick our collective fingers in our ears.

We got off to a bit of a bad start, old Donald and I. Seems I once referred to him as a spiny anteater when introducing him to a friend. I honestly don’t remember doing it. In fact, I have a sneaking suspicion he invented the whole thing to generate interest in his flagging music career. But I did apologize. Eventually.

I just wish he’d move away so I wouldn’t have to listen to his god-awful mandolin playing any longer. I know the progressive hipster types out there are content to sit there and be amazed he can play an instrument at all. But I’m telling you, the guy stinks. Not only does he lack feeling, but he has absolutely no sense of rhythm. Throw in his love for cheesy 80’s pop, and you have a recipe for something truly horrible. Seriously, six minutes into Donald the Pangolin’s extended version of Phil Collins ‘Easy Lover’ and you’ll be looking for a gun. (to shoot yourself with)

And it’s not as if you can tell him any of this because he’ll either scratch your face or roll up into a ball, depending on his mood. Pangolins. Yeesh!