It's been a quiet couple of weeks on the Dreadful Gate front, hasn't it? I always get a little quieter during the Summer - traditionally, it's not a good time to promote webcomics. On top of that, I've also had to face a couple of challenges on the non-creative side of life. You know, the part where people have jobs and make money and go out and dress up in business suits to tell other people to get real and stop wasting all their time and money on making comics?

Doesn't look like that's going away anytime soon, so I'll have to run my comics work on less hours than I'm used to in the near future. I've even made a comic about it, but I haven't decided yet if I really want to publish it. Well, maybe to my patrons. (Hint, hint!)

But I haven't been idle, I promise you that. So here's a little update on what I've been up to. Or am planning to be up to.


Conny Van Ehlsing

I've started plotting the first three or so adventures of Conny's upcoming season. Right now, they're not really coming down to separate stories, it's all more interconnected and arc-y. I'm even thinking of bringing a few Vol. 2 characters back. Well, I did talk about changing things up, didn't I? Only, I meant to change it up so new readers could hop on without too much of an effort and now I'm thinking about bringing Vol. 2 characters back…

I'm hoping to get this going by the end of October. So I guess it's time to make the final story decisions right about now.


Print Books

At one of the last cons, I ran out of Vol. 1 of Conny Van Ehlsing. I have a couple of bad ones left, with the covers all worn down, which are now available as a special offer. I've put some thoughts about what to do with them and how to provide myself with more books in my German blog. (Actually, I thought I'd done it here, too. I guess since this Patreon is supposed to cater to Internationals readers… Maybe I should rethink that, too.) I might even add new covers or even a reprint as a Patreon Goal here?

I've looked into Create Space, too, because that would not only get me the small batches of books I need but also an 'in' to Amazon. I found one print format that, while not being the original comic book format (and really, Amazon, what's with that?), is close enough to maybe even work with the layout files I have (to a degree - there will still be some amount of fiddling). It's a little wider and smaller, so I'll probably have to adjust the cover. But the comics shouldn't lose much.

My focus right now is on the German Conny Van Ehlsing albums even though I still have copies of most of them. The English ones are next on the list, although I'm still thinking about an ebook-first policy of sorts. (Even if it's only a patron exclusive.) It's a long-term thing unless I suddenly reach the Patreon goal that forces me to get on that, but that's also a long-term thing at the moment.


My 2 new books

I'm keeping a keen eye on science news in case the moon landing book gets outdated. But really, the con story is the one I'm actually working on more often. I hope that by next con season, I'll have something to show publishers. Then again, I hoped that last year, too.


Non-Fiction

I just went through most of my German blog because sometimes I'm a little OCD about spell-checking, and I really need to do something about making that content more accessable. Right now, some of that stuff is really well-hidden in the blog's backwaters. Which is okay for most of it, but there were some nice posts there. I've started collecting some of it into an ebook about generating ideas that turned into its own project that's now only half-based on the blog. Other posts about doing webcomics, general culture or the nuts and bolts of making comics may make their own collections - which I could release as ebooks or curate on the blog or maybe just repost here on Patreon for you folks, albeit more systematically in either case.

There's another non-fiction book about comics from me with my science hat on that I've been meaning to write for an embarrassingly long time. Good thing my would-be publisher has been really patient with me.

One thing I have finished is an article for the next Comic! Jahrbuch, about the US comics market. I don't know if I'll be able to share that here, but it's not really in line with what I'm doing here anyway. There is, however, a section about the current trend toward female heroes which I could excerpt if you're interested.


Cons

With the exception of a small con in Hamburg in October, I'm through with this year's con season due to… reasons. But there are still a couple of cons where I could be reasonably expected to show up. As a consolation prize, I've set up a special offer on the new Conny Van Ehlsing book: Free shipping until the end of con season and an extra A5 con sketch for cheaps.

I've had more planned - the sketch on top of this page is part of that. I may or may not get that done between next week and the Essen games convention I'm not going to.


Patreon

Once I got the webcomics back up and running, expect more Patreon posts, too. I'm also thinking about translating some of the more hands-on tutorial blog posts about making comics into English and posting them here. I kind of have a blog section on my English site, too, so maybe I'll revive that and run them here as early-access patron-excluisives. Or extended versions or something.

Patrons and would-be patrons, please let me know if you'd like that and I'll prioritize the heck out of it. The same goes for everything else I've been teasing in this post.