I was hooked on comics, in all its forms forever. I grew up drawing. My dream job was to become either a famous comic book artist, or a newspaper comic strip artist, like my idol, Charles Schulz. I touched the sky once, back in 1994 when I took over as artist for a single panel comic called Chaos. It was syndicated by King Features. I was hooked. Sadly, the owner and writer of the strip decided to end its run without giving me a chance to take the reigns. I was devastated. My dreams were over, for now anyway. I decided to focus on my new career, in the video games industry. Meanwhile, I was moonlighting as a wannabe comic artist. I decided to create a story called "Grace" and do a six issue comic about it (why am I telling you about this? Be patient and it'll all tie together). I got through issue one and two, when my job in the games industry started to take over all my free time. In 2010, I was laid off from my job and was forced to rethink my future. I declined to pursue Grace (too difficult at the time to do -- Cintiqs and Manga Studio were still a pipe dream) I decided to restart my pursuit of comic strip syndication, an easier road, I thought. I decided to draw from an old cartoon animation pitch I did for Hanna-Barbera. The characters of that pitch were Count Dracula and Frankenstein's monster. the premise was simple: Beloved monsters get laid off from Hollywood. What do they do now? What a coincidence! It clearly mirrors my situation. Tons of material! For four years now, I've been drawing my comic strip in hopes of reaching that elusive dream, Syndication. Frank and Steinway began its run on certain newspapers in May of 2014! As you can imagine, I was absolutely ecstatic at reaching such a milestone. But I'm also very realistic in knowing that it still means a long hard climb up the mountain, usually for a small financial return. With the current state of newspapers today, that's become an even steeper climb.
Creating a strip that is published both in the papers and online requires quite a lot of time. As for money, well, have you ever tried to pay for tools and living expenses with a cartoonist's salary? I've got tons of comic material on that. To keep my dream going, I've taken on a plethora of freelance work, on top of a full-time job. That leaves very little time to write draw and color my strips, much less sleep. Now, I know what you're thinking. What is a "plethora"? I don't know. It sounded important--but let's move on. As I've said earlier, I've come so far on my dream to give up now. That's where Patreon comes in.
With Patreon, I've found a place where I can make art and tell stories I've always wanted to. With newspapers, I'm constricted with size and the typical readership tastes. Gag-a-day humor, and long story arcs if any are frowned upon. Honestly, I'd love to tell long stories, and not just with Frank and Steinway. Remember "Grace?" Yep, here's the tie-in. why not do it here as well? I can hopefully get her story out to the public without the headache of printing thousands of comic books that will eventually end up feeding moths in the closet. With your patronage I hope to alleviate some and hopefully, all of the financial burdens that have come to impede my art creation. With less time to worry about expenses, I hope to fully concentrate on simply making great content. I would love for my page to become a destination point. With your help, I hope it will someday happen.
(Note: Grace Cover done by Gloria Shih and colored by Shanna Tellez)
As I mentioned earlier, I would like for my Patreon page to be a favorite destination place. With that, I'd like to showcase more of my skills. This includes my illustration skills, as well as my other comic strip ideas. All are available as prints and post cards for qualifying patron tiers!
Thanks for stopping by!