This week was largely spent on Project Media, which introduced the redesign of this blog, my social media pages, and my Patreon page. It took a lot of time behind the scenes here at the Central, which is fine, but by default it interfered with getting other work done.
We’re also doing a big promo push for the Patreon page this week because winter is here and I need to keep warm so I can continue making stuff for you guys. If you’d like to support me on Patreon and get treated to a whole slew of entertainment, please do so here.
Currently pondering: Roll-out plan for Project Jackass, overall plan for Axiom-man (with surprises), Deadline juggling.
For what seems like ages, I’ve wanted to get back into webcomics. I briefly had one when I aired the first issues of Axiom-man many years back (along with some Canister X Comix stuff), then took everything down for various reasons. Recently, I’ve been wanting to do a comic again but know it’s a long slog and one that may or may not pay off, whether via viewership or compensation. (Ideally both.)
As I mentioned in my Patreon reflections article, if I didn’t have bills to pay, I’d gladly give away my work for free. But I can’t. I have myself and a family to take care of.
I love comics . . . but they take a long time to create. It takes anywhere from approximately eight to twenty-four hours to make a single page depending on your process and how many people you’re working with. Twenty-four hours. A whole day . . . just for the page to be read in a minute or less. And that’s the main hangup with webcomics: Time. Comics take a ton of time and unless you are independently wealthy, a good chunk of that time is taken up by a part- or full-time job so you can fund the basic essentials for life.
The standard model for webcomics–which typically make money from ads and merchandise while the comic itself is on-line for free–only works for a tiny percentage of webcomikers. All those other webcomics you love have someone behind them who stays up to all hours working on pages and making enough money off it for a few items but not enough to make a full-time living (if they make any money at all).
And this is the conundrum: How do I make my webcomic monetarily worthwhile so I have the time to make more of the comic on a regular basis?
I have some ideas, but thus far they all cater to the standard webcomics’ long game. And by “long game” I mean that getting traction can take anywhere from a few months to several years. There is no recipe I can think of that will shrink that time frame, and I’ve done my research.
This blog post isn’t a complaint, by the way. It’s just getting my thoughts on webcomics out in front of me so I can see them.
I’d like to be able to share with you my still-formulating webcomic plan–which incorporates old ideas with [hopefully] new ones–but I can’t because it’s still formulating.
I’ve had a webcomic in my head for coming up on a week–or maybe it has already been a week? I don’t know–that’s slowly being added to every day, my subconscious bringing ideas and notions to my conscious brain and filing them away as both solid form and possibilities. I’m also not overthinking this stuff either because overthinking and painfully analyzing something leads to disaster, if not immediately then inevitably.
All I know is there is room for innovation in webcomics. I think what happened was webcomics came out under a certain model thus that model became the norm for comic readers. It’s going to take time to break that norm.
After being in publishing for sixteen years, I know the industry is constantly changing. What worked for book authors ten years ago doesn’t work now so writers made changes. The same holds true for comics: What worked in the old webcomics model doesn’t work now so it needs an upgrade.
Back to formulating. Will post more thoughts when I have them.
I’ve been very busy behind the scenes here at Axiom-man Central. Presently, I’m working on PROJECT REBIRTH, which is my master plan to get things going again writing and publishing . . . and cartooning? Yes. As part of my grand comeback, I’ve decided to get back into the world of comics because it was comics that got me started down the book path and everything else I’ve done since. There are plans. There is work being done. Rebuilding what was lost is taking place at a steady rate. Healing that which was broken is also taking place. Applying lessons from the past both professionally and personally is also occurring.
Bottom line: Lots is happening.
Some of what you can expect coming from up around the bend:
– Publication of projects that were temporarily put on hold when life went to crap
– Bigtime expansion and growth of The Axiom-man Saga and associated products
– Revving up public appearances and media again
– New YouTube channel
– More . . .
Now understand, I’m a one-man band so while the above is presently being worked on, that doesn’t mean all of it is going to happen right away. Creating things takes time. Lots of time, even when working steady. Just how it is. Please be patient and keeping checking back here for updates. Announcements will also spill out of the social media machine as things are released into the world.
In the meantime, consider expanding your A.P. Fuchs collection while you wait. Plenty of books and comics to choose from on the left. I also ship direct, which gets you a signature and a personal message if you so choose.
Note: This post was originally published on Jeffrey Allen Davis’s blog
The Redsaw Origin and How I Write Supervillains
Disclaimer: The following article is meant for those who have read some or all of The Axiom-man Saga. If you have not read the series, please stop now and consider checking out the series first (http://bit.ly/1oy9MJU) as this article contains spoilers, namely Redsaw’s secret identity, which is part of the mystery of the first book.
Like Axiom-man, Redsaw has something of a muddled past. I’m talking about his real life origin, not his story one. However, Redsaw didn’t really come together until writing Axiom-man. Until that point, he was more an idea that never materialized in the mental fantasy I had going which eventually birthed The Axiom-man Saga we know today. All I knew about my overall fantasy was there were two cosmic beings at war. One that represented Good (known as the messenger in the saga), and one that represented Evil (known as the master). How these cosmic beings work is they each have champions on multiple planets throughout the universe, one guy stepping forward for them and duking it out on these planets while these two cosmic beings fight it out elsewhere. Usually, the messenger only puts his man in place once the master strikes an unsuspecting world. On Earth, the messenger’s champion is Axiom-man so, you guessed it, the master’s main man is Redsaw. What’s interesting to note is Axiom-man was put in place shortly before Redsaw’s arrival, a pre-emptive move on the messenger’s part and for reasons revealed in the series.
Redsaw is the main supervillain of The Axiom-man Saga.
That should bring you enough up to speed on who’s who in my superhero universe.
When it came to creating Redsaw, other than knowing he had to be the bad guy, he needed to be more than just the bad guy. The first thing I decided was it was imperative he was more powerful than Axiom-man, first and foremost in his superpowers—which are similar but stronger—and secondly as his human alter ego.
In costume, Redsaw can fly twice as fast, is twice as strong, and the energy beams he shoots from his hands do twice the damage.
Out of costume, Oscar Owen is rich, well-known, and utterly confident, whereas Gabriel Garrison (Axiom-man) struggles with money, is a nobody, and has self-esteem issues.
But that’s just the superficial stuff.
Even the name “Redsaw” is superficial in that I needed a cool name for a villain and “red” typically represents evil and “saw” was named after a sawblade, a dangerous weapon if used to kill somebody. The jagged lines on Redsaw’s red and black costume represent his own jaggedness and danger—again, the sawblade thing.
Going deeper, however, I didn’t want a bad guy who was the bad guy simply because he was the bad guy. In other words, I didn’t want a bad guy being bad for bad’s sake. There needed to be a reason, and the best reason for any villain in literature or film is the one that says they’re the bad guy because they don’t have any other choice. They have a strong motive that turned them down a dark path. A classic example is Darth Vader. He joined the dark side to save Padme. The dark side consumed him and we all know the rest of the story.
Oscar Owen was chosen by the master because Oscar drove himself hard to rise from poverty and become a somebody and tried to be a good guy with his powerful position. Once joined with the black cloud that gave him his superpowers, even then, he strove to be a hero like Axiom-man. He just didn’t know joining with the black cloud came at a cost and the black cloud transformed him into someone he wasn’t: the reluctant villain. The villain you and I can relate to. The one that, if you or I were put in their shoes, would do what they do no matter how dark or despicable because, from their point-of-view, they’re doing the right thing even if the cause is evil.
That’s the kind of main villain I was after for Axiom-man: someone like him. Someone who strove to do what they perceived was the right thing. Unfortunately, for Redsaw, his “right thing” is the wrong thing, but thankfully we have Axiom-man there to stop him.
Regarding other supervillains I’ve created—Char, Bleaken, Battle Bruiser, and Lady Fire—they all have something in common and it all goes back to what I did with Redsaw: they’re more powerful than the hero. It might be their powers, it might be their intellect, but either way, my villains always have a leg up on Axiom-man so they’re a challenge to fight. It’s the only way to create true conflict in the novels otherwise, if they were weaker, Axiom-man would stomp them into the ground every time and the story would be over in a few pages. Sure, it’s fun to have a few purely-human bad guys for Axiom-man to quickly dispose of, but when it comes to his superpowered rogues gallery, I needed my bad guys to be stronger than the hero and make him really dig deep whether physically or mentally to put the villains away for good. And even then . . . they might not always stay put, but for what I mean by that, you’ll have to check out the books and see for yourself.
A supervillain—breaking down the word—sure, the “villain” part is easy. It’s the “super” part that’s hard because that goes beyond their powers. They need to be above average in who they are as a person. They need to be motivated by something beyond what gets us normal people through our day. They need to be motivated by something “super.” It could be a tragedy, a misguidance, even a dark heart birthed out of something beyond their control in years past. There’s no such thing as a person who’s born bad. We all make choices. Some yield Good. Others yield Evil. Others take us down roads filled with both. Throw superpowers into the mix and you have the potential to create a superpowered problem that only a superhero can fight.
As for Redsaw, well, like Axiom-man, he’s on a journey, too. One that can only lead to one place. As for where or what that is, you’ll just have to read and find out.
Today, the citizens of Winnipeg found out about the Axiom-man/Auroraman: Frozen Storm Kickstarter via The Herald, a weekly newspaper. The city also found out what’s coming up for Axiom-man and the plans I have not just for him, but for the city as well.
Thank you to reporter Sheldon Birnie for latching onto the news story and writing such a fantastic article.
Also, please consider pledging to support Axiom-man/Auroraman: Frozen Storm. The Kickstarter wraps May 4 and Auroraman creator, Jeff Burton, and I need your help. You can check out the Kickstarter here, which is packed with amazing reward tiers and all sorts of goodies. As well, feel free to share this blog post or link to the Kickstarter however you can.
The Axiom-man/Auroraman: Frozen Storm Kickstarter has fired off the launch pad and is already off to a crazy phenomenal start. Thank you to everyone who’s pledged support to these two prairie heroes. You’re going to be in for one heck of a ride.
This Kickstarter supports not only Frozen Storm, but also The Adventures of Auroraman No. 1!
I co-wrote the mini comic at the back of Auroraman No. 1 that will lead into Frozen Storm, a superhero novel with action and suspense start to finish. Fans of The Axiom-man Saga won’t want to miss out on this adventure.
It’s been a pleasure working with Jeff Burton on this project and I can’t wait to share with you the story we concocted for Frozen Storm.
There are days in this business where things get tough and you wonder why even bother with all this stuff? It doesn’t matter how successful you are. Every writer hits that wall of “what’s the point?” and then has to deal with it. Then stuff like this comes into your inbox and you’re reminded your work isn’t just about you and there are people out there who genuinely care about what you do.
Below is a piece of fan art from Axiom-man superfan Movies, Comics, and MTG. Below that is a video he made about Axiom-man and the upcoming Axiom-man/Auroraman: Frozen Storm Kickstarter.
A special thank you to Movies, Comics, and MTG for these. They made my day at a time when I needed a boost.
Instead of doing the usual writer shtick of announcing what projects are coming out and when, I’m simply going to announce them as I complete them.
There are only three confirmed titles coming from me in 2017 thus far. They have already been announced on this blog, but I will mention them again and mention why I know they are guaranteed to be released.
The Canister X Transmission: Year Three – This is being written week-to-week and, like Years One and Two, the collections have been published within a couple of months of that newsletter’s year having ended.
Untitled Flash Fiction Collection – This is part of the Year Three experience, so each week a new piece of flash fiction is sent out to readers. A total of 60 pieces of flash fiction will comprise this collection–52 from the weekly newsletter, a 53rd from the collected edition of the newsletter–and the remainder to be written afterward.
Axiom-man and Auroraman: Frozen Storm – This is a novel I will be writing for a kickstarter project that begins in March. Since it’s being kickstarted, and assuming Auroraman creator Jeff Burton and I hit our goal, this book will be published on time for backers.
Regarding Secret Project No. 1 and Secret Project No. 3–projects mentioned in my newsletter–they will be announced upon completion. What about Secret Project No. 2, you ask? Since it ties directly into Secret Project No. 1, I can’t say anything about it just yet.
As for other works in various stages of finishing, same deal: they will be announced upon completion.
Commit to nothing.
I have also restructured my 2017 on-line marketing efforts and just today finished automating the whole year. There will be some manual posts but the rest will be the social media bots doing my bidding.