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  • Status Report – 051120

    status report 051120

    Status Report – 051120:

    As you can see, it’s a chilly day here in the Great White North.

    Spring is never coming.

    Sipping coffee. Still waking up.

    We are doing computer work today because we have deadlines. Priority one is Web stuff.

    Book and Comic Production Season starts this week and will run for a while as we get to work bringing you some things we’ve been working on since I’ve been back.

    Time to log this entry then get to it.

    This has been your Status Report for 051120.


  • Status Report – 042720

    status report 042720

    Status Report – 042720:

    Supply pick-up today so we’ll be popping in and out of the studio as we take care of things at the homestead.

    The main work goal for today, however, is working on Fredrikus. I have a timeframe in mind and would like to achieve it.

    I also uploaded a new video to YouTube this morning that showcases my Superman metal lunch box collection. Please go here to check it out. Please also advise if there is any trouble with the video because YouTube was acting up today.

    And, as usual, feel free to drop me a note at any time.

    This has been your Status Report for 042720.


  • Newsletter Delay; The Canister X Transmission Issue 252

    Just a note to inform you there is a newsletter delay this week due to TinyLetter’s site glitching. Until it’s resolved, I am unable to send out the most recent issue so I’ve blogged it here in the interim and will send it out proper once I am able to, which might mean this week you’ll be getting two editions of The Canister X Transmission close together. If the problem persists due to possible staffing shortages on their end, then we’ll just air the newsletter here until things get back to normal.

    There’s a first time for everything.

    Here is the latest edition. It is dated yesterday.

    Newsletter:

    Issue Two Hundred-fifty-two – April 18, 2020

    Hello and welcome to the 252nd issue of THE CANISTER X TRANSMISSION, a weekly newsletter from a schlub up north who offers you strange ramblings every week.

    How is everyone?

    It has been a busy week. Lots of tasks. Lots of work. Lots of prep. Lots of thinking. Lots of stress. Lots of accomplishment. Lots of, well, lots.

    And here we are.

    Oh, and I made bread.

    Work log:

    PROJECT JACKASS (title reveal below); uploaded a sneak peek to the Behind-the-Scenes tier on Patreon showcasing one of the opening pages of PROJECT JACKASS in full color (link below); shot and uploaded a new video to YouTube, which announces PROJECT JACKASS’s real title and quickly takes a glimpse at the artwork and offers a brief premise (link below); blogging; and administration.

    Quick note regarding this newsletter: Issue 260 is the final issue of The Long Year Five. We will do something special at that time. As always, the invite is there if you want to see something particular in that double issue. Just shoot me an email and I’ll see what I can do.

    In blog headline news—and once information known only to my patrons on Patreon—the title of PROJECT JACKASS was revealed! PROJECT JACKASS was a place-holder name for an upcoming webcomic from me called FREDRIKUS, which is about an anthropomorphic dog in a dystopic sc-fi world. Phew. Now I can finally refer to it as an actual thing and not some project document (which is actually a combination of multiple documents including a notebook for the stories).

    Blog headlines:

    Various Bits from the Net – 041220

    Status Report – 041420

    Project Jackass Title Revealed: Fredrikus

    Fredrikus Social Media

    New Fredrikus Behind-the-Scenes Post on Patreon!

    On Art and Never Arriving

    Fredrikus Webcomic Announcement

    Status Report – 041720

    As you can see from the above headline, you are invited to like and follow FREDRIKUS on social media so you can be notified when the strip airs. Please do so. More details about the webcomic to be revealed in due time. Watch the blog to stay current. I will admit, it’s high time new things started to roll out from me and warming up the machine for FREDRIKUS is part of that journey.

    I’m thinking that the next thing to roll out from me is the Inktober 2019 sketchbook I mentioned in a previous issue. PROJECT REBUILD is taking some time due to elements beyond my control and I don’t want to leave you hanging.

    Side note: As much as my blog has been retooled on the back end, sometimes the theme acts up and reverts to black text on white rather than white text on black. If you come across this, don’t worry. I’m still troubleshooting the issue with the hope of taking care of it once and for all in the near future. Just check the blog as per usual and you’ll be fine.

    We’re also gearing up for the new serial novel to air on Patreon because GIGANTIGATOR DEATH MACHINE is almost complete. Watch the blog for the announcement and be sure to get in on the ground floor by becoming a patron today for just a buck. The entirety of GIGANTIGATOR DEATH MACHINE will remain on the site so come time for the new serial novel, you’ll have two novels to read for the price of one. Awesome deal. Please take advantage (it also helps keep me fed). Link below to subscribe to what is essentially the Netflix of literary entertainment from a book and comic guy like me. Thank you in advance for your support.

    Also going on, but not worked on this week, is PROJECT COBALT. This is a big one and an important one, and a lot of thought, trial and error, and work has already been put into it. I’m suspecting a latter 2020 rollout, but keep that fluid for the moment. The world is in upheaval on multiple levels and things are in constant flux as we combat this invisible enemy (amongst other things). But yeah, PROJECT COBALT, man. Onward.

    For a good while I’ve had the marketing materials for a YouTube subscription drive, but we’re not quite there yet in terms of the channel’s relationship to other things. However, I’m a firm believer in groundwork and foundation and I’d like you to be a part of all that’s planned for the channel plus what’s already there. Please use the link below and subscribe. Your subscription will eventually lead to me monetizing the channel, which in turn will fund more comics and books and the stuff I put online for free. But it all takes time and time, in order to do this job full time, requires money. The subscription costs you nothing other than 5 seconds—which I recognize is your valuable time hence why I try and create interesting content in the vein of Heroes and Monsters—and will go a long way toward keeping the media machine running. Thank you in advance again for your support.

    With Year Six of this newsletter fast approaching, I’m getting eager to see how the new format will work, how it will flow, and, ultimately, what it will do for you as my reader. I hope you enjoy the new format in 8 issues.

    In other newsletter news, Year Four was obviously completed a long time ago but was never published. It is still the plan to release it along with The Long Year Five. Also soon, my how-to book, GETTING DOWN AND DIGITAL: HOW TO SELF-PUBLISH YOUR BOOK, will be going out of print. Please grab your copy now. The principles and methods apply to both books and comics. It is also ideal for creators on a budget who are unable to afford fancy formatting programs. It walks you through formatting in MSWord for both print and electronic editions in a tried-and-tested procedure that is quite simple to follow.

    We’re also noodling with the social media broadcaster for FREDRIKUS because I’ve never run a broadcaster for anyone but myself and since good ol’ Fred can’t work the thing himself due to his paws, I’m stuck with the job. Hopefully it all works out. Speaking of which, the broadcaster has run out of broadcasts from that time I loaded ’er up good so that will have to be addressed in the coming week or two as well, but I’m toying with some new ideas. Not that the old ones were bad, but as it is with this game, doesn’t hurt to try new things.

    Okay, I think the above about covers it for this week. Lots of commercials, I know, but we’re at that stage in the grand plan.

    Rollout soon.

    We’re finally getting there. Isn’t that a thing?

    Take care of yourselves and each other. In the end, it’s on us about how we treat people.

    Have a good weekend. Make bread. Send me some.

    – A.P. Fuchs

    All the New Things, MB

    As usual:

    Patreon – Where I post an ongoing serial novel, essays on the creative life, behind-the-scenes secrets, and general jackassery.

    Canister X – Where I’m blogging during the week.

    YouTube – My channel that needs your subscription and views to help it grow.

    Ko-fi – A Tip Jar designed to cover the costs of the free stuff I put on the Web (daily blogging, this newsletter, YouTube videos, and artwork).

    End transmission


  • Status Report – 041720

    Winnipeg weather 041720

    Status Report – 041720:

    It’s been a busy week on the blog. Didn’t mean to but things needed to be shared.

    Newsletter written and ready for tomorrow. Join us.

    Today’s plan is . . . well, I’m not sure on the specifics. We have Fredrikus drawing to do and a few other things. What the work ratios for those things are, I don’t know.

    Side note: For some reason the blog’s theme keeps resetting to its default presentation so if you come by and the site looks different, it means nothing is wrong but I haven’t reset the theme yet. Working on troubleshooting the issue.

    Okay, time to get to it. Enjoy your day.

    This has been your Status Report for 041720.


  • On Art and Never Arriving

    Prompted by a chat with artist Sean Simmans last night, I got to thinking that it is impossible to ever fully arrive in the arts field.

    You may be doing poorly or extremely well on the scale of subjective success, but wherever you are is only temporary and never stable.

    Any art form is about finding one’s voice, which is different at 30 than it is at 50 than it is at 70. Your style will constantly change, sometimes–and ideally–for the better, but also sometimes not.

    Unfortunately, we have been sold this packaged idea of what success looks like in the art field, genres ripping apart the industry, and marketing madness brainwashing us into what we’re supposed to think art looks like . . . but it’s never accurate.

    Ultimately, art is living and fluid and is like water, always flowing, not a dam in sight.

    Your work might be polished, but even in a polished state, it’s incomplete because there is always that one thing you could have done better or a little bit smarter.

    Art isn’t prefect. It’s not supposed to be. Then it isn’t art. That’s Sean talking and I agree with him.

    Whatever your craft, where you are is where you are. If the art is made, you’re an artist. And, in that context, you have arrived . . . but our work never will.

    It’s all about the journey.


  • Status Report – 033120

    Pen and keyboard

    Status Report – 033120:

    Driving a tired and sleepy car today, but the show must go on. Did today’s work on Project Rebuild. Now I’m doing this. Then onto something else afterward.

    Assuming the world doesn’t explode by end-of-week, on Friday I’m scheduled to speak with someone who understands the Matrix better than me and we’re going to do some behind-the-scenes work on this blog to turn it into the on-line machine I need for going forward (which basically means taking what’s here and doing some back-end stuff to achieve what I hope is the final step in my media machine model). If the blog gets a little screwy on Friday or, potentially, the days leading up to it because I decide to monkey around, just hang tight.

    In the meantime, stay safe. Stay healthy. Eat right. Rest right. It’s all any of us can do to ensure we are as healthy as possible for the days ahead.

    Side note: The latest Patreon article is written and will be uploaded after final review. The topic is what to do if you’re feeling your arts career is sinking. Part one of two. Read it here by subscribing to the Essays tier. Also gets you access to all uploaded chapters of Gigantigator Death Machine. Thank you in advance for your support.

    This has been your Status Report for 033120.


  • An Elaboration of 2020 and a Career Shift

    Comics work
    Part of a print in progress on the drawing board

    An Elaboration of 2020 and a Career Shift.

    After years of putting it off, I’m stepping down from being solely an author. “Solely” being the operative word. The book publishing industry rewarded me in the ways I needed, taught me the things I wanted to learn, and helped me meet the types of people I wanted to meet, both creator and reader alike. And while true that since I’ve been back from being ill, I’ve taken on the mantle of writer/artist instead of just writer, I thought it’d be a fair thing to tell you what the current road map looks like career-wise so I don’t accidentally mislead you.

    This is the general plan:

    2020 is a year of rebuilding hence Project Rebuild. Throughout the course of the year–with the very end of the year being the ideal-but-flexible deadline–I’ll be bringing my book list into the 21st century and will release a new thing or two along the way. And it will take the whole year or potentially more because I have a lot of titles and all this takes time.

    Going forward in 2021, I have a few books that are done that need releasing so those will be tended to as well as finishing off some works-in-progress to wrap them up.

    While the above two are occuring, I’ll be spending most of my time and energy devoted to making comics. Comics are what started me on the publishing path and are a great love of mine. In short, writing books will be a secondary thing compared to the comics.

    All I want to do is finish the last bit of my book publishing life and make comics going forward.

    For Axiom-man fans, don’t worry. Lots of prose adventures coming. I’m referring to my non-superhero work.

    I also need to point out something to my readers that needs to be taken into consideration: I’m still sick. I’m much better than before, but even when I started up again at the end of last August, I was operating at around 65-70% capacity. Going hard at 1000mph has dropped me to about 50% on a good day, 40-45% on every other day. Each day I come to the keyboard, I’m not healthy on multiple levels, but I work anyway because making art and stories is what I do and it’s what helps me survive. All I’m saying is I’m changing things on various levels so I don’t keel over and die one day in the middle of a script or while drawing something. It is also important to point out that my shift to comics isn’t about accommodating for being unwell. It’s about looking ahead to my deathbed when I’m lying there and looking back. I know I’ll regret it if I don’t do comics and since time is the most valuable thing on this earth, I want to spend it doing something I love.

    Thank you.


  • Hot and Cold

    Mini heater
    New heater in the box

    I was raised that you show up for work/school despite how you feel. The only excuse to not go to work was either you are so sick you can’t get out of bed or you are dead. This lesson has stuck with me over the years, and while many out there would disagree with that stance with valid arguments, there is a work ethic that grows in you when you go to work even if your head feels two sizes too big.

    Last night, I got hit with a cold and it got progressively worse as the evening wore on. I went to bed and slept like a stone with the idea that–as is usually the case–the beginnings of this cold would be fought off while I slept and I’d wake up feeling 90%-or-better.

    I’m still sick.

    My head hurts and is foggy. My nose is running. My eyes are watering.

    But I showed up to work today and am at the desk in the bunker, using the heater I went out and got for the studio yesterday because living under a cold air mass in the Great White North means extreme cold and, like any fortress, the downstairs is cooler than the upstairs. Typically, by the end of the day, I’m cold through to my bones and my evenings are spent bringing the core temperature of this middle-aged machine back up to par.

    Mini heater in use
    New heater out of the box

    Anyway, I suspect I ran myself ragged again, which is fine (and seems to be a pattern; when things come too easily I get suspicious.)

    Today will be spent doing odds and ends and some thinking. I think the original plan was to do yet another video but, “I sowd lik dis when I dalk,” and my nose is running worse than a broken faucet.


  • The Daily Schedule of a Writer/Artist

    January 27 and 28 2020 day planner

    It’s been a long while since I wrote the daily schedule of a writer/artist (me, in this case). It might have been in one of the newsletters I sent out in the fall that I last talked about it. Might have been on the blog though I’m leaning toward the former. Anyway, regardless, a new layout of the schedule is probably due so here is what a typical day looks like for me at Axiom-man Central. Of course, like in any life, things happen that can throw a wrench into the following general workday. However, I stick to this schedule as the backbone of my whole operation and make time for it as able on days that get screwy. I’ve long advocated a schedule for creators as one of the important ingredients to making a successful career out of the arts.

    Monday to Friday:

    Wake up – Lately it’s been averaging between 8:30 and 9:30am. Next, roll around in bed for a short while to let the brain come online before checking the news.

    Coffee – Go down to the bunker and turn the computer on. Go back up to the main level and get coffee while the computer is loading (older machine so takes a bit to warm up).

    Patreon – On a day a Patreon post is scheduled, I do this first and get it done for my patrons. For example, today was the latest chapter of Gigantigator Death Machine so that was posted before writing this entry. Market Patreon entry.

    Blog – Skip previous step if a non-Patreon day. Write and/or edit blog entry. Take any required picture(s) and post. Market blog entry and set up in the broadcaster a couple of extra notices about the latest entry to air throughout the day on the social feeds.

    Break – Maybe around 15 or 20 minutes. Used to change mental gears. On the break I’ll either read something or play a game or fiddle with something around the house.

    Email – Check email and respond, if needed/able to.

    Work – Writing, drawing, editing, freelancing, book production, marketing, etc. Could be all of those or just one of them. Depends what’s on deadline and what isn’t. Work until 4 with a couple breaks thrown in there between tasks to rest the eyes and/or hands and get blood moving throughout the system. I’ve been trying to give careful attention to lunch because I get so wrapped up working I forget to eat then around 2 I start to feel real sick. A bad habit I’m working on. Back to the job: Pressing work is in my day planner so I consult it every morning so I know if I’ve set the day aside for something(s) specific. Whatever the day planner says I’m doing is priority one for the day. If the day planner shows the day as open, then I work on the next thing due. If things are due more or less around the same time, then I pick whatever I’m leaning toward at that moment.

    End of day – Around 4pm. Start shutting things down; possibly do a couple small tasks that had to wait until the end of the work day for whatever reason (i.e. a quick marketing thing or a phone call or whatever).

    Evening – Cooking is my thing so after the work day is done, I put on my chef’s hat and start thinking about what I want to make for dinner. This involves scoping out the deep freeze and scanning the pantry for ideas (though I usually start getting ideas mid-afternoonish). Then I cook dinner and let the day’s issues–if there are any–melt away. Once dinner is done, the evening is mine to do whatever with whomever (I usually hang out with author Melinda Marshall and this ranges from playing games to reading to TV to going for groceries, etc). On other nights, Melinda and I hang out with my boys.

    Bed – 10pm or thereabouts.

    Saturday:

    Wake up – Somewhere between 9:30 and close to 11am.

    Coffee – Enjoy a cup of coffee with Melinda.

    Newsletter – Head down to the bunker to send Saturday’s newsletter.

    The rest of Saturday and all of Sunday are days off, and it typically takes until late Saturday afternoon for me to put the week in my back pocket. Saturday evening and all of Sunday are used to do next to nothing and purposefully not think about work so my brain can heal from the week and be sharp for the week to come.

    And that’s what a typical week looks like here in the Great White North.

    To touch on what I said above about this schedule being the backbone on days things don’t go as planned, on such days I still let this overall schedule float in the background of my mind so that when a window of time opens up amidst that particularly goofy day, I can still do what needs doing or at least get a start on those things so the day isn’t a wash.

    Right now, this schedule works well and hasn’t changed much since I last talked about it. It will no doubt change somewhere down the line since life isn’t stagnant, but this method works for the time being.


  • On Ambition and Fatigue

    I have a lot to do.

    Lots has been done but I still have some fairly large projects that need completion.

    At the end of each day, I’m beat.

    The frustration: After a full day, I’ve hit my wall. I can’t work anymore. Technically, I could and get by, but I care enough about this stuff to ensure I carry it out to the best of my ability so I honor not only the work but, more importantly, my reader. That said, though I could work a little more or do some task a better way, I know I won’t be at my best therefore run the risk of messing up. Sure, I might still do a solid job overall but if one thing is off, well, I don’t want my reader to be the recipient of that. When you want to work because you enjoy it but you know you can’t is very irritating.

    I live and breathe books and comics. This is what I do and who I am. It’s tough when you need to step back even though you know it’s for the best.

    A character flaw I’m working on, the flaw being not always knowing when it’s time to step away when it’s a good thing to do that. This applies to both knowing when to call it quits for the day and when it’s time to declare a project done.

    Anyone know when the next workaholics meeting is?