Man, 2020 has been a rough one, hasn’t it? It’s like someone has thrown about twenty sticks between the spokes of society’s collective bicycle wheel and we’ve hit the sidewalk pretty hard. I know that for me some days it is a challenge to just get up.
I have work still thankfully, but it is a work-from-home situation and I really miss that stability and structure that comes with a physical location to travel to for work. I just don’t have that, nor can I really go anywhere because everything is locked down. Granted, the lockdowns are important and I am totally in agreement with them, but it still sucks.
The biggest irony of all of this being stuck and home is that I’ve ultimately slowed down on a lot of stuff. Cosmic Dash and RGBots has slowed down, that’s for sure. Yet despite that, I am busier than you’d think. So, what’s up? What am I working on? What do you have to look forward to over the remaining part of 2020?
One area that has occupied my time a lot is my work over at Haunted MTL, which allows me to dabble in my love and adoration of horror in general. I joined up with the site way back in January of 2019, and since then we’ve built up a solid reputation and have some fun material. For example, if you’re into my reviews I review a lot of horror comics there. It’s fun stuff. I also recently started a podcast and have shown up on a few of the other podcasts in the Haunted MTL family. So that is a neat thing I have going. We’re right on the cusp on rolling out a brand new version of the site I’ve developed, so that is something I am eager to share.
The two other things that take up most of my time are teaching and coloring. Obviously my bills get paid mostly through my work as a teacher. The transition to online instruction has been relatively harmless, but I also had to go through a training course before my class started so I ended up eating a lot of time out of my schedule in the past couple of months.
I have also found a nice little niche for myself as a flatter. I regularly flat for Ryan over at Banished, and I just finished a decent-sized job for Deft Beck. If anyone reading this needs a flatter you could do worse than hire me, that’s for sure.
So, what else do I have going on?
Working on Cosmic Dash while teaching a compressed online class proved to be a bit much. Even with Kevin‘s assistance as the inker, penciling and coloring just took up too much time from grading and lecture preparation. The good news is with Kevin that I have been working on Cosmic Dash faster than I ever have, and with enough lead-in time to get a buffer going, I think Cosmic Dash could honestly become a webcomic that updates twice a week. We’re not there yet, obviously, but the collaboration between me and my long time friend has really clicked.
In the long term, I am expecting a real shift in storytelling going into the next volume and beyond. Cosmic Dash has always been a high episodic comic, mostly comprised of single-issue adventures. While the stories in this format have been diverse and I have been happy with them, I am itching to make the comic more “substantial.” Volume four has already been written and features a three-part story and, frankly, I feel like this is the direction I want to head for the comic in general. The way I see it: comic issues are the big, action-packed adventure stories. Every other sort of story can be moved to prose.
I admit I am a little upset with myself that my output regarding the content hasn’t been as prolific as it was back in volume two. Back then I was doing the comic and uploading multiple short stories and a novel. Now I struggle to get a short story going. It is a combination of things, but I have been trying to get over that hump through serialization.
I’ve been doing an ongoing zombie serial at Haunted MTL, and I completed a gothic adventure-serial last month involving a werewolf. I think this is just the sort of thing to get me over the emotional roadblocks I have been dealing with since the pandemic hit.
Before the pandemic hit I was in the process of collecting RGBots material together for a book that I was going to launch a Kickstarter campaign for. I ended up dropping those plans, however, as now just does not seem the time with everything that is going on. I’d love to collect RGBots eventually, but what I think I would love to find first is some sort of zine or magazine that strips could run in. No idea where to go in that regard, but it is nice to think about it.
The biggest news is that RGBots changed to a primarily Twitter-hosted comic in the past couple of months. RGBots has always been a quixotic little comic and admittedly it does not pull in a large enough audience to justify the website. It seems better suited to a platform like Twitter where retweets can really help get some eyes on the comic. Overall, I think the Twitter move was for the best and I plan on just turning the website into a launch page to direct people to the Twitter account.
I don’t need much else beyond that.
The big thing that has kept me busy is my obligation toward the video game I am developing called Dark Lens. I’ve been working on it a while. It’s a Lovecraftian horror game with anticolonial themes and while storytelling is my gift, programming is certainly not. It took me an unfortunately long while to get a solid understanding of the game company’s engine, but now that I have the content seems to be coming in at a steady clip. I’m excited to have material to share, soon.
If you’ve followed me online for a while you may have heard of Dark Lens before; it was my MA thesis. Since then it has evolved into a mobile storytelling game.