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Webcomicky Goodness

Hey, guess what. I have a webcomic now!

Over the years, many people have told me that they or their children have enjoyed reading my first novel, The Penguins of Doom. Others have said they would love to try it out, but alas, the book is out of print and no longer stocked in most stores. If you can find a used copy, it tends to be in bad shape or prohibitively expensive. With the launch of this new webcomic edition, The Penguins of Doom is back and better than ever.

The comic is free, but I have established a patron page on Patreon where people can pledge monthly support for the production of this story in return for a variety of rewards. It’s like an ongoing Kickstarter.

Starting this week, I’ll be sharing webcomic status reports and news updates on Patreon, on Facebook, on my author site, and on the Penguins of Doom site itself. For now these will all be public, similar in content, and fairly simultaneous. Future updates may go out at different times or may include different information for different venues.

Last weekend was the annual spring conference for the New England Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators. I usually attend workshops on writing, marketing, technology, and career development, but this year, for the first time, I sat in on a few illustrator workshops. It was a humbling experience. I am very comfortable with my writing, but when it comes to illustrating, I am a newbie surrounded by an amazingly talented crowd who seem to already have the tools and techniques I’m looking to acquire. But because they are children’s book folks, they are also friendly, encouraging, helpful, and fun to hang out with. It was an amazing weekend.

Margo Lemieux gave me a great critique that has me thinking more about using cinematic techniques to cue the reader in on what is going on. From Jim Hill’s workshop, I got an update on the current market for books that mix sequential art with narrative text, and a bunch of comparable titles to check out. And from Russ Cox and Renee Kurilla, I learned that sketchbooks are awesome, and that I should be using one to develop my ideas. And because my name was pulled out of a hat at the right time, I now have my very own sketchbook to start with!

I made significant changes to four of the pages in the archive, so the precedent is set for retroactive edits. My priority going forward will be on upcoming pages, but I’d like to make the opening letter especially as easy as possible for readers to get into. I have received additional feedback that hasn’t been applied yet, so these pages will get better and better over time.

I invite your critical feedback on any page at any time, looking for community support to make this project as good as it can be. I will find a way to indicate when each page was last updated so people can look at them again if they want.

That’s all for now. Until next time, [inspiring phrase in Latin]!

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