Howdy, pardners! Watch me jump this gun!
I can’t keep it a secret any longer. I’m in Bad Shape! Seriously Bad Shape!
[Me] Holy shit. I’m out of food, I just went to the hospital, and I’m broke. I’m already in debt and I’m probably going to die.
[Facebook] Hey, check this out; you said almost the same thing exactly a year ago.
[Me] Wow. Maybe death is preferable.
[Facebook] Ha, you said that too!
[Me] Now I don’t now what to say.
[Facebook] At least you have a computer now, right?
That’s right! My mercurial old laptop shat the bed one year ago. It barbecued a brand-new hard drive that contained much important work, even though I possess two external drives, for the explicit purpose of backup. Now I use a tiny flash drive, with no easily-compromised discs or spindles. I only learn from loss.
Because I’m in Bad Shape.
The second and more important meaning behind those italicized words is this:
This year, I have been working towards the launch of a new
title. You can probably guess what it is by now.
I haven’t just been freaking out over money, or rent, or quality of life. I’ve been freaking out because I’m putting a new comic book imprint together. It’s not 100% new– longtime BIUL magazine readers will recognize the name from the flip-side of the 3rd issue– but it’s the first time I’ve branched off from the titular franchise in many years.
As usual, I’ve experienced a fair share of opening night jitters.
At the end of 2018 I made a decision. Any future issues of Bands I Useta Like would return to a focus on music. The non-musical comics and features would appear, or continue, in their own anthology, where they could be allowed to breathe. A title where I could play looser with the medium than before, closer to Bagge’s Neat Stuff or Ware’s Acme Novelty Library.
You should only recognize three characters on that cover; the rest are all new. Well, the duck is related to Orville from Sordid Hollow, but that’s yet to be proven by DNA, and may just be superficial resemblance. But that’s clearly Shel Softballz (elderly cartoonist) and Tony Fabuloso (repugnant comedian) in that turd-stained Supra, meaning that their sagas shall continue in the pages of Bad Shape. John’s Arm appears at the top, thumb-up, which means that the many tales of Atro City can at last be told. When I watched my movie for the first time in ten years to record a commentary, I was dumbfounded by how many loose ends I left flapping in the breeze, like so many exposed nerve endings.
So… who else is in Bad Shape? Hey; aren’t we all?
“Angry Hamster“, from a previous update, was created to appear in Bad Shape. The be-fezzed cat driving a modified garbage can on the cover has his own “joke” section, just for laffs. The lizard in the nice orange sweater is Guacameleon. This, commissions and reader donations are the only reasons I’ve made it this far into 2019. This is my next “thing” as a “functioning” cartoonist.
That’s why I’m fretting so much over it. I’m hedging my bets a tad with an upcoming compilation volume of the first five BIUL magazines (I took the first four issues off-sale for that reason, thanks for noticing), but Bad Shape represents a new direction. New can be scary, but scary can be funny.
The duck and the giraffe are both minority hires, emphasizing Bad Shape‘s commitment to the diversity agenda.
Oh, the giraffe on the cover? You don’t recognize h- …um, that giraffe?
That’s just how progressive and eager-to-please Bad Shape is. A comic book for the 2020s, whatever the quack those years will turn out to be. Comics to bring levity to the lives of ordinary people like yourself who might somehow be in bad shape.
Oh, and just so I really hedge my bets, I’m throwing in a big pile of nice girl drawings.
If you followed me on Instagram (see new sidebar at right) you might have seen some of this stuff already. I am a total thot on Instagram. I’ve been cutting farts on Twitter, too. Despite this, I assure you, I have not become a monster. I just draw them.
Here’s the latest deal:
- I need more time than estimated to properly complete Bad Shape (I underestimate every time)
- I need more money (I can’t even produce the books without it, and now I have medical bills)
- I don’t have time to properly set up a crowdfunding site (Gumroad, Indiegogo, Kickstarter)
- Here’s how you can help (I raised the goal of the most recent fundraiser; rewards still apply!)
I’ve been updating here less because I’ve been focusing heavily on producing Bad Shape, plus the upcoming recommence of Ceaseless Fables of Beyonding. The CFB Lost Book is one of the rewards of the fundraiser.
That doesn’t mean Bands I Useta Like is over; I still have a backlog of material, and site updates will pick back up eventually, once I can get back into the proper groove. Though I may not be in any better shape now financially than I was a year ago, I can’t think of a positive way to end this sentence.
I know what I’m doing, I know what I want to do, I just don’t have the money. Times are changing, and I have to change the way I sell comics. Everybody does if they want to survive at it. At the same time, I know that there are aspects and traditions of the comic medium that must be perpetuated, regardless of societal or market trends. I possess a vast body of pop-cultural knowledge that informs my creative output. I am large. I contain multiplexes.
Thank you greatly and sincerely for your time and attention.