About that site refresh…

Without going into all the gory details about WordPress themes (and believe me, the details are very gory!), suffice to say that we’re doing good to  get what we we’ve got.

The previous “design” was based on a theme called Inkblot, which was designed to work with the Webcomic plug that actually runs the comic portion of the site. However, it was the only usable theme, and while customizable to a degree, wasn’t really all that flexible. Webcomic is able to use any theme and insert comics into it, but you lose the configurability of things like the navigation buttons. Of course, all that’s supposed to be handled through CSS, but figuring out CSS these days requires a Ph.D. in multi-dimensional Brockian ultra-cricket.

So, the site refresh is kind of in a holding pattern. I’ve got a few ideas on revamping Accidental Centaurs‘ presentation, and that will require more than just a reworking of the site layout. Stay tuned.

Remodeling

You’ve probably noticed that there’s some changes here on good ol’ accidentalcentaurs.com, the first we’ve had in a long, long time! Well, I’ve been wanting to update the site for a while, because frankly, the previous color scheme was making my eyeballs bleed.

This is just temporary. There’s some serious problems, like the fact that I can’t change the comic navigation buttons without causing the whole template to break. I’m going to be making some other changes to the site that will fix those problems. I hope.

It’s all part of a project to revive and revitalize Accidental Centaurs. I’m working toward finishing up “Negative Spaces” and getting on to Year Two. There’s a lot of other things I’ll be starting up, and so more details will be posted as they become available.

Next Live Draw

I’m scheduling another live draw for next Thursday. There’s three questions I’ve got:

  1. I’m currently scheduling for 8:30pm EST/5:30pm PST/1:30am UTC. Is that too early for West Coasters? (My guess: it is.) What would be a better time for those on the Left Coast that wouldn’t be too frakkin’ late for Eastern Time Zoners?
  2. Thursday good? Is there a better night?
  3.  I did the test on YouTube. YouTube or Facebook?

More, more, more!

I hope you enjoyed seeing some movement on the story of NegaSam! I do have two more pages in various stages of coloring, plus a third that has one panel that needs inking. I hope to have them up soon… certainly by the weekend!  UPDATE: DEFINITELY  by the weekend!  Actually…  Page 10 will go up on Friday!

Stay tuned!

Good riddance to 2016

I think 2016 will go down as a year that sucked for most people, with everyone having a unique set of reasons for being glad to see the New Year.

One reason I’m glad to see that year go  (among others) is the lack of productivity with Accidental Centaurs. The current story, “Negative Spaces”, should have been finished months ago and we should be in deep into Year Two. Believe me, I’ve been as frustrated as you. However, there has been progress on that front!

There are several new pages that are done and ready for posting! Two are completely done and colored, two more are inked and ready for coloring! Yay! But I’m not posting them just yet! Boo!

Here’s the deal: I’d like more pages in the hopper before I post. So… I’m going to hold off until  Sunday, January 15. That will be the 15th anniversary of the debut of Accidental Centaurs. On that date, I’ll release as a binge post all the pages I have complete, and we’ll keep moving forward from there.

 

If you’re still with me at this point, I do want to thank you for your patronage and your patience.

 

 

 

I’m not dead yet…

Today, I did something I haven’t done far, far, far too long… I colored Accidental Centaurs.

page09cI inked and colored a page from “Lair of the Insectaurs”. I know it’s not new pages in this story, but I’m working my way up to it.

Truth is, I’ve been busy on some other projects—namely the video blogs I’ve been threatening for over a year now. I just launched the first one, “Full Tilt Nerdity”. It’s on YouTube and you can see it by clicking  here. I’d really appreciate if you watched the video, and subscribed to the channel on YouTube.

There will be new Accidental Centaurs materials, but it’s taking time. I want to have the Year Two mega-arc fully fleshed out, and that’s a major endeavor. However, your patience will be rewarded.

There may be life in the old girl yet…

Hi, gang!

I know that things have been at a low ebb here on Accidental Centaurs. Believe me, no one hates that more than me. However, a lack of activity doesn’t mean that there isn’t stuff going on…

For example, I finally got around to changing the colors of the text and background. I know it’s a small thing, but it’s one I’ve been wanting to do for a while, and finally just did it.

Also, I’ve got a new page up for buying digital editions of my books. There’s a few things about this I want to point out.

  1. The design is part of the new (forthcoming) Accidental Centaurs web site. Clean and spiffy, huh?
  2. The digital downloads are all handled by Gumroad, so I have PDF, ePUB and Kindle versions available.
  3. The prices for the Naughty Bits books are lower. Since my overhead is lower here than on Lulu, I can pass the savings on to you.

Finally, I’m not making any promises here, but… There may be a plan for the revitalization and return of Accidental Centaurs. I hope to have more info very soon.

 

How’s that for a tease?

Site redesign

In the last post, not only did I tease the new artwork that I finally posted today, but I also mentioned a redesign of the site. It’s almost ready… I need to finish up a few pieces of art, then I’ll throw the switch.

Here’s a look at what I’ve built.

 

newsite1newsite2 newsite3

The new site  is a static site, intended to provide information about Accidental Centaurs. There’ll be a page (I don’t know the URL yet) for where the latest page in “Negative Spaces” is posted. It’s not a WordPress site, nor is it a full webcomic site.

However, I like the design, a lot. That’s mainly because I didn’t do it… I purchased a template, which means all the responsive CSS code was done for me! Yay!

It looks great on a phone, too, by the way.

 

Anyway, I’ll be switching over to the new site, soon. Oh, and there’s an announcement about the digital books coming… But I’ll leave that for the launch…

Update and a BIG announcement

pause-buttonIt’s been way too long since I’ve updated here, and I want to apologize to you, the patrons for this. There’s a few reasons for the delay. First, I’ve been eyeball-deep on a big graphics project for my alma mater, the University of Georgia. This has consumed a massive amount of time in January due to the size of the project and the timeframe (I got the project right after New Year’s Day and the show it’s for is this Saturday. That’s tight!).

It’s also very cold by the drawing table. The window is drafty and needs to be replaced, so it’s not a comfy place to be and draw. That’s whining, I know, but cold is cold.

However, there’s a third reason, and it’s one I’ve been avoiding addressing. I hate to admit it, but my heart’s just not in Accidental Centaurs right now. Readership is at a very low level, and this lead to a mixed level of success on the Patreon appeal.

I say “mixed” because if you look at it from a percentage perspective, the response was fantastic! Ten patrons out of about 300 readers? That’s what… three percent? When the rule-of-thumb is that only one percent of your readers will provide monetary support? Three percent is fan-frakking-tastic!

Unfortunately, percentages don’t feed the bulldog — or the Shelties (University of Georgia Bulldogs joke not intended). From the dollar perspective, a pledge total of $15 per page is not sustainable. After Patreon fees, I’m only getting $13.51, and that works to about $1.50 an hour.

Like I said, not sustainable. Especially now that there’s new projects that need my time, like “The Maykits”.

So, where does that leave Accidental Centaurs?

Here’s what I’ve decided I need to do:

  • Finish “Negative Spaces”. I’m not going to leave this in the lurch. There’s not fixed time frame, so posts will be sporadic, especially when it’s too frakking cold in my studio.
  • I’m cancelling the Patreon program. I won’t be soliciting new members, and I will be shutting it down entirely when “Negative Spaces” is done. If you want to stick around, that’s great, but if you want to unsubscribe, then that’s fine, too. I’m going to get the stickers made up and sent out, and if you’re due a drawing, let me know what you want. I’ll also email out details for the free eBook download when I have that nailed down.
  • I’m putting Year Two on indefinite hold. I’ll do it, one of these days, but it won’t be soon. That’s a good thing, because it’s going to allow me to refine it and make it better. Maybe I’ll do it as a graphic novel one of these days. Who knows?
  • There’s always more “PBW” and “Naughty Bits”. Great googly moogly, that stuff sells!

One thing I’ve learned is never to say that I’m “never” doing Accidental Centaurs again. I love these characters far too much. So this is not so much a “adieu” to the oatmunchers as it is “au revior”.

I will be busy developing new projects, such as “The Maykits”, which I think will have a broader appeal. I hope you will be kind enough to grace me with your patronage in the future and on my other projects, which I’ll be posting about here as they develop.

So, as I said before, not “adieu”, but “au revior”.

If you don’t get “Cheiron’s Promise”, you’ll be sorry!

Hey, gang! James Rau, who’s been serving as my editor here on Accidental Centaurs, has just published his new novel, The Children of Cheiron! I had the privilege of reading an advance copy and once again he’s written a cracking novel about centaurs and humans in a world where they just don’t get along that well together! It’s a sequel to his first novel, Cheiron’s Promise and this time, there’s a cameo by… well… you’ll need to read the book to find out! It’s just 99¢, and it’s available for all the mobile platforms (iOS, Android, Kindle and more!)

All the details are in the press release, below:

NEWS FLASH: Rau Publishing (http://www.jamesrau.com) has exciting news! James Rau, the genius behind one of the most intriguing science fiction mysteries, The Children of Cheiron, has published the second story in the Archon Series: Cheiron’s Promise!

Warning: Adult Content!
A War to End all Wars?

CheironsPromiseCoverThe centaurs are at war, the sword of tragedy hangs over the heads of humanity, and only Jacob Walden can serve as a shield.

Teacher Jacob’s worst nightmare has come true. The war he tried to stop now rages and threatens centaurs and humans alike. He’s been forced to choose sides and for all he knows his choice could curse his people with never-ending blame!
Jacob must solve a mystery before all is lost. He must do the unthinkable and deliver his people into the hands of his worst enemy to restore the balance. Can he convince the centaurs to keep—Cheiron’s Promise?

Archon Series: http://www.smashwords.com/books/byseries/23508
Book 1: The Children of Cheiron: http://www.smashwords.com/books/view/156102
Book 2: Cheiron’s Promise: http://www.smashwords.com/books/view/603819
Interview: https://www.smashwords.com/interview/JamesRau
Profile: https://www.smashwords.com/profile/view/JamesRau
Website: http://www.jamesrau.com
Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/james.charles.rau
`
Instructions for downloading to your ebook reader (Kindle, Kindle Fire, Apple iPhone, iPod Touch or iPad, Sony Reader, Barnes & Noble Nook): https://www.smashwords.com/about/supportfaq. (Click the appropriate link under Getting Started to jump to the download instructions for your specific ebook device.)

Vamping for time

Hey, gang!

I need to come up with some content to put up here as I get the next story ready. The plan is for a really neat, special story, and I don’t want to rush it.

However, since I don’t want to leave you in the lurch, I’d like to ask you for questions you’d like answered about the strip, the characters, me, my workflow (or lack thereof). Anything you’d like to know, just post it in the comments. Ask questions of me or the characters. I’ll pull questions that I can make into entertaining (and informative answers) and put them up on the site.

It’s like “Viewer Mail”, but with fewer snarky skits and hokey jokes.

Maybe.

Roy Doty (1922-2015)

It’s always sad when cartooning loses one of it’s own. It’s even sadder when the voice that is stilled is one of cartooning’s Greats (the folks who earned that capital letter). Sadder still is when you know that voice personally and called him a friend.

Roy Doty passed away. He was what I call a “That Guy” illustrator. People may not know the name, but when you show an example of the work, they’ll say, “Oh! THAT guy!”. We don’t have “that guy” illustrators any more. They’re a victim of the time and changes in media. That’s a real shame.

dotyI got to meet Roy for the first time when he was the Guest of Honor at the Southeast NCS Chapter meeting in Memphis. I sat across from him as we ate some truly legendary dry rub ribs at Rendezvous, listening to some truly legendary stories about the glory days of cartooning. He nicknamed me “Slim” and drew the image I’ve posted with this message. At the Reubens in Boston, after he had been honored by the NCS with the Gold Key, he and I sat in the ballroom for hours, talking. Just talking.

Later, I worked with him on a proposed animated version of Wordless Workshop. In Pittsburgh, I showed him a sample of animation. He paid me the highest compliment of my career. “You get it,” he said. “People have been trying to animate my work for 60 years. You understand it. Simplicity!”

There was nothing simple about Roy’s work. Simplicity and cleanliness should never be confused for non-complexity. Just as Ernie Bushmiller honed his work to a fine edge, Roy wielded his pen like a surgeon does a scalpel. Only what is absolutely necessary is on the page. Remove any one thing, and it’s just lines. The whole is always more than sum of the parts.

I hope one day to be a crusty curmudgeon with a twinkle in my eye, just like Roy. He griped, he complained, he drove many NCS Presidents to drink (well, that’s not hard to do… we’re talking about the NCS…), but he always had his tongue firmly in his cheek and the best of intentions. We’re going to miss Roy.

You know… “That guy…”

Etsy

Hey, gang!

For those of you who like Plain Brown Wrapper, I wanted you to know that I’ve put a bunch of NSFW Friday originals up for sale over on Etsy. These pieces are priced starting at $25, and the won’t be the last. I’m also going to do some clean pieces that will be available over there as well.

Remember, these sales help support Accidental Centaurs by supporting me. Please consider buying some of the swag I have on the site, such as Accidental Centaurs all-ages books and comics, Plain Brown Wrapper digital downloads, or my retrocomputing merch! It’s all going to a good cause: keeping me from having to get a real job so I can keep drawing centaurs for you! 🙂

UPDATE: It was brought to my attention that Buy Adult link led to a page full of bad links. This has been corrected by having the links involved take you the pbw.accidentalcentaurs.com page, which is what I meant for the links to do in the first place.

Random Acts of Nancy

random-acts-logo-swankyIt’s random! It’s Nancy! It’s live!

For the last several months, I have been honored to be working with the great Guy Gilchrist, who writes and draws the classic strip Nancy®. The first product of this work debuts today on GoComics: Random Acts of Nancy!

In this feature, we’ll be taking classic Ernie Bushmiller panels from Nancy that were offbeat and wacky to begin with, and then pull them out-of-context so they become even more bizarre and surreal. It’s a Dada experience that would make Jean Arp’s head explode, and it starts today at the Random Acts of Nancy page on GoComics.com.

UPDATE: The links now take you directly to the Random Acts page on GoComics!