Tag Archives: book

What Ever Happened To KOHD

3 Oct

KOHD.  Sounds like a television station, huh?  (Actually, to our discovery, it is one in central Oregon.)

So the FULL name of KOHD is Knocking on Heaven’s Door.  Some of you may know what I’m talking about – others may not.  It depends how long you’ve known me, I guess.

Knocking on Heaven’s Door was a comic series that I illustrated starting back in 2008.  It was a collaboration with actor/comedian, Tommy Blaze.  He wrote it – I drew it.

READ THE REST HERE

Books Solid

5 May

If you didn’t get a hint from the title, I’m referring to books today.  Yes, those paperbound, white paged things that people have been reading for centuries.

I love to read.  Really, I do.  I have a time and a place for it though.  For example, I’m not a morning reader.  For email, Facebook and things like that, of course I enjoy tuning into the online world and seeing what’s happening.  That’s usually my morning reading.  If I try reading a book or magazine though early in the day, I’ll zone out.  Quite possibly, I’ll fall asleep.

Guy Reading

Above:  No.  This is not me.

I like to read in the evenings.

Anyhow, I’m mentioning that because I thought the other day about how often I read and how many books I consume over time.

I think I’m a slow reader.

I say that, because I don’t get to inhale a lot of books like a lot of people I know.  Therefore, I think I’m a slow reader.  Or just an infrequent reader.  But…I do read a lot.

Okay, I’m bad at math so bear with me.

I average about one novel per month.  And that’s IF I’m lucky.  Sometimes it takes longer.  And, of course, it depends on the size of the book.  To put it in better perspective, the novel I just finished in a month was 500 pages.  But, many of the pages weren’t full of text and the font wasn’t itsy-bitsy.

Typically, I read about 15-30 minutes, 5 nights a week.

So, adding it all together, that’s about 12 novels a year – best case scenerio.

And if I live to, oh, let’s say 80, that’s 528 novels left (again, BEST case…well, unless I live much longer).  Which, if you think about it, isn’t a ton.

It got me thinking that I need to be pretty damn picky about what I read.  Life is short!  I’m thinking long term here.

Book Worm

I’m not going to name any names, but I read a really lousy novel a few months ago.  It kind of irritated – okay, it DID irritate me – because it was so bad.  And I mentioned it takes me a month or longer to read a novel.  So, at the end of it, I felt like I wasted a months worth of reading.  It was one of those things though where I kept thinking to myself It’s got to get better?  Right?  But no.  I didn’t.  The reviews on this particular book were good, too.  I think even my fingers felt cheated after exhausting energy turning those pages.

I’ve read several of the classics – supposedly “best” novels out there.  And a few I haven’t been impressed with.  Not quite sure how they became classics, but what do I know.  Again, I won’t name names (but you know who you are).

This discussion has been about novels.  It’s my preferred choice at the end of the day.  I also do read business books, self help books and things on self improvement.  I’ve also been quite a devoted fan of psychology books and once in awhile something superstitious.  These types of books though take me longer than a month to read and I get through parts of them when I can.  Usually Saturday afternoons or Sunday’s.

With my daughter, I’m – of course – reading to her as well some of the books for kiddos.  “Children’s books” they’re called (secretly though, I’m pretty certain most were made for adults).

And obviously, I read a lot of books on cartooning.  Along with comics I enjoy.  But that’s all at random.  Also it’s part of the job of being a cartoonist.

On another note, I feel like if I read much faster, I wouldn’t enjoy books as much either.

Jack Torrance copy

Above:  Now this guy knew how to write a good book.

Anyhow, I wanted to spark a discussion – if possible – about how many books YOU can read.  What can you get through?  In what amount of time?  Am I a slow reader?  Have you ever read a lousy book and feel like you wasted precious hours?  I’m curious on your thoughts.

With time as short as it is, my reading not maybe quite so fast, I’d like these books to be solid.

Another Kick At It

11 Nov

Back in 2013 I tried to launch a Kickstarter for a new graphic novel I was working on called Don Giovanni.  Suffice it to say, it didn’t go spectacular.  It did gain some backers though and excitement for the project.  But, I had quite a few details for the campaign that weren’t very realistic.  It needed some work.  I asked for way too much money to hit financially (in case you didn’t know, Kickstarter relies on cash contributions from the community to hit a goal set by the creator and in return the contributors get a piece of the project), I didn’t pitch it well and there are other tidbits in the campaign I would’ve done different.  Anyway, it didn’t pan out.  I raised some money, but if you don’t raise enough and hit your goal, you don’t get any of the money and the project fails.  It can sting a little, I’ll be honest.

Don Giovanni CoverAbove:  An original promo for the novel.

Though it failed on Kickstarter, Don Giovanni is a graphic novel I’ve never lost passion for.  Since 2013, I’ve actually re-written it, edited all the text and changed the whole perspective of how it comes together from the original plan.  I’ve been working on it for years.  I’ve made it better (at least in my perspective) and am actually glad it failed raising enough money to publish back in 2013 now.  I know I have a better quality graphic novel on my hands to create.  I’ve learned a lot since then.

Therefore, I have a nice handy-dandy script in front of me, the character design, layout, etc.  What to do next?

I’ve thought about another go at a crowd sourcing platform for it.  I may use a different one this time (so there’s no confusion on Kickstarter) and see what happens.  Admittedly, I’m not great at these (crowd sourcing).  Most successful campaigns have a huge following and – though I have thousands of readers of my cartoons in print and online daily – I feel like I have readers but not a real big actual following of me personally.  I wish I knew each fan/reader on a one-on-one basis though so I could tell them about the project.  They might get as excited about it as me.

All this being said, it may not be easy trying this again.  However, I think it’s worth it.  The BIG picture would be publication from an actual publisher.  But having a physical copy of a completed novel first is probably the best way to go.  Baby steps.

Fail or succeed with crowdfunding, I’ll be completing this graphic novel in my lifetime.  It’s well on its way.  I just don’t want to imagine it being locked up in my drawer with no one seeing it if I never get a way to publish it either myself or something else.  Worth a shot trying to get it funded first.  I know it’ll be good.

Now it just needs completed….

 

August updates

25 Aug

Here we go again with almost an entire month going by without posting a single damn update.  Wow.  What kind of blogger am I?  I guess I’ve come to the conclusion that I’m NOT a blogger and I just am a random update kinda guy.  Does that make sense?  Well, I guess it’s better than nothing.  I don’t think I want the title of ‘blogger’ anyhow.  That’s been taken.

This past month (and two and three) have been busy.  Swamped.  Like literally, southern Mississippi swamped with mud, gators and venomous snakes.  Okay, maybe not THAT extreme, but let’s just say I’ve been working hard.  I’ve had a move from Florida to Ohio, a book release, new job, new jobs and other things that really slow down my interaction with people – like you – here on the web.  Even sites I typically visit on a regular basis I haven’t been going to.  I think people are starting to think I’m ignoring them.  BUT, let me be the first to tell you that that isn’t the case.  It’s been just lack of time.  I know I always use that excuse, but I couldn’t come up with anything better.

Anyhow, just a quick update on several points of interest (or not).

Go waste your money and pick up the newest MAD Magazine.  I’ve got a little something in there you may enjoy.  What is it?  Again, waste your money and find out.  At any rate, it has a pretty historic cover (at least I like to think so).  I believe this is the first time the spies have made it on the front.  Obama?  Not so much.  There’s tons of covers with him.

523-big

Knocking on Heaven’s Door – the book that I illustrated with Tommy Blaze is doing well!  Not New York Times Bestseller well –  but well for the marketing we have.  I think this will be the book that everyone will eventually want to get when we start with our other projects (hint, hint).  SO, get it now so you don’t have to pay those incredibly high eBay prices.

KOHD_Cover__90928.1374597125.1280.1280

You can purchase it HERE.

It’s been getting good reviews from readers and I must say I’m very pleased with the way it turned out.  It has a wrap-around cover (that yours truly designed), color comics (along with many black and white ones), new drawings, commentary by Tommy and I and more.  I can honestly say it’s worth the money (if you’re into that kinda stuff).

Want a preview?  Here’s a strip from it.

89.  Dust To Dust

Anyway…..

So, instead of typing NOTHING out, I just wanted to share this quick update.  With the mentioning of MAD and the book, I’ve just been keeping pace with my normal work and much, much more.  My wife and I are getting settled in here in beautiful Dayton, Ohio.  It’s a bit of a change from Florida.  I must say though, Florida has gorgeous beaches, but us – we have the muddy Miami River.  And snow.  Beat that, Florida.

I’ll try to post more regularly when I get time, but honestly, at this point I’m not too sure when that will be.

Until next time, Nate Ramblers!

Knocking On Heaven’s Door Book

31 Jul

KOHD_Cover__90928.1374597125.1280.1280It’s heeeeere……

The first book I’ve ever had ‘officially’ published is now out.

Knocking On Heaven’s Door is a comic strip that is written by comedian, Tommy Blaze.  Tommy contacted me back in 2008 about becoming the cartoonist for the series – which features a six-year-old named Spencer and his best friend who happens to be God.  He liked my work and, well, we explain it in the book.  Anyway, after a phone conversation and several emails, I really saw the potential in the comic strip, agreed to be the cartoonist and so it goes…..

I’ve illustrated the series for 5 years now.  This hardcover book contains 199 comic strips (some colored), commentary by Tommy and I, individual new colored pictures and a neat evolution of the strip.  It has some drawings of mine from the beginning that I cringe at (because it was new and I didn’t have the style down).  However, you’ll see how the cartoon became developed into better drawings (at least in my opinion) and how it become what it is today.  A whole evolution of 5 years.

As for the religious aspect of the comic, it’s supposed to come across as a fun, relatable God – which he totally is.  He’s on Spencer’s level (the six-year-old-character).  I wouldn’t work on a book that is preachy, judgmental or anything of that nature that would shove religion down a persons throat.  When it comes to religion, I don’t care if you worship a piece of coal, are a Buddhist, Atheist, Christian, A Smurf….whatever floats your boat.  I’m actually a pretty liberal person, and this book is just a fun look at little boy and his best friend.  It’s not a preachy book or anything of that nature.  That’s not my style and anyone that knows me knows that I’m very acceptive of anyone.  This is the first religious-based type material I’ve ever worked on.  But, that’s what makes being a cartoonist fun.  Like an actor, I take on many roles.

I describe KOHD as cross between Peanuts, Calvin and Hobbes and Veggie Tales meets Bruce Almighty.  But, that’s just me.  Tommy has a great explanation of the book and Knocking on Heaven’s Door in the book (he is the writer, you know).

At any rate, the book is here  It’s (again) a hardcover and is normally $24.95 – however, my publisher is currently doing pre-sales for $19.95 right now.  And it’s out tomorrow.  You can buy it directly from the publisher HERE.

At some point, I’ll sell an artist edition of the book where I’ll sketch in it and stuff.  However, I don’t know the cost yet for my own personal supply and it might be awhile.  Not sure what I would charge on it, but I’d keep it cheap.  If you DO get a book and send it my way with a self addressed stamp envelope, I’d be happy to sketch in it for you and leave a personal message.  Just email me at nate_fakes@hotmail.com if you get a book and would like to do so.

Hope you enjoy it and there’s a lot coming on the way with Tommy and I.  We have some good stuff on the way….

I’d love to hear what you think of the book after reading it or the cartoon.

Thanks, everyone!

 CLICK HERE TO ORDER

Random Happenings

21 Jul

My oh my this summer is flying by (hey, that rhymes!).  I knew at the beginning of 2013 that this was going to be an interesting year in terms of my cartooning career.  And with it’s midway point here, you know what – I was right.  This is turning out to be a real interesting time in my life.

I’ve recently written about the sad state of syndication and I often post about how I feel like the market is for a guy like me.  This career of mine makes me re-think things almost daily.  I swear, consistency of a solid state of mind to the direction of my craft isn’t the norm for cartooning with the current trends.  There is a constant cosmic shift and evolution of my work.  After lots of head scratching and figuring out of what direction to take things, I’ve taken some drastic measures.  Many of them recently.  And I think it’s all a pretty solid direction and don’t plan on changing my path anytime soon.

One decision and direction I’m taking is this:  I’m going for the BIG stuff.

I’ll be continuing on with my current clients, but not sure I’ll be taking on any more any time soon.  I’m going for the bigger projects that I REALLY want to do in my lifetime.  Life is short, so you gotta pick your battles.  So, instead of work that makes a lot of money instantaneously (like, on a regular basis), I’m more focussed on things that have long-term potential and don’t exactly pay off-the-bat.  Money isn’t everything anyhow, but a guys gotta eat.  So, in the meantime, with my current client work, syndication (as sad as it is), magazine work (I’ll keep pushing out more magazine stuff) and other projects, I should be alright.  I plan on working a bit on other things as well to keep bread on the table.  A lot hard work hasn’t killed me yet, so I’m expecting some 80 hour work weeks ahead.

In the near future, here are some things to look out for from yours truly:

This upcoming week:  A book of mine is coming out.  Published and all by a real publisher.  Details when and how you can purchase it will emerge on this blog.  I’ll have artist editions available where I’ll sketch something in it for you.  Be on the lookout…..later this week.

Within the next year or so:  Don Giovanni, a graphic novel of mine, is still being sorted out and worked on.  After a failed Kickstarter for it, it has been delayed.  However, Don and pals will be all together in my first graphic novel.  Hopefully within a year or maybe a bit more it shall be released.

In my lifetime (or sooner):  Animated series?  Well, don’t be surprised.  Let’s just say there is some work in progress.

And also, be on the lookout for cartoons of mine in upcoming MAD Magazine, Parade Magazine and more.  And I still have greeting cards out on the shelves of awesome businesses near you.

Again, I’m going for the bigger picture.  I will continue my syndicated work with Break of Day, but I don’t see the market for it growing anytime soon, so I’m mostly focussed on big projects.

I have in my head tons of short stories, graphic novels and material that is just anxious and itching to get out.  If I had all the free time in the world and not have to worry about the electric bill, you would see A LOT more from me.  And I hope a lot of these ideas in my noggin appear on paper soon.  I know think they will – but in bits and pieces at a time.

Anyway, that’s your little update from me.  I’ll be extremely busy in the near future and not too sure how often I can write here on my beloved Nate’s Ramblings.  BUT, again, stay tuned this week for the book announcement.  And, of course, I’ll be writing as much as possible (considering I still have use of all my fingers).