Inkslinger – It’s a Thing Now


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The long awaited premiere of INKSLINGER! Check it out and follow!

Inkslinger is also on Tumblr, which will update on Fridays with the newest page, but also plenty with random, mostly relevant mindspew, which is pretty much what tumblr is all about right?

You can also follow on Twitter, and like the comic on Facebook, both of which will update on Fridays, and will also contain random mindspew, but in much smaller doses.


New Stuff

Hey guys, I got together with a friend, and we made a thing.



We’ve been working on it awhile. It’s finally being published this Friday. If you like awesome things, you should check it out.

The Ones That Stay In the Mind

When we think of LIFE-CHANGING EVENTSwe tend to think of dramatic, riveting affairs, laden with epiphany. But there are sneaky changes, that insinuate themselves like sun exposure turns into a tan or sunburn. All at once you realize what’s happened, and wondered when it started, and  you trace it back to what seemed like the most insignificant of events.

One of these sneaky changes started one Christmas morning, with a decidedly unexciting gift.

Christmas presents under the tree by Alan Cleaver, on Flickr

Photo Credit: Alan Cleaver on Flickr

I was around that age where I was still excited about having lived enough years to need TWO DIGITS to count them. I get books every year, usually unwrapped and stuffed into my stocking, or in between the branches of the tree. But that year the books sat soberly to one side, as if apart from the festive wrapping and decorations. It was a collection of three-volume tomes that were far too large and heavy to do anything but sit by themselves on the floor. For a kid who was excited about double-digits, they were slightly daunting. The title and medieval-ish cover art summoned up no sort of recognition. I judged them to be old books that had probably been written a long time ago by some dead white guy. I suspected my father of being behind this, as he was always trying to educate me or something, and decided to move on to more exciting gifts.

Later my family forced me to go see the movie version of the book. Seeing a Christmas day movie is somewhat of a tradition, but I was dead set on Harry Potter, and not more than a little miffed that I was outvoted. I was skeptical right up to the opening titles.


When I walked out of the theater, I was quite literally entranced. I could not adequately comprehend the amount of awesome intake I had just experienced, it was the epitome of mind: BLOWN. As soon as I could put my hands back on those sober tomes waiting for me at home I devoured them ravenously. I couldn’t talk about anything else for six months after.

It’s been over ten years since I first saw and read the Lord of the Rings, and I’ve been waiting since then for The Hobbit to get its turn on the silver screen. The way I’m going into The Hobbit could not be more diametrically opposed to the way I went into LOTR. Where I was once the very picture of preteen/teenage apathy, I am now a twenty-something bubbling with excitement like a four-year old in a toy store.  And regardless of how eagerly I read those books, there’s some things that a preteen is just too young to understand.

Ten years ago, I have to admit I didn’t like the hobbits. They were too ordinary. Strider, the heroic dark stranger, was always my favorite. And I couldn’t understand why my dad teared up when everyone bows to the hobbits at the end of ROTK. But The Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit both are nothing if not tales about the extraordinary that exists in any ordinary man, if only it’s given the chance to appear. The things that don’t catch our attention right away are sometimes the most important.

I’ve always had some notion that LOTR was in some part responsible for some of the major life choices I’ve made,but I think that it helped me figure a lot of things out. Like it’s okay to be ENTHUSIASTIC about the things you like, and that when you let it show without being embarrassed about liking something so nerdy, it can lead to some of the best friendships of a lifetime. And that the people who like you more for your manic enthusiasm, even if they don’t share or even understand the sentiment, are the ones worth keeping around. The ones who think that that sort of enthusiasm is something to be judged negatively are too close-minded to ever get it. And realizing those types of things has let me become a thoroughly happy, comfortable person.

In the years since that Christmas, I’ve gotten the much nicer, 50-year anniversary edition as another Christmas present, and have bought a more convenient paperback edition for travel.  And despite the fact that it looks a little shabby next to the fancy collector’s edition, I’ve never been able to give up that original three-volume set.

The brave things in the old tales and songs, Mr. Frodo, adventures, as I used to call them. I used to think that they were things the wonderful folk of the stories went out and looked for, because they wanted them, because they were exciting and life was a bit dull, a kind of a sport, as you might say. But that’s not the way of it with the tales that really mattered, or the ones that stay in the mind.

Samwise Gamgee

– J. R. R. Tolkien

Writers are the voice of collective subconscious, the embodiment of the vox populi if you will. As such they should be treated with the utmost respect. So when you click through to this link (because it will make your life better), and see two full-grown men posing like a the heroine of an urban fantasy novel, make sure you ridicule them RESPECTFULLY.


All I can say to you of it is:


Are you prepared? Are you?

Then follow this link and see me and Jim attempt this pose:

BUT I WARN YOU: Whatever you think it will be? It is so much more than that.

I have done all I can to gird you. It is now in your hands. And eyeballs. And brains.

Edit, 10:53 am: There’s a poll over there in which you can vote for who does this cover best. I’m not saying you have to vote for me, but if you do, I’m giving five cents a vote to the Aicardi Syndrome Foundation, the organization Jim is fundraising for, up to $500. Yes, I am totally buying your vote! Don’t worry, it’s allowed. Bwa ha ha hah ha!

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Giving it Away for Free

Putting a Price Tag on Your Work

(hopefully using one of those nifty price tag guns because those are awesome and inevitably add to price tag wars)

There is an immeasurable number  of people who would self-classify as “struggling artist,” and for those immeasurable artists, there is an unending repetition of the question –
What is the worth of your work?

It’s not just the despairing cries of doubt in our dark-night-of-the-soul-periods that inevitably plagues artists, it’s the literal monetary value of our work that we have to question. It’s about putting a price tag on our time and work, and asking for a dollar amount for the things we make.

In creative fields, it’s a standing mantra that for the first few years (or decades), you won’t make any money doing what you want to do, and will have to work your way up the ladder. Exposure is the name of the game, which is why so many people turn to self-publishing and social networking, but in those mediums, the strict lines between CREATOR and CONSUMER begin to bleed into each other. There’s no publishing company, or studio standing between an artist and their audience.

So now the acceptability of asking for free art is in this nebulous, undefined place. Noelle Stevenson, who goes by gingerhaze on tumblr and won my eternal love when she created first the Broship of the Ring and then an abundance of Avengers art, got flak earlier this week for saying it’s rude to ask for free art, and in fact rather offensive. One of her critics lectured many artists don’t hold to the “US Capitalist Code”and make art to make money.

Here’s the thing –
A lot of artists need their art to make money so they can continue to make art.

Even for established and successful artists, like best-selling author and member of the royal geek family, John Scalzi, the idea of not getting paid for things you create is absolutely, batshit crazy. And in fact, if someone asks you to, the only proper response should be Fuck You, Pay Me.

What these artists are getting at is that, for a lot of people, writing, drawing, filming, creating – it’s not a hobby. It’s a vocation, even a major determining influence in life choices. Expecting creative stuff to be free strays dangerously close into the realm of your work has no intrinsic value. And if that were true, struggling artists everywhere would need to seriously reconsider their chosen vocations (cue dark night of the soul doubting despair).

It’s difficult for someone like me – who would just like to be paid for the things I make so that I can make more things rather than working in an office all day – to judge the propriety of monetizing art. Of course I want to get paid to make stuff. But it’s been drilled into my head that I can’t expect anyone to pay me when I start out, and so the idea of asking for money cues terrifying scenes of catastrophic anonymity and wasting away as the best writer that no one ever read.

So where’s the balance supposed to be? Do we only judge the worth of art based on the notoriety of the artist? If you’ve never heard my name before but you love what I do, how is that supposed to factor into what is ultimately an arbitrary dollar amount slapped on something that is arguably impossible to price out?