Cartoon and Illustration

Must be getting famous…more people are bugging me!

Ignore the headline, I was just trying to be funny and get your attention.

Over the years I’ve made statements to the effect of, “I don’t want to get famous,” or, “the only reason to get famous is so that I can get more work without having to look so hard.”

I still stand by those statements.  I don’t want to be a glory hog.  The very thought of it makes me break out in a sweat.  I guess it’s how I was raised.

Admittedly, when I was younger I had a real swelled head.  When some of my friends were kind enough to point that swelling out (rather than simply abandoning me for the jerk I was becoming) I tried really hard to come down from that ego trip.  I guess it worked, because I’ve been working in vague anonymity for most of my career.

But lately I’ve begun to recognize the importance of self-promotion, and have done things like streamline my webpage (www.jameslyle.net), get my face out in the public eye more, try to secure more convention appearances, comic shop signings, etc.

But in the past couple of months a strange phenomenon has been happening.  Whereas in the past I would kiddingly do the thing where I’d interview myself and post it online, now OTHER people are asking me for interviews.  I mean, with no prodding from me at all!  Just out of the blue.

Some have been old friends.  For example my old college class mate Ben Riddling from the BS Comics Podcast (https://www.facebook.com/BsComicsPodcast) did an interview with me a few weeks back, that was pretty fun.  Then a day or so ago a coordinator at maCares who I just did a volunteer gig with for Patriot Rovers (http://patriotrovers.org/) wrote to ask me to do an interview.

Oh, and the folks at Self Publisher! Magazine (http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/1013261909/keep-self-publisher-magazine-free#!) also just asked for an interview!

On October 24 I’m supposed to go on Knoxville station WBIR-TV’s “Live at Five at Four”, and the next morning I’m supposed to be a guest on Star 102.1 Radio’s “Marc and Kim Show!  I didn’t arrange these things–Charlie Daniel (not the musician, the cartoonist who draws for the Knoxville News) and his wife Patsy did all the arranging.  They just decided that I had “a radio voice” and so should promote the Southeast Chapter of the National Cartoonists Society gathering that same weekend.

So there are two things I’m trying to do with all this media attention:  1) Not let it go to my head.  (That goal is key–no desire to see all my friends taking a walk because I’m acting obnoxious!) 2) Parlay this into more work / better paying work.  (This second goal is nearly as important as the first, as this has been a hard year–well, decade–okay, career!)

Did I mention that I’m also going to be doing my first ever one-man show at an area arts center during the middle of all of this?  I’ve got around 40 pieces of my art going up at the Swain County Arts Center, with a reception on October 6–where “my band” (actually it’s “our band” thank you, there are four of us), Gypsy Bandwagon, will be playing…

That is, after I give a brief talk about “my art”.

You have no idea how dumb I feel having typed that.  “My art”, like I’m Rembrandt or something.  But it’s part of the process of self-promotion.  I just don’t feel all that comfortable being the center of attention.  I mean, I crave attention as much as the next person, but I fear cheesing off everyone I know at the same time.

Does any of this make sense?  If I didn’t want any attention I could just not write a blog, right?  But I started this thing at the suggestion of several friends and it’s apparently taking off–just don’t want to chop any friendships to bits with the prop as the thing picks up speed.

(How’s that for a metaphor?)

Okay, enough.  I’m beginning to feel like Peter Parker here, all conflicted and angst-y.Image

 

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Cartoon and Illustration

D-Day for Doodle (Part II)

So while I was doing all that I was doing in Charlotte–shooting Kickstarter vids for Game of Horror, meeting with editors from Valiant, PaperCutz, Boom Studios, etc.  Mike Leonard was at home putting up the new DoorMan online comic.

www.doormanonline.net

So now I’ve got two projects going, right?

Wrong.  I’ve got a comic book called Spectra/Polaris to draw now that I’m home.  I haven’t actually got the script for that yet–but I do have the money for it in my possession, and I have a character sketch that has to be done in conjunction with it before I begin the story pencils.

So that’s three?

Well, maybe.  But I’ve got a conference call with a screen-writer and his producer coming up on Wednesday.  We’ve discussed my rates and the studio seems fine with them.  I’ve signed the NDA (which is why I’m not naming any names here), and so this one seems like it might go the distance.

Four?

Actually I’m in discussion with another client about a Graphic Novel based on his script.  Should know more in a couple of weeks.

Five.

And then there’s the fact that Mike Leonard and I are in the process of putting together a licensing imprint company that features “geek ware” items that we think might be a big hit.

Six.

If you don’t count all the work I’ve been doing as chairman of the Southeast Chapter of the National Cartoonists Society.  We’ve got a “Cartoon Art Appreciation Day” planned for July 13 at the Asheville Barnes & Nobel.  I was planning to do a cook out with the Asheville gang on July 2.  I’ve been helping out the Glynn Arts Association (Glynn County, GA) with items for their upcoming Jack Davis retrospective…

http://glynnart.org/events/jack-davis-from-the-beginning

Plus there’s an event in September with the Patriot Rovers Program in Greensboro…

http://patriotrovers.org/get-involved/events

And our SECNCS annual meeting in Knoxville, October 25-27 to plan.

That’s 10.

Did I mention I’m having a gallery show opening in October as well?

So I’m thinking that’s about 11.  In the meantime I have to play a couple of gigs with Gypsy Bandwagon, get ready to go to San Diego Comic Con and keep things going around home.

It feels kind of like I’m busy.  Can’t say for sure though.  Does this sound busy to anyone else?

So, hopefully now you understood what I was saying in the last post about conventions seeming in the past to revolve around a single event.  Whereas this year’s Heroes Convention seems to have contained many, many, events that have all blurred together into one huge series of events that are–well, kind of confusing me at the moment.  My head is so full of all that I’ve yet to do that I’m finding it difficult to keep track.

So, I’m no Joint Chiefs of Staff, Patton, McArthur or anyone like that–but it feels like everything has been leading up to this moment.  I hope the outcome is what I am anticipating.

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