RE: A Look Back | R4ID | Mr. Monster | Make SH!T Mondays Returns
THOUGHTS & RUMINATIONS
The starter pistol cracked the silence like a cannon and I jumped into a full-speed dash.
That's how 2022 has felt so far - and it's damn exciting.
Let me rewind a bit.
I've been freelancing as an artist for 25 years and have had a wonderful career with nary a dull moment. Some of you reading this may have been around in my early days at Palladium Books illustrating their RIFTS RPG, or found me online creating BUTTERNUTSQUASH or KUKUBURI, or later down the line Discovered me through TALE OF SAND, or by some of my Marvel work; via GODS OF MARS, NOVA: RESSURECTION, or something in between.
However you got here - thanks for sticking around, and a big thank you for the support over the years.
My career has aligned me with many great clients, projects, and talented collaborators over the years. It's spurred me to be a part of such great creative collectives as Dayfree Press, Hive, Transmission-X (quickly rebranded TX Comics), and eventually RAID aka the Royal Academy of Illustration & Design. Over the years RAID evolved and changed - its numbers increased, and in 2017 we dipped our toes in self-publishing with RAID ONE - our premier anthology featuring the work of then-current members.
What began with one book has grown into several - and it's thrilling.
[ Cover A to KLAATU by Scott Hepburn ]
I couldn't feel more at home at where I am right now, and the great people here with me.
It's amazing how at this point in my career I have come full-circle to my humble self-publishing beginning. Eager to tell my stories and share those of my friends. Sometimes you have to go down multiple roads before taking the right one.
The one thing that has held true over my career has been where I have been given the most opportunity to let loose - I've create my best work.
And that brings me back to 2022 - and my excitement for the year to come. While I'm proudly working on such Stillwater with Chip Zdarsky, I am transitioning slowly to a place where I hope to be doing more of my own stories, while also helping shine the spotlight on the work of other talented creators via RAID Press.
As difficult as the road will be ahead, everything feels right.
I'm excited to share the coming year with you all.
[ Cover B to KLAATU by yours truly ]
I just want to let everyone quickly know about KLAATU (pictured above) the fourth book in the RAID anthology series. The book features the work of an amazing array of creators including Ho Che Anderson, Jack Briglio, Damian Canta, SM Carter, Rob Coughler, Ian Daffern, Andrew Dorland, Anthony Falcone, Dax Gordine, Andrew Healey, Shane Heron, Derek Laufman, Alessandro Micelli, Danesh Mohiuddin, Sam Noir, Gabe Sapienza, Katie Sawatsky, Kyle J Smith, Eric Vedder, Michelle Vucko and Myself!
The Kickstarter launches on March 7th and my 14-page story 'AIR' will be one of the many featured in this book. Please check out the campaign and support if you can!
THE KUKUBURI PLAN
Most people here will know my webcomic KUKUBURI, which launched in 2007 and ran regularly till 2011. At which point it suffered from starts and stops in its update schedule as my career took off in various directions. The last short spurt of updates occurred in January of 2020 just prior to the global pandemic taking centre stage.
It's long been a project near and dear to my heart - but one I've come to realize is too difficult for me to update regularly on the web. Each page takes far too much time to complete, time of which I don't have on a weekly basis.
As mentioned above, I've reached a realization of where I'm most happy - and I'm shifting gears to make that happen. Priority number one is bringing Kukuburi to print this spring via Kickstarter and RAID Press. I'll be launching Volume 1, of what will be a series of 4 volumes, this April 18th. You can FOLLOW ME on Kickstarter to received a notification once I launch the project - and I'll also be keeping you informed here as well.
Kukuburi was always designed for print - it's where it was meant to live.
So, the plan as it stands is...
Volume 1 (tentatively titled "A Cotton Candy World") will collect the first 110 strips from the online comic. However, I will be expanding sections and smoothing out story transitions with all-new art and pages to work better in print. This will bring the book up to around 140 pages.
With the hopeful (fingers crossed) successful funding of the campaign I will use any extra money to help fund my time to prepare volume 2 for a 2023 Kickstarter campaign - and start updating the comic regularly online. this will bring the online and print editions in line with each other. And that's the point where I hope to jump and go full KUKUBURI for the year - allowing me the time and focus to create Volume 3 and more.
To help in this endeavour I also plan to launch smaller projects - like the 'She's My Kind Of Girl' pinup drawings (so named after an old Dean Martin tune), plus other art books, and short stories.
It's a tall order - but I'm pointing to the bleachers and hoping for the best.
AND THE WINNER IS
As promised - everyone who submitted a correct answer in my monthly contest last year was entered into a year-end draw, and after spinning the wheel of randomness the winner of the 2021 year-end mystery box is LILLIE BAHRAMI!
WOOT - CONGRATS LILLIE! I'll reach out shortly for shipping details in order to get this prize pack your way.
Speaking of the monthly contest - I'll be starting up the contest again in the April newsletter and running it through till December.
MAKE SH!T MONDAYS RETURNS!
My good friend Eric Vedder and I re-launched our weekly Livestream MAKE SH!T MONDAYS last night. It's an avenue for us to enjoy a drink, doodle, and converse with friends and colleagues. This year we'll be splitting our season into two ten-episode sessions. One in the spring, and one in the fall. Giving us the summer to enjoy. For our first episode we were joined by Derek Laufman, cartoonist & entrepreneur, which you can enjoy HERE.
Join us every Monday night at 8pm EST on MyRAID.tv where you can also find all of our past episodes.
Last but not least, rather than just blather on about plans and objectives, I wanted to share some art. I shared a snippet of the below attached piece last summer when I was working on it - but I never shared the final.
So I thought now might be the opportune moment.
The piece was done for the Mr. Monster, The Original Adventures Of Doc Stearne collection that RAID Press put out. A book that I was not only super honoured to be a part of (being a fan of the original character), but to also help bring to fruition.
Thanks for reading - and the support.
see you next month!