October 29, 2008

Ok People

Sending out sketchbooks this week. For all you guys who signed up for the Mail In for CBLDF, let's see some artwork already. In almost three months I've received one piece of artwork. We're not going to get it done that way.

Also of note, is anyone still out there?

October 17, 2008

What to do?

Hey folks. Real quick, I know I've been lax on my end and haven't been pushing the project. I'm still here, I still plan on doing this so I'm just waiting for all those dozens of people who signed up to come through. The more work that comes in the more I can talk about it. I can update Flickr with images and start doing interviews with participants.

I'm also going to send a few sketchbooks out, keep those rolling. And since I've received a few stories, would you guys like to see snippets from those? Little bit of a preview or means to inspire?

That's all for now, not a lot going on but wanted to post anyway.


October 06, 2008

Tell People!

I know I ask this a lot, and I'm making another push to find ways to promote the project, but in the end word of mouth is what's going to get it done. At some point that word will leave someone's mouth and hit someone's ear. And that ear will sit on the head of someone with a lot of clout. That clout will create a buzz and before you know it, the 100AP will have more people involved than can be handled and I'll have to hire a team of highly trained lemurs just to answer all the emails.

But until that happens, and before my permit to carry a lemur arrives in the mail, you should feel free to do anything in your power to let other artists know what's going on here. There's a store with shirts you can wear to parties, there are banners and buttons on the site you can use on your blogs, there's a pdf you can print and take to your local shops or art galleries or art meetups. AND if you have more ideas, please please PLEASE drop me a line. I appreciate any and all work you folks do, and to all those who have don their share of shameless promotion I offer my sincere gratitude.

Just want to keep the project going. Cheers.

September 29, 2008


Check out the forums!


Stop by, sign up, network, ask questions, post artwork, have fun.


September 23, 2008

Testing Ping.fm

Traffic for 100 Artists Project has been low so I thought I'd take some time to play a bit a find a way to update all the networks the 100AP is a part of. If this works it should update most of them. For the rest I'll be hiring lemurs.

September 04, 2008

Sign Up Update

Hey folks, just a quick update to let you all know where the sign up tally stands for all the projects.

100 Mail in for CBLDF - 14/100
Sketchbook for HERO - 10/100
Digital art for CAPE - 8/50
Short stories for The OLL - 10/20
Moleskine for CCCSF - 3/200? (depending on the Moleskine I get.)
Youth art for CAF - 2/25

So, as you can see, there are plenty of spots left open.  Surprisingly, the writing project filled up the fastest.  I'd love to see some of this art start coming in.  I've already received three stories so I know we're on the right path.

Thanks to everyone who has offered help with promotion and organization so far.  Let's keep it rolling.

August 22, 2008

100 (Artists) Writers

I know it's confusing, but someone mentioned I should post something for the wordsmiths.

The 100AP, hopefully you know by now, is running again and with a few new projects. One of those is the writing project. As of now I've set it up to be 20 writers and up to 10 pages maximum - all prose, no scripts. Time to get your sci-fi, horror, western, drama hats on and do some short stories.

Same as with the others, the book will be printed and sold through a POD, (likely Lulu or Blurb, I may do both.) The charity this time is the Office of Letters and Light. It's a small charity encouraging creative writing in children. I like that they're small because whatever we can do to help will mean a lot to them. They support larger groups as well.

Sign up page is ready to handle the new project, so feel free to get going and if you have any questions let me know. And yes you can submit something you've already written.
Also, if you know other writers either not here or on most comic boards, please let them know. May not take long to get 20 writers, but you never know.



August 16, 2008

100 Writers?

Hey guys, I had an idea about adding writing to the projects. Something like 100 total pages, 10 writers doing 10 page short stories (or there abouts.) It seems small, but if I did 100 writers and they did 5 pages, that's a very thick 500 pages. But I'm open to suggestion.

Also, I wasn't quickly able to find a good literary charity besides something to do with Walden.


August 13, 2008

Round Two Underway!

After many months of promises and false starts, the second round of the 100AP is underway. Please visit the main site for all the details.

What's New?

I've broken up the original projects and have added a few more. The mail in 100 now ties in to the CBLDF and the sketchbook goes to Hero. The new ones are the 25 piece youth project supporting the International Child Art Foundation, the 50 piece digital art supporting the Chicago Arts Partnerships in Education and the Moleskine book supporting the Center for Cartoon Studies.

The sign up page is active and I'll be sending out emails to the charities as well as some studios to drum up interest. If you're part of this community already, you've probably submitted work for volume one and all I ask is that you help talk up the relaunch anywhere you can.

Thanks for your continued support.

July 04, 2008


So I saw this over on CBR and it made me simultaneously want to give up and keep going on the 100AP. In all honesty, I've got nothing else taking up my time, and this is at least worth while.

Here are some things needing to be done for the project to keep moving.

* Parental Waiver - In order for me to technically accept artwork from artists under 18, I need to create and publish a form that said artists will have to get their parents to look over, possibly sign and either mail, fax or email to me. There's no profit in what I'm doing and I don't plan on using anyone's artwork for anything but the project, but I also want to cover my butt in case something happens.

* TOS - I have a basic Terms of Service that I need to put on the web site.

* Form rework - The sign up form needs to have a new option to select which project you want to join. The site also needs the new projects' descriptions.

* Open up the projects - I need to make a list of places to announce that the second part of the project is now open for people to sign up.

* Vol. 1 reprint - Ka-Blam kinda dropped the ball for me. They took way too long, they messed up a percentage of orders that given a larger actual number would have been a death knell for the project. I need to put another print out through Lulu and let people know about it at the same time as the project "reignition."

* Sketchbook - I need to find out where the sketchbook is and keep it moving.

I think that's it.

Someone recommended going through Image comics for one of the projects, see if we could get a few artists who've done Image books to contribute and if Image got behind it, we could do Image characters. I think maybe volume 3 I'll do that. I want to see if this model is sustainable. I constantly feel I've maxed out my contacts and fewer and fewer artists will contribute. If we can do another couple smaller books the idea will be more marketable.

Also, if you've got this blog on your feed reader, please head over to the Ning site. I'm going to try and organize the project better and to that end I'll be eliminating a lot of the cross posting.

Carry on.

June 09, 2008

Hey, remember this?

Greetings contributors, participants, onlookers.

I bet you're wondering what happened to this place? Where's the verve, the happy-haps, the je ne said qoui that used to permeate the very cables you use to connect to the internets when you'd read this page?

Is the project done? Did you give it up?

To be honest, almost. It's been about 15 months since it started, that's a long time for anything. I think I'm a bit burned out, truth be told. But that doesn't mean I've given up on it. It's just going to take more energy than I current am willing to give to get it moving again. I just got an email from a long time online acquaintance who said he didn't even know the book was in print. I was a little saddened by that thinking that not only were normal people, art lovers, charity seekers not involved, but it sounds as though even the original contributors may no longer be involved.

The book has capped at 26 units sold, and that's $108 after printing costs, so $54 for each charity. When it went up for sale I updated every message board, friend list, bulletin, social network site I could think of. I emailed both charities, industry professionals, even a few comic-friendly Hollywood types, just trying to get the word out. If a hundred bucks is the best I can do, I'm not sure I want to waste another year doing even that.

So, that's why I haven't started the thing back up. The big sketchbook is in Jeremy Dale's capable hands and hopefully he'll be taking it to at least one convention. If he's got a copy of the print book, it might spark some interest. Maybe by then I'll have the single mailers opened back up and more people can participate. I think all I need to do is switch my thinking from a huge project that is bound to bring it tons of cash for these charities to another obscure illustration project that are nice for people to join and be a part.

I'm going to again ask for input as the project is spread very thin across many different interfaces, yet I still don't know what's best. I'm leaning toward having the main site redirect to the Ning page, but I don't know how that will impact people signing up.

If you've got ideas about the project, please let me know.

Carry on.

May 14, 2008

DC Cancels Charity Auction

For those that wondered why I wasn't allowing copyrighted characters to be drawn for the 100AP, this is why.


IMPORTANT - Orphan Works Act of 2008

I felt this was important since we're all practicing artists on many levels and this impacts all of us.


Currently, copyright is granted the moment a work is created. This new Orphan Works legislation proposes a change in U.S. copyright that would (indirectly) require artists, illustrators, photographers, and any creative individual to actively maintain and defend their copyright by registering each and every work with privatized registrars. Failure to do so would leave everything you’ve ever created as an artist up for grabs by anyone who wanted to copy, reproduce, create derivative works of, or flat out steal your work since the act defines an “orphan work” as any work where the author is unidentifiable or unlocatable, and applies to both published and unpublished works, U.S. and foreign, regardless of age.

More information in the post including ways to contact your reps, an interview with Brad Holland about the issue as well as some other links. Please visit the site and act now.

April 24, 2008

Big Sketchbook

I haven't updated the map in a while. I've been hung up a bit on the first volume getting done. Rest assured the sketchbook is still moving along pretty well. I just got word today it's ready to move on to it's 30th recipient. I figured it take this long and so far we're pretty much on track.

The biggest issue I'm running into is people who go involved early are no longer responding to emails and I really have no good way to get in touch with them to see if they still want to participate. What this means is at the end of the run (in likely two years) there will probably be somewhere around 15-20 open spots that'll have to be filled.

Regardless, I think it's great - fucking fantastic if you'll allow me - that it's made it to 30 different places. I really hope when this run is done it'll be unique enough to get some publicity. The international shipping scares me still, but we've got a while till we have to do that.

I'm waiting to get some addresses from some buddies of an artist in Omaha and the map will be updated after that.

Carry on.

April 22, 2008

Gordon Lee Case Dismissed

If you aren't already aware, one of the organizations the 100AP supports (CBLDF.org) has been in involved in a protracted legal battle with the state of Georgia vs. Mr. Gordon Lee for distributing adult content to a minor.

After several years, the case was dismissed.

You can see the posting about it on Newsarama.

With a price tag of $100,000 dollars, this is the biggest case the CBLDF has fought. It'd be a great time now to help replenish those funds by doing your part and purchasing volume one of the 100AP.

Congrats to Mr. Lee and the CBLDF.

April 14, 2008

Sales Help

Ok guys. I'm stumped. After a year's worth of work and pimping the project on as many places as I could and a few that other people did, we've sold exactly 6 copies in two weeks.


On Penciljack alone I had twice that many people say, "Yeah I can't wait to get a copy of this."

Well, what's keeping you? What's keeping anyone? I thought surely after a couple of pay periods a few more sales would come in. Not so much.

I'm discouraged right now, if you can't tell. I was going to spend the week setting up the next projects so people could sign up for them, but not if it's going to make me spend another year to earn $20.

I'm open to ideas.

April 03, 2008


Originally uploaded by xadrian
Ok suckers, got my proof copy today. It's wonderful. You should go get one, and then tell your friends to go get one. It's 106 pages for $19 and $5.13 of every sale goes to the Comic Book Legal Defense Fund and The Hero Initiative.

Seriously, you're still here?

March 30, 2008

Volume one now for sale!

Just got the email tonight. You can now support the charities by purchasing volume one of the 100AP. Since most of you supported by donating art, feel free to spread the link around to as many people as you can.

Thanks again for your support and input and look for more projects soon.


March 29, 2008

Sidetracked: A Podcast

100AP member Rian Miller has a twice-a-week podcast called Sidetracked. I just found out about it today so I'll be a new listener along with the rest of you. Give it a listen.

March 27, 2008

Volume one printing!

Just got an email from Ka-Blam that the book is at the print stage. Hopefully that'll mean it'll be on Indy Planet's catalog and available for purchase very very soon. I'll keep you posted.

Also just a reminder, come join us on the 100AP Ning site!


March 17, 2008

Print Status

The status of the 100AP vol. 1 book is that Ka-Blam is verifying the files I've sent and I'll be sent an invoice soon and then printing will start.

Ka-Blam just posted about how a change in pricing structure had an unintended result and a lot of books were pushed back. This being the start of convention season, the orders are high but they're not at full capacity yet.

I'm still counting on the book being available by the end of this month. As more information comes available I'll let you all know.

To that end, if anyone has used another printer, I'd love to here your stories.

March 14, 2008


There's a 100AP Ning group already, but if anyone has ideas on a good way to socialize and network with other artists, let me know and we'll see if it's workable here.

Plus, a good group of members would be a great way to help promote the project.

I thought about putting a forum on the site somewhere, but I don't believe the level of viewers warrant that yet. But I could be proven wrong.

Carry on.

Happy Pi Day

Laugh-Out-Loud Cats #782
Originally uploaded by Ape Lad
Today is 3.14.

I don't know how the rest of the decimal spreads out over the day. 15 minutes? But then what, 92 seconds? 15.92 seconds? 15 hours, 92 minutes? But that'd be 16 hours 32 minutes.

1592 seconds?


For those who've not read Adam's Laugh-Out-Loud cats, 1) You've got 781 to go, 2) You've really missed out and 3) You've no excuse. Adam is going to be working at Disney Interactive doing cut scenes and designs for Pixar games. I'm 10 kinds of jealous, but if anyone deserves it, he does. He's an amazing talent.

March 13, 2008

Industry News

I'm going to try something here. I want 100AP to be a neat place for everyone to visit and share ideas and such. I'm considering a forum as well as the Ning thing didn't really take off. This is going towards making the 100AP a more enduring place, not just a simple project.

To that end, if you've got Google account and use Reader, here's a link to some industry news feeds.


I'm trying to find a way to have those feeds just post as blog entries, but I haven't found that yet. If you have any ideas, let me know. There's a widget for it for the sidebar, but the sidebar already has a lot of stuff.

That's all for now.

March 10, 2008

Interview - Melissa Sue Stanley

Melissa Sue Stanley is a painter, illustrator, and needlework artist living in a suburb outside of Chicago. She has the honor of being the only participant to send it a piece of work containing stitching.

So, you're a full time artist?

Right now i am a full-time artist. To keep my new car paid for i work 20 hours a week at a very Harvey Pekar type occupation - making copies and putzing around an old building.

I'm envious.

I think maybe I always have to have some sort of work - there's something about co-workers, that kinda spontaneous jabber that happens around a copy machine - I like it. Now, anyway. I am planning on ditching the part-time gig in about a year and half so i can work just on art.

So do you like being close to Chicago? Is it good for the artist in you?

It hasn't really affected me or my art, being close to Chicago. I like being close to the city because I appreciate certain aspects of it - but really my heart is in the burbs. And I dont mean, like, the white-fence huge house nonsense of the Chicago suburbs - of which there are a lot. I am very interested in the old main streets and the towns that grew off of rivers and railroad tracks and I think a lot of what I want to represent comes from that sort of environment.

And what is it that you want to represent, sort of a lost America?

I don’t know if it is lost, it's still there but it is being changed. That's the next series that I am working on, the way the old towns are being changed. I don’t know if I can describe it fully yet, I'm still bouncing the idea around. I drive through old towns and cornfields a lot though, so it's coming clearer to me. One thing at a time though, I gotta get through what I'm working on now.

And what are you working on now?

Right now I'm doing a mixed media series - portraits on muslin done in watercolor, pencil, and embroidery. It will potentially get me in a lot of trouble, which is exciting. I plan to start talking more about it and showing pieces from it at the end of the month. It's about privacy and violation. I really love it, I'm very happy with it. And I am also doing small scale embroidery and watercolor on muslin, like my icon, and a series of watercolors, 8x10's, of the men that I know. But today i am painting a dog for a commission.

"...the men that I know..." That sounds intriguing, little mysterious.

Haha - yes! They are all such characters, and they all have their own faces. Painting them is an experience for both of us involved. It's intimate you know? But again it's a little intrusive, because I don’t ask permission.

Well, we can skip it so I don't get you into more trouble. But, I will touch on the mixed media because you're the only one of the submitted pieces that had a bit of stitch work in it. How did you come to the idea that you wanted to combine that and paints and pencils?

I've been playing with 'fiber art' for a while, and wanted some way to bring it into my painting. that piece I sent in just came very naturally, just happened. I was embroidering in sketchbooks and things a little before that but that was the first painting I did with embroidery. It seemed the only way to convey the message/text - which is about my relationship with Joe Varisco (the bird.)

Is he a friend of yours?

He has been a friend of mine since we were young, and in the past few years he has also been a great collaborator and inspiration. I wouldn't say he's my muse, but he definitely keeps me going when I feel everything I'm painting or making is wrong. When I am working I sometimes feel like he is there, a little bird on my shoulder. The painting was pretty literal. We do canned culture together, which is on hiatus now but will be returning in July. It’s a sort of video blog thing where we babble about things we like and art and have parties and try to do salons and things like that.

Did I read correctly that you're self taught? Have you taken any formal art or design classes?

I will sometimes take the occasional class at the local community college. But, I wouldn't say that the teachers there actually teach you anything. They present the still life, or model, and that is where the lesson is. The only formal education that I’ve had is a few very hardcore semesters of art history, which was amazing - that teacher actually taught things and it was great. Right now for example I’m at the local college taking figure drawing classes - but that's only because the format is better than the local art leagues, and it's the same price.

Other than the projects you currently have going, is there anything you'd like to do with your art; more collaborations or projects?

I am always interested in certain types of collaborations - that's why the 100 artists project appealed to me, it was right up my alley. (btw, I am so happy/in awe that the single mailer project turned out so well - great job on that!). There are several people I’d like to work with, but it's got to be organic for me, I can't really plan these things. It’s hard for me to approach people on collaborations, I like rather when we stumble into each other. The COD (College of DuPage) Tattoo Project was like that. Me and this other artist, Patrick McGuan, decided one day to take photos at the community college we were both at - photos of tattoos on campus. About a year later we had over 1000 pictures and an art show. It was fantastic.

Are you involved in a lot of groups now, like Illustration Friday for instance? Things that inspire you to turn out work consistently?

Not so much. I get the illofriday emails, but I haven't done one in a while. I've got so many ideas bumping around my head that I don't have time for them, much less trying to find new things to get inspired about. I read a few blogs, but not many.... mainly I just try to sit down and do The Work as much as possible.

Like painting with wine?

Yes! Oh man, that was nasty! Haha! I need to revisit that - maybe with some better wine that doesn't smell like hell. I think there is something there though - I wanted to do some paintings about a certain type of art going on right now, the very aesthetic-image-tea and roses and Anthropologic girl in the city with a scarf and a dream sort of thing. But I didn’t get past testing the wine on paper, maybe next month.

Well, as a drawer of hoboes I was very inspired by the idea.

Yea! Go with it! My husband really complained about the smell, I left the wine open in my studio for a couple days – haha! By the way, the hoboes, and rabbits, and all that - I love that sort of thing and was very happy when I stumbled into it.

Glad you found it.

To that end, what media are you most comfortable with, assuming it's not a 97 Tempranillo?

I love graphite, and watercolor. I never thought I’d be doing watercolors, but here I am. Beyond that I love working with fabrics and yarn, and making weird sculptures and taking photos. I am pretty crafty with a crochet hook and have been able to create what I think is a pretty awesome series of soft-sculpture creatures - I sell them on Etsy.com. I’ll work in anything really. I paint murals in acrylics, and portraits in oils, but I really love drawing, which is why I think watercolor works best for me.

Now I see you've got an Etsy page as well. Is that where you make your money or do you do commissions for people? How do you make your living as an artist?

I do alright selling the yarn creatures and things on Etsy. Not the paintings, those don’t sell on Etsy (though I honestly haven’t *really* tried). I do commissions for people I know on my own, but I’m really picky about it. Honestly, where I am at right now is I decided a couple years back that I could not work in an office 40+ hours a week anymore, so I started saving and set a date to quit and then did it, and with the help of my part time gig, and my husband's health insurance, I’ve been able to really dig in on making my portfolio what I want it to be without worrying (YET!) about profits.

My website is a train wreck; it has none of my current work on it, so that's a big focus for me right now - getting a batch of work done and getting it out there. I’m giving myself about 2-3 years to make enough income to support myself fully with art. I’ll keep you posted on that little adventure - haha!

Oh, I watch all the contributors. That won't be a problem. But I'm sure a lot of people will be curious. Making the switch to living off your art is a big thing.

It’s all I want to do, so most days it's pretty easy. Hopefully people will respond to the work I am doing.

And how do you relate to other people. Do you think it's easier now to have fans and folks who would buy your work or do you feel there's too much out there now?

It’s been pretty easy for me, I’ve had some great "internet experiences". A few years back I painted a portrait of Claire Rabe, one of my favorite authors, just for fun you know, and posted a picture of the painting on my website. Well, the family of this author came across the painting and contacted me about it and wound up buying it from me.

That's pretty amazing.

It was a huge milestone for me as an artist. As far as there being too much out there, I don’t think about it so much. I have artists that I follow just because I’m a fan, but otherwise I just do my own thing.

That’s pretty much all I've got. Any parting words to your devoted fans or fellow artists?

Well, I am now accepting applications for Devoted Fans - send 'em in! For everyone else, just be Honest and Let Go. And, thanks for all your work for this project, and for your time today talking! It was fun.

Indeed. It was wonderful talking to you.

If you’d like to see more of Melissa’s work, you can visit her site at http://www.melissasuestanley.net/

March 08, 2008

Awesome Storm Justice 26

Several 100AP artists are members of the webcomic Awesome Storm Justice 41. I've done a few episodes' penciling and some coloring and mostly lettering. I'm writing a script for an origin series for them that will probably show up in about 6 months.

Anyway, here's the latest episode.

Episode 26


Writing: Amadarwin
Pencils: masked_ramen
Colors: Lawrence Basso
Letters: Ben Rollman
Editor: Richard Nelson

Please stop by and take a peak at what the ASJ guys are doing. It's a good project, another collaborative effort.

Also, I'll be trying to display some projects from contributing artists for a while. Aside from links on the side and interviews, I'll do write ups about individuals and their creative endeavors. If you'd like your comic or Etsy shop or commission artwork page highlighted, just let me know.

March 05, 2008

Interview - Chris Tinkler

Chris Tinkler is a 28 year old webcomic creator, artist and award winning writer based in Peoria, AZ. He's been quite helpful to the project and lately has worked tirelessly on promotion.

Chris, thanks for taking the time to talk to me today.

Do you run the webcomics I saw in the Yahoo group or are you just a contributor?

Well, for awhile a friend of mine and I ran a Yahoo! group for a small-press community we attempted to put together called "Synergy Comics", which had a tiny bit of success. I haven't really revisited it in quite some time though.

Do you have any other projects?

My main project, since I was a little kid is "Ace of Spades Comics". Which to date has only seen about 6 pages published, hehe. I work on it every so often, but it's always "there".

Other than that, I've been contributing reviews and columns on several comic oriented sites and magazines. I guess the old saying of "Those who can... do, those who can't... review" holds a little bit of water with me, hehe

You're primarily an artists, but you've done reviews as well. Do you write the comic you work on?

Oh, yes... I enjoy writing a whole lot.

More than drawing?

Hehe, depends on the day.

Sometimes the words are there, sometimes they just ain't.

Tell me about Ace of Spades.

Ace of Spades Comics is a coming of age story for a group of friends, who somehow find themselves almost within reach of everything they could ever want. However, they may have to do some rather unsavory things first. It's a mishmash of stories I've been telling myself and friends for the past twenty years... and I actually feel there may be a decent story somewhere in there, if only I could get off my butt and draw the thing.

What's keeping you from working on it more?

Laziness and self-doubt, mostly. A lot of very un-artisty things.

So what made you decided to do a webcomic instead of trying for a job penciling another property or pitching your stuff to independent publishers?

Well, the web-comic was kind of an accident, actually. I was working for an independent publisher, who was publishing some anthologies and the like... and they began to fret about costs of printing... so, I formatted the pages so they could be posted online if necessary.

The book was finally printed (Ace of Spades was the back-up feature of Suddenly LandMark v.2 #1). I also drew the feature story "The Dancing Hand of Death" that the publisher - LandMark Comics - had written for the same issue.

Do you do any more work with them or the folks from the Synergy Comics group or is everything pretty solo for you now?

I'm thinking I'll try to go the solo route for a bit, as I'm afraid I'd become quite creatively codependent in the time I was part of the Groups. I'd definitely help out any groups that are trying to start up, as I think I might have a little experience to offer...

Speaking of, what kind of background as a writer or artist do you have? Any college or private training?

Unfortunately, I was a complete flake in my late teens and early twenties, so I didn't do the school thing (which I kick myself for hourly... stay in school kids!). Otherwise, just a few published articles to my name, and a spot on the literary journal in High School. I also wrote a novel for last year’s NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month) which was one of the Winners.

Congratulations. Is that a cash prize or publishing credits?

Just a certificate. But, it's hanging proudly on my wall. Writing 50,000 words in a month was quite an experience.

Wow, that is quite impressive. How does working in novel form help you with comics?

Ha! I actually had almost "forgotten" how to write in prose from writing in script form for much of the last decade (much to my editor’s frustration. I'm told a lot of my prose is "choppy prose", leading to many rewrites, and expansions.

If you could change something about your writing or art (choppy prose for example) and could do so without any effort, what would you change?

Oh, I'd tighten up my art for sure. It's a whole lot easier to "sell" art than it is words... for starters, everybody's got words... and it's hard to stand out from the crowd. When you see an awesome panel or cover... it's just there... in all it's, err... awesomeness.

Also, I feel if I drew better, I'd draw more often... which is probably a catch-22... if I drew more often, I'd probably GET better.

That's what I hear too, practice practice practice.

I know you've been working full time. What kind of time do you have to devote to your creative endeavors?

I've got a fiancée who's incredibly supportive (and patient) of all my endeavors, so pretty much any time outside of work is okay. Most of my evening is spent online talking to potential collaborators or writing articles. Admittedly, a lot more of that time should be spent at the drawing board.

When you ARE at the drawing board, what's your favorite media to use? Is it the same as the media you're most comfortable using?

I generally do layouts and pencils with a .05 pencil and inks generally with various sized Sharpies, with lettering done thru PhotoShop CS2.

You say you've written reviews for magazines. Anyone you work for regularly?

There's a magazine called Paper Dragon Ink that a couple of reviews on mine will be printed in their March issue. Also a new magazine called Splattered Ink Press will be running an article of mine... also in their March issue.

Do you mainly focus on comics or have you done movies or books too?

Comics are the primary focus... I've done a couple of movie reviews at my blog... but nothing too serious.

Are you an avid reader?

I try to be... read political books mostly (when not reading comics related stuff.)

Who's your favorite non-comic book author?

Probably David Foster Wallace... Infinite Jest, from what I recall, was a very good book. Franz Kafta is also a fun read... I've used some of his themes in my writing.

Back to the art, I know you mentioned earlier you're recently out of work. Are you going to take this time to push yourself artistically or do you see yourself doing something different?

This is kind of where I'm at a crossroads... I want to produce work... but at the same time, I want to produce quality work. I think my writing is pretty sound... but, without the artwork to support it... I don't see much success coming my way. I'm more than likely going to take advantage of some of the local schools and enroll in some art classes. I've probably spent several hundred dollars on "how to draw" books... which were a total waste, in my opinion... school's probably the way to go.

Speed and quality are hard to learn in comics. Have you thought of doing other types of art?

Nah. Comics have been my passion since I was a child. To me, it's almost the only type of art. There are a few exceptions, of course... but, comics are pretty much IT for me.
It seems artists today have more opportunities to get noticed, but do you think it's actually easier to BE an artist than, say, 20-30 years ago?

Oh, no. hehe, there's far too much competition now. I recall being one of "the best" artists in my High School, and with that came a lot of attention. Now, the field is just blown wide open... a lot harder to get noticed unless you've got "it."

Do you have anyone you'd like to work with artistically or otherwise?

I think I have several stories that would fit Terry Moore's art style.

That would be a big pitch to make. Have you sent him any correspondence?

Oh, no. hehe Just food for thought for me... for when I "make it."

Understood. Well that's all I have. Do you have any last words for your fans or fellow artists?

Just practice practice practice... As a borderline perfectionist, it's hard to see a panel or a page come out as anything but perfect... instead of practicing... I usually just give up. It's definitely the wrong way to be. You sometimes need to run laps before you can win a race... and maybe I'll start following my own advice.

Thanks for participating and for all the help you've given.

Thanks for the interview, Ben. It's been a lot of fun!

You can see more of Chris's art and writing at his blog, http://aceofspadescomics.blogspot.com/

March 02, 2008

New Site?

Volume 1 of the 100AP Single Mailer is off to Ka-Blam. Barring any technical issues, the book should be printed by the end of March. I don't know if it'll be available on Indy Planet before then, but I'll make sure to link to the listing as soon as it's live.

So I spent the night fighting a sinus headache and usually when I can't sleep I think of something organizational; mental lists, deciding what project to do next, page layouts, promotional ideas, etc. Last night's mental exercises included how to rework the project's site and whether or not it needs it. With volume one out of my hands and the Big Mailer years from completion, it's time to get more projects going.

But I want to make it easier on my time and sanity. I want people to be able to sign up for different projects and their contact information be stored in an easily accessible file format. I think the main site as it is now is a decent start, but I also think it's a bit overdone. When people visit it for the first time, are they confused? Turned off? Bored?

I know from site stats that the blog and the main site combined pull in about 20-30 visits a day. It's not much, but I think once the book goes live, more people will come to the site and want to be a part of the project. I just want to give everyone the best experience possible.

To that end, if you're reading this, please feel free to comment and let me know what you think. Even if you're not a first time visitor, take a look at the main site and let me know what you think could improve it. I'm resigned to doing it myself, but I'll do what I can.

Thanks for your time.

February 29, 2008

Tid Bits

It's a been a few days, so I thought I'd put up something to let everyone know I'm still here.

The print version of volume 1 is slowly coming together and I'd like to send it off for print today or tomorrow. I'm going to request a proof copy be sent back and since this is my first run with Ka-Blam I'm not sure how long the whole thing takes. If I need to fix things once they get it that could add time to it as well. Had I been more ambitious, I could have got books back to take to Staple, but it turns out I'm not going to that anyway.

However, that doesn't mean local shops can't buy a couple copies to sell at their stores. I'll try to get a few at cost and take them to local shops in Austin, but I can't afford more than maybe 5 or 6. We'll see.

Also, the interviews haven't stopped, I just haven't been taken up on my offer to interview people. I've got two that want to but we keep missing each other. Those will hopefully resume soon.

Also resuming, volume two! Actually, it'll be the 100AP Volume Two plus additional smaller runs. I've had offers to help set things up but when I take them up on it they stop answering. It shouldn't be much work to get it done the way I'd like and I'd like to get it rolling again to coincide with the print release.

That's all for now.

February 21, 2008

Donations Complete

Dear CBLDF and HERO,

Hope this helps your causes. Keep up the fine work.

The 100 Artists Project

February 20, 2008


A last minute bidder has won the auction for the 100 Artists Project's 1st collection of work. I had honestly assumed the auction would lapse and I was going to relist it at a later time, probably for less, much to my chagrin. I'm really glad it sold and really happy I'll be able to turn $250 over to the two charities.

What this means is now I really have to get the print version done so everyone can see what great work was submitted and be able to support the causes themselves.

Good news today, good news for the causes.

Carry on!

February 18, 2008

Update 2/18/08

Just a reminder that there are two days left for the auction. If no bids are made, I'll relist it at a reduced price and run it another 10 days. I believe ebay will give me one relisting without charge. After that I'll just pay for another run.

I did a quick examination on what promotional avenues were effective as well. First, a big thanks to Chris Tinkler for helping with this and getting a mention at CBR and other places. Adam Koford got it run again at Drawn! as well. Handful of other folks either wrote about it on their sites too. Thank you all.

A quick note on that. Chris may be emailing people to get testimonials or quotes about the project. I forwarded him a handful of emails, so if he asks you for a quote, don't feel obligated to be nice, just be honest. Good word of mouth is wonderful, but any press is good press, right?

Here's the last 30 days of visits to the site.

As you can see, the best views for the site came from an unsolicited link on StumbleUpon. It represents the biggest jump in traffic since the project was listed on Drawn! back in August of 2007. Unfortunately it was also a couple weeks before the auction. You'll notice the auction date is the same date as the ad on Fark. Now, the link on Fark was set to go to the auction, not this site, but there were links back. I was a bit shocked to see how little that $40 ad got me. In fact, according to the discussion, not only is $500 too much for the crappy art, but the funds we're supporting are also a joke.

I think Fark was a bad target audience.

And, since I can't get any love on Boing Boing or Newsarama or even the web sites for the funds we're supporting, I'll be trying other avenues. I think I might be able to fund some ads through Project Wonderful. We'll see how that goes. If you have other ideas, run with it. Let me know if I need to do anything to help but at this point I'm making it up as I go.

Of note, one of the contributing artists asked that their piece be removed. They had reasons, none of which a reflection on the project itself and they do want to be included on the next go 'round, so I'll be replacing their piece with one of my own. Notice I didn't have a piece in there, but since I don't have extras laying around I'll pony up a drawing to be a replacement.

The print version is about 50% assembled and I'll be sending it off for completion as soon as I can. If the estimates hold true, I'll be able to charge you fine folks less than $20 and still be able to make it worth the effort, so that's good news.

That's all for now.

February 17, 2008

Three Days

Three days left on the auction. No bids and a lot of opinions.

Let me clear something up for people who may be coming late to the party and asking why I'm not listing 100 pieces of art individually.

1) This listing cost me $6. If I did 100 of these, it would cost me $600. That's more than the total initial bid of the whole project currently. I don't have that kind of money. I'd have to roll the winnings of one piece into the listings of the rest, which means I'd have to pick what I thought was the best piece first and hope it sold.

2) Some of the work is very good, some isn't as good. It would be unfair to the other artists if 4 or 5 pieces did really well, and the rest didn't. It's about the project, not each individual artist. What's important is that people participated to support a cause. If it's more important to bidders that they have a good piece of art and nothing else, well, there's plenty of art out there.

3) I also don't have the time to list 100 individual pieces of art. If I were to do that, I would have just asked people to do it on their own and then provide details on where to contribute.

So, with three days left, it's looking like $500 for 100 pieces of original art is just too much to even consider, which really upsets me. I'll reiterate the fact that if you wandered around a comic convention artists alley and got 100 sketches, it could very well run you $2,000. And those are just sketches. A lot of this work is well crafted, finished work.

But, the public has spoken and apparently the public doesn't approve of original artwork for charity. It speaks volumes.

So in four days look for the book to be listed at $5 and we'll see just how sad this whole thing becomes.

February 13, 2008

Call to links!

Hey folks. So, in my promotion of the auction for the 100AP, I must have forgot to turn on the lights or lit the pilot light or put the car in drive. Page views to the site have dropped off dramatically and after a couple days the project has no bids. There are just over 7 days left so I'm not panicking, but I wonder if I did something wrong.

So, I'll ask this of you all, if you haven't yet, please write about the auction. Link to it from your blog, post a bulletin about it here. If you're a contributor to a bigger site, have the ears of large publishers or are otherwise knowledgeable about getting the word out, please do. I've done what I can but I don't think it's enough.

If you have any ideas or concerns also, please let me know. What input I got initially I incorporated so I'm not above making changes.


February 11, 2008

Auction Relist

The auction was relisted to include a link back to a Flickr set with the entire 100 pieces of art.

Seen here

Also, if you're trying to email me, when you send 500 emails, Google shuts down your account for a day. I can receive them but I can't reply. I'll get back to you all tomorrow.


February 10, 2008

The Auction Is Up!

Hey folks, the official auction is up. Please help spread the word.

If the link doesn't work, it's item #320217069221.

Thanks for help bringing this to a reality. :D

February 08, 2008

Interviews for volume one

Since roughly August of last year, I've done 11 interviews for the project. A suggestion was made saying one or two of those should be included in the print version of volume one. So I put up a poll, please take time to look it over and if you haven't read the interviews yet, here they are.

Michael Smith
Israel Turley

Phil Shaw
Steve Downer
Ben O'brien
Adam Koford
Mike Peterson
Jeremy Dale
Len Peralta

Nate Lovett

As always, if you are a contributor to the project, I'd love to spend an hour on chat interviewing you. I think it brings a level of humanity to the pieces of art people will soon be viewing and helps the project grow. You can contact me through the usual channels.

Carry on.

February 06, 2008

Site Help

I know I've asked this before, but it's worth trying again.

The 100 Artists Project site could use a bit of work. I'm not a web designer and the site was put together by an online acquaintance S.A. Finch. He did a bang up job on the design and theme (the look) but there's functionality I don't have and information I've muddled.

The site runs on Go Daddy and I have access to 1 database. I'd like to use that combined with a form that would allow people to sign up and then that information is stored. Emails are saved and I'm able to send newsletters because honestly people don't read the blogs. I'd at least like to force them to delete an email.

I've been killing myself keeping several different documents in order to keep everyone's shipping address, website and email. I've made too much work for myself and the site has become too nebulous and hard to make out. Even with all the writing and blogging and maps and updates, I have people email me and ask how to get involved and how to participate. I don't mind answering emails and I'm super glad people want to be involved, I'm just sad they couldn't find what they needed.

So, if anyone is good with simple pages that use some kind of data store and can be dynamically updated, I'd love some help. You can either comment here, AIM me at "xadrian calim" or gmail at ben.lifeinaustin@gmail.com.

Thanks for reading, carry on.

January 31, 2008

Print On Demand

Ok guys, I was just checking with Lulu and Blurb about some Print-on-Demand stuff and here's what I've found.

Books will be $35 bucks if I don't raise the price in order to get anything to go to the charity. That's just the cost to get them done.

That's about $10-15 more than I wanted to offer it but when you get above 20 pages it just costs more. I'm looking at alternatives like a presentation perfect bound book, for some reason that's less, but I'm also considering doing two prints a page in landscape format to reduce page count.

I haven't checked Ka-Blam but I don't think this is something they'd do.

Amazon's Booksurge seems to have a lot of negative remarks about it, and also I don't think it's right for this. I don't want to have to order 1500 copies of anything myself (at something like $12,000) just to be able to get a good bulk rate so that I can then sell them on my own (on a site that has no e-commerce solution yet.)

So...just a word to all the folks here wanting to support the cause by buying a copy of the book, it looks like it'll end up being about $40. If I find a better way to do it, great, if not I hope you'll understand. Having not done this before I'm confident I'm not finding a loophole in the vanity print-on-demand world.

That's all for now.

January 29, 2008

Art Scanned

David Ottati was awesome enough to get the art scanned for me. So all the art is in pdf and I'm now shopping for a nice portfolio case to put them in.

Here's my current dilemma. Cheap ones aren't expandable. Expandable ones aren't cheap. Since the art is all different sizes, binding was out of the question long ago but I wanted to keep them in a nice portfolio case. Most of us know of the Itoya portfolio binders for 11x17 boards, that's what their in now, but those only allow 96 spots over 2 cases. An expandable screwpost of the same size can be as much as $300. Of course I won't be getting that, but that's what's out there.

I might try something different and get a nice leather scrapbook display binder that's expandable. I saw a really nice one for $60 and the needed additional pages were about $12 a pack and I'd need 3 more packs.

I'm still shopping, I'm sure I can find a better deal. However, if you're new to the project and weren't able to get in for the first volume and would like to help, this would be a good time. There's a Paypal Donate button on the left side, you can use that to contribute any amount you'd like. And that's the last I'll say about it on this post.

But now that the art's back, if I get a display case soon, the auction should go up in days. I've decided to go with the full thing as one auction rather than break it up. It's the weight of the project, not the individual art that should be the impetus to bid.

That's all for now, carry on.

January 24, 2008

Auction Feedback

Hey folks, gimme some feedback here. What would you think of me listing one piece of art to start, then using the proceeds from that to fund the listing fees for the remaining 99 pieces individually?

January 17, 2008

Site Redesign

Hey all, I believe I've secured some scanning so that will begin soon. I'll also be planning out the next run of the project so people can continue to contribute if they'd like.

A list of projects will probably look like this.

  • 100 Artists Single - 100 pieces supporting the CBLDF and Hero Initiative.
  • 100 Artists Big - One sketchbook sent to 100 people, supporting Hero and CBLDF.
  • 100 Artists Youth - 25 piece auction and book sales supporting the International Child Art Foundation. Must be 18 or under to qualify for this.
  • 100 Artists Digital - 50 piece digital art only books supporting maybe the Chicago Arts Partnerships in Educaiton.
  • 100 Artists Moleskine - One small moleskine book supporting the Center for Cartoon Studies Scholarship Fund.

Those are the ideas I have, not set in stone. However, what this will require of me other than more organizational chutzpah is a bit of a site revamp. So I'm going to ask again for help if anyone is good with site building. I have a few people I know who are good with this, but I've taxed them beyond the level a friend should when it comes to site design and creation, so I'm looking for new blood. I COULD do it myself, but it'd be messy and probably very poorly designed.

I'm using this blog more and more to disseminate news and updates and such. I'd like to integrate it into the site proper via an RSS script. That's easy. But I'd also like to develop ways for people to pick the project they'd like to do. I suppose a drop down with the lists would be the easiest way. I'd also like a way to track each project better, from current contributions to how much money has been raised when they go for auction/sale.

So if you have any expertise in that area please let me know and we can work something out.

I've also been asking around for sponsorships but I think I'm going to be out of luck until I file to become a 503 (c) non-profit and begin keeping budget records and have some kind of financial plan, which frankly would be a giant headache; I'm no good with my own finances. So I guess if you have any expertise in that kind of thing, I'd love some help there too.

Thanks all, carry on.

January 12, 2008


It came in the mail yesterday, the 100th piece of art.

For those who haven't read back, the 100 Artists Project started as a small idea about a message board collaborative art project. It's since blossomed into a major endeavor and after only 10 months, 100 different people have sent artwork in to support the project. Some have sent more than one, some have sent something twice.

In that time, a single sketchbook has traveled the country 16 times. Before it's done it will have traveled to most US states as well as a dozen countries.

But for now the first part is done.

I have some reading to do now about which online printer could do this for me, but the next step is to get good scans of all the work and then put it up for auction. I was never able to secure a decent scanner so I'll be going to FedEx/Kinkos to scan them all if they've got something that big. Once that's done, I'll post all 100 pieces on eBay. There will be a link back to this blog and the main site. Then I'll spring for the ad on Fark and maybe a few other places. Then I'll update every message board I can find with the link to the auction.

I'm going to wait a while before putting the art print book up for sale, probably have it go online as soon as the auction is over. I don't want to discourage folks from trying for the original art first. I'm going to list the auction at $500 to start. It sounds like a lot, but that's $5 a piece and I think that's REALLY low.

I'm also going to close the form mailing page for a while as well. I need to retool the project and offer people a choice of which project they'd like to join. I want to reword a lot of the site so it's less confusing and people actually only sign up if they're going to participate rather than signing up to sign up. I also need to research a few other charities. I have some ideas for matching projects so we'll see if it all works.

But the good news is, the first part is officially over. We made it. We're done! I'm very excited. Thanks everyone.

January 11, 2008

Done? Maybe?

Member of Penciljack has sent his piece off. Once that gets here that will make 100 pieces and the first part of this project is done. Finito. In the can. Which means I'll be spending the next week or so assembling all the art, making sure it's scanned. Printing out some kind of credits page, what have you.

I've also got one person saying they've mailed theirs off as well, they live in Sweden (I think) so they'll be number 101 or #1 for volume 2.

I've also put an ad spot on the right for Project Wonderful. I'll be sure to recoup 10s of cents from the endeavor. Full disclosure, ad revenue will go toward site and project maintenance, not the funds. But I don't expect it to be much of anything.

That's all for now, more news about project wrap up soon.

Again, if you want to be interviewed, let me know. If you'd like to interview me about the project let me know. Word of mouth is our biggest ally right now.


January 08, 2008

Still Holding

Eight days into 2008 and we're still holding at 99 pieces. The Big Mailer has stalled and I'm no longer getting any hits on the site (which means this won't be read by anyone) and no one is using the form mailer to "sign up."

I've had dozens of people over the past month tell me something is "in the mail" or "sitting on my desk" or "going to be done this weekend." I can appreciate life getting in the way of things, but I'm starting to get a bit down on the project, with only one piece to go no less.

What this doesn't also bode well for is a second run of this project. It took (is taking) 8 months to get the first one half done. The first lady took a month to draw the picture and send it to the next guy who sat on it for three weeks. The current artist was sick (which apparently limits your drawing ability) and the sketchbook hasn't moved in a month. Meanwhile it's been months since I've heard from people who've said they'd send in something, and they haven't.

I've sent out numerous emails asking for interviews and very few have been returned. Those that have been have already been put up. I think folks have just forgotten this is here.

I don't like making a stink about this, but this stinks.

I don't know what else I can do to keep this thing going other than tireless and annoying bumping of forum threads. I don't have the money to advertise and I'd hate to stick AdSense on the site as it wouldn't do any good, what with the 5 hits a day the site gets. (And that's five a day for both the main site AND this blog.)

There's been two donations to support the project, no merchandise sales. I can't get the dang thing listed on Fark or Boing Boing or any major listing sight. And other than the help getting the site designed, all offered help seems to have disappeared.

So consider the project done when and IF the 100th piece ever comes in. I'll still finish it all with the auction and make copies of the books for people to get, but that's probably all I'll do. It's obvious I was one of the few that thought this was a good idea. As for the Big Mailer sketchbook floating around out there, I might just post everyone's emails somewhere and just say, "You guys work it out. When it's done, send it to my grandkids."

I'm bummed on the whole thing, but it's a project of mine and those tend to come up to about 99% and then die.

Carry on.