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 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

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,

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.