Blogkeeping

So here I am, back at the blog, and hopefully I’ll be posting more often from now on.
Here’s what’s been going on:

As you probably know, I got pretty sick for quite a while, and even after having gall bladder surgery last summer, it’s been a long, slow, recovery process. I’m still not back to 100% (or 100% of whatever percent I functioned at, back when things were clicking), but I’ve recovered enough to get work done more steadily, at least. Not fast, mind you, but faster than the near-standstill I’ve been at the last few years.

The first evidence of that is that ASTRO CITY returns to publication tomorrow, and I’ve done enough interviews around the ‘net about that that I won’t go over the details again (there’s a link to one of those interviews in the previous entry), and I couldn’t be happier about it. Brent and I have been slowly shambling forward on the book the whole time we’ve been “gone,” but it’s great to be back trading e-mails and phone calls with Alex Ross, John G. Roshell and Alex Sinclair as we get issues lettered, colored and cover-arted. Everyone’s got new energy and new ideas, so we’re working as a familiar, friendly group, and everyone’s bringing new stuff to the mix.

[I should take note, here, that Brent’s son, Bryce Anderson, has just graduated from high school as we launch the new #1. He was just being born as we started the first series, so that’s quite a reminder of the inexorable passage of time, but one to be proud of—and a double reason to celebrate. Congrats to Bryce and his parents!]

Beyond ASTRO CITY: I’m still working on BATMAN: CREATURE OF THE NIGHT with artist John Paul Leon, and while I can’t judge the story, I can say that the art’s just stunning. Hopefully we’ll get going a tad bit faster now that I’m not quite so dysfunctional, and you’ll eventually get to see it.

Beyond that, I have other projects in the works, some of which you’ve heard of and some you haven’t, and we’ll be launching them as they’re ready to go and as my improving health allows. Hope you’ll enjoy what’s coming.

We will be making a few changes at the blog, here, as we update the software and hopefully make it easier for me to post new entries. Maybe that way I won’t just post stuff to Facebook and Twitter and leave in unblogged, like the lazy bum I am.

But hey, speaking of which, J.G. talked me into starting up a Facebook page for ASTRO CITY, and you can find it here: Astro City. Brent, JG, Alex Sinclair and I are all “managers” of the page, and we’ll be adding links, previews and other bits of this and that as the spirit moves us and opportunity arises, so you might want to check it out.

And we do intend to get the old AstroCity.com website back up, either as its own site or as part of Busiek.com, and to find a way to resurrect the Herocopia.com project. But give us some time—first priority is getting the books coming out regularly, and providing new stuff for those sites to be about.

Now if you’ll excuse me, I gotta go proofread the lettercol to ASTRO CITY 2, and then hop in the shower. It’s sweaty work, creating new characters like Doctor Sarchophagus, and he’s just one of the new characters I outlined today…!

Through the Mail Slot

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A couple-three more e-mails…
From BRIAN:

I was wondering what your policy on sketches and autographs at conventions was:
1) Do you charge for autographs, if so how much and after how many, and do you have a limit?
2) Do you charge for any type of sketch, and how much and for what do you charge for (e.g. head sketches, mini bust type sketches, full body sketches: what would you charge per different one)?
3) Last one being, would you sketch anything or do you want me to ask you to do something you know pretty well and is it better to ask you ahead of convention time or wait til I get there and ask?
That’s all I think that I am wondering, if you could get back to me that would be great cause I would like to know before Emerald City Comicon.
I’m pretty sure I’ve answered this before—this very e-mail, not just the general questions—but just in case:
1. I don’t charge for autographs. I don’t have a set limit, either, with the following two caveats: (a) if you have a big stack and there’s a line, I may say I’ll sign some of them but you’ll have to get back in line after that, because I don’t want to keep the people behind you waiting, and (b) if you bring an entire longbox full of my stuff I may say hey, let’s not be ridiculous. I’m willing to sign a lot of books, but let’s not try to have me sign my entire output.
2. I’m a writer, not an artist, so you don’t really want to get sketches from me. I occasionally do sketches, but they’re very bad, so I don’t charge for them. But I’d rather not do them at all and you wouldn’t be impressed by the results. Generally I do them for sad-looking children who don’t really get the idea that not everyone sitting on the other side of those tables can draw, but I fear I don’t make them very happy.
3. Even bad sketches have their limits. I can do a few crappy-looking head shots I have some practice at, but if I try to draw something other than those, it looks even worse.
Here’s one of my sketches:

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And that’s after years of practice, too. You really don’t want to pay me to draw.
From DIANE:
Have you checked this out on YouTube? Tim reviews your book Superman: Secret Identity. check it out!

Thanks, Diane. I’m crossing my fingers that the video will embed properly; I’ve never tried to do this before.
[Side-note to Tim: Glad you like the book, and happy to have made you cry. It’s actually ‘BYOO-sik’ and “IMM-uh-n’n,’ more or less. And yes, that was an ending in Shockrockets: We Have Ignition, though Stuart and I would like to follow up on it someday…]
From GEOFFREY:

Big fan of Astro City and was just enjoying your “breaking in” piece, and tried to read the 3-part interview when I got to a broken link for Part 1 (and 2, incidentally).
Probably an easy fix.
As for the breaking-in piece, it interested me because last year I embarked on an experiment in podcasting after a more-than-twenty-year attempt to achieve success in music.
And I think you’re right. It’s best to concern yourself with doing, with MAKING something, rather than planning or struggling to figure out the WAY IN.
Thanks for the heads-up on the broken links. It was indeed an easy fix, and they should work just fine now.
And I’ll take this opportunity to remind other readers that there’s more to this website than the Notes section—the Read section has a smattering of stories, previews, interviews and essays (not as many as I’d like, but hey, some), the Find section has information on upcoming appearances, the Shop section has links to my books on Amazon, and so forth. Feel free to browse around.
I’m glad you liked the “Breaking In” piece, Geoffrey. It’s gotten a lot of attention over the years, and I can only hope it’s been useful.