Monday, December 09, 2019

Great Time to be an old Geek


Its been a weird week for me. Its a week where we lost some BIG BIG BIG names in Star Trek fandom. I mean, Robert Walker, Jr. (Charlie X), D.C. Fontana and last night, Rene Auberjonois left us. Its odd for me as a man in his 40s now, watching his heroes slowly retire, drift away or pass away. In a world that is constantly telling you to "grow up" or that movies, comics and games are things for children... its pressure. And I would be lying to you if I said I never agree. Because sometimes I do. That maybe I had these things and I had my time with them. Those times are over and I have to move on.

But if you look around my home, you'll see its filled up as an entire museum of my life. Especially my early years. I have toys on the wall. I have in boxed Nintendo games. I have shelves and shelves of DVDs, Blu-Rays, Comics, Books, Magazines, LPs, CDs and so many other things. I still drink out of Star Trek 3 Taco Bell glasses from 1984. I watch old cartoons like The Real Ghostbusters or Scooby Doo. I play Mario and Ghostbusters for Ps4. On and on and on. I'm a giant man-child and I don't think I will ever grow up. I've come to terms with that and I like that about myself. I think my kids like that about me too. We share in these things together. Lately I've been turning my youngest into a Ghostbusters fanatic. He's got a jumpsuit and a proton pack and he plays the video game constantly. He's got toys for it and we watch the cartoon together. Its awesome!

The geeks have grown up and now they are making the media. Some get it right, some miss the mark of what made that thing so great. But really, it doesn't matter. We have SO MUCH of the right thing. Like STAR TREK. Okay, so older fans don't enjoy the new stuff. But we have so many old episodes, books, comics that get it right. I'm willing to bet that all the ranty fans online haven't seen or read all of it. Why focus on the bad? And okay, I wasn't a fan of the 2016 Ghostbusters movie. I gave it an honest chance but I felt like it wasn't funny and it missed the mark. There were things I liked about it, but ultimately, I wasn't into it. That is okay. Did I need to go online and threaten the makers or the actresses in it? Of course not. Why do people do that? I don't get it.

Perhaps the best thing about me growing older is that not only did I never leave these things, but I also left my elitism behind. I remember a younger, angrier version of me who judged anyone who didn't like this movie or that band.  I sometimes playfully act that way in front of younger co-workers who talk excitedly about anime or Pokemon and I say, "Whats a Pokemon?" Cause it is funny to "play" like I'm an old angry man, just barely tolerating the youngsters around me. But inside I am enjoying that they like something. They can dress up and play and collect, just like I did. Its actually awesome. It feels good to have let go of my elitism and put down the swords of a gatekeeper of the old cool things, so that when someone asks about it, I'm not all, "you weren't there for that and its only for me!" I'm more like, "wow... you got so much cool shit you missed out on. Let me show you." And I'm really happy to open the door for anyone who wants to check it out. I think its a much better way to be.

As I look to my left I got a shelf with an Enterprise ship and an Ecto-1 car on it. Both are screen accurate and immaculate looking. If I had these things as a kid, I woulda lost my mind. But I have them now. My kids have them. For all the wrongs that happen, there is a lot of right things to embrace as well. So why dwell in the negative? I am entertained by the ranters and naysayers who tap into the anger and use it as entertainment. Like the RED LETTER MEDIA youtube folks, or the ANGRY VIDEO GAME NERD. That is for entertainment. But those actual ranters... the ones who boycott and threaten and use their anger to spread hate and vitriol everywhere.... that I don't get. What is that? How can you spend your time dwelling in that head space? I feel sorry for you. Cause there is so much good shit out there. All you gotta do is go find it!

Aging is weird. Everyday I wake up, someone I liked is gone. A project I like ends. A creative team I liked has left a project. But then, new cool shit comes up. Its refreshed. Reborn. Because there will always be cool things to come. I can't tell you how excited I am for the rest of the season of The Mandalorian. or Star Wars Episode Nine. Or Star Trek Picard. Or Ghostbusters Afterlife. or the Creed movies. On and on and on.

Being an old geek ain't so bad. Drop the hate an enjoy it. There's no better time than now.

-T


Thursday, November 21, 2019

Updates, 2020 Look Ahead...


Hey friends, thanks for checking back with me.

I haven't updated here much. Although at my Patreon, I post there a few times a week. Blogs, pinups, sketches, comics... Its really the place to be and it directly funds what I do. So if you want more me, join us by clicking: HERE

I'm super busy with day job overtime and wrapping up STARSLAM RETURNS. My colorist finished the pages a couple weeks ago and so word ballooning has begun. I got a lot of family stuff coming up in the next couple weeks (holidays, natch), so I am still hoping that December release will happen. Of course you will hear about it on my blogs and social media. If you missed the Kickstarter there will be opportunities to get digital and physical copies when its complete. Stay tuned.

I'm already looking ahead to 2020 and what that will bring into my life. I have a couple projects I want to focus on and complete, along with the monthly work the Patreon brings me. Unfortunately I've found that as I grow older and life has become more complicated, I've found that my time is more severely limited to work on the things I want to do and pursuing paid work and commissions have constantly put road blocks in front of progress on these things. Its not a bad problem to have, don't get me wrong. Getting paid for my art and seeing people enjoy it has been a privilege.  I'm forever grateful for those folks who do get my art and support me directly. But the drive to finish these things I have long since promised and keep delaying, coupled with a severe drive to want to do these things, funneled through a shrinking window of daily time to do them has been an extreme juggle for me. I have thought long and hard about what to do and what I WANT to do, and I think I have come to with a conclusion.

Freelance has to stop. Meaning, paid work and commissions. But I cannot stop it outright. I have clients I work with long term and its on things that are not finished yet. I cannot leave anyone high and dry on things. I would never do that. So I have come up with a compromise:

2020 will be the last year I will take commissions. 

There, I said it. It feels better to admit it. So I am giving the world 13 months to get whatever they want out of me until I close the door for good. Page commissions, story commissions, 8x11, 11x17, larger pieces... all of it will end on Dec, 31st 2020. No more. Zilch. Nada. Onward.

The focus will only be on my stuff and keeping the promises I've made to myself and to others. All the things will come. Also, more time with my family and friends. I've had a great run and I am grateful to all who have supported and will still support what I do. I never have taken you for granted. You've helped me keep the lights on in extreme times. I hold you all closer than you know. But I've just come to a point in my life where I just want to pursue the things I want to do and not make it so much of a "business" anymore. I've already stopped doing conventions, except for this anniversary year where I did reach out a bit. This decision is the next step.

Does this mean no more Commission tiers on Patreon? I haven't made a decision on that one yet. I am thinking I might keep that one for now. That might be an exception I will consider because its not all that much of a demand and its for the hardcore folks who support me and ALL THE THINGS I do. That might be the only way to get something from me. Also, I do often do story commission reward tiers on Kickstarters for new books. That might be the other way. But as far as me chasing down paid work, emailing me blindly and getting something done, nope. That ends on Dec. 31st, 2020.

So we got a year. Want something done? Something for the holidays this year? NOW is the time to get it done.  Details and pricing are here: CLICK HERE

I hope this decision isn't too disappointing to you. I've wrestled with this for a long time, so it did not come lightly. But this is the best choice for me and my future. But we got 13 months. There is plenty of time to get something nice for yourself, whatever form that will be in. All funds secured directly go to fund my future and my family. I got big life changing events happening in 2020. The money will certainly be put to use. So consider scoring a piece today or very soon. I do appreciate it and love you all.

Next time we talk will be my big year end blog that I always do. Let's talk then after Christmas!
Much love, T

Sunday, October 20, 2019

Mt. Pleasant FANTASTICON Recap!

Hey friends!

I'm back from a whirlwind of a vacation/convention appearance in my old hometown of Mt. Pleasant, Michigan! Its time for a recap of how it went down:

Every time I return to the old haunts, I have to take a stroll down memory lane and see what I remember, what remains and what is gone for good. I stopped through Shepherd and saw my old childhood home. Then we drive to downtown Mt. Pleasant and saw a few old places of note... like the BIRD BAR & GRILL... my old bar! (and also featured in the pages of my comic, PLEASANT LIFE!). Right across the street is the old WARD THEATER. A place where I worked and closed shop on back in 2001. Then of course I had to stop off at JON'S COUNTRY BURGER. All necessary stops when I am in town and full of memories! Here's an image dump:




We got to the Soaring Eagle Casino on Friday and chilled in the jacuzzi a couple of times, while sipping on some vodka and Mike bottles. On Saturday I reported to the FANTASTICON show floor and set up... but not before stopping for a breakfast pastry!

"mmm.... doughnuts..."

Iz VIGGO!

Two in the box, ready to go!

On Saturday I stayed steady. I didn't get pics of every commissioned sketch card but here are some TMNT ones I did for someone: 


I did a lot of cards for some really kind folks. But most importantly to me, I sold a lot of books! I sold out of my copies of STARSLAM 1-2, ANNA POCALYPSE and I was down to only two remaining PLEASANT LIFE books! Not a bad problem to have indeed! I also got rid of some original art and bacon bookmarks! I had a really good weekend, sales-wise... thanks to everyone who came out and supported!

It was a smaller show and more intimate to deal with people, which I prefer. Only downside to me was that the panel "room" was on the show floor and the speakers were right behind my table, behind a curtain. So sometimes people talking or music playing got so loud I couldn't hear anyone in front of me. It was a pain in the ass, but I dealt with it.

I ran into my brother, my old pals Shane and family, Jon K, Matt & Michelle and my brother stopped by and hung out for a while. And that was just a few old friends I saw. Many more stopped by and I made some new ones as well. That is always the highlight of these shows for me!

So now, I am safely back home. The dust has settled on another con appearance. Thus ends my "25th year anniversary in comics" celebration. Its been a long, strange trip, folks. But so rewarding. I'm glad to have spent it at home. But now my mind turns toward what is next. I finished the page art on STARSLAM 4 and I am beginning the new PATREON stories. Plus a new graphic novel after that. So much to keep rolling on! I cannot wait for what is to come. You'll hear all about it soon, I assure.

To be a part of it, the best way is my PATREON PAGE (Click here). You get monthly exclusive blogs, podcasts, pinups... then there are reward tiers to get monthly erotica comics and then even monthly digital commissions for 1/2 price of my regular prices! Its the best way to keep up with me as my updates here on Idiothead.com are sporadic. I invite you to join my community I am building over there. All new stuff goes there first!

Thanks to all who came out to FANTASTICON and who took the time to stop by. I'll miss you until next time. Love to you all!

--T

Tuesday, October 08, 2019

Abbey Road Remastered Review


If you are a hardcore Beatles nut like me then you woulda scored the ABBEY ROAD 50th ANNIVERSARY box set last week. I got the super deluxe edition with the big book, handwritten lyric scans, studio notes, outtakes, demos and of course, remastering of the album.

Most people when they hear "remastered," they don't take much stock in it. But with The Beatles, there is an exception. In 2009, all their albums were remastered and it was noticeable. I could hear the drums and bass higher in the mix and it sounded "warmer" from all previous CD ports.

*Note: I won't argue the sound of vinyl with this or other releases. I'm going to talk about CD only. Apologies to my sound nuts out there with a preference for wax. Much love. Also I won't debate the Stereo vs. Mono mix here. I'm just reviewing the CD box set. Choose your own preference.

So is this 2019 remaster worth listening to? ABSOLUTELY. Here is what I can say about it:

You've heard these sounds hundreds of times. But this time in headphones they sound fresher. Sunnier. Sparkier. Glassy. Just overall more shiny than ever before. The vocals are higher in the mix especially and you can hear the guys breathing in and out before singing more than before.

Also, the instruments are separated better. You can actually zone in and just listen to what Paul is doing on the bass or the enhanced deepness of the lower toms when Ringo hits them (Most noticeable in the SOMETHING intro and drum solo in THE END). You can hear little bass fills and playful things Paul does on songs more and guitars don't sound as fuzzy on songs like BECAUSE or I WANT YOU. Truly you can hear the song and think, "What is Paul playing" and can ignore the rest and zero in on just him and hear it! I've never heard it like this before. Truly wonderful.

One special thing I noticed is that HER MAJESTY starts and its full on in my right ear. Mid-song, its drifted to the center. By the end, its fully on the left ear! Just a little playful thing done for those who care to notice.

The song that sounded the best to me was SOMETHING. There are waves of sound there and they are completely separated. And George's vocal is higher in the mix and clear as if it were recorded yesterday.

I took the time to listen to the 2009 remaster and then switch to this new 2019 remaster and compare the first minute or so of each song just to see if there were differences, and truly there were. I must say I give G. Martin a big thumbs up for this mix. It might be my favorite way to hear my favorite Beatles album now!

I checked out the studio alternate takes and demos and its interesting to hear how these songs were formed. The real highlight is "THE LONG ONE," Which is the whole medley as one long 16 minute thing together, and with HER MAJESTY in its original spot between MEAN MR MUSTARD and POLYTHENE PAM. A glimpse of how we might have heard it had it remained that way. Personally, I like it taken out because it seems to lose momentum with it left in. But I'm also coming at that having it heard the same way for a long damn time.

Also, you hear a lot of laughing and chatting between the takes. Might help dispel the myths that they were super angry at each other during this period... unless they found the playful bits and put them in there to help sedate those old myths. But either way, it was nice to know and hear that the boys did have times of fun while making their final album together. 

Anyway, that is my review. Thanks for reading and go get that deluxe box set! 

Thursday, October 03, 2019

FANTASTICON Oct 19-20th - MT. PLEASANT, MICHIGAN!


Hey friends! I will be a guest at the FANTASTICON Mt. Pleasant, MI on October 19-20th this year. Its my only appearance for the forseeable future and rare because I don't really do conventions that much anymore. I'm going to celebrate my 25th year in self publishing comics! I plan on partying back in my hometown all weekend and I hope you come on out and see me! Here's the skinny:

I will be selling the following---

• HAND DRAWN SKETCH CARDS (pop culture characters for a cheap rate!)

• GRAPHIC NOVELS (Very limited quantity and at a discounted rate!)

• ORIGINAL ART BLOWOUT! (Lots of old pages, pinups going for dirt cheap!)

What I WILL NOT be doing at the show are full commissions. So if you want a commission, it is best to pre-order it now for the low low low low low rate of $25 for an 8x11 (1-4 characters max, single image) and paypal me now at: phymns@yahoo.com - Please use friends/family rate. I will get it done and you can pick it up at the show. Easy! (Note: This is for pickup at the show only. Special anniversary rate. This is not for standard commissions elsewhere to be mailed out. ONLY for Fantasticon Mt. Pleasant pick up. Thanks.)

This show will be a celebration as well as a major garage sale of old stuff that I just want to get rid of. Original art and my books will be majorly discounted. I will be partying at the Casino all weekend with my friends and family. This is a homecoming and a celebration for me and I want you all to be a part of it!

So make your plans now to come out and celebrate with me! For more info about the show and to get early tickets, click HERE

luvs, T

Monday, September 16, 2019

Finding some calm in my storm

Hey friends! Thanks for reading, I appreciate it.

Well, the Kickstarter for STARSLAM RETURNS ended on Friday and we pulled in around $3800, Which is awesome! It really tried to shoot for the moon with this campaign, since STARSLAM 3's numbers were so high. But I suppose many factors came into play and I couldn't capture lightening twice. Once I pay my colorist and pay for printing/reprints on older books and shipping, I will have a tiny bit left. That's not to say that I am upset about anything at all. I'm very grateful for the old fans that came back and all the new ones who joined in on this journey. Starslam has become a very important part in my life and I am glad she has such rabid fans! She certainly is fun to draw!

Now comes a few long months of finishing production on the book, getting the colors and letters done and then printing it. I am hoping it will all be done by December as I promised. I'm hard at work at that and other things to keep it all afloat. So excuse me if I go radio silent for a while. Just means I am busy getting things done.

I took a much needed vacation this past weekend. We went to Muskegon State Park for some camping and a celebration of my girl's birthday! It was very therapeutic and relaxing all around. It has been a rough year for both of us for various reasons. So glad to finally get away for a couple days and just detox from all the bullshit with some great friends!




So now I am home and I have two big TO DO lists I need to get going on. Lots of commission stuff, prep for the upcoming FANTASTICON Mt. Pleasant, a card gig I just signed up for and about a million other things...priority being to get STARSLAM RETURNS out the door. Its going to get very busy for me real quick. The good thing is I am staying ahead on PATREON stories and things are going good there.

Anyway, thanks for reading and I will be back with some good news soon about FANTASTICON. I'm hoping this good streak keeps up. I need a win this year man... big time.

Thanks everyone!

-T

Wednesday, September 11, 2019

Last Day Plus other stuff


Today is the last day for my Kickstarter for STARSLAM RETURNS! I'm pretty happy that I see so many repeat fans coming back and so many new faces too! It truly means a lot to me. The Kickstarter ends Friday at noon Eastern. And please note: I DO NOT SELL PHYSICAL BOOKS ONLINE! So if you want one, this is the only way to for sure score one. Pre-order my book on my Kickstarter right here:

STARSLAM RETURNS ON KICKSTARTER

Beyond that its been the usual business in my life. Both my youngest boys had birthdays in the last couple weeks. Scott turned 11, James turned 7. We had lots of presents, cake and more fun times as always.

I've been busy with commissions and I just signed up for another card set through Dynamite. One that will be a lot of fun and a bit of a departure for me. I recently sold the majority of my leftover KISS cards from my artist proofs from the Dynamite set. I still have a couple left, as well as a few BETTIE PAGE, VAMPIRELLA and WOMEN OF COSPLAY cards available. I have to check when I am able to sell them, but if you are initially interested, let me know asap. Hit me with the email: phymns@yahoo.com


In addition to all of this, I will be at FANTASTICON in my old hometown of Mt. Pleasant, Michigan coming up in October. I can think of no better place to celebrate my 25 years in self publishing comics than in the town where it all started! I hope to see lots of old friends and make new ones. I will be taking pre-commission sales for people to pick up at the show. I'll make an announcement and give details about that soon. Probably next week. So stay tuned. Plan to come out and party with me in October at FANTASTICON! I don't do many shows anymore so this is a grand opportunity. Let's party!!

I haven't had much time or spare scratch to get many new music or movies so I have been watching some stuff that has accumulated in the house. I recently watched YOR: HUNTER FROM THE FUTURE (which was some cheesy fun) and MILES AHEAD (the Don Cheadle acted and directed flick about Miles Davis. Awesome!) - Also of course I got the new TOOL album... scalpers be damned, I got it on release day for cost! Fuck you!! And its good, as one would expect. It will take some time to dissect as all TOOL albums do, so bare with me as I do that. I'm adding it to the "will listen deeply and dissect" pile.

After Fantasticon I plan to lay low and finish Starslam Returns and get ahead on more Patreon stories. Join me for monthly erotica comics and more at my Patreon right HERE - It all goes to help me keep the lights on in this muthafukka. Plus you get exclusive content, and its SMUT! So it works out for everyone I hope. I appreciate the support!

I reckon thats all I got. Go score you a book and more stuff at my Kickstarter right HERE -- the clock is ticking!

Luvs, T