Posts Tagged ‘fan art’

Re: Far From Over

Wednesday, October 28th, 2009

So Amu’s World isn’t going anywhere anytime soon after all. Ending the strip’s been on my mind for about a month or two now. When I started I made a goal for myself. I promised I would make a weekly webcomic and not miss an update for an entire year. As I got closer to meeting this goal I began considering what exactly I’d do once I’d done it. I think I’ve figured it out.

I’m making new goals. One isn’t enough, and while it was a good start I think I’m ready to add a few more. I’m beyond happy I’ve met this goal. It feels really good to know I can do the things I set out to do. While this seems obvious, and I’m going to get slightly personal here, you must understand I’ve been going through some wonky anxiety issues for the past 8 years or so. I’ve not set or met a goal in that time. This is big for me.

I didn’t do it on my own. Not even remotely. Amu (my wife and creator of the amigurumi featured in the comic) has on more than one occasion forced me to not give up. I wouldn’t have made it the first 3 months without her. There are more people I need to thank.

THANKS

I have an addictive personality, and I’m a social chameleon in that I tend to absorb the traits and interests of people I’m around. To this end I have to thank Nick and Marty (Dead of Summer) for providing the spark. If it weren’t for knowing them I’d have never had this idea. I need to thank Ross Nover for being so helpful right out of the gate. He almost single-handedly helped me navigate that first learning curve. Also Jamie Noguchi and Darren Gendron for, when I asked The Twitters if anyone would like to see an amigurumi webcomic, responding so energetically and positively that yes, they’d very much like to see that.

I also can’t leave out Jamie Baldwin, Bryan Prindiville, and the rest of the Super Art Fight crew for being supportive. In addition, I want to thank Onezumi and Harknell for being awesome and for welcoming me into the greater webcomics fold, and for sort of (via Twitter) introducing me to Bree and Ami who are awesome and friendly despite never having met me.

Last but not least I want to thank my awesomest readers Doridachi and Vanessa for being there early on, taking the time to communicate with me, and sticking with the comic for so long. You guys keep me going.

I know this isn’t an academy awards acceptance speech, but I seriously would not be making this comic at all or having as much fun as I’m having without their help and support.

CHANGES

So now that I’m going into my second year I’m going to make some changes. Nothing’s going to happen overnight, but since I’m sticking with this I need to start considering how I’m presenting it. I’m going to re-design the site. I don’t know how yet, but I started sketching some ideas out this past weekend. I’m going to get that CAST page up finally. The photos are done I just need to put the page up.

I’m going to start hammering out some of the dozen or so T-Shirt ideas I have so I can help people out with that “I REALLY need an Amu’s World shirt but there aren’t any” problem so many people seem to have. :) I’m not and artist nor a designer, but I’m going to try. I’m going to blog here more. I don’t do it often enough and I really should. This will happen sooner than later.

I will be doing contests and asking for feedback and working harder to engage my readers. I love that you stop by and want to get to know about you and what you like. I also want to start rewarding my readers to show how much I appreciate and value their time. So without further ado…

FIRST CONTEST

If you’ve read this far (why are you so crazy to have read this far?), get ready for our First Birthday Celebration Fan Art Contest! The rules, also detailed on the Contest Page, are as follows:

- Create some Amu’s World Fan Art
- Fan Art can be in any medium (drawn, crocheted, sculpted, photographed, ANYTHING!)
- BE CREATIVE! We would LOVE to see our characters in YOUR style!
- Deadline is the end of day on Friday, November 13th
- E-mail your submission to me at: bcslaski [at] gmail [dot] com

The weekend after the deadline Amu and I will go over the entries and select a winner, which we will announce on Monday, November 16th. The prize is an Amu’s World amigurumi doll and a large size print of YOUR CHOICE from any of the Photo Phriday pictures.

So let’s see that Fan Art!

Fan Art Contest – Winningness

Monday, November 16th, 2009

PREFACE

Here we are. I was so excited to have the comic reach a year’s worth of updates I wanted to celebrate with a contest that would reward readers. I’d figured some Fan Art would reward readers by showing off the comic’s characters in a way they haven’t been seen before, and reward the contest winner with some handmade merchandise and a photo print. What I’d failed to consider was how hard this would be. Here’s a hint: IT’S HARD!

I wasn’t sure what to expect at first. If I’m honest I have to admit that lately I’ve become a very Glass Mostly Empty kind of guy and thought nobody would enter. While I’m glad I was wrong I have to admit that NONE would have made the job of selecting a winner much easier. :) This said, I look at the THREE submissions I received and am very happy to have held this contest. I’m in awe and am humbled to have such talented people read the comic and take the time to create and submit an entry. Thank you SO MUCH to everyone who entered. Now onto the submissions.

THE SUBMISSIONS

Bunny Huntin’

The first entry I received was from buddy and fellow webcomics dude Jamie Noguchi. If you don’t know Jamie, here’s a list of SOME of the things he’s up to online: angryzenmaster, Erfworld (Book 1), Monster Cutie, Headline DS, Super Art Fight, and I’m sure there’s more. Here’s his entry.

My initial reaction to this was a rapid fire blown away torrent of excited curses and ill-enunciated gibberish. SO. FREAKIN’. AWESOME! From his e-mail:

Ninja and Kunoichi sharing a tender moment. And then… BUNNY STEW!!!!!

Seeing the characters (especially Chance) portrayed realistically is beyond surreal for me. I spend so much time looking at these little crocheted guys I hadn’t even imagined them in this style. I love the worried little bunny expression on Chance. It’s art like this that reminds me that if he doesn’t start to show the internet more comics soon I’m going to have to BEAT HIM UP!

Thanks, Jamie! My mind = Blown the frig up!

Crafty Ninja

Less than 20 minutes later I received the second entry from Kristie. Kristie is a reader who follows me on Twitter and who makes some precious amigurumi and plushies. In fact, you can see some of them at her Etsy Store. You should probably BUY THEM! :) She’s also a great mom. When Amu and I talk about having kids it’s always about how we won’t be. We both have a myriad reasons why this is. Kristie’s Twitter updates, so full of happy and fun times with her child, remind me some of the ways I think we may be missing out. Here’s her entry.

ADORABLE! This Kunoichi plushi is made of black fleece, felt, embroidery floss and yarn. While I’m not a crafter myself, I live with one. I see the trial and error involved in creating something in person. I see the needle stabbed and yarn welted fingers. I witness the hours of twisting wrists and hands that give ME arthritis just watching! On the few occasions I’ve helped Amu prepare for selling her handmade items at craft shows or conventions I learned how much time and concentration goes into making even the most basic of things. I nearly lost my mind attaching limbs to some of her cellphone charms.

Above all I learned to respect how much dedication goes into hand crafting a plushie, or amigurumi, or doll. It’s nothing I could ever do and I admire those who have the manual dexterity to MAKE AWESOME THINGS.

Thanks so much, Kristie! So squishy, huggably awesome.

Heroes Of Amitown

The third entry was quite the buzzer beater. Right at the end I got a nice surprise as I had yet another reason to be glad I do this comic. Ami, who does the webcomic The Glass Urchin is someone in the webcomics world I’ve only met online, via Twitter. The East Coast webcomics scene has been a nice, welcoming little family. Ami’s comic is autobiographical, cute, funny, and contains one of my favorite webcomic updates of all time. I say this because this comic is SO DANG TRUE!

There’s a lot I do to escape my day and explore new places, ideas, stories, and characters. Comics is one of those places. To be a part of that, and be part of a family that is a part of that, is amazing. Ami’s also reached a milestone in publishing her FIRST BOOK, which collects the first year of her webcomic in print form. Hooray! Here’s Ami’s entry.

SO CUTE! I love it I love it I love it! In her e-mail Ami mentions that she loves Hidalgo, Juan’s attack alpaca. In truth, I’ve had more people tell me he’s their favorite character than any other character. I think that’s HILARIOUS because he almost didn’t make it into the comic at all. It was on a whim that Amu mentioned we should add him. It’s wonderful to see him in this style. The tongue is super cute and I love the colors. I was hoping people would depict the characters in their own style, and this is why. This is so sweet my teeth have rotted away, been replaced with dentures, which have also been destroyed by the cute sweetness.

Thank you Ami for contributing MAXIMUM HIDALGO CUTENESS!

THE WINNER

This is one of the harder things I’ve had to do, and after much thought Amu and I have decided that ALL THREE HAVE WON!

Don’t think it wasn’t difficult to make this decision. I personally spent HOURS going over the entries, talking to Amu, and getting feedback and advice from people I trust. After going back and forth with myself over how to select a winner it was ultimately Amu who swayed me to this result after stressing that we got three entries, and all three are fantastic. There wasn’t any way we COULDN’T reward everybody for taking the time out to make such flattering pieces for the contest. You’re all wonderful and did an amazing job. We’re so lucky to have gotten such phenomenal art.

So Amu and I are going to be working hard to get Jamie, Kristie, AND Ami each an Amu’s World amigurumi, and a large print of THEIR CHOICE from any of the Photo Phriday pictures. If those photos weren’t enough of a selection, I’ll extend your options to a large print of ANY comic if you had a favorite instead of a Friday photo.

I’m going to hit each of you up with an e-mail for your information, and as soon as you’ve selected which photo or comic you’d like a print of I’ll make the order and Amu will get cracking on an amigurumi for you. Thank you so much for participating, and I hope it was fun for you and all the other readers. I’m humbled.

OBSERVATION

All three pieces of Fan Art for the contest featured Kunoichi. As a result, I’m soon going to be exploring a Kuno-focused story. I’m looking forward to delving into her story and fleshing out her personality.