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Hey Gang... I'm about to ramble for a few minutes, so please, bear with me. It's going to sound like whining... it's not. I just need to get some shit off my chest.

It's become very difficult for me not to be stressed out. Between the little bit of work I've gotten over the last few years, the lack of sales at Cons (compared to what they use to be) and honestly, this awful political climate... it's becoming harder and harder to get through the day without a breakdown.

With Terri and I starting Antiis Comics, it's a way for me to try and show folks what I can do and want to do. I want to work. I want to tell stories. I want to entertain. The book sells at shows. It was the only thing that actually moved for me at Comic Con Palm Springs and we sell a few books at every show, which is nice. But I'd like to be selling more.

Everyone who's read it has given me nothing but great feedback. And honestly, if someone didn't like it, I'd still want to know. I've given a number of books out to Pros and Comic sites in the hopes that I'd get some kind of feedback, a review or plug on social media.

Nothing.

I'm sorry if this seems petty, but it's frustrating. If I pick up a book and like it, I talk about it... shit, sometimes if I like the artist or writer and the book isn't great, I still plug it. Why? Because we are a small community that should support each other... but it seems like we're also turning into a community that likes to see people fail. I hate to even say it, but even my friends haven't mentioned the book. That's personally heartbreaking.

The first 10 years of my career in this business, I constantly had work. I was working pretty much exclusively on comics for Lucas Online. I had a small side gig doing storyboards for a small production company in LA and wasn't really concerned with looking beyond that because I was doing pretty good. Yea, I wanted to be drawing Batman or Spidey or Cap. Honestly, I still want a crack at something for the Big Two. If I sit down at the drawing table at 7am and have something to work on, I work 16-18 hours straight.

When I did the "2112" book for Rush. I was given a 30 day deadline. I need to express to you that I was given 30 days to:

Layout (and come up with designs for the characters)
Pencil
Ink
Color AND
Letter

...a 40 page Graphic Novel (plus Cover) that sold thousands of copies that NOBODY in my business (except Mark Irwin LOL) saw. 30 days to do the job of 3-4 people who would get 2 or 3 times that amount of time. And I delivered. Sure, there's a few pages I would go back and change, but honestly, still one of the best gigs I ever had (Who gets emails from Neil Peart?!?)

Since the last season of the Clone Wars web comic ended (season 3 of the show), work has been sparse. The first year after, I survived solely on Commissions and Con appearances. My con appearances have dwindled because I'm not getting the invites I use to. I refuse to do Wizard shows after the way I was treated the last time.. and honestly, I am having a hard time banking on shows I'm not invited to. Even Palm Springs, with being a guest, was a financial bust (but I don't take it personally... EVERYONE had a bad show at PS).

I've come to learn recently that just asking for help isn't a sign of weakness. For years, I refused to ask anyone "Hey, if you hear of something you think I might be good for, could you throw my name out there?". I thought it was a bad thing. I never realized it's how you actually get work.

I get better everyday at this. That's what happens when you draw all day, everyday even when you don't have a paying job to work on.

But I refuse to give up. I've seen friends give up and I'm not going to do that. I've often thought about giving up and going out and getting another job but WTF am I qualified to do other then Bartend and Wait tables? Nothing. And if I went back to doing that, which I hated (despite being great at it), I could see me becoming a miserable bastard who lives out his life like a puppy who's been kicked one too many times. Yes, I'm tired of struggling, but why give up on something because times are tough?

So here's the deal...

I have many ways people can support what I'm trying to do...

- Buy the comic. Support what we're trying to accomplish. You can buy it directly from us here: www.etsy.com/shop/antiiscomics You can get a copy, signed by Terri and I sent right to your door for $4 plus S&H! And most importantly...

If you like the comic, spread the word. Tell folks. If you have a comic website where you review comics, review it.

- Buy art from my personal Etsy Store. There's lost of stuff to choose from and there's large commission spots as well: www.etsy.com/shop/HodgesArt

- Commission a piece of art. Commissions start at $30 and go up from there. To inquire about a commission, email me directly at hodgesart@me.com

- Support my Patreon. This is especially for aspiring artists. My goal is to teach you something and I'm going to be working on my first video this week and those will be just for Patrons. www.patreon.com/hodgesart

And finally, to my friends in the industry... if something comes up that I might be good for. A few pages here, a few pages there. A variant cover... base card art, throw my name out there.

I'm not someone who wants hand outs. I don't ask for them. Like I said, until recently, I never really asked people to consider me for something. I want to earn my money, not be given it. If you give me money, you're going to get something in return and I'll work my ass off to make sure you get my best.

OK, I'm done. Have a good day, Gang!
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:iconphymns:
phymns Featured By Owner Sep 26, 2016
I know exactly how you feel. 23 years, ten graphic novels, various card sets and still no attention. Ive got a nice core group of supporters which i love, but i'll always have to have a supplemental income.
Ive accepted that. The dream is still alive, but just not as i initially wanted it. Keep pursuing yours. Youve done amazing things. (Inwould LOVE to get an email from Neil Peart!) cheers.
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:iconkizzyanel:
KizzyAnel Featured By Owner Sep 24, 2016  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
Hey everyone needs a rant. I now regret that I didn't make more of an effort to stop you at CCPS. I did my first artist alley table there (my hometown) and saw you walk by a couple of times. Each time my bestie and I fangirled. It was a great experience and not having any basis for comparison I loved it. I got to know the neighbors in artist alley who were all other artist trying to do their thing and it was great and supportive (for 2 others it was also their first one). I have a day job that is almost exactly opposite of artwork and I do art on the side, even though it is necessary for me, I don't think I could ever do it all the time like you, but follow artists like you really convinced me to try my hand at least putting myself out there. 

I had the opposite experience, growing up artists I'd see in galleries or on the street were bitter and very unhelpful. My husband is a musician and I get jealous when I see him interacting with other musicians. They are always "oh hey you play? Awesome! We should play sometime! When is your next show? Hook up with me online and hopefully I can come see you!" I used to complain to him that artists were never like that. Artists are introverted and didn't want to share for fear someone would do it too and divide the market or hell do it better. Then I started going to con. I started following artists like yourself online. I paid more attention to other artists and I tried starting the conversation with them rather than waiting for them too. I learned networking from my day job and I realized it isn't a skill everyone has. There are definitely those out there that are bitter or anti social, but some are just not good at socializing. And then there are those like you who like to help and share and support. 

Now, learning from people like you I try very hard to support other artists first. So thank you for your rant. Thank you for your support and I wish I had stopped you and said all that to your face. But in all honesty I probably would have just fangirled anyways hehe.
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:iconcerebus873:
cerebus873 Featured By Owner Sep 20, 2016
I'm in "convention Mode" (I'm going to another convention this Saturday in Cincinnati). At a convention, if I see any creator done book, if I think there is even a minute chance I'll like the book, I buy it.  I LIKE to support creators.

Also, you can thank AdamWithers and ComfortLove for this habit.  I picked up their most excellent Uniques at a Mid-Ohio-Con ( a moment of silence for the fallen) many years ago.  It was super-excellent, and made me wonder what other wonders I was missing.   So now I have an extremely liberal policy of buying creator books.  I _do_ try to comment back, but I was embarassed to find that I saw an artist at the last cincy show (the cincy comic con, a two weeks ago), and found I bought his Graphic novel LAST YEAR, and it's still sitting in my "To read" pile.  Now I need to read it in the next few days so I can tell him what I thought of it. (And I probably have no time!)

I actually tell this to every single artist I buy a book from, that they should thank Comfort and Adam. I believe that it's good to pass such things along and to remind people that comics isn't a Zero Sum game.  I mean it is a bit, I have a finite amount of money.  BUT, if one creator is nice/friendly and makes something awesome, that INCREASES my odds that I'll take the risk on another creator and talk to them and buy their stuff.Commissioning is the same way.

Commissioning is the same way.  My first commission on DA was FANTASTIC.  I then proceeded to commission > 50 artists for 200 images.  Last year I've slowed WAAAY down.  Why?  because one arist was a bit difficult, and I was shaking that off.  Made me mistep on the fun train.  And as I was doing that, another artist totally pissed me off (and that's fairly hard to do).  It was so bad I didn't commission ONE THING for about two months, and only started up again last year to commission for my birthday (and this year it slipped my mind totally).  Aside from a Patreon commission I get, I tink I've done 3 commissions in the last year.  The previous year was probably ~100.

So, one REALLY POSTIVE experience got 49 other artists work.  A misstep (that I worked out with the artist and it turned out being a great piece of art and a good experience overall) followed by a REALLY SHITTY experience and I've not been commissioning much. Like it or not, every artist/comic pro is an ambassador for the rest.  Be an asshole to someone and you're not only punking your sales, your punking everyone else's sales.

So I want people to know, if you see Comfort and Adam at a convention, they're good people, and they're getting you sales by being awesome.  (If  you are on DA and you get a commission from me, it's becuase Didi-Esmeralda is awesome. )

So, since I noticed you talking about your book -- SALE.  It looks interesting, I'll try to read it soon and tell you what I thought. I  opted for the digital download as a) no S&H and b) RIGHT NOW except I probably won't get to it, it's the theory of RIGHT NOW though.)  Plus you get 100% profit I guess, though you still have the sunk cost of the ones you printed...

Also, I share your hatred of Wizard World.  They bought Mid-Ohio-Con, and now I don't go to Wizard World Ohio as it sucks.  I probably should thank them for sucking so bad as I go to the two Cincy cons, Gem City Con, And the Akron Comic Con now.  Might try to add in Lexington to the rotation.  (I'm in Columbus, OH.  I don't go to the show that is 5m from my house!!!)
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:iconhodges-art:
Hodges-Art Featured By Owner Sep 20, 2016  Professional
You support of artists is appreciated whether you've slowed down or not. You're one of the guys who keeps us going.

My next con is NYCC, my first time there and I'm nervous as balls!
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:iconcerebus873:
cerebus873 Featured By Owner Sep 20, 2016
I don't think I'll make NYCC this year.  Though I'd love to go to it!

I've been doing more freelancing, which really is a great giant drag on me.  I make enough money I don't *need* to do it, but I charge a stupid rate, so it's really hard to pass up.  So when I get the money back, I start a fund growing to commission more art.  It's not the total that I use, but it's part of it.  So with that pot growing, hopefuly I make that extra work worthwhile and commission more.

My philosophy is simple: the world is always better with more art in it.
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:iconandvili:
Andvili Featured By Owner Sep 20, 2016  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
Dude if I had money some of it would be yours. </3
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:iconfrostywaters:
FrostyWaters Featured By Owner Sep 20, 2016
Man, I'm sorry things have been so stressful for ya. Uh....there, there? ^^,
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