Happy New Year everyone!
Welcome to the first official edition of "TOMAGO HOUSE", my newsletter about comics, storytelling and the ups and downs of a creative life. This will be a weekly newsletter that will give you a behind-the-scenes look at how I make comics, the projects I'm currently working on, and my thoughts on storytelling in general. More than likely, there will be occasional dog pictures.
For those of you that signed up for my Oscar Zahn mailing list, first of all... THANK YOU! I really appreciate you trusting me with your e-mail and I promise not to abuse your trust! (I do have some news to share about Oscar-related stuff but I will save that for another time). I've taken the liberty of migrating that mailing list to this one so I can keep things organized. These newsletters will also be archived on my blog if you want to go back and peruse old articles.
"WHAT THE HECK IS A TOMAGO HOUSE?"
Good question. As far as I can tell, Tomago seems to be a nervous tomato pretending to be an egg. I can relate to his insecurities because after all, aren't we all just a tomato hiding inside the thin shell of a cracked egg wanting to be noticed but hoping never to be found out?
Anyhoo, cartoon art therapy aside, I also wanted a place to communicate with you, the readers. One of the things I miss most from my days of working on The Strange Tales of Oscar Zahn were the author's notes I wrote at the end of each chapter, as well as the feedback readers left on the comment section. This blog will be a way for me to let you know what I've been up to, hear your thoughts on things, and also serve as a "home base" for projects (comics or otherwise).
"YOU STARTED A BLOG IN 2023? LOL."
Yeah, it's kind of a throwback to web 1.0 but I feel like people are yearning for the good old days of the internet when it was smaller, weirder, and friendlier (or at least I am). These days the internet can seem like a dystopian nightmare where those of us who create content often do so at the whim of some nightmarish algorithm. We're encouraged to churn out stuff at an alarming rate so we can hopefully acquire millions of followers (hundreds of thousands is no longer good enough).
This doesn't really seem that healthy to me. Every reader has value because without your support, I can't continue doing what I love to do: telling stories. When we need to operate at such a massive scale to try to make a living, it devalues both the artist and the reader.
And we haven't even talked about the impact AI will have on the arts...
So in a sense, Tomago House is my attempt to carve out a pleasant little corner of the internet for myself and my readers that will last as long as I'm willing to write for it and you're willing to read it.
"I DIG IT! CAN I GIVE YOU SOME BUCKS?"
You can! And your support will be greatly appreciated!
To be honest, the site is still really sparse (this is the first official newsletter after all) but I will be updating the site regularly with both free and paid content. Because it's still early days, most of everything I post will be free for the next month so you'll have lots of content to read regardless of whether you sign up.
Should you choose to sign up and support the site, know that the income generated by this newsletter will help cover the expenses of running the newsletter and website, espsecially since I have no intention of ever running ads on this site.
More importantly, it will help fund the development of future comic stories, especially "The Strange Tales of Oscar Zahn"
You'll also get access to "premium" posts where I really get into the nitty gritty of how a comic is made, while it's being made. There will be false starts, dead ends, and mistakes (oh, so many mistakes) but you'll also get to see instances where I make breakthroughs, figure something out, or get inspired by something.
It will be a "development journal" for comics and will be an interesting read for anyone trying to make their own comic or interested in storytelling in general. It can seem daunting to bring a comic to life but more often than not it's a matter of breaking down seemingly insurmountable tasks into a series of individual steps. I'm excited to share with you the tips and tricks I've learned over the years that helped me with the creation of my comics (and kept me sane...ish).
And also here's a 60% off Early Supporters code to express my gratitude.
Whew... that's it for this week. Thank you for taking the time to read this and I'll talk to you again next week!