If you saw my last post about the big life-altering decisions that I had to make or not, you would know about my two decisions that could greatly impact my health and physical ability either positively or negatively. I decided against going through what I was offered back when I wrote the aforementioned post.
While I stand by my decision, I'm currently dealing with the fallout of said actions, which has greatly affected my muscles, mobility and my ability to draw. Thus I have been in a major funk since, and have been debating quitting my job, and giving up on the comics and every other aspiration that I've had...which is not me! I don't give up! !
A. Shay Hahn, Chris Chettle, Alfonso Espinos and me!
However, I have recently received a write-up detailing "Range of Motion" and strengthening exercises from one of my newest attendants. So this past Thursday (the 21st), I finally said screw it and set in motion a way to get my mojo back!
This is a two-step process, which is as follows;
1) One of the awesome and amazing people I met at Kitchener Comic Con, is a comic creator named Alfonoso Espinos. Aside from creating comics, he owns a publishing company called StudioComix. He has offered to reprint the second installment of Starkeeper at a lower cost.
This offer came while I was at Retro Rocket Comics and Toys, for a book signing with Alfonso and A. Shay Hahn (Who I've now connected with numerous times at different Cons) This will allow me to drop the retail price to make it more attractive and affordable to potential readers. I've contacted him and set that ball a'rolling,
2) I have come up with the idea of turning subsequent installments of Starkeeper into 4-5 page webcomics and releasing them in a timely fashion. Then at the end of each installment, I will take said installment offline and publish it as a physical book. What do you all think of that?
Having a webcomic in 4-5 page chunks will allow me to progress and get content out to you without feeling overwhelmed or in pain because of my physical "limitations".
Also, I should mention that Aaron Lenk has not only agreed to collaborate with me, but has also started working on the art for the Starkeeper prequel for Runciman Press, New Apts Anthology! Below is a pdf of the first issue of the first installment of Starkeeper Book One, Revelations - in scripted format. Please check it out and let me know your thoughts and whether or not I should go through with this idea, and how long you're willing to wait between releases.
Download the script here!
As Cal accepts his role as Earth's Starkeeper, foes force him and his friends into a game, distancing Cal from his family but saving a life.
At its heart, Starkeeper is a story of self-discovery and exploring challenges like bullying, not fitting in, due to having an apparent difference; differences like sexuality, being of a certain religion, or having a disability. Some people face these challenges everyday, and this is why the message of the series is that things will change, though it might not happen when or how you'd expect.
This second and full colour installment of Starkeeper was released on January 2nd, 2016, and just like the first, a percentage of the profits will be donated to the It Gets Better Project.
Starkeeper is an ongoing, sci-fi comic series that has been in my head for a long time, and needed to be told. So, I started to write and illustrate this saga, because everyone has felt different and alone at some point in their life.
The first issue of Starkeeper (Longing)
Cal, a disabled teenager, wants his life to change. He is tired of the obstacles that he has to face, and all his bullies who consider him as their personal entertainment system
However, on his 17th birthday, Cal is given something that might just grant him what he wishes for, and more!
Longing is a black and white comic, released on July 1st, 2013, and a percentage of the profits will be donated to the It Gets Better Project.
Do you ever feel like everyone and everything in your life is on fast forward, while you're just standing still? That's how I'm feeling at the moment. Things with ILC are getting worse (again,) so much so that my apartment has become a revolving door or King's Cross Station. There's no consistency in the PSWs I get - I grow comfortable with certain people, but then months later, they are moved elsewhere. While this isn't my only issue, this one is really weighing on my mind.
In the midst of living near the famed Platform 9 and 3/4, (which sounds MUCH cooler than it is,) my boyfriend just moved to Toronto for his new job. I probably shouldn't be as anxious about Jason's recent transition as I am, but he's my first ever boyfriend, and we've only been together for six months, so ya.. I'm still a little insecure about things, so shoot me...(and by a little, I mean, Grand Canyon size.)
Anyways, in contrast to all these changes, and like I said at the beginning, I feel stuck in the stickest molasses known to man or woman. While my Indiegogo (see my last post,) didn't go as poorly as it could have, it didn't go as well as I hoped, thus Starkeeper and I are still traveling the lovely countryside of Nowhere. In an effort to rectify this, I made the awesome decision to self publish the second issue, but it's bogging me down, and making me feel really stupid! So now I'm either going to belt out Giles' song from the Once More With Feeling episode of Buffy, or try to get into Hogsmeade, or something entirely different. Who knows.
Hey guys, I hope that y'all are well! I just want to thank everyone for contributing, sharing and/or donating to my Indiegogo campaign! Thus far we've raised $305, which is an awesome start, and I'm so grateful! There are now 16 days left to be part of my Starkeeper comic, but when I started writing this post there were 19 days, though I digress.. If you have any interest in having your name and/or likeness in an issue of Starkeeper, here's your chance. Just follow the link below.
Thanks again guys! See ya!
Hey guys, I debated whether to post this vid or not because I was a lot happier when I recorded it. I'm kinda...super bummed out at the moment, so posting something light and cheery feels like a lie right now, but hey, things gotta change someday, right? Yeah, I'll just keep on faking the smiles, and telling myself this elusive and whimsical fairytate called "Someday." Heh.
I'm thinking of splitting Starkeeper: Longing into two more parts, and keep later installments short (about 20-30 pages,) so they're easier for me to draw, and get them out to you guys faster. Thoughts?
Who am I? I am just a 24 year old guy who is trying to build a happy and meaningful life. I have Cerebral Palsy, and require assistance to complete all my tasks and activities of daily life. These tasks include eating, grooming, toileting, cooking, etc. I also need help out in the community to go on shopping, work-related, and leisurely excursions.
What am I trying to do? Well, to answer this, I shall start by sharing the following two videos.
I totally agree with Dayna! The media and entertainment industry plays a big role in our society, and maybe it’s time to use it to our advantage, no? This is part of why I wanted a protagonist who happens to have a disability. However, I would still like to get back into modeling and acting, as soon as I find the right people and assistance to help me.
Like the individuals in these videos, I am also trying to create change. A year ago, Starkeeper: Longing, my first graphic novel was published. Starkeeper is a science fiction story that follows Cal, a bullied, disabled teen whose life changes in ways that he never imagined, which led him to discover his powerful birthright. Since its publication, my novel has opened the door to a few opportunities where I got to share Cal’s journey as well as my own with other people with disabilities. Getting the chance to connect with people who have had similar experiences as me was awesome, and being able to let them know that they aren’t alone was even better! I would love to have many more opportunities like this, and incorporate them into a future career, alas I can’t achieve this without the necessary assistance, which I currently do not have.
Therefore, I am trying to find volunteers, a way to hire my own attendants, or some other avenue to get the help I need, so I can continue to build the happy life and career that I so desire.
I know I am a dreamer, but I don't think that my goals and aspirations are impossible, I just have to find a way to achieve them.
P.S. I have looked into the Direct Funding route, as you guys know, and I don’t think seven hours (which is the maximum allotment) would be enough for me, because there have been times when I was out all day.
I met with two lovely ladies from Extend-A-Family today. Earlier in the day, I was spaztacular - I was having really intense spasms from the moment I woke up, and I thought, "excellent timing, spaz! I have stuff to do today!" My highly annoying and ever-present body quakes brought me back to a debilitated mindset. I felt trapped and limited by my disability, however, today's meeting totally pulled me out of that powerless way of thinking, allowing me to take another step toward my goals.
I really want to let people know that they are not alone, and that it can get better. It's getting better for me. You know, it blows my mind to realize that all of the exciting things that have happened/are happening in my life, stemmed from an idea and desire to express myself and my message through a book. I truly enjoy working with Extend-A-Family for many reasons, but the following two are the ones that jump to the forefront of my mind. I feel like I'm appreciated and valued for who I am in my entirety, and secondly, I am starting to find my voice, which is actually helping people. We lined up a few possible opportunities to showcase Starkeeper, as well as another speaking engagement, which is uber exciting!
Lastly, I am feeling a tad limited and restricted by ILC (Independent Living,) specifically their policies related to assisted living and assistance while out in the community. However, I have no regrets about moving to Mooregate, as I've met some really awesome people, and I've learned a lot about myself. Though, if I am feeling held back, maybe it is time to start looking into other avenues of getting the assistance I need, because one thing is for sure, nobody is going to rain on my parade!
A week ago today, I spoke at Open Space (in Cambridge this time,) and it was quite possibly slightly more awesome than the one in Kitchener. I got to see a few friends who I haven't seen in years, which was really cool! I also got to meet lots of neat individuals. They shared their stories with me, and this, I think, is one of my favourite parts of doing my speeches.
The speech itself went well, I thought. I was a little spazy, which became rather annoying, but hey, that's what I do! My spasms didn't seem to interfere too much though, or at least, people didn't seem to be bothered by them. I took this as a good sign, and I thought that the fact that only one person asked me to repeat myself, was good too. However, my mum said that it wasn't easy to understand me that night, which was honestly a little disheartening.
I asked my mum why only one person stopped me when they couldn't understand me, like I mentioned. "They were afraid to, Andre," she replied. Then I wondered what I should do, so she suggested that I start utilizing synthesized speech via my computer when I share my story at events.
I always shied away from using a synthetic voice because I thought it would mean a failure to communicate on my part. Also, I feared that it would make me seem too different, and scare people away. However, I would definitely use it if it will help me get my point across.
Thoughts? What do y'all think?
P.S. A few weeks ago, I submitted Starkeeper to Book Viral, but nothing came of it. Though, know what? I'm doing okay on my own. 🙂