I don’t talk about Ghost Maps here too often. I feel like it’s a bit of a separate beast. Where my short stories, comics and books are either predominantly mine or very much co-creations, Ghost Maps feels like Kyle’s baby, and I’m its super cool step-parent. I know he’ll disagree, but that’s how I see it – and that isn’t a bad thing at all.
One of the wonderful things about the series is that it keeps me writing regularly. That got me thinking about how I could parlay this healthy habit into something specifically for myself. I’m seeing a lot of creators on paid newsletter services or Patreon, who produce comics or short stories that go straight to people’s inbox. I’ve toyed with the idea of doing something digitally for a while now, though my initial thoughts were to create an anthology, similar to The Sunday Morning Transport.
More and more, however, I wonder whether I could do my own short-story-a-month model, where subscribers or patrons or whatever pay to get those stories. The thing is, selling my stories to traditional anthologies nets me a roughly set rate. Will the subscriber approach at the very least match that rate? And that’s just one of the factors that I have to consider.
Of course, this isn’t something that I would want to try right now anyway. I’m well aware that, yes, I blogged earlier this very year about not overloading myself – and I’m sticking to that, I promise. This just me thinking aloud, is all.
In the realm of thinking aloud though, I’ve just finished my two workshop sessions for Sing Lit Station’s Words Go Round programme, and both classes were lively and fun. It did get me thinking, however, about any other workshops or talks I could offer, based on my own experiences as a creator.
The one that jumped to mind immediately was the juxtaposition of comics with mental health and emotional honesty. There’s a germ of an idea there – and the fact that I’m (finally) reading Scott McCloud’s Understanding Comics is certainly feeding that germ quite a bit.
My break begins as of right now. It’ll probably last till the end of July (or maybe the start of August), but I plan on starting it with some reading. Understanding Comics is front and centre, but I’m (also finally) gonna crack open that first Martini Edition of Darwyn Cooke’s Parker adaptations – after which I’ll probably jump into Richard Stark’s The Mourner.
As for what I’ve been reading recently, Janelle Monáe’s The Memory Librarian and Other Stories From Dirty Computer is excellent. I haven’t strayed beyond her studio album debut, The ArchAndroid, just yet, so I’m not familiar with the world of Dirty Computer, but that didn’t really matter. The concept is simple enough that each of Monáe’s co-writers was able to work with her to flesh out her world, while giving every story its own unique flavour.
Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: The Last Ronin was one hell of an epic. A lot of its story ties more into the comics than the different cartoons (the classic Eastman and Laird stuff, and some of the IDW stuff too, I think), but I think its emotional core is enough of an anchor for Ninja Turtles fans of any era or medium.
I’ve been watching a couple of things too, but since this post is way longer than I expected, I’ll just talk about my two favourites. Atlanta’s third season is so much wilder than its predecessors. It’s probably my favourite so far, actually.
I’m also incredibly happy Only Murders in the Building is back. Even the inclusion of a comedian I’m not a fan of couldn’t derail how excellent this series is. Plus, that theme song, man…