I realize I’ve been real quiet recently; the Next Town Over site’s never been a place for talking about my personal goings-on but I figure a mention of recent developments would go a long way toward explaining where things are at with my radio silence, and the inevitable (temporary) hiatus in updates I foresee in the near future.

As of this writing I am, give or take, five months pregnant with our first kid. Everything’s going great with that, by itself, but art/comics/Doing The Work-wise it did set me back a fair bit, especially in my first trimester, which was pretty rough on the nausea & fatigue fronts. We also had, at that time, a dog-related saga/tragedy that would itself fill a substantial blogpost on its own but the long and short of it is I barely fulfilled all my freelance commitments in those months, let alone keeping up with my NTO buffer, because I opted to spend most of my free time sleeping and throwing up.

I’ve felt a lot better recently, but I still lack focus and my concern with wrangling a living space to put this imminent kid in is sort of still encroaching on comic productivity. Which isn’t to say comic-related things aren’t going on; some of them have just been somewhat under the radar.

Next Town Over’s first chapter is now available for free perusal in the Emanata iPad app, a great new platform for independent comic artists that, like most things, I bandwagoned onto because Jon did it first.

I passingly mentioned before that I was getting quotes for a collected print edition of NTO’s first four chapters, and that I was also considering funding its printing with Kickstarter. Well I did those things; the cost of printing the book as I want (1000 of them) is going to cost upwards of $4500. That doesn’t include various (overseas) shipping costs, ISBN expenses, and, probably obviously, the cost of my time prepressing/curating the thing, so unless I do fund it via Kickstarter it probably won’t happen. Which is where you folks are going to come in: when I get as far as setting up this inevitable Kickstarter I’ll really, basically, only need like 250 of you or less to essentially preorder the book for its eventual sale price to get it off the ground. I feel like that’s a pretty reasonable deal, and as such I have to warn you that the Kickstarter is probably going to serve as kind of a referendum on NTO’s priority in my soon-to-be insane life as a first time parent.

I’ll level with you: with all that’s been going on my buffer on the comic is depleted to where, no, I’m not even finished with Book 4 (which is why it hasn’t shown up for sale as they customarily do halfway to two-thirds of the way through a chapter — and also, obviously, why I haven’t been able to finish assembling the eventual collection and get the Kickstarter, well, kickstarted). I’m disheartened enough about my lack of progress with the comic that I’m thinking it might have to be put on hold for awhile, at least while I take care of this new kid (which is due in Dec, if you’re curious). The length of this hiatus — that is to say, my eagerness to shoehorn the comic in alongside new parenthood — is probably going to be greatly impacted by your willingness to support the book. Obviously, if NTO can generate revenue it’ll be easier to make time for because I won’t have to pursue other income, and the easiest way to generate revenue is with conventional book sales through larger outlets like Amazon, which I can only do via getting away from print-on-demand, which is only going to be possible with your financial support. So keep an eye out for announcements regarding that Kickstarter.

Meanwhile, know that if I’ve appeared overly lazy & uncommunicative it hasn’t been entirely without reason.

Thanks for reading and thanks for your support — doubly, triply so to those of you who’ve helped me out with a purchase or a donation or taken a chance on the current[ly underwhelming] Grubstaker program.