Mark's Blog

From The Top!

I’m back on WordPress again. I experimented with some other services, and none of them really proved to be any better. I want a place to post my comics, writings, videos and other forms of art, without having to subscribe to a dozen different services.

A sneak peak from my sketchbook: Here is a preview of a new project I’m working on.

I have scaled back on my social media, and I don’t plan on posting any of my older work here. Going forward, I’ll just be posting the new stuff, so this is like starting over for me. I have almost twenty years of content on hard-drives, maybe an eighth of that content is good. I consider the rest to be my first 10,000 hours of learning storytelling, so I really don’t feel too bad about starting over.

I’m setting all this up now, because in about two weeks, our second child will be born. This means, I will not have uninterrupted time to work on stuff like web-design until sometime around 2027. Maybe 2028. Either way, the precious time I have to myself will be spent working on personal projects.

I’m using a webcomic template for this site, because I want to serialize my comics and be able to post my latest page/strip here as they go up. I don’t want to have to redirect everyone to Webtoon, Substack, Patreon, Tumblr, Reddit or wherever people are posting their comics these days. I’d like this site to be the one stop for my content.

I do still use social media sites, but right now I’m limiting myself to:

  1. BlueSky <– My main social media account.
  2. TikTok <– I’m posting most of my video content here now. Lots of engagement.
  3. YouTube <– I still post here from time to time.
  4. Instagram <– I’ll likely walk away from this one day
  5. Tumblr <– I’m not entirely sure what is going on here
  6. Substack <– Newsletter & Notes
  7. Webtoon <– Webcomics
  8. Patreon <– Premium version of everything

I don’t think I’d consider all eight to be actual social media services. I could see myself dropping everything but #’s 1, 2 & 8 before the year is over. Five of those eight just aren’t that useful to me, which is why I feel it’s important I start posting more to my own website. If any of those companies go under, there goes whatever following I may have. But as long as I have my own site, people will know where to go for as long as I’m paying to keep it online.

A couple of weeks ago, in my newsletter I wrote that I had two comic projects I wanted to work on:

  • A fantasy story inspired by my old D&D characters. They’ll be an unlikely group of assholes, and I think it would be fun to write and draw. Especially if I do it in the style of the image above. 
  • The other is an anti-super hero comic. Not as gritty and violent as Kick Ass, but a little more absurd, yet self-aware. I’ve always been afraid to work on superhero comics, but thinking about comics like DeadPool and The Tick have really triggered some inspiration. I look forward to plotting it out while I’m up all night waiting for the baby to finish his bottle and go back to sleep.

These will be my project for the remainder of 2023 and pretty much all of 2024. The anti-super hero comic will be 100% digital, just to make my life a little easier. Also, because I use Clip Studio, I can use my iPad Pro or my MacBook Air, which allows me to work on it anywhere and anytime. The fantasy comic will be hand drawn, and coloured with watercolour pencils and paints on watercolour paper. Both projects will be fun to do, and hopefully give me enough content to publish two small books by early 2025.

I may attempt Inktober (or one of the variants) this year just to force myself to practise inking with a nib pen and brushes. I have gotten too comfortable with micron pens, and I really need to get outside my comfort zone.

That’s all for now. This post went on a little longer than I planned, but I will hopefully have something else to post in a couple of days.

Dungeons & Dragons

Not long ago my wife and I played D&D together with our friends for the first time in roughly 8 years. It was fun, but since the baby is due in less than a month, it’ll be at least six or seven months before we get to play again.

I have been feeling a little bit of screen fatigue lately, so I haven’t been drawing or writing much. But this gaming session inspired me to draw out one of the encounters as I saw it in my mind. I have been playing with watercolours and ink, and I think I may do a fantasy story in the style of the image above. If that is something you’d like to see here, leave a comment below.

Rethinking Newsletters

I have a lot of blogs, microblogs, newsletters and websites that I maintain and regularly post to.

I’ll admit, it’s exhausting.

The idea of centralizing all of it into one website that can be a blog and newsletter for all my creative works is very appealing. This is why, I am thinking of crossposting everything here, to my main site. My newsletters, comics, videos, short stories, ramblings and photo posts all in one place.

Right now I am using Substack as my primary landing page and website for my comics, but I really don’t like the CEO. His ideas are a little, out of touch, with this post-1950s world in which we live. I’d like to move it all over to Patreon or Tumblr, but neither seem to be the place where I’d invest the time and money to make it the backbone of my business.

Luckily, my business is still growing, and small enough that I can move its digital home around as needed. Also, I’m in a stage where I can still experiment and see what still works, and I won’t really lose any readers.

This is going to be a year long experiment, and I’ll be tracking how many suspected bots vs. actual subscribers I attract, as well as which service has the most engagement and new subscribers. I’ll be looking at WordPress, Tumblr (also owned by Automattic), Patreon and Substack. All have their problems, and all four claim that you can get paid to post your work. I’m eager to find out which service actually does end up paying out and which takes the smallest cut for themselves.

Having a reliable, versatile online home for my website is a big part of my business plan. I need the right people to be able to find my site, and when they find it, I need them to be able to find exactly what they’re looking for when they get here. It needs to be one stop shopping for everyone. Plus, I don’t want to have to memorize anymore passwords. I just want to his “publish” and have the content go where it needs to go so I can get back to writing and drawing.

Upcoming paid newsletters will include (subscriber only) comics, early access, short stories, flash fiction and behind the scenes content for paid subscribers.

I look forward to hearing from my followers/subscribers about what else they’d like to see over the next year. So don’t be shy to comment!

Hello Patreon

It’s been a while, but I’m back and reactivating the Patreon. I shut it down because I was too busy to post anything, but things are slowing down on one front, but they’ll be picking up in a different way come mid-September. So, I’m wanting to get into some good habits and start posting here again, and hopefully keep it going weekly.

Tomorrow’s Newsletter 📰

Instead of making art, I spent this week assembling IKEA furniture and reorganizing my space.

I have a newsletter coming out tomorrow morning at 9am that explains all of it.


Here are the before and after photos. Not a huge difference, but I can find stuff now.