The Upshaw family got through the toughest Easter weekend ever. Two weeks ago, my cousin David Williams was taken off life support; his funeral was Good Friday. Because of this, my family decided not to make the big Upshaw Family Holiday Dinner we usually do. Instead, we just had a quiet Sunday like we always do. David's parents, my Uncle Dollyboy and Aunt Jannie, were flooded with so much food from caring loved ones, they ran out of room to keep it all, so we got some of it: turnip greens, candied yams, fried chicken, a bundt cake and the most delicious homemade muffins I ever tasted. I gotta get that recipe!
On a lighter note, that Easter Sunday I finished a small animation, uploaded it on social media and got applause for it. It encouraged me to make more cartoons, print and animated, which I hope to do all this week, since I don't have any doctor appointments until next week.
But today is (ugh) Tax Day, the deadline for filing. I decided to file online, since I seem to mess up my written tax forms. It was simple to do, until I got an error notice on my state tax form where there were no errors. I got into the Chat Room and the woman on the other end said I had to correct my federal tax form, which I did. But the error on my state tax form that isn't there still says "error". Back to the Chat Room!
Usually, when some glitch like this happens, I'm thinking, "I must be on the right track." If all these bad things are popping up, it means someone wants me to lose because I'm on my way to something great. So I now welcome glitches, since now they're a sign of success. And you can't succeed if you don't fail!
I leave you now with Jeremiah G. Hamilton, America's real first black millionaire. But Madam C.J. Walker is still great!
Today is the first really good day of spring here in East Chicago. I wanted to do a vlog recording outside but the wind interfered with my audio. So I recorded indoors as usual. Here it is.
Let me get one thing straight off the bat: I do not hate mainstream media. Before the internet, there were very few ways a cartoonist could make a living: Magazine gag cartooning (which I did), newspaper syndication, big comic-book companies (there were more of those back then) and big animation houses, all based in major cities, mostly New York and Los Angeles. Now that there is online media and other alternatives to the mainstream, as well as affordable technology, I have something that is right for me.
I can just make something, upload it and let everyone know it's up. It's simple but not easy; the not easy part is building an audience slowly. The fun part is reaching out to my audience on my Facebook Fan Page, my Twitter account and this very blog.
Joe Wilson, the creator of webseries like Vampire Mob and PlayShorts, did a series of YouTube videos for Film Courage's channel about doing webseries. In one, he warned online creators against the "spike mentality", measuring success by big numbers like the mainstream. There a movie or TV series has to be "a hit show from the get-go" because they do not have the time to let an audience build slowly--they have sponsors to please and cast and crew to pay. Besides, they pour millions into doing a good story, and they want a huge return on their investment. With a webseries, it's all about telling the stories the creators want to tell, and reaching out to the audience, no matter the number of people in it, by talking about the making of it.
Now it's no secret that I do care about making money with my original creations. That's why there are Amazon affiliate ads on this blog and I've signed up with Fliiby to upload my creative files and make money with the ads run with them. But I also realize that making any significant money will take time, and I am in this for the long haul.
The "bottom line" for this 'tooner is to have fun: Enjoy making cartoons and sharing my creative processes with my friends, fans and followers online. I still want to make money but people's compliments and encouragement are the best returns on my investment there are.