misfortune-high

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A word about Misfortune High on Kickstarter

We all like to pay lip service to seeing more heroes of different ethnicities in comics, but I believe in doing more than just talk. I believe in doing something about the problem.

Misfortune High is the story of a spoiled rich wizard kid who gets sent to a wizard school in the ghetto as punishment for cheating, wherein we meet Star, Warren, Sonia, and Johnny Cuervo. The story is meant to look at the cultural and class divides in our society, but still keeping a sense of whimsy and fun with all the magic content.

Right now, Misfortune High is on the tail end of the Kickstarter to launch the second book and we need your help to make it real. In this Kickstarter, you can get book 1 to start from the beginning or get book 2 to get caught up. Both digital and print versions are available through the campaign. The campaign ends 4/11, with a few extra bucks left to fund so time is running out to support this great project.

The first 8 pages of book 1 are available to read here.

If comics diversity is a thing you care about, please support the doers in our community willing to put their pen where their mouth is. Thank you.

My name is Jules Rivera and I’ve been very coy about announcing this project up until today.  My intention for this project was to keep it quiet until I could pitch it to a publisher, get them excited about it, and then let you guys know how awesome I was that I got published like one of the big kids.  But then an interesting question occurred to me:

Why should I wait on a publisher to build an audience for my new story? 

After all, publishers pick up stories that are already popular and have an audience, or they’re created by someone with a lot clout.  Publishing a book is first and foremost a financial investment, and publishers want to bank on something that can make their money back.  That’s understandable.  As far as clout goes, I don’t really have any. Start dropping my name at any convention and you’ll be met with responses like “Jules Rivera? Who the hell is that guy?” (Extra lulzy considering I’m a chick). So, the alternative is to start getting an internet audience excited about the project and build the name that way.  People like my pretty pictures.  Pretty pictures are an awesome way of getting people riled up. 

So here it is, universe.  I give you: Misfortune High.

The pitch: Misfortune High follows the misadventures of a blue blood student at a rich, prestigious magic school nicknamed Biscuit.  Biscuit is on track to be a great wizard graduate of Phoenix Academy…until he is unceremoniously expelled.  As a result of his expulsion, he is sent to Fortuna High 189, a public school nicknamed by the students as Misfortune High.  MH is a cesspit hooligans and borderline criminals located in the bad part of town and the story follows Biscuit’s mission to get out of this hell hole and back to his cushy life at Phoenix Academy.  

It’s a story of magic, class warfare, dragon slaying, adolescent hijinks, and learning that if you really want something in this world, you actually have to work for it. 

Rich kid Biscuit gets expelled from his fancy magic school and sent to a magic school on the bad side of town. Mayhem ensues.

If you enjoy Princeless, you are exactly the sort of person who will enjoy Jules Rivera.

She illustrated the “Meet the Smiths” short for me in the first set of short stories and did both of the great purple covers that go with those issues.

Her kickstarter is up and it’s for the series she is writing and drawing called “Misfortune High”, all about a stuck up cheating rich kid who is booted from his private magic academy and forced to attend public magic school with the normal magic using kids.

Guys, it’s going to be great.  Trust me and if you don’t check out Jules video and let her tell you why you should:

LIKE THIS, REBLOG THIS, SUPPORT THIS!

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Today, I was invited to join fellow comics man-at-arms Javier Hernandez and the folks helping to promote the Latino Comics Expo to the Los Angeles County Hall of Administration.  District Supervisor Don Knabe awarded the team with a huge scroll recognizing everyone’s efforts in organizing the event.

Why, yes, there is a masked luchador standing next to me (lady in the blue shirt) and the president of the Museum of Latin American Art.  It was that kind of party.

Anyway, if you guys didn’t know, I will have a table at the Latino Comics Expo this Saturday August 17-18 selling Valkyrie and a few Misfortune High prints.  If you want a copy of MH (kinda like the kid and the guy in the suit in the picture), please stop by my table and grab one. It’s a limited print run and once I’m out, I’m out. The next print run will (hopefully) be funded by the Kickstarter next month. 

This year would not be complete without talking with a talented comic creator and long-time friend Jules Rivera who’s created some of the most memorable comics like Misfortune High, Valkyrie Squadron and Marsh Rocket. We’ll talk about her upcoming year, new comic projects and of course the thought provoking questions that Two Geeks Talking is known for.

Misfortune High Kickstarter 120 Backer Bonus unlocked: Charms!

I’ve been dying to unveil these things. DYING.  I’ll throw this into the Misfortune High updates post tomorrow, but for now, I wanted to let you know what we’ve been building towards: the charm set! 

(All those references to the new reward being ‘charming’ were intended to be incredibly transparent.)

The stats are up there, but these are the preliminary designs before any holes have to be drilled.  They show a little prettier this way. Backers into the tiers listed above will get not just one, but the entire set of 3 with either of those tier selections.  

We’ve still got another 4 days and $500+ to go, but none of the incredible success this campaign has had would be possible without you guys.  Thank you!

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Misfortune High Live Event!

Nostalgia Comics

October 5, 2PM - 10 PM (or whenever everyone files out)

256 W Fairview Ave.

San Gabriel, CA 91776

To those of you in the Los Angeles area, the wonderful folks at Nostalgia comics have agreed to host a live event to help promote the Misfortune High Kickstarter!

If you want to see me draw live, or you want to say hello, please stop by.  I will be doing commissions with my snazzy markers (full color, guys), and I’ll even have swag and books to show in case you guys want to support the project, but don’t want to wait to see the goods.  This is a one day event only, so stop by for the nonstop fun!

And it’s cool if you tell me you thought I’d be taller in person. I’m pretty short.

In this all-ages comic, Biscuit’s quest to get out of his bad magic school starts with a dragon battle and only gets worse from there.

Happy Saturday Morning everyone! I will have some new concept works coming up here soon, but in the meantime check out my friend Jules Rivera’s kickstater for the 2nd book of her comic Misfortune High!

It only has 6 days left to donate! Help her reach her goal and get some cool swag!
 ?
It’s swag right…? that’s a thing. I think. (0.o)

Support Jules Rivera Misfortune High 2 Kickstarter!

Hey Guys,

A very good friend of mine named, Jules Rivera has a Kickstarter project for her very awesome comic, Misfortune High Book 2

Misfortune High is about a very spoiled rich kid who is kicked out of a magical uber expensive private school and is forced to attend a public school for the poor magic kids. As previously stated, it has dragons, shape shifting birds, and people of color! Yes, Misfortune High is a fantasy themed book with people of color. Basically, your pledge will help support a comic book that has a multicultural cast. How cool is that!

So support the book!  She’s halfway towards her pledge goal, and needs more supporters. It’s totally worth it.

Below are several links about Misfortune High and Jules Rivera.

Misfortune High Kickstarter Book 2

Mistfortune High Blog

Jules Rivera Blog

Remember to draw everyday.

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Never Underestimate the Power of Free

Since I’m spending this week sharing con tips I’d like to tell you about the power of having free stuff at your table.  This past Wondercon, I experienced something extremely weird - I sold out of all my Valkyrie Squadron books.  ALL OF THEM.  Not that I took too many books to the show, but this has never happened to me.  Having zero salable merch left on my table, I decided to pack everything up and leave the show.

Ha, PSYCHE! Selling out is exactly when you don’t leave, people!  I switched into full-on marketing mode.

Selling or Marketing - Do it!

Having a table at a convention gives you the power to do two things: sell your merch and market your IP.  Any time not spent doing either one of those things (aside from drunkenly setting up at the beginning of the day) is time wasted.  When I sold out of books, I slapped my iPad on an easel behind my stacks of bookmarks and went to work spreading the word on Valkyrie instead.  Everyone dive-bombed the bookmarks, and it’s no mystery why the majority of hits I get on the VS site come from here in California.  Marketing.

You want to have free things on your table to pass out to people to get the word out on your piece.  In the past, I’ve given out bookmarks, business cards, small preview books of my comics, and mini flyers.  Free doodads that may not seem all that special, but if done on nice cardstock and feel substantial can possibly win you readers.  If they leave the table with nothing, there’s an excellent chance they’ll forget about you, but if they leave with some kind of doodad reminding them of your website, there’s a chance they’ll check out your work.

I’ve found two things work very well for getting people interested in even silly things like bookmarks at my table: variation and quality paper stock. These are things that sound dumb, but can make your work that much more appealing.

Variation

For several years now, I’ve been printing bookmarks and business cards with more than one design on them.  Both the Valkyrie bookmarks in the photo and the Misfortune High mini flyers sport multiple designs.  I find people like the idea of choice.  One person may like the look of Priss, the VS leader.  Another person may like the look of Eve, the shy one with glasses.  Another person yet may dig the look of Adia, the African-American tech officer.  There’s something for everyone on these bookmarks.  Same with Misfortune High.  Different designs that show off different aspects of the story can cast a wider net.  Plus, there’s a certain “trading card” quality that people at cons can’t resist.  With certain printers offering the option to print more than one design per order, there isn’t a good reason not to.

Paper Quality

This brings me to my next point of paper quality.  If your freebies are printed on cruddy bond paper, people will be able to tell, and will be less likely to take your work seriously.  Sure, XYZ printing house is offering a super sale you can’t pass up, but are you going to get quality freebies that people are genuinely going to want?  Or will it be “junk” that people will throw away?  Even the best design can be wrecked by low quality paper.

A couple of places i’ve used in the past:

  • Moo.com - I am so fruity for Moo’s paper quality.  Their business cards are an odd size, but the paper stock is LIKE SILK. They feel really nice to the touch, so people are more likely to treat them less like junk and more like something fun.  They also offer people the opportunity to print several designs on one business card order.  More than that, they sell stuff like mini cards, stickers, post cards and labels. I LURVE their stuff, and they are definitely who I’m going to use for the eventual Misfortune High promotional trading cards I’m printing.
  • Overnight Prints - They’re the ones who did those Valkyrie bookmarks up there.  Obviously, they offer the option to print more than one kind of bookmark per order, and they offer spot UV coating.  In the case of the VS bookmarks, I put the UV on the logo.  Admittedly, I wished the UV was a little more pronounced but otherwise they do nice work on bookmarks.  I believe other folks use them for post cards too, but I haven’t just yet.
  • PS Print - I remember using them for stickers a few years back and I remember they were pretty nice. How nice?  I had one stuck to my car and drove around in the Florida sun for a year before the colors faded, and the black ink never did.  NICE.  Also, you’re not limited to size on their stickers.  You print whatever size fits you. Their post cards are okay too.  They also do short runs of posters in case you’re interested in larger prints of your art. 

These are just a few companies I’ve used in the past.  They do nice work and can help you get the nicest, neatest freebies to pass out at your con table.  If you guys have a service you’d like to recommend to other weblings out here, shout it out.  Otherwise, I’ve gotta get back to work coloring my scribbles.

Biscuit meditating. Because why not?

I bought Manga Studio EX over the Black Friday weekend because it was the best deal I could take advantage of in my underwear.  The pen tools are pretty good, but the user interface is a little weird to get used to.  It took me a little too long just to figure out how to zoom in the damn thing.  Zoom.  I mean, seriously?  Zooming has to be hard?

Whatever.

Anyway, I believe it can be useful to my creation pipeline, but I need more time to get used to it, time I don’t have right now. However, at $30 I can afford to put it on the shelf for a few weeks while my schedule clears up long enough for me to sit down with it.