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What an amazing thing, that virtually any audiobook in the world can be read to me instantly through these while I eat my dinner.

To celebrate completing the first draft of my next graphic novel I spent a cold, rainy and memorable night at Edgefield. Watching Dune (for the third time) from the balcony of their little theater, exploring the halls of their renovated building, resting in my room, and floating in their winding soaking pool.

The first draft of Incredible Doom Vol. 2 is due to my editor tomorrow. My list of tweaks to make to the is currently 111 items long. Let’s see how today goes.

Tried to post a chart to micro.blog using the iOS app. It appeared to crop off the results. Remade the chart. Couldn’t select it from camera roll due to iOS permissions. Tried sunlit. Sunlit ignored the crop I’d intentionally made of the chart in photos app. Gave up.

Having stress dreams about things that don’t actually happen in my upcoming book.

Oh no! Why am I just now realizing, days before the deadline, that a mechanical horse and time travel are totally inconsistent with the tone of the book?”

Spent the day not feeling well, but took a long nap and then managed to get a little work in. I think I’m really close to sending Vol. 2 Chapter 2 to my editors. 🤞

Puppy and I watched “Hard Days Night” for the first time. 🍿

Finished reading: Stone Fruit by Lee Lai 📚 This graphic novel is beautiful. So heartbreaking and well observied. I’m thrilled. Lee takes some wonderful artistic risks that really pay off.

Found my book at Powell’s books today and I didn’t even put it there.

Got to go out to breakfast with my girlfriend today. Breakfast! I haven’t had restaurant breakfast food since before the pandemic.

I had to take a nap at 1pm because I am evidently no longer a match for syrup. 🥞

Our book hits store shelves today. I can’t believe it.

💾📘INCREDIBLE DOOM is a graphic novel series about 90s teens getting into trouble over the early internet. Unlikely alliances, first love, and minor crime sprees abound.

Anybody got a local comic shop that they’d like me to offer free signed bookplates for Incredible Doom too? Send me their info and I’ll reach out to them later today.

A rejected cover sketch for the upcoming Incredible Doom Vol. 1. Originally inspired by a cover to “Never Let Me Go” by Kazuo Ishiguro. I did several where the kids were apprehensively looking at a computer like it had just landed from outer space. 💥💾🖥🖌

A drawing of a group of teenagers standing in a parking lot looking apprehensively at a 90s computer sitting on the pavement.

A cover concept my collaborator Jesse made from art for our upcoming book Incredible Doom Vol 1. Proud that the panel with my dog in it made the cut! (although upside down)⁠⁠

My colaborator Jesse just posted some adorable rejected ASCII art that he made for our book, including our own ASCII “author photos”. I love that this project allows for stuff like this, and that Harper let us get away with it!

It's strange how drawing this comic works. For the last two days of drawing pages the work was grueling. Nothing looked good and getting myself to figure out a panel was like pulling teeth. Today I blew through what turned out to be one of my favorite pages of the next book in no time and I'm having a blast. 🖌

It’s so much fun to watch “For All Mankind” (a show that jumps 10 years in between each season) and imagine where the characters introduced as teenagers this season are headed next year, and the year after that. 📺🚀

Hey, I’ve never shared the COVER to graphic novel here have I?

Incredible+Doom+Vol +1+front+cover

Incredible Doom about a group of kids in the 90s having their lives turned upside down by the early internet.

Incredibly strong and not a little disturbing.” - Corry Doctorow

“Perfectly captures the mystery and wonder of the early days of the internet.” - Andy Baio

It comes out on May 11th, and you can preorder it now.

With my graphic novel INCREDIBLE DOOM Vol 1 avaliable for preorder from Harper Alley, thought I’d pay homage to its influences, starting with Freaks and Geeks. Here’s Lindsay Weir.

“Nobody thinks you’re cool you know.“ “Trust me… I know.“ 🖌🎨📺

Drew Richard from INCREDIBLE DOOM just for fun. Did this one in bed, with the sun coming up, girlfriend snoring beside me. It was nice. 🖌🎨📚

I just posted our 3rd patron exclusive podcast about the creation of Incredible Doom. It’s about the year of pre-production we did before launch, coming up with our business model, working with printers, and preparing for launch day.

The more I think about livestreaming my drawing of new pages for Incredible Doom Vol 2 the more I realize that I get up from my desk about every 15 min.

📺 👩‍🚀Started a rewatch of For All Mankind, this time with girlfriend, so that we’re ready for the new season next month. We’re both enjoying it. Girlfriend kept saying “I want to get to the ladies!” throughout the first episodes.

Played a few rounds of Star Wars Battlefront today. 45 or so deaths, 3 kills. Not sure how to get much better. I’ve been trying off and on for years now. Oh well. It’s not as if it wasn’t fun.

What cartoonist hasn’t had to dig up an old Mac mini, to run even older software, to accurately re-create late 90s ANSI art?

We were feeling cooped up in the house, so we found a much smaller one to stay in for a few days.

Patreon reward idea: Every 3 months you get a different “Incredible Doom” floppy, with a new label design & files on it like characters’ emails to each-other, their ASCII art, etc. + a clue to a secret URL to download those files if you don’t have a drive. Fun? Not fun?

Birthday presents from girlfriend. She got them with the help of the good folks at Books With Pictures. They are great. (The books, my girlfriend, and the folks.)

I get to talk about my log secret project this week. Stay tuned.

I just resubscribed to the Sunday paper. I love getting that thing in the mail so much. Something about printed objects make my heart sing, especially now that so much is digital.

Watched Dirty Dancing for the first time last night. Had a GREAT TIME! I haven’t thought critically about it at all yet, but there were so many touching, funny, exciting moments. I know I’m a BIT late to the party on this one.

Setting all else aside, everyone looks pretty amazing wearing masks.

Spent yesterday immersing myself in stories about the early web, including re-watching the documentary “Home Page” which was recently re-released after 20 years. Although I wasn’t much of a computer user then, that film feels so much like that time to me it’s shocking.

I’ve been working towards a big deadline for several weeks and it frankly kept me tethered. Now that it’s passed I’ve got plenty to do, but I’m feeling pretty adrift.

I’ve oficially entered the phase of life where I have to midigate RSI.

All it took was a pandemic for girlfriend to watch an Apple event with me. (jk. I don’t blame her)

Stopped by here as twitter was giving me heart problems. (had a video call with a doctor & everything) I’m not sure I have a lot to post, but I have to say … this place is so nice. Thank you to everyone I follow here for posting thoughtful, kind things.

Anyone want a free Incredible Doom post card? Just order anything from your local comic shop, let me know what you bought and your address and it’s on its way!

I did some fan art from readers suggestions. Here’s Hector and Ari from Bloom, The Tick, Ralph from The Mouse and the Motorcycle, Amy Racecar from Stray Bullets, Matt Feazells Cynicalman, and Magnus Robot Fighter (featuring Tara Bot).

Every time I focus on adding black space to the page I end up happier with the result. I’ve both known this for years and have constatnelly forgotten it.

Incredible Doom next issue progress: Page 22/25 complete. 💬

Adjusting the next issue progress bar on my blog has become extremely satisfying.

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Word baloons in the panel I’m working on reflecting how I’m feeling about doing any more drawing today.

I was the only one in my group who thought so, but I enjoyed Little Women immensely. I’d never read the book or seen any other adaptation, so that may be part of the reason I loved it so much. It’s one of only two movies in the last year I gave five stars to on my Letterboxd.

I’ve already ordered one of these for the used 3DS I bought this week, because OUCH, and I am not messing around with RSI.

Yikes. Tough week. We put our cat down, the literary agent who wanted to represent Incredible Doom just backed out, and Terry Jones died.

No sir. I don’t like it.

I quit my job.

In two weeks I’ll be a full time cartoonist.

Oh shit.

I just posted a new 16 page backup story exclusively for Patreon backers. It was a experiment to try and write and draw 10 pages in 10 hours but ended up being 16 over 4 different days. Still fun though!

Oh no! All the prior guests on this podcast I’m about to be a guest on are funny and interesting!

We are changing up the process for printing Incredible Doom Season 2, so we made a video saying goodbye to our process for Season 1. Once our current printings are gone, they are gone for good. Thanks to the IPRC where I did most of this work.

You can buy these Season 1 issues at Buy Olympia.

Spent a long day spreading the word about Season 1 being complete. Rewarded myself with frozen yogurt with girlfriend. Then listening to thunderstorms from the couch. Not a bad day.

The season 1 finale of Incredible Doom, our comic about ‘90s teens making bad decisions over the early internet, just went live today. We’ve been building to this moment for YEARS. We even made a video.

Comics take so long to do. This one has taken 3 (?) years so far, and there’s still Season 2 to do. Hopefully it’s all worthwhile when folks can read from the beginning to the end of Season 1 tomorrow.

Tomorrow I’m going to be posting the final pages of Season 1 of “Incredible Doom” my print and web comic about ‘90s teens getting into trouble and danger over the early internet. I’m so nervous and excited. There’s so much work to do to get ready.

Bill Gates on twitter

“I spent the last few years participating in a @netflix docuseries looking at my work and my life, and it’s coming out September 20th. I hope you enjoy what they’ve put together.”

Daniel Jalkut:

“I can’t think of another tech luminary whose public image has shifted so drastically, from self-serving to world-serving, over the course of 30 years. I think it’s warranted and laudable.”

Day job was having 50% off sale on things that had been in the store for more than a year. I now own two Home Pods. They sound astonishing as a stereo pair. Don’t be surprised if I share a lot of music soon.

I just removed the last of the files from my desktop and it made me so much more relaxed I almost passed out.

What I did on my "Incredible Doom Logistics Vacation"

About two weeks ago I took a week off my day job to do what I called the “Incredible Doom Logistics Vacation Week”.

The logistical tasks, unrelated to writing or drawing the comic, had been piling up for months and I was starting to feel overwhelmed. So I took some time, made lots of lists, and plowed through them as best I could. Here are some things that I accomplished.

Season 1

  • Slipcase
    • Researched packaging / postage for the upcoming slip case to hold all of season 1.
    • Picked up “chip board” to be cut into the final slipcase.
    • Designed the interior of the slipcase, including a thank you page for all previous Patreon backers.
    • Shot and edited a video explaining how to assemble the slipcase once it arrives.
  • Issue 6
    • Printed / assembled the remaining copies of Issue #6
    • Shipped all remaining copies of Issue #6
    • Created and submitted a version of Issue 6 for ComiXology.
    • Got issue 6 to buyolympia.com for individual orders
  • Planed a big celebration / promotion for the public end of season 1.
    • Wrote promotional material for the public conclusion of Season 1

Season 2

  • Got quotes from five different printers for printing Season 2
  • Got quotes from a fulfillment company to possibly ship Season 2
  • Created dozens of pages of spreadsheets trying to figure out how to make Season 2 make sense financially now that the printer for Season 1 isn’t available any longer.

Phew!

While I didn’t get everything done that was left to do (the business plan for season 2 isn’t nailed down yet) but it feels SO much better to have all the above off my shoulders.

We did run into a snag however.

The Slipcase

Before we launched Incredible Doom I knew I wanted it to fit into a slipcase that you could put on your shelf. So, to make sure that was possible, we figured out how we were going to do it in advance.

We reached out to a press that had done something similar for a friend, and also tried something we thought was a bit clever. We bought a Cricut machine.

The Cricut machine is mostly used by crafters to take digital shapes and patters and cut them out of paper for use in scrap books and such things. We wondered if we could use it for something else.

We’ve already used the Cricut to do things like cut out the holes in the feelies for issue 1, making it look like a miniature piece of paper used in a dot matrix printer. We also used it to cut the three ring binder holes in the feelies for issue 3.

Secretly, we’d also done tests for using it to cut much thicker material in order to create the slipcase.

We did tests back before the series launched, and did tests again shortly before announcing the slipcase.

Then, during the “Logistics Vacation Week” we finalized the slipcase design, and Jesse started producing the slipcases on mass.

Or that was the plan.

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The Cricut machines failure rate was incredibly high. So high in fact that Jesse would work for hours and not get a single usable slipcase. That’s no good.

So, after two years of the Cricut machine waiting patiently for this day, I’m in contact with the same printer we spoke to before we launched issue 1, to get a quote for them to create the slipcases for us instead.

Although we’ve loved putting together all the little handcrafted issues, items, and slipcases from season 1, we’re ready to hand some of those duties off to someone else and get back to the writing and the drawing.

We’re getting it all worked out. Because of your support it’s not a huge setback. I’m confident we will be able to find a solution to the problem since we’ve got a budget to work with. Thank you to my Patreon members for that.

End

So that was the “Incredible Doom Logistics Vacation”.

In a few weeks I’ve got some more time off from day job planed. I’m thinking of calling it the “Incredible Doom Season 2 Write-a-thon”.

Stick around!

I’ve gotten too overwhelmed with logistical comics work. So I’ve spent the morning working on other things. Organizing files, answering emails, making other plans. Feels refreshing to get to neglected things.

I got SO MUCH done on my “Incredible Doom Logistics Vacation” week, but there’s still more to do before the big season finale goes live. Tomorrow I have a day off. We’ll see how close I get.

Day 5 of “Incredible Doom Logistics Week” so far includes writing a synopsis of season 1, writing promo copy for season 1, a newsletter, and a photoshoot / photoshop session to get images of the slipcase and issue 6. I am getting many things done and I love it.

My “Incredible Doom Logistics Vacation Week” day 2 was all about working the slipcase for Season 1. It included this cool looking misprint.

I kicked off my ”Incredible Doom Logistics Vacation” week with a morning of planing how the week will go. Then spent several hours at the IPRC assembling a whole mess of books.

Next is corner rounding of the books, and making more “feelies”.

If you’re in need of a MacOS utility that, with a keyboard shortcut, takes the text you have sellected, searches the web for it, and then turns that text it into a markdown link for the top result, boy have I got good news for you. brettterpstra.com/projects/…

Girlfriend and I are big Veronica Mars fans. I’m self-conscious to admit that, because like Buffy, it has some truly cringeworthy moments. Yet rewatching the series with in preparation for the new season has been a joy.

I did some little illustrations to be used in the slipcase we’re working on for Pateron members to put series 1 into. It’s fun to choose these images that link to importnat moments in the story. I’m torn as to if I want to continue the tradtion in season 2 or not.

What I think of when someone says “direct marketing.”

Got to spend another few hours at the IPRC today working on printing more of Incredible Doom issue 6. I spent the time cutting down the interior pages and covers to the right size.

It’s a long, methodical process, and, if I’m in the right mood, a lovely relaxing one. 855C3409-8073-4A38-9A23-008C9F5582D8.jpg

Just ordered two window fans for the house. I can’t tell you how excited I am to try to get a wind tunnel going in here.

Seeing folks singing in the streets and directing traffic for each other during the NYC blackout is bring tears to my eyes. I didn’t know how much I needed to see people taking care of each other today.

My girlfriend is in the T-Mobile website trying to figure out if we are elegeble for free Netflix. I fear for her.

Did some math and discovered I wasted $308 over the last two weeks eating out. Yikes. $133 of which was on food that was so bad for me one miiiiight call it poison. Time for some changes.

The first batch of issue 6 is in the mail!

I just got back from the post office today after dropping the first batch of issue 6 in the mail, so I wanted to tell you a little bit about it before it hits your mail box. 

The cover of the Incredible Doom #6

This issue we got to use  a cool technology to print the covers. Previously the covers had been offset press by our beloved Eberhart press. But when they ran into troubles and couldn’t print the last issue of the season, we scrambled to find someplace that we could make them at a similar price. This was no small task. Eberhart liked the project and had been cutting us an incredible deal

In the end we settled on the Independent Publishing Resource Center.We used their laser printers to print the guts, and Risograph machines to do the covers. 

Risograph, if you’re not familiar, is a technology that’s been around since the 80s that never really caught fire in the United States.  It’s similar to a black and white photo copier, but  allows you to print in a single color. You can then change out the drum and run the same sheets through the printer a second time for a second color. 

I’ve loved this technique, and wanted to try it for years. The finish product looks both professional and home made at the same time, which we figured was a fun aesthetic for the series. 

The back cover of Incredible Doom #6

So the new issue features a Risograph dark green and red cover. Each one is unique, with it’s own artifacts and little printing glitches. I think it’s super cool.

Printing at the IPRC is fun, but it’s taken MUCH longer than anticipated, with an issue that has already had _many_delays. I’ve done six sessions at the center so far, and there are still about 40 more copies that need to be printed, which essentially makes up all the international orders. I hope to get back there this week and make a dent in those. 

Slipcase

We’ve also been working on creating the slip case backers will be getting in the mail as the next reward. Jesse has done some incredible work taking my original proof of concept design from two years ago, and turning it into a sturdy box, that should make a great home for the whole season, as well as the bonus issue that’s going to be printed after the slipcase goes out. 

A work in progress version of the slipcase for season 1.

The current design (which is still a work in progress) has a hole cut in the side to show the issue cover of your choice. But, it’s actually the interior of the case that’s my favorite part.

Since the spines of these issues are the thickest part of the book, when you stack all six of them together they make a triangle shape, kind of like a cheese wedge. Jesse figured out how to make the interior of the slip case triangular, while keeping the exterior a rectangle. So it holds the issues snugly, right up against the open circular window, while the box can still sitting squarely next to the other books on your shelf. It’s super cool. I can’t wait for you to see it. 

We’re still working on the final design features, but I had to share that part with you. 

Thank you

Thank you so much for being here. I can’t believe we get to make these comics. 

As always, if you think you know folks who might like the series, please send them a link to incredibledoom.com.

There are such exciting things to come!

  • Matt

In the mid 90s my professor James Sturm lent me this album.

Unbeknownst to him I’d recently fallen in love with a girl from the east coast of Florida, with whom I’d later share my first kiss. The song West Palm Beach still knocks me right over.

I may be listening to it a few times tonight. 2422684E-BC6B-4CA3-98DE-427C0191EF1B.jpg

Working on the comic.

For months “working on the comic” hasn’t meant writing or drawing, it’s meant dealing with endless logistical problems. It’s no ones fault, but when we print season two I’ll be more than ready to pay someone else to have these problems.

Yesterday however, I got to do my favorite work on the comic. I got to do some writing. Only for an hour, but gosh. It was so good.

Afterwards I rode my bike around the neighborhood, and watched the sun set against my neighbors house.

It will likely be months, or even a year from now when I finally get to draw what I wrote that day. Yet there’s a good chance I’ll remember how glad I was to get to write it.

Figuring out how folding slipcases are constructed is fun. I rarely get to tackle problems like this. Cut this shape out, fold it together, and and voilà!

A complex 2 dimentional shape. A set of mini comics in a cardboard slipcase.

Dug up the prototype we made for the Incredible Doom slipcase two years ago. It’s actually further along than I thought. I’m excited to spruce this up in the next version and get it out to backers.

I’ve decided that today is “Check Your Backups” day. I’m checking my old Mac Mini where I have my iCloud Photo Library set to sync, my Backblaze, and my Time Machine backups. If you’ve got nothing to do, feel free to join me.

Started our third viewing of Veronica Mars in prep for the new season. Despite its age, some goofy acting, and knowing every twist, it is such a comfort show. Love it. 📺