Marmaduke Mousington

Marm fake cover

I met Amy and Rob, who are the estate for the painter Josh Kirby last year at the Discworld convention in the UK. We hit it off immediately, and Amy seemed to know that I would be the person she wanted to illustrate her uncle’s unfinished children’s book. We’ve been going back on this project full-on for a number of months, and it’s finally ready to present to the world. This is a huge honor, and an enormous amount of fun. A very silly book about a time traveling mouse. Right up my alley!

Click here to watch our very silly video:

https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/rayfriesen/josh-kirbys-marmaduke-mousington-childrens-book

 

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Stuff What It Is I’m Doing Already!

Happy New Year!

Screen Shot 2016-01-29 at 7.21.50 PM

Notice the date stamp, it’s Jan 29th. Happy Newyearsing in January is fine. If I had waited a few days until February, however, the consequences could have been disastrous!!

So what have I been up to lately, I hear you ask? In my imagination, you’re very interested. Well, the answer is a resounding shrug. my 2015 was not overly eventful. I played with my one year old as much as possible, watching him gain new powers and talents has been really interesting. I Paid all my bills somehow, that was nice. I did two events, and they were both fairly impromptu. As I told several people during the day I wandered around the San Diego Comic Con “I’ll be ambitious next year, I’m too tired right now!”

Sleepiness is the enemy of accomplishment. I have lots of great ideas, but not all that much follow through.

I actually did complete two projects entirely last year, but I couldn’t talk about them at at the time, which made my social media presence all the emptier.

Pirate Penguin vs Ninja Chicken book 2 is coming out in March! Finally! I’ll talk more about it when the time for UltraPublicizing is nigh. I’ve actually had it finished since before my wedding in 2013! I just had to take it out and give it a bit of a polish.

Also, I had the very great fortune to adapt and illustrate the graphic novel version of one of my favorite author’s novels, Sir Terry Pratchett’s Small Gods. I’ve been angling to play in the Discworld universe Terry created, and getting to do so officially was a thrill. Not speaking about it for the entirety of 2015 was not easy. I still can’t say too much about it, as I am not in charge of the book’s publicity. But it’s public knowledge that the book is release in July of this year, so I look forward to sharing the cover, and more information as I am in able. I may even have to give the San Diego Comic Con a miss this year, as I’ll most likely be in the UK at the time, doing book release type thingies.

In the meantime, I have several projects in the works, that I’m excited to share when the time is right.

I’m finishing up a Dinosaur ABC book with my friend Mike, who draws fantastic dinosaurs. You’ll recognize his artwork from the ‘Hansel and Gretel and Zorbax’ chapter of Fairy Tales I Just Made Up.

I would like to release a collection of the thousands of tiny story ideas I’ve been accumulating, but will never realize fully. So some sort of big pile of 2-5 page comics, chock full of my usual weirdness.

Does anybody remember Divine Whiners? I serialized that as a webcomic for the better part of a year a few years ago. Never finished the story. I’d like to complete that, and release it as a book. Is anybody interested in seeing that happen? Hands up please, I’m very interested to know.

My novel is as half finished as it ever was. I have a four issue comic miniseries of my own devising I’d like to get around to drawing sometime. It’s pretty cool. I might start another webcomic. I might release an ebook of some sort.

Again, lots of stuff I’d like to do. Not sure how well I’ll follow through, at this quadrant of my life. When my son is done teething, and everybody is getting a full night’s sleep regularly, I’ll probably explode back into the public consciousness and be so productive you can’t even stand it.

Thanks for listening to the mixture of boasting and whining. I apologize in advance, retroactively.

 

 

Magic 2.0

Today only, my friend Scott Meyer’s second novel ‘Spell or High Water’ is an amazon special bargain deal thing, and you can get it for just $1.99. Of course, you should read the first book first, but if you buy them both, it still averages out to an amazing deal.

I’ve really enjoyed this series, and not just because I know the guy writing it. I’d read them even if I hated his guts, because they’re well done. That’s my policy. (I don’t hate his guts. I don’t love his guts either, they’re guts. I suppose I’m in favor of his internal organs, but that’s as far as I’ll go. This parenthetical aside got away from me…)

The book is Humorous and nerdy, they appeal to the sort of reader who enjoys knowing that the author has given the subject too much thought. It has a consistent and well explained approach to the whole concept magic, different than anything I’ve seen before. Basically, magic in this series is just another form of computer programing, and you have to write code to get the magic to do what you want, with all of the errors and hacking and computery problems derived thereof. 

I drew a piece of fanart from the book of one of the main characters, who I think would be played by David Mitchell if they ever made this book into a movie. I don’t think my drawing matches the image in the author’s head (because he said as much when I emailed it to him) but it’s definitely Good Enough TM.

 

magic2point0

 

I originally drew him with glasses, because he has the sort of personality of someone who’s eyes don’t work 100%, but I was told he does not wear glasses, so I deglassed them.

 

Scott also writes and draws the webcomic Basic Instructions, which eagle eyed readers might remember, I published a collection of! It taught me the lesson that I am not great at all the publishey things not related to the designing of the front cover, for which I am eternally… what’s the word? Grateful? No… spiteful. No… somewhere inbetween gratitude and spite. Spatitude. No, that sounds like I’m wearing spats… which I am, Scrooge McDuck style, directly over my feet.

I think Scott won’t mind me saying that Novelist is a brilliant choice for him, as his sense of humor is based around Lots of Words, a style which can get a bit claustrophic in a four panel strip, but works quite well in 200 pages. His novels are fast, full, and funny. Check ’em out.

Kickstarter Update!

After 4 very full and busy weeks, the Fairy Tales I Just Made Up Kickstarter concluded, and we made 101% of the money we asked for. I am so grateful and proud and tired, I can’t even stand it.

Apologies for mostly silence since then, after the kicking ended, I got caught up on sleep, chores, and other personal stuff I had been neglecting, including flying to St. Louis to attend a wedding.

Today, kickstarter/amazon finally released all the funds into my actual bank account (it takes a while to run credit cards and transfer money, what can I say?) which means I am now able to physically roll around in a giant pile of all my wonderful backers’ dollars. Well, I mean I could, if I felt like withdrawing it all as $1 bills, and finding my Scrooge McDuck hat. I probably won’t, actually, that sounds pretty complicated, and I do have photoshop after all…

So what I’ll really be doing is writing a whopping big check to the printers, so they can get started transforming stuff that came out of my brain into ink and paper! The printers are supposed to take about 6 weeks to do that, then ship them to me on a big truck. Once I get the books back in my hot little hands, I’ll repackage and send ’em to all of you! Along with all the other rewards you got, like the audio book, tshirt, etc. This gives me a couple weeks to actually make the audio tshirts.

I’m going to wait until the print copy is available before I send the digital edition out to the digital only people. I hadn’t mentioned this before, but it seems more fair now that I think about it. Today is Aug 25th, which means I’ll likely have books in hand October 15ish. The same week that Michelle is estimated to deliver our baby… Huh. Didn’t think that all the way through… So I guess while I don’t have a 100% accurate idea of when everybody will receive their swag, I can firmly say “Probably November.”

Basically, as soon as I am physically able to jam books in envelopes, I will!

Thank you again to absolutely everybody, and a double thank you to a very special person, they know who they are. 

(Psst! It was YOU all along!)

Hugs!

Ray