Sunday, December 30, 2012

Free sample ebook

I created a free sample of my second ebook you can download from the iTunes store. You get up to the end of the first chapter to see if my funny little scribblings are something you would like to have for your very own on the mobile device of your choosing. You can see the chapter names of the rest of the book but can't access them. It is a complicated little piece of work to make ones of these but it should be a help for those who won't take it on blind faith that I will be at least $5.99 worth of laughs. Find it here!  More Cartoons That Will Send Me Straight To Hell

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

New cards for Target

Not a creature was stirring.. not even a mouse-stache.
Target seems to have a mustache fetish for Xmas. Not exactly sure why but who am I to question a sale?

Hair Apparent

A new greeting card.

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

"Look what a fish."

Last Friday I went fishing for perhaps the last time this year thinking I most likely would go fish free as has been the case far too much this year. Instead I made the acquaintance of a local muskie monster. This time of year you can "stick a pig" in muskie fisherman lingo and this one qualified in the porcine category. I didn't have a scale but I would guess 30 pounds or thereabouts after hoisting her from the giant net. I had a measuring board courtesy of a nearby boat of muskie fishermen and she was 41 inches from my quick measurement. Had I squeezed her tail fin I might have gained a couple inches. I tried to get her back in the water fast though and she did swim away in good condition happy to report.

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Hi folks,

Haven't posted for a bit. Not sure if anyone misses this blog's content. Been pretty busy with new projects and clients. It has been a year of change. I recall last year at this time the regular staff checks from the magazine stopped for the first time in well, since 1977. A long time to work for one company especially in this business. Print I am sad to say has not been kind to cartoonists in this day and age. Web is gaining. Businesses and companies want to have their own blogs and social media outlets and they want interesting content to augment their messages. Cartoons fit the bill nicely and cartoonists can certainly use the work. I have never and neither have you, seen a period like this in the profession of the cartroon arts where so many artists of long standing have been given their wlaking papers. And it is a time where humor and escape from the trials of reality have never been needed more at least to this handful of generations. Why this is so, I don't have an answer. I thought magazines and papers would be around forever! I am part of the problem as much as anyone in my reading habits with these new fangled devices. I have tried to get on board the e-train by learning how to create e-books which in my opinion is the best part of this new world. It has let loose the authors who could never be, to be their own publisher, distributor and on and on. That is monumental. As soon as some bright young kid invents the easy app for epub production the race will be in full swing. However I do wonder about the effect of letting loose a virtual herd of authors in a sort of literary stampede. The amount of content would be staggering and it would dilute the potential earning power of each author by the sheer numbers of participants.

Oh well, this post is also about seeing if I can post an image to this blog from my ipad on which I have been typing. Let's see.


Monday, October 15, 2012

Cold and Flu Season Is Just Around the Corner

This seems to be a hit lately on a few sites so I'll repost it myself! Want to see more of my hilarity? Check out my ebooks on Amazon! Just type my name into the search box.

Thursday, September 27, 2012

Thursday, September 20, 2012

My Ebook is no 4 on Amazon!

This is my best showing so far. The book has been in the top ten for several weeks now for some reason. I haven't done much extra marketing lately either so who knows why but I ain't complaining! Book two has been better. It's time to get to work on the next books. New job has been taking lots of time but it is a great feeling to be out from the underworld of humor. It's time more folks got to know my humorous potential and that wasn't going to happen with you-know-who.

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Think tank

Let's think about it a bit more before we get into another war. Especially when things are their toughest and we want to strike out at anyone. And don't let bad leaders take this country where it should not go. Never forget that's how Nazi Germany started. No country or people are immune to fascism.

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Sunday, August 19, 2012

We're on the Blog Carnival!

The Blog Carnival has listed my blog and even includes a link in their store for my ebook. That's pretty nice of them! Glad to be part of the project BC! Welcome blog readers, this is the place for crazy cartoons you won't see anywhere else. Make yourselves at home, I'll go get us something to drink.

Friday, July 27, 2012

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Puss in tats

I know it's been a bit of time since my last post. Here's the latest strip for the Funnies Extra, a national advertising paper you might come across in a shop while you are waiting for your brakes getting fixed or possibly getting a trim at your local barbershop. It's a franchise opportunity for anyone to start their own business. Just google Funnies Extra to find out the particulars. Then go back to waiting on your car.

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Calling all Nookies!

Now you can get my newest book for your little Nookie. New improved text styling and overall performance from the first book! Try out the voice-over if Nooks do indeed have that capability. I'm not sure; I don't have a Nook but I will get one soon for testing books. Microsoft dumped a bunch of money into B&N so you folks don't have to worry anymore that your device will go belly up when B&N does which it won't now. Bill G. has his hand in that pie from here out. It's the Big Three in e-publishing for the foreseeable future. That's why I have direct accounts to all those sellers now. No more aggregators, I am in effect, a publisher bona fide.
More Cartoons on Nook!

Friday, May 11, 2012

New Promo postcard

Did this today. I need to get it printed before I go to Las Vegas for the Reuben awards. It will be a bit of publicity for the convention and I hope to go spread some around Vegas. If you want stuff to grow you have to spread some other stuff first.

Friday, May 4, 2012

The Big E Three

A good blog on how the book publishing "platform" of the future may look and how people will basically not miss paper. Author Kristen Lamb who has a book We Are Not Alone about writing and utilizing social media. I bought it!

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

New Pop's poster

A new poster for Pop's Rocks nite this summer at the place with the coolest outdoor atmosphere anywhere. Island Park, New York. -poster by me

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

The Ebook is here, the Ebook is here!

Yay! After several months of development and testing I have the second in the series of Cartoons That Will etc and so on. It's way beyond the first in terms of styling and layout. I wrote a custom stylesheet which can be reused on other books. It's well formed, validated and compliant for both iBooks and Kindle specs, which have a few differences between them. I had to create two versions of the book for either format. I changed some of the small decorative images from iBooks which display differently in the Kindle version. With the help of the Kindle Previewer I could see what it will look like in several Kindle devices (styles do not all make the transition to the older devices) and also for the iPhone. KP is also a great way to do the final conversion file too by the way. I have the Kindle for Indesign plug-in for export to Kindle but found it not to be all that big a help as I have to crack open the e-pub and do some editing usually to the innards before I have the finished file ready for the conversion. I recently acquired a cool script that lets one crack open or unpack a .mobi file to see what's really in there. It is quite informative too. What I find is a regular .epub file along with two other folders called Kindle7 and Kindle8 with copy files of the original e-pub. That works for them I suppose but it also balloons the file size by 30% which is a big deal as Amazon will charge you a 15 cent per meg download fee for every book. This means that if you are doing an image heavy book which cartoon books are by nature there will be no way you can get the full 70% earnings they tout in their royalty price ranges. You just have to take that into account on your book price. I learned a lot about e-pubbin this winter and am already on to fixed layout books. I finished my training for those and have a client already with a kid's book job. Next stop is the ISBN store to purchase my random number strings for the book identifier number. Then it's right to iTunes Producer to upload and then to Kindle Direct for same. Dudes; I'm a bona fide one-man publishing act. The great thing about e-pub is that it makes every one of us a publisher. However you get your book file the next step is all your own. That is the intent of the folks who created the e-publishing model. It is supposed to be something that would enable the common person to be able to publish to a mass market without interference from the entities who used to control the whole publishing model such as print houses, shippers etc. Next up I'll be teaming with Jerry King to do a series of books using his sizable volume of content. Then the FL kid's book. I don't mind telling you folks that there were several hurdles I had to cross and problems I had to work out to get to the finish line with this first new book format. It was stressful at times but in the end they made it that much more satisfying to have created this thing on my own. Here are a few screenshots of the title page, intro, TOC and there's even a foto of me holding a fish at the end of the book in the About chapter. I'll let you know when it's live on the e-bookstores of course.

Monday, April 9, 2012

Newt's Place

Newt tends to suck the oxygen out of a room so this is to be expected. I think it would be a tremendously beneficial use of NASA dollars if we sent Newt to the moon permanently. It's a win/win. For a few extra dollars we can throw Callista in  for the ride. She would make a great waitress and I would definitely give her a tip.

Thursday, April 5, 2012

Friday, March 30, 2012

Trashy Encounters

One of the cartoons from my next ebook 'More Cartoons That Will Send Me Straight To Hell'. Granted, this one by itself would probably not cause me as much grief in the afterlife as would others.

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

NCS Chapter ad

I put together the chapter ad again this year. It's like a puzzle trying to see how you can fit all these examples together into some kind of cohesive whole. It's fun and it gives us all a little publicity. Enjoy. Dan

Monday, March 19, 2012

Indie Aisle

A new selling channel I found with some interesting twists. Read online and an instant conversion to epub mobi and pdf. However the pdfs are not very good: they're all dithering like crazy. The free sample is squashed and the read online was that way too. Hopefully they will fix that. ebook

Saturday, March 10, 2012

Final cover art

Here's the final version of the cover for book two. Looks lots better I think. The first chapter is laid out, styled and ready to assemble the other chapters with the same stylesheet. Won't be long now fans! This book will be a quantum leap in design and production from the first and will be the model for many future books by me and other cartoonists who contract with me for ebooks. I'm very excited about this new avenue for cartoonists who will gain the ability to publish their work and bring it to market without the barriers of the old model for publishing. It's a new dawn guys and girls and in it the publishers are screwed and we artists and illustrators are "golden". So says Stephen Roxburgh in the March/April 2012 issue of the Horn Book.

Thursday, March 8, 2012

The Affair

America is warming back up to the Prez again. Could be that the GOP noms are just too icky for all but the dead-enders, which of course they are but maybe it's also because the effects of his term are finally starting to produce good results. Perhaps not momentous gains but at least the free fall has stopped which he inherited from the previous bunch of losers. It's nice to find some love after getting screwed for so long. Oh wait, now they want to rape us with ultra-sound wands. What the hell is their fucking problem?

Thursday, February 23, 2012

My new Ebook store

My new Kagi store for digital downloads opened today! No middleman sellers taking at least 30% and more from the fruits of my labors. This is Indie publishing at it's most independent. Please show your support for the Indie arts by buying my book here.

It's a DRM free Epub file which you can also convert to a Kindle format with one of many free softwares out there like Calibre or Sigil for your Kindle tablets. The Epub file is read on iPads and all other ereaders.

Fun-E-Books Publishing Store

Monday, February 20, 2012

New Ebook Cover

Here is the tentative cover for the sequel to my first ebook. Coming out soon if all goes well.

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Ebook Two The Revenge

Here's a preview of a toon in my next ebook. It's the sequel to CTWSMSTH, More! Cartoons That Will Send me Straight To Hell. As if anyone needed more.

My First Ebook part 2

Before I go any farther into my own journey into ePublishing you may ask, “What exactly is an e-book?” It’s basically a collection of content and navigation files collected into a fancy zip file that allows for reflowing text that can be rendered on a number of different devices with different sized screens. An .opf file holds the content: images, html pages, metadata files, a table of contents and a file that describes the reading order. An .ncx file contains a table of contents. A container file, the META-INF is used to hold encryption and Digital Rights Management files that protect your book from being shared without purchasing it or printed out like PDFs can be. A simple mimetype file is added, it’s zipped up and saved with an .epub extension.
You write an epub file in strict XHTML web code, each chapter or page being it’s own xhtml page. You can use any simple text editor if you are handy with coding and there are a number of applications, some free, that will combine or compile those with your other content into an e-book package. You need to then validate the file for accuracy with ePubcheck, a free online service. If it comes back error free you can then upload it to your aggregator or right to a seller if you are using only one or two. Sounds fairly simple but there are mistakes waiting everywhere and if your file is not perfect the seller will reject it for any number of coding errors and unfortunately not tell you how to remedy the situation. Some apps lean toward WYSIWYG but the science is still evolving and it will be awhile before we have a program that will do it all for us. Book Creator, an app for iPad is the closet thing so far to a total WYSIWYG fixed layout e-book creator but it’s not well-suited for commercial production in ePublishing.
Now back to my book-loving wife and her preference for real books. Certainly there are still those who prefer the experience of physical books, God bless them and her. Everyday though, the number of converts to digital reading grows. Amazon sold more ebooks than real books for the last half dozen quarters and the trend only shows signs of expanding geometrically from there. The market is a billion dollars at present and by 2013 the estimate is over 2 billion dollars. That is a market you would be silly to ignore. Millions of folks are purchasing tablets and other mobile devices. The embrace of ePub by readers is no longer a novelty waiting to see if it will take hold. The e-book market is bigger than you think and the time to get into it is now.
Lisa De Spain, a professed e-book evangelist says, “ As a publisher… I’ve seen change and plenty of it. That’s why I am so excited about e-books! This single thing has the potential to change the publishing industry forever. The only way you can lose is to ignore it.”
Of course as always, with change there are naysayers. With the invention of movable type to print books in large quantities in 1470, Guillaume Fichet said, “If everything that can be thought can immediately be written and preserved for posterity, the memory capacity of the cultural system will be overstressed and oblivion will be the result.” Conrad Gesner in 1545 bemoans the disappearance of hand-lettered manuscripts as they had “unique authority” and the “aura of truth” that printed books lacked. Gutenberg’s printing was the cause of the “death of quality” literature and design. In 1951 critic Harvey Swados saw paperback books and worried that “this revolution in the reading habits of the American public means that we are being inundated by a flood of trash which will debase farther the popular taste.” Flash forward to 2009 -Paul Constant warns of the “slow moronic death of books as we know them” concluding that people are not going to read anymore or the idea of reading will be reduced to a “boutique experience, not unlike collecting vinyl.” As we know history shows no proof of any of those claims coming true. The answer to whether new breakthroughs will create good or evil is as always: yes. It’s never an either/or scenario. I think you can enjoy the best of both worlds and the only thing that has changed is that you have more choices.
It’s a new world for books and a new world for book creators. Having put together my own e-book I am now looking to help other cartoonists achieve their dreams of becoming self-published authors with an epublishing company. My friend and I have started Volossal Publishing. I’m hoping this has the potential to become a new career along with my plans to produce many more of my own e-books. I have content galore after all these years in the cartooning biz and for the price of my time and an $19 ISBN number, the next book is only clicks away from hitting the e-shelves.
Authors of all types are out there right now making money off short stories, articles and full-length books with E-ase. It only makes sense that cartoonists can do the same with popularly priced, widely available e-books. Indie publishing has become a viable option. Interested? Check out Smart Self-Publishing: Becoming An Indie Author by Zoe Winters. It’s a great book (e-book naturally) for getting your indie publisher juices flowing.
This new frontier is ripe with opportunities for cartoonists and authors alike who want control over their work and the freedom to bring it to a market that is hungry for it! Waiting to see how it works out for others just puts you behind the curve and ultimately farther down the search lists. So stop the presses! Tell the Lorax to relax! The trees will be getting a breather. Epub is here and ready to make you a fan of digital books.

Friday, February 3, 2012

My First Ebook

Ask any cartoonist what he most would like to have. Would it be a syndicate contract, a hit comic, a movie deal…? Those are nice but what else is it that a cartoonist craves, that would secure his/her immortality in ink? Why a book of course. I know; I have had that dream too. I’ve been a working, full time cartoonist for 34 years and all that time it’s been there. Heck, since I was a kid making comics at the kitchen table I’ve imagined boxes and boxes of books, store shelves nationwide lined with my very own book of cartoons! I have also had a thing for self-publishing. I think it would be the height of coolness to be in total charge of your own publications. 
Up until now I had never had either of those things. I didn’t have publishers knocking on my door, or agents working to get a deal. I was like most of the cartoonists out there without the resources to make that dream happen; wondering if print on demand was the only possible solution to seeing my work in a solo book. With self-publishing there’s also the issue of cost and the prospect of storing pallets of books and shipping and the list goes on. It starts to resemble Sisyphus and his rock rather than 101 Uses for a Dead Cat. 
Then last year a week before Christmas I was sitting with a longtime friend at a sidewalk table at Mel’s Diner in Hollywood fretting about the plane trip back to Ohio the next morning. The first big snowstorm of the year was between home and me and my stomach was doing flips with the club sandwich I ordered. He said, “There’s a great new way to create books now without printing. You don’t need a lot of money to do it and you don’t need a publisher, printer, shipper or a distributor! It’s the latest thing called ‘e-books’.” You can create books without paper? That was interesting. No publishers? That was even more interesting. This sounded like a whole new thing to learn, “Don’t worry about that”, he assured me, “ I know how to do it and I’ll show you.” I filed it away in my ‘mental to do’ list and next morning hopped a plane home getting only as far as Memphis before the weather shut every airport east of the Mississippi. 
A few months later I started going through boxes of cartoons looking for candidates for a cartoon collection book settling on a little over 80 cartoons that I grouped into five chapters, which a table of contents will list. TOCs are fun things to have for readers making it something you should consider. I resized the cartoons to a specific page size, gathered them into the project folder and listed them in order in the coded web pages. I wrote some copy for an intro and bio page, and then my friend guided me through the process of constructing an .epub file. On October 11th I uploaded my first valid ePub file to an aggregator who delivered it to iTunes, Amazon, Nook and Sony Reader simultaneously. An aggregator is an on-line service that delivers your .epub file to the book sellers, tracks sales and receives money which it will direct deposit to you. They also offer other services an e-author might need such as design, creation and marketing help. When you upload your book is when you also set its price that all the sellers will charge for it along with a description that they use in your book’s listing. 
Within hours a little cover image appeared in the lists on the Kindle store and within a day it was there on iTunes! It took a couple of weeks for Nook and Sony to list it in their stores. As soon as I saw it there on Amazon I got a tremendous feeling of accomplishment. I didn’t expect to get that excited but I jumped in the air and shouted, “Yay!” I was a self-published author at long last. I was bona fide. My wife the librarian hugged me, told me she was so proud and reminded me that she still prefers the feel of a real book in her hands. I hugged her and told her that she is so five minutes ago.
Next time we will delve more into just what makes up an epub document. The answer may just surprise you... or totally put you to sleep. The choice is yours!