Whenever I think about starting a new project there is always that little voice in the back of my head that asks if I really have enough time to devote to another creative endeavor. When I started Starcrossed in 2009 I had already been planning for nearly a year and a half. I’m a perfectionist. If I was going to put Starcrossed out there for the world to read, I had to make sure it would work. Eventually I had to stop tinkering around in my sketchbook and noodling with ideas and start inking strips.
The “soft launch” of Starcrossed was on November 30, 2009. I was posting the strips here on the blog, but I was only telling a small group of friends, family and peers about the comic at first. Again, I was just making sure I could creatively and physically write, draw, and publish a comic once a week. I didn’t start really promoting Starcrossed until the first strips of 2010. The soft launch was a great way for me to get comfortable with the comic and the process before letting the rest of the world in on what was happening.
I’m really picky about the way my final strips look and feel. A large part of planning Starcrossed was devoted to visually developing Charlie and Sam. I was also trying to decide if I was going to produce the strip traditionally, digitally, or a combination of the two. I was pleasantly surprised that it’s actually faster for me to produce the strip with a pencil, pen and ink than it is to work digitally. I really enjoy the time away from the computer. Though, I still touch things up after scanning from time to time. Another large chunk of my planning time went into researching the business model behind webcomics. I listened to podcasts, read books, blogs and comics and paid close attention to how other artists I admire were making the model work for them. Artists like Dave Kellett, Scott Kurtz, Danielle Corsetto and Scott Johnson.
Although all of these artists have a slightly different approach, Scott Johnson has a unique online network that combines his passions for drawing cartoons and producing podcasts. It’s easy to see how one medium feeds the other. I’m proof. I was listening to Scott and Randy on The Instance before I realized that Scott was a cartoonist! The Instance was my first step into what can only be described as a landslide of podcasts I now listen to on a regular basis. I find inspiration in all kinds of places, but I would be remiss if I didn’t mention Tom Merritt, Leo Laporte and Tom Racine. It was only a matter of time before I started my own show. My friend and co-host Lara Killian and I have a blast with The Dating Digital Podcast and I’m already starting to see this cross-pollination first hand with Starcrossed.
My friends and family have always been really supportive of my work. It’s something of great value to me and I am forever grateful to have such fantastic encouragement. I of course want to take a moment to thank all of the readers who have been sharing in the online dating adventures of Charlie and Sam. 2010 has been a fun year for me, drawing the comic every week, streaming and podcasting, but the real reward is sharing Starcrossed it with everyone.
There’s more to come!