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Holy crap, my life has been rather busy lately (and not in a bad way). I’ll just give you a run-down of the last few weeks and a preview of the upcoming month, and then you’ll hopefully get the idea.

So I had a bunch of work projects to get out a few weeks back in anticipation of planning season starting. For those of you unfamiliar with the advertising world, planning season is for the clients that budget based on a fiscal year, and begin allocating next year’s budgets in fourth quarter (Q4). This means that my job goes into overtime and overdrive, trying to plan for several clients at the same time. Meetings, sending out requests for proposals (RFPs), putting together a strategy and a plan, presenting the recommendation to the client, revising the plan based on feedback, and then negotiating and executing the plan are all involved. It can take as little as a month per client – or as much time as several months. Then you spend the rest of the year updating and changing things in the plan, among other common media activities.

On top of this, I’ve been producing a book! The first self-published book for @$$hole! is coming out at the end of September, premiering at Reactor (September 18-20) in Rosemont, Il. It collects the 41 page black and white story of Laura’s 21st Birthday. The book is going to be 52 pages and has an original cover, some new artwork, guest strips, an afterword by the creator (that’s me), and a forward by Josh Elder (Josh from TokyoPOP).

“Why premiere your book at Reactor, and not something larger like Windy-City?” you ask. Well, through my many con appearances I’ve met several of the people who put Reactor together, and they have offered me the opportunity to speak at their convention. In fact, they’ve given me several panels to speak during throughout the weekend. Here’s my panel schedule, for all those interested:

FRIDAY:
8 pm – MAIL ORDER NINJA (A reading with Russell Lissau and Josh Elder)

SATURDAY:
1 pm – A special all-guest artist panel
4 pm – Writing for comics (Collaboration with Steve Horton)
5 pm – Sci-fi fantasy: the art of crafting your world

SUNDAY:
11:00 am – @$$hole! webcomic panel

On top of that and all the tasks associated with printing the book, I’ve also gotten a table at Mid-Ohio Comic Con (October 3-4 in Columbus, OH) with Rival Angels creator Alan Evans. We’ll be hanging out with The Dreamer creator Lora Innes, and several other comic creators. Not sure on any speaking schedule while there, but I’m working on it. More to follow.

In between those two conventions, my family typically takes a trip with other families to a state park in Angola, IN, called Pokagon. It’s like camping, but with showers and cable TV. We barbecue and sing goofy songs during a bon fire, take nature hikes and play cards (or Scrabble). It’s a fun and relaxing weekend. But of course, it means that I need to get a buffer up to make up for the fact that I won’t have three weekends in a row to work on comics.

Then there’s the 2010 con schedule that I’m starting to put together, to get speaking engagements and table space for the new merch that I need to produce. Depending on the reaction to the @$$hole! book, I plan to make some t-shirts and a poster for 2010, and start pre-production on the official @$$hole! collection.

So as you can imagine, I’ve been EXTREMELY busy lately. This should hopefully help explain why I haven’t been posting every week day, like I normally do (I have a lot of reviews in the pipeline, including a bunch of movies [Up, District 9], comics [Rival Angels, Mice Templar], and video games [Dead Space] and more!).

So thanks for your patience and understanding, and I’m very excited about these projects coming out – as well as a few others that it’s a little too early to mention just yet. Stay tuned for more news, reviews, and comics!