Find us at Open Book Comics Fest!

We’ve just received our floor plan for Open Book Comics Fest! Here is the map (click to enlarge):

ComicsFestTables2014-2

 

As you can see, we are in the “Kid Friendly Zone” – we didn’t know that was a thing, but whatever works! :D Come say hi!

We’re still busy with the new page. Just finished up doing stock take and a bunch of admin stuff. All we’re waiting for now is our new stock – The Great Wave & Keep Calm and Let Me Cook posters, our button badges, bookmarks, and in a last minute burst of inspiration – fridge magnets!

We decided to show you the bookmarks and badges. We’re pretty happy with the designs and hope that you will be, too. The fridge magnets are 4 x 4 cm versions of the “Keep Calm and Let Me Cook” posters.

Ladies and gents, are your bodies ready for….

THE PARTY STARTER?

party-starter_badge

AW YISS

 

These badges are 2.5cm in diameter and will be available for R10 each.

Then, the bookmarks: A slimmer version of our pop-up banner (which, sadly, we are not allowed to put up at this year’s Comics Fest due to space restrictions):

watery-webcomic-bookmark

 

Those will be R5 each, or free if you buy 3 or more comics.

We’re getting pretty excited about Saturday… See you there! :D

<3

Danelle & Ben

Open Book Comics Fest 2014 is approaching!

Hey guys! :D

First of all, we’d like to say a huge big THANK YOU to everyone who has signed up to support us on Patreon! You guys are helping us tremendously! You don’t even know how much. If you are currently not supporting us on Patreon, and would like to do so, please click here to do that! Even just $1 a page helps us. You can also set a cap on your expenses, so that you don’t pay more than you bargained for if we upload more content than usual. For more info on why we really need and appreciate your financial support, please go here.

If you have been following our Facebook page and/or our Twitter feed, you may have heard us talking about Open Book Festival and Open Book Comics Fest. This is an annual celebration of all things literature-related. We are pleased to return for the third consecutive year as literature creators, and are excited to meet and chat with people, sell things, and chat to other writers and artists.

Last year was a great success, and we hope to see an even bigger crowd this year.

The Open Book Festival itself runs from the 17th to the 21st of September, with Open Book Comics Fest running over the 20th and the 21st of September. Comics Fest will be held at the District 6 Homecoming Centre at 16A Buitenkant Street. Here is a map if you need directions.

The art and comics market will be open from 09:00-21:00 on the Saturday and from 09:00-18:00 on the Sunday, with talks and book signings interspersed throughout both days.

There will be some really cool authors participating in this year’s OBF, including  André P. Brink, Toast Coetzer, and of course celebrated international guest, Raymond E. Feist.

Be sure not to miss Daniël Hugo and Moray Rhoda’s talk on Saturday about their experiences at San Diego Comic Con 2014. For a full schedule of the Open Book Festival events, please go here.

So, what will we be selling this year, and for how much, you ask?? Well, let me tell you!

Yoinked from the FCBD Masterpost:

*YOINK*

Comics!

We are selling our first ever printed editions of Chapter 3! There will be regular copies, as well as sketched editions. There will also be stock of Chapter 1 and 2, in case you missed out on buying those last time. Chapters 1 & 2 will retail at R50 each, and Chapter 3 at R60. Sketched editions of Chapters 1 & 2 will be R100 while sketched Chapter 3 books will be R120. Stocks are really limited for the sketched editions, so we recommend you get there early if you want any.

Prints

We also have three fine new poster prints for you guys to purchase! You may have seen them in the gallery. We’ll be selling the odds and ends we had left over from other events, too. The posters will be retailing at R50 each.

cottonstarry-night

Cottonstarry Night by Danelle

reka-with-a-pearl-earring-cropped

Reka with Pearl Earring by Danelle

Chat Noah

Le Chat Noah by Ben

There is another poster print in the works, which will be based off Hokusai’s “The Great Wave off Kanagawa.” Ben is doing this one. They will also be A3 sized and will retail at R50 each.

We will also be taking orders for canvas prints of the above posters, at a price of R450 each. If you order multiple canvases, we can work out a package deal for you.

There will also be prints of the Chapter 4 cover, with artwork by Deon de Lange, for R80. They come bagged and boarded, and there are only ten of them, so hurry if you want one!

Chapter 4 cover

Battle for the Cottonstar by Deon de Lange

Bookmarks!

We will have a special, brand new bookmark available for purchase for all you bookworms out there. If you’re like me and have a bunch of half-read books lying around your home at any given time, you’ll know that one can never have enough bookmarks. We might reveal the design beforehand, but it might be fun to leave it a surprise for the day. ;D The bookmarks will be retailing for R5 each.

We also MIGHT have some Button badges! Hopefully the printers can finish them in time. The badges will retail for R10 each.

 

mystery items

*~Mystery Items!~*

 

Also, let us tell you once more about…

Snapscan

To our friends with smartphones: We’ve mentioned before that we now accept payment via Snapscan. This nifty little app allows you to make instant credit card payments using only your phone! How it works:

1. You download the app.

2. You input your credit card info (a once-off process).

3. You scan the vendor’s QR code (ours will be on display on the table at our booth)

4. Input the amount owed.

5. Hit “pay.”

And there you go! Easy as pie! If you are already good at baking pies, anyway. Pie can be tricky. But Snapscan is not tricky, it is in fact very easy, easier than learning how to bake a pie. We’re hoping that Snapscan will be a viable alternative to renting an expensive and cumbersome electronic card machine, and for people who don’t like working with cash. The Snapscan fees are very low and reasonable, especially towards the vendors.

We see a lot of vendors advertising the service on their blogs and Facebook pages this year, so it’s certainly grown in popularity as a means of payment. Hopefully that means that customers will be more aware of it and that it’ll take off properly.

As you can tell, we’re really scrambling to get everything done. We’re sure it’ll all work out though. Thank you for your continued patience and your support, as always.

<3

Ben & Danelle

 

Cottonstar on Patreon

Realtalk time

Hey guys. 

I’ve been avoiding making a long blog post about this, because I hate to get all super serious on you guys. But I guess it’s time now… so please bear with me!

We’ve been going through some “life upgrades” lately. Ben’s car got trashed by thieves and we had to get a new car. We achieved this by selling my busted up golf (which came with its own slew of nasty financial surprises) and also taking out a bank loan. We’ve switched over to Photoshop CC, which means we have that cost extra per month. We’ve both had a bunch of health issues (you all remember the plague from hell right? Well, Ben got it too, after I finally got better after a month), family needing support, etc… and it’s been costing us a great deal of cash. Meanwhile, inflation is rampant, freelance work is scarce, Ben is underpaid and overworked, and the bottom line is that we’re really starting to struggle to keep our heads above water financially. 

Ever since we started our Patreon page, our wonderful and generous (and the time of writing, only) patron has been helping us out so much. The Patreon funds have been covering medication and other bills, and has actually helped us not go without electricity or food at times. We’re not going to stop making Cottonstar! But we do however really need some more help at this point. We thought we were okay, and then suddenly we were not. Prices just skyrocket all the time and when it rains unexpected bills, it pours.

So what I am asking you guys is to consider pledging some money to our Patreon page. You can make it as low as a dollar per page, it really really will make a difference to us. The money gets debited from your card at the end of the month, and you can cancel your pledge if your financial situation changes. There’s an FAQ and a description to help you out with any other questions you may have. You can click on the Patreon button in the sidebar to the top right of the site, or you can click here.

There are some rewards for pledgers, like postcards, sketches, livestreams, etc. Please do consider pledging!

Alternately, we also have some stock for sale, and Ben and I are both currently taking commissions. Here are the relevant links: Ben’s commission info | Danelle’s commission info

The link to our international postage and stock rates is here.

Thanks so much to everyone who has supported us in the past, we couldn’t have come this far without you. Thanks in advance to everyone who helps out. You have no idea how thankful we are!

I apologise for the heavy nature of this post. Please don’t worry, we’re not going to stop making our comic. We just need a bit of help.

Thanks guys.

<3

“Keep Calm and Let Me Cook” posters now available!

If you liked Reka’s poster from chapter 4 page 4, we now have them available for sale! They’ll be at Open Book Comics Fest as well, but you can also order them directly from us. They are A3 sized and cost R60 or $6, excluding shipping. If you want to hang on until Open Book Fest, they will be available for our special booth price of R50.

 

Keep Calm and Let Me Cook

What a fine item for your home

International orders now available!

Yes indeedy! We’ve managed to sort out our Paypal situation, which means we can now FINALLY take international orders on our comics! We’re pretty excited and hopefully you are, too!

Here’s a list of thingie things we have for sale (all prices exclude postage):
– Chapters 1 & 2 at $6 each.
– Chapter 3 at $8 each.
– Chapter 1,2 & 3 combo at $18 each.
– Chapters 1 & 2 sketched editions at $12 each.
– Chapter 3 sketched editions at $15 each.
– Assorted A3 posters at $6 each:

reka-with-a-pearl-earring-cropped

Reka With a Pearl Earring

Chat Noah

Chat Noah

cottonstarry-night

Cottonstarry Night

 

A3 canvas prints of the above posters are also available on request at $50 each.
All comics will be signed and numbered.

 

Shipping

Now, shipping is where it gets tricky, because there are so many different regulations for mailing parcels internationally from South Africa. We also need to charge for packaging materials and handling.

Here is the breakdown:
– For up to 4 regular comics, please add $5.
– For 5 and up regular comics, please add $3/item – for example, 6 comics would come to $18.
– For sketched comics, add $4/item. If you order a mix of regular and sketched comics, add $3 per regular comic, and $4 per sketched comic.
– For posters, which come rolled in a mail tube, add $12.
– For canvas prints, it will be $35, plus $18 per additional canvas.

If you require registration of your mail, it will vary from item to item, but here are the basic rates:

For medium letters (up to 4 regular comics): $3

For large letters (5-10 regular comics): $5

For small packets and parcels (everything else): $3 per100 grams (or part thereof).

We’re exploring avenues to reduce postage fees as much as possible, and will put up a blog post if there are any developments in that regard.

How To Order

Please send us a mail (contact info can be found here) stating which items you would like, and in which quantities. Please be clear about this. Add your address and contact number (including international dial code) in the mail. We will make out an invoice and send it to you, after which you can transfer the money into our paypal account. After we receive the funds, we will mail out your order. We’ll notify you once this is done. After that, your items ought to arrive within two weeks.

 

Hooray! :D We’re so happy to finally be able to offer this service!

Cottonstar SoulCalibur!

Hey guys! As you might remember, we made some Cottonstar SoulCalibur characters. It’s really entertaining to watch them fight so we thought we’d record a few rounds and put them on Youtube for you!

Here’s the playlist!

We also made a Reka character (sadly without peg-leg) and a rather weird-looking Noah. We plan on recording some matches with those two as well.

Enjoy! :D

Post-FCBD bits and bobs

Phew! Free Comic Book Day 2014 came and went super fast. Even though the event was longer than usual by a few hours, the day just flew by. We were joined by some 20 other local comics creators, and a whoooole lot of other vendors, cosplayers, exhibitors, performers, and of course, comics fans! Several thousand pairs of feet swept through Stadium on Main on Saturday in the quest to cosplay, ogle comics, perform, mingle with fellow nerds, and of course, to rid themselves of their earthly burdens of cash.

We got there bright and early, and shockingly NOT monstrously tired. We were a bit more organised this year, so we had a good night’s sleep beforehand. Our booth also took less time to set up because we’d planned it out beforehand, and we took less stuff this year to rid our table of clutter. Basically, everything non-Cottonstar-related like poop stickers, post cards, and other art prints, just stayed at home. So, each year we learn a little bit more! :) We set up our gorgeous new roll-up banner, and pinned our PVC table banner to the table cloth. It looked really nice and we were quite pleased with how well our new wire stands worked with the table layout.

PVC-banner

Our PVC table banner! Also our filthy, pre-FCBD chaotic flat.

roll-up-banner

Our awesome new roll-up banner!

Our booth all set up and ready to go!

2014-05-03-12.16

Our friend Clarence (aka Shakkaron) posing in front of the roll-up banner.

We really are so, so proud of all our fellow South African comics artists! You guys really produced some top-notch work and we are so excited to be a part of your journey into the world of comics. Here are some of the things we managed to snag on the day:

“Sophie, Giant Slayer” by Kay Carmichael, “The Cat Lady” by Shameema Dharsey, “The Way of Tao and Zen” by Luis Tolosana, “Gofu 2″ by Deon de Lange, “The Souvenir” by Daniël Hugo, “Run! There’s Dinosaurs in the City!” by Gina Viglietti, and lastly our copies of “Velocity: Darker Forces,” to which Ben and I each contributed artwork.

We did miss out on a few things due to being largely glued to our booth all the time (we didn’t even manage to go NEAR the actual shop or free comics table), but hopefully we can pick those up at the Open Book Comics Fest in September. Because of all the new signage and other purchases, we ended up with a lot of overhead this year. We also had to reprint Chapter 2, as we were sold out of those from previous expos. We also had to make new art prints, and of course since Chapter 3 is ten pages longer than the other two, it ended up costing more per unit in print. We also didn’t sell quite as much as last year, and all that added up to our not being able to cover our costs on the day. Also, this weekend was shared with Afrikaburn, which resulted in a great deal of folks missing out FCBD in favour of that event. Despite our losses, we actually ended up with enough stock for the Open Book Comics Fest, which is actually quite a nice position to be in. So, not a total loss. :) We did actually sell quite a surprising number of Chapters 1 and 2, which meant that there were new readers willing to invest in us, and not just returning ones. That was pretty awesome. :) We have quite a bit of stock left over. We even have a few fridge magnets! However, we’re not sure if we’re going to be opening international orders right now, as that money would need to go directly into our bank accounts to cover shipping and so on, and the fees for that can get a bit frustrating. Not to mention it usually involves us going into a big bank branch for each transfer. If you really really want some comics, please email us and we’ll try to accommodate you. Otherwise we’ll have to wait until we have enough funds to ship out the comics, and try to sort out Paypal afterwards. We’ll put up an announcement when we open international orders.

Comics!

Magnets!

Finally, some exciting news: Cottonstar is now being stocked at several bookstores around Cape Town! These include Outer Limits, Blank Books, Clarke’s Bookshop, Book Lounge (situated very close to the famous steampunk coffee shop and roastery, Truth Coffee Roasting), and of course Readers Den. We also have some stock in Durban at The Unseen Shoppe. So if you don’t feel like dealing with us directly (for some weird reason, because we are pretty nice and can also sign them for you), you can go to any one of these fine establishments to purchase our wares. That’s about it from us for Free Comic Book Day 2014. Here are a few more photos for your viewing pleasure:

A view of our section of the Artists Alley floor from across the hallway.

2014-05-03-11.32

There was a giant creeper cosplay!

Our friendly neighbour across the way, Shameema Dharsey.

2014-05-03-10.10

Ah yes.

 

2014-05-03-09.55

Ben working on sketch editions. He got photographed either in the middle of talking to me, or doing a fairly decent impression of a cat butt with his mouth.

2014-05-03-09.43

Our friends Tim and Tamryn who were kind enough to fetch us coffee and a muffin, and also buy our things! Thank you guys! <3

2014-05-03-12.23

A friend of ours came dressed as a hobbit. Isn’t she cute??

2014-05-03-15.41

By midday, we were kind of feeling the not-eating-breakfast thing.

2014-05-03-12.17

Our friend Ruth cosplaying Harley Quinn.

For heaps more photos of the day, you can go check out Readers Den’s facebook page, where they have 5 whole albums full of FCBD pics! Also our friend Rowan Govender did a nice write-up of his FCBD experiences, with some cool pictures on his blog, Geek Ink. Thank you once again to everyone who came along to support us! You guys are awesome! And a huuuuuge thank you as always to Readers Den for investing in local artists. We owe them a great deal and are very grateful for their continued support and encouragement. Good Guy Readers Den! Thank you.

Love

Ben & Danelle

The 2014 pre-Free Comic Book Day masterpost!

In just a few days, earlye in the morning, we will be getting our booth ready for Free Comic Book Day.

As mentioned, we’re pausing to give our cover artist some time to do his thing (we’re pretty excited about it). But never fear, for we do have some nifty guest comics coming up!

Now, on to FCBD squeeing!

Here is the finalised floor plan for the event.  We are at stand A12 there in the Artists Alley, as we’ve marked there.

FCBD2014_Layout_finalsm

Click for full view!

 

Free Comic Book Day 2014 sees a record number of new South African comic launches, which is pretty exciting! New titles include The Cat Lady by Shameema Dharsey, The Way of Tao and Zen by Luis Tolstana,  and the second installment of Wrath by Christopher Beukes. Deon de Lange will be selling the second installment of his comic series Gofu, and will also be celebrating the recent launch of his webcomic Tomica, which is a collaborative project between De Lange and David Covas Lourenco. Kay Carmichael will be launching a full version of her comic Sophie, Giant Slayer, which started as an experimental work for FCBD2013. There will be a great deal of other new local material, as well as a lot of returning customers from previous years. There will of course also be loads of cosplaying and raffles and excellent deals on all things geeky! Hopefully we’ll be able to nab a few things, provided our sales do well, and that we can nip away from our booth at some point.

For more on FCBD, you can check out the never-tiring Mandy J Watson‘s excellent write-up here.

What will we be selling at our booth, you ask? Well…

Chapter 3!

We are selling our first ever printed editions of Chapter 3! There are only 150 copies, 20 of which will be sketched editions. There will also be stock of Chapter 1 and 2, in case you missed out on buying those last time. Chapters 1 & 2 will retail at R50 each, and Chapter 3 at R60. Sketched editions of Chapters 1 & 2 will be R100 while sketched Chapter 3 books will be R120. Stocks are really limited for the sketched editions, so we recommend you get there early if you want any.

Prints and Fridge Magnets

We also have three fine new poster prints for you guys to purchase! You may have seen them in the gallery. We’ll be selling the odds and ends we had left over from other events, too. And an extremely limited supply of fridge magnets! The posters will be retailing at R50 each.

cottonstarry-night

Cottonstarry Night by Danelle

reka-with-a-pearl-earring-cropped

Reka with Pearl Earring by Danelle

Chat Noah

Le Chat Noah by Ben

We will also be taking orders for canvas prints of the above posters, at a price of R450 each. If you order multiple canvases, we can work out a package deal for you.

 

Also, let us tell you once more about…

Snapscan

To our friends with smartphones: We’ve mentioned before that we now accept payment via Snapscan. This nifty little app allows you to make instant credit card payments using only your phone! How it works:

1. You download the app.

2. You input your credit card info (a once-off process).

3. You scan the vendor’s QR code (ours will be on display on the table at our booth)

4. Input the amount owed.

5. Hit “pay.”

And there you go! Easy as pie! If you are already good at baking pies, anyway. Pie can be tricky. But Snapscann is not tricky, it is in fact very easy, easier than learning how to bake a pie. We’re hoping that Snapscan will be a viable alternative to renting an expensive and cumbersome electronic card machine, and for people who don’t like working with cash. Fortunately, there will be ATMs on-site for people who run out of cash. Readers Den of course has their own credit card facilities. The Snapscan fees are very low and reasonable, especially towards the vendors.

We’re super excited to get our prints and comics from the printers! Then we can go about numbering and sketching in them, and sorting them into their sachets, ready to be lovingly purchased and taken home by you, our illustrious readers.

Lastly, we would like to remind you that we have a Patreon page, where you can donate money to us to help us in our journey to producing this comic! You can pledge as little or as much as you like, and every cent helps, so we’d really be grateful if you guys could help us out there. Even if you can’t donate, a share or signal boost would be great. We would like to thank our first patron, Jackson D Eddie, for his generous contribution. You are truly awesome, thank you!

You can also vote for us on Top Webcomics here. You can vote multiple times. Once a day in fact. That would also really be appreciated.

As always, thank you for reading and enjoying our comic. You guys are the best! Locals, see you at Free Comic Book Day! And if you see us looking grey and pallid and not-all-there-ish, throw some cupcakes and coffee at our heads, that usually works.

 

<3

Ben & Danelle

 

Snapscan at Free Comic Book Day!

Hey guys. Especially you, locals!

To make things easier for you on Free Comic Book Day, we’ve registered for Snapscan. This enables us to take credit card payments without having to rent a card machine at ridiculous costs.

How it works: You need to download the Snapscan app to your smartphone and add your credit card details (quick and painless). We’ll have a QR code for you to scan. You scan the code, and it will bring you to a page where you can enter the amount due. Then, just hit “pay.” And there you go! Card payment made!

We hope you’ll find this facility useful! There are ATMs on site as well, if all else fails.

Snapscan supports VISA and Mastercard.
More about the app here:

http://www.snapscanapp.com/

Update schedule until Free Comic Book Day

More specifically, the lack of one!

Things have been really busy at Ben’s work and since I can’t do much without the lines, our updates tend to fall behind. We HAVE to finish Chapter 3 before the end of April otherwise we won’t be able to print it for Free Comic Book Day. So that will definitely happen. But our current working hours aren’t very conducive to a regular update schedule. We’ll still upload them as we finish but it probably won’t be on Wednesdays. We might get a week gap where we can do two pages, or we might not be able to do pages at all until close to deadline time. We’ll see.

There’s still page 28, 29 and 30 to do, and the epilogue. After that we’ll probably take a short break so our cover artist can finish up the cover for Chapter 4. Exciting! :D We’ll have some guest comics and/or filler content for you though, no worries.

Besides the new comics, we are also working on some shiny new prints to sell at FCBD. You may have seen two of them already in the gallery – Reka With a Peal Earring and Cottonstarry Night. We’re planning to make a few more fine arts tribute pics like that. We might even sell them online if they do well at FCBD.

Thank you guys as always for your support and understanding, and most of all for reading our comic! :D

Danelle