EGE

So EGE (pronounced “Eggy*”) was pretty cool!

We arrived on Friday not really knowing what to expect. Ben helped me set up and then go to work, as he didn’t manage to get the full day off. Friday was pretty dead. We expected as much because the marketing for EGE was done rather badly and at very short notice, and people had no time to put in leave or make arrangements for the day. We made a couple of sales but nothing major.

Saturday more than made up for it! There were thousands of attendees. According to iafrica’s blog post on EGE, there were over 5000 people on the floor on Saturday! I also heard that EGE presold around 1000 tickets online, but not sure if that’s fact.  Even so, that’s pretty great for a first time, smallish event. These numbers prove that Cape Town has been starved of this kind of event for far too long. We saw a photo of the queue of people waiting to get in the door and it was about seven people wide and stretched along the entire CTICC to practically out the door. Crazy! But awesome. :)

We had some really lovely neighbours on either side too: Santosh Moses (SANARCHY) and Valentina Phillips (Veelocity Art) on one side and Juley Aron (Missy Mad Hatter) on the other side. It was great to meet and hang out with them.

Our friend Rowan did also did a nice write up of the day. It’s more in-depth than the iafrica one, which is more of a summary. You can read his post and see his photos here.

And now, some photos! Click the thumbnails to enlarge. (Edit: If they display weirdly, we apologise. This custom CSS does not play nicely with WordPress’ WYSIWYG editor. It makes photo display a bit tricky.)

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Our booth, day 1!

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Yay we’re at EGE! Photo by Zombiegamer.

pokemon

Ben made a punk rock pokémon print featuring Ash and charizard, especially for EGE. It was our top seller!

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Poor Noah, it keeps happening.

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The crowd on Friday at opening, vs. on Saturday at opening.

essentials

Expo/con essentials.

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Zombie Hoffman trading card done for Mandy Watson!

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By day 3, our booth had spread out to occupy half a nearby empty table.

The only direction from here is up! See you next year, EGE.

*Not really. But don’t leave it to a few days before the expo to start telling people how to talk about your brand, claiming it’s pronounced “edge.” :B

Printing success!

Yes, that’s right! The reprints of Chapter 4 are finally done, and they are perfect.

To everyone who preordered, thank you so much. Your comics are ready for collection, even the sketched ones. We’ll be at EGE this weekend, so you can come and collect them there, or, if you prefer, we can drop them off at Readers Den in Claremont. Either way, they’re ready! Yay! 😀

We can’t wait to get started on Chapter 5.

See you guys soon!


Cottonstar on Patreon

The rest of May

Hello guys!

We have a busy chunk of month coming up so we figured we’d touch base.

As mentioned on twitter and facebook, we have a very patient and kind client who has allowed us to put their project on the back burner in order to prepare for FCBD. In turn, we are now setting aside extra time to work on their project. It’s only fair! And they have been one of the best clients we’ve ever had, so we are more than happy to put in extra effort for them.

We also have some family stuff coming up soon, which will take up another week of this month, which means no work then either.

In light of all this, it looks like we’ll be taking a hiatus until the end of this month. Hopefully things will settle down after that, and we can continue with the story. We’re itching to do so because this chapter is going to be really cool! 😀

A few other things: To those folks who ordered the reprints of Chapter 4: The printers have told us that they aim to have the books ready by the end of next week. Only, we will be busy with said family stuff, so won’t be able to collect them until the 26th. We greatly appreciate your patience. We’ll let you know as soon as anything changes.

I’ll be in a show opening on the 26th of May. It’s called Speechless and will be showing at the Erdmann Contemporary Gallery in Cape Town. Here is the press release in case you are interested in attending. Come along, there are some really talented folks in that show and I’m quite excited to be showing alongside them!

Then as mentioned last time, we are going to be tabling at EGE at the end of this month. For more information, go here.

That’s about it for now.

Thanks as always for sticking around. :)

<3

Ben & Danelle

FCBD 2015 bits and bobs

Hey guys! Blog post time!

I know, FINALLY, right?

A few things you’ve probably noticed by now:

We have a swanky new site! Many thanks to our friend John, who helps us with the CSS and hosting of Cottonstar. We thought it was about time to move to a more accurate depiction of the comic’s feel. The old site was nice but it had a distinct parchment-and-wood feel, where the Cottonstar ship is in fact made of metal, and the story is set in the future as opposed to ye olde fantasy pirate days. We took the opportunity to fix up a bunch of other things too, like layout and alignment issues, navigation button errors, and a couple of other bugs. We also cleaned up the cast page.

If you notice anything that seems buggy/broken, please let us know!

Then, our gorgeous cover for Chapter 5. We’re so happy with it. Daniël Hugo did a fantastic job on it, and we can’t wait to get going on this part of the story! These were the prints we were talking about. We’re not exaggerating when we say that they are of immaculate quality. We bought one (number 1 of 20, naturally!) and it’s so beautifully printed. No matter how hard you squint, you can’t tell that it’s printed. It looks like you peeled the image straight off an HD screen and turned it into paper somehow. We’re definitely going to use the printer that he used when we do limited edition prints in future.

FCBD was pretty good! We had a bit of a printing disaster beforehand, with most of our comics being misprints. It was really crushing and we were really upset. We ended up having only 23 we could sell. There wasn’t even an option to reprint because the printers’ machine broke and could only be serviced on the Monday. It was far too late to find, proof and print with another printer, so our hands were tied. There were friends and fans who were kind enough to put in preorders though. We sold out of Chapter 4 fairly early on so we’re really thankful for the nice folks who were willing to wait. Many people were buying chapters 1-3 as well, which is great, because it means there are new readers. :)

Apart from that, people didn’t seem to want to buy as many prints or buttons this year. I think we sold maybe two of each, which is rather unusual for FCBD. Many books sold though and that’s great. We’ve covered our printing costs. The printers are collecting the misprints on Monday and will be replacing them.

Attendance was amazing this year. The venue is bursting at the seams, and we’re all hoping that a new, bigger venue is on the horizon… but we’ll see! There are plenty of photos on facebook and some videos on Youtube. Our friend Rowan was awesome enough to compile it all in a blog post over on his pop (nerd) culture blog called Geek Ink. You can view that post here: clicky!

Ben and I don’t have a decent camera between the two of us, but here are a few fuzzy-ish pics (click to enlarge):

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You may have read on our Facebook page that we’ve had a bit of an adventurous week. We spent a day or two recovering from FCBD, then when I turned on my PC, there was a loud bang and a flash, and my power supply was no more. RIP. We were really worried that other components may have gotten damaged (especially since I had JUST put in a brand new SSD), but the universe was merciful, and it was only my power supply. Still, it’s an unexpected expenditure which we’re rather bummed about. :( Fortunately the nice folks who took care of my machine have returned it and are giving us until the end of the month to pay, so at least I can carry on with work.

Then on Saturday we had our engagement party, which was really more of a laid-back picnic than a party, in the beautiful Kirstenbosch National Botanical Garden. There was champagne, family, friends and a mountain of apple turnovers. It was nice.

Lastly, there’s an expo at the end of the month that we got a kind of last-minute invite to. It’s called Electronic and Gaming Expo and they would like for there to be artists there too. So Readers Den will have a stand there, and so will we! It’s the first of its kind in Cape Town so the organisation was a little last-minute. Hopefully that won’t be the case in future. However some decent names will be there (Lego, Playstation, Microsoft, Corsair etc) and it looks like it’s shaping up to be a really cool event. There will also be some gaming tournaments. It’ll run from the 29th to the 31st. You can follow their facebook page for more announcements. Since the expo has a strong focus on gaming, we’re considering supplementing our usual fare with some fan art mashup originals to sell, and possibly some postcards. We’ll see!

Thanks as always for reading, commenting, talking about, and supporting us.

<3

Ben & Danelle


Cottonstar on Patreon

Free Comic Book Day 2015: Floor map, new prints, and more!

Yes, only a few days left to Free Comic Book Day 2015! Here is the floor plan which Readers Den have put up (Click to enlarge):

FCBD2015 Floorplan

Click to enlarge!

As you can see, we’re at stand A12, right next to Deon de Lange art. Which is convenient, as he is our cover artist for Chapter 4 and he’ll be selling some prints of said cover. Also he’s really cool and we enjoy hanging out, so there’s that. We’re across the way from Kay Carmichael who will be selling the next installment of her comic Sophie, Giant-Slayer, and Shameema Dharsey who will be selling the follow up to her successful comic, The Cat Lady. It is called …And Life Goes On: The Art of Living in the Meow. Super cute! We’ll wave at them across the crowds, probably.

Our new print edition also has a very snazzy wraparound cover! We’re really excited to finally be able to show you the full thing. We’ve put it in the gallery, but here it is (Click to enlarge):

Chapter 4 cover by Deon de Lange

Click to enlarge!

Prints are A3 in size, laser printed on 300gsm paper. They will be retailing for R200 each. However, there is some exciting news: Deon will also be selling the original line art for this piece! It will be in his show which will be on display in that area to the bottom left of the floorplan. There will also be a Sideshow Collectibles, Star Wars & pulp Sci Fi show, and some Gundam demos in the same space. There will be plenty of other awesome originals for sale too, so much sure your food budget for the month is sorted. You can view the collection of framed originals which will be on sale (including the cover artwork) here. Prices include frames.

Our cover artist for Chapter 5 will also be at FCBD. We’re super excited about this cover. It is GORGEOUS. We’ll be nice (?) and show you a little teaser:

chapter 5 cover teaser

The artist will be selling very limited edition, high quality, archival ink prints of this cover, so get yours before they disappear, which will probably happen very fast.

Finally, as stated before, our comics will be retailing at R50 each for Chapters 1 and 2, and R60 each for Chapters 3 and 4. Sketched editions will be R100 for Chapters 1 and 2, and R120 for Chapters 3 and 4. We still have plenty of Party Starter buttons and Reka’s Keep Calm and Let Me Cook (including bonus mystery red splatter) fridge magnets. We’ll also have bookmarks and the last of our cast fridge magnets.

party-starter_badge_W-Clipping-maskkeep-calm-and-let-me-cook

So, there you go. We’re pretty excited. See you there. 😀

<3

Ben & Danelle


Cottonstar on Patreon

 

 

Chapter 4 Preoders

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As Free Comic Book Day inches nearer (ok, more like steamrollering nearer) we realised that we have not yet opened preorders for Chapter 4!

So, to rectify the situation: preorders for Chapter 4 are now open! At this stage it will be easier to accommodate South African readers because of the post office strikes. We’re not sure what’s up at the international mail depot. Last time we checked it looked like Armageddon in there. But if you are interested in ordering, shoot us a message, we’ll see what we can find out for you. Keep in mind that the international rates will differ from the ZAR prices due to exchange rate fluctuations and taxes, and there’s a chance we may have to go via a courier.

We’re selling Chapter 4 at R60, and Chapter 4 sketched editions at R120. You can order for collection at FCBD, or we can mail it to you just after we get them back from the printers.

Each comic will be numbered, and all preorders are signed. The sketched editions come with a sketch on the inside cover, and a backing board and sleeve. Here is an example of what you’d be getting:

sketched-edition-sample

Seen: Comic with sketch inside, comic in sleeve with backing board.

Local shipping is R35 flat rate, up to 3 comics. If you would like to order more, chat to us and we can work out the most suitable shipping option for you.

Preorders not only help us cover costs leading up to printing, but also help us know how many sketched editions to prepare and set aside for you. So the sooner you order, the better!

Please use our contact info to get a hold of us.

We look forward to hearing from you!

<3

Ben & Danelle


Cottonstar on Patreon

Welcome, new Reka!

You may recall this blog post we did about Reka. We promised to redesign her, starting with her facial tattoos. We started with the latest pages and worked our way back, and now all of the pages which feature Reka ought to be up to date. It’s currently around 1am so please tell us if anything looks broken or in the wrong order or anything like that. It should be fine though.

We can’t do anything about anything that has been printed up to this point, but that’s okay. Our intentions were good, we messed up but we accept it all as a part of our creative evolution, and we’re moving on.

This was a bit rough, but we do feel very much at peace about our decision. Thanks again for your support guys.

<3

Ben & Danelle


Cottonstar on Patreon

Free Comic Book Day 2015 hype!

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Wow guys! We can’t believe it’s already almost time for Free Comic Book Day 2015. Last year’s event was HUGE. This year will probably be bursting at the seams.

We have four more pages to do after this one so it’s going to be REALLY tight, as we need to print in about two weeks. That means no sleep for a few nights. That also means that if you come over and buy chapter 4 at our booth, you will get to see the ending before it goes online! Tempting, hmm? 😀 We will be selling our comics at Open Book Comics Fest 2014 prices, which are R50 each for chapters 1 & 2, and R60 each for chapters 3 & 4.

We will NOT be reprinting chapters 1-3. We will only be doing a smallish run of chapter 4. It is not likely that we will be reprinting chapters 1-3 in future, unless there is a sudden huge demand for them. We want to finish up the stock that we currently have and then focus our finances on new stock. Once we have chapter 5 complete, we’ll do a limited run of chapter 5 books, and after that we will no longer be printing loose versions of chapters 1-5. Instead, we will be printing Volume I of Cottonstar, which will contain chapters 1 through 5. We’ll see what happens after chapter 5. Hopefully by then we will be able to produce the comic fast enough to be able to do another volume within a reasonable amount of time.

We will also have EXCLUSIVE NEW PRINTS at FCBD, featuring absolutely amazeballs artwork from our ~mystery chapter 5 cover artist~! They’ve sent us the image and we just can’t wait to show you guys. We won’t be putting up a teaser online, so if you come to FCBD, you will have the opportunity to see it for the first time.

Our gracious hosts and good friends Readers Den now have a dedicated website for FCBD. It lists vendors, artist alley exhibitors, events, activities and more. There is also a Facebook event page for it, in case you needed some social media reminders.


Cottonstar on Patreon

Star Wars #1 original artwork now on BidorBuy!

Hey guys! Remember that Star Wars #1 limited edition original art cover that Ben did? Well, the auction is now live on Bidorbuy!

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The starting bid is R300 (around $25) which is EXTREMELY cheap for original, one of a kind artwork.

The auction ends on the 25th of February 2015.

Happy bidding!

Arr ye scallywags!

Hey guys! We’re back from our weekend break! I’m sick as a dog. I caught Ben’s cold just as he was getting rid of it.

But! All is well, because besides giving me a cold, Ben also gave me a ring on the beach. 😀 We’re engaged!

Dat ring

After 5 years of dating (7 if you count the awkward internet crushes we had on each other). The ring was made from a diamond and metal from his mom’s engagement ring, and Ben designed it himself. We’re pretty chuffed! ;D

I hope you’ll excuse us for not having the page done yet, it’s been a bit overwhelming. And also Ben has a slew of paid work that he needs to get out of the way. We definitely ought to have it ready by Friday at least.

Also, a note to our Patreon supporters: Some of your cards were declined this month. If you pledge, try and make sure there’s enough in your account when the end of the month rolls around! We’re not angry or anything, we just thought it’s worth mentioning.

Thanks for your continued support. :3

Danelle & Ben

PS:

Squeee~!