It's time for our first Bullet in the Hole announcement - by the by, the name is derived from a poker term, where aces are present in a person's hand. There are four aces in a deck, four blogs to post, & four weeks left to post them. Why are we using poker terms for our announcements? Because it's Christmastime, that's why! I dunno, just roll with it.
Revealing the first card in our deck of surprises, Dreamkeepers has expanded its staff!
Rest assured this change isn't going to change much. Up 'til now, the whole show has been put on by one dynamically unpaid duo: Dave and Liz, cartoon junkies extraordinaire. But for the first time ever, we've expanded Vivid to bring in a few cohorts as freelance assistants on the project. Hopefully, we'll be able to do more damage that way.
Ha! No, not damage, art. I sometimes confuse the two. As for what exactly this will mean for Dreamkeepers, you may have some questions - watch, as I pretend I know what they are, and proceed to answer them!
That's pretty much it. Volume 3 is huge, and we're still finishing off the first of three chapters. ...Which is running to about 43 pages. Any normal DK book, that'd be about the halfway point. But V3 is looking to exceed 130 pages - it's a freakin' shark attack!
As far as creators go, Dave & Liz tend towards extreme self-reliance. We built our own book series, our own company to publish it, and our own website & webcomic to promote it. We weave our own clothing from the grass of the field and hunt & kill our own frozen waffles. We don' need no high-falutin' help from NOBAWDY!
Well, maybe we do. In fact, we'd had plans in years past about, in a far-off someday, hiring some help for the project. But 'someday' has come upon us far faster than we'd ever expected. With the huge, supportive, and eager response from readers for the next book, we finally realized that it's time to take care of business.
This book needs to get done, and especially with our to-be-announced excitement next week, it's time we loosened up a bit and accepted some help.
As my spectacularly rendered flow-chart illustrates, the story and finished art are still Dave & Liz territory, so the look and feel of Dreamkeepers isn't going to be warped or changed at all. But blocking in the flat colors is extremely time consuming - the most laborious part of producing the art, in fact. And that is where our intrepid freelancers will be zooming to the rescue, to act as our new color department!
They'll get single pages with swatch sheets that look a little something like this: (Liz blocks in the characters, so she can catch & correct my consistency bloopers.)
We'll nix the word balloon text on outgoing pages, to reduce risk of spoiler leaks because blowing the story is the sole province of Liz and I. We may get pages back that look a little something like this:
At which point we'll flip some final color choices about:
-and then Dave shades in the fun stuff.
Admittedly, the color department doesn't have the most glamour-drenched job in the world, but that's why we're compensating them - whether it be with money, sparkly pebbles, or bits of ribbon remains to be seen. Depends on what I can get away with. (We'll pay with money - I was a starving artist too long to turn around & not pay others for their work.)
Reasons - I haz them! I know there's a flood of readers out there who would be more than willing to help us out of the goodness of their hearts. However, we have enough trouble staying organized amongst ourselves as it is, so keeping our team small and cohesive is the way to go right now. It's not our intent to be exclusionary, but there's only so many people we can effectively work with at any given time. If we ever publicly open applications for freelancers, we'll be sure to announce it here first and foremost.
I haven't actually asked yet if anyone prefers anonymity or not - once we actually start working with our new allies, I'll know whom I'm permitted to assign blame to. For now they shall simply be known as "The Association of Seven." Are there seven of them? No. But it's got a nice ring to it.
One might also wonder, why are we starting to pay freelancers if we haven't actually started paying ourselves yet? Simple. That way, we can build up the funds to more effectively promote Dreamkeepers, and do spectacularly fun things -
Such as the thing which we will be announcing next week.
...Since adding staff is such a new and different step for us, we are anticipating more questions on the subject. In a vain attempt to fend off the inevitable, we present for your perusal: