Tuesday, November 20, 2012

The Non-Committal Gift Certificate

So last night, I made a comment on Twitter, half-jokingly, that I was going to create a gift certificate that allowed people to give people the promise of a gift without actually giving them a gift. (It sounds more cold-hearted than it actually is.) This came about from me thinking about Black Friday this weekend and all the sales and madness that goes along with it.  Firstly, I'm flabbergasted that this is happening again - and so soon!  (Didn't this just happen last year? Sheesh!) Secondly, I find it hard to believe that, given the current state of the economy, that there are people rushing out to spend all this money on expensive gifts. Money that a lot of people simply don't have.  (At least the people around me don't have it. I don't know about where you're standing.) The very thought of having to shop for my wife and family this Christmas curls my hair, not because I don't love them and I don't want to supply them all with lavish presents, but I simply cannot afford to do that.

So I got to thinking, what if I gave my wife a gift certificate? I would love to take her on a weekend trip to Chicago, but realistically, this goal is out of reach financially.  Given my graphic designer chops, I was going to make a gift certificate or a raincheck to give her on Christmas day, Then I started thinking, what would this certificate say?  How about this, I thought:  "Hey, honey. Let's go to Chicago. Or something."  That's romantic, right? I felt like I was back in college and picking up my date on a bike.  Maybe my wife could stand next to me as I rode the bike to the airport to get on the imaginary plane that I booked.  Yeah, that's not working.

So, I mulled it over and with a little brainstorming help from my friend. musician Marian Call (one of the most hard-working people I know and someone who always has brilliant marketing ideas), we coined the phrase "Non Committal Gift Certificates."  I spent the afternoon laying the certificate out and you can now download THIS FREE VERSION of the certificate:

It features a cute little drawing of a bunny riding a scooter because A) who doesn't want to see that? B) It is pretty awesome and C) It's the only thing I could think of on a short timeline, 

So, go ahead and pass the certificate along, print it out and give it to as many people as you choose.  Hopefully it will be taken in the same tongue in cheek way it was intended and - in a perfect world - the recipient will be handing you his or her own copy of the NCGC. 

And because I do design and illustration for a living, I've decided to add a customizable version to my online store.  For just $10, you can have me draw something fun and personalized in the "Bunny Area".  This way, for a nominal fee, you can actually hand someone a custom drawn piece of art instead of a pre-made PDF.  This option is perfect for the people on your list who will not get a huge hilarious kick out of the message of the NCGC.

So, please consider this my early holiday gift to you all.  With any luck, the economy will start turning around and Christmas will be saved!!  But in the meantime, we have this option.

Happy Holidays!

Monday, October 15, 2012

"You Know You Can Hire Me, Right?"

This post is from October of 2012.  Some of this is old news, but the gist of it still rings true.  I'll update it occassionally when I have something new to share. Just consider this your bible for working with me.


I've been pretty busy over the past few months working on Geek A Week stuff, a full-fledged graphic novel and helping out with paintings for a upcoming documentary.  Let's not forget that I became a new dad (again!) back in May by welcoming new new son, Julian.  Because of that, I've had my head down diligently doing the work that needed to be done.  I'm at point now where the smoke is more or less cleared, I'm waiting for a pretty big project to fire up.  The other day I went to look at my roster of projects and I realize - DOH! I need some stuff to work on!

This has happened frequently to me in my freelance career and I always try to stave off going into full freakout mode. I've been pretty good managing my anxiety, but this morning, I realized that I need some projects to get me through this rough spot.

Because I've been pretty busy, I've been going to Twitter and shouting into the feed like some sort of bazaar shop owner.  Everyone seems to be yelling all at once over there and not a whole lot of people are listening.  The 140 character thing isn't helping much either.  I've got so much to say, so I figured a long form, old-school blog post would be more appropriate.

So, here's the deal:  I am currently, ACTIVELY looking for commission work.  Here are a few ways you can commission me and help a brother out:

Geek A Week 4.0:  Earlier this month, I launched a Kickstarter for Season 4 of Geek A Week. As of this writing, I'm about 65% funded, which is great!  But I still have some ways to get funded,  Not only that, but I am also trying to create a Fan Only Set made up of 8 geeked out fans.  That reward level is at the $399 which is definitely a premium price. But you do get to be added to the official Geek A Week site and you get interviewed and a bunch of copies of your own card,  I don't this for everyone, so it is pretty special.  Anyway, check it out - it might make a great holiday gift for someone on your nice list. (EDIT:  This Kickstarter is now over.  But you can still order Geek A Week cards at my online store!) I'll also be a part of other Kickstarters or do my own from time to time, Check back to see what I'm involved in.

General Commission work:  While we're on the subject of the holidays, now would be a PERFECT time to engage me for a commission for Christmas and the holidays. I offer a few different flavors of commissions...

FlipFace: My avatar creation service is still up and running and I can make you a custom avatar for your social media needs. Prices are as low as $10 for a black and white avatar up to $20 for a zombie-fied avatar.  I can also do custom work for the holidays as well.  Check it out!

Caricatures at Live Events:  I just recently started doing live events where I'll draw fun black and white or color caricatures for you and your friends. I'm calling it Flipface Live!  I can do straight ahead caricatures or even zombie caricatures. I'll even travel for an additional fee. You can hire me here, here or here. Or of course, you can also hire me privately.

Monster By Mail:  My 5 year old monster creation site is currently wrapping up it's stint with guest artist Sunday Williams.  Although the site says otherwise, Sunday is currently not working on the monsters, but another talented artist, Mike Peterson is.  We're in the process of switching things up, but you can still hire me to draw up a 4 x6 original piece of monster art.  If you'd like to request me, just mention it in your special instructions when ordering.

50 vs. 50:  There are still some Hero and Villain slots available in this project.  I mentioned earlier this month that if you order a Hero or Villain from me in October, you get a free monster print with your order. This is still valid up until October 31, so keep that in ind when ordering,  (Currently, the heroes are winning the battle -which basically means there are more villains left to order than heroes. So follow your heart and order accordingly.)

Geekimals: In the tradition of some of my other commission-based products, I just started up one called Geekimals, where I can draw geeky portraits of your pets for a few schillings.  I also offer greeting cards and UComics branded Geekimals (personalized comic pages written by the amazing Jessica Mills and drawn by me.)  They're pretty fun and every pet owner should have one!

Other Commission Work: Let it be known that I can draw custom pieces as birthday, Christmas or other special occasions.  I can do geeky pinups, or I can draw your D&D character - just flip through this site to check out stuff I've done.  Fun!

Larger Scale Work-For Hire:  I suppose I should put this out there as well.  I am available to work on book illustrations, board and card games, spot illustrations - pretty much anything.  My costs vary from project to project, so we'll probably have to trade e-mails to work that all out,  but please know I will entertain all serious inquiries.

And of course, if you're scared of contacting me and would just like to buy some of my products, you can always visit my online store, where you'll find some of the products I mentioned above and other fun stuff!

Phew. Hopefully  this will help stoke the fires and before you know it, I'll once again have my head buried deep in too much work. My wife and I thank you and most of all, my immense family thanks you.


Wednesday, September 26, 2012

50 vs. 50 Meets Monsters!

So, I got busy last spring and totally forgot to talk about my 50 vs. 50 Hero and Villain project. Short version: You order a hero or villain from me.  I draw it.  You hang it on your wall! Easy!  By drawing these commissions, I was raising money to get to Comic Con 2012 (and I might do it again!).  But for now, I have a rather sizable job get pushed back a month, which has left a rather sizable gap in my schedule. Which ultimately means I have time to do some commissions! 

There are a good number of heroes and villains left to order. The last time I checked, the heroes were winning (basically there are more villains to order). And to sweeten the deal, if you order now to the end of October, you'll recieve - TOTALLY FREE OF CHARGE - an original monster print with your order - much like this:

Or this:

Or even this:

That's right! You'll get a totally free monster print with your 50 vs, 50 hero/villain order.  So fly on over to the site, place your order and help me out during this gap in work!

Monday, August 27, 2012

Limited Edition Signed Marian Call/Lumpia Posters!

So Marian Call came to Cleveland with guitarist Seth Boyer this weekend and the local Cleveland band  Lumpia (whose members happen to be my kids) opened up for her.  I was able to make the poster for the event (see above) and  I've got a very limited number available for sale.  Cost is $5 with $4 shipping and handling.  They are signed by Marian, Seth and all three members of Lumpia.  So use the button below to pick one up for yourself!

BTW, the concert was incredibly awesome. HERE IS VIDEO PROOF. HERE TOO.

Monday, July 09, 2012

Now It Can Be Told: My Comic Con Exclusive

Hey gang! Comic Con is this week!  I will be there from Thursday- Saturday doing at various locations around the con basically hanging out and seeing friends.  But mostly, I will be there supporting my first ever Comic Con Exclusive!

Over the past few months, I've been tweeting about an exclusive that I was doing for Comic Con for Discovery.  Today, I can let you know what the exclusive will be...(drum roll)...I have been working on an exclusive Comic Con only Geek A Week set of the MythBusters!

(loud cheering)

That's right. I was hired by Discovery to create a brand new original set of Geek A Week cards for Comic Con. Here's a quick peek at them.  It's six original cards with brand new backs written by Storm of Paul and Storm.  (That's right I said six - this includes a new card of good ol' Buster.)

And because many of you have asked me about whether or not these cards will ever be packed with that cardboard-flavored piece of gum that old school trading cards always come with, I've gone and done one better and had three stainless steel tags created for the sets.  Each set comes with one of the following tags. (FYI, "CONFIRMED" is the chaser tag as there are only a *very* limited number of them made).  Check it out:

Pretty awesome, eh? 

The bad news is that due to unforeseen circumstances, these awesome Geek A Week/MythBusters Geek A Week sets will not be available until after Comic Con at the Discovery Store.  (You can order the other exclusive MythBusters Geek A Week set here, though.)

The good news is that I will have a limited number of these Comic Con Exclusive MythBusters Geek A Week sets at Comic Con!  If you're going to be there, here's how you can get one.

Follow me on Twitter at @jawboneradio.  I'll be placing these sets at various places around Comic Con and giving photo hints of their whereabouts. If you find one, @ reply me so I can retweet it and I know you've found one.  There may also be some Discovery street teams handing these out at the Con as well. Know that the CONFIRMED tag is the chaser, so if you get one of those you are super cool and have definitely gotten a rarity.

I'll also be tweeting about where I am at Comic Con all weekend long and if you find me and say you've seen my tweets, you can grab a set of these cards for yourself.  (I'll be doing a signing on Friday with ThinkGeek at 2PM. That's one place you'll be able to get them.)

Remember, this is the only way you can get these exclusive sets for right now, so good luck! So happy to have worked on this and so happy to get them into people's hands.

Friday, June 22, 2012

Birth Of A Frame

I've posted something over at my Tumblr explaining what I've been doing for the past few months. Check it out!

Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Support Nerdy Travel! Support #50v50! Leap Day Geek Giveaway

TL;DR: Help me pay for trip to San Diego Comic Con. Win a great prize package! Details at the end of this post!

Last week, I launched my 50 vs 50 project again. For those of you not familiar with the project, I'm drawing 50 heroes and 50 villains (100 drawings total) in order to pay for my trip and accommodations to San Diego Comic Con in July 2012. I was able to do this last year with much success and I'd like to try to do it again this year. Going to Comic Con in July is quite important in that I am in the process of designing an EXCLUSIVE ITEM for a pretty big Comic Con presence. (I'm not at liberty to say who it is quite yet, but trust me...it's pretty cool.)

Anyway, this being Leap Day and all and the fact that we have an extra day to do something awesome, I've decided to launch a neat little promotion to help meet my goal.

I'm giving a special PACKAGES OF AWESOME to two winners who participate in this promotion. Take a look!

This package includes:

A full set of my Geek A Week cards. This includes all of Season 1 and Season 2, including the cards that are out of print! (Finally, you'll have that Scalzi card you've been looking for!)

An original w00tstock 1.0 robot poster signed by me. This one is pretty rare. You could only get them the night of the show and there aren't that many left to go around.

A rare They Might Be Giants John and John poster signed by me.
This one was done as a limited edition print in 2005 and only 10 of these exist!

A limited edition non-numbered Team Unicorn poster created for last year's San Diego Comic Con (only 100 made!)

Sounds great, right? You want to get your nerdy hands on this stuff. So here's how you enter:

1) Purchase a 50 vs. 50 Hero or Villain and your name and e-mail will be placed in a special drawing. To do this, go here.

2) Follow my Twitter account @jawboneradio. Write a creative tweet using the hashtag #50v50. The funniest, most original and creative tweet will be chosen to win the package. Tell me why you want to win this nerdy package. Make me laugh. Whatever you do, stand out!

Deadline for entry is 3/7/12. The winner for both packages will be chosen on 3/8/12. (As of this writing, there are 47 heroes and 48 villains left to purchase. Surely we can get these sold soon, right!?)

So get out there, promote 50 vs 50, help support my nerdy travel plans and win some pretty awesome rare stuff!


Wednesday, February 15, 2012

What's Up With Len

Apologies for the lack of updates. I really have been moving on since the loss of my father in the fall. And I've been very busy. Both Nora and I have had very limited time to do the podcast, what with the upcoming baby (!) and my current work schedule. I was just talking to Nora about possibly recording a new show...aaaand that's about as far as it went. I'm sure if I brought it up again, we might be able to carve out some time, but for now consider us on hiatus.

Regardless, there is a lot going on. So let's get right to it!

Monster By Mail
The monster drawing service that I created to pay for the hospital bills for the birth of my last child turns five years old next month. And I've decided to breathe some new life into it by adding GUEST ARTISTS! The first guest artist is my good friend, Sunday Williams. She's an incredible unknown artist whose stuff I've adored for years. I've been trying to get Sunday to put more of her art out there, and this is my selfish way of bringing more of her wonderful cartoons to the world. I mean, look at this piece for Punk Rock Flea:

I know, right?! I've removed the video option to make it easier on the guest artists, but you can purchase Sunday's original art for a limited time right here for a mere $50!

Geek A Week: Legends of Videogames

I've launched Season three of my Geek A Week project. This time around, I've narrowed the focus to showcase some of the most interesting geeks in Videogames. At the time of this writing, I've released two new geek cards. Last week's was Cliff Bleszinski or Epic Games. This week, it's Dan Paladin of The Behemoth. Next week's geek should be a definite crowd favorite. So stay tuned for that. And if you miss my sweet, sweet podcasting voice, you can subscribe to the Geek A Week podcast here.

The whole set should be between 15-20 cards and once again, like with Season 2, I am planning a Kickstarter to pay for the production of the cards. This should be happening later this spring. And I'll be sure to let you all know when that happens.

Incidentally, I am looking for some people who do machinima or 8 bit graphics for a video I'm working on. If you fit this bill, please send me an e-mail at monsterbymail at geemail.

Between all the art and interviews and whatnot, I'm also appearing at a con! Well, sort of. It's an online convention, called Dotcon. A few internet folks got together and wanted to bring the convention experience to your desktop. It's a pretty small thing right now, but the hope is that if it's popular enough, we'll be able to do this several times a year. My panel is Saturday, February 25 at 5 PM EST/2 PM PST. I'll be drawing live with actors Tara Platt and Yuri Lowenthal. Both Tara and Yuri do a webseries called Shelf Life. But between the two of them, they've been voices in cartoons, anime and pretty much every video game ever created. (No joke. Look at this list. And that's just Yuri's!) In any event, the plan is to have them voice characters I draw live and also create a voice live and then have me create the look of that character right there in front of God and everyone.

In addition, there will be appearances and performances from other great folks like Josh Cagan (hilarious!), a concert with Mike Phirman (doubly hilarious!) and The Doubleclicks (adorable!), geek ice cream making with Virginia Corbett of Sugar Bean Ice Cream (delicious!) and online gaming with Logan Bonner (challenging!). You can read all about the events and everything here.

And one last thing I'm excited about, I created the mascot of DotCon, the robot icon we've nicknamed Robit:

He may not look like much, but there was a really cool creative exercise that took place to create him. Tune into my panel to hear the whole story!

50 vs. 50
On top of all of this, 50 vs. 50 is coming back to help me raise funds to get to San Diego Comic Con. I wasn't planning on attending this year, and then I found out I was going to create something EXCLUSIVE for Comic Con! (!!!) I can't say too much more, but I'm way excited to be working on it. I had told Nora I can't go this year because of the baby and then when she found out about what I was asked to do, she said " Well, you HAVE to go now." So, you see, this is all about fulfilling my wonderful wife's wishes for me to attend one of the largest nerdy conventions of the year. :)

Stay tuned to my updates on Twitter to keep updated.

Now back to radio silence...