My friend Xadrea
tagged me for this Christmas List meme. Like most folks, I don't usually tag other people, because I'm always worried the other people won't want to be tagged.
But I have a ton of respect for Mel and I think I'll try and tag a couple people this time.
I'm going to say something first before I write out my list. I'm so grateful to all you "hooligans" and more importantly friends who enjoy and share my work, who support me and who've asked me to be co-founders or contributors in your DA groups or to take part in your online to-dos. I really am lucky to have you all as fans and friends.
My joining here has been a real turning-point in my life.
For most of my life, I struggled to make and keep friends (and jobs) because of my autism, and then because of the depression that comes with it. There was a time, just before joining DA, when I really didn't think I could continue.
Right about the time I joined DA, I started getting better. Life is still challenging. At first I still chased jobs around the country, took in my mother-in-law when her oldest son died a few years ago, then we fought for custody of my kids when we realized my ex had severe Alzheimer's symptoms, and spent our entire life-savings to buy our first house and move across-country to Ohio and had to take on more work to pay for several giant cracks in the foundation and a host of other home repairs. And still, the depression is behind me - I get frustrated, but I haven't had a real episode since I joined. You friends on DA have been with me through it all, and dare I say, these last 8 years with you (and my wife, Tiffany), have been the best years of my life!
We'll have no tree this year, and very little in the way of gifts for the kids and that's okay! Whether you do something special for me or not, this will be the best Christmas of my life! And I have in no small part all your wonderful support over the years to thank. So thank you all!
STEP ONEMake a post to your DA journal. The post should contain your list of ten holiday wishes. The wishes can be anything at all, from simple and fandom-related ("I'd love a ______ icon that's just for me") to medium ("I wish for _____ on DVD") to really big ("all I want for Christmas is a new car/computer/house/TV."). The important thing is, make sure these wishes are things you really, truly want.If you wish for real life things (not fics or icons), make sure you include some sort of contact info in your post, whether it's your address or just your email address where Santa (or one of his elves) could get in touch with you.Also, make sure you post some version of these guidelines in your DA or link to this post so that the holiday joy will spread.
STEP TWOSurf around your friends list (or friends' friends, or just random journals) to see who has posted their list. And now, here's the important part:If you see a wish you can grant, and it's in your heart to do so, make someone's wish come true. Sometimes someone's trash is another's treasure, and if you have a leather jacket you don't want or a gift certificate you won't use -- do it.You need not spend money on these wishes unless you want to. The point isn't to put people out, it's to provide everyone a chance to be someone else's holiday elf -- to spread the joy. Gifts can be made anonymously or not -- it's your call.There are no rules with this project, no guarantees, and no strings attached. Give, and you might receive. and you'll have the joy of knowing you made someone's holiday special.
01. Let me say for just a moment that, despite my small but successful Kickstarter last year, I so far have not made any money from my comics. I work hard at them every week to bring you guys some joy, despite the fact that our house needs a ton of repairs and I could be billing for software engineering work at $80/hr, because it's a labor of love. Every month I turn down what could be a lot of money working on software, because I love entertaining you fine folks!
Earlier this month, I took a real leap-of-faith and am devoting even MORE time to making comics, to enter the Webtoons.com contest. So trust me when I tell you that, winning even the third-place prize in this contest would be a HUGE help to me continuing to entertain you amazing folks like I love to do! Like I mentioned in my last two journals, you guys have already kept me up in the contest as high as the top 4% of entries. That's hugely flattering!
So here are the things that can help me in the contest:
rate up my submission (a lot of you folks have already done this)
like the individual strips (at the bottom)
share the individual strips on facebook or twitter
write a blog or journal about my comics and encourage your friends to help me out also
If you need more information, see my previous journal.
02. Reviews or Podcasts: I've been publishing Woohooligan since 2006 and I've put up 203 comics now, so I feel like, although I've not been the fastest producer of comics, I have enough content for people to review. Having said that, it's damn hard to find people who review comics online -- or I should say, who have continued to review them. When I've googled to try and find sites that review webcomics, I've found a lot of blogs where people started reviewing webcomics, got to about the 5th review or so and then stopped. And to be honest, as far as I'm concerned, I'd take a review even if I knew it would likely be a bad review -- maybe the criticism would help me improve.
Or if you do a podcast or know someone who does a podcast that's looking for guests, that would be cool too.
03. Fan Art or 5th-Panel Guest comics: I understand that Woohooligan doesn't have many repeat characters, so it's not exactly an easy thing to make fan-art for, but I'm always grateful when someone sends me a pic of Nigel
... Or just plain remakes of some of my single-panel comics like the Pigasus
, Bath Vader
would be cool, or even a collage of images or panels from different comics that you enjoyed. Fifth panel guest comics are also a cool idea, started by Jesse Kiefer of Tank Monkey.
The thumbnail synopsis is this: if you have a follow-up joke for any of my strips, draw it up and send it to me and I'll post it in the comments on my site.
More info about the 5th-panel-guest phenomenon can be found here.
04. Vending Machines: Note me if you have any information. I'm not really expecting any of you guys to be able to help with this, but I figured I'd mention it here just in case. It's been on my mind for several years now that if I could get some vending machines, that would be a way that I could bring in some money without the fear of being fired (or the work drying up), and support the family while also helping me create time and funds to support my comics and other projects.
05. Autelligent Laboratories: This has been one of my long-term goals for several years. I've seen a number of autism-centric businesses like Specialisterne from Denmark and the nonPareil Institute about which the documentary Programming Hope
is made. I think we need a lot more of these!
The unemployment rate for Autistics in Europe is about 60%, on-par with the rate for general disabilities. In the US the unemployment rate for autistics is 90%. That's just not acceptable. I want to create a non-profit with the charter of creating an open-source business plan that anyone can use to create autism-centric businesses in every state. So if you have any ideas or just want to be a part of this, drop me a note!
06. I hope my sister's nursing job in Corpus Christi TX gets better.
07. A guest spot on Ellen. What?
I Tag...Lets see if any of these guys play along.