Third meeting and Kickstarter

Steve and I met again today to discuss the status of ‘Beans’ and map out its development in the coming weeks.

I’m happy to report that he should have the first ten roughs by the end of the week, and the plan is for another ten more by the end of next week. A few clean strips will also be completed along the way. At that pace, we should be okay.

I also saw some of the thumbnails and roughs he’s been working on with my bare eyes (we usually collaborate via email). Damn, I wish I could draw so well with such ease. I’m a bit envious and gratified to be working with such talent.

On another note, I’ve been preparing for the launch of the Kickstarter campaign. A few people have already verbally committed to it, which is both touching and a relief. I really want it to be a success – and ideally enough so that we can produce free bonus strips.

We’ll know in 30 days. The Kickstarter campaign goes live soon – at 0:01 on July 1st.

Started a blog

I’d been thinking about it for a while now, but I’ve finally gotten around to creating a blog for ‘Beans’. I figure that it will be a good way for people to keep up on the latest news and to see the evolution of the strip.

Plus which it may be a home for the strips in September if all else fails.

I spent a large part of the day going through my various emails to backtrack all that was going on. Keeping emails is like keeping a journal, and they served me well: I was able to produce a full, detailed blog.

Meanwhile, Steve is working on the roughs for a few more strips today. I can’t wait to see them, because it’ll give me a sense of where it’s headed. Plus which I love seeing the strip develop before my very eyes. Exciting stuff.

Ready to roll

Steve sent in the revised version of the first strip yesterday. I fixed some font issues myself to save him the hassles, but it looks really good. REALLY good. And his timing couldn’t have been better, since I wanted it for the Kickstarter campaign.

I submitted our Kickstarter page in haste today, seeing as they say that review and approval might take up to three days. Since my goal is to go live on July 1st, I had no choice but to go ahead even though it could use more work.

Thankfully, I had the time to work on the page. I spent much of the day fine-tuning the details, adding art and reworking the texts. It’s actually starting to look half-decent. I’m not 100% satisfied, but I’m proud of it nonetheless.

Hopefully it’ll sell the project to potential investors.

In any event, Kickstarter approved it within seconds. So I must be doing something right. A good thing, too, because I would have freaked out if there were other hoops for me to jump through at this point. Man, they’re demanding…

Beans #1 nearly finished

While I’m waging my Kickstarter battle, Steve submitted his clean version of the first strip:



There are a couple of things I think could be improved, so we’ll work on that. But, overall, I think it’s really awesome.  Almost there.

It’s great to see it come to life. Steve has given it a personal touch that I quite like and I can’t wait to see the whole thing now.

Beans #1 underway

Steve is now working on the first strip and has sent in the beginnings of the clean version. It looks amazing, and I can’t wait to unveil the final result.

SO exciting!

Meanwhile, Kickstarter is kicking my @$$. No matter how much bloody private information I give them, it’s not enough to get things off the ground. !@#$

I respect their need to protect themselves from fraud, but as I pointed out to their customer support person, they have more personal information consolidated in one place than even the bleeding government does. It’s absolutely ridiculous, especially if their company gets hacked, like so many do.

Surely there is a better way. Surely we can protect our privacy better in this day and age…

On a more humourous note, Malcolm Mayes has come up with a concept that I wrote two weeks ago for ‘Beans’:


Granted, we’ll be published second, but we’re ahead of the game, conceptually, which grants me hope that the strip will actually be half-decent.

*crosses finger*

Final header

Steve worked on the header some more, which brought us closer to the finalized version:

Header 2

I love the new railing to the right. it adds symmetry, and it just makes more sense contextually. I had asked to populate the landscape a bit, to give more of a school feel.

So this is great.

However, the characters were too alike for my taste, so I asked for a few changes (yes, I’m a taskmaster). Still it produced the following results, which I’m quite happy with:

Header 3

To think that we started with the following thumbnail, and worked our way to the above:

Header thumbnail

You know, it’s a lot of work to get from point A to point B, but it’s worth the effort. I’ll change the font on my own credit, to match the title, but otherwise it’s a go.

Final script

So I finally submitted my final scripts. While Steve is working on roughs, I’ve been trying to figure out those last bits that weren’t working and also merging bits that were cut out in the editing process.

It’s grueling stuff, but I’m satisfied with the end result, given that I had three weeks from start to finish, trying to write something amusing, cohesive and coherent. And working and blogging full time.

I would have been able to do more with it if I had had more time, and it would certainly have been much better if I had been able to collaborate with someone on the texts, to bounce ideas off of.

But it exists, and I’m satisfied with it all things considered. Since it takes a lot for me to be satisfied when I get into that self-examining mode. So it can’t be all bad. At least Steve hasn’t run away.

Still, I can’t help but look at my work with the thought that I’m an amateur having fun with this, and hat what i consider decent may be utter shite for another person, for someone more sophisticated.

I’ve seen plenty of people with hobbies they’re just not very good at, but who are so enthusiastic and passionate that they make it their life’s blood. It can be embarrassing to see that unfold.

I hope what I wrote isn’t that kind of embarrassment. I hope that at least some people will enjoy it. At the very least, they’ll have some eye candy to look at; Steve’s work will no doubt be worth a gander. 🙂

Speaking of which, Steve’s sent in his roughs for strips 2, 3 and 4 as well as a clean version of the header:

Header 1

It seems a bit wide to me, and the title doesn’t do it for me, so I suggested just going with a font we already have to crop the header like so:

Header (cropped)

I also added credits and suggested moving the sign to the left, as indicated in red. I love working on ideas and batting them around. I just hope Steve’s patience isn’t being tested.

Anyway, I’m having fun.

Kickstarter page well under way

I have been working on the Kickstarter page like crazy and have sent a preview link to a few close friends for.  I got some great feedback and responses from them, so I think it’s coming along nicely.

I’ll change a few things, based on their input, but it’s shaping up nicely and we should be ready to go soon. Assuming I can jump through all of Kickstarter’s hoops, that is.

First rough

Exciting news: Steve’s sent in his first rough!

Beans 1 Rough

Oh yeah. This is going to be awesome! I had some suggestions to make but he’s totally on the right track. He’ll be sending in roughs for the next few strips shortly. but we really need to get the title/logo and header done since they’re integral to each strip.

We’re discussing possible fonts. I think it would be interesting to use different fonts for different characters, to better express their personalities. But maybe I’m getting too ambitious. After all, we may not have time for all these details. We’ll see.

On the Kickstarter front, I was able to get clarification that I can use a pre-paid credit card. Good. That saves me the hassle of getting a damned card. I don’t trust myself with one of those. Now I just have to go through the rest of the process and set up the campaign.


Last night, Steve submitted his first ideas for the header and logo, based on discussions we had yesterday and via email:

Header draft

Not sure about the logo, but then again I’m not 100% sure about the title either.

I’ve worked my way through a dozen titles and held on to a couple, but ‘Beans’ is the best of the lot. I like it, because it’s not as obvious as the others, and because it rolls off the tongue, but I’d hate for people to make an association with ‘Peanuts’ – which is what i think of immediately.

All this to say that, because I’m not 100% sure about the title so it doesn’t help to provide directions for the logo. At least the header is looking good; Steve’s headed in the right direction.

On another note, I’m having a devil of a time with Kickstarter. I couldn’t seem to get my email authorized and now I’ve found out you need a credit card to start a project. I’ve never had one, but I may have to. Urgh.

I’m trying to sort that out with them.