First off, to whoever got me the core membership: THANK YOU!! Your kindness was a big factor in my decision to be more active on dA again. That was a wonderful present so much gratitude and hugs. Wow.
NEW FOLLOWERS (and curious onlookers!)
Welcome! Welcome! And thank you so much for your interest in my work. Regardless of what got you here, I really appreciate your time and energy. I've gotten a lot of questions about my work, views, and all sorts of other stuff. Since I've been away for a while, I'm gonna do an FAQ in a week or two to get you guys up to speed. I did want to give you folks a shout-out though since I know there's been an influx with some of my older work making the rounds again. I'm very grateful to have you here.
Now, to my longtime friends here: You're are probably wondering "Where have you been, K-Bo?" Wow. Where to start... Without getting into too many explicit details, my life got turned upside-down in 2016 and early 2017. My mental health took a pretty bad spill, and my fiance and I split up after more than a decade. Sarah and I are still business partners and dear friends. We're still working together on Interrobang Studios, but things are moving a little slow since we're still trying to put our respective lives back together. A lot of progress has been made, but there's still a ways to go. We reached a point around August where we started to get the Studio up and running again. That's why many of you guys have been unable to contact the studio or order books We're hoping to get that part of the operation ticking again in the coming weeks. Same deal with the Patreon. I'm also planning a new comics series and a game project that I'll be slowly unveiling in the coming months. I'm also up and doing Mascot comics again to (with a bit of an irregular update schedule.)
Along with all this and the influx of new friends, I wanted to make a concerted effort to be more active here on dA again. That means I'll be posting more as well as doing a better job keeping up with my notes, mentions, requests, etc. I'm slowly working my way through the inbox now, so thanks for everyone's patience on that. I'm a pretty approachable person and love hearing from you all, so don't be shy about reaching out. I'll do my best to try to get back to you in a reasonable amount of time.
I also plan on catching you guys up on the art I've done from 2016 to now that didn't make it on dA, as well as some previously unavailable material from my comics (including Sucks to be Weegie) and more. Gonna try to have at least have 2-3 deviations a week until you all are caught up.
So I think that's just about all of it. Again, thank you all so much for your time and support. I'll be back with that FAQ in a few weeks. In the meantime, enjoy the art and comics and feel free to reach out to me anytime. Take care, friends!
So for the next couple weeks, I'm gonna be catching up on posting the art from the past few months here that you guys haven't seen yet. From there, I'll be showing you what I'm working on now. Gonna try to be a little more responsive to notes and comments, but I am just one guy and it all piles up super fast. Please know that I've just gone through all 5,000+ you guys have been leaving me and I REALLY appreciate the support and feedback. Thanks you all so much.
Ok, now that the Inbox beast has been more or less slain, I'll start getting some of this art up. Hope you're having a pleasant 2016 and don't be shy about letting me know what you've been up to. Looking forward to seeing a number of you during my convention appearances this year. Take care and keep on art'ing!
And also some of the fun-tastic cosplay...
If there's any I've missed, feel free to comment with them here. We adore each and every one. Thank you all so very much for your love and support. Live long and prosper.
By popular demand, the “Grootmas” art is available on limited edition shirts (and hoodies, tanks, and sweatshirts) over at Teepublic! These are only gonna be on sale for the month of December. So if you want one, now is the time. Happy Holidays, gang! And as always, thank you for supporting my work.
"O’ Grootmas Tree": www.teepublic.com/t-shirt/1045…
"Groot Grief": www.teepublic.com/t-shirt/1045…
So I’ve started putting some of my art on t-shirts over at Teepublic. If you’ve always wanted some K-Bo on your chest, well, here’s your chance…
….wait….that kinda came out wrong…
Ah, anyway, here’s the link: www.teepublic.com/user/kevinbo…
I’ll be premiering new designs every month as well, so check it out from time to time. Thanks for supporting my work. ^_^
"Hello K-bo, I Have been aspiring to be a webcomic artist much like yourself for a long time. Viewing your artwork and your achievements inspire me to reach out for my dreams. I wasn't able to see you at Fan Expo this year so I wasn't able to ask you this in person. I feel like I'm at a point where I'm comfortable enough with my art and style to start a webcomic... but I have no idea where to start... Do you have any advice? Thank you!"
I wanted to share my answer with you guys since it might be relevant to your interests. I hope at least some of it is useful to you. Here goes...
"First off, that’s awesome and I’m honored to have inspired you in any way. You should be very proud of yourself for being ready and willing to start this journey.
Now this is a pretty broad question that’s a little difficult to answer as there are A LOT of ways to get started. Which one is right for you will depend on your situation, and there is no proven recipe for success. In my case, I was entirely self-taught and a lot of “getting started” for me was just throwing my work online wherever people would see it: conventions, livejournal, deviantArt, etc and just creating until people noticed. I often refer to this as the “Keep sending your troops running at the fortress wall until their bodies have piled up enough and you can climb over” method of artistic career pursuit. But plenty of folks also have success with more methodical, less masochistic approaches.
What I can say is there are a couple of universal truths no matter what course you choose to pursue…
1) If you update it, they will come. No matter the objective quality of your work, if you keep a regular and maintained schedule, you will build an audience. Now, it’s proven that the more you update, the faster you will build that audience. HOWEVER, if you choose an unrealistic schedule, you’ll end up burning out and going on massive hiatuses and you’ll be back to square one. *points to himself* Decide on a reasonable update schedule that fits your time and resources. Then build a backlog of work before you even post the first one (I always say that if you to get sick or take a vacation, your comic should still keep be able going in your absence and still have some backlog left by the time you’re drawing again.) I can tell you that the comics I did this with (Ensign Sue is good example) were a lot easier and less stressful than the ones that I did by the seat of my pants (Trigger Star, occasionally “I’m My Own Mascot.”) Get a grip on this early and you’ll thank yourself for it later on.
2) Draw all the time, whatever you can and whenever you can. You learn to draw by drawing. Do not be afraid to work outside your comfort zone and draw things you’re “bad” at. Pretty much everyone sucks when they first start but you’ll never get better if you don’t even try.
Also, learn and endeavor to master drawing basics like anatomy, form, composition, perspective, observation skills, etc. Style is not an excuse for shoddy fundamentals, so learn the rules before you break them. Never stop studying. Keep in mind that artistic prowess takes YEARS to develop and although talent helps, it is NOTHING without practice and hard work.
3) Don’t by shy about showing your work to as many people as possible and never tell yourself you’re “not ready” for one thing or another. Two of my personal favorite quotes on this subject:
“Do not wait: the time will never be ‘just right’. Start where you stand, and work whatever tools you may have at your command and better tools will be found as you go along.” - Napoleon Hill
“Jump and build your parachute on the way down.” -Walt Disney
4) Be polite and gracious to your audience, both the supporters and the critics. This is easy with the former and tough as hell with the latter, I know. I would be deluding myself if I tried to convince you that critics are only trying to help you. While this may be true of some of your colleagues and friends, a good chunk of the people who criticize your work are doing so out of some kind of justified personal issue on their part (as much as they try to convince you or themselves otherwise.)
But here’s the thing…their motivations do not automatically make their feedback invalid. You can learn a lot from those criticisms, IF you’re honest with yourself on whether their critiques are fair and applicable to what you want to do and you’re emotionally mature enough to not take it personally. Because regardless of whether their opinions are fair or cruel, you NEVER look good if you’re seen being rude or indignant to your critics. And no matter the quality of your work, there will always be someone who won’t like it. Be prepared for it, don’t take it personally when it happens, learn from it if it’s useful to you, and just keep on creating.
I am personally grateful to anyone who thinks my work is worth their time and feedback, positive or negative. You’ll be a happier and more well-rounded person if you develop that gratitude in yourself.
5) Persistence is the key to victory. Be patient with yourself and understand that success never comes overnight…ESPECIALLY in self-starting creative fields. And when it does get hard, remember there are so many of us who currently are or have been where you are right now. You’re not alone and you’re only a failure if you stop trying.
To quote a wise lego “I know that sounds like a cat poster, but it’s true.”
Wow….that came out longer than I had intended. Oh well. I hope some of that is actually helpful to you. If you ever have any specific questions, please don’t hesitate to reach out. I’ve been really bad at replying to folks in recent months because I was going through a lot of personal stuff and my schedule’s been insane, but I do try to get back to everyone who contacts me as best I can. Thank you again for the kind words and I’m super excited for you and your creative goals. Go forth and never stop drawing!"
The blatant idea theft
Not cool. Wanted to spread the word 'cuz it's one thing when just a person does this, but when a business does it then we really gotta make sure they know folks are paying attention. Cartoonists UNITE!
UPDATE! Looks like we spooked them enough to get it taken down. Jim is super relieved. High five, guys!
Every year on my birthday, I think about positive changes I want to make in my life. I’m proud to say that I’ve made a lot of progress, but there’s something that’s been eluding me for a very long time.
You see, I’ve struggled with my weight my entire life. When I was a child, it was to free myself from the stigma of being the “chubby kid.” As I grew up and began to accept myself, it became more of an issue of vanity. And as I outgrew that mindset, the reality of health problems caused by my weight began to set in. I’ve tried just about everything to get it under control for the last 15 years. It’s been an uphill battle that only got more difficult when I injured my back (another bi-product of my weight issues) in 2011. Not gonna lie…in recent months, I had just about given up and resigned myself to concentrating on my art for as long as I could before becoming another victim of weight-related illness and just accepting that I was simply never going to be happy with myself physically.
I realized there was one thing I had not tried though, as I didn’t think I would be able to afford it: enlisting the aid of a personal trainer. I’ve been saving up and decided to finally take the plunge and go for it. The folks at Compel Fitness at the Gold’s Gym in Dundalk are putting together a plan for me and within 52 weeks want get me in the best shape of my life, something I’ve been dreaming of as long as I can remember. But I’ve been at this game in other forms before, and I know I can’t make this happen without a little help from my friends. That's why I started a fundraiser: www.gofundme.com/8l7740
The purpose of this fundraiser is threefold:
1) to offset the annual cost of the trainer, gym membership, and the adjustments to our food budget so I can minimize the financial burden on me and Sarah as much as possible (a lot of our extra money goes back into Interrobang Studios and doing cartoons and stuff for you guys.)
2) To make me publically accountable. Getting in shape is no easy feat and I’ve be battling my weight my entire life. I’m a little scared that it’s just going to beat me again, but knowing you all are supporting me will be a huge inspiration. I can’t lose with you guys behind me.
3) For my dear friends who have been asking me what they can do for me my birthday this year. Well, here ya’ go.
I’m currently doing a “once a month” program, but if I meet my fundraising goal, I’ll be able to afford seeing a trainer twice a week, which will further increase my chances for success. I will also have paid for a year’s gym membership, and covered the annual projected increase in our grocery budget. However, even if we only put together a fraction of that goal, it will definitely offset what I’ve already paid, and be a huge help to me, Sarah, and the studio.
On April 25th I will be celebrating my 34th birthday. The gift I am asking from you, my friends, loved ones & well-wishers, is to help me give myself something I’ve always wanted, a healthy body, a happier life, and freedom from fear of weight-related health problems. I want to be with you all and create art for you for a very long time. This might be my last chance to really make that happen. Thank you and take care!
There's a lot of really great stuff in there, including these two pieces I donated to the cause...
Again, you can donate and get your copy here: www.kickstarter.com/projects/1…
Best of luck to them and I look forward to seeing this bad boy in print. Take care, everybody!
1. I have a scar on top of each hand, a long one across my left knuckles and small one between the metacarpals of my thumb and forefinger on the right. Both scars are from my cats’ back feet when they tried to use my hands as a launch pad. I actually like the scars because long after my cats are gone, I’ll have something to remember them by.
2. I played alto saxophone as hobby during my school years. My parents, not realizing I still played it, sold my my sax just after I graduated. If I ever got my hands on another one, I’d love to pick it back up again.
3. I was also the only guy in my high school’s Color Guard. I spin a mean flag and rifle. Though I initially resisted (honest), I ended up dating three of the girls on the team.
5.My first job was at a adult video store in Baltimore City. I worked there for three years while training myself in art. The job desensitized me to just about everything.
6. I am allergic to bees and band-aids.
7. I love singing and dancing and I’m actively looking for opportunities to do both more often. For the record, I sing tenor.
8. My first exposure to concept of death was the final scenes in the movie “Amadeus.” I was 5 years old.
9. I’ve never lost a game of Trivial Pursuit.
10. I’ve met God. He’s a kind, hefty, bespectacled, black man with long cornrows, a giant mole on the side of his nose, and the softest hands ever. He owns a barbershop in Ft Meade. One day, I want to write a short comic about the experience.
My convention pal and up & coming cartoonist, Joey Dangerous , just published his first graphic novel for his webcomic 2 Little Bastards. It's a fun, unique little action/adventure/humor comic and about a pair of unlikely friends who just wanna eat candy and play video games but they keep getting hassled by a whole slew of paranormal punks! Being lazy is hard work!
You can check out the comic at their website and if you like it, I strongly urge you to order the graphic novel. Joey's a really hard-working and earnest guy and I'd like to see his first book get the love it deserves. Thanks, gang!
Come see us at the Baltimore Convention Center this weekend for Baltimore Comic Con. We'll be set up in A216 + 217. Pick up some books, art, or the new "All Star All Card" poster. If you want to get a commission, I'll be taking them at con all weekend, so don't miss out. You can find us near the artist alley bathrooms, so stop by on your way to Tinkletown! See ya' there!
You see, the drawback to being the writer on a comics collab like this is that the artist is usually the one who gets most of the attention and praise, especially if the artist has a unique style and a pre-established fanbase. All throughout this process I've tried to make it very clear that this was a collaboration between Clare and myself and not just solely my work, but I know a lot of my people gloss over that a bit.
So, for those you who've enjoyed Ensign Sue, or just want to make sure writers get their proper due, please take a moment to visit Clare on either her deviantArt, tumblr, or Facebook fan page and let her know your feelings about our work. It would mean the world to both of us. Thank you guys so much for supporting Ensign Sue and all of our other projects. Please pass this along if you're able, I really wanna see Clare showered with the love she deserves for her work.
Also, for you folks going to Fan Expo Canada next weekend, both Clare and myself will be on hand to sign copies of the Ensign Sue books or just to say "hi." We don't get to be together too much in person these day, so it'll be a rare opportunity to hang out with both of us at once. Looking forward to seeing you guys. ^_^
I've been selling art and comics at conventions with Interrobang Studios for five years now, and to celebrate that anniversary, the Studio is printing 100 copies of K-Bo's All-Star All-Card Poster, "A Rainbow of Characters".
And, cause we know we don't get out to shows on the west coast much, or internationally for that matter, we're also running a K-Bo Combo special.
Super excited about these, you guys! Got one more announcement to make before Otakon and I think you'll reeeeaaally like it. Stay tuned.
We all loved her very much and this has been a crushing blow to all of us. To me personally, she was the only grandparent I ever actually had a relationship with and this is the first time I've ever had to cope with the death of a close family member. I've come to find out that I apparently deal with the grief by hiding in my house and distracting myself with just about anything that doesn't involve other people, hence my radio silence over the weekend. I haven't been able to draw or create much of anything either.
I have a convention appearance this weekend at Animazement in North Carolina and then the next weekend at Wizard World Philadelphia Comic Con. I'm hoping forcing myself to be around other people will be helpful and hopefully reignite my spark to draw again. I know it would make Grandma very sad to know that I wasn't doing art on account of her passing, so I wanna dust myself off and get back on it as soon as possible.
In the meantime, I appreciate your kindness and your patience. Hopefully I'll see some of you this weekend or the next and I promise I'll reply to your messages and stuff over the next 2-3 weeks. Thanks everyone. And do me and yourself a favor, take a moment to let the ones you love know how much they mean to you and treasure every day you have with them. Our time together is too short, but genuine gratitude and appreciation always makes the most of it. Take care, gang.