And the name of the first “Perk at Work” Mini-Novel is…

As I blogged on Monday, I am working on some “Perk at Work” short stories. I’m calling these short stories “mini-novels”. Technically, they could be termed “mini-novellas” since they are shorter than a novella. But when I hear the word “novella”, it conjures up images of Mexican soap operas. And as much as I’d love for “Perk at Work” to be produced in Mexican novella form (that would be AWESOME!), it doesn’t fit what I’m doing.

In this blog, I’ll announce the name of the first ever “Perk at Work” Mini-Novel as well as a brief description. But first, what exactly is it going to be?

I have another comic that I did for a couple of years, a faith-based comic called “In the Way”. I had one book published yet not enough material to create a second book by the time I had to head out to be a vendor at a conference. So I took what I had and created three “mini-books”. Here’s what they look like:

In The Way - Mini Books 1 - 3

They were a hit! People seemed to like the small introduction to the comic. Most people bought one then came back to buy the other two and even my first book! One thing these books have, outside of comics, is writings. And I found that folks liked the writings as a compliment to the comics.

So I decided to create some extended stories for Perk and Co.

I wrote the first story years ago as a script for a cartoon. At the time, I thought I could do anything with Adobe Flash. I still believe that, only  I found out quickly that animation is not fast and easy. So the script sat on the shelf for about five years.

I adapted the “screenplay” version to prose and started brainstorming. I came up with a bunch of stories for all the characters. Then I got excited and started up some possible cover ideas. Here they are (I drew them up in my journal):

Perk at Work - Mini Novel image 1

Perk at Work - Mini Novel image 2

So, without further ado, here is the name of the first ever “Perk at Work” Mini-Novel:

“Introductions Are In Order”

Follow along with Perk as he unwittingly finds himself employed at a cafe. His first day is filled with confusion and a lack a burrito crisis. Through it all, he meets his cocky cook, a dashing playboy, a pretty flirt, a tragic hipster, a disgruntled older woman, a charming nerd, a hippy chick, and, ultimately, his absent-minded boss. 

I plan for a release date of April 15, 2014. Expect the mini-novel to be available for purchase in print and ebook. Technology!

“Perk at Work” short stories to arrive soon!

Over the past several months, I have been working on some Perk at Work short stories. Each story revolves around a specific character and situation and, in the process, reveals more about each character. Expect to find Perk, Cal, Moxy, and the others outside of the cafe walls.

I am in the process of editing what I’ve written and getting some illustrations done. I’m on the fence about illustrating them myself. Part of me wants to reach out to other illustrators, get a different perspective on the characters. Especially for a project like this.

I have written three so far and I’m well into the fourth. I won’t divulge too much about the stories, but I will say that, so far, the feedback is positive. The plot lines and situations of each story differ dramatically — they’re not just “a day at the office”. My aim with these stories is not so much to promote the strip or its characters, but to give people a short, fun, easy read.

I will reveal the title and summary for the first story this Friday, March 14, 2014 in anticipation of the story’s release a month later on April 15, 2014.

Stay tuned!

The Economics of Getting Hitched

Ask yourself, “Why get married?” It’s a crazy question. On the surface, there are standard default answers everyone gives: for love, seems like the right thing to do, it’s expected, and so on. What is your answer? The folks at Freakonomics.com have some ideas. We’ll get to their podcast in a second. Before we go any further, they couldn’t resist and neither could I.

Just a quick teaser for the podcasts — embedded at the foot of this post — to whet your appetite for the podcast, they mention that they believe the reason married people are happier is due to the fact that happy people are more likely to marry. There’s even more perspectives that punch you in the gut. Give a listen… but only after you read my rantings.

I’m divorced so my views on marriage may be marred (pun?) by that baggage. Yet I would like to get married again. That said, I prefer to do it on my own terms. Here are some terms which I would negotiate for:

  • Keep the state/government out of it
  • Keep any religious denomination out of it
  • Make a written contract on what we expect to give and what we expect to get
  • Do away with wedding presents and, instead, give invitees the option to obtain tickets to the wedding and/or reception with a suggested donation; invitation only

The last one, economically speaking, is the most dynamic and fun. The wedding attendees are instructed to not bring a gift but to make a donation. Oh, and it’s a BYOB potluck. The donations go toward the expenses of putting on the wedding. If you have 100 guests at an average of $25.00 each, you’re looking at $2,500.00. That’s not an extravagant wedding but it’s one hell of a party.

I am aware that my views may not jive with all the ladies out there. But I don’t need all the ladies, just the right lady (singular). Or ladies (plural) if they’re up for the sister-wives thing. I’m game.

Regardless of the rantings of a divorced cartoonist, the people over at Freakonomics.com have delved into this subject. I’ll have you know that I’m not the only one who feels that the state and church need not be a part of it all. Their show is broken up into two parts, each around 20 minutes. I recommend downloading from iTunes and listening to them whilst walking/running/driving etc.

Or just listen to them here:

“Why Marry? Part 1″

“Why Marry? Part 2″

Looking to get hitched even after listening? Happy hunting!