Bandit's Banter

I'd like to start out this month's Banter with a word of congratulations, to Sluggy Freelance 'toonist Pete Abrams, and his wife Rachel, for the birth of their daughter Leah Nicole Abrams.  Her picture can be seen by clicking here.  Is she not nifty? :-)  Her arrival is, in fact, part of the reason why this month's column is so late.  I, along with several of my fellow Plan Nine cartoonists, have been working overtime on a fill-in Sluggy story, while Pete takes some much-needed time off to be with his new daughter.  It's been a real blast to work with fellow 'toonists Bill Holbrook (Kevin and Kell), Jeff Darlington (General Protection Fault), and Darren Bleuel (Nukees), as well as Plan Nine Head Honcho David Allen, to produce the "Sluggy Freelance Is Missing" story.  If you haven't seen it yet, check it out!  You're in for a treat.

Regarding last month's Banter, several of you wrote to me regarding the controversial Bruno story I have written, but am undecided on whether to draw or not.  I'm happy to report that everyone who wrote me about it urged me not to pull any punches and draw this thing.  It does my heart good to know that you the readers want to see me continue to take chances with my strip.  But I'm still undecided, I'm afraid.  However, when (if) I do decide to draw this story and post it on the web, I'm not gonna say in advance when it's coming.  I'll let you figure out which story is the one I've been fretting over.  Maybe it's my next story.  Or maybe not...

In other news, my publisher has been after me to make plans to attend the world-famous Dragon-Con fantasy convention, held in Atlanta in late June.  Plan Nine Publishing is hoping to have a large presence at this year's convention, and they'd like all their cartoonists to attend.  God knows, I'd love to go down there, not only to meet my fellow Plan Niners, but especially to meet those of you who will be in attendance.  For me, the money is kinda tight these days, thus a trip to Atlanta may be beyond my reach.  However, I am considering a few ways to raise some money, and perhaps you can help.  For one thing, I am thinking about auctioning off the original art of some of my Bruno comic strips, particularly my earliest ones, from the "Amulet of Myglyn" story.  As Dave Sim, creator of the Cerebus comic book pointed out, if your original artwork can make you some much-needed cash, why not sell it, as you'll always have the reprint rights anyway.  The question is, how well would these early 'toons sell?  Or more importantly, would they even sell?  That'd obviously be up to you the readers.  I'm mentioning all this just to find out if there would be any interest in purchasing any of my original strips.  What think you, Loyal Readers?  Would you like to own some original Bruno artwork, or would auctioning these strips off be a waste of time?  Or are there any better ways for me to come up with the money necessary for a plane ticket to Atlanta... short of getting a real job, that is (shudder!)?

In any event, I'll be sure to keep you posted on whether I'm going to Dragon-Con or not.  If so, and you'll be there as well, hope you'll stop by the Plan Nine display and say hi, as I'd love to meet you.  But if I'm not, drop by the Plan Nine display anyway, and say hi to all my friends for me.  They're great folks, almost as nice as me, and are hoping to make a big splash at the convention.  They've got some cool stuff planned, which you won't want to miss.