Hey everybody!

In a rushed last minute post (as per usual), an announcement:

I’ll be at Denver’s Independent Comics and Art Expo this Friday and Saturday (the 25th and 26th)!

I’ve announced it a whole bunch in social media, but just in case you’ve missed it.

I’ll be at table D69. I’ll have the four Wyliman volumes available and, as I’ve mentioned in the previous post, Clink Volume 1 (plus a bunch of minicomics).

I will also be at the “Representations of “The Unheard Voice” in Comics: Past, Present, and Future” panel on Friday at 6pm, so that should be cool because I have no idea of what I’m going to say, at all.

That’s it for now. If you live in Denver or really close by and want to attend a really kick ass artists centric show, give DINK a go!

Mario A.~


I was going to do this as a Twitter rant, but I thought of doing it here because this is one of the subjects I get asked often about print-on-demand. And it got too lengthy.

I think aside from the very first single issue of Wyliman back in 2006, I’ve done all my POD business with Ka-Blam. They’re reliable, their guidelines are super easy to follow and they have top notch customer service.

For years now, I’ve approached people (or they have approached me) about other similar services. I’ve heard about various companies, but the one that keeps coming up constantly is Create Space. Not only that, but about the same proportion I always hear a negative commentary about Ka-Blam (it works for me perfectly, but I can understand when people look for something different).

Anyway, for the first volume of Clink I decided to give Create Space a chance and see how it works.

Colossal waste of time.

Their information and specifications are there, but when it comes to comics, at least in my experience, they have no idea of what to do. Either that, or their file processing system is an absolute moron. Let me give you a little break down of my experience.

  • Prepared PDF file after the specifications for a 5×8 size book and uploaded it.
  • Their automated system points out that there’s an issue. When checked, the upper part of the pages don’t bleed far enough, so when trimming there might be an issue.
  • Fixed, upload and check. Everything looks fine, and their automated system doesn’t point out any issues. Some things are a tad too close to the margin of the live area, but doesn’t cross. After all, this isn’t my first rodeo, I know it’ll work, so I don’t stress over it.
  • I get notified that the files will be reviewed for further details.
  • Go ahead and upload the covers.
  • Recieved an e-mail some hours later. Covers file has an issue: the spine is a bit too extended to the sides, so it might wrap around the covers. Interior files are a-okay.
  • Fix and upload. “Your files will be reviewed” thing again.
  • Second e-mail. Cover files are okay now. But, turns out that the interiors weren’t actually okay after all. “The interior doesn’t have sufficient outside margins for printing, which could result in content being trimmed when printed.”  Understandable. Kinda saw it coming.
  • Fixed the files, gave them a bit more of breathing room. Adjust them back to 5×8 and upload.
  • Opened their preview program. Nothing is centered. Everything is expanded and to the side.
  • Go back, fix EVERYTHING again and upload.
  • The first issue comes back. Upper part doesn’t bleed far enough outside. I have NOT changed the size of the files at all at any moment. All attempts have been 5×8. I’m losing it at this point.
  • Fix, upload, check preview. I looks fine now. Wait again for the review on their side.
  • Third e-mail:
    • “The cover file meets our submission requirements; it is not necessary for you to make any revisions to this file or upload it again.”  Good!
    • “The images in the interior file extend to the edge(s) of the page. Full-bleed images should extend at least 0.125″ beyond the book’s trim line on the top, bottom and outer edges.”  They already do! The stupid preview program showed it did!
    • “Additionally, all text should be at least 0.25″ away from the book’s trim lines.”  …What text? It’s pictures… all of them.
    • “The cover contained spine text that has been removed. We cannot accommodate the inclusion of spine text for books with less than 101 pages as the text will likely wrap to the front or back cover.”  The book is 118 pages long. You know this because that’s how many pages are contained within the PDF of the interiors. What the hell are you talking about?
    • “The cover was not sized appropriately for the selected trim size.”  But you just said, in the first line of this e-mail, that there were NO issue with the covers!
  • Do a test PDF using their templates. Not picture based templates, mind you, but a word document template with no guides. Images are tiny and floating in the middle of the pages. Big blocky white borders. Upload it anyway.
  • Only issue that the preview program detected: Images are RGB instead of CMYK.
  • Hope everyone at Create Space spontaneously explodes infront of their whole families at Thanksgiving dinner.

So after the incredible 4 day joy of that adventure, I contact the people at Ka-Blam. Not only they were glad that I had something new to print with them, we worked it out so the books will be ready for a show I’m exhibiting at on the 25th of this month. I upload the files to them, get my invoice, pay for it. All in the lapse of 3 hours. Done.

So the lesson here kids is, other services might be better, but when you have excellent and friendly customer service, who will go above and beyond to help you out, and you’re NOT and absolute pain in the ass to work with, at least my money will go with you.

I won’t say don’t give Create Space a chance, but I’ll ALWAYS suggest Ka-Blam first.

Mario A. ~




A Job, Yay!

Hey everyone!

This is just a quick note I’ll probably link to from all the other websites because I’m lazy that way, but mostly to explain why updates an all 3 web comics *might* (most probably) slow down a bit for a few months.

And it’s quick because: I got hired to do an inking gig (professionally… yeah, I know!) that I can’t talk about now, besides that. Which I will when the time comes, of course.

This is a paid gig, with a contract and all that fancy professional stuff, which means, this is my top priority now, which means, until that’s done per set deadline, I can jump into my own stuff. I think I can keep a certain workflow on the web comics, but if an update is missing one day, now you know why. And I think the ones that’ll “suffer” more are Wyliman and Go Fuck Yourself, especially the latter as for the next few pages I’m getting stupid with the details. Clink should stay the same.

Anyways, that’s what’s going to happen until mid July, when this project shall be completed. It’s a really exciting comic. I’m very fortunate to be working on it, with an amazing team behind it. I hope I can tell you all about it soon enough.

Later Days, Willie Mays!

Mario A.~

Evan Dorking on Storytelling

I’ve never done this before but I really should because I think it’s a valuable log for inspiration that sometimes gets lost on the social media ether (or, at least, I do it for myself to keep a constant reminder)

I’ve been a fan of Evan Dorkin’s work (and the man himself) for a while now. I like his art style, his acid and cynical sense of humor that resonates perfectly with me. And, of most recently, following him on Twitter and reading him when he goes at it about the comics business. Not in a bitter way, but as someone who loves it and sometimes feels frustrated or disappointed with it (I think).

Yesterday Mr. Dorkin had a little 26 part Twitter, ramble? rant? “slap you awake if you want to work in comics” session? which I think it’s quite important to preserve for anyone interested in working in this painstaking mistress we call comics.

I present it to you guys almost untouched. Just grouped them into paragraphs, completed words that Mr. Dorkin had to cut due to twitter space constraints and put some parts in bold that I feel need special emphasis (but that might be me thinking as a letterer).

Quick Twitter jump-in. Bear with me here, OK? So, Here’s the thing: (Sarah Dyer) & I are looking at a lot of artists’ work for a project. So many artists out there nowadays, doing so much engaging artwork.

BUT (pro tip time): Amazing art doesn’t necessarily = amazing comics.

Please, please, please, and I say this knowing more good comic artists means more competition for technically unsound guys like me: If you want to be a comic artist, don’t spend all your time doing pin-ups. That isn’t comics. Sounds simple. Many of you don’t get it.

I don’t care how many people out there are getting work without doing storytelling or backgrounds or mood or character or acting or action. If you don’t know how to at least grapple with that stuff, approach it and make it part of your skill set, you will not last in comics.

I say that not just as a person who’s made comics and reads comics, but as a writer — writers, like editors, work with artists (duh). Your pin-up of Dr. Who or Spock or a Game of Thrones character or whoever might look lovely as all get-out & sell well. It isn’t comics.

So many of you young folks out there draw better figures and people than me. I don’t worry about it, because that’s all you draw. No settings, no backgrounds, no differentiation in character, body language, etc — Can’t use you. Too many like you. You’re not drawing comics.

Years ago I was sitting at my fan table sketching at a NYC con. A guy slapped his portfolio down to show everyone he was better than me. He drew very well, in the then-current style. He drew rings around me. My drawing was shit-awful back then. I’m in comics. He is not. Some reasons: He didn’t draw actual comics. He drew pin-ups (Also: He was a complete jackass). I worked to get better. I got better.

Why my not-so-great art doesn’t sink me: I write. I work hard. I tell a story. I know my limitations. I tell a story. I tell a story. Get your act together if you want to make comics for real. Want to sell Adventure Time prints at cons for another fifteen years? Relax then.

I’d rather work with someone good and giving their all to tell a story, than the best artist in the world who doesn’t. Or can’t. It shows. It does show. All the beautifully-drawn standing-around-in-space comics look like crap next to living, breathing personality-driven art. Wonky art by a believer is better than perfect art from a machine, if you follow. Great chops aren’t all that matters in drawing comics.

Hope that helps someone. It should be obvious, but we do without thinking, and we get into grooves, get praise for that one thing we do well. Comics isn’t about doing one thing well, unless you want to be Jim Davis on Garfield. I’d like the money, but fuck the rest of that. Real comics is the package. The people, the place, the time, the clothes, the joke, the timing, the pacing, the mood, EVERYTHING. That’s some hard shit to be in charge of and deal with and carry off. A lot of people can do it, you own their books.

Are you doing it?

Finally, that doesn’t mean you have to be Tezuka, Chaland, Mignola or a Hernandez Brother (or whoever makes you weak in the knees). Charles Schulz was perfection and he didn’t draw muscles or cars. Kate Beaton doesn’t draw vast, detailed cities. But it’s all there.

So lose the pin-ups if you want to draw comics. Seriously. You’re great at it, but it isn’t comics. It’s pin-ups. Go work more better.

Last thing: Think about writing your own work. Why? Because my hand’s in a wrist brace, and I’m still making comics. Also: Control, baby.

Make sure to follow Evan Dorkin on Twitter @evandorkin

Mario A.~

The Beaten Path


Trying to justify San Diego Comic Con became heartbreaking… It’ll never be what is used to be, nor anyone within the organization is attempting to do so. And sadly, I never knew it as it used to be.

It is the beast that it’s now. And it’s not THE place anymore, especially not for business.

Wanted to do a rambly post here, but stopped and erased everything like 3 times. It’s futile. All I can recommed for any aspiring artists, and to any local friends attempting the “American Dream” in comics (HA!), to go to SDCC, yes, but for the friendships you’ll make there. Go or create local shows/expos for the exposure and business. And small, personal shows are good at both business and making friends with the same vision as you.

SDCC is not the goal anymore (if it ever was). It’s just another show. And there’s plenty in the US I’d recommend attending to and exhibiting on way more than SD. Except for any Wizard shows, they’re all shit.


Mario A.~

Become a Patreon

After months on deliberating if I should get one going or not (I opened my account since September) I finally did it. It’s a little hard for me to ask for money (the donation buttons on my webcomic sites always haunt me for some reason), but, it’s indeed work i’d love to keep producing but it’s becoming harder to finance with no outside help.

So here it is! Ergo Comix on Patreon.

In case you’re not familiar with Patron, it’s basically a way to give constant financial support to the artists you like. You can give as little as $1 and as much as you’d like. Every bit helps and it’s greately appreciate it. You can raise or reduce the amount you are willing to give each month and you can jump in and out any time you want. Or, you can watch this video that explains it even better.

There’s two mayor goals I want to reach and compromise to you with this Patreon: Be able to tackle at least a chunk of the printing costs of both comics printed versions and, bring Wyliman back.

So here we are. Hopefully you’ll be able to help me out on this venture, either by becoming a patreon or just by spreading the word.

Thanks a lot!

Mario A.~

Emergency Commissions: Open!

To top the mountain of mishaps that I’ve been going through for the past 5 months, less than two weeks away from starting a new day job, my car decided to break down. And not a simple “let’s change this piece and it’s all good”, but a “$1,200, the motor is practically dead” repair.

Since there’s no way I can get that money anytime for the next month an a half, I’m opening emergency commissions to raise the money that way in hopes of getting this thing done as soon as possible.

So, here’s what I’m offering: $20 for a full body inked piece of any one character you’d like me to draw (something like these two). I’ll send you back a high resolution file of the piece.

If you don’t want a drawing, but still would like to help, you can paypal me whatever amount you’d like at: contact@supermariogonzalez.com I’ll still try to repay you somehow.

(En caso de vivir en Mexico, pueden hacer el pago por deposito bancario, solo mandenme un correo a esa direccion para pasarles el numero de cuenta)

Thank you very much in advance!

Mario A.~

Drawing Challenges

You’ve probably seen those around. 30 Day Drawing Challenge or Draw Every day February-or-whatever-month-is-convenient. And those are fine, to an extent. At least they get people motivated to draw daily. Unless you’re serious about comics or illustration as a career, then, you should be doing them anyway in the first place.

So, with that intent, I thought of a couple of drawing challenges that I think are more helpful into teaching you something about narrative in comics.

The first one I posted it some time ago on my Tumblr, but kind of got lost there, so I’m placing it here since I barely update this site.

1.- Write and draw a 20 page comic without using dialoges/words, at all.
Your whole story has to be told in pantomime, and it needs to be clear to the reader. It’s really up to you what it’s going to be about, and which style you want to draw it in. There’s no silly rules, you don’t even have to post it online if you don’t want to. It’s a personal challenge (both are, actually), to prove and improve yourself as a storyteller.

This will help you, in the long run, to be able to tell more with the body language of your characters so you don’t have to rely heavily in dialogues. Yes, sometimes you get to fully know the personality of a character for what they say and the way they say it, but also from the way they sit or engage in situations. And, when you don’t have any words to lean on to, those other important characteristics raise a lot. Which brings me to the second challenge:

2.- No word balloon should have more than three lines of text.
I know sometimes there’s a lot of things you want to say in your comic, a lot of explaining to do, a lot of setting up, and lots of exposition. But exposition should be weaved into the narrative, not dumped to the audience like a boring pile of bricks. And, everything that you’re writing could be super interesting, but it doesn’t take away the fact that having a wall of text on a panel, especially in EVERY panel, feels like a chore. So, if you don’t want each panel to look like a cluttered wordy mess like one from a Penny Arcade strip (or like this), learn how to edit your texts. Think of it like having a Twitter-like characters limit per page.

This will help you learn how to synthesize the information you’re giving to the audience. To get rid off redundant and/or over-stating words and descriptions. Which, mixed with the previous challenge, creates a “don’t tell me, show me” scenario. But, if you have a longer dialogue that “HAS” to be in just one panel, you can break it down in parts.
THIS is what I mean (and yes, I’m using my own work as an example, thank you very much). The first and last panels are broken up that way. Instead of the character having run-on sentences in one pile, it gives more of an idea of time between statements than a coma would do. Also, the example with panels three and four. You regularly see those two panels mashed into just one because they’re basically part of the same statement he’s giving. Why divide them, then? To give the narrative pacing, and to let two actions express more (and give more meaning to the punch-line) than just one.
That’s a big word here, folks: PACING. Some people would argue that having a limit on how much text you can put in a word balloon will cause to extend the story because more panels will be needed. Yes, that’s the idea here. To have a more organic and smoothly paced narrative instead of a roller coaster that stops every five meters to smash into a wall.
No page limit on this one, but give it a try on a story longer than 15 pages.

That’s about it for now of these “challenges”. Mostly because these two complement each other and work great together. But, if you have ideas for other actually useful challenges, let me know and we’ll work them out here in a future post.

Mario A.~

Bonus tip: If you ever have to break a word in syllables because it’s too long and half of it is in one line of text and the other on the next one, only separated by this “-“, just take the whole word and write it down in the next line. It looks like crap when words are broken down like that. (I refer back to this, where it happens in almost every single panel, but that’s mostly the letterer’s fault)

Venta de Originales de Wyliman

(Sorry folks, just in Spanish this time, but i might open this to everyone soon enough)

Es algo que he venido pensando últimamente y bueno, dada mi situación actual, creo que es momento oportuno de hacerlo. Por el momento solo es de manera local (México) por la inmediatez de un depósito bancario a comparación de toda la vuelta por Paypal. Pero al punto:

Como bien dice el titulo, pongo a la venta paginas originales de Wyliman, por el momento, de los volúmenes Tres y Cuatro (de volúmenes anteriores aun no, porque quiero ver que tal funciona esto, y del volumen 5 los pondré a la venta hasta que ese libro este concluido), sobre todo porque de ambos volúmenes no hay mucha discrepancia en el costo.

Y ahí viene la parte interesante, how much $$? Cada página tiene un costo de $1,200 pesos ($100 dólares), a excepción de las tiras de los capítulos 37, 38 y 39, que están a $800 pesos cada una. El costo ya incluye el gasto de envio. Tambien, si viven en el DF y Estado de Mexico, se puede acordar vernos en algun sitio y hacer entrega directa.

Así que si alguna vez quisieron algo de arte original de Wyliman, esta es la oportunidad. Solo mándenme un correo a contact@supermariogonzalez.com para ponernos de acuerdo.

O, si gustan algo mas personalizado, recuerden que también estoy abierto para hacer comisiones.

De antemano, muchas gracias.

Mario A.~

PD: Como nota adicional, en el archivo, cada que una pagina haya sido vendida, su numero tendra una “X” a un lado indicando que ya no esta disponible.

So, What’s Gonna Happen?

As I’ve teased for the past few weeks, there’s something not so good going on with my life as of lately. Skipping to the meat and potatoes of the issue: I’m almost broke.

Now, this isn’t a petty post to ask for help while I do nothing in return, but to give context of what’s going to happen. Last year, my ventures of touring around the US to comic book shows proved to be hard, and it seriouslly kicked my ass financially. Some shows were awesome and totally worth the trip, but others weren’t so much. Added to that, readership for at least Wyliman (haven’t really properlly installed a visitors tracker to the Clink website) dropped to incredibly low numbers. In all honesty, I don’t know what happened or how to pin it to something (the site looks way better now in my opinion and I haven’t done anything different to promote every new page in all my social media outlets), so money is not coming in from the Project Wonderful ads.

So basically I need to get a day job again. Something to keep a constant flow of cash coming my way so I can still keep myself and my work afloat, and to keep hitting awesome shows and meet with awesome fans and fellow cartoonists.

Which means: Both webcomics will have now an undefined schedule for updates, since I won’t have the amount of time I have now to produce one page a day. Of course, it’s not ideal for any end of the process of me delivering content to you guys, but this has to happen or there would be no content at all.

I don’t want to commit to say when the comics will update because there might be times I won’t be able to meet that deadline, all I can say is that as soon I finish drawing a page, I’ll put it up and let you all know (be sure to follow me on Twitter, Tumblr or the Facebook fanpages for both Wyliman and Clink so you know when I do that).

And, as I feel is convenient enough to remind everybody that you can help me out a bit: if you have a couple of bucks every now or then just laying around, you can kick them to me by hitting the donate button in either one of the webcomic sites (said button is located right next to the comic page on each website). As well, I’m always open for commision work. Or, just the simple one that helps a lot: spread the word about my work. Tell your friends, share it online, whatever is the easiest for you. It drives more traffic to my websites.

Thank you guys for understanding and I hope this whole situation gets better soon enough so I can dedicate myself soley to draw fun stories for you once again.

Mario A.~