Draw Outside the Lines with C. Spike Trotman (Episode 100)

 C. Spike Trotman (photo by Matt Sheridan)

C. Spike Trotman (photo by Matt Sheridan)

In this inaugural episode #100, the return of the podcast to regular production, I’m pleased as punch to have C. Spike Trotman as my guest. Spike founded Iron Circus Comics in 2007, and it’s risen through her hard work and excellent curatorship to become the Chicago area’s leading comics publisher.

A cartoonist and writer herself with a long-running series, Spike has raised over a million dollars through Kickstarter across more than a dozen projects, and created a sustainable and repeatable funding method. (You can read her book on Kickstarting comics for advice!) For her success, she was named one of Kickstarter’s Thought Leaders.

Support the podcast! The crowdfunding campaign brought back The New Disruptors, but I could produce more episodes and keep the show running after July 2019 with your help! You can contribute monthly via Patreon or become a yearly subscriber directly on this site—and get nifty bonuses and rewards. Read more about supporting the podcast.

Show notes

99a: Embrace Your Inner (Cute) Critic

We're still raising funds to restart The New Disruptors! At this writing, we're over 55% of the way there with a couple weeks to go! Visit our Kickstarter and back at any level.

In this special bonus pre-reboot Episode 99a of The New Disruptors, I'm in conversation with Lucy Bellwood, Adventure Cartoonist!, at Brick & Mortar Books in Redmond, Washington, in front of a live audience. She and I talked about creativity and independence, and about our latest books: hers, 100 Demon Dialogs; mine, London Kerning.

Lucy is an adventure cartoonist who I first interviewed in episode 82, almost four years ago. Since then, Lucy has had two more successful Kickstarter campaigns to fund books, taught cartooning in Denmark, sailed tall ships, had an artist's residency on the R/V Falkor oceanographic research vessel, and became a finalist in the New York Times 52 Places correspondent search.

Thanks for listening and thanks for your support!

A few links from the talk:

Re-New Disruptors (Episode 99)

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Welcome to the New Disruptors, the podcast that says the best ideas come when you're not looking straight at them

You haven’t heard from The New Disruptors for a while, but I think the time is ripe to bring back the podcast—with your help. I stopped producing it reluctantly, a combination of available time, a drop in sponsorship, and a need to focus on different parts of my working life. 

The tl;dr? I’ve launched a Kickstarter campaign to fund a new season.

Update: Just one week in, the campaign is 50% funded! Three weeks to go, and we’ll get there with your help!

The details:

I've wanted to bring the show back for a long time, especially when I run into people or get messages telling me how much hearing creators talk about the paths they took had meant to them getting started on their projects and changing their careers.

With social networks dominating attention, and even more tools and avenues for artists and makers to explore, I want to dig into how people find an audience and make a space for themselves to create in 2018. 

I'm one of them. In the last 18 months, I produced two books, one by letterpress, acquired a 2D laser cutter, which I've been experimenting with, and worked with six different commerce, charging, and crowdfunding systems to handle different aspects of work I'm funding and selling.

The Kickstarter campaign is simple. My baseline goal is to raise enough funds to cover the hard costs and my commitment of time to produce 12 episodes. If I raise more money, I can produce more episodes. I want to have more live shows and interview more people face-to-face, and these funds let me cover hosting, production, equipment, and venue rental, and can help underwrite travel to conferences and festivals. 

Thanks for listening in the past, reading this request, and, I hope, for your support now and in the future.

Hugs and Kisses Goodbye: Live from XOXO 2014 (Episode 93)

Jen Bekman, Zoë Salditch, and Mike Merrill were our guests live on stage at the XOXO 2014 festival in Portland, Oregon, as part of the Story evening that also featured Hrishikesh Hirway's Song Exploder, featuring a song by The Thermals; John Roderick (The Long Winters) interviewing Chelsea Cain; and Harmontown with Dino Stamatopoulos.

Jen Bekman founded 20x200 in 2007 to provide art at accessible prices. She spoke about her in work in 2012 at XOXO. Then she had a terrible, no good, very bad year. For a lot of reasons, she can't discuss the particulars of what happened, but she had to reboot 20x200: its site, its technology, its art, and its trust with existing customers.

If you have beautiful digital art, you need a place to display it. That's the idea behind Electronic Objects, a massively funded Kickstarter project from a month ago. But Zoë Salditch's interest is less in the technology than the uses to which people will put it. In the midst of producing their EO1 model, they have artists in residence working on concpetual ideas and are considering one future for their hardware as a platform for art — maybe 20x200 and EO have a lot in common?

With most people, saying "I can buy and sell you" is a boast about one's own ostensible net worth. With Mike Merrill, it's the literal truth. Mike is a publicly traded company, and shareholders can vote on the course his life takes, including how he pursues romantic interests. Shares in KMIKEYM have traded as high as $25 and typically change hands in a band of $5 to $10. Volume is low.

This is our last regularly scheduled episode as we go on hiatus and consider a path forward. Keep watching this site and @newdisruptors for news about future projects.

Sponsors and patrons

This podcast has been made possible through the support of sponsors and patrons.

gifpop, the makers of physical renditions of your animated GIFs through the scientific magic of lenticular printing! Take a GIF with up to 10 frames and receive a version that you can tilt for animation, or buy a design from featured artists who receive 80% of the purchase price — or even submit your own work for consideration for sale. Listeners get 10% off a gifpop order by using coupon code DISRUPT during checkout.

99designs: Have dozens of designers from the over 310,000 that are part of 99designs's network submit ideas for your logo, Web site, T-shirt, car wrap, or other design project, then pick the best and have a finished, professional result in a week or less for a flat price. Our listeners can visit this special destination page to get a $99 Power Pack of services for free!

Thanks to our Patreon backers for all their support! Bryan J. Clark, Pasha Alpeyev, Andy Baio, Matthew Blai, Alex Bond, Henry Brown, Anirvan Chatterjee, Ready Chi, Jordan Cooper, Craig, Tarun Gangwani, GravityFish , Accounting Guy, Gregory Hayes, Brian J. Geiger, Jonathan Mann, Mike Mansor, Kris Markel, Roman Mars, Andrei Matetic, Gordon McDowell, Andy McMillan, Rönne Ogland, George OToole, Elliott Payne, Garry Pugh, "r," Neil Richler, James Robilliard, Kay Schumann, Jonathan Stark, Kyle Studstill, Ted Timmons, CJ Tully, and Ben Werdmuller.

(Photo by Brad Dowdy.)

Fit to Print with Andy McMillan (Episode 92)

Andy McMillan makes things that bring people together: the Build conference, the XOXO festival, and The Manual, a series of books with thoughtful essays about design. After producing three print volumes of The Manual, he's trying to take it to the next level, and produce something openly, broadly available across many media, that's a collaboration with those who want to make it happen — and is funding it on Kickstarter. We'll talk books, ebooks, community, and hugs and kisses.

Sponsors and patrons

This podcast is made possible through the support of sponsors and patrons.

99designs: Have dozens of designers from the over 310,000 that are part of 99designs's network submit ideas for your logo, Web site, T-shirt, car wrap, or other design project, then pick the best and have a finished, professional result in a week or less for a flat price. Our listeners can visit this special destination page to get a $99 Power Pack of services for free!

Thanks also to our Patreon backers Gordon McDowell, Ready Chi, and Bryan C. Clark for supporting us directly.

(Photo by Ian Linkletter.)

Plug Me In with Mara Zepeda (Episode 91)

Mara Zepeda is the co-founder and CEO of Switchboard, a site that lets you ask for what you need and offer what you have within a trusted community. It's a way to more efficiently interconnect generosity, and is sometimes described as Craigslist without the creeps. I'm used to reading personal histories that have windy roads, but Mara's can't be summarized. Suffice it to say that she's a writer, calligrapher, entrepreneur, and student of knowledge who has worked as a reporter and teacher. We recorded at her offices in Portland, at Wieden+Kennedy's Portland Incubator Experiment (PIE).

Sponsors and patrons

This podcast is made possible through the support of sponsors and patrons.

99designs: Have dozens of designers from the over 310,000 that are part of 99designs's network submit ideas for your logo, Web site, T-shirt, car wrap, or other design project, then pick the best and have a finished, professional result in a week or less for a flat price. Our listeners can visit this special destination page to get a $99 Power Pack of services for free!

Thanks also to our Patreon backers Ben Werdmuller, Bryan Clark, and GravityFish for supporting us directly.

Show notes

Mi Casa Es Su Benincasa with Sara Benincasa (Episode 90)

Sara Benincasa is an author, comedian, writer, and outspoken advocate of LGBTQ youth, among many other hats she's worn. She is an expert impressionist and parodist of Sarah Palin and Michele Bachmann. Sara is the author of the novel Great and the memoir/confessional, Agorafabulous!: Dispatches From My Bedroom, and her third book, the novel Believers, is due out in early 2016, while a fourth book is already underway. She's interviewed Reggie Watts and Amanda Palmer in her bathtub, and posed as a nun with adult performer Stoya. We spoke in person in Seattle when she was visiting during This Tour Is So Gay, recently funded on Kickstarter.

Sponsors and patrons

This podcast is made possible through the support of sponsors and patrons.

99designs: Have dozens of designers from the over 310,000 that are part of 99designs's network submit ideas for your logo, Web site, T-shirt, car wrap, or other design project, then pick the best and have a finished, professional result in a week or less for a flat price. Our listeners can visit this special destination page to get $99 Power Pack of services for free!

Thanks also to our Patreon backers Ben Werdmuller, Bryan Clark, and GravityFish for supporting us directly.

Show notes

This interview was conducted at The Office, a co-working space above Ada's Technical Books and Café; the owner, Danielle Hulton, was a previous guest of the show.