Flops

I have so many ideas that I can’t possibly follow through with them all. Sometimes I do try, and for some reason, they fizzle out. Either I lose the motivation or the idea seems stale. Sometimes I will start a project and then find out that someone else is doing nearly the same thing, so I chuck it into the clay. Here are some of the ideas that started out okay…01.01nqf0000900008000009801

Coffin Nails

I used to smoke. Started when I was about 13. Took a heart attack in 2004 to get me to quit. Filthy habit. So when I hear about a friend trying to quit, I have  few things to say about it.

We have 13 days to go on our Kickstarter, and it’s all or nothing. Either we get all the funding or we get nothing. That’s how it works. Either we reach enough people that believe in us and what we are doing, or that’s that. What will happen to Flop Sweat? Who’s to say. It took 10 years to get here, to find someone like J.T. Yost who believed in a sad sack sitting in basement churning out comics no one will read. Click here to help a dream come true.smoketoon

Flopping and Sweating

My life has been a series of flops. Why? Because I keep trying, and I have never given up. Even in my darkest hours I figured out a way to make it work. That’s what “Flop Sweat” is all about. Tenacity. I just finished the cover for issue #6. Probably. I decided to put all the covers together in one image to show you what I have been working on for the past 10 years. These are just the first 6 issues. If this works out, there will be more to come. Consider giving to our Kickstarter campaign. I am giving away original artwork, including the covers.Click here to help a dream come true and snag some original art!flop sweat covers

Pledge week continues!

We are almost there! Take your tax return, and invest! I am giving away original pages. Not only that, but I am known (much to my Wife’s chagrin) as Mr.Generous. So you will probably get a lot more than you were expecting! And Holy Moly! Have you seen how original comic book art has appreciated in the just the past 4 months!?!? Incredible. And this, my friends, is only the start of things! You are getting in nearly at the beginning! Imagine being able to grab original pages of Zap! #1 just for helping to launch the comic! Here is just a taste of things to come from Mr.Lance Ward. Click here to invest!page04page05

Workin’ man

I’ve always worked. Even when I became physically disabled after the heart attack. I became the home maker. Having a background as a cook helped, as a lot of the work is meal planning, shopping, meal prep, cleaning up after meals, and laundry. That shit alone can be an all day chore, but then add in the unpredictability of a couple of children, and it becomes work. Everybody knows this, right? My wife, in an effort to make our lives better, decided that to be a pharmacy technician wasn’t enough, and with my help and encouragement, she began her dream of becoming a pharmacist. She worked and went to school for 5 years, working nights and going to school during the day, while I took care of the rest. When I had to be hospitalized periodically ( still do) she stepped up and took care of what she could until I was better. When she was accepted to the Doctorate Pharmacy program at the U of M, she had to quit working, and, not coming from money, we had to live on loans and charity. 4 grueling years later she graduated, and after cutting her teeth at a retail pharmacy, she got her dream job at Children’s hospital, where she started her dream around 16 years ago. We called ourselves the “Twin engines” because our caravan could only go if both engines were giving their all. And we did. We went without. We starved so our kids could eat. I took a lawn chair and some paintings to downtown Minneapolis in the wintertime and tried to sell them for money to pay bills. I didn’t sell shit, but I did the next day. “Flop Sweat” is really the product of constantly striving for a dream that may or may not come true. We had terrible days and yet we kept plugging away. Her with her studies, and me with the comics. So please consider giving more to this dream of ours. With comics like mine, you can’t fake it. Click here to help us out!!Lanceman! 3Lanceman!_0002Lanceman!_0001

“Flop Sweat” indeed

I tried stand-up. Did I ever tell you that? It’s true. It was around the time I went to broadcasting school. I’ve always admired comedians, and the sharper they were, the more I liked them. I was smart enough and sharp enough to make a room full of people laugh, but I had to get some confidence first. When you grow up as I did, poor and lost amongst the masses, your confidence gets shaken. Add bullying to that and Mister you’ve got yourself the makings for a corner dwelling toad. But I wasn’t going to let that happen to me, and it was only when I left the yolk of familial anxieties did I grow in spirit. I was living in a group home at the time, probably Marshall House, and they took a group of us to the Mall of America, specifically the Knuckleheads comedy club, for Monday night specials. Well, I must have been in the upswing of my anxiety and depression, because when I went to the bar to get a drink, they had a sign up sheet to do 5 minutes on stage for an open-mic special. I signed up. Right before I went on, this dude came out in a Santa hat ( I remember that as I write this, so it had to be around Christmas Time) and he was half drunk and kind of funny, but then it was my turn. I didn’t come out and say “hi” or any of that shit. I groaned and put my head back like a teenager that just got told to take the trash out. A couple of people laughed. Then I told a joke so terrible I will not repeat it here. The place started rollin’. So I kept going. I told jokes for a few minutes, and then I started to shake with anxiety, so I said goodbye and walked off the stage to some good old Monday night applause! I went back the next week and did it again on my own. After that, I think that’s when I started broadcasting school and I didn’t have time for that particular dream. So when I started to write the stories of my life, the first story I wrote about was about that moment in my history. But it wasn’t just about me, that story was about someone else…

Hey! We are almost there! But not quite! We still need your help! Share these posts! Spread the word! My posts are free and will remain as such! So you can help me in other ways! Click here to help!! 165

Josh Bayer is the man! Conclusion

Josh Bayer believed in me. He believed that I was a good artist that for some reason or another was swept under the rug, and he gave me the break I sorely needed. And because of that break, I met and befriended Maciej Palka. And through that friendship birthed a project that would become “Cykl Kozla”, the Polish version of the comic I once called “One Day in 1978”. Lo and behold, that comic started to gain some traction over in Poland, and it started to get some good press. Then it got nominated for 3 comic awards at their big convention/industry awards event. Guess what? It won! Best Writer and Best Book! That’s really one of the first things I’ve ever won, and it happened because Josh Bayer believed in me and Maciej Palka.

I got meet Josh at SPX, after J.T. Yost, my publisher and the workhorse behind Birdcage Bottom Books, decided that he would also take a “chance on Lance”(groan) and published “Blood and Drugs”, which debuted at the rich and varied comic fest in Bethesda Maryland. Josh was smart, funny, and super nice. He was busy as hell, and yet he made time to hang out with me a little bit and go over some secret projects with me. He is sharp. I didn’t have to dumb down my conversation with him, he knew exactly what I was talking about. And their weren’t any lulls in the conversation. Like me, he talks with passion about the things that interest him, and when he speaks, he has a childish glint in his eyes that puts you at ease and lets you know that he is 6 steps ahead of everyone else’s game. He was genuine. He didn’t reject me because I’m a fat goofball. He saw the real me, and treated me like an equal. His work is beyond good. It transcends the boundaries between pulp comics and fine art. I feel honored to be able to call him “friend”. Purchase Josh’s excellent work here!awards

Josh Bayer is the man Part 2

I traded artwork with the incredible Josh Bayer, and a bout 6 months after I get a message on Facebook. This guy says “Hey! I just got done coloring your art! Do you want to see it?” My art? Who the fuck are you? I didn’t say that but I was intrigued. Turns out, Josh liked my rendition of Blind Justice so much, he got this Polish artist, Maciej Palka, to add some incredible colors to my black and white drawing so that it could actually be included in a future edition of All Time Comics! Wow! I had been struggling with obscurity and self doubt because of the injury to my drawing hand, so to be included in a comic that would be in comic shops across the country on comic book Wednesday was, well, it sounded great, but I have learned over the years not to get my hopes up. BUT IT REALLY HAPPENED!All Time Comics Zerosis Deathscape issue #0, back cover inside flap! I heard it was in there, but it wasn’t real until I jammed over to the Source(my comic shop) and saw a copy for myself. There it was! Holy shit! Of course, this wouldn’t be a Lance story without a little heartbreak, and there it was, on the inside front flap. The credit for our artwork went to someone else! It didn’t matter! My signature was on there, and I was proud as Hell! I bought every copy! Josh was super apologetic, he blamed himself for missing that, and he assured us that there would be a retraction in a following issue. And there was! In issue #2, inside cover flap bottom credits there is a blurb about the “super team” of me and Maciej! And you know what? Maciej and I decided to become a super team, and the first project we worked on after that was a little comic I drew in 2010 called “Goat Lore”. Maciej colored it, translated it into Polish, and gave it a sweet cover. To be continued!

In the meantime, WE ARE OVER HALFWAY with the Kickstarter! Thank you! But we need more money! If you like my comics, and I know you do, click here to help me!Tot tips0001

 

Josh Bayer is the man

Before I start, I want to mention something cool that happened. Josh Bayer is a cartoonist. Scratch that. He is an artist that uses comics as a medium, and he is a genius. His comics are like no other. You could try to compare him to some other guys, but you would be off the mark. His work is so uniquely original and astounding that I find myself pouring over a single page of his sometimes for an entire week. I’m not joking. One day he posted a page from “Theth:Tomorrow Forever”, his work in progress at the time, and my jaw dropped. It wasn’t in color yet, but it didn’t matter. I knew that place. I was in that place. I was Theth. It spoke to me in a way that not many pieces of art ever have. And I can name the rest. So we made a deal that we would trade for artwork. He wanted me to draw a pin-up of his character Blind Justice for his title “All Time Comics”. I was more than happy! So happy, in fact, that I drew him a piece of art, and I did a painting of the character which I then sent him. About 6 months later I got the page from him in the mail. It was protected in a ols Bristol cover and backing, and it looked like it was taped up by a homeless person tasked with taping things for sandwiches. But the art was perfect, and as soon as I could, I put it in a frame. I was depressed at the time, having crushed my drawing hand in a freak accident, so this was just the pick-me-up I needed. I’ll tell you the rest tomorrow. Buy Josh’s books here!WOFA0001