2020 : I was thinking
Dear alter egos. . .
I thought, what with a push on Patreon (details below), updated website content (Coming Soon, Resources, Submissions, Français, and more), and new newsletter (I finally found a system that I like… yay!), and all that, that maybe I could officially share my vision for 2020, given that certain dates may change, but that cornerstone elements will remain. So... Thanks. For sticking by me, and remembering your appreciation for my work, because this is it...
I'm calling on you, the powerful-individual-you, [yes : YOU!!!] as part of my family, and my community. What I want to share with you today is profoundly exciting to me, it bookends a ten year evolution, and I think you'll dig it so much. This is for you if you were ever-ever a fan or admirer of my work, ever.
So!!? Onwards and upwards! Check it...
[continued below image...]
We've got the mental health coming out [from before the holidays] out of the way, and my continued monthly schedule on Patreon marks an indicative return to the scene (I just released all of the original ink drawings for my new 24 hour book there). After many a year cultivating my hermit mystique, I am returning from my mountain - that's academic, now.
Remain more Codename : Again behind-the-scenes things, exclusive to Patreon, as we look forward to the book itself, a surprising project that I spawned during the last 24hour comic book day. And, yes, it will indeed be printed too. I love the colors and the story so much!! Gah!!! I did the colors after the event and it was so worth it. You’ll love it so much too (see above and below!!).
I’d like to ask you something important. Something about the way I can best share my art with you. I know I'm still at the beginnings of the year 2020, but I know that this year is different from the entire genesis decade that I was on the scene in Canadian comics from 2010 to present. One ask...
One. Big! Ask!!!
[please see below...]
Here's my one ask [please open your mind, it's my best, I promise...] :
I want you to join my Patreon. Please. This is so the best. Everybody / you : I want you to consider the minimal sacrifice of your hard earned coffee money, and I'll bless you with an insider's look at my artistic process and drawings and designs, plus some nonfiction and songs too. I want you to think about this intrinsic value, which is to bring you into my studio, almost literally, and to share each victory in the process. For peanuts, man!
Pencils. Inks. Colors. All of it! And the final books. More even! It's the easiest AND best way for us to connect through the art. It's a secure monthly subscription like Netflix for all of your magical realism comic book needs, from the fantastical to the intuitive. By me.
I want to be your ambassador of the guts and soul stuff in the comic book sphere... Stand by me! Stand with me!!! Here's why...
I've learned a lot during my days as a hermit [#HermitMystique!!]. But as I walk out of my cave, and I start walking down the mountain, I see you, getting closer, waiting to see the new art. All the new art. It’s here man. It’s all here. Well… it's on Patreon first and all the BTS stuff is exclusive there also. Please look. It won’t hurt. It might help. :)
This is for real. This is the ultimate interchange between artist-patron, like in ancient times. It reminds me of the classic models between benefactors and inventors and painters of the old days, of the Renaissance. Of always. As innovation wanted, it's now available to you and me, to us.
So I give you my best, and all of it, sometimes raw and right from the drafting table, and you get all of it for a dollar or two, man. A coffee-drinking-dollar!!! It's a bit edgy, and I'm very passionate about the work, it's conceptually intense, but it's also beautiful and fun and you can share with your older kids too, and teenagers. This is me, who would have loved to read these books when I was that age. And I even show you how I did it. Ah! So awesome!
Please trust me. Press this link : www.patreon.com/mirrorcomics... Takes 2 minutes to join.
There's a lot to discover. See the latest, see the greatest. I'm back. I'm serious. And with your patronage, I could keep doing this forever!!! Ah! Life!!! Amazing!!!
My biggest takeaway, from the silence of the last few years, is that I do this art thing for readers. Not for me, even though it's completely fulfilling and is a reward in and of itself. The formative years have passed. Now let's walk, onward, and upward, together, into the sunset. I'm here. And I'm not going anywhere. Art is my home. Comics is my farm. And you are welcome here, anytime.
[More news below...]
Okay! Here's the news... :
The new newsletter sign up is easier, and you can find it at www.tinyletter.com/mirrorcomics. I hope you'll share It with your family and friends, in case someone you care about might like to explore my magic and mayhem laced comics.
It has been extremely difficult for me to write you emails in the past, mostly because the whole concept of sales funnels and turning a newsletter into several segments that target certain users, and not others, really upset me. I never did that. I always figured that I would share everything with each of you, everywhere that I could...
The new system - tiny letter - makes it as easy as sending an email, and does not confuse me at all, where the previous system was like a maze!! Ah! All is well now... Haha!!! It's not like I couldn't figure it out. That's not it. But the idea of becoming a professional email sender was never my goal (though I love writing emails... go figure). Ha!!
The publishing ambitions of the year have been talked about in the coming soon page at www.mirrorcomics.com/coming-soon.html, which went up recently. Make no mistake : I'm back on the scene and I'm eager to make, share, and talk comics... Let’s do this! But I can't do it alone!!!
The platforms I'll be using include both digital and print distribution cornerstones, including Patreon, Gumroad, ComiXology [soon!], Amazon, SoundCloud, Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, LinkedIn, and others.
For now, until we can all retire in a commune on the Moon, the internet allows for all of this...
Sigh. It's not perfect, but...
Here, I can connect with family and friends, colleagues, fans, readers, critics, the press, and with you, through the dizzying choice of systems that permit for this, perfect or not!
But let's focus on one thing at a time!
The most exciting place, right now, as I've said, has got to be www.patreon.com/mirrorcomics, for me, with a slew of behind-the-scenes and main releases coming out more frequently than ever! It's a subscription service for creations by artists, like me... It's quite like your standard Netflix or Disney+. Except! The subscription model is much more affordable, and you get all my best indie comics - and other things that I'm making, in real time - starting at a dollar or two, and the premium bonus tiers offer really interesting - and collectable - physical art for your walls and polymer bags!! The feedback on bonus tiers is amazing! It's fantastic to be able to share such intimate details about the works with patrons first, and, often, exclusively...!!
I hope you'll join me! (Just last week, I was shipping out these really cool poster sets!)... Note that my Patreon includes all main books in the Mirror Comics Studios library, some new, some old, and exclusive content available only to patrons, like early access, behind-the-scenes, and it's basically like you're in the studio with me as the books evolve!!! So please check it out!!!
Okay. By now you should want to check it out, at least. You can also search for Dominic Bercier and / or Mirror Comics Studios on the main www.patreon.com page. Should show up! Go for it! It's exciting!!! Remember me as you discover the thousands of other artists on the site!! Patreon is powerful, intelligent and cool. If you want to see my new work. If you want to see how I assemble my projects... holy moly...
Click here to discover my page right right now!!!
But... maybe you're a little more... traditional, let's say, and you simply want to buy single products, finished and ready to read, one at a time!?!? Then www.gumroad.com/mirrorcomics is something you should definitely check out! I offer PDF editions of books, and songs. Note that all the main releases are available here also (just not the exclusive content available only to patrons)! Pricing is set at 1$ per chapter (NEW!), a recent price adjustment making access to digital content more affordable than ever. Enjoy!
Maybe you're even more traditional, asking... when can I buy physical books, already!?
Well... you can!!! You can already buy Hold My Hand on Amazon, right now.
[But, you know, that's like, one book, right!? Heh. Fair enough]... I give you!!! 2020!!!
Mark 2020 in your calendar!!! It's all coming at you, like in 3D!!!! I promise you it's coming!! It's coming in droves o wonder!!! It. Is. Coming!!!! Joining Patreon is the best way to be there alongside me as I create. You can even go back into the archives, and it will be like you never missed a thing!!!
As outlined in a recent blog post, you now know the hardships I've endured to get to this new place of comfort and Zen, and have thus returned to a positive and productive lifestyle that has me going ahead with all of this. So! In the end... I've made a huge decision, and have also chosen to… self-publish. Again. Ah!!!
Choosing this route was long, tedious and painful, but I always wanted to have control over my own creations (I've written about this quite a bit). I’ve had a lot of offers and have heard a lot of restrictions alongside them - I have often said NO. So… until I get the blank check to do whatever I want, I just... do whatever I want, until someone writes me a blank check. Haha!!
Where!? Somewhere that allows access to as many people as possible, a bridge between me and you... in person, in print, and mobile. Stay tuned!!! Ah! Awesome!
When!? On Patreon first, then on other channels.
Who!? It's just me (and my collaborators). As for the company proper... It's just me.
Why!? Why go down this road again!?
Systems have evolved. I have evolved. Tech has evolved. Etc. But one thing remains... I love books as I've intended them to be appreciated, both digital and in print, and so do others! And to do this all alone!? This means you get my vision, and the books in the shape that they want to contain! This way allows me to be the most authentic and allow the work to remain pure... and in this wild and crazy world, I would imagine that this is precious, and rare, indeed!
It doesn't look like much, now (The PopTerra Collection, a few months of recent releases of things I'd put out of circulation, plus the title and ink drawing reveals of the new 24 hour thing), but I know that with everything that I have planned and that I'm currently releasing, you'll see something evolve, including tons of behind-the-scenes things, frequently, monthly, and you'll love a more ambitious schedule for main releases than you've ever seen, ever, and I actually think it will be super exciting... for all of us.
For me, at least, it will finally look like the publishing projects I'd always dreamed of... SIGNAL Saga, a new 24 hour book, maybe some new nonfiction books and some songs. Whatever! Bring it!
For more details, please do me a solid, and check out, thoroughly and for one more time, all of the details at www.MirrorComics.com, just in case you missed something. Things have really grown. It’s pretty cool. I will be doing roundup type emails as frequently as I can, here :
If nothing else, please subscribe here, and you’ll know the big picture at all times. :) It's free!!!
Thanks everyone! Thank you so much. :)
Dominic, Mirror, Ottawa. :)
P.S. : while you're there, be sure to check out my updated Resources page, Submissions (ooh la la!), the Fr tab where I propose a français initiative and dimension to Mirror, and a revamped navigation system and footer, at top and bottom, with easy to follow "who what when where why and how" classifications of several sections of the site to keep things organized [as the site grows].
P.P.S. : the full color illustrations on this post are from Codename : Again [not actual title]. These unlettered and full color images will be available very very soon on Patreon, exclusively, and to check out the art before I colored them even, again, check out Patreon. it's already there!!! Want to know the title!? It's there too!!!
Haha!!! This could be a lot of fun. Join me!!!
As always, thanks for your time. Merci beaucoup! :) -db. :)
[okay one final image...]
Bye! Thanks again! -d. :)
On October 7, 2006, my brother and I settled down for an epic all-nighter to end all all-nighters.
It was 24 Hour Comics Day, and I thought it would be a good way to kick start my return to the comics sphere…
10 Years Ago Last Month… Like Never Before & Like Never Again by Dominic Bercier and Soundtrack by Nicholas Bercier...
Only 5 years prior, I was assistant penciler on projects for Dark Horse, Top Cow, Image, CHAOS! and more. It was demanding but it was great and I loved it. I would show up at 10 am and work for 8 to 10 hours straight, draw fleshed out buildings in perspective, bullet casings flying everywhere, vehicles of all makes and models, and clouds, for example. I drew everything on the page that wasn’t a central character, and got little or no credit. I was invisible.
I was still a student at OCAD, studying illustration and design. But on days where I did not have class I was in the studio drawing. The lead [lead har har] penciler would scratch a few unintelligible lines on the 11x17 Bristol board, tell me what he wanted, and I went to work. The days were long but I was happy.
I was also hopeful that it would all lead to my own penciling gigs. But it was not meant to be. In 2001 I started Ghost King and abandoned it. In 2002-2003 I drew all of The Bird Caller. My home studio was riddled with drawings all over its walls. Think John Nash in A Beautiful Mind. I was consumed by it. But I never could find a publisher.
In late 2003 I left Toronto and came back to Ottawa. I found a series of designer positions, and comics then took to the backburner. In my free time in 2004-2005, I drew Treadwell. Work kept me busy. Comics, my first love, I very much had the strongest passion for still, but try as I might, the shows in Canada and in the USA, the contacts… nothing gelled.
Finally, in 2006, I found the ultimate comic book challenge… Scott McCloud’s 24 Hour Comic Book Day Challenge! I figured that if I could draw 24 pages in 24 hours that I could do absolutely anything in comics. Anything!!!
So on 7 October 2006, the first Saturday of the month of October each year, I sat down at about 5pm and started drawing my shamanic version of La Chasse Galerie, a French Canadian legend about lonely lumberjacks longing for home, and the flying canoe that got them there. I modified the story significantly, made it my own, and I was off to the races!
In my version there is no deal with the Devil, just the magic of the forest, and I think it worked out alright.
As I drew at a feverish pace and planned the pages ahead, my brother Nico pressed me for plot points. He was in his studio producing a soundtrack for the thing! Long story short, after coffee, cigarettes and beer [thanks Mom!], he and I made our 5pm Sunday deadline, and then I sent it off to 24Hour HQ in California a few days later.
They liked it so much they wrote a blurb about our effort and cited one page in the 2006 HIGHLIGHTS Anthology!
Back in Ottawa, Industry Images Creative Studios printed an edition of 240 copies, we threw a party at Mercury Lounge and the Lafayette, and it was a big hoopla! Then I hit the convention circuit again… I had a few panels of Ghost King, some complete The Bird Caller pages and now Like Never Before & Like Never Again, oh and Treadwell too! It led to my doing the production art for the DEFENDOR film [Sony Pictures 2010] and eventually led to Ghost King getting edited by Chris Staros [thanks Chris!].
But again fate conspired against me as the economic crash of '08-'09 cancelled any chances of a USA publisher picking it up.
In 2011, I redesigned LNBLNA and finally released it proper through my imprint Mirror Comics [publisher]. And the rest is history.
My intention had been this : …Until 26 January 2017, when I turn 40 [ah!], both the original integral 10th Anniversary Edition [2006-2016] at Mirror Comics Studios and the 5th Anniversary REDUX Edition , plus Nicholas Bercier’s unofficial soundtrack, would be available entirely for FREE on mirrorcomics.com.
However, it might just be possible that a prospective publisher might just be watching, and so I will NOT be posting the books. The silver lining!?!? You can still hear what I heard for that all-nighter with my brother Nico’s LNBLNA unofficial soundtrack. You will find it here.
How do you like them apples!?
We dearly hope you enjoy it! If you like what you hear, please show your appreciation by following @mirrorcomics and @DominicBercier on Twitter, and / or liking the Facebook Page for #MCS.
Note that this will be my last FREE offering for some time, and the next time you see my work published it will be by another publisher entirely, as I have begun work for various publishers across North America. For the same reason, I am removing TREADWELL as well. A fine comics store will have it sooner or later I'm sure!!
Tell your friends, tell your family, tell perfect strangers!
As the title suggests, it has been Like Never Before & Like Never Again…
Please celebrate with my brother and I, as we remember 7 October 2006, ten years ago last month. It was the first time I drew a comic in 24 hours, and it is likely to have been my last. Onward and upward!
Thanks for reading!!
Dominic Bercier, Ottawa, Canada, November 2016.
This is the blog of writer-artist-designer-author Dominic Bercier, MCS principal and founder.