I’m sitting here delirious, having gotten an hour and a half of sleep last night in Toronto, at the Association of American Editorial Cartoonists’ annual convention.

It was a blast. Brash, blustery, bawdy tales will follow. But that’s not why I’m happy right now. I’m happy because I’m sitting here holding a copy of Dork Shadows: The Collected Dork Tower Vol. II — hot off the presses — in my hand.

It’s July 1 (Happy Canada Day, by the way!), and as I look back on the last six months I can’t help but feel that it’s time to make some changes.

Five games I worked on have been released (PokeTHULHU, Blink! My Word, My Word Junior and the Chez Geek expansion, Slack Attack). Three more will be released soon (Chez Dork, Warhamster Rally and Munchkin). I’ve done a ton of odds and ends for other games companies in that time (the Dread Pirate Carson card to name but one example). But now I’ve got to move away from this.

I’ve been a freelancer for five years, so turning down work is hard. Especially when it comes to cool work, like some of these games. A few have already won awards. Others doubtless will soon. And it’s flattering to be in demand, I’ll be honest.

But they’ve definitely takes time away from the comic books. The comic strips are now in a position where they bring in a good income. Between Interactive Week, GameSpy.com and Dragon, I can finally turn down work. Or rather, I can have my business partner, Liz Fulda, turn down work. From now on, I’m giving her the power to veto outside projects. All requests go through her, since I am NOT good at saying “No.”

I’m also VERY bad about putting other people’s work ahead of mine, even when something like Dork Tower #14 is late.

But things are turning around.

This month, I had nearly $25,000 worth of Dork Tower projects at the printers. Between the Dork Covenant: The Collected Dork Tower Vol. 1 reprint, Dork Shadows: The Collected Dork Tower Vol. 2, The Best of Dork Tower #1 and now , Dork Tower #14, it’s been a white-knuckle fiscal ride, to say the least (and another reason I had to take so many game jobs).

But Dork Tower books are coming, and I’ve already got a good jump on Dork Tower #15 (there will be a HUGE announcement about this next week, by the way).

The second half of 2001 is starting, and I think things are getting back on track.

I’ll work as hard as I can on my side to make sure they are!

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Speaking of cool things, by the way, here’s a letter I got from Germany:

Hi John,

I just got home from Demon Con (Nuremberg, Germany), which hosted one of the coolest events I’ve ever seen at a con: Dork Tower Theater. Featuring Oliver Graute of Feder & Schwert as Walden/Sith and our local game store owner (who shaved off his beard for the role of Igor), as well as some of my friends (including some killer Goth chicks). They played all our favorite episodes and I shot 25 pics. I can send some over if you’re interested (as soon as they are developed, in about 1 to 2 weeks).

Take care
Juergen Mayer

I can’t wait to see the photos from these, and I’ll post them here as soon as I get them! I’d also like to send something to the local game store owner who shaved his beard just to play Igor! Tell him he is now an honorary Major General in the Army of dorkness!

I’m very excited about all the news from Germany. Die Welt Der Dummheit (the Dork Covenant translation) should be out now, and I’m still going through photos of my recent Hannover visit. I can’t wait to go to Essen in October!

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What’s that, you say? You want MORE coolness?

Aaron Williams’ classic comic FLOYD is now being archived at http://www.fiction-fantasy.net/floyd_001.php . Check it out, and see what Aaron was up to BEFORE Nodwick became an international mega-hit!

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