Spring 2022

It’s been a little while since I’ve done a rundown of what I’ve been working on… I’m not sure if “process and objectives” is interesting to those of you who aren’t artists … a majority my time is spent either thinking about it or doing it, so clearly it is to me.

Media in and media out is the bulk of my days, at least at the moment.

Tomorrow’s Forgotten Relics, LP / album news-

Tyler’s been blowing through the sax sections. (Ugh, I just realized that was a pun. Whatever, I’m keeping it). I’ve included one of these tracks in progress along with this update that you can hear on my Patreon.

In terms of recording parts, we should be down to just Mattia’s vocals by the end of next week or thereabouts. (And violin on The Solution).

After that…

I’m thinking the best bet is finalize some cover art and release an early single (Spotify, Soundcloud, Bandcamp?), then try to fundraise to complete the release.

Those results can be a data-point for whether to get the 5–6 track LP together, master it digitally and drop that into the world … or do more development (maybe some retracking) and post-production tricks like renting out a little hardware or using a mastering house, and release a full 8+ track album.

I know from experience how incredibly hard it is to gain traction with a new music project, especially without a live act to support it (which my health is not up for, at least currently), so I don’t have a ton of big expectations.

Regardless, I’ve so deeply missed making music, and it’s already sounding better than I imagined likely when I started tracking bass parts in the isolation of 2020 … Words have been less interesting to me since “the before times”, which is a hard thing for a writer. But I’m feeling a lot of fertility here, and with visual art — at least when I can manage to hit that flow state. I still have things to say, but the mode has shifted for now.

Mostly, I want TFR to be heard and enjoyed. Anything beyond that is gravy. (Though I’d love to be able to co-produce a music video for it, and have a marketing budget, but one mad idea at a time).

Tales From When I Had A Face, limited edition hardcover news-

The printer is having some issues with the pdf, but I don’t think it’s likely to be a major holdup… just need to figure out why the file is making the hardware have an existential dilemma. It’s 340 pages all full color, so that certainly adds heft.

It’ll be 6–8 weeks manufacturing time after that is successfully received and okayed.

Fingers crossed on that process… holding it in my hands when the boxes arrive will be big for me. (Then a minute later, it’s “What’s next?”)

Progress on the Fallen Cycle RPG has slowed somewhat, I think mostly due to how much harder it has gotten to keep energy up and everyone focused in the same place. This isn’t for lack of enthusiasm. I’ve seen the same thing in my recreational RPGs, and to be honest, in every interaction I have with others these days. Everyone seems stretched thin, and despite the pandemic being “over” (it’s not) there seems to be no real end in sight there.

So, I’m not pushing it, or stressing it. I have hopes and plans here as well, but for now… close to the vest. After all, marketing an original indie RPG is also not the easiest task. I don’t want to get into the fray when and if it’s truly ready.

In the meantime, we’re continuing to have fun playing in the Fallen Cycle setting.

I have been toying with the idea of developing some 5E materials for Kickstarters and DrivethruRPG… Entirely unrelated to the Fallen Cycle. Although I’ve played and run RPGs for 30 years now, and have published numerous books that are similar to RPGs, (illustrated books, fiction and non-) the truth is, I don’t yet have any professional game development credits.

The downside for me is that popularity can just as easily be noise to be lost in, and while I enjoy D&D for what I think it’s good for, I would rather be working on the Fallen Cycle, if it’s an either/or. And there’s always the possibility of spending a year or two on dev for 5E materials only to have that go nowhere, which obviously won’t benefit subsequent efforts. So, I don’t know where I am with that yet. I’m mulling that over.

As some of you probably saw in an earlier update, I recently drew two character designs of the Fallen archetypes (there are 12) … Each was done in a 6 hour session. My illustration process is slow, at least by pro comic standards — so I’m fairly happy with this progress, even if some of the design elements beyond the characters are for mockup purposes only (like the stock photo desert scene).

The Hungry Star — (Lilith in Party At The World’s End and Tales From When I Had A Face)

The Lone Hunter — (Artemis in Party At The World’s End and The Witchdoctor)

I think that covers my spring pretty well. Oh yeah, I’m also looking for a new home and base of operations in one of the neighborhoods generally adjacent to center city in Philadelphia. Chances are I will be looking to get out the ~150 Kickstarter packages at the same time that we’re mid-move, so I’m kind of mentally preparing. Until these needles have been threaded my attention is somewhat all over.

Hopefully I’ll have some big announcements come mid-summer on several of these fronts.

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J Curcio

J Curcio

1K Followers

Author, multi-hyphenate Artist and Producer. These days, mostly an agender racoon living in a tree made out of production equipment and books. JamesCurcio.com