Saturday, July 4, 2015

Slow Bro Doodling

Because I haven't updated this blog in forever I'm going to throw some random doodles from a plane ride up. Ever play Pokemon? No? (oh, so you were one of THOSE kids growing up) Well Slowbro is an actual Pokemon, but the idea of SlowBro is what is Slowbro was a Frat Bro? Thus, these little doodles came to be:

Actual blog content to come, eventually.

Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Spider-Nam Cosplay 2014/15

So for one, I am not dead, but very much alive and well in New York City. A lot has been up in the air and a lot has been happening this last year. More on all of that later, as for now I just want to make a simple post and share something I worked on in 2014 for fun.

Enter, Spider-Nam. Originally by James Stokoe in a short comic experiment where he placed Spider-man back in the Vietnam War, the second I saw this character I was inspired to try to bring it to life! Luckily for me I had my old Spider-Man gear, so the main focus was getting my army gear in shape in time for the New York Comic Con 2014!

With a few details still left to tie up, I made the costume and had a blast at the con! Since then I've had a chance to wear it out a few more times for some fun photo shoots and parties here in NYC! Below are just a few favorite pics from some very talented photographers who were nice enough to take a photo of little old me in my Spider-Man get up!

If you or anyone else grabbed a picture of me, or just saw me wearing this out, feel free to connect with me at @EricJStover on Twitter!

Friday, August 29, 2014

Quick Piece on the Ice Bucket Challenge Criticism

Unless you've been avoiding social media like a dead skunk on the road, you've probably heard of, seen, or been nominated for the Ice Bucket Challenge. And if you've seen it, you've probably also seen the people berating it, mocking it, or generally calling it out as not actually benefiting anyone.

For those who think the act of dumping ice on your head is not actually helping anyone, since it's either donate to the cause or dump ice water on your head, keep in mind that often people dump the ice bucket of water on their head AND donate. According to the site, over $79 million in donations have come in from this recent campaign. That's a lot more than just icy water.

Now there's also another group of nay sayers out there who seem distressed that this is another social media hype train. That it's unfortunate that this cause has to go memetic in order for people to care about it. Here's what I have about that:

My thing is that there are a LOT of worthy causes out there. From overcrowded animal shelters, to starving children both home and abroad, to diseases no one knows about, to diseases that affect millions of people, to natural disasters, to.. the list goes on.

There's a metric ton of terrible things going on in the world, problems that need to be funded to save lives and make the world a better place. But people don't know about them. They don't give to them. They are either ignorant of the problem or choose to ignore it. We buy ourselves another coffee, treat ourselves to a movie, buy a 16 year old a new car, while there are thousands of organizations that are great charities and could use the money to make a difference.

The social media hype machine does get out of control. #StopKony is like a bad joke that actually happened. At least from what I've seen the ice bucket challenge is spreading awareness and motivating people to give to a cause that needs it. It would be great if more people just gave to those in need and didn't need a gimmick or a campaign to get the word out. There's just so much noise online though.

Recently on Kickstarter there was a campaign for a man who wanted to make potato salad. He wanted to raise $10, but he raised about $50,000. Not a big deal, people having fun, a silly project gone out of control, whatever. But reading through the crowdfunding forums, I came across a lot of people talking about how frustrated it made them because they couldn't raise funding for their girlfriend who had cancer, for their mom who was losing the house, and so on. There's an entire site for crowdfunding medical treatments and saving lives, and people are still backing yet another fancy wallet design, another retro pixelated indie game, etc.

If you give to charities on a regular basis without needing someone to ask you or remind you, wonderful! Most causes need to campaign to get the funds they need and social media is a new tool for getting the word out. If the challenge is even bringing in a fraction more support to the cause after the challenge fades out, that's more positive than people tweeting about whatever inane thing Justin Kardashian Spears is drinking and driving this week. 

 So please, there are a lot of things not perfect in this world, but can we please focus less on them and more on the good they are doing? Or at least, be thankful that something is being done about the bad?

Sunday, August 3, 2014

20 Tips For Attending NYCC 2014

Artist, cosplayer, attendee, photographer, these tips can benefit anybody going to a convention and in turn benefit everyone who goes!

  1. "Bring a water bottle! You'll be on your feet all day and doing a lot of walking." 
    1. "Forget a Water Bottle Wear a Camelbak (Mil Spec if you can find it, part of a the HAWG backpack even better)"
  2. "Comfortable shoes, it is not uncommon to clock 6 miles of walking a day"
  3. "If you go in cosplay, change out of your costume before doing any browse shopping. It'll save you the trouble of getting stopped every 5 feet for a picture."
    1. "Don't be a creep! Respect cosplayers and artists and don't overstep your bounds. Be polite and courteous."
  4. "Eat before you go. Bring a snack too. But don't walk and eat-- that's kinda gross and kinda weird."
    1. "Carry Trail Mix"
  5. "There is a McDonalds very close to the Javitz, the line usually sucks during the convention but the prices are way more feasible than inside the Javitz Center itself. If you feel more adventurous you can find tons of food within a couple blocks."
    1. "There's a bunch of dollar pizza places within walking distance of the javits center too."
    2. "The Greek Place in the Javits is the only place worth your time, otherwise walkout to 34th for food"
    3. "I tend to hit the Skylight Diner before I go to the con - it's right on the way if you're coming from Penn Station. Typical diner fare, haven't had a bad meal there."
    4. "If you're from out of town, and want to go eat before or after NYCC, Yelp restaurants and sort by price. Don't get trapped in Times Square with all their overpriced menus for the tourists."
  6. "Vitamins take something that has B-Complex, C and Zinc to Boost Immune System (I take Nature made Stress B Complex)"
  7. "Bring deodorant!"
  8. "Spare battery/external battery would be useful too. First year of CC I was stuck by a wall for an hour or so just charging my phone for when my friends drop by." 
    1. "If you have a phone that has user replaceable batteries carry spare charged batteries, If not get a few External Batteries"
  9. "Plan your weekend. Prioritize panels and plan for if you won't get into them."
    1. "Prioritize what you want to do. I typically dedicate one day to line waiting. Another day is strictly walking and seeing what the Convention has to offer. You'd be surprised how much you can miss when you spend 2/3 of your experience on a line."
  10. "Plan bathroom breaks. Nothing worse than having to poop during a convention."
    1. "If you're a girl, expect really long fucking lines for the bathroom."
  11. "The Javits finally got a DAN last year but GMRS radios are still useful"
  12. "Bring cash. The Javits Center has ATMs but ain't nobody got time for ATM fees."
  13. "Check websites of NYC comic book stores. Some have NYCC sales that whole Con weekend!"
  14. "If you want something commissioned, contact the artist prior to the Con, and ask if they can do it for you before the convention for you to just pick up at their table. Some will do this, some won't. Don't be offended or mad if they won't!"
  15. "Have a Poster Tube (shoulder strap can be threaded into the PALS webbing of your backpack)"
  16. "Hit Vendors of Large Items (like Gundam kits) on your way out."
    1. "If you're buying stuff, and it's not one of those ones that are NYCC exclusives that are limited and will sell out, wait until Sunday to buy them because vendors are more likely to cut you a deal on the last day. This is, of course, if you have a Sunday pass."
  17. "98% of swords you see should be regarded as wall hangers and priced accordingly. For Japanese Swords DragonSongForge is a Quality Vendor, I have yet to see a good vendor at comic con for European Swords."
  18. "Here's a post listing common scams to watch out for whilst in NYC"
  19. "Be patient and nice with people. We all know it's crowded and hot and that can suck but we're all in it together."
  20. "If you're walking through on the floor and suddenly see something, a celebrity, a funny t-shirt, don't just stop abruptly. Move over to the side so the crowd can keep moving."

Special thanks to everyone who commented on the original Reddit post. Got your own to suggest? Comment below! (Connect with me on tumblr!)

Friday, July 18, 2014

Client Reviews For Crowdfunding Consultant Work

I've been working as a crowdfunding consultant for over 2 years now, doing both short term and long term consultant work for projects. I have had the pleasure of working with over 100 different crowdfunding campaigns and their creators, helping them develop and polish their projects for success.

There's a lot to keep in mind when running a crowdfunding project, and it's always good practice to have multiple eyes look over things every step of the way. Though not all of these projects were successfully funded, as no one can guarantee that, (and anyone who does is most likely a scam), but all of them benefited greatly from my feedback and suggestions.

Collected here are over 30 reviews from past clients, all of which have been most satisfied, if not glowing in their review of my services! I invite you to check them out below!

"It's super awesome when you get someone with experience and a fresh pair of eyes to look over your site. I'v already implemented three of his suggestions and haven't even had his review for 5 minutes."
"Highly recommend. Anyone creating a crowdfunding project should use this service. Not only did he pick up on some of the little details of the video, but also found a couple of things that I missed. Will hire again for sure."
"This gentleman was very helpful and answered all my questions promptly. Thank you for helping to change the world by helping me with slidetrip dot com"
"[Eric] is # 1 If you need review or advise for your kickstarter project. It was a pleasure ordering this GIG I was very happy with the quality and professionalism of [him] I will be returning for more work in the very near future.....Thanks"
"Great Job its cool to do business with you Thanks again for your help"
"Great job. I would recommend and use again."
"Best crowdfunding advice gig on [site]!!! Eric delivered a 5 page report with loads of constructive feedback. Thank you sooooo much!! :)"
"This guy is truly amazing ! He is the best [seller] here !!!"
"Good seller! Very detailed input."
"Top top man, really knows his stuff !!!!"
"Excellent job, very professional. I can't recommend enough :)"
"Great job, really professional, sincere and objective. Certainly recommended. Thanks!"
"thank you"
"Very Professional! Willing to answer in detail and tries to help in every possible way he can. Best value for money :)"
"[Eric] is a really pro in reviewing and advising on crowdfunding projects! If you are planning to post a a crowdfunding project whether it is Kickstarter or Indiegogo or any other crownfunding website, we highly recommend you order his gig as it is very useful!!"
"Great review, highly recommend this gig pre-launch!"
"We continue to be happy with [Eric's] review and advice on our Kickstarter project VERSI Docker Stand for the iPad, iPhone or any tablet and smartphone. Highly recommend."
"Once again .. excellent service and timely. Very good feedback received that we can use to improve our project. As a return buyer ...thanks [Eric]. Would absolutely recommend for others and I will be coming back to other more gigs!!"
"This [seller] is the real deal. I received excellent advice on how to make my crowdfunding campaign a success. If you are thinking about a crowdfunding cammpaign make sure you order this fiverr's gig. THANK YOU!"
"Really happy with this seller. Highly recommend this gig!"
"Very knowledgeable and eager to make you happy. You will find the review and advise very useful and full of good tips and ideas and best of all not just generic but customized to your specific project. Thumbs up! Will be back for more very soon."
"Good suggestions that I'm incorporating now."
"very insightful information - thanks"
"Delivered much more than expected. Amazing gig!"
"Thumbs Up"
"Good work, a bit late but good non the less. thanks"
"This guy rules! Tons and tons of helpful info and suggestions that actually make sense! This gig could be worth millions if your campaign is that big. I tend to be way too thorough for [sellers] and piss people off sometimes with TMI, but he's thorough too."
"Probably the best crowdfunding gig on [site]. This guy rocks!"
"Great work, thank you for all your help."
"very helpful guy, got some really good tips of him."
"Superb. Can't recommend him highly enough. A thorough professional and a wonderful human being."
"Highly recommended! A Great person to work with."
"Thanks, Great service and I will probably order a gig extra as well"
For the opportunity for me to work with a creator you know or your own project, please contact me either through @KickStartAdvice on Twitter, or through my contact information on my page.

Monday, June 2, 2014

For Fun Fanart of SCP-305

I've recently gotten into a creative writing community online focused around a secret organization that works to protect life as we know it from bizarre and dangerous, other worldly objects and entities that would upset our day to day lives. From giant unkillable humanoids to everyday household items with unusual properties, they secure, contain and protect them from us and us from them. At least, the organization this community writes about does.

Recently it was brought up that we often see fan art of the same beings drawn again and again and that other unknowns get no love. Thus a new monthly challenge was cooked up and an underdog selected to get a chance in the spot light. I was too slow to get my drawing in for the contest, (didn't start it until well after the deadline) but I wanted to complete it anyways.

SCP-305 was picked because the description gives us an image but isn't completely locked down. It's some sort of humanoid shaped rock formation that has cracks in it and occasionally moves and might have something imprisoned inside it.

Here is the drawing I did one night this weekend in my free time:

And here is the revision I did in the morning after looking over it and seeing what all I didn't like about it. Got some feedback online and made some changes. I am much happier with the final version, which I also animated:

Pushed for darker shadows and brighter highlights and played around with the volume on the stones. Tried to lessen the black cracks/lines I originally was going with but could never quite remove them as I felt it helped define the stones better. Added an eye to the crack because I thought that was the easiest way to hint there is something in there that we don't want to get out.

Anyways, haven't been updating this blog as much as I want to just because life is lemons right now, but I'm keeping things moving and hopefully will have more to update here soon! Also, apparently I'm too cool to proof read my posts at times! Not really sure how many people read this anyways, but oh well.

Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Twitch.TV Live Stream

You can watch me while I commentate on my friend while he plays one good game and one awful game on 1 Up 1 Down! This week is Outlast and The Planet Of The Apes game!

Watch it at 8 pm Est 4/30/14 until 10 pm! here: