<![CDATA[Nix Comics - WHAT\'S NEW AT NIX!]]>Sat, 15 Apr 2017 09:01:54 -0700Weebly<![CDATA[Zine Fling #1]]>Thu, 06 Apr 2017 23:46:46 GMThttp://nixcomics.com/whats-new-at-nix/zing-fling1
Hey there small pressers and zinesters… Consider this your invitation to particpate in the 1st Nix Comics sponsored “Zine Fling.”   The basic idea of the fling is that everyone participating creates a new zine to share with all of the other participants.  Basically the idea is that you submit one zine and get back a whole pile of zines in return.
Here are the rules for participation:
  1. Let me know that you intend to participate by emailing me at ken@nixcomics.com. I’ll probably cut off entry requests by April 30th.  
  2. Use the the subject line “Zine Fling #1”  That is very important for me to keep track of everybody, so please take the time to do it right.  
  3. Please include in the email your name, a working title for the zine and its general premise. (That’s not a hard and fast thing.  Just to give me an idea of where you are coming from.) Also let me know how you want it credited if you are using a pseudonym.
  4. There are very few strictures on content and format.  However many pages you want to do on pretty much whatever subject.  All pictures or no pictures.  Fancy paper or cheap paper. Fiction or non-fiction.  Big or small.  Good or bad. Whatever you can get done by the May 30th deadline.. (Well, no right-wing screeds or creepy sexist/racist/homophobic/otherwise-prejudiced material. I’m a proud snowflake… with teeth.)
  5. ABSOLUTELY NO PREVIOUSLY PUBLISHED material.  This is not a backstock dump.  You can sell/distribute as many copies as you like after the fling.
  6. Once I have a complete list of entrants, I’ll let you know how many copies to make.  You will need to get those to me at the Nix Comics @ What The Rock shop. 3039 Indianola Avenue, Columbus, Ohio 43202 by May 30th.
  7. Once all of the zines have been collected and collated into piles, you will be asked to pick up your Zine fling zines at the same location.
  8. Novices are encouraged.  Let me know if you’d be interested in a class… If there are enough people who want that, I’ll arrange it.
  9. Out of towners are welcome, but will need to pay shipping costs to and from the store.
  10. No promises, but I might buy extra copies of some zines for the shop if the price and theme is right.
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<![CDATA[Belligerent Kitties #2: Call for Artists]]>Tue, 04 Apr 2017 20:00:39 GMThttp://nixcomics.com/whats-new-at-nix/belligerent-kitties-2-call-for-artists
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Time to put out a new edition of Belligerent Kitties, the comic which features pictures af cute cats saying vile shit. That means I new batch of artists to give me hand drawn pictures of cute cats in return for 10 copies of the final book.  

(Full Disclosure: They sell pretty well at conventions and craft fairs and such, but honestly, it is by far the worst deal I ever offer artists for Nix Comics projects.

If that sounds good to you, here are the submssion guidelines:
  1. Create a 4"x4" black and white drawing of a cute cat or kitten.  (Very important... CUTE CATS. Don't make the cats mean looking or gross.)
  2. Just a plain old cat. No anthropomorphic cats.
  3. No background. No furniture.
  4. Send a 300 DPI scan of your cat drawing to me at ken@nixcomics.com with the subject line "Belligerent Kitties Submission"
  5. ​In that email include all of your contact information and mailing address. 
  6. Write a note to yourself that reads "Ken made me no promises. He doesn't have to accept my cat picture."  I probably will, but it doesn't hurt to have a reminder to keep things in perspective.

Deadline for submissions is April 30th. 
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<![CDATA[COMING SOON FROM NIX COMICS!]]>Sun, 02 Apr 2017 07:00:00 GMThttp://nixcomics.com/whats-new-at-nix/coming-soon-from-nix-comics
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Buck Slaughter's Book of Rock N Roll Facts #2
The Wiener Kid's band releases it's first record and Sleepy Kay auditions for a job as a DJ at a local indie radio station, while Buck continues to refuses personal growth in any fashion!

32 pages B&W
Cover Price $5
Pre-Order for only $4 plus shipping.
Miss Issue #1? Get both as a discount with your pre-order!   Local pick up available, natch!

​Ships in May 2017
Delivery Options

Tales from The Crate #3
Nix Comics' zine dedicated to the joys of crate digging continues with a trip to Lost Weekend Records in Columbus!  What did a 50 buck budget yield during a $4 off any record $5 or over sale?

32 pages B&W

Cover Price $3
Pre-Order for only $2 plus shipping.  
Miss the first 2 issues?  Piuck them up at a discount with your pre-order!  ​Local pick up available.


​Ships in May 2017
Delivery Options

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<![CDATA[Nix Comics Retail Update]]>Sat, 01 Apr 2017 07:00:00 GMThttp://nixcomics.com/whats-new-at-nix/nix-comics-retail-updateI know that many of the people who check out my website are also creators who are interested in the "inside baseball" type stuff about Nix Comics operations, so I thought I would do a quick update about my progress with my addition of a retail element to my publlishing efforts.

The basic idea is that I don't trust crowdfunding and comic shows to be a consistent source of funds for publishing Nix Comics, so I have started selling comics and records again.  I am focusing on comics, records and art bought as directly from the artist and publisher as possible and a heavily curated selection of used mechandise that jibes with Nix Comics.  Basically, if I can back $200 or so a month, Net, I can put out a whole color issue of Nix Comics Quarterly or Nix Western.

Here's what sales and expenses looked like (roughly) for the first quarter of 2017:


                  Gross Sales     Wholesale               Expenses      Net
January     $623.35              $356.10                   $210.00          $57.25
February   $297.00              $178.51                   $305.49         -$187.00
March        $1,194.00           $537.12                   $450.47          $206.41
YTD           $2,114.35           $1,071.73                $965.96          $76.66  


Gross sales includes both sales at the What the Rock?! store front, website sales, ebay sales, comic shows and things like sponsorships/ads.

Wholesale is the actual amount I spent to get the items sold including shipping.  I included the normal rate I charge other stores for Nix titles.  The idea is to sink all of this back into more merch.

Expenses include rent at What the Rock?!, advertising, event costs, website hosting, marketing, etc.

Basically, March was pretty much where I wanted things to be, but I think its too early in this venture to expect that to be a consistent thing.  More ups and downs are coming, I think!  The sales at nix-retail.com have been super disappointing so far, but sales at the brick and mortar are slightly better than I had hoped. 


So what all has been selling?  It's kind of all over  the map.  Here are the general categories I have set up:

Category             Retail             Wholesale             Mark Up             Qty
New Book           $145.00          $93.56                      55%                  7
New Comic         $239.85          $128.76                    86%                  26
Nix Publications  $282.00          $144.00                    96%                  72

Used Comics      $105.00          $53.80                      95%                  23
New Record        $348.50          $249.97                    39%                  21
Used Record      $214.00          $121.24                    77%                  31
New Zine            $22.00            $8.86                      148%                  9
Used Zine           $76.00           $46.86                       62%                 10
Original Art         $222.00          $126.78                    75%                  11
Prints                  $186.00          $97.90                      90%                  8
Total                   $1,840.35       $1,071.73                                          218

Kind of cool that comics and literature are way outsellling records.  I expected the opposite to be the case. Ideally I want a bump in quantity of "new records" sales since they have the lowest mark up.  They are taking up a lot of space for a product type that is netting like $30/month.

Ideally, I would like to see the average item sold averaging around $10-12 each with an average wholesale rate of $6-7, growth which I think will happen as people start discovering the store and website.

Average Price of items sold            $8.44
Average Wholesale of items sold   $4.92
Average Mark Up                              72%
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<![CDATA[Risen From The Grave Poster Show at WHAT THE ROCK?!]]>Sun, 26 Feb 2017 19:29:47 GMThttp://nixcomics.com/whats-new-at-nix/risen-from-the-grave-poster-show-at-what-the-rock
Nix Comics has recruited some of the best Columbus area artists to create a series of gig posters for our first annual fictional "Risen From The Grave" poster show!

Finished printed posters will be seen side by side with the original artwork to give you a feel for the process of making a poster!


Opening is Saturday March 11 at 6:00pm.  The show will be open through the month of March. Admission is free and refreshments will be had!

Artists and Subjects include:
Bob Ray Starker: Esquerita - Michael Neno: Mary Wells - Rich Trask: Roy Orbison - Matt Wyatt: Stiv Bators & Johnny Thunders - Leighanna DeRouen: Wendy O Williams & Tammy Wynette - Raeghan the Savage: Poly Styrene & Rosetta Tharpe
SORRY! Orders for Poster sets are closed!
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<![CDATA[Indie Comix Fair At The Ace of Cups!]]>Sun, 26 Feb 2017 19:23:41 GMThttp://nixcomics.com/whats-new-at-nix/indie-comix-fair-at-the-ace-of-cups]]><![CDATA[Custom Picture Sleeves Update 2017]]>Fri, 24 Feb 2017 16:07:59 GMThttp://nixcomics.com/whats-new-at-nix/custom-picture-sleeves-update-2017Here are all of the custom picture sleeves I have created for records over the past couple years.  Most of them have sold!
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<![CDATA[Indie Comics Fair 2017 Interest Form]]>Sat, 11 Feb 2017 17:33:15 GMThttp://nixcomics.com/whats-new-at-nix/indie-comics-fair-2017-interest-formUPDATE: REGISTRATION IS CLOSED

I have scheduled the 5th annual Indie Comics Fair at the Ace of Cups for Saturday, March 4th.  (As always, the event is co-sponsored by Back Porch Comics and SPACE... Columbus's Annual Small press and Comics Expo.  this yeaqr I will get extra help organizing the event by cartoonist Canada Keck.)

This is a very small and informal bar room show that attracts a lot of people from the community who might not attend a more typical comic show.  Vendors will be asked to bring their own tables and pay "whatever they feel the show was worth to them" at the end of the day.

The one catch is that space at the Ace of Cups is very limited.  This year I would like to include some people who haven't been able to sell at the show in the past.  If anyone feels like road tripping from out of town, I'd like to make space for them as well.  


If any of that sounds good to you and you're interested in selling comics at the Indie Comics fair this year, please fill out the form below by February 19th.  (Sorry for the short notice!)]]>
<![CDATA[TALES FROM THE CRATE #1.1]]>Thu, 26 Jan 2017 19:33:20 GMThttp://nixcomics.com/whats-new-at-nix/tales-from-the-crate-11
Tales from the Crate is a zine wherein I go to a record sale with a $50 budget and write about the records I purchase. Issue #1 was released last year and I am working issues #2-3 for 2017.  For those of you who can't wait for me to get my act together, here's a similarly formatted blog post about a recent trip to Half Price Books for your reading pleasure!

Location: Half Price Books, 5079 N High Street, Columbus, Oh
Date: 1/24/2017
Event: None, I was just out and about.  
Budget: I didn't have one, but spent $9.40 with Tax
 Tales from the Crate for Three Bucks!
(Or look for deals with Records Below!)

Firesign Theater Predicts: In The Next World You’re on your Own
Columbia Records PC 33475
Vinyl: NM  Jacket: VG+
Bought for keepers
Some records I buy just for the album art. The William Stout cartoons on this jacket are beautiful on both sides. If not for the art, I would have passed this LP by. Surrealistic/experimental comedy not my thing, but I know that Firesign Theater usually has a lot of funny one liners.  I was hoping that this record would have enough of those that I could use it to spice up some future music podcasts, but it was hard to weed through the layered sound that is Firesign's trademark to get good clips. I was struck by how similar in tone the comedy was to the Kids in the Hall sketches, which had never occurred to me before.

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L.C. Cook: I’m Falling/Please Think of Me
Check: #925
Vinyl: VG- White label promo
Bought for Keepers
One loose rule I have when crate digging: If you see a white label promo 45 on Checker for a quarter, you should pick it up and check it out. All I knew about L.C. Cook was that he was the brother of Sam Cooke.  (Apparently the spelling without the “e” on the end was the family spelling.)  His voice is very similar to Sam’s, but L.C. did lack that special something that took Sam from being good to being an all time great.   Now, "not as good as Sam Cooke" is an unfair bar to set, I think and I'm falling is a good up tempo number and worthy of my collection.


Ben Colder:
Fifteen Beers Ago/Sunday Mornin’ Comin’ Down
MGM K14209
Vinyl: VG+
Bought for resale
Ben Colder is the alter ego of Sheb Wooley (of Purple People Eater fame), and his records were satirical reworded versions of country hits and classics.  He was pretty much the C&W version of Weird Al.  I can’t think of a better target for that treatment than the ultra earnest Kris Kristofferson song tune Most of the Ben Colder Albums had Jack Davis art on the cover and are worth the pick up.

Jay and the Techniques:
Stronger Than Dirt/Apples, Peaches and Pumpkin Pie
Smash S-2086
Vinyl: VG+
Bought for Resale with custom picture Sleeve
Alright, Apples, Peaches and Pumpkin Pie was actually the A side and hit for this eastern PA R&B band, but like a lot of 80s and 90s garage rock fans i was introduced to Stronger than Dirt by the Mummies, with their… um... stripped down version on the Never been caught LP.

Jay and the Techniques
Keep the Ball Rollin’/Here We Go Again
Smash S-2124
Vinyl: Poor
Bought for Keepers
I had never heard any Jay & the Techniques Songs other than the ones on the Stronger Dirt record.  These are both good, if unremarkable, small market soul songs.  Unfortunately, an innocuous looking scratch on side A causes a repeat skip and this copy of Keep The Ball Rollin’ is going to the “craft” pile.

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Stray Cats: Rock This Town/You Can’t Hurry Love
EMI America B-8132

Vinyl: VG+

Bought for resale with custom picture sleeve

Ah, the much maligned Stray Cats.  I duly suggest that the folks I know who hate on them get over it.  Yes, they had a cartoonish vibe to them, but thanks to a strong Dave Edmunds influence, they had some good radio songs. There are significantly greater offenders from the same period. 
That said, the B-Side cover of the Supremes “You Can’t Hurry Love” is just as misguided and nearly as unfortunate as the Phil Collins version.  (The bit of Setzer guitar flourish helps bump it up a notch.)


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Bobby Freeman:
C’Mon and Swim/C’Mon and Swim Pt 2

Autumn records Record No 2

Vinyl: VG-

Bought for resale with custom picture sleeve
If I was forced to listen to just one 60s dance craze song ever again, you could keep your twist and watusi, because Bobby Freeman’s “C’Mon and Swim” is by far the most rockin’. Side B is kind of a rip.  Named pt 2, it’s really just the same song with a fade in.  A weird bit of cheapskatery, given that he did have a whole album come out at about the same time.


Earl Scruggs and the Earl Scruggs Revue:
Lonesome and a long way from Home (Stereo/mono)
Columbia 4-45560 WLP Promo
Vinyl: VG+
Bought for Resale
Earl Scruggs and his family hit the 70s hard with some up tempo bluegrass sounds, trying to reach the folks being drawn into country music by the popularity of things like Hee Haw and the TV ready appearance of the Mandrell sisters.. Not a big fan, but I can see why some people would like it.

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Jimmy Cliff: Wonderful World, Beautiful People/Waterfall
A&M: 1146

Vinyl: VG

Bought for: Keepers
I’m not a huge Reggae fan, but I do love me some Jimmy Cliff.  It’s always been a big source of wonderment to me that Marley became the face of Reggae to the american public when Cliff was so much poppier and ready fro radio.  Perhaps the brevity of the songs lent to that a little.  It’s easier for a DJ to get up and take a leak during a 7 minute jam a two minute pop ditty.


The Nightcrawlers: Little Black Egg/You’re Running Wild
Kapp K-709
Vinyl: VG-
Bought for resale with picture sleeve print
This is a pretty easy to find garage rock classic turned punk rock fave thanks to covers by the Pagans and Rattlers.  I always pick up copies since I have a picture sleeve ready to print up to sell with it.  One of two such scores on this trip!

SOLD!
Roy Clark: On The Tips of My Fingers/Spooky Movies
Capitol 4956
Vinyl: VG
Bought for resale with picture sleeve print
Not a big fan of Roy Clark, or the A side hit of this record, On the Tips of My fingers.  That said, I L-U-V love the flip, spooky Movies, which is a rock-pop song in the vein of Brenda Lee's "My Baby Loves All The Western Guys".

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The Who: Happy Jack/Whiskey Man
Decca 32114

Vinyl: G

Bought for resale with custom picture sleeve

Happy Jack is a solid radio hit single from the Who, but I picked this record up to do a fun picture sleeve of the weird and moody John Entwhistle penned B-Side, Whiskey Man.  (Presumably Enthwhistle's alcoholic alter ego.)



Steve Earle: Someday/Hillbilly Highway
MCA 62920
Vinyl: VG+
Bought for resale
Not to steal Jeff Foxworthy’s tired bit, but “you might be a hipster if…” you like Steve Earle.  I like Steve Earle.  The MCA records came out early in his career when they were still trying to fit him with a ill fitting imitation nudie suit, but they have a kernel of what everyone likes about Earle… that yearning hungry feeling. I think I have them all, so this one is up for resale.

SOLD!

Johnny Cash and the Tennessee Three
Special Coin Operator Release for “Hello I’m Johnny Cash” Columbia 7-9943
Side 1: To Beat The Devil, Sing A Traveling song
Side 2: I’ve Got a Thing About Trains, Wrinkled Crinkled Wadded Dollar Bill, Southwind
Vinyl: VG+
Bought for Resale
This record would’ve been sent to jukebox operators as a promotional sampler, and would have come with a bunch of smaller pictures and juke box strips.  (Of course, the record itself was no good just to plug in a juke as it plays at 33 as opposed to 45.)I don’t feel like this was one of Cash’s better records mostly because the cloying back up vocals ruin some otherwise good songs. I do think that “I ain’t sayin’ that I beat the Devil, but I drank his beer for free” is one of the great lines about the devil.  Watch for that line to be lifted into a future issue of Nix Comics Quarterly!

The Now Wave Sampler
Columbia AE7 1187
Side 1: The Sinceros: Take Me To our Leader, Hounds: Doo Wah Diddy Diddy Diddy
Side 2:The Beat: Don’t Wait Up For Me, Jules and the Polar Bears: good Reason
Vinyl: Poor
Pic Sleeve: VG
Bought for resale
Another jukebox sampler, this one with a pic sleeve that includes record review blurbs.  All of these bands were signed by Columbia, no doubt, to try and cash in on the punk sound without all of that pesky antisocial rebellious attitude. You can call it power pop if you like. The bands on side one are the worst examples of this corporate punk.  
While The Sinceros take Me To your leader is just kind of dull, but The Hounds version of Do wah Diddy Diddy is like nails on a chalkboard. Side 2 is a complete redemption.  The Beat is one of my favorite bands and “Don’t Wait Up” is one of their best songs.  Good Reason by Jules and the Polar Bears is my favorite song by a good band. (As opposed to a favorite band, like the Beat)  
I had thought this one was a real score, resalable at $4-5 for my 25 cent investment. Unfortunately, this song has a skip on Side two, foiling my resale hopes.

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Lefty Frizzell: I Love You Mostly/Mama!
Columbia 4-21328

Vinyl: VG

Bought for Keepers
While Hank Williams is the consensus father of country music, Lefty Frizzell was a notable peer with a similar style, who by virtue of his survival into the 70s, allowed us to see how Williams style might have evolved.  This 1954 release is a clear stepping stone to the rock influenced bakersfield sound of the 60s and 70s

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<![CDATA[Nix Comics Winter and Fall 2017 Plans]]>Wed, 11 Jan 2017 19:51:22 GMThttp://nixcomics.com/whats-new-at-nix/nix-comics-winter-and-fall-2017-plansThis blog has been a lonely rarely visited place pretty much since it’s inception.  By the author, that is. The dirty half dozen or die hard Nix fans have usually read it when I have posted. At any rate, that’s about to change for the short term, because yesterday was my last day at a job that I had held for 10 years.  It was amicable split, both the organization and my needs had gradually changed over the years and I felt it was time for a change. I’m going to take a couple of months to reset my habits, work on my personal skills as a writer and artist and hone the business workings of Nix Comics.

The last bit is probably the toughest chore.  My day job had been the backbone of Nix Comics.  I could pretty much do whatever I wanted without worry about whether or not it sold well.  That’s going to have to change some. It’s a safe assumption that if you’re reading this blog that you’re familiar with the ins and outs of small press and DIY culture.  In the case of cartoonists and comic makers, the proceeds of one comic pays for the next, so if something doesn’t sell, it’s a big deal.  That’s a big part of why crowdfunding platforms like Kickstarter are so popular with artists but also why they often have a sense of desperation to them.

So what’s the plan to keep my comics going while I'm unemployed? Picture
Nix Comics Retail at What The Rock?!:
Even before my decision to leave my job, I had been wrestling with the notion that I needed a way to fund Nix Comics, so when my friends who run the gift Boutique, What the Rock?! Offered me some space to set up within their new store location in my neighborhood, I jumped.  Basically I have a 10x10 room within their store sell whatever comics, records and artwork I want to.  Like a lot of flea market and antique mall set ups, I’ll work a few days a month, but mostly they’ll run the register and tracking sells.  

This is a real throwback to the origins Nix Comics, since I funded the first year of publications by selling off the merchandise from my last record store, Evil Empire Records.  The big difference will be that I want to focus on a lot of direct from artist/label/distro exclusives.


The grand opening date for the new What The Rock?! Space hasn’t been set yet, but I’ll be sure to let you know when it’s coming!

PictureHelp get books like these into stores near you!
Make100 Catalogs:
Don’t take the comments above as an indication that I’m abandoning crowdfunding. Right now it is simply the most productive vehicle for getting a project completed in a timely manner.  I think, though, that I want to put a different spin on what I seek crowdfunding for in the future. Instead of asking for funds to put out a single issue or even a series of issues, I am only going to ask for funds for things that will help me build the infrastructure that will sell comics without Kickstarter.

What am I talking about? Well, for instance, Recently I received an invite from Kickstarter to take part in their Make100 project, which is pretty much what you’d expect it to be: A request to run campaigns with the purpose of making a limited run of 100 for specific items.  Right now my plan is to launch a kickstarter that will fund the production and provide postage for 100 wholesale Catalogs with sample copies of my 1st four issues to record stores outside of my normal reach. Backers will have the option of sticker sets, trading cards and Nix back issues to help me reach my goal.  Expect to see me pitching this to you on social media within a week of this post.


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Focus on low budget publications for fit half of year:
The biggest expense for making an issue Nix Comics Quarterly or Nix Western is paying the artists involved. I’m not willing to lower the rates that I offer for stories, so while I sort out my I’ll have to focus on low budget items I can produce, titles like  Tales from the Crate, Buck Slaughter’s Book of Rock N Roll Facts and Belligerent Kitties.  

I have all of the materials for two issues of Tales from the Crate and Buck Slaughter #2 is scripted.  Belligerent kitties will be done in what I hope will become traditional slap-dash manner for that loathesome-but-high-reward-to-effort-ratio publication. 

Watch for Tales from the Crate #2 in early February and the other titles to follow soon afterwards!



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Be incessant on-line:
Finally, expect to hear a lot more from me.  I’ll be doing a lot of writing and a lot of drawing, sharing it warts and all.  (A least a rockstar drawing a day, which those of you following my instagram already know!)  

I’ll be shilling for merchandise in the What The Rock?! Shop.  So there will be a lot of info about records for sale and non-Nix comics. I would understand if you tune out, but please trust me to do this in a fun and/or informative way

Along those lines, I also hope to do some fun stuff like some music podcasts, trivia contests with giveaways and maybe some art shows.


Basically, in a month or two you’ll be sick of me and ready for me to take a new day job!

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