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Monday, September 26, 2011

Minions #290 - Throne a Curve

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Greetings, Seat Cushions!

Hey, Minions, want a FREE mini-ebook written by yours truly?  Then drop over to the Kindle store (or your favorite other ebook store, it's on most of them, including Nook, Kobo, SmashWords, Apple) and download my creepy little holiday tale "One Foot in the Grave."  Go on!  I dare you!

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Monday, September 19, 2011

Minions #289 - Redecorated

Greetings, Tasteful Wall Hangings!

Well, for better or worse, we're back to producing all-new Minions material this week!  Now, be patient with us while we get up to speed.  This is one of those, "is this dreadfully funny or just dreadful" weeks.

Sometimes the process here is, I've got an idea (and some props and materials) for a set, and no cartoon ideas to go with it.  Sometimes I just build the set anyway and wing it.  This was one of those times, and given that I just completed the set last night (and wished I'd had time to dig up a few more things for it) I really just had to go with my punchline and hope that it made somebody chuckle.

Of course, now that I've posted this, I've come up with (and shot) what I think it a better cartoon using the same set, and I've got an idea for at least one more to shoot before I tear the throne-room down and do something else.  It will likely be a struggle for a while, as I set-up and tear-down one set after another, but hopefully we'll get back to the point of having enough recent inventory that I can take a week or two off here and there.

Oh, by the way, I'm a best-seller on Amazon Kindle!  Last week, Amazon's 'bots noticed that my holiday short-short gothic-horror story, "One Foot in the Grave," was free on other bookstores, and marked it down to free as well.  What this means is, suddenly you start moving hundreds of copies a day.  Actually, I've "sold" nearly 2000 (maybe more by the time you read this).  I've been as high as #7 on the Kindle fantasy best-seller list, and well into the top #100 in genre fiction.  All of which is -- not making me a penny. It's a loss-leader, and you hope folks will like the story and go buy more of your stuff down the road.

Oh well.  Maybe I'll be rich next week!  Meanwhile, you can support the under-funded activities at "Minions at Work" by giving us a little tip through the donate button at the bottom of this post.  Thanks!

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Monday, September 12, 2011

Minions #288 - Present, But Not Back

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Greetings, Hangers On!

Okay, this may not be the greatest cartoon I've ever posted here, but it's NEW, baby!  New as in a new shoot, done Sunday night, just hours before I'm point this.  See, what between my main camera breaking (and not wanting to waste a lot of effort shooting inferior quality stuff with my old camera) and various family and personal emergencies, I've simply been mining my backlog of files to create new cartoons, and I've been doing it for several months now.

See, it works like this.  I save EVERYTHING I shoot for Minions, and for each photo setup, I do many shots, from various angles, and sometimes reposed and repositioned as well.  I pick the best shot for the intended gag, and that leaves me with lots of outtakes and alternate versions, which can in turn sometimes be re-cropped an reedited.  And currently, I have over TEN GIGABYTES of Minions-related material here to draw on.  So, when I'm behind or stuck for a new cartoon, I'll browse through all this stuff, looking for new punch-lines to go with old pictures.

I suspect, most of the time the repetition goes unnoticed by most of you (though sometimes it much be very obvious to regular readers, especially when I got for running gags, and I don't go out of my way to disguise it in that case).

But I prefer to deliver fresh material most of the time, and life has gotten in the way of that lately. But we are past the immediate emergencies, and my camera, long-delayed by back-ordered parts, is finally out of the shop, so I decided last week it was time to dust off the old Minion Studio here at the Lair and get back to (new) work.

But I've spent the last week simply cleaning out and rewiring the studio, and only today was I really in the position of shooting something.  Well, I'm SURE I had a bunch of cool ideas last week, but as I got ready to put a set together, I drew a blank.  Even though I hadn't really gone anywhere lately, and the studio had always been back there behind me in my office, I still felt jet-lagged and out of sorts.

Isn't that always the way?  And then I realized, this was the meta that would drive this week's strip.  I had to remind myself just how crazy the world of the Minions was, and work my way back into it just like anybody else coming back from the beach after Labor Day to face the old 9 to 5 grind.  So, Number Two becomes my stand-in in this week's cartoon, and just kind of threw everything and the kitchen sink at him.

It ain't great, but I hope it gives you a grin, and we'll be back next week with more new stuff.   We'll see you here then!

- Back to Mastering Minion Master Steve

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Tuesday, September 06, 2011

Minions #287 - Don't Tell, Don't Ask

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Greetings, Office Headaches!

Tuesday is Monday this week, because of the holiday weekend here in the U.S., so no complaining that we're late.  MINIONS GET LABOR DAY OFF!  IT'S THE LAW!  (Yeah, like that ever stopped an Evil Overlord.)

After a long break of mining our multi-gigabyte photo archive for material, I'm finally about to getting back to some new shooting here.  I'd hope to be into it already, but I go distracted when I found that some of the lights in our shooting studio weren't working, and I'd totally lost track of how our nest of extension cords was hooked up (not quite as bad as it sounds, since all our lighting these days is with low-wattage CF and LED bulbs, and the loads are quite small).  So I tore the whole thing apart, installed the first of several permanent power strips on our shooting bench, and rewired the whole thing.

Hope to have totally new material for you next week!

- Minion Master Steve

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