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With the third story in the Little Munch series now released on the iTunes App Store, our total downloads reach ever higher numbers. After years writing and illustrating unpublished children's story books, it's nice to see something I've worked on actually being READ - now in 75 countries. I bought an iPhone for my wife last Thursday at Walmart, as it was on super sale. Now, I finally have access to the App Store (my computer is too old to access the App Store) - the first thing I did was fire up the phone and search the App Store for Little Munch - and there he was in all his baby Black Angus bull glory... in all three of the Little Munch stories - I practically jumped up and down in excitement (actually I think I DID jump up and down...). Turns out our largest market is the U.S.A, followed closely by Saudi Arabia and China. Hmmm...why Saudi Arabia? Are they especially fond of Black Angus baby bulls? I can see an iPhone user playing with "How Little Munch Got his Name" on their phone as they circle the Kaaba in Mecca. I'm not allowed to go to Mecca but Little Munch can go. And, hopefully, I will finally finish my friend Greg's kids story, "Skipper", and little Skipper the Sparrow will grace the screens of iPhones and iPads around the world, same as Little Munch. But --- without a finished eBook, no downloads... so it's nose back to the grindstone to illustrate and animate the next few stories.
91 downloads in the last 30 days - climbing steadily. The third story in the series, "Ho3w Little Munch got his Name" is now complete and will be released to the App Store soon. ibnelson.com/childrensBooks/mu…
2264 downloads for Little Munch stories #1 and #2. We're not 'burning the house down' but I consider that many downloads a rousing success.... considering the years of trying to get published in the childrens storybook market. I spent YEARS trying to find an agent that would handle my work, spent YEARS knocking on doors and trying to get a foot in the door.

All I got was "polite refusals" or more often, just packets pf materials in the return mail. Pretty tough to keep one's courage up after years of rejection. It wasn't that I was a complete failure - far from it - I was published in the comics pages in the USA, Canada and England, and in numerous newspapers as an illustrator - and also illustrated books. It was just that I wanted to see one of my very own stories for children in a hard copy in the actual hands of a real child or that of its parent as they read to them.

No such luck.

So here I am looking at 2264 "downloads" of our Little Munch stories as electronic Apps - it certainly is a different era for artistic production, one in which the end product exists only as electrical voltages in a digital device. But if it means my work is seen by people on the other side of the globe, then I say "More power to it!"

Book three of the series is nearly complete, "The Adventures of Little Munch - How he got his Name". Just a few more days of work and off he goes to the App Store, hopefully to amaze the world or at least to be "downloaded" a few times.

Moo!!!
It seems that the first story in the Little Munch series, "The Adventures of Little Munch - First Day" has done a little better than I expected - as of yesterday we've had 2190 downloads - in 62 countries. Funny to think that someone in Yemen or Saudi Arabia or China might be playing with Little Munch, our Black Angus Calf, as I write this.
The third story. "The Adventures of Little Munch - How he got his Name", is almost finished - just one more narration to record and install and two more characters to draw and install (and animate).

If nothing else, the project has been quite a learning experience. Its the first time I've been involved in a project where I don't get to see the finished project - I don't have a device that runs Apps. Kind of funny since I've saved copies of everything I've ever published since...well....for many years, ahem. Maybe this will force me to buy an iPhone or an iPad. Heavens!

When I drew the characters for the Sega Pocket Arcade Games and worked out the animation, Sega didn't give me copies of the finished games - I bought my own. Years later I took them into schools when I did cartooning demonstrations - and some kids broke them: they don't work anymore. So the game play exists only in my imagination - unless somehow, someday, I come into possession of working copies of the Pocket Arcade Games. Unlikely after 18 years, although I heard a bunch of unopened, pristine condition games in original packaging were discovered in a warehouse in Minnesota (Minnesota? bizarre)

As for little Munch, I built a page on my website so I could see the sequence of changes to the story and the final sequence of pages as they would appear on a smart device...ibnelson.com/childrensBooks/li…

So happy game playing, people in Yemen - it's lots more fun than plotting to destroy things, yes?
You have hidden
treasures behind your eyes
and concealed intimated fulfillments
in your words
that I drink like seasoned burgundy

and soon
and soon am giddy
with the joy
your half glance
from an eye's corner
gives me
in a fire's glow

in sleep   then
you have pulled me close
to see your face
brought to me
from a world apart

Would there ever
have been another
hiding treasures
behind her eyes
speaking only words
of warm browns
brushed with the heat
of midday sands
upon some gentle island
greens and gold?

I feel you in my heart
in an ocean
laughing at my nakedness
to you
exposed for all my faults
against your faults
that I can never find

You splash me with cleanness
to become as a new
winter's day in crisp delight
but by firelight
in evening
you have hidden treasures
in your touch like summer's day

Infinity Limited Magazine Winter 1993
and if I could change times and seasons
discover meanings or the reasons
of the ache inside of times passed by
how lives are lived and quickly fly
I would to God that I would try
to save it all

but people die and somehow change
their histories to rearrange
becoming something they were not
seeking somehow self created Camelots
to wipe slates clean of all that's past
pretending the die has been recast
and thrown again for better chance

but the mold is broken,
bent, and flawed,
and God in heaven is not awed
by puny man in frenzy driven
hate consumed, and fury riven

Infinity Limited Magazine, Winter 1993
Finally got some good news about our Children's Story App - our first report indicated only 8 downloads in December - but the new report from January 27th showed the app having been downloaded in over 50 countries for a total of 2010 downloads. The first story has been downloaded in Viet Nam, Malaysia, Oman, Israel, New Zealand, Czech Republic, Hong Kong, China, Saudi Arabia, Singapore, The U.S.A. of course, United Kingdom, Ireland, France etc etc

The second story in the series was released on the app store on the 28th of January so it's still too early to know how it's doing. BUT we have already had some comments. So I'm not so depressed now - I feel like the sun came out and my spirits lifted a bit.

itunes.apple.com/us/app/the-ad…

Started work on the third story in the series - another three months of "hard labor" - but now at least I know that people are using the app - that kids are being entertained by Little Munch our Black Angus Bull calf.
After spending about six months building two children's story apps (on Talespring.com), the first was submitted to the Apple App Store on December 12th (and accepted) then released to the public on the 16th. I poured my heart and soul into the thing. The writer finally received an accounts statement of sales the other day which he emailed to me. What a disappointment - we had 8 downloads from Dec 16th to January 2nd. But...we DID get 5-star reviews. Hah!!

The second story in the series was submitted to the App Store a couple of days ago, but I'm burnt out and have mainly lost interest in the project. After a series of 15 to 18 hour all night sessions working on the second story of the series, it looks like maybe I'd better move on to something more likely to put a little "jack" in my pocket. Maybe I'll just move on to getting some sleep...

At least the local paper published a half page article about the project, so I can keep a copy of that for my archives...a record of one more project that crashed and burned.
We to went World Fest after all. We didn't roast - it was quite pleasant after the sun began to set, and we went late anyway to avoid the heat. We met some really 'interesting people' - especially that 'dancer guy' who rocked out to the music totally oblivious to all the people around him. And he actually WAS a good dancer. Drew his picture while he danced - turned out really nice.

Met the Hungarian Gypsy performers while they sat at the Sierra Nevada Beer pavilion - I spoke no Hungarian and they spoke no English - but by showing them a couple of drawings I'd done of musicians in the past, they understood what I wanted to do - so I drew 4 of them as they sat a few feet to my left. They all gave a thumbs up to the finished drawing. Their manager spoke English and I explained to him I'd scan the finished drawing and post it on my website.

Ziggy Marley set was fabulous and in the dark I drew the KMVR radio broadcast tent and the various station operators as they came and went at the controls just a few feet in front of me - they acted like I wasn't there. People can get strange when they discover they are being drawn but the KMVR people didn't even seem to notice. I'll send a photocopy of the finished drawing to the station.
Each year there is a music festival with an international flavor here near us. We were offered free tickets by a friend. But it was near 100 degrees today and will be about the same tomorrow. So I probably won't go. I don't like being par boiled in a sauna.

On the other hand, Ziggy Marley is the closing act. Is that worth the $94 ticket price (one day ticket for two people)? Sure is a long way and a long time from watching Janis Joplin and Big Brother at The Fillmore. Or Country Joe and The Fish at Canyon (for free).

A couple of years ago I was asked by a group of Medico types to be their "official musician" at their conference at Esalen (www.esalen.org/). Since they didn't mention paying my room and board, I turned it down. It was a real rush deal - the decision had to be made in a minute or so - and I had to go back to work. I guess I could have been serenading people down by the spring fed baths next to the ocean - where Crosby and Stills and Joanie Mitchell and others had frolicked.

I'll likely still be kicking myself ten years from now. I should have bit the bullet, lost a days pay and gone to one of counter cultures most holy shrines.
You create a drawing and some publication prints it in their pages. The edition goes out to subscribers or to news stands. Maybe someone laughs but you never know because you can't see it happen. Once in a while you might get a written response but those are usually negative, some even qualifying as 'hate mail'.

So I self-published a small book of my cartoons which I sold at the counter of my favorite brew pub to patrons that knew me and who stopped by to watch me draw. I would watch them read the book and when they laughed I'd ask them which cartoon made them laugh and why. Almost everyone laughed at a different drawing. But, wait a minute, NOW I was An Author, a totally new status. Putting the drawings In A Book now gave me semi legendary status. THAT made ME laugh.

Today I finished the cartoon for the next issue of the Alta Sierran, a monthly local newspaper. The original is in black and white: I colored the digital version in Photoshop. I won't see anyone laugh, if they DO laugh, and I'll never know how many people actually even LOOKED at my drawing.