As the old year flows away making space for the new, I like to reflect on the past year and think about what I will be doing in the year to come. 2017 has been quite wonderful. I began my web comic: Adventures Of Puss ‘N Dick-A Survivor’s Guide To Relationships. This project, which utilizes every scrap of talent I have, has at its heart my desire to help people find ways to communicate better. Doing so humorously reminds me not to forget my own sense of humor. Without it, the world seems hopeless and glum; with it the world seems full of imagination and unlimited possibilities.
The idea and the first storyline of the web comic had started as a seven-minute piece of animation and got terrific responses from anyone who saw it. The talented Chris Niosi, who also voiced “Dick,” rendered the animation and I thought surely someone like Cartoon Network, Netflix, or Amazon would snap it up. But I soon discovered that being somewhat known in the entertainment world as a voice over talent is not a guarantee of a “pitch” session to anyone who could give me the chance to turn my little adult project into a series.
Did I give up? Never! I believe in this project with every fiber of my being. So, when someone in the industry told me to turn it into a web comic and build an audience, I began to do just that! Of course, I didn’t have any idea exactly how to do that; but the Universe (All-Be) works in mysterious ways. Before I knew it, I had found and hired a terrific media consultant, Yasmeen Al-Shawwa, who understands the purpose of the comic and has given me really constructive direction and advice. She said:
- “Do a weekly blog,“ and I did.
- “Share your knowledge about voice over,” and I thought, wow, I can share what I learned from Daws Butler and my theatre professor Robert C. Board, so people can use their voices more effectively! And Voices For Fun on YouTube was launched.
- “Start doing conventions,” and I put together some awesome pictures of myself with my characters, and will be doing conventions this coming year.
- “Create a new monamarshall.net website and start selling your Celebration Of Life wire sculptures and signature pictures and let your fans know what’s going on” and I hired the terrific Marty Kassowitz, who rebuilt the website for Adventures Of Puss ‘N Dick to do just that. (look for it in the next few weeks)
- “Start giving private lessons on line,” and I’ll be doing that in the new year!
- “You and your long-time friend, Marsha Lewis, a gifted and successful family and marriage therapist should start doing workshops in communication,” and Marsha and I will be giving our next Communication With Care workshop Saturday, February 10. (What a great Valentine’s gift!)
But, before I could do any of the above, I needed someone interested in doing the illustrations for the web comic. Chris wasn’t available and most of the artists I knew were busy doing South Park or other cartoons. But, just as Yasmeen came into my life, so did the talented and innovative, Ani Karoglanyan. A little over a year ago as I was strolling down the block with Emma Sue, The Tale Wagger, I stopped to say hello to my neighbor, Arem who was with his girlfriend Ani. Ani and I began talking and the next thing I knew, we were working together! What a find!!!
- She helped redesign the characters, making them a bit more sexy and adult.
- She continues to bring fun and fabulous ideas into how the stories are rendered.
- She provides the POV of someone in their 20’s, which helps the web comic stay appealing to a bigger audience.
- We collaborate well, listening and sharing to make the Adventures Of Puss ‘N Dick-A Survivor’s Guide To Relationships funny and relevant!
So, in 2017, I have been blessed with everything I need to keep the dream I believe in going. That includes the jobs that have provided the money to pay for it and the savings my sweet husband Sal encouraged me to put aside for this very purpose, until the dream can pay for itself.
I am ending and beginning the year in gratitude. That gratitude is also directed to and includes all of you, fans and friends and other wonderful people who have taken the time and energy to enjoy and support what I have to offer. Thank you, thank you, thank you! May this next year be your time to find your dream and work to make it happen.
I sure would like to hear what it is. If you have a dream you want to share, tell me about it by leaving a comment here on my blog or on my Facebook page.
Happy, Healthy, Dream-filled 2018!