Hey, some of you may know Josh Fruhlinger from his daily newspaper comic strip commentary at Comics Curmudgeon. Well, now you can also know him from his United States President Slash Fic Blog, Hail to the Slash. Josh commissioned art from me for the title! I have provided the too-hot-for-blog extra slobber version to the left. The full and final version of the graphic can be seen at the site itself, of course, as well as lots of stories about Presidents sodomizing each other.
I am still cranking out the 100 "Crisis" poster orders! I have approximately 75 of them in the mail. What complicates things is that this is also the week that my three literal tons of Dumbing of Age book 1 and Shortpacked! book 1 reprints arrived! (See top image!) And so I'm also working on those at an equally furious pace. I will probably have... 100 of them ready to go out the door to the post office on Monday? That is out of roughly 600 orders, so please bear with me. Those first 100 are from the folks who didn't ask for any extras, since I wanted to get a huge chunk of them ready to be mailed as soon as possible -- you know, to get some feeling of immediate accomplishment. Just throwing books in postage pre-paid envelopes and slapping labels on. It'll be much slower going once I hit the international orders and folks who pledged for sketches.
So I'll be keeping busy for a while. And probably be rewatching a lot of DVDs while creating more stacks of enveloped books like the ones on the right.
I got a two copies each of Dumbing of Age Book 1 and the Shortpacked! Book 1 reprint from my publisher today. THEY ARE FANTASTIC OH MY GOD. It's so nice to see a new printing of SP!B1, y'know? I had a case of the very last of the first printing at Comic-Con this past weekend, and I couldn't sell half of them because they were all busted to hell from being mailed across the country fifty times. It's great to have a fresh, glossy batch. (I also had grown to hate the cover of the first printing, too, so bonus.)
I can’t wait until I get the full shipment of these in about a month or so, so you can have them, too.
Man, you guys are super awesome. We had an original goal of $11,000 to print DoA Book 1, passed that in a few days, passed our stretch goal of $20k to reprint Shortpacked! Book 1, and within a second of the end of the Kickstarter, we'd hit $30k.
Originally I'd set another stretch goal for $30k, promising to print Roomies! Book 2 if that happened, but a few days ago I realized I'd gotten soooo many pledges I needed to print more books, and would have to cannibalize some of those funds to print more. But since we passed $30 anyway, I'll see how much money I have after the dust settles (you know, Kickstarter fees, Amazon payment fees, taxes) and see if we can't do it anyway. I'll keep you posted.
There was a very sweet moment, like 4 minutes until the end of the Kickstarter period, where we had 666 backers. And then some jerks had to ruin it by giving me more money! Oh well.
But wow. 670 backers. Last year's Kickstarter for Shortpacked! Book 4 only had about 250 backers. This, uh, kind of triples the amount of books I've ever sent out, ever. This will be daunting. Please have patience with me once these books arrive in my possession, for I am but one dude, and you are legion.
Time to gather your names and submit the final DoA book PDF for printing! We have done good.
Early this evening, a freight truck dropped off a pallet of Shortpacked! Book 4. Hooray! My buddy Steve helped me carry, box by box, the 1500 pounds of books down into my basement, and now they are finally here for me to start mailing them to those who funded the Kickstarter project. After I rest. Oh my lord, rest. Rest and Arkham City.
Mostly Arkham City.
I have a dummy page for Book 4 in the Store, but I won't open that up to actual orders until I get through a chunk of the preorders. I already have hundreds of books I have to mail out, and I don't need to add to my mailing pile just yet. I will keep you posted when that status changes!
I have not yet checked any of the boxes for parts of blenders. Hell, they could all be blenders.
I got two advance copies of Shortpacked! Book 4 in the mail today! Oh my lord, these are gorgeous. And theyre the thickest book Ive ever done, at 200 pages, so theyre big and thick and meaty. If you want to see more photos of the books, check out this entry from my Tumblr. This book is gonna be awesome.
Now we just wait for their countless brothers to cross the ocean by boat.
At this writing, there's fewer than 23 hours left to preorder/pledge for Shortpacked! Book 4! If you want to make sure you get a sketched-in book or a chance at some unique swag, this is your last chance. Don't miss out!
Also, I've just put in for an Artist Alley table at BotCon this summer. So look for me there! At least, look for me there when there's not an interesting panel or it's lunch or something. I'll be bringing Dinobot posters and some other interesting new goodies.
I've reached my target pledge amount for Shortpacked! Book 4, but thought I'd throw out one more reminder before the pledge/preorder countdown reaches its end in five days. If you don't want to just pick up a book later and want to pick up a sketched-and-signed book or some original art pages, there's still those five days remaining!
There has been a casualty in all this, however. Stupid Book 4 preorders had to go up at the same time as preorders for Patch Together's Ethan statue! I'd basically completely forgotten about it, and since pimping the book was way more important to me, like, financially and all, I kind of ignored the poor thing in favor of ensuring Book 4 reached the target pledge. Books are a large part of how I make my living. Statues are fun romps on the side. And, looking at the number of folks who've preordered one so far, man, you can really tell I'd dropped the ball on him.
So here's some much-deserved face-time with the Ethan statue. Gaze upon him in all his glory. And if you want, he's there to take.
Instead of doing the whole Paypal thing this go-round, everyone else I knew in webcomics were extolling the many virtues of using Kickstarter to raise funds. These virtues sounded even better once it was realized that Paypal can throw an enterprise-ending conniption fit if you raise too much money too fast. Let's, uh, avoid that, shall we?
Kickstarter does work a bit differently. You pledge money instead of giving it outright, and these pledges are only acted on if the required amount of money is pledged. If I don't reach the $8000 I need to make everything, nobody gets charged nuffin'. If I make more, that's gravy! To facilitate pledging, Kickstarter loooooves tiered rewards. For example, putting in enough money to cover the cost of a book and shipping is fine and good, but there's also things you can get if you put in less than that or more. If you only put in $5, you don't get a book, but you still get to help make it happen and you get your name printed inside the book along with the rest of everyone who helped out. And if you pledge more, depending on how much more, you can get a pile of original Shortpacked! lineart and/or a cameo in the strip itself. Sounds fun? New and different?
Also new and different is that I'm making the book thicker this go-round. The previous books were 136 pages, and this new one's gonna be 200. Full disclosure, the cost of printing's going up, and apparently I've been undercharging all this time anyway. Joel Watson laughs at me every time he sells his books for $20 and I sell my comparably-sized book for $15. (That bastard.) But I didn't just want to raise prices, I wanted to give something back for that extra $5. So books are thicker now. You get 60 more pages of content. Good deal?
Another thing I need to address. Last year, I tried to raise funds for a Book 1 reprint. This preorder was not popular. And I still have a lot of your money for it, and it's still not printed, what with the lack of preorders and such. I've been waffling on and off for the longest time, and I was just about to just give up and move on, but, again, webcomics folks extoll the virtues of Kickstarter to me. So here's what we're gonna do. After Book 4 is dealt with, let's try the preorder-book-1-reprint process again, but with Kickstarter. If that doesn't work, I will give up forever. If you don't want to wait that long and you've had enough, let me know. Send me an email (wiigii at gmail). I will make it up to you.
Of all the book collections of webcomics about folks who work in a toy store and tell jokes about Batman, this will be the greatest.
Sure, there were some pretty great book collections about folks who work in a toy store and tell jokes about Batman before, but this will far surpass them all. It's not that the previous collections weren't great. They are. They remain great! I mean, there was the strip-by-strip commentary and the additional content and the smattering of Toy News International strips and whatnot, but there was one tragic flaw.
They were only 136 pages long.
Well, screw that! Let's crank this up to 11. And by "11," I mean 200 pages. More comics! More commentary! And for the first time ever, excerpts from both the Tome of the Ages and the Gospel of Faz.
Within these 200 pages, you'll read some of the best stories from Shortpacked!'s six-year run. There's Conquest's hiring and her various ill-fated sex-backed sales attempts. There's Robin's plot to seduce Ethan via "found" videos of her and Conquest making out in the back room. There's the first real appearances of Leslie, the love of Robin's life. There's Galasso's unveiling of the Tome of the Ages, Ethan's subsequent firing and rehiring, and Amber's faith-fueled battle with Ninja Rick. Plus, a talking car arrives, mayhaps?
Oh, right. And "Funky CancerCancer." It's in here.
So what is this Kickstarter thing trying to do? Well, obviously, printing books costs money, and I don't have enough sitting around to fund an entire book run. So I'm trying to raise the amount I need to print the books, plus hopefully enough left over to actually ship these things to those who paid in enough to earn their own copy.
You'll notice some tiered rewards on the right. Read them carefully!
Webcomic Rampage was friggin' awesome and one of the best times I've had. Everyone was super nice and I got to hang out with some of my favorite people! But the awesomeness isn't exactly why it will go down in infamy. Here's something I posted on the Dumbing of Age site this past weekend that I meant to post here, too:
So here's a fun Webcomic Rampage story. I'm pretty sure I'll be telling this one a lot. It's a doozy.
I mailed two boxes of books to Austin. One arrived perfectly! The other arrived, too, but in an interesting condition. It was, in fact, a completely new cardboard box, with the old, shredded cardboard box inside. The mailing address, return address, and postage had been exacto-knifed off the old box and taped onto the new box.
Inside the old box inside the new box was half a blender.