Monday, May 25, 2015

All the print that's fit for news


Welcome to the latest edition of the Saturday update, hot off the presses of my only somewhat-credible brain.

After what must have seemed like two years of torpor, things are moving and moving fast. In actuality, I've been working fairly diligently all along. It's just that some phases were interesting and engaging (both to work on and to share) and some were pretty comparable to re-runs of "Empty Nest"; you'd watch it, but only if there were absolutely nothing else on. And even then you'd only be half-watching while you looked around the room for something better, like a Highlights magazine word search.

For instance, the search for agents and publishers has been about as interesting as a brochure on congressional bylaws. After a sending out a whole heap of cordial letters in an attempt to find one or both and getting rejected or ignored, I've pretty much thrown in the towel on the traditional route. It turns out that Saturday isn't a traditional book and is, as such, unattractive to traditional publishers.

Which brings us to Item No. 1:  I've signed a contract with a company to print Saturday on my own. It's official. They're a company with reputation for creating high-quality, beautiful books and I'm excited to have them working on Saturday.

Item no. 2: What's that other part of the process that has about as much sex appeal as a hair-clogged drain? Editing. Trust me, I know how boring it probably is to read that I'm still editing. It's important, of course, but sometimes "Empty Nest" reruns sound engaging in comparison. Well, good news: I have to have all the editing done by August 1st. Yeah, the one coming up in the not-too-distant-future. Meaning that's the point where edits, talking about edits and thinking about edits stops.

Item No. 3: I gave that printing company with the good reputation all the moneys I had up front. It was a fairly painful process considering that I buy off-brand ketchup. But it turns out they still need more of the moneys. So I'll be running a new Kickstarter campaign to pay for the other half. I'll probably be kicking off the campaign in early July. It will be for quite a bit less than the first one. If it doesn't work, I have a backup plan that involves selling one of my lesser-used organs.

The new Kickstarter campaign will actually let you get your hands on the book. It will also let me actually get my hands on the book. Which is pretty exciting. After feeling like the process has been out of my hands for some time (what with the cordial letter campaign and all), it's nice to have some agency back.

 This whole process has been a pretty interesting one. And not "interesting" like detached scientist looking at cells under a microscope interesting. "Interesting" like you've just gotten back to your car after being chased down by a herd of angry, rabid vampire llamas and the car won't turn over interesting.

So, just to recap: In between now and you having a copy of Saturday in your hands for your very own are:

1.) Me, feverishly working to finish the edits before August 1st.
2.) A Kickstarter campaign to pay for the second half of the printing so they don't take my thumbs.
3.) 2-3 months for printing and shipping after I have the edits done.

Not too bad, really. But I'll need your help to make it happen. And if we can make it happen, I hereby solemnly swear never to talk to you about editing again.

That having been said, here are some edits:

And, regardless of what happens, thanks for sticking with me for so long.


Sunday, May 10, 2015

Happy Money's Day. Mother's Day. I meant Mother's Day.


Welcome to a very special Mother's Day edition of the "Saturday" update. If you have no idea what I'm talking about, "Saturday" is this illustrated book I've been working on for, like, forever.  Entire universes have flared into existence and been snuffed out while I was working on this book. When I first started, readers were young and wild and carefree and now they think earnestly about insurance premiums and have grown to like PBS shows set in the Elizabethan era.

 If you're a mother you might well be gagging your way through a plate of congealed scrambled eggs and burned toast while you beam at a hand made card replete with yarn and glitter accoutrements and poor spelling. I know my mom always loves the poorly-spelled yarn disasters I give her every year. At least, she says she does. She's less thrilled that I also pack the envelope with scrambled eggs before I mail it to her. Well anyway, think of this update as your second present! I can see your probably grateful face as you say, "Oh...thank you. No, it's...uh...great. Really."

Progress Report: I'm editing page 12 right now. The pace of the edits is picking up and there's maybe only one or two more pages that require moderate editing (character models, etc.). The rest of the pages will need very light editing or none at all (some grammer and typose but nothing too extensive). I've received a couple more rejection letters since the last post (don't worry: I was fine after a good cry and some peach schnapps). I've also started talking with a printer. There's a company in California that prints beautiful, quality books and I'm super excited to work with them.

I will probably run another Kickstarter campaign to fund the printing. I still feel mixed about asking for money again, but if I wait until I have the all the money saved up, those of you who were around from the beginning will probably either riot or die of old age. It's going to be like Walter Donovan at the end of "Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade" after he drinks from the wrong cup and turns to dust. And then that old knight guy will kind of smugly say, "He chose...poorly."

A couple of things to think about the campaign for printing:

-An actual, totally real (and hopefully beautiful) copy of the book will be one of the rewards that you can actually really totally have in your hands to look at and smell (I smell books sometimes for reasons that are beyond my understanding).
-I'll be putting a painful amount of my own money into this right along with you.
-The goal amount will be less than the first campaign.
-If you already have a book coming to you, it's still coming. But if you want more than one, that's totally cool. You can buy as many as you want, he said with desperation on his breath like garlic from lunch.

 I don't know exactly when I'll start the campaign. I have to get more information from the printer about the total cost and the timeline and then I have to start assembling stuff for the new campaign. But I'm pretty excited about it and I'll keep you updated. Whether you like it or not.

In the meantime, here's a recently edited panel from page 12:


New Sketch:

New Final:

Anyway, if you made it this far, thank you. Seriously.