Saturday, June 14, 2014

Work Break to Blog

Yes, it may be hard to believe but another blog in less than two weeks.

Odd timing as I’m so busy right now but doing a blog post doesn’t feel like work…I mean, it’s just rambling.  I don’t worry about doing any edits but do run a spell check---when I remember---just to avoid embarrassment.

I say how busy I am and I’m sure most creators spout the same.  But I’ve been putting in 18 hour days for the last month with my only breaks being dinner with my wife and my weekly TV watching which is one hour of Game of Thrones.  I did sneak in the last two episodes of Homeland somewhere along the line.  Of course, I did take a vacation which helped but that was 4 days of driving and spent quite a bit of the time just making sure I didn’t fall behind the 100’s of emails I get just about daily.

Three things claimed my time.  One is the kickstarter project I’m about to launch on a graphic novel called Storyville: The Prostitute Murders.  Besides the writing and production of the pages, I also put together a video which is sort of new to me.  That was a lot of work, mainly because of the learning curve, but I think it will serve its purpose although certainly won’t win any awards.  I always try to keep up with how things are done, whether it’s art production, videos, etc. because even though I don’t plan to continue doing that in the long run, I think it’s important to understand what those areas are all about.

I’ve supported a few kickstarter projects but am often surprised on how many I would like to support but don’t.  To me, the goal of support is to get the product and usually it is a graphic novel.  Now, I know all the costs that accumulate but still, I think I should be able to get the book for around $25-$30 max.  Any more than that, I hesitate. I don’t care about prints, cards, t-shirts, posters, keychains, stickers, etc.  I want the book.  I am amazed how many projects don’t seem to address that.

Of course, moving Caliber along is a lot of work.  The reaction to Caliber returning was overall good but I didn’t get or expect mass coverage in the comic “news”.  For one, we’re not doing a superhero universe which is still key in this industry and two, we didn’t roll out with a lot of hype and promises.  I’m not criticizing anyone because I truly feel that Caliber has to prove itself, so it’s not sour grapes but rather the fact that a lot of work is going on that really doesn’t seem evident yet.  A key factor is getting the library into digital format.  We’re putting books up on Comixology, itunes, Play Google, Kindle, Nook, iVerse, Drive Thru Comics, and others and that’s quite a bit of formatting, information, and assorted details. I do have to give the credit to my partner in Caliber, Eric, for doing the bulk of the digital work.

We’ll be setting up some online comics soon and these include a Deadworld serial and The Ballad of Rory Hawkins which is about a B Western movie star hooking up with Charles Manson.  Of course, we have the books coming in print including a new printing of Rocky Horror and the release of the action environmental thriller, Carbon.  More titles to be announced but we’ll do that at time of solicitation.

One of the areas that’s been keeping me busy with Caliber is talking to various “Hollywood” folks and that involves generating property bibles and/or presentations.  We hope to be able to announce soon something in that direction shortly.

But the biggest consumption of my time involves a Deadworld project which is actually a licensed deal but I’m heavily involved with on all aspects.  I can’t say too much about it yet, but it will be a surprise direction (it’s not books or comics).  I’ve been working with over 50 artists, colorists, graphic designers, etc. and that’s a lot of paperwork with all the agreements, vouchers, payments, proofing, editing, and writing.  Plus I’m involved with the production, distribution, and promotional aspects.  It reminds me of the early days at McFarlane Toys when there were four of us, plus Todd and the designers, putting together a company from scratch.  Of course, I’m not suggesting that this will have the same impact McFarlane Toys did, just that it involves taking a concept from nothing to launching within a few short months.

So, hope to start having some announcements soon, not only for the special projects but for our book releases as well.  And no, I’m not saying we’re going to have any earth shattering announcements but I think they will be interesting.  I’m looking forward to them and hope you will appreciate them when announced.

So, a quick ramble…now I have to get back to work. Oh, don't forget that Deadworld: Restoration TPB comes out on June 18 at your favorite comic shops.  It's from me, Sami Makkonen, and IDW.


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