This week I finished Rachel Rising issue 18 and sent it off to the printer. This is the 6th and final issue required for the next TPB, so it ends with a helluva kick. I had a lot of fun working on this issue. I think you’re going to be… entertained. So, RR18 is printing as we speak. Global release date is July 10. That seems far away to me, but it takes awhile for all the distribution to coordinate. Picture men in trucks driving across the country, all for us.
Cemetery Songs is the new Rachel Rising TPB, containing issues 13-18. Yesterday I assembled the book and sent it off to the other printer. This is the 3rd TPB of the series. The page count is 128, the price $16.99, just like the previous trades.
The good news is, the Strangers In Paradise Omnibus is coming along nicely. Tomorrow I should receive a hand-bound copy to proof dimensions, measurements, box fit, and anything else physical that could go wrong. Once that is approved, the printer will shift into high gear and begin cranking out books. The bad news is, once printed, the books will be loaded onto a slow boat from China, and we now know for sure it will not arrive in time for San Diego Comic Con week. Instead, it will arrive shortly after. It’s disappointing for me because I’ve always pictured that book making its debut at the SDCC. Since I don’t make these monster-sized books very often, I’m surprise to learn that half a year is not enough advance time to get something like this done. Who knew.
So, good news is, if you preordered your copy to pick up in San Diego, I will ship it to you free when it arrives. No cost to you. The bad news is, yes, I said will ship it to you free. lol.
So, thank you to everybody who preordered the omnibus and helped us with the ultra-high cost of printing all of SiP in one glorious collection. We’re so close to having them in our hands!
And, by the way, you haven’t seen the exclusive print for these Abstract Studio preorders because I haven’t drawn it yet. I’ve tried a few times but nothing I came up with was great enough for you. I want you to be very happy you preordered and got this print, and I want the rest of the world to be very jealous that you have it! Nobody else gets one except the SiP loyal who ordered directly from us. It’s my way of saying thank you. Back to the drawing board, I am determined to get the print made this week. I’ll post it as soon as I have it. Wish me luck!
Francine and Katchoo cosplay as Wonder Woman and Zatanna on the new Overstreet Comic Book Price Guide this summer. There are actually several covers for the book. The SiP girls are featured on the Hero Initiative Edition hardcover, which will have a print run of 500 copies. Price will be $35. They will begin selling at San Diego Comic Con at the Hero Initiative booth. I can’t wait to get my copy!
Many thanks to the good people at DC for giving us permission to use their iconic costumes. It’s all for a good cause, because the Hero Initiative does important work behind the scenes to provide aid and support to industry professionals who need it.
And kudos to digital color master and SiP girl veteran Brian Miller for the color. Brian colored most all the SiP material over its long run. He is the master. If the SiP girls were Beatles, Brian would be their George Martin. They love visiting Brian’s studio.
More details here on Scoop.
Here’s a SiP screen for your computer at 2560 X 1440 pixels. Click on it once or twice to get to the full size version. I have it faded a bit to provide better contrast for things you have on top of it. Looks great on my computer!
Look what came to the studio today: the SiP Omnibus! All I have to do now is draw in all the pages… :)-
We get this dummy book from the printer to check the bookmaking details before they dive and print a ton of them. You don’t want to print a jillion copies then go back to them and say, “Oh, we wanted it different.”
So what you see is the Omnibus before printing. These are the books and slipcase made from my specs. The only thing missing is the printing.
I am very pleased with the book(s). As you can see, the first thing we do is check the binding and spine. We look for strength, durability and how it lays open. This book is perfect in every category. The spine is very strong and won’t split. The pages are never going to pull out. The paper is thick and opaque so they feel substantial and that minimizes images bleeding through from the other side.
The books slide into the box perfectly. They don’t have to be stuffed yet there is no extra room. I love it when things are precise.
The dummy book gets two thumbs up from Robyn and me. We are giving them to green light to print your copy. You did order one, right?
Update: Strangers In Paradise Omnibus softcover edition
Two days ago I turned in the files for this monster collection of everything SiP. The book is being printed in China, so everything is done via computer and ftp. Once a pdf proof is approved, they will print like mad and send it back to us on, you guessed it, a slow boat from China. That’s why we’re scrambling now in order to get the book here for San Diego in July. The last time we did this, with the hardcover edition in 2009, the boat was held at the dock in China because of a SARS outbreak and we had to FedEx 100 copies via air to us in SDCC in order to make good on pre-paid deliveries. So we lost about a million dollars on each of those copies. Let’s hope that this year China can stay healthy until the boat sets sail.
So, the book is in production! It’s not too late for you to pre-order your copy and get the exclusive print shipping with each one. Once the books arrive, the pre-order offer is over, meaning no more prints. So, decades from now when your daughter takes the family copy to Antiques Roadshow, they will tell her that her copy would have been worth millions more if it had the exclusive print, because only a small number shipped with it… and of course after the creator was convicted on charges of selling the moon and sent there to live out his days, prices on his SiP Omnibus with print soared. Which, unfortunately, your daughter doesn’t have because you didn’t pre-order when you had the chance. Now, I ask you… can you live with that? I didn’t think so.
Attorney Ryan Davidson examines the alleged homicide of Echo’s Annie Trotter here. It’s fascinating to hold fictional mischief up to a real light and see the laundry list of infractions. Who will get away with it? Who won’t? And, in case you’re wondering, that explosion in the sky (above)… that was Annie.
Marvel and Audi have teamed up to give comic fans and artists a chance to do something cool. Here is the PR statement:
To celebrate the upcoming release of Iron Man 3, Audi and Marvel are working together to give consumers an interactive experience with the Iron Man “Steer The Story” comic book contest. The crowd-sourced digital comic book will give Iron Man 3 fans the opportunity to become a co-creator of the final panel of the comic book, as well as direct Iron Man’s fate and help decide the outcome of his adventure. The final US-based submission will have the opportunity to win an original art board signed by Marvel artists and a trip to Comic Con for an art review by a top Marvel editor. Additionally, everyone who submits a final panel will be acknowledged in the final page.
Click here to work on Iron Man with Marvel and Audi!
In the Coming Soon Dept:
Grimm Fairy Tales #85, from Zenoscope will have a variant cover sponsored by my LCS, Bedrock City in Houston. They asked me to draw the cover, based on a well-known classic golden age comic Strange Tales #5. With color by the invulnerable Brian Miller, I think it came out very nice. You’ll have to track this one down, but you shouldn’t have any trouble if you go to the source, Bedrock City.
Okay, back to the drawing board!
My Spotlight panel on Friday was recorded on video. You can watch the entire panel here. Imagine the smell of napalm in the morning and it’s almost like being there.
Sunday was my panel with Jeff Smith. Jeff and I have been friends since I started working in comics, which makes him really, really old. But I helped him up on stage and had a great time talking about our days in self-publishing and what we both see for the future. Comic Book Resources was there and captured the highlights in a lengthy article that you can read here. I think the big moment was when Jeff announced his next project, TUKI. Trust me, the Jeffmeister will have the comics world at his fingertips when he begins making this new series, it’s going to be fantastic and you heard it here first.
I took a short list of sketch requests at Wondercon. The only record I have of them are these cruddy iPhone photos, but they should give you and idea of the drawing at least. The customer request is in quotes.
“Francine and Katchoo as Spider-Man and Mary Jane in the famous kiss scene”
“Wonder Girl, with bare feet”
“Willow, with a cat.”
“Katchoo, in hockey gear”
My favorite thing about comic cons is seeing the clever things people come up with. I’ll leave you with three of my favorite moments.
There was geriatric Superman, lighting a cigarette by the trash can. Dig the flask, daddio.
When the top popped up, I discovered why we all find R2D2 so cute…
And walking back to the hotel at the end of the show, I passed this family, just standing there. I asked permission to take their picture and they silently nodded. I took the picture then said thank you. They silently nodded. It was eerie cool. I’m telling you, there’s no folk like comic con folk.