My sincere and deepest thanks to everyone who went last Saturday to CCHQ and picked up a copy of our modest anthology! Love and kisses to those who helped spread the word through mailing lists and their blogs. :) Thanks must also go to the lovely proprietors Tin and Katya who tolerated our squatting. I know I had a lot of fun. Most of the time was spent sitting and talking with friends, some who I haven't seen in a while. There were a lot of nice free comics to be had. All in all, we got rid of about 80 comics at CCHQ, and we gave 40 copies to Comic Quest earlier in the day. So about 120 copies all in all. Better to have overestimated than under-, I guess.
It was a bit of a photo finish. The night before Saturday, Neva and I were overseeing the copies being stapled and folded, from 830 to 11 PM. Thursday night was when I picked up the dummy, having visited Elbert and Jamie's offices. Seeing everything together was a treat. It's the nature of anthologies that there will be stories you like more than others, even speaking as the "editor." But for the most part I'm genuinely HAPPY with what we've come up with.
Since we were rushed the issue's not perfect. Some typos were spotted after the fact, and I'm still not satisfied with my intro, so I think I'll change it for the next print run. Still, content-wise everything seemed to go off without any major hitch. It was 60 pages all in all, when I was expecting something around 48.
I saw the bulk of the work on Sunday night at Megamall, where El and Jamie were exhibiting at the Toycon. I have to admit that when I saw Arnold and Ate Cyn's pages I almost cried. It was the first significant time where I felt it was actually coming together and not just an intangible project I would've liked to see happen. Especially since I was expecting shorter work from the both of them, what with their busy schedules. To see a full 8-page story from Arn and Cyn's 3-page double-tier story (her first comics work EVER!) really surprised and touched me.
Though the whole week has been exhausting, when I was watching all the copies being stapled and folded, and knew that I wasn't going to be making money from this, the feeling I still had was I wanted to make more. Is that strange? I don't know. Certainly, I don't think we'll be giving them away for free next time. But those were the 2 things most in my mind: I want to see more, and I really should've done this sooner.
Over lunch on Saturday we started talking about future issues. I realized that if I counted all the stories that weren't able to fit in the first, and all the late stories that are already in progress but just didn't make the deadline, I'd have the bulk of the next issue already. Which was a bit of a shock, but also a good feeling. I've also had good feedback from the people who DID contribute, and though they did it for free (for which I'm forever grateful), some were actually EXCITED about the prospect of submitting for the next issue, which is probably the best compliment you can get. I'm also hoping that people who join Hey, Comics! because of the anthology will also begin appearing in future issues. It's also a good way to force us to become more productive, and on a more selfish note I just want to see more good comics from people I'm a fan of!
We started joking about themed issues, too. If we're more disciplined about it 3 issues a year might actually be doable. And maybe 1 of the 3 could be themed. Themes are tricky: marketing-wise they're better for the anthology, and you could get some surprising results from your contributors. On the other hand, you could also get surprisingly BAD results from your contributors, who either don't like the theme or found it restrictive or just couldn't come up with something they like. But one idea we toyed with was having the themes be the uncommon kind. Ones without any necessary social value. To kind of force everyone to be creative and see what they come up with. Ridiculous suggestions were made: "Girls in red skirts," "Missed call," "Haircut," etc. One of Le Sexy Mark Lavin's genius suggestions was the Rob Liefeld tribute issue.
At the end of the meal I realized the second issue kind of has a theme already: "Late." ;P
This is 7-year-old Alexa Kitchen, who had 2 books debut at the recent Museum of Cartoon & Comic Art Festival (appropriately called The Early Years: Ages 5 & 6). She started cartooning when she was 5.
I'm fucking pathetic.
Also in attendance: Moby, longtime comics reader. Michel Gondry, a personal idol of mine, whose 13-year-old son Paul ALSO had a comic debut at the show. Son of a bitch.
And of course, Steph Misa, who texted me saying "Am at MOCCA. Want anything?" Unfortunately, when I woke up and found the message it was 11 PM in NY. Thanks for the offer, though, Steph.
One of my new favorite artists, Stuart Immonen, apparently has an LJ. He has this hilarious series of strips, Fifty Reasons To Stop Doing Sketches (that's not his usual art style, if you're wondering). Go and read. Also found this model of the Preacher character Arseface thanks to him. I'll spare you girls the picture, but men and comics fans, make with the clicky!
And here's Suicide Bomber Barbie:
I'm excited about this bit of news: Scholastic is beginning a graphic novel line called Grafix, launching with Jeff Smith's Bone. Bone is a terrific series I've been following since high school. I've been reading it in collections, and the end is near, and it's been a magnificent trip so far, one of those stories I wish I could get everyone to read, particularly fantasy fans like Mikey and Lia, who I'm SURE would love it. I think I lent Neva one and she immediately bought the first 6. Then she lent hers to Chris and he bought the first 7 or 8. I'm curious about the little tidbit saying it's going to be printed in color. I always imagined Bone in color to be wonderful, but Smith's art is so perfect in black and white that I wonder if my experience with the story'll be different this time around.
Here's hoping it becomes even bigger than Harry Potter. I wouldn't mind having a secret THIS good explode all over pop consciousness.
Scholastic have also approached Scott Morse, who I became a fan of since I read his The Barefoot Serpent.
Here's the list of places we're thinking of approaching for selling the anthology:
- Comic Quest
- Sarabia Optical, UP Shopping Center
- Big Sky Mind
I've also asked Diego Mapa if we could sell through him. He sells a bunch of zines at gigs.