Big day today. The last day. Today, we go for broke.
The Final Stretch Goal(s)
I had this idea late last week.
I'd been thinking about a comment someone had left, remarking - kindly! - that we're shipping so much extra material with each book, he was a little concerned that 1) there wouldn't be a place to put everything, and 2) some of it might get damaged in shipping. As for point 2, we're committed to doing everything we can during the fulfillment phase to make sure your books, and everything that may come with them, arrive in the best condition possible.
But point 1 got me thinking, like I said. I was thinking about books that I'd loved that had come with "extras," in particular, with maps and pull-outs and fold-outs and the like. Remembering books of science fiction space ships that had the blueprints included. Things like that.
I started thinking, well, if we make the Pegasus Deck Plans, maybe, instead of doing them as individual sheets, we could do them big. Like, a poster big. Something that could be folded open and laid out and really examined, all on one big sheet, but that could be folded to a more manageable size. Something that would fit in a pouch or an attached envelope at the back of the book, perhaps. At the end, attached to the inside back cover.
I wonder what that would cost?
I mentioned this idea to Rick and Eric, and they both said they liked that idea a lot, but, y'know, how much would it cost?
So I called Bob.
Bob is the incredibly helpful guy I've been dealing with since we settled on a printer. Bob is the guy who's taken all my calls and has walked me through all the things that I didn't understand, and has called me back more than once and said, you know, choice A that you mentioned, that's nice, but choice B is actually better and a little cheaper, too. The 140 GSM woodfree endpapers? It was Bob who said to go with woodfree, because they'd hold up better, that they wouldn't crack or degrade with age.
I like Bob.
Bob was at Book Expo America, in New York City, when I called him and said, hey, what about this idea? And he said, uhm, Greg, I'm at BEA and I can't hear you and what was that again? So I repeated it, louder, you know. The way you do. And Bob says, hmm, let me look into it when I get back to the office.
Bob looks into it. He gives us some options.
I call Sterling. I say, hey, you know, we just cleared the Stretch Goal for the deck plans. Sterling makes a very happy noise - he's made it clear from the start that he really, I mean really, wants to do these deck plans. He and Rick have already been talking about it. I say, so, hey, you know… what about doing the deck plans big. I mean, poster big. Like, maybe… I dunno, double-sided. Sterling checks some of his sources. He says, you know, this could look amazing at 22" by 34", maybe. Lots of room, lots of different details. Both sides, that'd be cool.
I call Eric and Rick and I say, okay, this looks possible. Do we want to go for this? Twenty-four hours left, are we really going to set a stretch goal that may, finally, be our grasp exceeding our reach.
You have your answer. This is the big finale.
150K, The Finishing Touch.
This quite possibly is our Bridge Too Far.
We've already committed to the HMS Pegasus Deck Plans. They're going to happen, no matter what. We don't make this goal, the deck plans are still happening as originally proposed, it's a done deal.
But if we reach this one, then it's across all the books, every edition - Cloth Covers, The Style, R&R, all of them get the pocket in the back of the book to hold the poster-sized Deck Plans. One complete, and rather glorious package.
And wouldn't that just be something to see?
The Rueful Buccaneer
Eric is not off the hook. Eric is putting your money where his mouth is. Eric has found his prop sword and his eyepatch, and has been doing vocal exercises and practicing on his ukelele.
We get the 150K, this is the second Stretch Goal at the same level. Eric will record himself singing "Better Far to Live and Die" from Gilbert & Sullivan's The Pirates of Penzance. While wearing a pirate costume. And accompanying himself on ukelele.
And then I'm going to immortalize him on YouTube for all eternity.
Who says he won't take one for the team?
The Last of the Pin-Ups
Stephanie Buscema's original art of the witch Kaya from our story is now available in its own tier. As with all previous pin-up offerings, the piece comes with a copy of the trade in The Style to Which She is Accustomed edition, and includes all the digital extras. I'm almost loathe to let this piece go, frankly. I suspect it'll be gone by the time this update is released.
I've known Rick for over a decade, and in that time I've visited his home twice. I've been in his office on each of those visits, and each time, I've been stunned to see that he has kept almost every single page he has ever drawn. Seriously. Most comic book artists, they sell their art, and with good reason; it's supplemental income, after all.
Rick, he doesn't do that. Seriously. He just doesn't sell his art.
Except for today.
Over the years, Rick and I have worked together on a handful of stories outside of Lady Sabre. We did a couple issues of Detective Comics, the Batman 10-cent Adventure, a mini-series called Batman/Huntress: Cry for Blood, and a mini-series based on my creator-owned comic Queen & Country, called Queen & Country Declassified III.
Rick is right now going through his piles and piles of art, and he's pulling pieces from each of these stories that he's willing to part with. Later today, we'll be offering these in their own tiers. Each page is original art by Rick, from a script by me. Each page will be signed by each of us, and will come with a copy of the Cloth Covers edition of the Lady Sabre & The Pirates of the Ineffable Aether Vol. I trade, as well as the complete digital package.
As an aside, perhaps, I'm genuinely moved by Rick's willingness to do this. Like I said, he doesn't sell his pages. He just doesn't.
But for this campaign, he's willing to make an exception, and neither Eric nor I can thank him enough.
There will be an update as soon as these tiers go live.
We're almost done.